10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Needing a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you have a drippy or ruptured pipe. But the majority of times, you can avoid clogging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix. 

Here are some of the most regular problems our pros field calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can stop them. 

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right location 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 have a septic system. 

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can clog 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 go down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being dirty and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are pricey to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get assigned to you down the road. 

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

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

In addition to flushable wipes, there are several 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 plug your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with an expensive (and icky) mess. 

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs 

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

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your immediate reaction may be to purchase a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should realize about these drain cleaners. 

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.  
  1. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, cracks and even failure.  
  1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t extremely good for the environment.  
  1. They might not even unplug your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a huge problem. 

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

If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with 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 avoid breaking your pipes and a host of horrible issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome odors. 

After your drain is clear, 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 might seem like it’s not a problem to pour a little bit of fat 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 develop a yucky fatberg like we mentioned prior. 

To skip plumbing woes, drain the grease into a can. After it solidifies, you can throw it away in the garbage. 

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating little food scraps. But it can’t get rid of everything. To prevent problems or clogs, we advise 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 smells bad, you can clean 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 needs regular service. This service can help us discover small issues before they lead to huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we check for involve: 

  • Adequate water pressure  
  • Leaky or clogged pipes  
  • Adequately operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets 

If you do notice a problem, including a dripping sink or pipe, it’s important to get it taken care of without delay before it gets larger or results in damage. 

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you are dealing with 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 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 water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem. 

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed properly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your house. 

Professional water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is operating right. It also gives you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, because they often only work for about 10 years. 

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your residence has a major water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often located in a mechanical room near your water heater. 

Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your residence: 

  • If it has a wheel: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore.  
  • If it has a lever: rotate 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 sound the alarm 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 tell you through your phone if there’s a problem. 

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re experiencing, 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 like they should. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment now!