10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you have a drippy or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to take care of.

Here are some of the most regular troubles our professionals get calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the right spot for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (other than 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. Because flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can clog 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 combine with other nasty things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Along with being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you down the road.

Whichever type of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re complete.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Garbage

Other than flushable wipes, there are a few 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 plug your sewer line and back up your toilet, sticking you with a pricey (and icky) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they might do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can plug the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

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

    1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make powerful fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t exactly good for the environment.
    1. They might not even work. In spite of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a huge problem.

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

If you’re experiencing a tough clog that just won’t go away, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have an Expert do the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and many other bad issues like leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is working like it should, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from plugging it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a issue to dump a little bit of oil down your sink. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and plug 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 prior.

To avoid plumbing issues, drain the fat into a bowl. After it cools, you can toss it in the waste can.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up tiny bits of food. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent problems or clogs, we suggest not putting these foods 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 revive it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual maintenance. This service can help us discover minor issues before they cause major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for include:

    • Ample water pressure
    • Dripping or blocked pipes
    • Properly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice a problem, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it taken care of without delay before it grows worse or causes damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest 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 complex job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair yourself or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Yourself

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the pros. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done properly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your house.

Pro water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also provides you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, since they usually only operate for about 10 years.

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

In the event your home 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 usually located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your residence:

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

If you’re are unsure about where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing issue you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available to provide support. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were finished like they should. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to schedule your appointment right away!

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