10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Right Away
Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be necessary if you are dealing with a dripping or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to take care of.
Here are some of the most common issues we get calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can prevent them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Although they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the ideal location for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.
A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since 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 conglomerate with other yucky things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are expensive to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you down the road.
Whichever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re done.
2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Waste Bin
Besides flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
Like wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a pricey (and nasty) mess.
3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can cause more trouble than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, including bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can block the toilet and keep it from flushing.
4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is plugged, your initial response could be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.
- They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
- They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
- They’re harmful to the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t extremely good for the environment.
- They might not even unclog your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a big problem.
If you do require a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and foul odors. While they could take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re experiencing a tough clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have a pro finish the job. That way, you’ll also prevent breaking your pipes and a host of troublesome issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome odors.
After your drain is clear, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from plugging it again.
5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink
It can seem like it’s not a problem to drain a small amount of fat down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and lead to a yucky fatberg like we talked about earlier.
To prevent plumbing woes, drain the oil into a can. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the garbage.
6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for breaking up small food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop breakdowns or clogs, we recommend not putting these foods down your garbage disposal:
- Coffee grounds
- Pasta, oats, rice and bread
- Bones, nuts, pits and seeds
- Onions and potato peels
- Fibrous fruits and vegetables
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 needs regular maintenance. This service can help us spot minor issues before they result in expensive problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for involve:
- Correct water pressure
- Dripping or plugged pipes
- Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do spot trouble, like a leaking sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it fixed right away before it becomes larger or leads to damage.
8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself
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 worse or leads to damage.
Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a costlier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Yourself
When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your house.
Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working properly. It also provides you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they usually only work 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 important to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is often found 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 install a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and turn off the water if there’s a problem. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and tell you on your phone if there’s a leak.
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 back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were completed right. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment today!
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