Plumbing Questions or Concerns?
Why does my toilet run all the time? Why do I need a vent for my plumbing system? What can contribute to a high water bill besides leaking faucets and/or pipes? These are all questions we hear frequently. Some of these problems have simple solutions, however some may require a the experience and expertise of a skilled plumber. Knowing what to do to can save you time and money! Don’t forget you can always visit our website or call us and ask an expert about any of your plumbing questions or concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How do you fix a running toilet?
It is most likely the flapper in the bottom of the tank, which you can simply replace. Sometimes the chain can be too long and get caught under the flapper. The chain should be long enough to reach from the lever arm to the top of the flapper without pulling on it.
Why does a plumbing system need a vent?
A plumbing system vent is used to “vent” the plumbing system in your home. A vent will look like pipes sticking out of your roof and are about 12” high. This vent allows sewer gases to be vented outside the home. Another function of the vent is that when a liquid goes down a pipe air must follow it. Without vents, draining one fixture may cause another fixture in the house to back up. A waste and vent system should keep sewer gas out of the home and drain every fixture well.
What can contribute to a high water bill besides leaking faucets and/or pipes?
Most leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in the toilet tank. These leaks typically result from worn parts or improper alignment of some part of the flushing mechanism. It is important to stop these leaks because they will cause an increase in your monthly water bill.
How do I know if my toilet leaks? What should I do?
Toilet leaks occur in two ways and are often very difficult to detect. First, the most common toilet leak and often hardest to detect is caused by a deteriorated or defected flush valve (flapper) or “tank” ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If the flapper or ball valve does not seat properly and form a water-tight seal, water will leak around it into the toilet bowl. Often, this leak will occur without being heard. Here is an easy way to check for flush valve leaks and in just minutes, you can find out if a toilet is wasting thousands of gallons due to an undiscovered water leak. Remove the tank lid, then flush. After the flapper/tank ball drops and the tank refills, add several drops of dark food coloring) or a Fluidmaster leak detector tablet. Wait at least 20 minutes. If any trace of color appears in the toilet bowl, there is a leak. The second most-common type of leak is caused by improperly adjusted or broken fill valve. If the float is set too high or the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube. This type of leak can be seen simply by taking the tank top off and observing if water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full. Excess water pressure can also have a negative effect on the operating system in your toilet. If you are experiencing either of these types of leaks and do not know how to fix them, contact a plumber.
What should I do if I have a major leak in my home? Turn off your water in the event of an emergency.
If the leak is inside your home or you have a burst pipe you should first turn off your water supply at your main shutoff valve. If you do not have a main shutoff valve, or don’t know where it is located, you may turn off your water at your meter in an emergency situation. It is advisable to contact a plumber during such emergencies. If any damage has occurred it is also advisable to contact your insurance company. Do not touch any wet electrical fittings – call in an electrician.
What makes plumbing and drainpipes rattle all the time?
This is usually caused by the water lines not being properly secured. This can be fixed easily but only if your water lines are easily accessible. It means that there are one or more places your water lines come in contact with the wood of your floor joists. You will need to get plastic pipe hangers that go between your water lines and your joists. A defective pressure reducing valve can also cause some very strange noises. Contact a plumber for help.
Why does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?
The combined presence of hydrogen, sulfur, and bacteria cause foul smelling water. The magnesium anode rod installed in the tank protects the tank surface but generates enough hydrogen to create an odor when it interacts with sulfur in the water or bacteria in the tank. Replacing the magnesium anode rod with an aluminum anode may minimize the problem. The most efficient method of eliminating the hydrogen sulfide odor is to control the bacteria. As a rule, chlorination of public water supplies kills the bacteria, but some private well systems may need to be purified by the use of chlorine injectors or ultraviolet light. This will destroy the bacteria. Contact a plumber for help.
Why does my toilet “sweat” and what can I do?
This is caused by cold water filling the tank and humid air in the bathroom. This can cause condensation to form on the outside of the tank. There are a few of things you can do. You can insulate the inside of your tank. They sell kits for this and they work fairly well. The tank covers you can put on the outside help somewhat as well. You can also get a mixing valve. This is put on your cold water supply. It will add just enough hot water to the cold to warm it up. When the tank is filled with water at room temperature it won’t sweat.
Why doesn’t water enter the bowl when I try to flush my toilet?
Make sure the water supply is turned on. If it is, remove the lid to the toilet tank. It is probably the chain or strap to the flapper that is broken or come loose. You could also have a blockage in the toilet “jet’s” just under the rim of the toilet.
How do I get my toilet tank to stop over flowing?
Probably the fill valve in the tank has a leak in it. If the fill valve is old, you should replace it. Sometimes the shaft or wire that is used to set the level corrodes off. If the shaft or wire seems to be your problem then by replacing this you should fix your problem. Another possibility, if the fill valve has been replaced recently, is that it could be set too high.
If my drain is clogged, shouldn’t I use a chemical drain cleaner before I call a Plumber?
We don’t recommend this for several reasons; most drain chemicals are very toxic in nature, Not a good thing to keep around the home if you have children or pets. If they do make it down the drain we are contributing to global pollution. The toxic chemicals can also have a negative effect on your piping as well. Over time these chemicals may deteriorate your pipes from the inside out. When this happens, the drain line(s) will have to be replaced. Don’t confuse toxic drain cleaners with the various drain maintenance products that are on the market. These products contain “friendly” bacteria and enzymes. They work great to keep any drain sludge and grease from building up in the pipes.
Additional Questions/Concerns Concerning Your Plumbing?