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F.H. Furr's Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Insider Blog

Plumbing Myths - Debunked.

Dripping Faucets, Exploding Water Heaters and Invincible Garbage Disposals:

Myths are like rumors. One person hears something and passes it to another and they pass it to another and before you know it - the myth you heard is supposedly supported by concrete evidence. One person fixes something in their house the way they've been told and then when the issue happens at your house, they're suddenly an expert and can tell you exactly how to fix it. When it comes to your plumbing and the pipes in your home, be sure to do your research on whether or not these quick fixes are beneficial for your home!We've come up with a list of some common plumbing system myths and whether they are founded or not.

Here's our list:

1. Lemons In Your Garbage Disposal

  • Sure we've all heard that grinding some lemons, oranges or the peels of either fruit will help clean and freshen your garbage disposal - in fact, I just recently did this at my house! Did you know that the citric acid in these fruits can corrode the metal in your disposal causing it to rust and either break or wear faster?
  • Instead - use ice cubes! The cubes will assist in sharpening the blades and they will also help break up and remove odor causing particles in your disposal. Adding some soda and salt will also help increase the scrubbing power of the ice cubes! (Hint: This combination of ice/soda/salt will also help you clean a dirty coffee pot!)
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2. You Can Clean With Anything!

  • Who has heard stories of generations past that they only used Pine-Sol or Spic & Span for cleaning or that you just HAVE to use only one kind of cleaner for each different piece of your home you're cleaning? While it can get to be a little much having different cleaners for everything, in the end it just might be best! Especially when it comes to things in your home that deal with your plumbing system!
  • Keep an eye on the ingredients in the cleaners you use to clean fixtures. Did you know that hand soap can actually be damaging to the fixtures in your home? Sure if you see your bathroom faucet getting dirty, you might wipe it off with soap while washing your hands. But next time, think about skipping that step! The best thing to clean your fixtures with would be a natural mixture of pure lemon juice or actual lemons and baking soda. Your toilet bowls will need something a little stronger with disinfectants and germ killers. For surfaces like this, you could use a baking soda and vinegar mixture that will foam up to clean - it's not just for volcano science projects anymore! Add essential oils to the mixture if you would like it to smell a little better than just vinegar!
  • Hint: The baking soda and vinegar mixture is the best thing to use for attempting to unclog drains too. Chemical drain cleaner can actually damage the pipes and in the event of a spill, they could damage any surrounding areas they come into contact with as well!

3. It's Only A Little Drip!

  • Eventhough it may only seem like a small drip to you, those few small drips add up AND FAST! If it's unattended to, that little drip could easily turn into hundreds of gallons of wasted water a month and more the longer you wait to have it fixed. Most of the time - homeowners end up having to pay for all that additional wasted water as well!
  • Many times it could be something as small as a washer needing to be replaced for a minimal cost. If the washer doesn't fix the issue, then you may want to have a professional come to replace the faucet or see what your options are.


4. My Garbage Disposal Is Invincible!

  • So many times we think - if it fits and grinds it up then it's good to go! This just isn't true. In fact there is a decent sized list of things you DO NOT want to put into your disposal.
  • Did you know that foods like potato skins and celery can be harmful because they can get caught in the blades and freeze up your disposal? Greasy things and even cheese can cause your disposal to clog and be almost impossible to break up without calling a plumber. If your disposal is running slowly this could be a sign that you need to have it checked out.
  • Note: A few more things not to put down your disposal: Eggshells, banana peels and bread! Also, running water won't even help hard or thick pieces of food.

5. My Water Heater Is About To Explode!

  • If your water heater turns on and sounds like it's going to blow up, banging noises, rumblings or other loud noises - rest assured it probably isn't going to explode.
  • This is usually caused by sediment that gets collected in the tank. It's loose minerals from hard water. It all sinks to the bottom of the water heater where the element is and sits. When it gets too thick, it prevents the heat from getting up through the water. This causes bubbles which expand and pop and this is usually the cause of the noises. If it's an older water heater then you probably want to replace it. If it's newer, call your plumber to have it drained and flushed!




These are just a few of the countless myths we hear about ALL THE TIME. Believe us, you aren't alone in your thinking! Someone told the myth you were told to the person who told you! The game of Telephone applies to homeowners too!

We want you to be comfortable in your home, so should you have any questions or concerns about your plumbing - CALL US! We're happy to help however we can!

Topics: plumbing plumbing maintenance