The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Having to have a plumber in Edmonton can be inevitable if you are dealing with a dripping or burst pipe. But a lot of the time, you can prevent plugging your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.

Here are some of the most regular troubles our Experts get calls about at Rob's Albertan Service Experts and how you can prevent them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Despite the fact they might be known as “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 have a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes discovered they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can plug 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 yucky things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are pricey to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the future.

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

2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Garbage

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

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Together with wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and overflow your toilet, saddling you with an expensive (and gross) mess.

3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners may seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, 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 break down, they can block the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your initial reaction could be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make strong fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can determine, these substances aren’t extremely environmentally friendly. 
  4. They might not even unclog your drain. Despite all the chemicals they include, 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 huge problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and foul odors. While they could work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you have a difficult clog that just won’t break up, contacting a professional plumber like Rob's Albertan Service Experts is your wisest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have an Expert do the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and a host of horrible issues including leaks, nonworking seals and unpleasant odors.

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

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a problem to drain a little bit of oil down your drain. But over time, that grease can grow and plug your pipes. If the grease leaks into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we discussed previously.

To prevent plumbing troubles, drain the fat into a bowl. After it cools, you can throw it away in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of small amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To stop breakdowns or clogs, we recommend not putting these items 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 clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine service. This service can help us spot minor issues before they result in major problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we are on the lookout for entail:

  • Ample water pressure 
  • Leaky or blocked pipes 
  • Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see a problem, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of immediately before it becomes worse or causes damage.

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

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Rob's Albertan Service Experts for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Repairing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best done by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the specialists. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done properly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your house.

Experienced water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is operating right. It also gives you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they typically only run for about 10 years.

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

In the event your home has a major water leak, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is often located in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your house:
  • If it has a wheel: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: turn it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re don’t know where the valve is located, Rob's Albertan 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 turn off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and alert you on your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Rob's Albertan Service Experts are ready to help you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll have peace of mind that your repairs were finished correctly. Give us a call at 780-800-9047 to schedule 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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