Plumbing FAQs

Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom faucet?
What should I do to take care of my faucets and sinks?
Can I replace my two-handled faucet with a single-handle faucet?
How can I prevent clogged drains?
What causes my kitchen sink and washing machine drains to clog?
Should I close and open the main water supply shutoff valve periodically?
Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?
What can I do about a sewer line blockage?
Are caustic liquid drain openers (like Draino or Liquid Plumber) harmful to pipes?
Why doesn’t my old water heater work as well as it used to?
What’s the best way to extend the life of my garbage disposal?
What should I do if my garbage disposal stops working?
What’s the best way to check for toilet leaks?



Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom faucet?

First, check the emergency shutoff under your sink to make sure it’s fully open. If rubber washers or seals have begun to deteriorate, you’ll also lose water pressure, so check those. Calcium and lime buildup will also cause low water pressure. You may even need to clean your aerator.


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What should I do to take care of my faucets and sinks?

Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, as much as 150 gallons a day! Be sure to check under sinks for moisture or small leaks. And always repair leaky faucets right away to avoid paying for wasted water, and also to avoid water damage to your fixtures and pipes. Remove and clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even flow of water.Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanity are clear and open to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings.


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Can I replace my two-handled faucet with a single-handle faucet?

Usually, faucet dimensions and sink openings are standard throughout the plumbing industry, so the answer is usually yes. There are a few exceptions, so check the size of the sink opening before you buy new fixtures.


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How can I prevent clogged drains?

Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs.

To help prevent clogs, fit all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer regularly. You can also use enzyme treatments to keep drains open.


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What causes my kitchen sink and washing machine drains to clog?

In most homes, the kitchen and laundry drains are connected. When the lint from the laundry drains meets the grease buildup from soap and food products, a nearly solid substance is formed, causing blockage.

Using filters and strainers will help, but you’ll also need to get the drains mechanically cleaned periodically as well.


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Should I close and open the main water supply shutoff valve periodically?

Yes. You want to make sure they’re not stuck in the open position just when you have a water emergency! Do the same periodic check for the shutoff valves on your sinks, tubs, and toilets, too. Note: this is just one of the many tasks that we perform annually with our Plumbing Service Agreement.


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Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?

Noises can be fairly common in plumbing supply lines. If a washer in a faucet or valve is loose, you’ll hear it rattling or knocking. If the sound occurs when you open and close faucets rapidly, it generally means pipes are loose, and can be corrected by anchoring pipes more securely. If it really bothers you, you can add air chambers at the end of long pipe runs. Their installation will probably require a plumbing professional.


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What can I do about a sewer line blockage?

The main culprit is tree roots, and once they’ve blocked the line, there is very little you can do. A plumbing professional can mechanically clean the line to get it as clear as possible, and then use Root-X to kill the remaining vegetartion. After a mechanical cleaning, Root-X can typically solve all future root problems when treated annually.


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Are caustic liquid drain openers (like Draino or Liquid Plumber) harmful to pipes?

For minor clogs, they’re adequate, but never use them on a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes, and it can severely damage them. If you can’t mechanically clean the drain yourself, contact us to do so. Never use caustic drain openers in a drain that has a garbage disposal.


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Why doesn’t my old water heater work as well as it used to?

This is usually due to a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters grow older, they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these deposits are not removed periodically, the sediment will create a barrier between the burner and the water, greatly reducing the water heater’s performance level. At least once every year, drain all of the water from the tank. Draining the heater on a regular basis helps remove the sediment.

You should also periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow, or if it’s sooty under there, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. Contact us to check it out. At least once every year, have your water heater inspected by a service technician. He or she will also check the drain valve for signs of leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion.


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What’s the best way to extend the life of my garbage disposal?

Always use plenty of cold water when running your disposal, and avoid overloading it. Never dispose of very hard items like bones or corn husks. And never use a caustic drain opener. Never! use your hands to remove items from your gargage disposal.


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What should I do if my garbage disposal stops working?

Before calling a professional, be sure to try the reset switch located on the bottom of most disposals.


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What’s the best way to check for toilet leaks?

Toilet leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year, check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of red food coloring to the tank, and then check the toilet bowl later. If the toilet bowl water is colored red, water is seeping through from the tank. If it is leaking, you may need to replace some of the tank parts.


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