10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Now

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are experiencing a drippy or broken pipe. But many times, you can stop blocking your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.

Here are some of the most frequent problems we receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best spot 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 have a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes discovered they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can block 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 attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to fix. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you in the future.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Garbage

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and overflow your toilet, sticking you with an expensive (and icky) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

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

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your initial reaction might be to buy an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make severe fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat away at 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 not good for the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t extremely good for the environment.
    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 limited time. That’s because they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a huge problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and unpleasant odors. While they could take more time 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 professional perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent breaking your pipes and many other troublesome issues including leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome odors.

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

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a problem to dump a tiny bit of fat down your pipes. But over time, that grease can grow and plug your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we discussed prior.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a can. After it hardens, you can dump it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for breaking up tiny bits of food. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid breakdowns 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 smells bad, you can clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs regular service. This service can help us discover little issues before they result in big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we are on the lookout for involve:

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

If you do notice an issue, like a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of immediately before it grows larger or leads to damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

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.

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair yourself or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Yourself

When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your house.

Professional water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is operating like it should. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, since they typically only operate for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your residence has a big water leak, it’s critical to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is typically situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your house:

    • If it has a wheel: move 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 smart idea to get a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and turn off the water if there’s a problem. You can even get a smart system to monitor water use and alert you via your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to provide support. 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 finished right. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment now!

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