10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be necessary if you have a dripping or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can stop clogging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.

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 right location for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Along with being dirty and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get assigned to you in the long run.

No matter what style 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 Should Go in the Garbage

Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple 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 plug your sewer line and back up your toilet, sticking you with a costly (and gross) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they may cause more trouble than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, including 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. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your immediate response could be to purchase an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should know about these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even work. In spite of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s since they often move the clog further into your plumbing until it creates a big problem.

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

If you have a strong clog that just won’t dissolve, calling a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent damaging your pipes and many other horrible issues including leaks, broken seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a issue to pour a small amount of grease down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we discussed earlier.

To prevent plumbing woes, drain the grease into a can. After it solidifies, you can throw it away in the garbage.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

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

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have routine service. This service can help us spot minor issues before they lead to major problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we are on the lookout for include:

    • Ample water pressure
    • Drippy or blocked pipes
    • Adequately functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see a problem, like a dripping sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of immediately before it grows bigger or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have 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 grows or causes damage.

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and having a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Yourself

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your home.

Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is running right. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, because they usually only operate for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your house has a big water leak, it’s essential 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 shut off the main water valve in your house:

    • If it has a wheel: circle it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
    • If it has a lever: turn 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 good idea to get a water leak protection system that will alert you and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and tell you via your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available to provide support. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were done correctly. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment today!

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