10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Immediately

Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you have a drippy or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to repair.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the ideal place for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes learned none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing 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 flushed down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Along with being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are costly to fix. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled 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 done.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Waste Bin

Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a pricey (and gross) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they can 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 dissolve, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your first response may be to purchase a low-priced 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 make severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your piping: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can imagine, these formulas aren’t extremely helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unplug your drain. Despite all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s since they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a huge problem.

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

If you have a strong clog that just won’t break up, calling 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 simpler to have a pro complete the job. That way, you’ll also prevent damaging your pipes and a wide variety of bad issues like leaks, damaged seals and troublesome odors.

After your drain is clear, keep it that way by using a screen to keep hair or food scraps from clogging it again.

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a issue to pour a little bit of fat down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we talked about earlier.

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

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for eliminating tiny bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To stop issues 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 is smelly, you can freshen it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have regular service. This service can help us find small issues before they cause huge problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for include:

    • Ample water pressure
    • Dripping or clogged pipes
    • Correctly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do spot trouble, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it fixed right away before it becomes larger or causes damage.

8. Making an Attempt 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 gets bigger or causes damage.

Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and creating a costlier 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 pros. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed properly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

Experienced water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running properly. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, as they typically only work for about 10 years.

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

In the event your house has a major water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is typically found 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: rotate it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

It’s also a smart idea to have a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to monitor water use and tell you on your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to assist you. 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 schedule your appointment today!

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