Having to have a plumber in Richmond can be inevitable if you are dealing with a leaky or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid plugging your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.
Here are some of the most regular problems we field calls about at Eveready Service Experts and how you can prevent them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the ideal spot for them is the trash. The only thing that should be flushed (except for the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.
A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes discovered they all failed a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and cause your toilet to back up.
They can also wreak havoc on city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other yucky things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, like cooking grease and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. In addition to being dirty and just plain nasty, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are expensive to repair. If you use a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get assigned to you in the long run.
Whichever style 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 Trash
In addition to 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
Along with wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and make your toilet run over, leaving you with a pricey (and gross) mess.
3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Relying on drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl fresh, but they might do more damage than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, like bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can clog the toilet and stop it from flushing.
4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is clogged, your immediate response might be to purchase an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.
- They’re harmful. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also make intense fumes that can result in 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 determine, these substances aren’t exactly helpful for the environment.
- They might not even unplug your drain. Despite all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a little while. That’s due to the fact they often force the clog more into your plumbing until it leads to a major problem.
If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and bad odors. While they might 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 go away, contacting a professional plumber like Eveready Service Experts is your smartest option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a pro finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip damaging your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, damaged seals and troublesome odors.
After your drain is clear, keep it that way by installing a screen to keep hair or food scraps from plugging it again.
5. Getting Rid of Grease Down Your Sink
It could seem like it’s not a problem to drain a tiny bit of oil down your sink. But as time passes, that grease can build up and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and create a nasty fatberg like we talked about earlier.
To prevent plumbing issues, drain the grease into a can. After it cools, you can dump it in the waste can.
6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a beneficial tool for breaking up tiny amounts of food waste. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop malfunctions or clogs, we suggest 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 smells bad, you can clean it with citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Avoiding Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Similar to your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also requires annual maintenance. This service can help us find small issues before they lead to huge problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we watch for involve:
- Proper water pressure
- Dripping or blocked pipes
- Properly operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures including sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do find an issue, such as a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it fixed without delay before it grows bigger or leads to damage.
8. Trying to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself
When you have a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Eveready Service Experts for leak repair before it gets bigger or causes damage.
Fixing plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best completed by professionals. There’s a reason why plumbers go through 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 creating a costlier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Service Your Water Heater on Your Own
When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.
Professional water heater maintenance offers peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also gives you notice ahead of time when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, as they typically only run for about 10 years.
10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
When your residence has a big water leak, it’s essential to know where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This valve is typically found 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: move it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
- If it has a lever: turn it about a quarter of the way.
If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, Eveready Service Experts can help you find it.
It’s also a smart idea to get a water leak protection system that will sound the alarm and cut off the water if there’s trouble. You can even have a smart system to watch water use and alert you via your phone if there’s a problem.
Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Eveready Service Experts are available to help 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 finished correctly. Contact us at 804-548-4480 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.