10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are experiencing a leaky or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can prevent clogging 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 frequent problems our professionals receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best place 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. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.

They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are costly to repair. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get assigned 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 Belong in the Waste Bin

Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These cover:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can block your sewer line and back up your toilet, leaving you with an expensive (and nasty) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they may 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 clog the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your first answer may be to purchase an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should realize 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 cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t very good for the environment.
    1. 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 since they often force the clog further into your plumbing until it results in a major problem.

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

If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t go away, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a pro perform the job. That way, you’ll also skip causing damage to your pipes and a host of bad issues like leaks, damaged seals and unpleasant odors.

After your drain is clear, 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 can seem like it’s not a problem to pour a tiny bit of grease down your drain. But as time passes, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To avoid plumbing issues, drain the grease into a bowl. After it cools, you can dump it in the trash.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of small food scraps. But it can’t get rid of everything. To avoid issues or clogs, we suggest not putting these items 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 blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine tune-ups. This service can help us discover little issues before they result in big problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for involve:

    • Proper water pressure
    • Leaky or blocked pipes
    • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice an issue, including a leaking sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it repaired without delay before it gets bigger or leads to damage.

8. Making an Attempt 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 gets worse or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain 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 examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

Pro water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is operating like it should. It also provides you a heads-up when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, because they typically only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your residence has a big water leak, it’s essential to be aware of 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 home:

    • 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 smart idea to get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even get a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you on your phone if there’s trouble.

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

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