The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Requiring a plumber in Buffalo can be unavoidable if you have a dripping or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can stop plugging 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 common troubles our plumbers field calls about at Sunbeam Service Experts and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be called “flushable wipes,” the ideal place for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can block 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 conglomerate with other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. In addition to being unsanitary and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are pricey to fix. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you in the long run.

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 Be Tossed in the Waste Bin

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

Together with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and overflow your toilet, leaving you with a costly (and gross) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they can do more damage than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, including 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. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

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

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make strong fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through 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 not good for the environment. As you can determine, these substances aren’t exactly good 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 little while. That’s due to the fact they often push the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a big problem.

If you do need to use 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 may take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a tough clog that just won’t break up, calling 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 avoid causing damage to your pipes and many other troublesome issues such as leaks, nonworking 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 plugging it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It might seem like it’s not a issue to pour a small amount of oil down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we mentioned previously.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a container. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the waste can.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating little bits of food. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid malfunctions or clogs, we suggest not putting these things 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

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

  • Ample water pressure 
  • Dripping or plugged pipes 
  • Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do notice trouble, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it fixed immediately before it gets worse or results in damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

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

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair on your own or get a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and making a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Yourself

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 properly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.

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

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your residence has a major water leak, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your home:
  • If it has a wheel: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: rotate it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re don’t know where the valve is located, Sunbeam Service Experts can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Sunbeam Service Experts are available to assist you. And we’ll stand behind 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 716-427-6807 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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