Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing These 10 Things Now

Requiring a plumber in Edmonton can be necessary if you are dealing with a drippy or ruptured 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 pricey to repair.

Here are some of the most frequent troubles our Experts receive calls about at McKinley Heating Service Experts and how you can avoid them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the right spot for them is the trash. 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 didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other nasty things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, like cooking oil and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being unhygienic and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are expensive to get rid of. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get shuffled to you in the future.

Whatever type of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re complete.

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

Like wipes, these things can block your sewer line and back up your toilet, saddling you with an expensive (and nasty) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can block the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your initial response might be to purchase a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are a few things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re poisonous. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce strong fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, imagine what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can imagine, these chemicals aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. 
  4. They might not even work. Regardless of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s since they often force the clog further into your plumbing until it results in a huge problem.

If you do have to have a drain cleaner, we advise using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and unpleasant odors. While they might work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a tough clog that just won’t go away, getting in touch with a professional plumber like McKinley Heating 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 professional do the job. That way, you’ll also prevent causing damage to your pipes and a wide variety of troublesome issues such as leaks, damaged seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is clear, 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 big deal to pour a tiny bit of fat down your drain. But over time, that grease can grow and plug your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we discussed earlier.

To stop plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a container. After it cools, you can dump it in the garbage.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of tiny bits of food. But it can’t eliminate everything. To prevent problems or clogs, we recommend not putting these things 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 smells bad, 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 requires regular service. This service can help us find minor issues before they cause big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for entail:

  • Proper water pressure 
  • Leaky or clogged pipes 
  • Adequately functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see trouble, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s crucial to get it taken care of without delay before it becomes bigger or results in damage.

8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at McKinley Heating Service Experts for leak repair before it grows or results in damage.

Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers finish extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or hire a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and making a pricier expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater on Your Own

When it comes to your water heater, service and tune-ups are best left to the pros. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done properly, you could burn yourself with boiling water or flood your home.

Professional water heater maintenance gives 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, because they usually only work for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your house has a large water leak, it’s critical to be aware of 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 switch 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: move it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re don’t know where the valve is located, McKinley Heating Service Experts can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing issue you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at McKinley Heating Service Experts are available 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 done like they should. Contact us at 780-800-7092 to book 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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