Most Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

shutterstock_118647286Professional plumbers hear certain questions over and over again.

Let’s get you up to speed on home plumbing basics by covering the most frequently asked about topics.

Why does my drain get clogged?

Slow drains and stubborn clogs are two of the most common recurring plumbing issues faced at home.

Most blockages in the kitchen can be prevented by paying more attention to what you wash down the drain. Even a garbage disposal unit shouldn’t be a replacement for a trash can.

In the bathroom, however, clogs will form slowly over time through normal usage. Hair, oils, shampoo, soaps and other body products leave residue over time that need to be periodically washed away. Read this helpful pipe maintenance post for cleaning tips.

How can i get more life out of plumbing fixtures/equipment?

Extending the lifespan of your water heater and fixtures is best done through the installation of a water softener system. Conditioning your water leads to less damaging scale build-up.

Why is my toilet running?

A toilet that won’t stop running is generally a sign that you need to replace your flapper.

But sometimes the chain simply needs to be readjusted so that the rubber sits properly on top of the flush valve.

Simply remove the lid to your tank and flush to investigate whether your flapper is creating a seal. If the flapper appears to be seated correctly but the toilet continues to run, the rubber is damaged and you need a new flapper.

Another possible cause of a running toilet is that the water level is set too high. If water is flowing into the overflow tube, adjust the float until the water level is approximately 1 inch below the top of the tube.

Why are we running out of hot water so quickly?

Declining hot water heater performance is usually attributed to scale build-up that prevents the heating elements from working properly or from complete element failure.

Pro Tip: Another cause for running out of hot water is simply that your hot water heater is not large enough for your household.

What causes a faucet to drip?

Most leaky faucets can be easily repaired by replacing the washers. To avoid washer damage in the future, turn off faucets gently and smoothly.

Why is my hot water heater leaking?

In most cases a leaky hot water heater means it’s time to buy a new one. Most leaks are caused by the inner tank rusting through and there is no way to repair this damage once it is done.

Extend the life of your water heater by replacing the sacrificial anode rod before it rusts away.

Are chemical drain cleaners safe to use?

Not really.

Chemical drain cleaners can cause damage to your drain pipes that lead to much bigger problems than dealing with a clog.

Use all natural bacteria & enzymes to clear clogs, even if you need to be more patient when waiting for the product to work.

What should i do in the event of a major water leak?

At the first sign of a major water leak you need to shut off the main intake valve at the street.

Some valves require a special tool to be turned. Remember that the time to purchase this tool and locate your main intake valve is right now –not when a pipe has burst and water is filling up your home.

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