8 Things Plumbers Want You To Stop Doing

by Greg on May 13, 2020

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How to lose a plumber in 10 minutes? It’s not as hard as you think. Let’s say you’ve clogged up the toilet – again. Let’s not think about the reasons why, it could be a number of personal matters, but the fact is you’re on a first-name basis with your local plumber. You may have even shared a beer or a coffee with them whilst they were sorting out the pipes in your home.

Your plumber may have told you the reasons why your plumbing problems are happening and how to stop it several times, or perhaps they’ve been too polite in telling you why your bathroom is always blocked up.

Make no mistake, your plumber definitely has a few things to say about your habits; and you’d be wise to listen. Here are eight things your plumber would like you to stop doing.

Stop: Flushing garbage
Feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and cat litter aren’t designed to disintegrate, and can easily clog up toilet pipes. Every plumber has a horror story about clogs containing used earbuds, makeup wipes, and even pet goldfish. You should only ever be flushing toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Put everything else in the trash.

Stop: Using drop-in toilet fresheners
Yes, they are easy, convenient and make your toilet water a pleasant blue color. They also wear out your pipes and fittings quicker with their corrosive ingredients. Spray fresheners are better for your plumbing and give your entire bathroom a great smell. Technology has even upgraded in the freshener area, so move on from the old and welcome in the new.

Stop: Manhandling valves
If a valve is tight or stuck, it can be tempting to want to apply more muscle pressure to open it up. This can damage valves and their knobs by applying uneven force and can lead them to break. Installing simpler valves and only attempting to open them with the correct tools is the best way to keep your plumber happy.

Stop: Skipping maintenance
Not replacing your hoses every five years or skimping out on checking your water heater can lead to plumbing emergencies that could easily have been avoided. Write regular checking sessions for your appliances and systems on your calendar and stick to them.

Stop: Not knowing where your shutoff valve is
One of the first things a plumber will ask when they arrive at your home is “Where is the shutoff valve?”. Knowing exactly where this is ahead of time will save stress and energy for you both once they arrive. In warmer climates, your water shut off valve may be located outside in either your front or back yard. In colder climates, it’s more than likely your valve is in the basement or could even be in a kitchen or bathroom cabinet.

Stop: Using drain cleaner
The problem with using drain cleaner at home is that most people don’t normally follow the instructions on the bottle. Most of us think we just pour in any amount and it does its job of clearing the clog. This leads to the overuse of the product which will damage pipes and fittings. If you have a clog, use a snake or other device designed to clear clogs without harsh chemicals.

Stop: Doing it yourself
Most plumbing issues come from over-enthusiastic DIYers not using the right tools or methods for simple plumbing problems. Worst still, you’re going to have to confess your dodgy DIYs to a professional. Avoid this altogether by calling a qualified plumber at the first sign of an emergency.

Stop: Pouring grease down drains
Once the grease cools down, it solidifies which can clog up your drains and pipes with a horrible, oily residue. This acts as a trap for additional waste including small food scraps or hair that may go down your drain leading to repeat clogs and a frustrated plumber.

Avoiding plumbing disasters

Whether you haven’t been taught plumbing common knowledge growing up, or you’ve just fallen into bad habits, it’s never too late to change them. You’ll not only make your plumber happy but will result in fewer bills for you as well as less ongoing maintenance.

Cut your old’ pipefitter some slack with a few simple changes to your household habits. This will ensure your home or rental has fewer routine repairs and keeps you on top of your repair to-do list. When your appliances and systems are working effectively, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your home is in good shape, and no unexpected surprises will be turning up around the corner.

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Luke Fitzpatrick

Luke Fitzpatrick covers blockchain trends on Forbes. He has been published in Yahoo! News, Influencive, and Tech In Asia. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.

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