Having to have a plumber in Canada can be necessary if you are experiencing a drippy or burst pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid blocking your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.
Here are some of the most regular issues our professionals field calls about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning and how you can avoid them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Despite the fact they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the right spot for them is the waste bin. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you have a septic system.
A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t dissolve 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 combine with other nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, such as cooking oil and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to fix. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get passed on to you in the long run.
Whichever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re finished.
2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Trash
In addition to 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 clog your sewer line and make your toilet run over, leaving you with a pricey (and gross) mess.
3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Using drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they can do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.
4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is blocked, your first reaction may be to get an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
- They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your piping: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
- They’re bad for the environment. As you can determine, these chemicals aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
- They might not even unclog 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 since they often force the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.
If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we advise 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 tough clog that just won’t break up, 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 an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and a host of bad issues including 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. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink
It can seem like it’s not a issue to drain a tiny bit of fat down your drain. But over time, 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 nasty fatberg like we mentioned previously.
To skip plumbing woes, drain the fat into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the waste can.
6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for eliminating small amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent malfunctions or clogs, we recommend not putting these items 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 clean it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs routine maintenance. This service can help us spot small issues before they lead to big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for include:
- Proper water pressure
- Leaky or plugged pipes
- Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do see an issue, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it taken care of without delay before it becomes bigger or results in damage.
8. Trying 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for leak repair before it grows or leads to damage.
Repairing plumbing is a complex job that’s best completed by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair yourself or hire a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater on Your Own
When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the professionals. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.
Pro water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, as they usually only last for about 10 years.
10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
When your residence has a big water leak, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.
Here’s how to shut 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: rotate 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 wise idea to get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and shut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and notify you through your phone if there’s trouble.
Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are available to provide support. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished like they should. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to request 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.