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FAQ’s

DRAINS

How can I prevent clogged drains?

  • Do not put fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink drain.
  • Make sure all of your tub and shower drains have a strainer that catches hair and be sure to clean the strainer regularly.

Can I use Drain-o, Liquid Plumber or other chemical drain cleaners to clear a clog?

Chemical drain cleaners often produce heat, which may soften or warp plastic drain pipes. Corroded iron or steel pipes may also be damaged by heat and chemical reactions between the cleanser and the clog. Additionally, when used in homes with septic systems, the chemicals can kill the bacteria that breaks down waste in the septic tank, causing it to work slower or stop entirely. Drains should be snaked to remove clogs.

Why is there a foul odor coming from my drains?

When a drain, such as a basement floor drain, is not used very often, the trap that usually holds water and blocks sewer gases from coming back up through the pipe can become empty. Usually pouring a couple of quarts of water down the drain will solve the problem by refilling the trap and blocking the odors again. If it does not stop the smell, please contact us for further assistance.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL

My garbage disposal just randomly stopped working. Help!

Sometimes the motor in a garbage disposal will get overloaded. When this happens, the disposal will shut itself down and may appear to be broken. Check under the unit beneath the sink and locate a small red reset button. If it has popped out, you can press it back in and the disposal will likely start working again.

How do I get rid of the bad smell coming from my garbage disposal?

Over time, the build-up of food debris can cause an unpleasant smell to seep up from your disposal. Here are some tips to get rid of this smell and clean your disposal.

  • Pour 2 cups of ice and the rinds from two oranges or lemons into the disposal and grind. If you do not have the fresh fruit on hand, substitute with 2 cups of orange or lemon juice.
  • If the fruit and ice do not remove all of the odor, pour 2 cups of baking soda followed by 2 cups of vinegar down the disposal. This will create a foam that will break up bacteria.
  • When the odor is gone, rinse the disposal by running about 2 quarts of hot water through it. This flushes out any leftover rind particles and prevents new bacteria from forming.

WATER HEATER

How often does my water heater need to be drained?

It is important to drain your water heater at least once every year to ensure proper function and prolong the life of the heater.

Why won’t the pilot stay lit on my water heater?

This usually means that the thermocouple on the heater has gone bad and needs to be replaced.

How long should a water heater last?

How long should a water heater last? Most water heaters, gas or electric, will last between ten and twenty years depending on the quality of your local water and the heater itself. Properly maintaining your water heater will help it last longer.

Tankless water heaters require the less maintenance since they do not hold standing water. You can expect this type of water heater to last between twenty to thirty years. An indirect water heater can last up to thirty years as well.

BATHROOM

How do I remove mineral build-up on my showerhead?

Take a plastic bag and pour a cup of vinegar in it. Place the bag over the shower head and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the deposits.

How do I prevent getting scalded or frozen whenever a toilet is flushed while I am in the shower?

The easiest way to prevent this situation is to replace the shower valve or install a tempura valve.

Why does my toilet keep running after I flush it?

If you see water flowing into the overflow tube when the toilet runs, there is something wrong with the fill valve. If water is leaking from the tank into the bowl, the problem is with the flush-valve assembly.

Why is my toilet making a gurgling sound?

A gurgling sink, toilet or bathtub can be caused by problems on the roof of a home. The plumbing vent line can become clogged by snow, ice or small animals. Installing a larger top piece of pipe up to 4 inches in diameter can help eliminate problems caused by ice. Making the plumbing vent longer with an extension piece can eliminate problems caused by snow. Covering the end of the vent pipe with a hardware cloth held in place with a hose clamp will keep animals from falling in your plumbing vent pipe. If your vent pipe is well protected and you are still experiencing this bubbling or gurgling, please contact us to have a professional take a look at it.

MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES

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

Yes. This will help ensure that it will close properly if you ever need to close it during an emergency. You should also close and open other shutoff valves in your home on your tubs, sinks, and toilets for the same reason.

Why are my pipes making strange noises?

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Why are my pipes making strange noises?

There are a few reasons your pipes may be making noise

  • An immediate increase in water pressure when the speed or direction of water in pipes changes suddenly can cause a banging sound and a vibration when water is turned off. A pressure-reducing valve can be installed to prevent these noises. Note: This pressure is capable of doing damage to pipes and appliances and should be addresses asap.
  • If your pipes are not properly supported, even normal water use can cause them to vibrate or even knock against one another. Installing pipe supports will hold them in place and make them less likely to vibrate
  • Temperature changes can cause a ticking, tapping or knocking sound in your pipes. This is caused by the expansion of the pipe materials, particularly if you have PVC piping. Make sure to keep your hot water heater set to 120°F so that water isn’t getting too hot and consider insulating your pipes
  • When you have air in the lines, pipes can vibrate and sputter or spit violently, making lots of noise. Try running your faucets, pushing the air out, until the water flow returns to normal.

What causes low water pressure and what can I do about it?

There are several things that could cause low water pressure, including a partially closed or malfunctioning shut off valve, a crimped water line, or deposits that gather in older galvanized pipes. If your neighbors have strong water pressure, the problem is most likely between the water meter and your home. A qualified WaterWork plumbing technician will be able to identify the problem and explain your options.