10 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Quit Doing Immediately

Requiring a plumber in the U.S. can be unavoidable if you are dealing with a leaky or broken pipe. But a lot of the time, you can avoid blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to fix.

Here are some of the most regular issues our Experts get calls about at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing and how you can stop them.

1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes

Although they might be called “flushable wipes,” the ideal place for them is the garbage. The only thing that should be flushed (apart from the obvious) is toilet paper and septic treatments, if you use a septic system.

A Canadian study that tested 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 plug your sewer line and make your toilet back up.

They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can attach to other gross things that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, including cooking fat and hygienic products, to lead to a fatberg. As well as being dirty and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these blobs are pricey to fix. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are expenses that could get passed on to you down the road.

Whichever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should go in the trash once you’re finished.

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

Other than flushable wipes, there are a couple 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 overflow your toilet, saddling you with a pricey (and gross) mess.

3. Relying on Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs

Having drop-in toilet fresheners could seem like a smart way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they can do more harm than good. These tablets often contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets melt, they can plug the toilet and stop it from flushing.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If your sink is blocked, your initial reaction might be to buy a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should realize 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 create intense fumes that can cause respiratory irritation.
    1. They can corrode your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, think about what they can do to your pipes: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
    1. They’re bad for the environment. As you can imagine, these substances aren’t very good for the environment.
    1. 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 short time. That’s since they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a big problem.

If you do need to use a drain cleaner, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners have bacteria and enzymes to break up 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 dealing with a difficult clog that just won’t dissolve, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s easier to have a pro do the job. That way, you’ll also skip harming your pipes and a host of horrible issues like leaks, nonworking seals and horrible odors.

After your drain is flowing freely, keep it that way by using a screen to keep hair or food scraps from blocking it again.

5. Pouring Grease Down Your Sink

It can seem like it’s not a issue to dump a tiny bit of oil down your pipes. But as time passes, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and develop a nasty fatberg like we talked about earlier.

To prevent plumbing troubles, drain the oil into a container. After it cools, you can throw it away in the garbage.

6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything

Your garbage disposal is a useful tool for getting rid of little food scraps. But it can’t eliminate everything. To avoid problems or clogs, we advise not putting these things 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 freshen it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System

Much like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also has to have regular maintenance. This service can help us spot small issues before they result in big problems, including a damaging water leak. Some of the problems we check for entail:

    • Correct water pressure
    • Dripping or blocked pipes
    • Adequately functioning supply lines and plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers and toilets

If you do find an issue, such as a leaky sink or pipe, it’s important to get it repaired immediately before it becomes worse or leads to damage.

8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Without Professional Help

When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, it’s important to call an Expert at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for leak repair before it grows or causes damage.

Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best left to pros. There’s a reason why plumbers go through extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try to do water pipe repair yourself or call a handyman, as you could end up wasting time and having a more expensive problem.

9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help

When it comes to your water heater, service and upkeep is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or examining the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t done right, you could burn yourself with hot water or flood your home.

Experienced water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is running like it should. It also offers you advance notice when it’s time to start thinking about water heater replacement, since they often only operate for about 10 years.

10. Not Realizing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is

In the event your house 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 turn 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, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find it.

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

Whatever plumbing problem you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available to assist you. And we’ll support our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll be sure that your repairs were done like they should. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to book your appointment right away!

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


  • Prevent costly damage from water leaks, drain clogs and tank damage
  • Written 100% Expert Service Guarantee

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *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.