6 Things Professional Plumbers Know That You Don't

The plumbing in our homes is something we often take for granted. Most of us can’t imagine life without running water, flushing toilets, warm showers, and washed dishes. Not only that, a working plumbing system is key to sanitation in your home and your community.

Therefore, it’s important for homeowners to pay attention to the plumbing in their homes and know what not to do when plumbing issues happen. This involves things like fixing leaks quickly, regularly checking water pressure, and replacing failing or broken parts.

Perhaps even more importantly, is avoiding things that can wreak havoc on a home’s plumbing system. What are those behaviors? We went straight to the plumbers themselves to find out.

Here are six things that professional plumbers know that you might not.

what plumbers dont do

Toilets are not garbage cans and should be used properly. Way too many people think they can just flush whatever away and it disappears. There are only two things that should ever be flushed — toilet paper and human waste. Everything else, from tissues to paper towels and feminine hygiene products to flushable wipes (yes, don’t flush those!), will undoubtedly clog your pipes — if not right away, eventually. These items can also clog up the entire sewer system too. 

  red arrow Don’t Flush That. 

dont flush unnecessary things down the toilet

This is an important one to remember especially for your kitchen sink. After you’ve cooked something like bacon and need to get rid of the grease, there are a few things you can do; however, pouring the grease down the kitchen sink is not one of them.

Initially, the grease will stick to the walls of your pipes and start clogging your drain. Eventually, some of that grease will make it to the sewer, where it mixes with all the other raw sewage (along with those wipes that should have been put in the trash). The result? A disgusting sewer-damaging blob called a fatberg, which is a big problem for our sewage systems.

Instead, scrape the congealed grease into the garbage can, or pour the warm grease into a can or jar and wait until it sets, then throw away later.

don't pour grease down drain

If you turn to store-bought drain cleaners to get rid of a clog in your home, stop immediately. These cleaners are not only ineffective, they are caustic and can burn your pipes and your skin if you touch them. Also, they don’t dissolve hair or get rid of it. It might burn away some of the hair and gunk, but at the end of the day it doesn’t stop the buildup from reoccurring. Instead, it  just pushes it down to where the chemical didn’t reach.

So, what should you do about clogs then? You can try clearing the clog yourself with a plunger or plumbing snake, or use natural methods such as baking soda and vinegar (see DIY video). Also, plumber-recommended enzymatic drain cleaners are usually safe to use. Resist the temptation to use a hanger for the job though. Anything rigid can damage the pipe and cause a whole slew of issues, like leaks, broken seals, bad smells and bug infestations (ewww!).

  red arrow Drain Cleaners (Podcast 53)

don't use chemicals in drains

Despite the name, the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink isn’t meant to actually dispose of garbage. Small scraps of most food are okay, but coffee grounds, rice, pasta, eggshells, large chunks of meat as well as many other things should not be put down your garbage disposal.

Putting those kinds of items in your garbage disposal can damage it or in some instances overwork and/or overheat it. Therefore, if you continue putting them down the disposal, it will cause damage and ultimately ruin it making you to have to replace it.

Save yourself the trouble and expense by scraping off as much leftover food as you can off plates and pans into the trash or compost bin before rinsing them off in your sink.

  red arrow Do’s & Don’ts of Garbage Disposals

don't use garbage disposal wront

Nobody likes to find out they have a plumbing problem happening in their home, but if you wake up one morning and find a pool of water under your kitchen sink, it’s definitely wise to deal with it right away.

If you think you have a water leak … you definitely want to get it looked at before it becomes a bigger issue. Plumbing problems are not the type that correct themselves over time.

  red arrow  Catch Those Leaks

don't ignore plumbing issue

Home plumbing systems should have regular maintenance done on them. Plumbers know the importance of keeping up on maintenance in their homes, so they can minimize the possibility of something major going wrong, such as a leak, corrosion or a septic tank issue.

One of the most important checks to do on your plumbing systems is an annual water pressure check to make sure it's in a safe range. The pressure level can vary, but 50-70 PSI (pounds per square inch) is recommended for most residential homes. You can buy a water pressure gauge at your local hardware store or home center to measure water pressure.

Other preventive plumbing maintenance in your home includes checking for leaks, clogs, and any broken internal parts in your toilets, sinks or tubs/showers. It is also recommended to check the supply lines (the hoses that allow water to travel from the main water line to individual fixtures) to make sure they are still working properly. Supply lines are typically only rated for three to five years of use.

do plumbing preventative maintenance
Hopefully you found some things in this post that you might have been doing in your home, but now know better not to do them anymore. This will save you from having unnecessary plumbing or drain problems happen as a result.
As always, if you have a plumbing or drain issue that you need help with, don't hesitate to call Any Hour Services to have a licensed plumber come check it out and see what's happening and how to get it fixed.

Author: Tammy Nelson
Copyright © 2022 by Any Hour Services


Apr 1st 2022

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