10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be necessary if you are experiencing a drippy or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can prevent clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to repair.

Here are some of the most frequent problems our Experts receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the ideal location for them is the waste bin. 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 examined 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can block 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 conglomerate with other nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you down the road.

No matter what style 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 Trash

Other than 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 block your sewer line and overflow your toilet, leaving you with a pricey (and gross) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your first reaction may be to get an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create powerful fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unclog your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a major problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and foul odors. While they might work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have a tough clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have a pro do the job. That way, you’ll also avoid harming your pipes and a wide variety of bad issues like leaks, broken seals and unpleasant odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a big deal to drain a little bit of grease down your sink. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we talked about earlier.

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

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for breaking up little amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent breakdowns or clogs, we suggest 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 has a bad smell, you can clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping 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 spot little issues before they result in big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for involve:

    • Adequate water pressure
    • Leaky or blocked pipes
    • Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find trouble, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired immediately before it grows worse or leads to damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have 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.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or hire a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Yourself

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your home.

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

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your residence has a major water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is usually found in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to shut 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 don’t know where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to get 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 watch water use and tell you through your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to help you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished correctly. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment now!

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