10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Discontinue Doing Immediately

Having to have a plumber in Birmingham can be necessary if you are dealing with a leaky or broken pipe. But the majority of times, you can avoid plugging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to repair.

Here are some of the most regular problems our plumbers receive calls about at Norrell Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot 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 found they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. In addition to being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to get rid of. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get assigned to you in the future.

Whatever 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 Go in the Garbage

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

In addition to wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a pricey (and nasty) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they may cause more trouble than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your immediate answer might be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should be aware of when it involves 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 powerful fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your piping: corrosion, fractures and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can imagine, these formulas aren’t extremely environmentally friendly. 
  4. They might not even unclog your drain. Despite all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s because they often move the clog further into your plumbing until it creates a big problem.

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

If you’re dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like Norrell Service Experts is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a pro perform the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, broken seals and unpleasant odors.

After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by using a screen to keep hair or food scraps from plugging it again.

5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a big deal to drain a small amount of fat down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can grow and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and develop a gross fatberg like we talked about previously.

To prevent plumbing troubles, drain the grease into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the trash.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating little amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent malfunctions or clogs, we recommend 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 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 requires routine tune-ups. This service can help us discover small issues before they result in huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we check for entail:

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

If you do see a problem, including a leaking sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it fixed without delay before it becomes bigger or results in damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Norrell Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or leads to damage.

Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best done by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t attempt water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

Experienced water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, as they typically only run for about 10 years.

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

When your home has a major water leak, it’s important to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is often found in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to shut off the main water valve in your residence:
  • 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, Norrell Service Experts can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Norrell Service Experts are ready 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 finished like they should. Contact us at 205-267-0023 to request your appointment now!

*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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