Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any tips I can use to prevent clogged drains?
Common things that clog drains in your bathroom and kitchen sinks include hair, soap chips, cooking oils, fats, food particles, and many other items. To prevent drain clogs, do the following:
- Use a drain screen in bath and shower drains to prevent unnecessary blockage. Clean drain screens regularly.
- Clean out the stoppers in your sink. Any excess gunk that is left in your sink stoppers can slow down water flow.
- Refrain from pouring substances like grease, cooking oils, and chemicals down your drains. Grease and oils can harden in your pipes and chemicals can erode pipes.
- To make sure your pipes are passing water at maximum capacity, pour boiling water down your drains to clear out any potential substance build-up.
What is the vibrating noise that I’m hearing in my pipes?
Minor disturbances can occur when a faucet or valve is loose, which can result in a rattling or knocking sound. Your pipes may be loose if you hear similar sounds when you quickly open and close your faucets, which can be fixed by anchoring pipes more securely. They also have various types of equipment which can be attached to the ends of your hoses and watering supplies that make it easy to attach and detach items to each other but that can also prevent water from flowing when it is hooked together. Adding air chambers to the end of long runs of pipes may also help with unwanted sounds.
Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom faucet?
If your bathroom sink is the only place where you are having a problem with your water pressure, the most common reason is due to a build-up of calcium or other minerals behind your shutoff valves. Shut off the water valves under the sink, remove one line at a time, and reopen the valve and run the water into a bucket. If pressure is still low, you need to shut off the water to your home, remove the shutoff valve, and unclog the valve. If pressure from the valve is good, it could be a clogged or collapsed hose. In this case, replace the flex hoses to your faucet.
How do I take care of my faucets and sinks?
Even if leaks and drips are small, they can waste thousands of gallons of water daily. It is a good idea to repair these leaks in a timely manner to eliminate excessive amounts of water waste and also routinely check under your sink for leaks or areas of moisture. Taking of leaks fast also ensures limited damage to your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Faucet aerators should be cleaned annually to guarantee that your water is flowing evenly.
I want to replace my two-handed faucet with a single-handed faucet. Is this possible?
Except for in rare cases, this should give you no problem. Within the plumbing industry, fixture dimensions and sink openings have standard sizes. Knowing the size of your sink opening will help you in the process of buying new plumbing fixtures.
Is there anything I can do about a blocked sewer line?
If your sewer line is clogged, roots are the likely cause. Unfortunately, once the roots block the line, you will need to have them cleared by a plumbing professional, or possibly replaced. The good thing is that modern methods for sewer line repair and replacement are of minimal intrusiveness to your home and property. High-tech methods of sewer replacement no longer require the digging of trenches on your property and with the use of polyethylene pipe (HDPE); you are guaranteed zero root intrusion, zero leaks, no corrosion, and no more worrying about a clogged sewer line in your future.
Are store bought drain cleaners harmful to my pipes?
It is alright to use these products on minor clogs but if you have a completely clogged drain you should NEVER attempt to use these products to fix it. It can do much more damage than you would expect. For severely clogged drains you need to either snake the drain yourself or rely on a trusted local professional to take care of this problem for you. Also, it is important to note that on drains that have garbage disposals attached, you should never use a caustic drain cleaner.While they may seem like the easy solution to a clog, chemical drain openers represent a potentially serious, if not lethal, consequence if not used properly. Why? Chemically opening a drain rarely removes the problem completely. Usually the chemical burns a hole through the obstruction, which allows the wastewater to drain away, but leaves elements behind that will cause another obstruction to form later. Chemicals mixed with other agents already in the drain can cause a violent reaction, resulting in blindness and permanent skin damage. Using more than one kind of chemical drain opener can also create a chemical mixture that can either be volatile or release toxic fumes. Call your plumbing professional if you have any doubts about what you are doing or using when you encounter a clogged drain.
I’m having a problem with the efficiency of my water heater. What gives?
Water heaters, much like drains, have the tendency to acquire their own form of build-up, which are usually lime and sediment deposits. It is important to clear out this build-up periodically the water heater’s performance level can be negatively affected. It is recommended to drain some water from your water heater tank, around a gallon, about 3-4 times a year. Doing so can help reduce levels of sediment that may be building up in your water heater. Another way to check to monitor the performance level of your water heater is by checking the burner. A healthy, safe flame looks blue with yellow tips. If your flame is discolored or the area underneath your water heater has acquired areas of soot, you need to contact a professional to take a look at it. You could have a dangerous clog that requires immediate attention for safety purposes.
What are the proper steps to care for my garbage disposal?
Don’t overload it! Shoving too many things in your disposal can lead to malfunction. Also be sure never to use extremely hard items in it like bones, squash peels, corn husks, and more. When using your garbage disposal, run cold water to saturate the materials you are disposing of and to make sure there is no blockage occurring. If you think you may have a clog in your disposal, it is important that you DO NOT use a caustic drain cleaner.If your garbage disposal stops working, don’t panic! Try hitting the reset switch which can be found on the bottom of most disposals. If that doesn’t work, you may need professional assistance to fix the problem.
What’s the best way to check for toilet leaks?
Any sort of water leak can be very wasteful whether it is from a faucet, toilet, or any other plumbing fixture, not to mention, expensive. While leaky faucets are noticeable, toilet leaks are not and are actually one of the most common reasons for an increase in bills. Here are some ways you can tell if your toilet is leaking:
1. If you have to jiggle the handle to stop the toilet from running
2. When your toilet is making sounds when it is not being used
3. Having to hold down the handle so the tank will empty
4. If the toilet water turns on without you touching the handle
If you are hearing any of these common symptoms, you most likely have a leaky toilet!
How often should I open/close the main water supply shutoff valve?
Doing this is highly recommended. If you have a water emergency, the last thing you want to find out in that moment is that your valve is stuck in the open position. By periodically opening and closing your water valve, you minimalize your chance for valve problems in the future. The same can be said for all of your plumbing shutoff valves including those on your toilets, sinks, and tubs. A little attention goes a long way!
Contact Pratt today to speak with one of our friendly representatives: 806-373-7866