Having to have a plumber in Fort Worth can be unavoidable if you have a dripping or burst pipe. But the majority of times, you can stop blocking your pipes or breaking your garbage disposal, both of which can be pricey to take care of.
Here are some of the most regular issues our Experts field calls about at Stark Services and how you can avoid them.
1. Flushing “Flushable” Wipes
Despite the fact 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 rely on a septic system.
A Canadian study that looked at 101 such wipes found they all didn’t pass a flushability test, according to Forbes. Because flushable wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, they can block your sewer line and lead to your toilet backing up.
They can also cause problems with city sewer systems or your septic tank. These wipes can conglomerate with other nasty things that shouldn’t go down the toilet, such as cooking fat and hygienic products, to create a fatberg. Along with being unsanitary and just plain gross, environmental nonprofit Green America says these buildups are expensive to get rid of. If you’re on a city sewer system, those are bills that could get shuffled to you in the future.
Whatever kind of wipe you’re using—makeup remover, cleansing, baby or sanitizing—it should be thrown in the trash once you’re done.
2. Flushing Other Things That Should Be Tossed in the Trash
Other than flushable wipes, there are a few other things that don’t belong in your toilet. These involve:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Makeup remover pads
- Cat litter
Like wipes, these things can clog your sewer line and make your toilet run over, saddling you with a pricey (and nasty) mess.
3. Dropping in Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tabs
Using drop-in toilet fresheners might seem like a great way to keep your toilet bowl sanitary, but they might do more harm than good. These tablets typically contain chemicals, including bleach, which can destroy rubber parts in the tank. And as the tablets dissolve, they can clog the toilet and keep it from flushing.
4. Dumping Chemical Drain Cleaners
If your sink is clogged, your first answer might be to purchase a cheap liquid drain cleaner. However, there are some things you should be aware of when it involves these drain cleaners.
- They’re toxic. Drain cleaners are a toxic blend of chemicals that can burn your skin and eyes. They also create intense fumes that can lead to respiratory irritation.
- They can eat through your pipes. If these cleaners can burn your skin, consider what they can do to your plumbing: corrosion, cracks and even failure.
- They’re not good for the environment. As you can figure out, these chemicals aren’t very good for the environment.
- They might not even unplug your drain. In spite of all the chemicals they include, drain cleaners sometimes don’t even work or only work for a limited time. That’s since they often move the clog deeper into your plumbing until it leads to a big problem.
If you do require a drain cleaner, we suggest using an enzymatic cleaner. These chemical-free cleaners rely on bacteria and enzymes to break up clogs and unpleasant odors. While they could take more time than a chemical-based cleaner, they’re safer for you, your plumbing and the environment.
If you’re experiencing a strong clog that just won’t go away, getting in touch with a professional plumber like Stark Services is your best option for drain cleaning. While you can rent a drain auger or plumbing snake, it’s faster to have a professional finish the job. That way, you’ll also skip breaking your pipes and a wide variety of troublesome issues such as leaks, damaged seals and unpleasant odors.
After your drain is working like it should, 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 might seem like it’s not a issue to pour a tiny bit of oil down your drain. But as the years go by, that grease can grow and block your pipes. If the grease gets into the sewer system, it can build up with flushable wipes and create a gross fatberg like we discussed earlier.
To prevent plumbing issues, drain the grease into a can. After it cools, you can toss it in the trash.
6. Turning to Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is a helpful tool for getting rid of little bits of food. But it can’t eliminate everything. To stop breakdowns or clogs, we advise 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 has a bad smell, you can freshen it with citrus peels or a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
7. Ignoring Maintenance for Your Plumbing System
Just like your heating and cooling system, your plumbing also needs routine tune-ups. This service can help us spot small issues before they lead to big problems, like a damaging water leak. Some of the troubles we check for include:
- Ample water pressure
- Leaky or blocked pipes
- Adequately operating supply lines and plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets
If you do spot an issue, like a leaking sink or pipe, it’s important to get it fixed without delay before it becomes worse or results in damage.
8. Making an Attempt to Fix Your Plumbing Yourself
When you are dealing with a dripping pipe or a leaking washing machine, we recommend calling an Expert at Stark Services for leak repair before it grows or causes damage.
Fixing plumbing is a detailed job that’s best completed by pros. There’s a reason why plumbers complete extensive certification and licensing. Don’t try water pipe repair without help or hire a handyman, since you could end up wasting time and creating a costlier expensive problem.
9. Trying to Tune Up Your Water Heater Without Professional Help
When it comes to your water heater, service and maintenance is best left to the pros. This includes draining it or testing the temperature and pressure valve. If this isn’t performed correctly, you could burn yourself with scalding water or flood your house.
Experienced water heater maintenance provides peace of mind that your water heater is operating properly. It also offers you a heads-up when it’s time to start planning for water heater replacement, as they usually only last for about 10 years.
10. Not Knowing Where the Water Main Shutoff Is
When your house has a major water leak, it’s essential to be aware of where the main water valve is and how to shut it off. This valve is often situated in a mechanical room near your water heater.
Here’s how to turn off the main water valve in your house:
- If it has a wheel: turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore.
- If it has a lever: move it about a quarter of the way.
If you’re still not sure where the valve is located, Stark Services can help you find it.
It’s also a smart 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 monitor water use and tell you through your phone if there’s trouble.
Whatever plumbing problem you’re experiencing, our Expert plumbers at Stark Services are available to help you. And we’ll stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, so you’ll know that your repairs were finished correctly. Give us a call at 817-668-6689 to book 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.