10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Immediately
Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be necessary if you are dealing with a drippy or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can stop blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.
Here are some of the most regular troubles our plumbers receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can prevent them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Despite the fact they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the best place for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.
A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes learned they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.
They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. As well as being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to get rid of. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get assigned to you in the future.
No matter what type of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re finished.
2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Trash
Other than flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These include:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
In addition to wipes, these things can block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a costly (and nasty) mess.
3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can plug the toilet and prevent it from flushing.
4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is plugged, your initial answer could be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should know about these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create intense fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
- They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your piping: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
- They’re bad for the environment. As you can determine, these formulas aren’t extremely good for the environment.
- They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often move the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a major problem.
If you do require a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and bad odors. While they could work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t go away, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have an Expert complete the job. That way, you’ll also skip damaging your pipes and a host of horrible issues including leaks, damaged seals and troublesome odors.
After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from clogging it again.
5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink
It can seem like it’s not a big deal to pour a tiny bit of oil down your pipes. But over time, that grease can accumulate and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we mentioned prior.
To skip plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a bowl. After it hardens, you can dump it in the waste can.
6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up small bits of food. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent issues or clogs, we suggest not putting these things down your garbage disposal:
- Coffee grounds
- Pasta, oats, rice and bread
- Bones, nuts, pits and seeds
- Onions and potato peels
- Fibrous fruits and vegetables
If your garbage disposal is smelly, you can revive it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual service. This service can help us find small issues before they lead to huge problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we are on the lookout for entail:
- Proper water pressure
- Leaky or clogged pipes
- Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do notice an issue, like a dripping sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired immediately before it becomes worse or causes damage.
8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help
When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it gets bigger or leads to damage.
Mending plumbing is a detailed job that’s best done by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and making a more expensive problem.
9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Yourself
When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.
Professional water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is operating properly. It also provides you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, as they typically only last for about 10 years.
10. Not Being Aware of Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
In the event your house has a major water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is often located in a mechanical room near your water heater.
Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your home:
- If it has a wheel: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
- If it has a lever: turn it about a quarter of the way.
If you’re don’t know where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.
It’s also a good idea to have a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and turn off the water if there’s an issue. You can even use a smart system to keep an eye on water use and tell you on your phone if there’s a leak.
Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available to assist you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were completed correctly. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment right away!
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