The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Needing a plumber in Hillsborough can be unavoidable if you are dealing with a leaky or broken pipe. But many times, you can stop plugging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.

Here are some of the most regular troubles we get calls about at Fras-Air/General Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot 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 examined 101 such wipes learned none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other yucky things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. Besides being unhygienic and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you in the long run.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Garbage

Other than flushable wipes, there are a couple 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 plug your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with a costly (and nasty) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your first answer could be to get 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 combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce intense fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your piping: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t exactly good for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. Despite all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s since they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a big 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 get rid of clogs and foul odors. While they can require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have a difficult clog that just won’t dissolve, calling a professional plumber like Fras-Air/General 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 perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent harming your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, damaged seals and troublesome odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a problem to dump a small amount of grease down your drain. But as time passes, that grease can build up and clog your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To avoid plumbing woes, drain the grease into a can. After it hardens, you can throw it away in the trash.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up small bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To prevent 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. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires regular service. This service can help us discover minor issues before they result in huge problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for involve:

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

If you do see trouble, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired right away before it grows bigger or leads to damage.

8. Making an Attempt 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 Fras-Air/General Service Experts for leak repair before it grows or leads to damage.

Fixing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and having a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater on Your Own

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 scalding water or flood your home.

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

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your home has a large water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually 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: turn 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, Fras-Air/General Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a wise idea to have a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and shut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Fras-Air/General Service Experts are here to provide support. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were completed correctly. Contact us at 908-448-2154 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.
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