10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in Waldorf can be necessary if you are experiencing a leaky or burst pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop plugging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to repair.

Here are some of the most common issues we field calls about at A-PLUS Service Experts and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be called “flushable wipes,” the right location 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 examined 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and cause your toilet to 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 disposed of down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you down the road.

Whichever style 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 Go in the Garbage

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

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling 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 clean, but they can do more harm than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can block the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your immediate answer may be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create powerful fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t extremely helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. Regardless of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often push the clog further into your plumbing until it creates a major 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 unpleasant odors. While they could require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a strong clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with a professional plumber like A-PLUS Service Experts is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have a pro do the job. That way, you’ll also prevent harming your pipes and a host of troublesome issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a problem to pour a little bit of oil down your drain. But over time, that grease can build up and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we talked about prior.

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

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of little food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent malfunctions or clogs, we advise 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 freshen it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine tune-ups. This service can help us find small issues before they lead to expensive problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we are on the lookout for involve:

  • Correct water pressure 
  • Leaky or blocked pipes 
  • Adequately working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see a problem, including a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of right away before it becomes bigger or leads to damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at A-PLUS Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Repairing plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater on Your Own

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

Pro water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, as they usually only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Being Aware of Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your house has a major 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: 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, A-PLUS Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a good 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 use a smart system to keep an eye on water use and notify you through your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at A-PLUS Service Experts are ready to help you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were done like they should. Contact us at 301-747-3140 to request your appointment right away!

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.
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