Here at Zierman plumbing, we have over three generations of plumbing experience. We learned a long time ago how to avoid rookie mistakes. However, many homeowners are brand new to the plumbing world. They may try “tips and tricks” that they’ve heard, only to end up with a bigger problem. Here are the top five plumbing mistakes that we see homeowners making, and how to avoid them:

1. Put Lemons Down Your Garbage Disposal to Clean It
Many people have heard the plumbing folklore that lemons can freshen up a smelly garbage disposal. While lemons may smell great, they aren’t the best cleaning method. First, the tough lemon peel could potentially clog your drain.

Next, the harsh citric acid could corrode or damage your disposal and piping. Instead of lemons, try ice cubes to keep your blades sharp. If the smell is still sticking around, try mild soap and lots of water down your drain.

2. It’s OK to Flush X, Y, Z Down the Toilet
Plumbers agree that only human waste and toilet paper should ever be flushed down the toilet. Items like feminine products, wipes, expired prescriptions, or anything else will only clog your pipes or harm the sewage system.

Just because it flushed once doesn’t mean it won’t build up or clog your system another time. Plus, for some products, “flushable” just means that it can get past your toilet’s u-bend. That doesn’t mean it won’t get stuck later in your pipes, or that it will break down in water.

In fact, large deposits of wipes and products have already broken down several sewage systems. Be sure to throw away anything that doesn’t belong in the toilet bowl.

3. A Little Leak is No Big Deal
How much water could be lost through something as small as the occasional faucet drip? A lot of water, it turns out.

The average household can waste around 10,000 gallons of water each year just through leaks.

Check to make sure your faucets aren’t dripping, and that your toilet isn’t running after it’s flushed. If they are, you may be able to add some washers or tighten some screws to fix the problem.

If that doesn’t stop the leak, call your local plumber.

4. Plumbing Fixtures Can Be Left Alone For Months, Even Years
Many homeowners realize that they can’t leave a car untouched for a few months and expect it to run well.

Similarly, your fireplace or heater may need some cleaning and maintenance before starting it up again in winter.

However, most people expect a toilet or sink to always be ready to use. Then, they have an unpleasant surprise when trying to use a neglected guest room toilet.

Water in the pipe underneath your toilet, the p-trap, can evaporate and let sewage smells leak into your home.

Obstructions can also build over time, and problems like tree roots above your pipes can grow into huge expenses. Be sure to include occasional plumbing maintenance in your home routine.

5. All Plumbers are the Same
While any plumber needs a license, plumbers can opt out of further training.

Instead, our team of experts at Zierman continues to take new training classes, earn new certifications, and learn about the newest plumbing technology.

Be sure to choose a plumber with a proper license, one that’s certified with the Better Business Bureau, and one who knows about the latest, most efficient methods.

Hiring the right plumber can save you problems down the line, and can also keep you from getting scammed or taken advantage of.

Call Zierman today for your plumbing maintenance, installation, or repair needs.

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