Needing a plumber in Gainesville can be unavoidable if you are experiencing a dripping or broken pipe. But many times, you can prevent blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.
Here are some of the most common troubles our Experts field calls about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning and how you can stop them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the best spot for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.
A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes found none of them passed a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug 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 attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Besides being dirty and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are pricey to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the long run.
Whatever style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re done.
2. Flushing Other Things That Should Go in the Trash
In addition to flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
Like wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and make your toilet run over, leaving you with an expensive (and gross) mess.
3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Having drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they might do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can plug the toilet and keep it from flushing.
4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is plugged, your first answer may be to buy an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should realize about these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce intense fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
- They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your piping: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
- They’re not good for the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.
- They might not even work. In spite of all the chemicals they pack, 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 leads to a huge problem.
If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and bad odors. While they can work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re dealing with a strong clog that just won’t dissolve, 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 pro complete the job. That way, you’ll also avoid harming your pipes and a host of troublesome issues including leaks, nonworking seals and unpleasant odors.
After your drain is clear, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from clogging it again.
5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink
It can seem like it’s not a problem to drain a small amount of fat down your pipes. But over time, that grease can grow and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a yucky fatberg like we mentioned earlier.
To prevent plumbing woes, drain the fat into a can. After it solidifies, you can throw it away in the trash.
6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating tiny bits of food. But it can’t get rid of everything. To stop issues 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 has a bad smell, you can freshen 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 regular service. This service can help us spot minor issues before they lead to huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we are on the lookout for entail:
- Proper water pressure
- Leaky or blocked pipes
- Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do see an issue, including a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it fixed without delay before it grows larger or causes damage.
8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own
When you are dealing with 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 causes damage.
Fixing plumbing is a complex job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair on your own or call 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 upkeep is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or examining 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 operating like it should. It also provides you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, since they usually only run for about 10 years.
10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
When your house has a large 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 switch off the main water valve in your residence:
- 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 still not sure 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 turn on an alarm and shut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even use a smart system to keep an eye on water use and tell you through your phone if there’s a problem.
Whatever plumbing problem you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are available to assist you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were completed right. Reach us at 352-414-4006 to schedule 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.