10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you have a dripping or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid plugging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to repair. 

Here are some of the most frequent problems we receive 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 right spot for them is the trash. 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 tested 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and make your toilet back up. 

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other yucky things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are costly to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you in the future. 

Whatever style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be thrown in the trash once you’re done. 

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

Besides flushable wipes, there are several 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 clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, sticking you with a costly (and icky) mess. 

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs 

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they might cause more trouble than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing. 

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your initial answer might be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should realize about 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 strong 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 piping: corrosion, cracks and even failure.  
  1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t extremely environmentally friendly.  
  1. They might not even work. 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 force the clog further into your plumbing until it creates a big problem. 

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and unpleasant odors. While they could require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment. 

If you’re dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t go away, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also skip causing damage to your pipes and many other bad issues such as leaks, broken seals and unpleasant 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. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a issue to pour a small amount of grease down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and clog your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we talked about previously. 

To avoid plumbing troubles, drain the grease into a bowl. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the waste can. 

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating small amounts of food waste. But it can’t get rid of everything. To stop malfunctions or clogs, we suggest 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 combination of baking soda and vinegar. 

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have regular tune-ups. This service can help us discover small issues before they lead to major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for involve: 

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

If you do notice trouble, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it fixed right away before it grows bigger 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 recommend calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it grows or causes damage. 

Fixing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem. 

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your home. 

Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also offers you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they usually only run for about 10 years. 

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

When your home has a big water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually situated in a mechanical room near your water heater. 

Here’s how to shut 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: turn 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 good idea to have a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and turn off the water if there’s an issue. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and tell you through your phone if there’s a problem. 

Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here 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 book your appointment right away! 

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