10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are experiencing a drippy or burst 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 take care of.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best 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 have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes found they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other yucky things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are pricey to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the long run.

No matter what style 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 Should Be Tossed in the Trash

Besides flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Like wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a pricey (and icky) 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 clean, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your first answer may 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.

    1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce severe 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 pipes: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
    1. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can imagine, these formulas aren’t exactly good for the environment.
    1. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it creates a major problem.

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

If you’re dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t dissolve, contacting 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 finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and a host of horrible issues such as leaks, broken seals and unpleasant odors.

After your drain is working like it should, 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 may seem like it’s not a issue to dump a tiny bit of fat down your sink. But over time, that grease can build up and block your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To prevent plumbing woes, drain the fat into a bowl. After it solidifies, you can dump it in the waste can.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of little food scraps. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid breakdowns 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 mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs annual tune-ups. This service can help us find small issues before they cause expensive problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we watch for include:

    • Correct water pressure
    • Drippy or clogged pipes
    • Adequately operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice trouble, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it taken care of right away before it grows worse or causes damage.

8. Trying 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it grows or leads to damage.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

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

Pro water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working like it should. It also gives you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, because they often only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your house has a large water leak, it’s essential to be aware of 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 shut 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: rotate 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 alert you and turn off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and alert you via your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were done correctly. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment right away!

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