Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing These 10 Things Now

Having to have a plumber in Memphis can be inevitable if you are dealing with a drippy or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can prevent plugging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right spot for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because 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 nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, like cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. Along with being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get passed on to you down the road.

No matter what style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re finished.

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Trash

Besides 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

Together with wipes, these things can block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a costly (and gross) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they might 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 clog the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your first response could be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can determine, these substances aren’t very environmentally friendly. 
  4. They might not even unclog your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s since they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a huge problem.

If you do require a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and bad odors. While they might take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t dissolve, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have a pro complete the job. That way, you’ll also avoid damaging your pipes and a wide variety of horrible issues like leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.

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

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a issue to pour a little bit of grease down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can accumulate and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we talked about prior.

To prevent plumbing issues, drain the oil into a bowl. After it cools, you can throw it away in the waste can.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up little food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid issues 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 is smelly, you can clean it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs annual tune-ups. This service can help us find little issues before they cause huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for involve:

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

If you do see a problem, like a dripping sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it fixed without delay before it becomes larger or causes 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 for leak repair before it grows or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best done by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair yourself or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your home.

Pro water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, since they usually only work for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your home has a large water leak, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is typically situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to switch 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: turn it about a quarter of the way.

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

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

Whatever plumbing problem 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 be sure that your repairs were completed correctly. Give us a call at 901-235-1196 to schedule your appointment right away!

*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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