Having to have a plumber in Boise can be unavoidable if you have a drippy or burst pipe. But many times, you can avoid blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to repair.
Here are some of the most common issues our Experts receive calls about at TML Service Experts and how you can prevent them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right location 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 found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.
They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other nasty things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get passed on to you down the road.
Whatever type 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 involve:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
Along with wipes, these things can block your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with a costly (and icky) mess.
3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Using drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.
4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is blocked, your immediate answer might be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.
- They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
- They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
- They’re bad for the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.
- They might not even unplug your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a major problem.
If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and foul odors. While they may take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you have a tough clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like TML Service Experts is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have a professional finish the job. That way, you’ll also avoid breaking your pipes and many other troublesome issues including leaks, broken seals and unpleasant odors.
After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from plugging it again.
5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink
It can seem like it’s not a issue to pour a tiny bit of grease down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we mentioned earlier.
To skip plumbing woes, drain the oil into a can. After it hardens, you can dump it in the garbage.
6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for eliminating tiny amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent issues or clogs, we advise not putting these foods 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 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 needs annual service. This service can help us spot minor issues before they cause expensive problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we watch for entail:
- Proper water pressure
- Dripping or clogged pipes
- Properly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do see trouble, like a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of immediately before it grows larger or results in damage.
8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own
When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at TML Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.
Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help
When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your residence.
Experienced water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they often only last for about 10 years.
10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
In the event your house has a big water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is usually located in a mechanical room near your water heater.
Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your home:
- If it has a wheel: circle it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
- If it has a lever: turn it about a quarter of the way.
If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, TML Service Experts can help you find it.
It’s also a wise idea to install a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and turn off the water if there’s a problem. You can even get a smart system to watch water use and notify you through your phone if there’s a problem.
Whatever plumbing issue you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at TML Service Experts 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 completed like they should. Reach us at 208-488-4892 to book your appointment today! *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.