Plumbing Old Wives’ Tales

sink plumbing

In a word, no. A strong acid or base can clear a clogged drain, but the phosphoric acid in cola is too weak to do the trick. If you’re worried about the caustic chemicals in many drain cleaners and don’t have the right tools or know-how to snake a drain, soda isn’t your best alternative.

Vinegar Clears Clogs

Vinegar is touted as a household miracle, good for everything from shining up tarnished and water-stained pots to cleaning windows. Its track record for drains isn’t quite miraculous, but it can help with minor clogs caused by grease and food buildup. You may have also seen advice to use vinegar and peroxide. This creates a stronger acid, called peracetic acid. Don’t mix these two ingredients in the same container, since they’re toxic when blended and can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. Instead, pour one product slowly down the drain with the other as a “chaser,” and be sure to wear eye protection. Or, y’know, just call us for Sacramento plumbing repair.

Oh, Sure, This ___ is Flushable.

“But it says it’s flushable right on the label!” Well, that doesn’t mean you should flush it. Baby wipes, kitty litter, and a number of other “flushable” products aren’t, really. They can clog your toilet just as surely as feminine hygiene products and a number of other things you’d never dream of putting down the toilet.

This Food Cleans Your Garbage Disposal!

The wrong foods put down your garbage disposal can cause more harm than help. There are a few different offenders here, the most common being lemons, coffee grounds, and rice. From least to most harmful:

  • Lemons won’t do much of anything to clean your disposal, but at least they’ll make it smell nice. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, however, since the acid can harm your plumbing if left to sit.
  • Coffee grounds also mask smells, and they feel abrasive, so you’d think they’d be effective. However, they’re more likely to add to the buildup of food, grease, and gunk than to eliminate them.
  • Rice is roughly as effective as, say, sweeping broken glass into your garbage disposal. The hard grains can do some serious damage.

So what should you use? Your home supply store has safe cleaners; used in tandem with a stiff bottle brush or toilet brush that you’ve set aside just for this purpose can be effective. If you want a quick clean, try ice cubes instead, but don’t rely on this method too often; it can dull your disposal blades.

Don’t Shower During a Thunderstorm!

There’s actually some truth to this one. Lightning kills an average of 31 people per year, and injures about nine times as many. Granted, a storm cloud won’t form over your head while you’re sudsing up, but metal pipes (and the water they carry) can conduct electricity from a lightning strike in much the same way that wiring would. While it’s exceedingly rare, it’s a good idea to avoid showering and other water use ’til the storm passes.

Want plumbing advice you can trust, backed by emergency service that’s available 24/7/365? Call Home Ace Plumbing from anywhere in Sacramento, Folsom, and Woodland!