Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions Answered by Plumbers

Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions with Provided Answers

Plumbing issues are the bane of any homeowner’s life and since half the world is under quarantine, you most likely won’t have easy access to your plumber as you usually do. Fortunately, you can easily fix a majority of your plumbing problems with the right knowledge. These tips and skills will save you time and money now and in the future. You might be reading this with the intention to learn about preventative maintenance or how to solve an existing plumbing problem. Either way, we’re going to use this platform to answer all of your burning plumbing questions.

Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

Plumbing Questions and Answers

Take a look at the following plumbing questions and answers. Perhaps the answers might pique your interest or answer a question you have. Either way, you’ll definitely learn something new.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE WATER LEAKING IN MY HOUSE?

The first thing you need to do is go to the main shut-off valve and switch off the water supply. You and your entire family should know where this is in your house. The next step would be to call a professional plumber. This is not a rookie job. Lastly, avoid touching any wet electrical fittings. If any electrical damage has happened, contact an electrician. Don’t try to be a hero and fix everything yourself. It can’t be done.

WHY DOES MY TOILET KEEP RUNNING?

Right off the bat, we start with arguably the most pressing question. The simple answer is that the most common cause of this problem is a broken flapper that doesn’t properly close as it should around the flush valve. This is typically an easy problem to fix and all you have to do is jiggle the handle. The most important thing is to make sure that the flapper is properly sealed otherwise the toilet will incessantly leak, the water supply will be interrupted, and the tank will never have enough water to operate well.

WHY DOES MY DRAIN KEEP GETTING CLOGGED?

In most cases, clogged drains happen due to carelessness. They’ll put in all sorts of items that have no business going down a drain. As for bathroom drains, they often happen due to hair, shampoo, and soap residue. It’s incredibly important to avoid doing anything unbecoming down your drain. You should regularly treat your drains as well, using something like bio-clean.

SHOULD I USE CHEMICAL DRAIN CLEANERS?

Most people don’t know this but most drain cleaners are extremely toxic. In fact, the average drain cleaner has three or more warning labels. That’s why this type of product is not recommended for a family with kids or pets that can accidentally open it. These drain cleaners are also harmful to your respiratory health, which is something we should be paying more attention to in light of recent health threats. This is in addition to damaging your drain lines over time. The only solution to this problem is to replace your drain lines. If they can still be saved be sure to use products that contain helpful bacteria and enzymes that are powerful enough to remove sludge and grease from the pipes.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE SHUT-OFF VALVE?

Your home’s shut off valve is located on your home’s main water line. This valve is usually placed outside of the house next to a wall or in an underground box. In some homes, it’s placed in a crawl space or basement.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HARD AND SOFT WATER?

Yes. if you’ve noticed things like damaged clothes from washing your clothes at home, skin problems, fixture damage, weird water odor, and taste, and/or pipe scaling then you have a hard water issue. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of products that your plumber has at his disposal to fight this problem.

WHY IS MY TAP WATER SO CLOUDY?

Air is the leading cause of cloudy tap water. The water distribution system accumulates tiny air bubbles which is what creates the cloudy appearance. This problem is way more common in cold climates. Other causes include particulates and sediment accumulation in the water. This problem mostly affects homes that have a well-fed water supply as well as city-fed faucets that are prone to accumulate a lot of sediment.

WHY DO I RUN OUT OF HOT WATER SO FAST?

There are a number of probable causes to this problem and they all have something to do with the type and age of your heater. Most electric water heaters use two elements to keep your water hot, mainly the lower and top elements. If you’re not getting hot water as regularly as you should, then you’re probably dealing with a broken lower element. This means that the only part getting heat is the top part of the tank. If both elements stop working then you won’t have any hot water. Some water heaters break due to a tripped reset button and this is usually an indication of a severe underlying problem.

HOW TO FLUSH A WATER HEATER?

Tank type water heaters have the thankless job of making sure that your water supply runs smoothly. Most work quietly whether they’re powered by electricity or gas. they’re pretty sturdy and can last for up to a decade. But they do require regular annual maintenance to get rid of built-up sediment. Also known as calcium carbonate, sediment is a common water mineral that turns into solid whenever you heat the water. It falls to the bottom of the tank as the water cools. A great way to extend your water heater’s lifespan is to flush the water heater regularly.

WHY MY WATER HEATER MAKES SUCH A LOUD NOISE?

If your water heater starts making unusually loud noises, you might be dealing with sediment and steam problems in the tank. Oftentimes, the best way to fix this problem is by lowering your thermostat. If your thermostat is damaged in any way then you might have to switch it off completely or replace it. To remove sediment from the water heater, drain the water slowly from the drain valve. This helps to get rid of the noise problems and can restore your water heater to its default operational settings.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO INSTALL OR EVEN TO CHANGE MY WATER TREATMENT OR FILTRATION SYSTEM?

Yes, more often than not a permit is required to install or change a water treatment or filtration system. Even if a permit is not required a professional licensed plumber should always be used to avoid the possibility of contamination as well as other problems.

IF I HAVE A WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM INSTALLED BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN MY BUILDER'S ORIGINAL PLUMBER DURING THE CONTRACTED PLUMBER/BUILDER WARRANTY PERIOD IS MY WARRANTY AT RISK?

Yes, the original plumber cannot be held responsible for problems incurred after any alterations have been made to a previously installed system or after the installation of a new system by another person or company.

WHEN CONTEMPLATING THE INSTALLATION OF A NEW WATER HEATER WHAT FACTORS SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING A FINAL DECISION?

If you are thinking about purchasing a new water heater always consider the replacement and repair costs associated with that particular heater. For instance, a tankless water heater or a solar water heater, although it is very energy efficient, will always be more expensive to repair or replace than a standard electric water heater. Also, with a standard water heater, you have the option of adding a timer to increase its energy efficiency

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WATER FILTRATION AND WATER PURIFICATION AND IF SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

Yes, residential water treatment is available in three levels: Filtration, softening, and purification. Filtration and softening, or combinations of the two are whole-house solutions. These systems treat all the incoming water to the home. Purification is a point-of-use system that provides treated water at a single source, usually at the kitchen sink.

I HAVE REALLY LOW WATER PRESSURE COMING FROM MY FIXTURES, IS THERE A WAY TO GET MORE PRESSURE?

The problem is normally not a pressure issue but a volume issue. Most old houses have pipes that are too small to adequately supply the demands placed on the system. If you still have the old steel galvanized water lines then the problem is even worse because the steel pipes fill with rust build-up on the inside which further reduces flow to the fixtures. If you truly have low water pressure then you would need to install a pump and tank to increase pressure. If you have adequate pressure and need more volume then you need to replace your existing water lines with properly sized water lines. You can buy a simple test gauge at most home stores that will screw onto a hose bibb that will tell you your water pressure or you can call me and I would be happy to test it for you. The pressure should be between 20-80psi (pounds per square inc). If it is higher than 80psi you need to install a Pressure Reducing Valve.

MY WATER BILL IS REALLY HIGH, I THINK I MIGHT HAVE A LEAK SOMEWHERE. CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE THE LEAK IS?

There are companies that specialize in leak detection. They are expensive but if you need to find a leak and have no other means of locating then you have to use them. Some things you can do to narrow down the cause of the high water bill would be; put food coloring in all your toilet tanks and see if it goes into the bowl without flushing. Make sure you have no dripping faucets. Inspect the crawlspace to see if there are any puddles of water or pipes dripping. Turn off the valve that supplies water to your house and see if the meter is still moving, this would indicate the leak is between the meter and the house. If your line is leaking underground and you have an old steel water service, plan on replacing the line rather than trying to repair it. If you need help trying to determine where a leak may be occurring please give us a call, we would be happy to help.