10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are dealing with a leaky or burst pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.

Here are some of the most frequent troubles our pros field calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

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

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and cause your toilet to back 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 disposed of down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. Besides being dirty and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are costly to fix. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get assigned to you in the future.

No matter what style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re done.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Be Tossed in the Garbage

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Like wipes, these things can block 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 might seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they might do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, including bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your initial answer may be to buy an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create powerful fumes that can result in 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, cracks and even failure.
    1. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can determine, these formulas aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unclog your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often force the clog deeper into your plumbing until it results in 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 get rid of clogs and unpleasant odors. While they might work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have a strong clog that just won’t break up, 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 simpler to have an Expert finish the job. That way, you’ll also avoid damaging your pipes and a wide variety of horrible issues such as leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a problem to pour a little bit of grease down your sink. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we talked about previously.

To prevent plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a bowl. After it cools, you can dump it in the garbage.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of small amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To stop problems 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 smells bad, you can revive it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual service. This service can help us spot little issues before they cause huge problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we are on the lookout for include:

    • Adequate water pressure
    • Drippy or blocked pipes
    • Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice an issue, including a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired immediately before it becomes larger or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

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 bigger or leads to damage.

Repairing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or hire a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and having a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

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

Professional water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is running properly. It also gives you advance notice when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, as they often only last for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your house has a large water leak, it’s important 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 switch 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: 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 get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even get a smart system to keep an eye on water use and notify you on your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready 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 done correctly. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment today!

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