4 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Wouldn’t Do

plumbing in kitchen

While most of us have the best intentions, sometimes we end up, unknowingly, making matters worse. We all have a story about the time we tried to fix our own plumbing, but ended up just causing more problems. Here are some of our top five faux pas we see customers doing, that could easily be avoided.

  1. Don’t shove stuff where it doesn’t belong
plumbing in kitchen


Most homes come with a cheap garbage disposal, that is barely capable of breaking your leftovers down enough to prevent clogging. Fibrous vegetables, pasta, grease, and eggshells are some of the worst culprits. As you already know, pasta expands so if it gets stuck in your pipes it starts growing and is very difficult to get out. Eggshells also cause a lot of issues and are hard to remove if they build up. The best solution for your kitchen is to invest in a top of the line garbage disposal. One of our favorites is the Insinkerator evolution series. It comes with a double chamber grinder that can do some serious damage to whatever you put in it. It also features noise canceling technology, making it one of the quietest disposals on the market.


While it seems like common sense, you shouldn’t put anything other than toilet paper in your commode. Now we know if you have kids, there is probably a whole toy box in there right now. For everyone else, here are a couple of things to avoid. Flushable wipes- while the packaging says “flushable” they just don’t break down fast enough and frequently cause system backups. Other items that should definitely not go in your toilet are Q-Tips, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, pills, and cigarette butts. Not only can they stop up your pipes, but chemicals from pills and cigarettes can also end up getting into the groundwater supply.

plumbing in bathroom

2. Drano is not your friend

Drano is full of chemicals and can be dangerous. If it doesn’t go down your drain properly, before a pipe is opened up, it can cause burns. We have, unfortunately, had first-hand experience with this. Not only can standing chemicals harm you, but they can also slowly eat away at your pipes. We have seen pipes galvanize and start leaking into walls, creating a much bigger mess than the owners intended.

3. Get Valve Savvy

Do you know where your home’s main water shut off valve is? Surprisingly, not many people do! To begin with, go find that valve and turn it off and back on. Valves need exercise so they stay healthy, just like us. If you let it go too long they can begin to leak. We saw one case in a commercial building where no one had touched them in years. They ended up having to spend $15,000 in damages just because they didn’t take the time to turn their valves on and off occasionally. Luckily, now you can purchase motorized valves that are self-sufficient. They sense if anything is leaking and shut off by themselves. They can also be programmed to alert you and your plumber if it senses any problematic issues.

plumbing valves

4. Optimize your water quality

Water quality affects how efficient your pipes and entire system function. You will likely need a water filtration system to improve water quality. Having green stains means your water has a low PH and it’s eating the plumbing system. Orange stains are iron deposits in your water. Iron destroys water heaters, clogs piping and dishwashers, and ruins any white clothing you wash in it. You can learn more about the effects of iron in your water from our recent blog post.

If you find yourself with a plumbing mishap, don’t wait until it gets worse. Give us a call at 301.368.8909 for all your plumbing needs.

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