You’ve probably heard a lot of advice on how to give your home fixtures and appliances a long and healthy life, but unfortunately much “conventional” plumbing wisdom is actually misguided. While we appreciate saving a buck as much as the next person, the truth is that many of these so-called tricks may actually be costing you money—rather than saving it. Below, we debunk some common home plumbing myths to help keep you from wasting money on cheap and ineffective fixes in the future.
1) Lemons in the Garbage Disposal
The idea that you can disinfect the garbage disposal by putting a lemon down the drain goes back a while. Unfortunately, it’s dead wrong—the acid in lemon juice can actually wear down the metal in your disposal. While it is true that you might get a nice smell for a short time, the better alternative is ice, which will polish your disposal without causing damage.
2) Soap is a Safe Way to Clean Plumbing Fixtures
Think you can use soap and water to clean your plumbing fixtures? Not so much. Since soap is safe for your hands, you may think it’s no big deal to use on your sink, but soap will corrode most fixtures. If your fixtures are made of brass, the safer alternative is lemon juice—they do have some plumbing value, after all!
3) A Cheap Appliance with a Lifetime Warranty = a More Expensive Product
When you have the choice between a quality appliance and a less expensive product that comes with a warranty, don’t be swayed by the warranty. A warranty only guarantees the product you have; it won’t get you a different version, so if you buy a product that’s prone to breaking, it’s going to keep breaking in the future. The money you save now also won’t make up for the time you’ll spend waiting on replacement parts or the cost of continually reinstalling the product. All in all, it’s better to buy a quality product from the start.
4) Plumbing Doesn’t Require any Maintenance
If I don’t see a problem with my plumbing, it’s probably fine—right? Not necessarily. The fixtures in your home require maintenance just like anything else. Your pipes, for instance should be inspected regularly to prevent dangerous gases from leaking into your home, while your drains should be inspected for hair or food buildup to prevent nasty clogs and buildup. Maintaining your fixtures ensures they remain in good condition and prevents expensive and potentially dangerous plumbing issues from developing.
5) In-Tank Cleaners Save Time and Money
Many people think that buying an in-tank cleaner is a quick solution to regular toilet cleaning. In reality, such cleaners do not effectively protect your toilet from buildup; the inside of your bowl may look cleaner, but these products just bleach what’s inside instead of removing it. Over time, such build up will become a problem. To remove buildup, simply pour vinegar down the overflow tube. The end result is better and more cost-effective.
6) Any Plumber Will Do
If you aren’t familiar with plumbing problems, any plumber can seem like an expert. The fact is, not all plumbers have the same knowledge or level of expertise, or commitment to continuing education. Take the time to choose a plumber with experience or you may end up needing to call someone else and spending even more money.