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Plumbing MYTHS

Serving Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and more of AZ with professional plumbing services since 2001

Here at Instant Plumbing, we have heard our fair share of interesting plumbing myths. So much so, that we’ve decided to go over 5 of the most common plumbing myths we hear on a regular basis and reveal whether they are fact or fiction. 

Flushing a toilet while someone is in the shower is dangerous:

FACT! Well…. Sort of. If the toilet you are flushing is in the same bathroom or is close to the shower that is being used, then yes, this can be dangerous. If the shower is using a combination of both hot and cold water, and someone flushes a toilet, the cold water supply will be diverted to refilling the toilet tank and will therefore reduce the amount of water that gets mixed with the shower’s hot water. This causes an increase in temperature to the shower and can burn skin if the water is too hot.  If the toilet being flushed is further away from the shower that is in use, say across the span of a house, then the water supply to the shower may not be impacted at all. 

Personal wipes can be flushed as long as they say flushable:

MYTH! While these wipes are designed to break down easily when flushed, they do not disintegrate immediately. And if multiple wipes are being flushed in a day, they can create a mass which can cause a blockage in the sewer system. At Instant Plumbing and Rooter we have seen numerous sewer lines back up and clog due to personal wipes being flushed that were said to be flushable. Another issue that can happen, is when the wipe is flushed, it can get caught on any rough spots on the inside of the sewer pipe (think of how a hangnail seems to get caught on every piece of fabric you touch). This can also lead to a backup as more and more wipes get stuck. Our recommendation is to NEVER flush personal wipes or baby wipes of any kind. 

It is dangerous to shower during a thunderstorm: 

FACT! Here in Arizona, we see our fair share of thunderstorms. If your parents were anything like ours, you were probably told not to shower during a storm. This is because plumbing pipes are often metal and can conduct electricity. Electricity is present in the air during a storm (lightning) and can be carried to your pipes. And as we all know, electricity and water are an extremely dangerous combination. 

Placing a brick in your toilet tank can help save water and money:

MYTH! Placing a brick in your toilet tank will displace the water in the tank and therefore need less water to reach the fill line inside the tank. The problem is, the amount of water in your toilet tank is specifically designed to allow your toilet to flush properly. Displacing that water with a brick can lead to needing to flush the toilet repeatedly per use. This can actually waste water and result in the exact opposite of what was trying to be achieved. If you want to conserve water, consider getting an eco-friendly or low flow toilet that is engineered to operate with less water. 

And finally… my favorite myth of all….

You can put grease down your kitchen sink as long as you use hot water:

MYTH….. Big time!! While the idea makes sense, using hot liquid to melt the grease. The execution is almost never done properly. In order for this method to work, the water would have to be extremely hot and the water would have to run long enough for the grease to be fully broken down and pushed down the drain and into the main city line. This would take a long time and a lot of wasted water. The easiest thing to do is to let the grease cool and dispose of it properly in a trash can. 

If you enjoyed the information in this article, be sure to check out our other blog posts about everything from water softeners for your whole home to clogged kitchen sinks, and everything in between. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it dangerous to flush a toilet while someone is in the shower?
A: FACT! Kind of. If the toilet being flushed is near the running shower, then it can be a risky move. This is because, if the shower is drawing from both hot and cold water sources and a toilet is flushed, the cold water will be diverted to refill the toilet tank. This could potentially cause a surge in hot water temperature in the shower, leading to scalding. The effect is less pronounced if the toilet is farther away from the shower.

Q: Can personal wipes labeled “flushable” be safely flushed?
A: MYTH! Even though these wipes claim to be flushable, they don’t break down immediately. Continual flushing can lead to blockages. We’ve witnessed several backups caused by these so-called flushable wipes. Plus, if these wipes catch on rough spots in sewer pipes, they can accumulate, leading to more blockages. Our advice: avoid flushing wipes entirely, even if they claim to be flushable.

Q: Is it unsafe to shower during a thunderstorm?
A: FACT! Indeed, Arizona is no stranger to thunderstorms. You might’ve been advised not to bathe during a storm, and this guidance is sound. Many plumbing systems utilize metal pipes, which conduct electricity. During storms, these pipes might be charged with electrical energy, posing a risk when combined with water.

Q: Does placing a brick in the toilet tank conserve water?
A: MYTH! Though a brick might displace water in the tank, it can compromise the efficiency of your flush. You might end up flushing multiple times, which defeats the purpose of conserving water. For genuine water savings, consider investing in an eco-friendly or low-flow toilet designed for optimal water efficiency.

Q: Can you pour grease down the sink if hot water is running?
A: MYTH! Big-time myth! The hot water would need to be scorching and run for a significant period to effectively break down and move the grease all the way to the municipal line. It’s more sustainable and safer to let the grease solidify and then discard it in the trash.

About Us

Instant Plumbing and Rooter LLC is a family-owned and operated plumbing business in Phoenix, AZ. We’re a family of reliable professionals that use the latest techniques for dependable plumbing services. Since 2001, we have been taking care of our community’s plumbing needs promptly and professionally.

Through our work, we aim to change the perception of plumbers in our community. Our goal is to make homeowners like you more informed, as well as show others that being a plumber is not just about unclogging toilets.

A plumber brings hygiene, sanitation, and comfort to everyone, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

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