10 Things Your Plumber Wants You To Know
We see the good, the bad and the ugly every day, on the job. Sometimes homeowners do things that work against them and can result in a costly yet avoidable bill. Today we want to discuss some of the missteps so you can learn from others’ mistakes. The hope is that you can be proactive and avoid a headache.
Here are some of the most common problems our plumbers encounter in the field so you can avoid these bad habits.
1. Flushing “flushable” wipes and other materials.
Although the name suggests otherwise, “flushable wipes,” aren’t really made for modern plumbing. That’s because flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper. Worse yet, they can plug your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up. And who has time for that? In general, it’s best to only flush toilet paper. That means feminine hygiene products, makeup remover pads and cat litter are off-limits, too.
2. Putting cooking waste down the kitchen drain.
As tempting as it may be to do this in a pinch, this one is a big no-no. That’s because oils and greases being poured down drains are one of the most common causes of clogs.
Cooking oil and grease should never be poured down into your drain because they can build up and causes clogs once they freeze. The recommended approach is to pour the used cooking oil or grease from fried foods into an empty can and freeze, and then put it out in your kitchen trash.
3. Using your garbage disposal for everything.
On a similar note, cooks beware of getting into trouble. Our garbage disposal is meant to handle tiny food scraps, but it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent any adverse outcomes, we advise not putting these items 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 foul odor, you can clean it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Turns out your grandma knew a thing or two about housekeeping hacks.
4. Forgoing maintenance for your plumbing system.
Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing requires routine service to function optimally. This is critical because it can help us uncover minor issues before they lead to more costly repairs such as a damaging water leak.
5. Relying too much on your own DIY skills.
When you have a leaky pipe or a washing machine issue, we suggest calling on our team of professionals for leak repair before it gets worse or causes thousands of dollars in damages. Yikes!
The truth is repairing plumbing is an involved job that’s best executed by pros. Plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing by design. Even if you feel confident, don’t try to do water pipe repair on your own or hire a handyman off Craig’s List. You could end up wasting time and end up with more than you bargained for.
6. Trying to tune up your water heater yourself.
We can’t stress this point enough: When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance should be handled by the experts. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If done incorrectly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or end up with a flood on your hands.
When you bring in a professional plumber you can rest assured that your water heater is working right. They can also provide useful information such as when to start planning for water heater replacement because they typically last for 10 years.
7. Not realizing the location of the water main shutoff.
If your house has a major water leak, it’s very important to know where the water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is typically found 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: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
If it has a lever: rotate it about a quarter of the way.
If you don’t know where the valve is located, we can help you.
An important note: It’s prudent to get a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and turn off the water if there’s a problem. You can rely on a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you in the event of an issue.
8. Not using a plunger correctly.
You might not know that there are different types of plungers intended for specific jobs. For example, a sink plunger is intended for that context and the same goes for a toilet plunger.
Plungers are good for mitigating small clogs. For a stubborn clog in a toilet or sink, try pouring in some de-greasing dish detergent and boiling water. Let it sit for a little while before you introduce the plunger. You can also rub petroleum jelly around the rim of the plunger to form a more effective seal.
If a plunger doesn’t get the job done, do NOT resort to using caustic drain cleaners. These cleaners are harmful if you inhale them or accidentally get them in your eye and skin membranes. Also, they’re hard on your pipes and can cause serious damage.
9. Forgetting to drip faucets during the cold winter months.
Dripping faucets is an effective approach to prevent frozen pipes by keeping the water flowing. To fight against freezing, particularly during sub-zero temperatures, open the tap lightly to establish a steady drip. If you plan to be gone overnight or anticipate a deep freeze overnight, open your faucet enough that it drips every few seconds. No one wants to wake up to a burst pipe, after all.
10. Using drop-in toilet fresheners.
It’s time to rethink tank toilet fresheners. You may love the aesthetics, but these tablets often contain chemicals that are hard on the working parts inside the tank.
Whatever the nature of your plumbing issues, our pros at JO Mory are here to help you. We’re licensed in Indiana and Michigan and have decades of experience to handle any job.
Whether you need a faucet changed, a new home plumbed from underground piping, a second rough-in, or setting of the fixtures, we can handle your residential plumbing needs in Northeast Indiana. We also install water heaters, water softeners, and can fix that leaky pipe in your basement. If you have questions or would like to arrange for a free quote, call 800.621.6679.