10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be inevitable if you are experiencing a dripping or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can prevent plugging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to repair. 

Here are some of the most frequent troubles our Experts get calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can prevent them. 

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system. 

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up. 

They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other gross things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses 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 finished. 

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Garbage

Other than 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 block your sewer line and overflow your toilet, sticking you with an expensive (and nasty) mess. 

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs 

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

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your immediate response may be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several 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 create intense fumes that can lead to 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 plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure.  
  1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t very good 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 further into your plumbing until it results in a big problem. 

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and unpleasant odors. While they may take more time 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 go away, contacting 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 a pro complete the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and many other troublesome issues like leaks, damaged seals and troublesome odors. 

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a problem to pour a little bit of fat down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we talked about previously. 

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the garbage. 

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating little bits of food. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent breakdowns 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 smells bad, you can revive it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar. 

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine service. This service can help us find small issues before they result in big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we watch for involve: 

  • Proper water pressure  
  • Dripping or blocked pipes  
  • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets 

If you do notice an issue, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired immediately before it becomes larger or results in damage. 

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

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 grows or leads to damage. 

Repairing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem. 

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own

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

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

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

If 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 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: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore.  
  • If it has a lever: move 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 smart idea to get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and turn off the water if there’s an issue. You can even use a smart system to watch water use and tell you through your phone if there’s trouble. 

Whatever plumbing problem you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to assist you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were completed correctly. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to request your appointment now!