10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Having to have a plumber in Champaign can be unavoidable if you are dealing with a drippy or broken pipe. But many times, you can avoid blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

Here are some of the most common troubles our pros get calls about at Chief/Bauer Service Experts and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the right spot 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 have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes learned they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other nasty things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, like cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are costly to get rid of. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you in the future.

Whatever style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be thrown in the trash once you’re done.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Trash

In addition to flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These cover:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a pricey (and gross) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they can do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your first reaction could be to purchase an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce strong fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t very environmentally friendly. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s due to the fact they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a major problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and bad odors. While they may take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have a difficult clog that just won’t go away, contacting a professional plumber like Chief/Bauer Service Experts is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert do the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and many other troublesome issues like leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome odors.

After your drain is clear, keep it that way by using a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a problem to pour a little bit of fat down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and clog your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a yucky fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a container. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of tiny amounts of food waste. But it can’t get rid of everything. To avoid 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 
  • Eggshells 
  • Onions and potato peels 
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables 
  • Grease

If your garbage disposal smells bad, you can revive it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine service. This service can help us discover small issues before they lead to major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for include:

  • Proper water pressure 
  • Leaky or clogged pipes 
  • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find an issue, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired without delay before it gets bigger or leads to damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Chief/Bauer Service Experts for leak repair before it grows or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your residence.

Pro water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is working properly. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, as they often only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Being Aware of Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your residence has a major water leak, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often found in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your house:
  • If it has a wheel: circle it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re are unsure about where the valve is located, Chief/Bauer Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to install a water leak protection system that will alert you and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to keep an eye on water use and tell you through your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Chief/Bauer Service Experts are available to help you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished right. Reach us at 217-689-2469 to schedule your appointment right away!

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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