10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Now

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you are experiencing a leaky or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can prevent clogging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.

Here are some of the most common troubles our Experts receive calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the best place 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 use 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 break down like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other yucky things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Besides being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are costly to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get assigned to you down the road.

No matter what kind 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 Should Go in the Garbage

In addition to flushable wipes, there are a couple other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These cover:

    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Makeup remover pads
    • Cat litter

Together with wipes, these things can plug 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

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

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your initial answer may be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several 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 produce powerful fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
    1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can determine, these formulas aren’t very environmentally friendly.
    1. They might not even unclog 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 since they often move the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a big problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and unpleasant odors. While they could take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a tough clog that just won’t go away, calling a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert finish the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and a wide variety of horrible issues such as leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome odors.

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

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a big deal to pour a little bit of fat down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can build up and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we mentioned prior.

To avoid plumbing troubles, drain the grease into a container. After it hardens, you can throw it away in the waste can.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up tiny amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop malfunctions or clogs, we suggest not putting these items 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 freshen it with citrus peels or a blend 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 regular maintenance. This service can help us discover small issues before they result in huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we check for include:

    • Ample water pressure
    • Leaky or plugged pipes
    • Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see a problem, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it repaired without delay before it becomes bigger or leads to damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

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 gets bigger or leads to damage.

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

9. Trying to Maintain 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 examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your residence.

Professional water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, because they often only work for about 10 years.

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

When your residence has a major water leak, it’s critical to be aware of 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 shut off the main water valve in your residence:

    • 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 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 have a water leak protection system that will alert you and shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and notify you through your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available 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. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment now!

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >

$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!

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.