10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Immediately

Needing a plumber in West Palm Beach can be inevitable if you are experiencing a dripping or broken pipe. But many times, you can stop plugging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to repair.

Here are some of the most regular problems our pros 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 right place for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes found they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can block 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 attach to other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the long run.

Whichever 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 Trash

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

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can block your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with a pricey (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 fresh, but they may do more harm than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your immediate reaction might be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few 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 make strong fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t extremely good for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. In spite of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog further into your plumbing until it creates a big problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and foul 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 dealing with a strong clog that just won’t break up, calling 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 simpler to have a professional complete the job. That way, you’ll also prevent breaking your pipes and a wide variety of troublesome issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and unpleasant 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 tiny bit of oil down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we discussed earlier.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a bowl. After it solidifies, you can dump it in the trash.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating small amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent issues or clogs, we suggest 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 is smelly, you can clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have annual maintenance. This service can help us spot minor issues before they cause big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we are on the lookout for involve:

  • Proper water pressure 
  • Leaky or clogged pipes 
  • Adequately working supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see an issue, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of immediately before it grows worse or leads to damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have 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 gets worse or leads to damage.

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best completed by pros. 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 having a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Yourself

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

Pro water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is operating like it should. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, because they often only last for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your home has a large water leak, it’s important to know where the main water valve is and how to shut 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: move 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 can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to get a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and cut 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 via your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are available to assist 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. Contact us at 561-629-1826 to book 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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