Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing These 10 Things Immediately

Requiring a plumber in Shreveport can be necessary if you are dealing with a dripping or burst pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop blocking your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best spot for them is the trash. 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 looked at 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other gross things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Along with being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get passed on to you down the road.

No matter what type of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re done.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Waste Bin

Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple 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 make your toilet run over, sticking you with a costly (and icky) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they may do more harm than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can plug the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your initial answer might be to get an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create severe fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your piping: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t very helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unplug your drain. Despite all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s since they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it results in a big problem.

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

If you’re dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t break up, contacting 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 easier to have a professional perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent damaging your pipes and a wide variety of bad issues including leaks, nonworking 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 blocking it again.

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a big deal to dump a tiny bit of fat down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a yucky fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To avoid plumbing woes, drain the grease into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the waste can.

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 get rid of everything. To stop malfunctions or clogs, we recommend 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 clean it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine maintenance. This service can help us find minor issues before they cause major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we watch for include:

  • Proper water pressure 
  • Dripping or clogged pipes 
  • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do spot trouble, including a dripping sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it fixed without delay before it grows bigger or results in damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

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

Repairing 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 try water pipe repair yourself or hire a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Service 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 checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your house.

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

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your house has a large water leak, it’s critical to be aware of 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: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: move 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 good idea to install a water leak protection system that will alert you and shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to watch water use and alert you on your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are available to provide support. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were finished like they should. Contact us at 318-588-8163 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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