Requiring a plumber in Orlando can be inevitable if you are dealing with a dripping or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can prevent blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.
Here are some of the most common problems our pros get 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 ideal place for them is the garbage. 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 looked at 101 such wipes discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t dissolve 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 attach to other gross things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Besides being unsanitary and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are pricey to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you down the road.
Whichever 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 Go in the Garbage
In addition to flushable wipes, there are a few other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
Like wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and overflow your toilet, sticking you with a costly (and icky) mess.
3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can wreck rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.
4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is clogged, your first answer might be to buy a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce severe fumes that can result in respiratory irritation.
- They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
- They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these substances aren’t extremely good for the environment.
- They might not even work. Regardless of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s since they often push the clog further into your plumbing until it results in a big problem.
If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to eliminate clogs and foul odors. While they might work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you have a tough clog that just won’t dissolve, calling 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 simpler to have a professional do the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and many other troublesome issues such as 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. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink
It may seem like it’s not a issue to pour a small amount of fat down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can grow and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a nasty fatberg like we talked about earlier.
To skip plumbing woes, drain the fat into a can. After it solidifies, you can dump it in the garbage.
6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating small food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent breakdowns or clogs, we recommend not putting these foods 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 freshen it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Skipping Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs annual maintenance. This service can help us discover little issues before they lead to expensive problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we are on the lookout for involve:
- Correct water pressure
- Drippy or blocked pipes
- Properly 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 important to get it fixed right away before it becomes worse or leads to damage.
8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own
When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for leak repair before it gets bigger or leads to damage.
Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a pricier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own
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 home.
Experienced water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they often only operate for about 10 years.
10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
If your house has a major 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 turn off the main water valve in your home:
- 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 install a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and shut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and tell you on your phone if there’s trouble.
Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here 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 finished like they should. Reach us at 407-329-7661 to schedule 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.