The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Needing a plumber in Kansas City can be necessary if you are dealing with a leaky or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid plugging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

Here are some of the most regular troubles our pros get calls about at Neal Harris Service Experts and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the best place for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes learned none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate 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 gross things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Along with being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are pricey to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get assigned to you in the future.

No matter what kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re finished.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Be Tossed in the Trash

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

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Together with wipes, these things can block your sewer line and overflow your toilet, sticking you with an expensive (and nasty) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your immediate answer might be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can lead to 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, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these formulas aren’t exactly helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s due to the fact they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and foul 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 difficult clog that just won’t go away, calling a professional plumber like Neal Harris Service Experts is your best 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 prevent harming your pipes and a wide variety of bad issues such as leaks, broken seals and troublesome odors.

After your drain is working like it should, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a problem to dump a tiny bit of grease down your drain. But as time passes, that grease can grow and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we discussed prior.

To stop plumbing issues, drain the grease into a bowl. After it cools, you can throw it away in the trash.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for breaking up little bits of food. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid malfunctions or clogs, we recommend not putting these foods 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 smells bad, you can freshen it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs routine service. This service can help us discover little issues before they result in big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for include:

  • Ample water pressure 
  • Dripping or blocked pipes 
  • Adequately functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see trouble, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired immediately before it gets larger or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Neal Harris Service Experts for leak repair before it grows or causes damage.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed properly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your home.

Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they typically only run for about 10 years.

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

If your home has a big water leak, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is typically located 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: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, Neal Harris Service Experts 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 shut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even have a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you on your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Neal Harris Service Experts are available to provide support. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were done like they should. Reach us at 816-787-0500 to book 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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