10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Right Away

Requiring a plumber in Columbia can be unavoidable if you are experiencing a drippy or burst pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.

Here are some of the most regular troubles our plumbers field calls about at Midland Air Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the best place for them is the trash. 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 tested 101 such wipes found they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other gross 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 expensive to fix. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get passed on to you in the long run.

Whatever style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be thrown in the trash once you’re done.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Be Tossed in the Trash

Besides flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a costly (and gross) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

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

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your initial answer could be to get an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should know 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 severe fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t extremely good for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unclog your drain. 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 more into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and unpleasant odors. While they could require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t go away, calling a professional plumber like Midland Air Service Experts is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a professional finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and many other troublesome issues including leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome odors.

After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by using 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 problem to dump a tiny bit of grease down your pipes. But over time, that grease can accumulate and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we discussed prior.

To avoid plumbing woes, drain the fat into a container. After it hardens, you can toss it in the garbage.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of little amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent malfunctions or clogs, we advise 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 smells bad, you can revive it with citrus peels or a mix 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 maintenance. This service can help us discover minor issues before they lead to major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for involve:

  • Proper water pressure 
  • Drippy or clogged pipes 
  • Correctly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find trouble, such as a dripping sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it fixed immediately before it grows bigger or causes damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Midland Air Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.

Fixing plumbing is a complex job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and creating a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed 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 operating properly. It also gives you a heads-up when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they usually only work for about 10 years.

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

If your home has a major water leak, it’s important to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is typically located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your house:
  • 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, Midland Air Service Experts can help you find it.

It’s also a smart idea to have a water leak protection system that will alert you and cut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and tell you via your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Midland Air Service Experts are ready 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 right. Give us a call at 803-399-7208 to book 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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