Your Plumber Wants You to Stop Doing These 10 Things Immediately

Requiring a plumber in Knoxville can be inevitable if you are dealing with a drippy or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can prevent clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to take care of.

Here are some of the most regular troubles we receive calls about at R & M Climate Control Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be called “flushable wipes,” the right location 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 use a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because 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 cause a lot of trouble to 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 fat and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Along with being unhygienic and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are costly to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get passed on to you in the long run.

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

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

Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These include:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Along with wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with a costly (and nasty) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they can do more harm than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, like bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can block the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is plugged, your initial answer might be to buy a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create intense fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t exactly helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. In spite of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s because they often push the clog deeper into your plumbing until it results in a huge problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and bad odors. While they could work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re dealing with a strong clog that just won’t go away, calling a professional plumber like R & M Climate Control Service Experts is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s simpler to have an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and a host of horrible issues including leaks, broken seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is clear, 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 could seem like it’s not a issue to dump a little bit of fat down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we discussed earlier.

To prevent plumbing issues, drain the oil into a can. After it cools, you can throw it away in the trash.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating small food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop issues 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 is smelly, you can revive it with citrus peels or a mix 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 routine maintenance. This service can help us discover minor issues before they result in huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we watch for include:

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

If you do spot a problem, such as a dripping sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired right away before it gets bigger or leads to damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at R & M Climate Control Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Fixing plumbing is a complex job that’s best done by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain 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 right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your house.

Pro water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running properly. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they typically only work for about 10 years.

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

In the event your home has a big water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to shut 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 house:
  • If it has a wheel: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: rotate it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re are unsure about where the valve is located, R & M Climate Control 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 shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to monitor water use and notify you on your phone if there’s a problem.

Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at R & M Climate Control Service Experts are here to assist you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished right. Give us a call at 865-229-6176 to book your appointment right away!

*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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