10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you are experiencing a drippy or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can prevent blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to take care of.

Here are some of the most frequent problems we receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be called “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 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 make your toilet back up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other nasty things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. Besides being dirty and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses 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 type of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re complete.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Waste Bin

Other than flushable wipes, there are several 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 block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, leaving you with a costly (and nasty) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can cause more trouble than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your initial answer could be to buy an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

    1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make severe fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t extremely good for the environment.
    1. They might not even work. Regardless of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog deeper into your plumbing until it results in a major problem.

If you do require a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and bad odors. While they can take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer 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 & 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 finish the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and many other troublesome issues including leaks, broken seals and troublesome 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. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a issue to drain a small amount of oil down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we talked about previously.

To avoid plumbing issues, drain the fat into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for getting rid of small bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To stop problems or clogs, we recommend 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 has a bad smell, you can revive it with citrus peels or a blend 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 find minor issues before they lead to huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for entail:

    • Correct water pressure
    • Dripping or blocked pipes
    • Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find a problem, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it taken care of without delay before it becomes larger or causes damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it grows or causes damage.

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair yourself or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the pros. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.

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

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your house has a major water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your home:

    • 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 & Plumbing can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing problem you’re experiencing, 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 be sure that your repairs were finished right. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your appointment today!

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!
maintenance icon

$50 OFF HVAC Tune-up Special

There’s no reason to skip your seasonal maintenance that saves energy and helps ensure your air conditioner and heater will work reliably all season long.

  • Regularly $129, now only $79
  • Save up to 30% on energy bills
  • Written 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.