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 experiencing a drippy or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can prevent clogging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive 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 prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right 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 rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other nasty things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are costly to fix. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get passed on to you in the long run.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Garbage

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, sticking you with a costly (and nasty) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they might do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, like bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can plug the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your immediate answer could be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should realize 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 create powerful fumes that can result in 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 harmful to the environment. As you can determine, these substances aren’t very environmentally friendly.
    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 short time. That’s because they often move the clog further into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.

If you do require 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 can work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t go away, calling 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 simpler to have a pro complete the job. That way, you’ll also avoid breaking your pipes and many other bad issues including leaks, damaged seals and troublesome odors.

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

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a issue to pour a small amount of fat down your sink. But over time, that grease can accumulate and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we discussed prior.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a can. After it cools, you can throw it away in the trash.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of little food scraps. But it can’t get rid of everything. To prevent malfunctions or clogs, we recommend not putting these foods 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 freshen it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have annual service. This service can help us discover small issues before they lead to big problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for entail:

    • Correct water pressure
    • Dripping or blocked pipes
    • Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find an issue, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired right away before it becomes bigger or leads to damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair yourself or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your residence.

Experienced water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is running right. It also provides you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, since they often only work for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your residence has a big water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is usually found in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to switch 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 are unsure about 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 an issue. You can even get a smart system to monitor water use and tell you through your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to provide support. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were done correctly. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment now!

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