Fact or Fiction: The Truth About Common Plumbing Myths

Charlotte Mechanical, one of the Queen City's most trusted HVAC and plumbing companies, gives you the truth about some famous plumbing myths.

Can you put anything down your garbage disposal? Do toilets spin the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere?

The plumbing in your house is something you may rarely think about, but there are some interesting myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, some of those myths can lead to big issues that can cost you money.

As one of Charlotte’s most trusted companies for plumbing, heating and air conditioning, Charlotte Mechanical is here for you in case any plumbing issues arise. But we want to debunk some plumbing myths so you aren’t dealing with clogged drains or busted toilets.

Myth #1: You can put anything down the garbage disposal

Well, it’s true that you can try to put anything down the garbage disposal, but your garbage disposal may decide to give up on you if you feed it certain foods.

Here are some foods or items you should avoid putting down the garbage disposal:

  • Fibrous Foods – Foods such as celery, kale, lettuce, potato peelings shouldn’t go down the disposal because they can get caught up the blades and cause it to jam.
  • Grease – The grease from foods like bacon can solidify in the drain and cause a clog in your pipes.
  • Egg Shells – There’s a myth that putting egg shells down the garbage disposal can help clean it but that’s not true! The egg’s membrane can actually wrap around the blade and cause damage to your disposal.
  • Starchy Foods – Foods like pasta and rice can create a paste and clog up your garbage disposal.
  • Fruit Pits and Apple Cores – The pit of an avocado or an apple core are too tough for your garbage disposal and can cause damage.

Charlotte Mechanical, one of the Queen City's most trusted HVAC and plumbing companies, gives you the truth about some famous plumbing myths.

Make sure to always run cold water while you’re running the garbage disposal. Also, a quick trick to clean it is to throw some ice cubes and grind those up. The ice cubes can help knock off any food residue that may be on the blades.

Myth #2: Placing a brick in the back of your toilet will save money

This is false. In fact, it can do more harm than good. A brick will deteriorate over time and can cause the flapper to break which will require you to shell out a lot more money in order to get it fixed.

Myth #3: A small faucet drip is OK

False. Sure, maybe it’s just a little drip. But just think how many times your faucet drips a minute. The U.S. Geological Survey has a drip calculator that shows that if you have a faucet that drips 60 times per minute, that means you’re wasting 17 gallons of water per day, or 6,248 gallons per year.

Myth #4: Water heaters may explode if it starts making noise

This is not true. The noise that you’re hearing from your water heater is sediment that has been built up and is being moved around. These sediments can decrease your water heaters’ efficiency.

The best thing to do is call Charlotte Mechanical to come to your home and drain your water heater to ensure a long life for it.

Myth #5: Flushing your goldfish down the toilet is OK

This is true, but only if you’re sure Goldie the Goldfish is dead. Do not throw them in the toilet if they’re still alive because they can live in the system, become oversized and quickly reproduce.

In fact, in 2015, the government in Alberta, Canada, tried to stop people from throwing out their goldfish into ponds because they grow to be monstrous!

Charlotte Mechanical, one of the Queen City's most trusted HVAC and plumbing companies, gives you the truth about some famous plumbing myths.

Myth #6: Water drains in a different direction in the Southern Hemisphere

We hate to burst your bubble, but this is actually false. The direction the water swirls down the drain has nothing to do with your location. The direction of your water depends on the direction the jets are pointed. So your toilet can flush in either direction, whether you’re in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Another myth that we’ve come across is that putting lemon peels down your garbage disposal is good for it. While it may make your disposal smell better, it can actually damage the blades and clog the sink.

Whether you come across a plumbing or water heater issue, your first call should be to one of Charlotte’s most trusted companies, Charlotte Mechanical. Our expert technicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we don’t charge extra for nights, holidays and weekends. Schedule an appointment with us today or give us a call at 704-771-1020.

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Ron McCann
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“Jeff Crane and his crew with Charlotte Mechanical recently replaced our old heat pump with a new Amana system.  Everyone on this project was extremely professional and the quality of their installation was most excellent.  Even the county inspector made a comment on the “very nice job” that Jeff and his crew had performed.  I highly recommend Charlotte Mechanical.”