10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Now

Having to have a plumber in Dayton can be inevitable if you have a dripping or burst pipe. But many times, you can prevent plugging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

Here are some of the most common troubles we get calls about at Stevenson Service Experts and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to 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 tested 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down 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 conglomerate with other gross things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you down the road.

Whichever 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 Should Be Tossed in the Trash

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 back up your toilet, saddling you with an expensive (and icky) mess.

3. Relying on 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 typically contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your first reaction may be to buy a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce powerful fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t extremely helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.

If you do require a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and foul 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 Stevenson Service Experts is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a pro do the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and a wide variety of horrible issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is clear, 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 tiny bit of fat down your sink. But over time, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To avoid plumbing issues, drain the fat into a bowl. After it hardens, you can dump it in the waste can.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for breaking up little food scraps. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid breakdowns or clogs, we recommend 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 is smelly, 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 needs routine maintenance. This service can help us find minor issues before they lead to huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for involve:

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

If you do see trouble, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of right away before it gets larger or causes damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Stevenson Service Experts for leak repair before it gets bigger or results in damage.

Mending plumbing is a detailed job that’s best done by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

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

Professional water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. 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

If your residence has a major water leak, it’s important to be aware of 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 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 still not sure where the valve is located, Stevenson Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to install a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and alert you via your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Stevenson Service Experts are available to help you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were finished correctly. Contact us at 937-503-7896 to schedule your appointment today!

*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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