10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be necessary if you are experiencing a leaky or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can avoid blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

Here are some of the most regular problems we field 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 called “flushable wipes,” the ideal place for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes found they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since 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 gross things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. As well as being unsanitary and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive 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 thrown in the trash once you’re complete.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Be Tossed in the Waste Bin

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

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

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they can 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 dissolve, they can block the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your first answer could be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce powerful fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these formulas aren’t extremely environmentally friendly.
    1. They might not even work. Regardless of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a huge problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and bad odors. While they can require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have 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 an Expert complete the job. That way, you’ll also avoid damaging your pipes and a host of troublesome issues such as 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 blocking it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a problem to drain a little bit of grease down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we discussed earlier.

To avoid plumbing issues, drain the grease into a container. After it hardens, you can toss it in the waste can.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of tiny food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid issues or clogs, we recommend 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 is smelly, you can clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have routine service. This service can help us discover little issues before they lead to big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for involve:

    • Adequate water pressure
    • Leaky or clogged pipes
    • Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see trouble, including a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired without delay before it becomes larger or causes damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you are experiencing 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.

Fixing plumbing is a complex job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or hire a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and making a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed properly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your home.

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

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your residence has a large water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is often 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: turn 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 cut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even use a smart system to watch water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to help 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 done like they should. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your appointment right away!

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