There is no shortage out there of bad advice about plumbing and repairs. Everyone who has bought a home has had some thoughts about what is and isn’t right when it comes to plumbing. And, the truth is, there are plenty of professionals out there who perpetuate misinformation. But there are some pretty essential things that plumbers see over and over again that we wish we wouldn’t. So here’s what not to do with your home plumbing.
Use Liquid Drain Cleaner
So many times we hear people trying liquid drain cleaner to clear a toilet clog. Not only won’t it do the job, it will also eat away at the wax ring designed to keep your water – and more – inside the toilet rather than all over your bathroom floor.
But even using these liquid cleaners in your sinks or shower drains can be problematic. They often don’t solve the actual problem, just mask it for a while until it builds up and becomes something much worse.
Flush “Flushable” Objects
We’re not just going to pile on women for this one, though feminine products are often a culprit. There are plenty of things people flush down toilets that shouldn’t go there. Even something as innocuous as facial tissue should be tossed the trash rather than flushed.
Some people even go so far as to flush their kitty litter remains down the toilet. Not only can this be dangerous for your plumbing, but it isn’t good for the environment. Same thing goes for unused or expired medications. Stick to flushing only toilet paper and you should be okay.
Use Drop-In Fresheners
Bathroom smells are the worst, right? But are those drop in air fresheners really helping? There are plenty of other ways to mask the smell in your bathroom such as a candle or air freshener sprays. Those toilet freshening drop-ins continue to deposit what can best be described as schmutz in your system without you even noticing. This can build up over time and cause a major plumbing issue.
Bathroom smells are a fact of life, and they are only temporary. But if you can’t live with them, try other options that don’t impact your plumbing or water.
Stuff Everything Down Your Garbage Disposal
Our modern world has made things so convenient. You can just stuff the remains of your dinner down the kitchen sink and whirr it into oblivion. But not everything is safe to put down your garbage disposal. While it may be intuitive that you don’t stuff things like chicken bones, there are other food items that are less obvious.
Don’t pour grease of any type down your drain. Collect it and dispose of it properly. Also, use cold water when running your disposal. Foods like pasta and rice can also cause major headaches as they expand with exposure to water. If you’re putting potato peels down your disposal, do it in small amounts at a time. Too much can create a starchy paste.
Try the Repair Yourself
Beyond all this, one of the biggest issues we have is when homeowners attempt the repair themselves before calling us in. Certainly, there are small home plumbing repairs that don’t cause greater problems down the road, but more often than not we get called in when something preventable happens.
If you notice a problem with your clogged drains, toilet, or garbage disposal, don’t hesitate to contact a professional right away.