Here are our answers to the top 5 most commonly asked plumbing questions.
1) Why does the toilet keep running?
This is probably the most commonly asked plumbing question. In most cases it is caused by the flapper not closing on or making a proper seal around the flush valve. If the flapper is not closing, then jiggle the handle and that will normally fix the issue. If the flapper is worn out and not properly sealing, then you will have to have the flapper replaced. Either way if the flapper does not seal the water will leak into the toilet and the tank will not fill with water to push the float up and turn off the supply of water.
2) What can I put in my garbage disposal?
Garbage disposals are not macerators and will only break up soft debris. Mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, eggs etc. are ok to put in the disposal. Things like bones, coffee grounds, egg shells or any hard product will wear the blades and jam the disposal. You should always run water to the disposal to help break down the foods and flush through the drain.
3) Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners?
Drain cleaners are very toxic. If you ever look on the back of the product you will notice at least 3 warning labels. These are not very good products to have laying around your house especially if you have kids or pets. These toxic chemicals are also very bad for your pipes, causing them to deteriorate from the inside out. If this happens your drain lines will need to be replaced. There are enzymes and friendly bacteria products that will keep grease and sludge from building up inside of your pipes.
4) Why do we run out of hot water so quickly?
Depending on the age and type of your heater there are a couple of reason you may be running out so quickly.
Electric water heaters commonly have 2 elements that heat the water. The top element and the lower element. Chances are if you are running out of hot water quickly the lower element is not working and only the top portion of the tank is being heated. If the top element stops working, then neither will heat and you will have no hot water.
There is also a reset button on an electric water heater that can trip. If the reset button is tripped that is an indicator that there is a more serious problem.
If you have a gas hot water tank the most common reason is the dip tube. The dip tube is a piece of pipe that directs the cold water to the bottom of the tank to get heated. Over time this dip tube can get shorter causing the cold water to mix with the hot causing temped water.
5) Why does my drain get clogged?
In most cases drains get clogged because people are not careful of what goes in the drain, especially in the kitchen. Other drains, like the bathroom get clogged due to residues from soap and hair. It is recommended that you are conscious of what you put down your drain and to treat them with a safe cleaner.