Plumbing is typically one of the last things thought about, at least until there is a big problem that cannot be fixed by a nonprofessional. However, taking care of your home's plumbing is a very important job, and you should be prepared to do your part to avoid larger problems. Listed here are five things your plumber wishes you knew: things to help avoid big issues and help clean up the problems.

When using the garbage disposal…

Plumbers everywhere complain that many individuals use their garbage disposals for inappropriate kinds of food scraps. Unfortunately, these individuals do not always realize that the food scraps they are sending down the garbage disposal can actually cause quite a bit of harm and damage to the system. For example, potato and fruit peels are unable to be broken down within the disposal; rather, they become stuck to the sides of the pipes. When these peels build up and stack on top of one another, the drains become clogged and larger issues can evolve.

In addition to putting the wrong foods down the garbage disposal, many times it is overloaded or is loaded inefficiently. When using the garbage disposal, it is important to load it slowly and to always have the water running before, during, and after running it. If too much of anything is put into the disposal at once, the system can jam or break.

Replacing hoses before it's necessary

One of the initial warnings a plumber will issue will be to have all old hoses replaced and to use the newer stainless steel burst-resistant hoses. If you own an older home, you will want to replace all of the hoses as soon as possible as they are most likely the original hoses. The older the hoses, the more likely they will leak or burst.

Whether you are dealing with a washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater, replacing the hoses before problems arise can save you from having to repair large damages. You definitely save yourself time, money, and a big headache when you take these precautionary measures. If you are unsure about what hoses are used or how old they are, a plumber can inspect them and offer a professional opinion about their status.

Chemicals are not the answer

It is easy for a homeowner to decide to use a chemical drain cleaner rather than hire a plumber to come take care of the job. However, any plumber will tell the homeowner that chemical drain cleaners do not always work as advertised and sometimes cause greater problems than the initial clog.

When a chemical cleaner is poured down the drain, it eats away the substance that is causing the blockage, but it also eats away at the pipe itself. After using the cleaner any number of times, the pipes can become irreparable and will need replacing instead. When plumbers tackle a clogged drain, they will manually clean the pipes, typically avoiding the use of chemicals that can create more problems than they fix.

Drop in toilet fresheners

Having your toilet look and smell fresh is a great draw for the average person. With an easy fix for freshness available, many will jump at the chance to utilize it. However, the use of drop-in toilet fresheners can be harmful to the toilet itself. As the tablets dissolve, they can become stuck in the flush valve of the toilet, preventing the toilet from flushing.

The chemicals in these fresheners can also damage the working parts of the toilet. They will eat away at the various surfaces, which means that the parts will change size or shape. When the parts are damaged in this way, they will not work right with the rest of the toilet's parts, and you will have to replace the parts or the toilet itself.

Toilets are not trash cans

Plumbers bemoan the fact that individuals use their toilets as a sort of trash can. They flush the kids' dead fish and other biodegradable wastes, but they also tend to flush items that are not. This leads to many problems with the pipes and the flushing mechanism within the toilet.

While many products advertise that they are flushable, many times they are not. Such things as flushable wipes and flushable cat litter do not dissolve or disintegrate fast enough to make it all the way through the pipes. Many times they will stick to the pipes and after a while can build up and create a block.

When dealing with your plumbing, you will want to ask for professional help and advice. Do not simply figure that you can manage it all on your own, especially when there are bigger issues at play. Contact a plumber like Lincoln Sewer & Drain when you suspect that you may have a problem or are unsure about the status of your plumbing.