10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Right Away

Needing a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you are dealing with a drippy or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

Here are some of the most regular issues our professionals get calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the best spot 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 discovered none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Besides being unsanitary and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are pricey to fix. If you use a city sewer system, those are costs that could get assigned 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 complete.

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

Other than 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

In addition to wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with a pricey (and icky) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy 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 immediate response might be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create strong fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.
    1. They might not even unplug your drain. Despite all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often move the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a huge problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and bad odors. While they could work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have a tough clog that just won’t dissolve, contacting 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 faster to have a professional do the job. That way, you’ll also avoid harming your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a problem to dump a little bit of fat down your pipes. But over time, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we mentioned prior.

To avoid plumbing woes, drain the oil into a container. After it hardens, you can throw it away in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for breaking up small amounts of food waste. But it can’t get rid of everything. To stop malfunctions 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 has a bad smell, you can freshen 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 service. This service can help us spot little issues before they lead to big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for involve:

    • Proper water pressure
    • Leaky or clogged pipes
    • Properly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find a problem, such as a dripping sink or pipe, it’s important to get it taken care of right away before it becomes larger or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.

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

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done properly, 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 right. It also gives you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, because they often only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your home has a big water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is usually 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: turn it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re don’t know 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 trouble. You can even have a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to provide support. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were completed correctly. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment right away!

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