Requiring a plumber in Cleveland can be unavoidable if you have a dripping or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop plugging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to repair.
Here are some of the most regular troubles our plumbers receive calls about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning and how you can prevent them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Despite the fact they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the right place 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 they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can plug 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 combine with other gross things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being unhygienic and just plain nasty, 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 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 thrown in the trash once you’re complete.
2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Trash
Other than flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
Along with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and overflow your toilet, sticking you with a costly (and gross) mess.
3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can cause more trouble than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, like bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can block the toilet and stop it from flushing.
4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is clogged, your initial response may be to purchase an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should know about these drain cleaners.
- They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce powerful fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
- They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your piping: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
- They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t very good for the environment.
- They might not even unplug your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s due to the fact they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.
If you do require a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and foul odors. While they could take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re experiencing a difficult clog that just won’t go away, 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 complete the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and many other troublesome issues such as leaks, damaged seals and unpleasant 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. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink
It could seem like it’s not a issue to dump a small amount of fat down your drain. But over time, that grease can build up and clog your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we discussed prior.
To skip plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a bowl. After it hardens, you can dump it in the garbage.
6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for eliminating tiny food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid malfunctions or clogs, we advise not putting these things down your garbage disposal:
- Coffee grounds
- Pasta, oats, rice and bread
- Bones, nuts, pits and seeds
- Onions and potato peels
- Fibrous fruits and vegetables
If your garbage disposal is smelly, 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 service. This service can help us find little issues before they cause major problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we watch for include:
- Adequate water pressure
- Drippy or blocked pipes
- Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do see trouble, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired immediately before it grows larger or results in damage.
8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself
When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for leak repair before it gets bigger or causes damage.
Repairing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair yourself or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Service 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 checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done right, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.
Professional water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is working properly. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they usually only last for about 10 years.
10. Not Being Aware of Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
When your residence has a big water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually found 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 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 sound the alarm and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and notify you through your phone if there’s trouble.
Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to help you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were completed like they should. Reach us at 440-252-1375 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.