10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing Now

Having to have a plumber in Raleigh can be necessary if you are dealing with a leaky or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can avoid plugging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best place 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 tested 101 such wipes found they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other nasty things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Along with being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are costly to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get passed on to you down the road.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Waste Bin

Other than flushable wipes, there are a few other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These include:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, sticking you with a costly (and icky) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your first reaction might be to purchase a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create powerful fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t very environmentally friendly. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. Despite 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 leads to a major problem.

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

If you’re experiencing a difficult clog that just won’t dissolve, contacting a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a professional complete the job. That way, you’ll also avoid harming your pipes and a host of horrible 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 plugging it again.

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a problem to dump a tiny bit of grease down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and clog your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we mentioned previously.

To prevent plumbing woes, drain the oil into a can. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

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

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have regular service. This service can help us spot small issues before they result in big problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we are on the lookout for involve:

  • Adequate water pressure 
  • Dripping or blocked pipes 
  • Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see trouble, like a leaking sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it taken care of without delay before it gets larger or results in damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

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 worse or results in damage.

Repairing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair without help or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Yourself

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 properly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your residence.

Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is operating properly. It also gives you a heads-up when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, as they typically only last for about 10 years.

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

In the event your residence has a big water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to shut 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: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re are unsure about where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find it.

It’s also a wise idea to have a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and turn off the water if there’s a problem. You can even get a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you through your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to provide support. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were completed right. Give us a call at 919-578-4329 to schedule your appointment today!

*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.
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