10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you are dealing with a dripping or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can prevent blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.

Here are some of the most common problems we get calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the ideal location for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are expensive to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the long run.

Whatever kind 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 Waste Bin

Besides flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These include:

    • 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 costly (and icky) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can cause more trouble than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your immediate response could be to buy a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can determine, these substances aren’t very helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unclog your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s due to the fact they often move the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a huge problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and unpleasant odors. While they could work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a strong clog that just won’t dissolve, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have a pro do the job. That way, you’ll also skip damaging your pipes and a wide variety of troublesome issues such as leaks, broken seals and troublesome odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a problem to dump a little bit of fat down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we talked about earlier.

To stop plumbing woes, drain the fat into a can. After it solidifies, you can throw it away in the waste can.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up tiny bits of food. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop problems 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 has a bad smell, you can freshen it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs regular service. This service can help us find little issues before they lead to huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we watch for include:

    • Adequate water pressure
    • Leaky or blocked pipes
    • Adequately operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find an issue, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired without delay before it grows larger or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it gets bigger or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair yourself or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

Professional water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is operating like it should. It also gives you advance notice when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, because they usually only last for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your house has a large water leak, it’s essential to know 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 switch off the main water valve in your house:

    • If it has a wheel: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
    • If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

It’s also a smart idea to get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and tell you on your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to assist you. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished correctly. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your appointment today!

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