Requiring a plumber in North America can be necessary if you are dealing with a dripping or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can prevent blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.
Here are some of the most regular issues our plumbers receive calls about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning and how you can avoid them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best place 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 examined 101 such wipes learned they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.
They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are expensive to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you down the road.
Whichever type 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 Belong in the Garbage
Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple 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 overflow your toilet, leaving you with a costly (and nasty) mess.
3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Using drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they might do more harm than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.
4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is blocked, your immediate response may be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should realize about these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. 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.
- They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
- They’re not good for the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.
- They might not even unclog your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often force the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to 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 foul odors. While they might work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you have a strong clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have a professional perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent harming your pipes and a host of bad issues such as leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.
After your drain is working like it should, keep it that way by having a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.
5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink
It might seem like it’s not a big deal to pour a little bit of oil down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we talked about previously.
To skip plumbing issues, drain the grease into a can. After it cools, you can throw it away in the waste can.
6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating small food scraps. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent issues or clogs, we recommend not putting these items down your garbage disposal:
- Coffee grounds
- Pasta, oats, rice and bread
- Bones, nuts, pits and seeds
- Onions and potato peels
- Fibrous fruits and vegetables
If your garbage disposal has a bad smell, you can revive it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs routine maintenance. This service can help us spot little issues before they cause expensive 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 including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do notice an issue, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it fixed immediately before it becomes worse or causes damage.
8. Trying 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 for leak repair before it gets bigger or leads to damage.
Repairing plumbing is a complex job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a costlier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Tune Up 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 testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.
Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working like it should. It also provides you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, as they usually only work for about 10 years.
10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
When your home has a major water leak, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is typically found 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 can help you find it.
It’s also a wise idea to install a water leak protection system that will alert you and turn off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a problem.
Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to assist you. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were completed like they should. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your appointment now! *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.