10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Immediately

Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are dealing with a dripping or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can prevent blocking your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best location 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 looked at 101 such wipes learned they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can clog 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 combine with other nasty things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. As well as being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are expensive to fix. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get passed on to you in the future.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Waste Bin

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Like wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and overflow your toilet, leaving you with a pricey (and icky) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, including bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your first answer may be to buy an inexpensive 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 create severe fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
    1. 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.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unplug your drain. Despite all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s since they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a huge problem.

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

If you’re dealing with 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 easier to have a pro perform the job. That way, you’ll also avoid damaging your pipes and many other bad issues including leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is clear, keep it that way by installing 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 pour a little bit of fat down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we discussed previously.

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

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating small food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent problems 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 blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have routine tune-ups. This service can help us spot little issues before they result in big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we watch for entail:

    • Ample water pressure
    • Leaky or plugged pipes
    • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice an issue, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired right away before it becomes larger or leads to damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Repairing plumbing is a complex job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own

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 right, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your residence.

Pro water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is operating right. It also provides you a heads-up when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they often only last for about 10 years.

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

If your residence has a large water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often found 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: move 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 wise 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 use a smart system to monitor water use and tell you via your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to help 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 like they should. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment now!

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