FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions | PlumbSure Plumbing & Drains
Since opening our doors over 15 years ago, we’ve served hundreds of customers throughout the northeastern suburb of Columbus, Ohio. And through our years of service, we’ve been asked many questions about plumbing, and here are the most common.
Check the Thermostat:
The first thing you should do is check the thermostat to make sure it’s set correctly. If not, adjust it accordingly and see if that fixes the problem.
Check the Pilot Light:
If you use a gas water heater with a pilot light, make sure it’s lit. If not, relight it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check for Leaks:
Inspect your water heater for any signs of leaks. If you see water pooling around the tank, check for loose connections or condensation to see if that’s the problem; if not, turn off your water heater and call a plumber as soon as possible.
Drain the Tank:
If your water heater makes odd noises you’ve never heard before, like gurgling or popping, it’s likely due to sediment buildup in the tank. In most cases, draining the tank to flush the sediment solves the problem. Once the tank is clean, fill it with fresh water and start the unit.
Check the Power:
If the water heater isn’t giving you hot water, check to ensure that the system is getting power by looking at the breakers to see if any are tripped and checking the pilot light if you have a gas water heater.
Call a Plumber:
If you’ve tried all of these troubleshooting tips and your water heater still isn’t working properly, then it’s time to call a plumber like those at PlumbSure Plumbing for professional assistance.
There are two main types of chemical drain cleaners: liquid and gel. Liquid drain cleaners are more common and typically come in a bottle with a nozzle that you attach to the mouth of the drain. Gel drain cleaners are thicker and usually come in a tub. To use a gel drain cleaner, scoop out some of the product with a plastic utensil and drop it down the drain.
Drain cleaners are appealing because they’re inexpensive, easy to use, and work in the short term.
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand what’s in these products. Most contain incredibly corrosive chemicals like lye or sulfuric acid. When these chemicals contact with your skin, they can cause severe burns. If ingested, they can be deadly. And if fumes from the chemicals are inhaled, they can cause severe respiratory problems.
Even people who have followed the instructions on the bottle wind up damaging their pipes or getting injured using these products, so we recommend using alternative drain cleaning methods.
Drain Cleaner Alternatives:
If you’re looking for alternatives to chemical drain cleaners, a few options are available. One option is to use a plunger to try and dislodge the clog. Another option is to use a drain snake, a long, flexible piece of equipment that can reach deep into your drains to clear out any blockages. Finally, you can also try boiling water to break up the clog. Home remedies, however, don’t always work, and they can’t penetrate deep enough into the system when needed.
The safest drain cleaning method, however, is calling a professional plumber.
Faulty or Worn-Out Flapper:
The flapper is the rubber seal at the bottom of the tank that lifts when you flush the toilet, allowing water to flow from the tank into the bowl. If your flapper is worn out, it may not create a tight seal, causing water to slowly leak from the tank into the bowl and resulting in a running toilet.
Corroded or Damaged Flush Valve:
The flush valve is located inside the tank and is responsible for releasing water from the tank when you flush the toilet. If this valve becomes corroded or damaged, it may not close properly, causing water to leak continuously into the bowl and resulting in a running toilet.
The Float Level is Incorrect:
The float is a plastic ball that rises as water fills the tank and triggers a mechanism to shut off the flow of water into the tank when it reaches a certain level. If your float level is set too high, water continues flowing into the tank even after it has reached its capacity, causing your toilet to run.
Faulty Fill Tube:
The fill tube is a small hose that delivers water to the fill valve (located inside the tank) from the supply line (located behind your toilet). If this tube becomes kinked or disconnected, water will continue running and never fill the tank.
Fortunately, these problems are relatively easy to fix if you’re handy. However, if you feel more comfortable letting a pro take care of it, you can count on the plumbers at PlumbSure Plumbing & Drains.
What Not to Put In Your Garbage Disposal
Coffee grounds form clumps in the drain, eventually creating a mass that causes a clog and impedes your garbage disposal’s performance.
Starchy foods like bread, oatmeal, pasta, and rice expand when they absorb water, which can cause your system to clog.
Shells, Nuts, & Vegetable Peels:
Seafood shells and certain nut shells can dull or damage your garbage disposal’s blades. Also, avoid eggshells and vegetable peels like corn husks and fruit pits.
Grease and Cooking Fat:
Grease and cooking fat are the two worst things you can put into your drains because they solidify and require a professional drain cleaning to remove.
Stringy foods like artichokes, celery, kale, lettuce, and asparagus can tangle the machinery, causing it to jam.
A good rule of thumb is if the food is soft enough to give to a baby, it’s generally safe to put into your garbage disposal.
Soft vegetable waste debris is also safe to put into your garbage disposal.
The truth is that a garbage disposal is a powerful machine that can grind up most things you put it in. However, it’s not generally the disposal you must worry about, but rather your drains and what might get stuck and cause problems.
Call the plumbing experts at PlumbSure Plumbing & Drains if you need garbage disposal repair.
The Tank May Be Too Small
If you’ve added new members to your household or started using more hot water than usual, the tank may not be able to keep up. You may need to upgrade to a larger size.
Heating Element Failure
If the element isn’t working properly, it won’t heat the water as efficiently, and you’ll run out of hot water faster. This is a common problem with older heaters.
The Tank May Be Leaking
A leak will cause the water level to drop, so the heater will have to work harder to heat the water, leading to shorter periods of hot water before it needs to reheat.
The Thermostat is Too Low
If the thermostat is set lower than usual, it will take longer for the heater to reach the desired temperature, resulting in less hot water overall. Check the thermostat and make sure it’s set properly.
Sediment buildup can also lead to shorter periods of hot water. Over time, sediment accumulates in the bottom of the tank and reduces the tank’s capacity. This is especially common in areas with hard water. Flushing out the tank periodically can keep this problem from worsening and reducing your hot water.
Dirty Burner Assembly
If you have a gas water heater, the most likely reason it’s running out of hot water is because the burner assembly is dirty and needs cleaning.
The average lifespan of a water heater is between 10 and 13 years, but you can maximize use and avoid common problems through routine maintenance by a trained expert.
Repeated clogs often result from problems in the main sewer line. When a sewer line is blocked or damaged, the wastewater has nowhere to go but back into the house.
Sewer lines clog from:
- Sagging, broken, or damaged pipes
- Tree root infestation
- Flushing non-flushable items, like feminine hygiene products, personal wipes, diapers, and paper towels
- Grease, fat, or cooking oil poured down the drain
- Using too much toilet paper at once
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Drain Clogs: Many homeowners think slow drains are part and parcel of owning a home, but it’s essential to keep your drains clear, and here’s why.
Clogged drains can lead to water damage, flooding, and mold growth. And if the clog is bad enough, it could cause your sewer line to back up, leading to an even bigger mess. So, it’s essential to maintain clean drains and fix any clogs as soon as possible.
Call PlumbSure Plumbing & Drains for drain cleaning maintenance to avoid stubborn clogs and maintain free-flowing drains.
- Clogged Drains
- Water Temperature Issues
- Broken Pipes
- Sewage Odors
- Valid License
- Business experience
When it comes to the best commercial plumbing services, Plumbsure Plumbing and Drains is the name to trust!
- Changes in water flow and water pressure
- Water backing up in odd places
- A weird smell
- Water takes too long to drain
We hope this FAQ helped answer some of your questions, and when you need plumbing repairs of any kind, call us at 843-417-0017.