Plumbing FAQs, Tips & Tricks

Q?

Why does my faucet leak?

A.

Most household leaks are a result from worn washers or o-rings in faucets and showerheads. All household faucets including kitchen, bathroom, basement, storage room and outside faucets should be checked on a regular basis.

Q?

Can I change my two handle faucet to a single handle faucet?

A.

The answer in most cases is yes. Generally, faucet dimensions and sink openings are standard throughout the plumbing industry. There are a few exceptions however, so it is a good idea to check sizes first.

Q?

Why does my gas water heater not work as well as it used to?

A.

In a gas water heater, the usual culprit is mineral deposits on the bottom of the tank, primarily composed of lime and other minerals from local reservoirs. These deposits tend to insulate the water from the heat created by the gas burner, leading to a very slow recovery. Also all storage type water heaters utilize a part known as a dip tube, whose job is to carry the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank while the hot water is drawn off the top. These tubes tend to degrade over time, allowing cold water to be drawn into the hot water supply.

Q?

Why does my electric water heater not work as well as it used to?

A.

In an electric water heater, mineral deposits accumulate on the heating elements causing disruptions in proper function. A defective element or thermostat will cause a reduction in the amount of hot water. Also all storage type water heaters utilize a part known as a dip tube, whose job is to carry the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank while the hot water is drawn off the top. These tubes tend to degrade over time, allowing cold water to be drawn into the hot water supply.

Q?

What is thermal expansion?

A.

Whenever water is heated it expands and this is called thermal expansion. Thermal expansion can cause the pressure to increase in a plumbing system where a backflow device has been installed. To prevent this problem a thermal expansion device is installed on the cold water side of interior plumbing to allow for this pressure relief.

Q?

Master water shut off valve?

A.

Everyone in the household should be aware of the location of the master shut-off valve in the event that a pipe should burst anywhere in the home.

Q?

Do you smell something?

A.

If you detect a sewer odor in your home or business, there may be a dry trap in the drainage system. All drains leading to a sewer system have a p-trap which is usually filled with water. This trap provides a seal to keep out sewer odors. If a drain is rarely used, water can evaporate from this trap over time. Eventually, the seal is eliminated which allows the sewer gas and odor into your house. We recommend pouring bleach and hot water down any drains that are not used at least once a month to help eliminate sewer odors.

Q?

Water heater precautions?

A.

Increasing the temperature setting above 120ºF may cause severe burns and consume excessive energy. Hotter water increases the risk of scald injury.

Q?

How full should my dishwasher be?

A.

Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is full of just partially full of dishes, so be sure to fill it. Many dishwashers have a water saver cycle to save even more water.

Q?

What is the proper water level for my laundry?

A.

Unlike your dishwasher, you can control the amount of water used by your washing machine. Select the proper water level for each load of laundry. Many newer washing machines have incorporated water saving features.

Q?

When do I need to water my lawn?

A.

Do it early or late, not in the midday heat. Avoid windy days. Don’t water the driveway or sidewalk. A good soaking encourages excellent root systems.

Q?

What type of toilet paper should I use?

A.

We recommend not using thick toilet paper; the newer 1.28 gallon commodes utilize less water per flush. This may hinder complete waste/paper disposal which may result in drainage issues.

Q?

How do I reduce my water usage and save money?

A.

Check all faucets, pipes and commodes periodically for leaks. A faucet drip or invisible leak in the commode will add up to 15 gallons of water a day or 105 gallons a week, which adds up to 5,475 gallons of wasted water a year.

Q?

When to reapply caulking?

A.

We recommend applying caulk around the tub and shower every three years or as needed to help prevent water damage.