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4 Plumbing Myths Virginia Homeowners Should Watch Out For


These common plumbing myths can backfire and actually cost you more in energy dollars and the convenience that a sound plumbing system offers. Plumbing problems can also magnify the costs associated with maintaining a safe and sound home, since water leaks can cause extensive structural damage.

Myth 1: Gurgling Water Heater

Normally a water heater operates quietly. Loud noises coming from the water heater don’t signal that it’s ready to explode. Instead, they indicate the bottom of the heater’s tank has too much sediment in it. Water contains oxygen, and the noise you hear is actually air bubbles caused by inefficient heating expanding and being forced up. Draining a few quarts of water from the heater several times a year will reduce sediment that collects at the bottom. Sediment in water heaters drive up energy costs and shorten the lifespan.

Myth 2: Placing a Brick in the Toilet Tank Saves Water Safely

While a brick does displace some water, this is one of the more destructive plumbing myths because the brick will erode over time. The sharp particles falling off it can damage the flapper, hastening water leaks. Replacing an old toilet with an EPA-designated WaterSense toilet reduces consumption immediately, or use a filled water bottle instead of a brick for water displacement.

Myth 3: Dripping Faucets Don’t Waste Much

A drippy faucet may seem inconsequential, but taken collectively, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates households in the U.S. waste a trillion gallons of water annually through plumbing leaks. These leaks can erode sink and tub materials.

Save more by replacing old faucets and shower heads with low-flow devices. Taking care of plumbing leaks also prevents mold from growing around the sinks, tubs, and toilets. Mold can be a serious indoor hazard to your health and will rot flooring and subflooring.

Myth 4: Ice Cubes Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

Tossing a few cubes down the disposal is a good idea to clean and deodorize it, but it won’t sharpen the blades.

Taking steps to remedy the problems associated with plumbing myths early can protect your home and save money. To learn more, contact HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited Heating & Cooling, providing exceptional plumbing and HVAC for Prince William, Loudoun and Fairfax County homeowners.

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