10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Immediately

Needing a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are dealing with a leaky or broken pipe. But many times, you can avoid clogging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

Here are some of the most frequent troubles our professionals get 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 right spot for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (other than 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 disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other yucky things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to get rid of. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get passed on to you in the long run.

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 finished.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Trash

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, sticking you with an expensive (and gross) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they might do more damage than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can plug the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your initial answer may be to get 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 blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make strong fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
    1. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unclog your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog more 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 rely on bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and foul odors. While they could work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a tough clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a professional finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and many other bad issues like leaks, damaged seals and unpleasant odors.

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

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a issue to drain a small amount of fat down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we talked about earlier.

To prevent plumbing issues, drain the oil into a bowl. After it solidifies, you can dump it in the waste can.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating tiny food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent malfunctions or clogs, we suggest 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 is smelly, you can clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires regular maintenance. This service can help us spot little issues before they cause big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we check for entail:

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

If you do see trouble, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it fixed right away before it grows larger or leads to damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it grows or results in damage.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best done by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or hire a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and making a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed properly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

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

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

When your house has a big water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to switch 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 residence:

    • If it has a wheel: circle it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
    • If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re are unsure about 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 alert you and cut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even use a smart system to watch water use and notify you via your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re faced 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 know that your repairs were completed like they should. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment now!

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