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Common Homeowner Plumbing Mistakes

With some basic DIY skills, many homeowners attempt to tackle plumbing issues around their property. Unfortunately, this can often lead to some costly repairs and needing to call in a professional to correct the damage. So, here are some common homeowners plumbing mistakes. Using Harsh Chemicals When there is a clog in your drain, it is very tempting to reach for chemical cleaners. There are lots of chemical drain cleaning products available in grocery stores and hardware stores around the country, but this doesn’t mean that they are the right choice for your home. Harsh chemicals are not only dangerous to use, but can cause damage to your pipes. If the product is strong enough to dissolve a clog, the chances are it will cause damage to the pipe. While you can avoid this type of issue by taking care of your drains, if you do have a clog it is better to call in a plumber to use an auger to clear it without using harsh chemicals. Treating Your Toilet Like a Garbage Can Although hygiene wipes, make up remover pads, feminine hygiene products and toilet scrubbers may be labeled as “flushable”, in reality they can cause problems with your plumbing. Remember that your toilet is not a garbage can; it is only designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper. Other items don’t quickly breakdown and can cause a blockage in the drainpipe. Not Locating the Main Water Valve Many homeowners only think about their main water valve when there is a plumbing emergency. Unfortunately, the time taken to try to locate the valve can allow serious water damage to occur. Therefore, it is a vital to know where your main water valve is placed and the location of every emergency shut off in your home. This will mean that if there is an emergency, you can get the water shut off quickly and minimize damage. Using Drop in Toilet Tablets A drop in toilet freshener may seem like a harmless item, but these products often contain chemicals that can cause damage to the parts inside your tank. Additionally, these tablets can get stuck in the flush valve when they start to dissolve, which prevents the toilet from flushing. Overloading Your Garbage Disposal While your garbage disposal may be able to deal with large amounts of waste at once, it can create a damaging effect. Overloading your garbage disposal can cause excessive strain on the system and trigger a breakdown or blockage. A better approach is to slowly feed the garbage into your disposal as the cold water is running. Be aware that not everything should be put in your garbage disposal. Fibrous foods, such as artichokes or celery can cause a build up around the blades. You should also avoid allowing any grease, oils or fats to enter your disposal as it will solidify and cause a clog. Messing with the Pressure Valve on Your Water Heater If you consider yourself to have DIY skills, it can be tempting to attempt to drain your own water heater and adjust the pressure valve. Unfortunately, if you improperly remove the valve, it can allow pressure to diffuse scalding water to escape that could not only cause property damage, but put you at risk of serious burns. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.