Having to have a plumber in Houston can be inevitable if you have a dripping or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can prevent plugging your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to fix.
Here are some of the most common issues our Experts field calls about at Church Services and how you can avoid them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Although they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the best location for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.
A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.
They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to fix. If you use a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the future.
No matter what kind 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 Waste Bin
Besides flushable wipes, there are a few 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 block your sewer line and make your toilet run over, sticking you with a pricey (and nasty) mess.
3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Having drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and stop it from flushing.
4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is plugged, your initial response might be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.
- They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce intense fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
- They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure.
- They’re harmful to the environment. As you can determine, these substances aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
- They might not even unplug your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a huge problem.
If you do require a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and bad odors. While they can require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re healthier for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re dealing with a tough clog that just won’t go away, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Church Services is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert perform the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, broken seals and horrible odors.
After your drain is working like it should, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.
5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink
It can seem like it’s not a issue to pour a tiny bit of fat down your pipes. But over time, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we mentioned previously.
To avoid plumbing troubles, drain the grease into a can. After it solidifies, you can toss it in the garbage.
6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up small amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid problems 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 smells bad, you can revive it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires routine service. This service can help us find minor issues before they cause huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for include:
- Ample water pressure
- Leaky or clogged pipes
- Correctly functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do spot trouble, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it repaired without delay before it gets bigger or results in damage.
8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help
When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Church Services for leak repair before it grows or results in damage.
Repairing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best done by specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers finish 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 specialists. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed right, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your house.
Professional water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is operating properly. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, as they typically only work for about 10 years.
10. Not Being Aware of Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
If your home has a large water leak, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is typically situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.
Here’s how to switch off the main water valve in your home:
- If it has a wheel: circle 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, Church Services can help you find it.
It’s also a smart idea to have a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and cut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even use a smart system to monitor water use and notify you via your phone if there’s a problem.
Whatever plumbing issue you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Church Services are ready to assist you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were finished right. Reach us at 713-396-3760 to request 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.