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Common Plumbing Myths Busted

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Hand pouring liquid drain cleaner from a black bottle down a shower drain.

Most people believe these common plumbing myths to be true, so we’re here to bust them and tell you the facts. 

Myth 1: You Should Flush ‘Flushable’ Products

There are a lot of products, from makeup-remover wipes to kitty litter, that say “flushable” right on the packaging, so most people assume that they can safely flush those products. This is not the case! So-called flushable products can actually clog up your pipes and cause damage easily, so trash it, don’t flush it.

Myth 2: Store-Bought Drain Cleaner is the Best Way to Clean Your Drain

Drain cleaner is good for your drain, right? Wrong. This is a very pervasive plumbing myth, so don’t feel bad if you’ve been reaching for a bottle of drain cleaner anytime you have a clog. The fact of the matter is that liquid drain cleaners contain harmful chemicals that corrode your pipes from the inside, resulting in leaks and considerably more trouble than that annoying clog you started with. The best way to fix a plugged-up drain is with a plunger, and if that doesn’t get the job done, call in a plumber to use a drain snake, auger or hydro jet to clean your drain out safely.

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Myth 3: Drains Can Only Flow the Opposite Way South of the Equator

Many people think that drains all flow clockwise north of the equator and counterclockwise south of the equator, but the direction your drain flows actually has nothing to do with where in the world it is located, it has to do with the way it is constructed and how much water is flowing through it. In some parts of the world, such as Australia, the way that drains are typically constructed makes them flow counterclockwise, but this is simply because of convention, not geography.

Myth 4: A Clothes Hanger is a Good Tool for Unclogging a Drain

Many people think a metal clothes hanger is a good DIY version of a drain snake, but it can cause some damage. A metal hanger will scratch up the inside of your pipes, which makes harmful buildup occur more easily. Again, if your trusty plunger doesn’t dislodge the clog, it’s time to call in the professionals; otherwise you might just make things worse.

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