10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Immediately

Having to have a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you have a leaky or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can stop blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

Here are some of the most common troubles we field calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right spot 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 rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes discovered none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can clog 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 combine with other yucky things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to fix. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get assigned to you down the road.

Whichever style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re complete.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Trash

In addition to flushable wipes, there are a few other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, leaving you with an expensive (and nasty) mess.

3. Using 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 might cause more trouble than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can wreck 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 blocked, your initial answer might be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should know about these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create severe fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your piping: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can imagine, these substances aren’t very environmentally friendly.
    1. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.

If you do require a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and bad odors. While they may work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing 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 an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and a wide variety of troublesome issues such as leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a big deal to pour a tiny bit of grease down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can accumulate and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and lead to a nasty fatberg like we mentioned prior.

To prevent plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a can. After it solidifies, you can dump it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of tiny amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To stop issues 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 is smelly, you can clean it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs routine tune-ups. This service can help us spot small issues before they lead to big problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we watch for include:

    • Correct water pressure
    • Drippy or blocked pipes
    • Adequately operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find trouble, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired right away before it becomes larger or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

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 worse or results in damage.

Mending plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and having a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is operating like it should. It also gives you a heads-up when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they usually only last for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your residence has a big water leak, it’s critical to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn 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 are unsure about where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to have a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even have a smart system to monitor water use and alert you on your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist 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 right. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment today!

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