10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Now

Having to have a plumber in Clearwater can be unavoidable if you are experiencing a leaky or burst pipe. But many times, you can avoid blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

Here are some of the most frequent troubles we field calls about at Midway Services and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best location 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 rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes found none of them passed 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 cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are bills that could get assigned to you in the long run.

Whatever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re finished.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Trash

Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple 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 back up your toilet, saddling you with a costly (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 sanitary, but they may do more harm than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

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

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t very good for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. Despite 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 force the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a big problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and unpleasant odors. While they can work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a tough clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Midway Services is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have an Expert complete the job. That way, you’ll also avoid harming your pipes and a host of bad issues like leaks, broken seals and troublesome 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. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a big deal to drain a small amount of grease down your drain. But as time passes, that grease can build up and block your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we mentioned prior.

To prevent plumbing woes, drain the oil into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the waste can.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for breaking up small amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid issues or clogs, we advise not putting these foods 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 blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual service. This service can help us spot minor issues before they result in expensive problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for entail:

  • Proper water pressure 
  • Leaky or plugged pipes 
  • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find a problem, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired without delay before it grows larger or causes damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Midway Services for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best left to professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair yourself or hire a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making 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 examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

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

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

In the event your house has a large water leak, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is usually 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: 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, Midway Services can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to install a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even have a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you via your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Midway Services are ready to provide support. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were completed like they should. Contact us at 727-219-2471 to schedule 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.