Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions
We asked our plumbers for some of the most common questions homeowners ask -- oh yeah, we asked them to answer them too. Click on the questions below to reveal their answers.
It only cost $38 to get a plumber to your home. They will arrive in a truck stocked with thousands of parts. They'll have everything they need to start your plumbing project while they're at your home, unless the situation is unusual. Most of the time your plumbing project is finished the same day we arrive. Our plumber will perform a thorough evaluation of your plumbing system and explain what they'll need to do to complete the work you called for. They're not going to charge you by the hour, they will give you a total price, with options, before any of the work begins.
Once you approve the project and price, our plumber will begin. If you don't want to proceed with the work while we are there, all you pay is the $38. If you call us back to complete the work you do not pay another $38. Contact us if you'd like to schedule an appointment for a plumber to come to your home.
In order to supply the homes in a neighborhood with sufficient water pressure, the municipality must supply water at a high pressure. This allows for the last home being supplied has enough pressure. If you are in a new neighborhood and the other homes, to take some of the pressure out of the line, have not been built yet could cause high pressure. If your house is at the beginning of a supply line, you may have higher water pressure.
When a home is built, a pressure regulator (PRV) should be installed on the water line where it enters the home, before it supplies any fixtures, including the water heater. The PRV is adjustable, you can change the pressure up or down. If you do not have a PRV installed, installing one would solve your high water pressure. If you have a PRV installed, you can try adjusting it to reduce the pressure. If adjusting it does not help, your PRV may need to be replaced.
There are several things that can cause low water pressure. Here are some of the most common.
If you live at a higher elevation, water can have a harder time reaching your home because it is fighting gravity. If you have neighbors and they don’t seem to be affected, this may not be the case but if everyone suffers from low pressure, this could be the cause.
Your PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve) could be old and no longer working.
If you are in an older home and you have galvanized pipes, it is common for there to be “build up” in the pipes that restrict the flow of water. A re-pipe is often the most cost-effective solution and it is not as invasive as you might think.
If the main water line feeding your home has a leak, between the city’s water meter and your home, you may not even know about it. This can be checked very easily by one of our plumbers. With today’s technology, it’s less invasive than years past.
If the city has an underground waterworks project going on close by, this can cause a temporary drop in pressure. In most cases the City tries to notify residents in the area they may be affected.
A common cause of leaks is high water pressure. Your plumbing fixtures and fittings are rated to operate at a certain water pressure. Anything higher than that poses the risk of a fixture failing prematurely. Most homes are built with a Pressure Regulator Valve (PRV) where the water main enters the home. If the PRV has failed, it's recommended to replace it as soon as you possible.
When your toilet thinks the tank is low on water it will turn the water on and fill it, like after you flush. If your toilet constantly runs you probably have water seeping out of the tank into the bowl from somewhere.
One possible leak point is the toilet flapper. If you have to jiggle the handle, you may have a flapper that does no "set" properly. Your flapper may have worn unevenly and no longer creates a tight seal around the flush valve. Replacing the flapper is a simple project you can do yourself. Here's a video we made showing you How to Replace a Toilet Flapper.
Another possible leak point is the fill valve. This is the part that turns the water on and off to fill the tank. A fill valve can go bad. High water pressure, age, or water quality can affect a fill valve's lifespan. If you consider yourself handy, replacing a fill valve may be something you can do yourself. Here's a video showing you How to Replace a Fill Valve.
If you attempt either of these projects and you need help or you'd rather have a plumber make the repairs for you, please let us know.
Most of the time hot water issues in the house can be traced back to the water heater. But before we just jump to that conclusion, we need to figure out if you are only running out of hot water at that location or if it is throughout the house.
If you run out quickly throughout the whole house, and it is happening faster than you remember, it is possible you have an issue with your water heater. That doesn’t mean you need to replace it, but it might. You may need to flush your water heater, or you may have a cold water dip tube that has broken off. A plumber should be able to inspect the water heater and make recommendations of what your options are.
If you are running out of hot water at a shower or tub and you’re not experiencing that in other areas of the home it is possible you have a mixing valve that has gone bad. The cold water side of the valve may not be closing all the way and diluting the hot water making it tepid.
Over time soap scum, hair, toothpaste, and gunk build up on the walls of the drain pipes restricting how much water can drain. You have a couple of options to try and fix this, most of which you can try without calling a plumber.
We don’t recommend reaching for a bottle of chemical drain cleaners. A safer chemical reaction to try is baking soda and vinegar. You can put a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Let that sit for 15 minutes and then rinse it down the drain with some hot water. You may need to repeat this a couple of times.
You can try treating your drains. Safe products with enzymes are available and very effective. The enzymes eat the organic waste that could be clogging your pipes. These treatments could help open your drains and help them flow better.
You can take the drain pipes apart, under the sink and clean them. Just make sure you pay attention to how they go back together and check for leaks when you’re done.
If you try any of these and feel you’ve gotten in over your head, or you’d rather have a plumber handle it, give us a call and let us know how we can help.
If you notice that your water pressure is lower than normal, first make sure that it is not a neighborhood-wide issue. If it is, try installing a water pressure booster. If the problem is solely in your home, determine if the pressure is low throughout the house or only with one fixture. If it is throughout the house, check that your water pressure reducing valve (if your home has one) is set at a high flow rate. If this does not work or you do not have one, check your water meter to make sure the valves are all the way open. If you find the issue is focused to a single fixture, check for a clogged aerator, flow blockage, or a problem with the stop valve.
If you are still experiencing water pressure problems, contact a professional plumber such as Any Hour Services.
When this happens, it usually means that the rubber washer on your shower valve stem has been worn down and needs to be replaced. You can do this yourself or you can call one of our plumbing specialists.
It certainly is. Our plumbers are more than happy to help look at your plumbing system and alert you to any potential problems.
Most cities/municipalities provide residential areas with a minimum of 40 psi. Average is about 60 psi to 70 psi. If you are somewhere in that range you should be ok.
If you are higher than 75 psi, you should have your PRV (pressure reducing valve) inspected. A plumber can let you know if it needs to be adjusted or replaced.
Higher water pressures can lead to many issues throughout your home, some serious and some not so serious. Inspecting your PRV should be part of an annual plumbing inspection.
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