The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Having to have a plumber in Kitchener can be unavoidable if you are experiencing a drippy or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can prevent blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.

Here are some of the most regular troubles we get calls about at Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot for them is the waste bin. 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 examined 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Since flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can plug your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.

They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can combine with other gross things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Besides being unhygienic and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get passed on to you down the road.

Whatever 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 Waste Bin

Besides flushable wipes, there are several other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These cover:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

In addition to wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and make your toilet run over, sticking you with a costly (and gross) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they may do more damage than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, such as bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing.

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your immediate answer could be to get a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should realize about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can cause respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, breaks and even failure. 
  3. They’re harmful to the environment. As you can figure out, these formulas aren’t extremely helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even unclog your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they have, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s because they often push the clog more into your plumbing until it creates a big problem.

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

If you have a strong clog that just won’t dissolve, contacting a professional plumber like Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have an Expert finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip causing damage to your pipes and many other troublesome issues including leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is working like it should, keep it that way by using 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 dump a small amount of oil 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 stick to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we mentioned earlier.

To skip plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a can. After it hardens, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for breaking up small bits of food. But it can’t break up everything. To prevent issues 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

Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs routine tune-ups. This service can help us spot minor issues before they cause huge problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we check for entail:

  • Ample water pressure 
  • Drippy or blocked pipes 
  • Adequately working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do see a problem, such as a dripping sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it taken care of right away before it becomes worse or leads to damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare for leak repair before it grows or results in damage.

Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair yourself or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Maintain Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

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

Experienced water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also provides you advance notice when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, as they typically only operate for about 10 years.

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

When your residence has a big water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is usually found in a mechanical room near your water heater.

Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your house:
  • If it has a wheel: turn 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, Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare can help you find it.

It’s also a wise idea to have a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and shut off the water if there’s a problem. You can even have a smart system to keep an eye on water use and notify you via your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare are ready to provide support. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were done correctly. Contact us at 519-804-1617 to request 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.