General Plumbing Tips from Our Cincinnati Plumbers
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We understand that plumbing problems can be stressful. That is why we are happy to provide answers to some commonly-asked questions below. We have been in business for over 30 years and are happy to assist you by providing some plumbing tips.
How Do I Know if I Have a Plumbing Emergency?
True plumbing emergencies that require immediate attention usually come in three types:
- Gas Leak: It’s safest to not take any chances. If you smell a natural gas odor, leave the premises immediately and go to a safer location to call 911 and the gas company.
- Water Leak: A water leak can be contained and shut off until help arrives. If the leak is localized near a faucet or fixture, look for a shut-off valve. If this is not readily available, go to the basement of the building, or where the main water supply enters the building and look for a valve to shut off the water to the entire building.
- Sewer Backup: If your sewer is backing up, immediately stop using any plumbing, which can help limit additional damage to your property. If water is still rising, call City of Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District at 513-352-4900.
These steps will help you minimize damage and control the problem until one of the plumbers from BEST Plumbing can come to your home and fix the problem once and for all.
My Water Bill Keeps Going Up. What Should I Do?
If you notice a random spike in your water bill, this usually means that you have a leak somewhere on your property. Do your best to investigate yourself by checking if pipes are coated with excess moisture or appear to be rusting. Do not forget to check your outside plumbing system by looking for random puddles or wet spots on your lawn. Leaks are not always easy to spot, but it is important that you reach out to us before your plumbing causes further damage to your property.
A switching problem is usually the reason why sump pumps fail. If the pump moves inside of the basin, it can cause the float to become lodged against the side. Debris can also interfere with the action of the switch. With a machine that is as important as this one, it is important to frequently check that your switch and float arm assembly can move freely.
It is also important to keep in mind that whether or not they are used, sump pumps do not last forever. Internal parts can wear out and stop working. Fortunately, we are fully capable of maintaining, repairing, and replacing these vital machines.
Do I Need a Pressure-Balanced Shower Valve?
Our Cincinnati plumbing professionals recommend that pressure-balanced shower valves should be in households that have more than one bathroom. This is to prevent the temperature of the water from drastically changing when another water fixture on the property is being used.
How Do I Know if My Toilet Is Leaking?
A leaking toilet may sound like a problem that is easy to recognize, but this issue can go unnoticed for a long time.
There are many signs that your toilet might be leaking or in need of repair, including:
- You notice an increase on your water bill
- The handle on your toilet is loose
- Water continues to run from the tank into the toilet bowl after the flushing process is complete
- Your tank will not refill after you flush
- You have to hold the toilet handle down throughout the entirety of the flush
- Your toilet is making noise when it is not in use
- There are water spots or mold along the wall behind the toilet tank
- You need to jiggle the handle in order to stop the toilet from running or flushing
- Your toilet starts to run without prior flushing
My Garbage Disposal Stinks. What Do I Do?
There are a couple of simple tricks to help resolve this problem:
- Drop a few ice cubes into your disposal and run it, flushing it with water afterwards.
- Grind up some lemon peels or pour lemon juice into your disposal and run it. Then flush it with water.
Should I Let Water Run While Using the Disposal?
You must always have water running while the motor is running in your disposal. We also recommend letting the water run even a few seconds after you have switched it off to help food pass through the pipes.
What Is Safe to Put Down My Garbage Disposal?
Make sure that you only put non-fibrous foods down the garbage disposal. Meat, eggs, eggshells, apples, citric fruit peelings, coffee grounds, etc. are safe for most garbage disposals. Avoid placing fibrous foods (celery, asparagus), pastas, potato peels, and any non-food items in your disposal.
Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?
If your disposal does not make any noise when you flip the switch, try hitting the reset button at the bottom of the unit. If your unit is making noise when the switch is flipped, but the blades don’t appear to be spinning, it could be because something is jammed in the propeller. You can try removing the foreign object, but make sure the switch to your disposal is off. Sometimes an Allen wrench can be used to crank the propeller and remove whatever is causing the jam. If you still don’t have any luck, our team of expert technicians can safely fix this for you or replace the unit if necessary.
Why Is the Water Pressure in My Shower Low?
One of the most common reasons for loss of water pressure in the shower is a shower head that is plugged with water deposits such as rust and dirt from your pipes. You can try to remove the shower head from the pipe and check it for deposits. We recommend that you clean the shower head gently with an old toothbrush and rinse it to remove all of the dirt. You can also run the water without the shower head on to possibly remove any leftover dirt in the pipes.
If this process does not help with the water pressure, give our handy plumbers a call. There may be a problem with the shower valve or a shower valve cartridge that needs to be replaced.
Please note, if water pressure seems low in several areas in your house, there could be a more serious problem. Homes older than 40 years old usually have galvanized pipes throughout the house, which tend to deteriorate and cause rust to build up inside of the pipes. This can slow down the water flow.
Can Old Faucets Be Repaired?
It depends on the faucet. Sometimes it is more efficient to replace an old faucet with a new one. We provide our best recommendation after we take a look and help you make the decision that is best for you.
How Do I Shut Off the Main Valves During an Emergency?
Make sure you know exactly where the valves in your home are located, especially your gas valves. If you don’t know, you can have one of our plumbers show you.
My Water Heater Sounds Like a Bubbling Hot Tub. What’s Wrong?
This is usually sign that you will need to replace your water heater in the near future. This sound indicates that the bottom of your water heater is lined with sediments, causing it to overheat. Like boiling water in a pot, bubbles rise to the top to create the sound that you are worried about. Try to carefully drain your water heater and see if this resolves the issue. You can also reach out to our Cincinnati plumbing experts and we can quickly resolve the problem for you and replace your water heater if it becomes necessary.
What Causes Low Water Pressure & What Can I Do About It?
Low water pressure can be caused by a variety of things including, but not limited to:
- A shut-off valve may be partially closed or not functioning
- There may be a crimp in the water line
- Buildup may have gathered in the pipes over time
- There may be a clog in the system
Our resourceful plumbers have cutting edge video inspection equipment that we can insert into your pipes to identify the problem and get your water pressure back to normal.
How Do I Maintain My Water Heater?
Draining your water heater from time to time is a great way to manually maintain it and prolong its life. This process cleans the tank and helps remove deposits that build up inside and can cause damage to your water heater or cause it to overheat.
How Long Does a Water Heater Last?
A water heater can last between 5 and 12 years, depending on the type of model it is and how well it is maintained. Its lifespan also depends on the quality of your water and if the unit is installed properly. We recommend that you check your water heater frequently to ensure there is no rust or deterioration around the valves or pipes. These regular check-ups can also give you a good idea of what condition your unit is in.
“Prompt, courteous, and professional. Used BEST plumbers a few times now. Each time I’ve had a good experience. They’re very knowledgeable and will not try to upsell or provide you with stuff you don’t need. Worth the price of the visit and repairs.”B. Munoz