10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Now

Needing a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are experiencing a drippy or ruptured pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop plugging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.

Here are some of the most frequent troubles our pros field 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 trash. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes discovered 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 nasty things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Besides being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get passed on to you in the long run.

Whichever kind 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 Garbage

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

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and back up your toilet, saddling you with an expensive (and icky) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

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

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your first response 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 toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t very helpful for the environment.
    1. They might not even unplug your drain. Regardless 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 big problem.

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

If you have a tough clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with 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 do the job. That way, you’ll also prevent breaking your pipes and a wide variety of bad issues such as leaks, broken seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is clear, keep it that way by using 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 issue to dump a little bit of oil down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can accumulate and plug your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and lead to a nasty fatberg like we mentioned previously.

To avoid plumbing woes, drain the oil into a bowl. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the garbage.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of small amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid issues or clogs, we advise 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 is smelly, you can revive it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual tune-ups. This service can help us spot minor issues before they lead to big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we check for involve:

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

If you do notice trouble, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it fixed right away before it gets worse or leads to damage.

8. Trying 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.

Mending plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

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

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

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

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your house has a big water leak, it’s essential to be aware of 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 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: rotate 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 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 use a smart system to monitor water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing problem 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 know that your repairs were completed right. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment today!

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