The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Needing a plumber in Rochester can be necessary if you are experiencing a dripping or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can prevent blocking your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

Here are some of the most common problems our Experts field calls about at Strogen's Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best location for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can plug 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 be flushed down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being dirty and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are costly to fix. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you in the future.

Whatever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re complete.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Waste Bin

In addition to flushable wipes, there are a couple other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These include:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Like wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and make your toilet run over, leaving you with an expensive (and nasty) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they may 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 melt, they can clog the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your first answer may be to buy a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re harmful. 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. 
  2. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. 
  4. 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 force the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a huge problem.

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

If you have a tough clog that just won’t go away, contacting a professional plumber like Strogen's Service Experts is your best 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 damaging your pipes and many other horrible issues like leaks, broken seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is working like it should, keep it that way by having a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a problem to dump a small amount of fat down your drain. But as time passes, that grease can accumulate and plug your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we discussed previously.

To prevent plumbing woes, drain the grease into a can. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating little bits of food. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent issues or clogs, we recommend 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 is smelly, you can clean it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires regular maintenance. This service can help us find small issues before they lead to major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we watch for entail:

  • Correct water pressure 
  • Leaky or clogged pipes 
  • Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do spot an issue, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it fixed without delay before it gets worse or causes damage.

8. Attempting 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 Strogen's Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair yourself or hire 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 maintenance is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.

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

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your residence has a major water leak, it’s essential to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is typically located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your residence:
  • If it has a wheel: circle it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re are unsure about where the valve is located, Strogen's Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a smart idea to have a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and cut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even have a smart system to monitor water use and notify you on your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Strogen's Service Experts are available to help you. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were completed correctly. Give us a call at 603-923-4570 to book your appointment right away!

*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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