The Top 10 Things Your Plumber Doesnt Want You to Do

Having to have a plumber in Niagara Falls can be necessary if you are dealing with a drippy or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can stop blocking your pipes or requiring repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be costly to fix.

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

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be known as “flushable wipes,” the ideal place for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (other than the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes learned they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper, they can clog 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 nasty things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, including cooking grease and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. As well as being unhygienic and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are pricey to fix. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get assigned to you in the future.

No matter what 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

Other than 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 clog your sewer line and back up your toilet, leaving you with a pricey (and icky) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

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

4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your initial answer might be to purchase an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re harmful. 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 eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these substances aren’t very good for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. In spite of all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s because they often push the clog deeper into your plumbing until it creates a huge problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners use bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and unpleasant odors. While they might require more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re better for you, your plumbing and the environment.

If you’re experiencing a difficult clog that just won’t go away, calling a professional plumber like Niagara Home Services by Enercare is your wisest 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 breaking 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 having a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It could seem like it’s not a issue to dump 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 stick to flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we talked about previously.

To avoid plumbing issues, drain the grease into a bowl. After it cools, you can toss it in the trash.

6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating little food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid problems or clogs, we advise 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 blend of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires regular tune-ups. This service can help us find small issues before they lead to major problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we check for include:

  • Ample water pressure 
  • Dripping or clogged pipes 
  • Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

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

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

When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Niagara Home Services by Enercare for leak repair before it gets bigger or results in damage.

Fixing plumbing is a complex job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair on your own or hire a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and creating a costlier 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 professionals. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your residence.

Experienced water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, because they typically only last for about 10 years.

10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

If your home has a major water leak, it’s important to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to switch it off. This valve is often situated 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: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore. 
  • If it has a lever: rotate it about a quarter of the way.

If you’re don’t know where the valve is located, Niagara Home Services by Enercare can help you find it.

It’s also a good idea to install a water leak protection system that will turn on an alarm and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even get a smart system to keep an eye on water use and alert you through your phone if there’s trouble.

Whatever plumbing problem you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Niagara Home Services by Enercare are ready to help you. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were completed right. Give us a call at 289-273-2229 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.