Requiring a plumber in Gaithersburg can be unavoidable if you have a dripping or ruptured pipe. But many times, you can prevent clogging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be expensive to take care of.
Here are some of the most regular problems we get calls about at Parker Pearce Service Experts and how you can avoid them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Even though they might be called “flushable wipes,” the right place 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 have a septic system.
A Canadian study that tested 101 such wipes discovered 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 cause your toilet to back up.
They can also cause a lot of trouble to city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other gross things that shouldn’t be disposed of down the toilet, including cooking oil and hygienic products, to result in a fatberg. Along with being dirty and just plain yucky, environmental nonprofit Green America says these masses are costly to repair. If you rely on a city sewer system, those are costs that could get shuffled to you down the road.
Whatever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be thrown in the trash once you’re complete.
2. Flushing Other Things That Belong in the Garbage
Besides flushable wipes, there are a couple 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, sticking you with an expensive (and icky) mess.
3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they might do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, like bleach, which can eat through rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing.
4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is plugged, your initial response may be to get a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic combination of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make powerful fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
- They can eat away at your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, fractures and even failure.
- They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these substances aren’t very good for the environment.
- 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 due to the fact they often push the clog further into your plumbing until it results in a huge problem.
If you do require a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to get rid of clogs and unpleasant odors. While they might work more slowly than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re dealing with a strong clog that just won’t go away, calling a professional plumber like Parker Pearce Service Experts is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have an Expert finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip damaging your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, nonworking seals and troublesome 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. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink
It could seem like it’s not a problem to dump a tiny bit of fat down your pipes. But as the years go by, that grease can accumulate and clog your pipes. If the grease finds its way into the sewer system, it can stick to flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we mentioned prior.
To prevent plumbing issues, drain the fat into a container. After it hardens, you can dump it in the trash.
6. Relying on Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for eliminating small amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To stop malfunctions or clogs, we advise not putting these foods 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 bad smell, 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 has to have routine maintenance. This service can help us spot minor issues before they cause big problems, such as a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we check for entail:
- Ample water pressure
- Drippy or clogged pipes
- Properly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do spot a problem, like a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired right away before it gets larger or results in damage.
8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help
When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we suggest calling an Expert at Parker Pearce Service Experts for leak repair before it gets bigger or causes damage.
Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair on your own or call a handyman, because you could end up wasting time and creating a more expensive problem.
9. Trying to Maintain 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 checking the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed right, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your home.
Experienced water heater maintenance gives peace of mind that your water heater is working right. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start considering water heater replacement, since they usually only last for about 10 years.
10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
If your residence has a major water leak, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is usually situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.
Here’s how to shut off the main water valve in your home:
- 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, Parker Pearce Service Experts can help you find it.
It’s also a good idea to have a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even get a smart system to monitor water use and alert you via your phone if there’s trouble.
Whatever plumbing trouble you’re faced with, our Expert plumbers at Parker Pearce Service Experts are ready to provide support. And we’ll back our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished like they should. Give us a call at 301-476-4577 to schedule 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.