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 back up 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.