Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing These 10 Things Immediately

Having to have a plumber in La Porte can be unavoidable if you are dealing with a dripping or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can stop clogging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

Here are some of the most regular troubles our plumbers field calls about at Finch Air Conditioning & Heating and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the ideal 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 have a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also wreak havoc on 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 lead to a fatberg. In addition to being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to fix. If you use a city sewer system, those are bills that could get passed on to you down the road.

Whichever style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re complete.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Garbage

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

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with an expensive (and nasty) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

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

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

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

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create strong fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these substances aren’t extremely helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unclog your drain. Despite all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often force the clog further into your plumbing until it results in a major 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 break up clogs and foul odors. While they may work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t break up, calling a professional plumber like Finch Air Conditioning & Heating is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a pro finish the job. That way, you’ll also prevent breaking your pipes and many other troublesome issues including 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 clogging it again.

5. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a big deal to dump a small amount of oil down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and lead to a yucky fatberg like we talked about previously.

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

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up tiny bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To stop breakdowns 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 combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have routine maintenance. This service can help us spot minor issues before they result in expensive problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for entail:

  • Adequate water pressure 
  • Dripping or blocked pipes 
  • Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find an issue, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it taken care of without delay before it grows bigger or results in damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Finch Air Conditioning & Heating for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and having a costlier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Yourself

When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working like it should. It also gives you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, as they typically only run for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your residence has a major water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is often found in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your house:
  • 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 don’t know where the valve is located, Finch Air Conditioning & Heating can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Finch Air Conditioning & Heating are ready to help you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were completed correctly. Contact us at 281-407-9478 to request your appointment today!

*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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