10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Right Away

Having to have a plumber in Buffalo can be inevitable if you are experiencing 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 costly to take care of. 

Here are some of the most frequent troubles our pros get calls about at Sunbeam Service Experts and how you can prevent them. 

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be referred to as “flushable wipes,” the best location for them is the waste bin. 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 looked at 101 such wipes learned none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can clog your sewer line and make your toilet back up. 

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

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

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

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

  • Feminine hygiene products 
  • Makeup remover pads 
  • Cat litter 

Together with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, saddling you with a costly (and icky) mess. 

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs 

Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, including bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can clog the toilet and prevent it from flushing. 

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your immediate answer may be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners. 

  1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce powerful fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.  
  1. They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure.  
  1. They’re not good for the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.  
  1. They might not even unplug your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s since they often push the clog further 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 might require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment. 

If you have a difficult clog that just won’t dissolve, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Sunbeam Service Experts is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have an Expert finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip causing damage to your pipes and a wide variety of horrible issues like leaks, damaged seals and unpleasant odors. 

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

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a big deal to drain a tiny bit of grease down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can grow and clog your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a yucky fatberg like we discussed previously. 

To stop plumbing issues, drain the fat into a can. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the waste can. 

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of tiny bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To avoid issues 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 revive it with citrus peels or a blend of baking soda and vinegar. 

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have annual maintenance. This service can help us spot minor issues before they cause huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for involve: 

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

If you do spot a problem, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of right away before it gets bigger or leads to damage. 

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Sunbeam Service Experts for leak repair before it gets bigger or causes damage. 

Mending plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or hire a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem. 

9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed properly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house. 

Pro water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is operating right. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, because they typically only operate for about 10 years. 

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your residence has a major water leak, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about 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 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 still not sure where the valve is located, Sunbeam Service Experts can help you find it. 

It’s also a good idea to get a water leak protection system that will alert you and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to keep an eye on water use and tell you on your phone if there’s a problem. 

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Sunbeam Service Experts are here to help you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were done correctly. Give us a call at 716-427-6807 to schedule your appointment now!