10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Now

Needing a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you have a dripping or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop plugging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the right spot for them is the garbage. 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 discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can clog 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 conglomerate with other nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Besides being unsanitary and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are expensive to fix. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you in the future.

Whichever kind 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 Should Go in the Trash

Other than flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These cover:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

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

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can do more damage than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your initial reaction might be to buy an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create strong fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.
    1. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often push the clog further into your plumbing until it results in a major problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and bad odors. While they can require more time 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 go away, 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 easier to have an Expert complete the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and a host of bad issues including leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a big deal to pour a little bit of oil down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can accumulate and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and lead to a yucky fatberg like we talked about previously.

To avoid plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a bowl. After it cools, you can throw it away in the waste can.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating small bits of food. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop issues 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 has a bad smell, you can freshen it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs annual tune-ups. This service can help us spot small issues before they cause huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for include:

    • Adequate water pressure
    • Drippy or plugged pipes
    • Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do spot an issue, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired immediately before it grows bigger or causes damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you are dealing with 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 causes damage.

Repairing plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and creating 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 professionals. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

Pro water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is running properly. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, as they usually only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your residence has a large water leak, it’s important to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is typically situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to shut off the main water valve in your house:

    • 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 alert you and turn off the water if there’s an issue. You can even have a smart system to keep an eye on water use and notify you through your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available to provide support. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were finished right. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment now!