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12 Things Your Plumber Wants You To Know

Steer clear of late-night or early-morning calls to the plumber by avoiding these big mistakes.

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Using Chlorine Tablets

Cleaning your toilet is likely a top priority when it comes to house maintenance, but you’re doing more harm than good if you use chlorine tablets. They can cause the toilet’s flushing system to malfunction by disintegrating it and getting stuck in the flush valve. Check out these 28 tips to become a master plumber and avoid unnecessary calls to the experts!

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Inspecting Your Hoses

Ice makers and washing machines have hoses that are prone to crack or burst, which is why plumbers suggest homeowners check them regularly to ensure they’re not cracked, twisted or have a bulge in them. Is your washing machine leaking? Here’s some helpful info on how to repair it.

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spraysBudimir Jevtic/Shutterstock

Jamming Things Under the Sink

It only seems right to put cleaning supplies, like sponges, rags and liquids, under the sink, but plumbers say NO to this. Besides just being in the way, they can cause trap leaks. Drain traps, which are the curved pipes under the sink, are meant to keep sewer gases from entering your home, while also allowing waste water to pass. Blocking them off with clutter increases the risk of your cleaning products and trash can bumping into the pipes and dislodging them. Don’t feel bad if you’ve made a plumping mistake. Here are 36 almost unbelievable plumbing and electrical goofs.

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Taking on a Major Plumbing Job

No matter how DIY savvy you are, you aren’t a plumber by trade, so if there’s an intricate project you’ve never tried before, leave it to the experts, as they can actually save you more money than the mess you could create! For smaller projects, check out these handy plumbing tips and tricks.

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Throwing Trash in the Toilet

Hair from your brush, dental floss, your bandage wrapper and even those wipes that are labeled “flushable” really shouldn’t go down your toilet drain. These things can swiftly cause a clog and it’s just as easy to drop them in the trash instead of the toilet. Check out these 30 spectacular fails around the home, so you can avoid them!

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baconWarren Price Photography/Shutterstock

Pouring Grease Down the Drain

You may second guess that bacon grease going down the drain, but it seems a lot easier than trying to clean it out with a paper towel, right? Plumbers beg of you to have some patience, and instead of pouring it down the kitchen sink drain, allow it to harden, scrape it into a garbage can and wipe out the pan with the paper towel before washing. It will save you money in the long run. Here’s how to unclog a standard kitchen sink drain.

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Water Around the Base of the Toilet

Your toilet doesn’t have to be overflowing with water for you to pay attention to it. Even the slightest bit of a puddle around the toilet can be a sign that the wax ring seal has failed. If you ignore it, you’re subjecting your subflooring beneath the bathroom tile to damage like rot and mold. Call your plumber if you see the issue arise, or replace the wax ring seal. Here’s how to replace the wax ring and three more causes of leaks under a toilet.

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Maintenance Checks

Don’t fix it if it’s not broken, right? While the saying makes sense, when it comes to plumbing, it’s best to simply keep an eye on things. This means not overlooking toilets, sink drains, pipes and valves. And, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual maintenance appointment with your plumber, so you don’t have to pay a ton of money later! Got a leak? Here’s how to fix a water-shutoff valve that’s leaking.

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sinkTolikoff Photography/Shutterstock

Treating Your Garbage Disposer Like a Trash Can

It’s just too easy to toss your scraps down the garbage disposer and let them churn away, but this makes plumbers cringe. Scraping your trash in the can instead of down the sink can save you from clogging and breaking, and possible breaking, your garbage disposer. If you need a new one, here’s how to replace a garbage disposer.

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Shutting Off Your Water Valve Before Vacation

You probably have a long list of things to take care of before going on vacation, and shutting off your main water valve should be one of them. Why? Because you probably don’t want to come home to a flooded house! Here’s how to replace the main shut off valve.

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Dripping Faucets to Prevent Frozen Pipes

You might not hear a lot of advice about letting your faucets drip, but when it comes to wintertime, plumbers advise you avoid frozen pipes this way. If you’ve had frozen pipes in the past, you’ll likely have them again, unless you’ve taken preventive measures, so if temps drop to frigid levels, open a faucet slightly and let a steady drip occur to prevent frozen pipes.

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septic linestephen Farhall/Shutterstock

Avoiding Septic Lines

Just because they’re not in your sight on a daily basis doesn’t mean you should ignore your septic lines. If you have a septic system, lateral septic lines will be buried beneath some of your property. Be sure to avoid them! For example, don’t drive a heavy vehicle over them because that can cause them to collapse and result in a costly fix. Not sure how a septic tank works? Here’s the info.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: