10 Common, Yet Unsafe Plumbing Things You Should Stop Doing

September 4, 2015

Believe us, we get it. Sometimes you just want to do it yourself when it comes to some of your home’s plumbing issues. We hate to be the ones to tell you the bad news, but we have seen too many homeowners making the same mistakes when it comes to plumbing problems. Do-it-yourself, is not always the safest way to correct an issue.

1. Putting the Wrong Things Down the Disposal

Don’t throw everything into the garbage disposal! It does not function the same way as your trashcan. There are things you should NOT toss in there, such as corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins, coffee grounds, potato skin and grease. Check out our Garbage Disposal 101 blog post for a whole list of don’ts for you to memorize. Better yet, print it out and stick it on your fridge!

2. Flushing the Wrong Things Down the Toilet

You name it, we’ve seen it, and people flush all kinds of inappropriate or crazy things down the toilet. When a toilet is clogged, it creates massive inconvenience for the family. Our Toilets 101 blog post features a list of don’ts to help you understand what you should not flush down the toilet.

Be sure to educate your kids with this list as well, so they won’t pull a “Monster’s Inc.” trick, which teaches the kids to flush the toys down the toilet. Mistake!

3. Not Maintaining Your Water Heater

A Water Heater is your source of hot water, so it’s crucial to take good care of it in order to increase its longevity. The typical water heater lasts for about eight to 10 years. Winters® Home Services recommends having a professional clean the tank to reduce buildup, which can cause drips and clogs. The buildup also overheats the bottom of the tank, weakening the steel and damaging the system. Here are some additional tips on water heater maintenance.

4. Putting Heavy Weight on Fixtures

Plumbing fixtures, such as a shower head, are not design to hold too much weight. Excess weight will damage the fixtures.

5. Using the Wrong Connectors for Pipes

A common mistake homeowners make when doing DIY repairs is using different metals, such as steel and copper when connecting pipes. A coupling must be used to join two different metals, preventing them from corroding at the connection.

6. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

A lot of chemical drain cleaners claim they are a one-stop solution for a clogged drain. However, homeowners aren’t aware that the harsh chemicals in the cleaner can corrode the pipes. If you do use a drain cleaner, use it sparingly!

7. Drippy Faucet – Don’t Push the Handle Down too Hard!

If your faucet is dripping, putting more pressure on the handle will not stop the drip! This is more about knowledge and skill test, not strength.

8. Over-tightening Plumbing Components

Again, this is a knowledge and skill test without excess strength. You may think the tighter the more secure, but it could cause a leak or break on the component.

9. Taking Apart Items and Forgetting How to Piece Them Back Together

Unlike Legos, plumbing components are a bit more complex, and sometimes they don’t come with a manual. While you’re having fun taking things apart, photograph the process for future reference.

10. Not Periodically Checking for Toilet Leaks

Checking your toilet for leaks will save you a big headache, especially when it comes to an increase on your water bill. Simply remove the toilet tank lid, drop 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. Wait 10 to 15 minutes; if you see colored water, you have a leaky toilet!

If you don’t know how to fix or do any of the problems mention above, or you were doing anything above and made a mistake, Winters® Plumbing Services in Boston is here for you! Call us today at 617-221-5899 or schedule an appointment online.