10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Right Away

Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are dealing with a dripping or ruptured pipe. But the majority of times, you can avoid clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.

Here are some of the most common troubles our plumbers receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the ideal location for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Along with being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are pricey to repair. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you in the future.

No matter what 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 Garbage

Besides 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, saddling you with a costly (and gross) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they can do more damage than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, such as 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. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your first answer could be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce powerful fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your piping: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t very helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s because they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.

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

If you’re dealing with a tough clog that just won’t go away, calling 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 faster to have an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also avoid harming your pipes and many other troublesome issues like leaks, broken seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a issue to pour a small amount of grease down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a yucky fatberg like we mentioned previously.

To skip plumbing issues, drain the fat into a container. After it hardens, you can toss it in the waste can.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating tiny food scraps. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid malfunctions or clogs, we advise 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 revive it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have annual service. This service can help us find little issues before they result in expensive problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for entail:

    • Proper water pressure
    • Drippy or blocked pipes
    • Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find a problem, including a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of right away before it gets larger or leads to damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you are experiencing 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 grows or results in damage.

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and having a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

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

Pro water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they typically only last for about 10 years.

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

If your residence has a large water leak, it’s important to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often situated 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: move 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 wise idea to install a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and turn off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here 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 done correctly. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment now!

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