When it comes to plumbing, there are a lot of tall tales floating around that are passed on from one person to the next that Pittsburgh plumbers hear all the time. But which ones are real and which ones are just old wives’ tales? Here’s a list of some of the most common urban legends in plumbing and the truth behind the tales.

Ice Cubes Sharpen Your Garbage Disposal Blades

Common Urban Myths About Plumbing

Animals showing up in the toilet. Though this is a pretty rare occurrence, it can in fact happen. Drain pipes are not under the same amount of pressure as water supply lines and when water isn’t running down them, they have air for animals to breathe. The problem is the entrance point. If an animal can get into your pipes through cracks and breaks, where is your waste water going? If you’re not sure about the condition of your drain lines, get a quality Pittsburgh plumbing service to check them out.

Ice cubes sharpen your garbage disposal blades. Technically, this one is a myth. Tossing ice cubes in your disposal won’t sharpen the blades, but they will clean off any gunk that has built up on them. That means the cutting surface of the blades are cleaned off and can more effectively chop up your kitchen trash. If your disposal smells bad, toss in a half a lemon and a handful of ice cubes to clean it out.

Water flushes in one direction because of the spin of the earth. This one is kind of true, but not on a scale you’d see in your home. You’d need a much larger drain and basin before you see the Coriolis effect in actuality, which would drain counter-clockwise in North America and clockwise in South America.

Flushable wipes can go down the toilet with no problem. This one is an absolute myth. Even though these wipes are often labeled as safe to flush, they can actually cause a lot more trouble with your pipes. Because they don’t break down when wet like toilet paper, the wipes catch on turns, tees and rough spots in your pipes and cause further problems down the road.

As you can see, there are a lot of urban legends in plumbing, and now that you know the truth behind them, you’ll have a great story next time one of them is brought up. If you need plumbing help beyond great storytelling, Stahl Plumbing is here to help. Contact us today to find out why we’re one of the top plumbers in Pittsburgh.