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Frequently Asked
Plumbing Questions

What should I do in the event of a leak or flood?

The best course of action is to act immediately. Use an old bucket or pot to catch the leak and give us a call. We’ll do everything we can do get there as soon as possible.

The most frequent plumbing-related questions received from customers can be found below. We provide a page for common problems to inform customers of and about relevant plumbing issues. If you discover that you have any of the issues below, please call us to schedule a call today!

Why do faucets leak?

A leaky faucet can result from a number of different issues. Some common causes include:

  • A problem in the O-ring
  • A corroded valve seat
  • A worn-out washer
  • Improper installation
  • Wear and tear

In order to determine the root cause of the issue, we encourage you to contact us to set up an assessment session.

Is a clogged toilet caused by a blocked trap or drainpipe?

A clog can occur for multiple different reasons. A clogged trap likely has debris in it, while a drainpipe could be leaky or malfunctioning.

How do I shut off the water to my home?

Check your valve. It’s usually in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. You can turn it off by turning it clockwise, which will cut off the water supply for the entire house.

How often should I upgrade my plumbing fixtures?

Generally, every 10-12 years is a good time to upgrade your water heater. Drain lines, toilets, and pipes should last 20-40 years if installed correctly. However, if you’re experiencing any issues, it’s best to act immediately to minimize any potential damage.

Why is my shower pressure so weak?

A clogged shower head is usually the source of weak shower pressure. Sometimes, the culprit is a leaky valve. If you’re not sure, be sure to contact us so we can assess the situation for you.

How do I fix a clogged bathtub and sink drain?

Loose hair, soap remnants, or hair ties could be the problem. Use a pair of pliers to remove any excess gunk from your bathtub and sink. If your drain clogs persistently, be sure to get in touch with us for a comprehensive inspection.

How do I unclog a toilet?

In the event of a clogged toilet, a plunger is your best bet. Hot water and dishwater detergent can also help with a small clog. If neither of those methods works, it may be best to leave it to a professional like ourselves to unclog it.

What should I do if I have a plumbing emergency?

In the event of a plumbing emergency, you should contact an emergency plumber like ourselves immediately. Reach out to us, and we’ll give you some over-the-phone guidance while we’re on our way to your location.

Why is my toilet always running?

A broken toilet flapper or chain could very well be the source of the issue. If you suspect that your toilet is always running, get it looked at now, because excess water could mean dozens of gallons of wasted water a day.

What causes a leaky faucet?

The most common causes of leaking sink faucets result from defective parts like o-rings, washers and gaskets. Additionally, corrosion and mineral deposits can also cause faucets to leak.

How can I check if there is a leak?

Locate your water meter and record the level. Do not use any water for several hours, and then recheck your meter. If the level has changed without any water being used, there might be a leak.

Is there anything I shouldn't put down in my toilet?

The only thing that should go in your toilet besides waste is toilet paper. Anything else can clog the toilet.

My water bills are going up, but I do not think I have any leaks. What could be the problem?

Water may be leaking from your toilet unnoticed. To find out, put some food coloring in the tank of your toilet. After 30 mins, return to see if any of the colored water has leaked into the toilet. If so, you may leak into your toilet. Our technicians are available to assist with this issue.

Why does my toilet always sound like it's running?

If you open your toilet tank, you will see a metal or plastic ball at the top, above the water. This is called the float, and it determines how high the water fills. If the float is cracked, water will seep inside, and the ball will sit down in the water. If this happens, the toilet can overfill, and water can leak into the overflow tube. As a result, it creates an endless cycle of filling and draining that will increase your water bill. Sometimes, you can fix the float by bending the metal arm it is attached to and make the float sit on top of the water again. Be careful with the component; you do not want to break it. In new toilets, the float sits in the water in a plastic tube. These tubs are generally more durable than float arms, but the ball can get stuck on grit or debris, and you may have to move it manually to remove the obstacle.

If the float ball is not the issue, it may be the chain to the handle. A chain that is too long can get trapped under the flap and let water escape. If it’s too short, it won’t allow the flap to seal correctly.

If the above steps do not fix the issue, then you likely have a leaky flapper valve. The flapper valve can be found at the bottom of the tank and is relatively easy to replace.

Why does the water back up into the sink when I run the dishwasher?

When this happens, there is likely food stuck at your disposal. The disposal drain and dishwasher drain are all connected. A clog in any of these can cause a backup in one of the others. Ensure your garbage disposal does not have any food particles in it before turning on the dishwasher. Also, make sure to run the garbage disposal with cold water. If you have a backup, plug the sink and fill it with water. Once the sink is full, remove the plug and let the water drain. Sometimes, the force of the water removes the blockage. But, if there is still a backup, give us a call. We have garbage disposals readily available.

How can I tell if I need a sump pump?

If your basement continuously floods, then you likely need a new sump pump. A sump pump will prevent the basement and laundry areas and storage rooms from being damaged during heavy rains or in places where the water table is high.

What are the benefits of tankless water heaters vs. conventional heaters?

Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water. Traditional tank water heaters have a limited water capacity, between 40 – 60 gallons. However, tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through the system. This provides an endless amount of hot water, and since tankless water heaters do not store water, there’s no risk of a leak. Additionally, since you only heat the water you use, you can save money on your energy bill.

How can I tell if I need a water heater replacement?

If you have any of the following, you likely need to replace your water heater:

  • Rust-colored water
  • Lack of hot water
  • Moisture or flooding around the base of your water heater

A gas water heater should last 8-12 years, an electric water heater, 10-15 years, and a tankless water heater will last even longer. However, well water can limit the lifespan of your water heater. Installing a water conditioner or using water softening, or installing a water conditioner will help extend your water heater’s life.

Why does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?

A combination of hydrogen, sulfur, and bacteria in the water can produce a foul smell. Naturally present in the water you use, sulfur and bacteria will not make you sick. However, when the magnesium anode rod in your water heater tank reacts with the water’s sulfur and bacteria, it creates enough hydrogen to create an odor. Call us if your water smells foul, and we will access and fix the cause of it.

What do I do if my toilet overflows?

A leak in the tank’s fill valve or deterioration of the shaft or wire that sets the fill level can cause a toilet to overflow. If this happens, call us to schedule an appointment, and we will fix it right away.

Why do my pipes rattle and make noise all the time?

If your pipes rattle and make noise, likely, your water lines are not secured properly. There may be places where the pipes rub up against your floor joists.

How can I get an estimate?

Getting an estimate is easy. All you have to do is give us a call at (703) 731-4588. We’ll be happy to offer an over-the-phone estimate, or set up an in-person assessment to determine a more accurate price.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation