10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Now

Needing a plumber in the U.S. can be necessary if you are dealing with a leaky or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can stop clogging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

Here are some of the most frequent issues our plumbers field calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right place for them is the garbage. 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 found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you down the road.

No matter what 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 involve:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Like wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with an expensive (and gross) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they can do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can plug the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your first response could be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some 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 severe fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
    1. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t very environmentally friendly.
    1. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s because they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a big problem.

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

If you have a strong clog that just won’t dissolve, 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 faster to have a professional finish the job. That way, you’ll also prevent harming your pipes and many other troublesome issues like leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by having 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 big deal to dump a little bit of grease down your pipes. But over time, that grease can accumulate and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we discussed previously.

To prevent plumbing woes, drain the grease into a can. After it hardens, you can toss it in the waste can.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for eliminating tiny bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To avoid breakdowns 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 blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual service. This service can help us discover minor issues before they lead to big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for include:

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

If you do spot a problem, like a dripping sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it repaired immediately before it gets bigger or leads to damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it grows or leads to damage.

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

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own

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

Pro water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running properly. It also gives you advance notice when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, because they typically only run for about 10 years.

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

When your home has a major water leak, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often 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: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
    • If it has a lever: rotate it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to get 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 notify you on your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, 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 done like they should. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your appointment now!

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
parts and labor icon

$50 OFF Any Repair

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
plumbing services icon

Free Plumbing Inspection

  • Prevent costly damage from water leaks, drain clogs and tank damage
  • Written 100% Expert Service Guarantee

© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *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.