Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing These 10 Things Right Away

Having to have a plumber in Longmont can be unavoidable if you have a drippy 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 fix.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the ideal place for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 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 plug your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other gross things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, like cooking fat and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are costly to get rid of. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get assigned to you down the road.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Garbage

Besides 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

Like wipes, these things can block your sewer line and back up your toilet, leaving you with a pricey (and nasty) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they might do more damage than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, including bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

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

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can determine, these formulas aren’t extremely helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. Regardless of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s because they often force the clog deeper into your plumbing until it results in a big problem.

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

If you have a tough clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with 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 simpler to have a professional do the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and a wide variety of horrible issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a problem to pour a little bit of fat down your pipes. But over time, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To stop plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a bowl. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating small food scraps. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent malfunctions 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 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 tune-ups. This service can help us find minor issues before they cause expensive problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we are on the lookout for entail:

  • Correct water pressure 
  • Drippy or clogged pipes 
  • Adequately operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice an issue, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it fixed immediately before it grows larger or leads to damage.

8. Attempting 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.

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair yourself or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

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

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

In the event your home has a big water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is often found 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 can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to get a water leak protection system that will alert you and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even use a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you through your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to help you. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished correctly. Give us a call at 303-647-5749 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.
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