The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Needing a plumber in Hilton Head Island can be inevitable if you are experiencing a leaky or burst pipe. But many times, you can stop clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.

Here are some of the most common troubles our plumbers get calls about at Epperson Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the right spot for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other nasty things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get assigned to you in the long run.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Waste Bin

Besides 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

Together with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, leaving you with a costly (and icky) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, including bleach, which can wreck 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 blocked, your first reaction may be to buy a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create intense fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t very helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s because they often move 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 break up clogs and bad odors. While they might require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like Epperson 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 perform the job. That way, you’ll also avoid breaking your pipes and a host of bad issues like leaks, broken seals and unpleasant 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. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a big deal to drain a small amount of fat down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a yucky fatberg like we talked about previously.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the grease into a bowl. After it hardens, you can dump it in the waste can.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up small amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop breakdowns 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 has a bad smell, you can revive it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have annual tune-ups. This service can help us find minor issues before they cause big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we watch for entail:

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

If you do spot an issue, like a leaking sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it taken care of right away before it gets larger or results in damage.

8. Trying 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 Epperson Service Experts for leak repair before it gets bigger or leads to damage.

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair yourself or hire a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and creating a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own

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 completed correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

Pro water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running right. It also provides you a heads-up when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, because they usually only run for about 10 years.

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

In the event your residence has a large water leak, it’s essential to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your home:
  • 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 are unsure about where the valve is located, Epperson Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a wise idea to get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even have a smart system to monitor water use and alert you on your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Epperson 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 be sure that your repairs were done right. Contact us at 843-619-3781 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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