Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing These 10 Things Now

Having to have a plumber in San Antonio can be inevitable if you are dealing with a drippy or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can stop blocking your pipes or needing repairs for your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.

Here are some of the most regular issues we receive calls about at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air 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 (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you rely on a septic system.

A Canadian study that examined 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. As flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can clog 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 gross things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, such as cooking grease and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. As well as being unsanitary 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 costs that could get shuffled to you in the long run.

No matter what style of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be tossed in the trash once you’re done.

2. Flushing Other Things That Should Be Tossed in the Trash

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

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Makeup remover pads
  • Cat litter

Together with wipes, these things can plug your sewer line and back up your toilet, leaving you with a pricey (and nasty) mess.

3. Using Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Using drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a good way to keep your toilet bowl clean, but they can do more harm than good. These tablets usually contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets break down, they can clog the toilet and prevent it from flushing.

4. Buying Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is clogged, your immediate reaction may be to purchase a low-priced liquid drain cleaner. However, there are several things you should know about these drain cleaners.

  1. They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic mixture of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also produce intense fumes that can result in respiratory irritation. 
  2. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure. 
  3. They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t exactly helpful for the environment. 
  4. They might not even work. Despite all the chemicals they pack, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a short time. That’s since they often force the clog further into your plumbing until it leads to a huge problem.

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

If you’re experiencing a difficult clog that just won’t break up, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have a professional complete the job. That way, you’ll also prevent breaking your pipes and many other troublesome issues like leaks, damaged seals and unpleasant 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. Dumping Grease Down Your Sink

It may seem like it’s not a problem to pour a tiny bit of fat down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can build up and plug your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can cling to flushable wipes and lead to a gross fatberg like we discussed prior.

To prevent plumbing issues, drain the grease into a can. After it cools, you can toss it in the garbage.

6. Using Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of tiny amounts of food waste. But it can’t break up everything. To avoid issues or clogs, we advise not putting these foods 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 has a bad smell, you can revive 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 needs routine service. This service can help us spot small issues before they result in major problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the issues we check for involve:

  • Adequate water pressure 
  • Leaky or clogged pipes 
  • Correctly working supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do spot an issue, such as a dripping sink or pipe, it’s critical to get it repaired without delay before it grows bigger or causes damage.

8. Attempting to Fix Your Plumbing on Your Own

When you are experiencing a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air for leak repair before it gets worse or results in damage.

Mending plumbing is an in-depth job that’s best left to specialists. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair without help or get a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and having a pricier 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 specialists. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t completed correctly, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

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

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

When your home has a big water leak, it’s essential to know where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is usually found 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: circle 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, Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air can help you find it.

It’s also a wise idea to install a water leak protection system that will alert you and cut off the water if there’s an issue. You can even get a smart system to watch water use and notify you via your phone if there’s a leak.

Whatever plumbing trouble you’re dealing with, our Expert plumbers at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air are ready to assist 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 like they should. Reach us at 210-404-4233 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.