Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common causes of pipe corrosion?
Pipe corrosion can be caused by a number of things, almost all of which are related to water quality, including:
- Chemicals in the water
- The pH of the water
- The amount of oxygen in the water
- The temperature of the water
- The water pressure and the speed at which the water moves through the pipes.
How can I check if I have a leak?
Can leaks get bigger over time?
Do I really need to worry about hidden leaks?
Yes! Not only do leaks get larger with age (see above) but they can also potentially cause damage to your home. Leak detection and repair offers a number of other benefits, including:
- Reduced or eliminated water loss
- Reduced risk of damage associated with leaks
- Reduced need for emergency repairs
- Reduced need for water treatment and pressurization
How do I clean my new faucets?
How much water is wasted from a dripping faucet?
A single drop from once faucet may not seem like a lot. In fact, it takes 15,140 drops to equal a single gallon. But think about it this way:
- If you have one faucet that leaks 10 times a minute, that’s 14,400 drips per day – 347 gallons per year from a single faucet!
- Multiply that by three faucets and it’s over 1,000 gallons!
If you want to figure out how much your faucet is leaking, count how many times it drips in a minute. Once you figure that out, you can figure out how many times it drips per hour – number of drips x 60 – or per day – drips x 1440. From there, you can divide the total number of drips into 15,140 to get the number of gallons you could save by calling Ability Plumbing for faucet repair!
Should I repair or replace leaky faucets?
What causes a faucet to leak?
Inspect all the components of your faucet – you should see washers, O-rings or seals and possibly springs – and figure out exactly what you need to replace. Find the precise parts at a hardware store and put the faucet back together. If all goes well, your faucet should be back to normal. If not, call Len The Plumber for faucet repair!
Is there anything I shouldn’t put down my toilet?
You really shouldn’t put ANYTHING down your toilet, except what’s supposed to go down there. Avoid putting in things like:
- Baby wipes, napkins, facial tissue or paper towels. While these will flush fine, they don’t break down the way toilet tissue does and will cause clogs or damage your septic system.
- Sanitary products or diapers
- Q-tips, cotton balls or dental floss
- Food scrap
- Small toys
- Cat litter
My water bills are going up, but I don’t think we have a leak. What’s going on?
Put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and make sure no one uses that toilet for about a half hour. Once the half hour is up, come back and check if any of the food coloring leaked into the bowl. If it has, call Ability Plumbing for toilet repair as soon as you can!
My toilet constantly sounds like it’s running. Is there anything I can do to fix it?
Yes – it just depends on what’s going on.
- If you’ve ever opened your toilet tank, you’ve probably seen a metal or plastic ball resting on the top of the water. This is called the float, and it governs how high the toilet fills. If the float is cracked, water will seep inside and the ball won’t be able to sit above the water. As a result, the toilet can overfill and water can leak into the overflow tube, creating an endless cycle of filling and draining that will wreak havoc on your water bill. Sometimes, fixing the float just involves bending the metal arm it is attached to so the float sits on top of the water – just be careful not to snap it! In newer toilets, the float rides up and down in a plastic tube. While these are generally more durable than float arms, occasionally the ball will get stuck on grit or debris and may need to be moved manually a few times to remove the obstacle.
- If the float ball isn’t the issue, check the chain attached to the handle. If the chain is too long, it could get trapped under the flap and let water through. If it’s too short, it won’t allow the flap to seal properly. Shorten it or replace it as necessary.
- If that’s still not the case, you probably have a leaky flapper valve. The flapper valve is located at the bottom of the tank and is generally pretty easy to replace – just pop it off and put a new one in.
Why does water back up into the sink when I run the dishwasher?
Is there anything I should NOT put down my garbage disposal?
Yes – in fact, there are a lot of things that should never go down a garbage disposal. Fibrous foods, including celery, asparagus, and artichokes can wrap around the blades and choke them. In addition, you should avoid putting down:
- Potato skins
- Bone fragments and eggshells
- Banana peels
- Fats / grease
- Unpopped popcorn kernels
- Onion skins
- Fruit pits and seeds
- Stringy vegetables like asparagus and celery
My garbage disposal broke down – what do I do?
What size sump pump do I need?
What is the most common reason for sump pump failure?
Do I need a sump pump?
What are some of the biggest benefits tankless water heaters offer over conventional heaters?
Another benefit is that since there’s no stored water, there’s no risk of an untimely leak (flooding from water heaters is one of the most common homeowner insurance claims!). And, since you’re only heating the water you’re using, you’ll see major reductions on your energy bills.
What size tankless water heater do I need?
Everyone’s needs are different so it’s hard to say without knowing exactly what’s going on in your home. To get a rough idea of the size (gallons per minute capacity) you’ll need, think about how much water you use on a daily basis – how long are your family’s showers? How often do you run the dishwasher or washing machine? Do you ever use them at the same time? Try to get a rough estimate of how much water you use, then call Ability Plumbing to install a tankless water heater that meets your family’s needs.
I’ve heard tankless water heaters are unreliable. Is this true?
Can I use a tankless water heater if I have hard water?
Why is my water heater’s relief valve leaking?
High pressure coming from your water heater can cause your relief valve to leak. There are a few reasons for this:
- Incoming water pressure from the main water line is too high.
- Thermal expansion (water expanding in volume as it is heated) is causing the pressure to build up.
The easiest way to deal with a leaky relief valve is to call Ability Plumbing to replace it!
Why does my hot water heater not work as well in the winter?
Will a tankless water heater work for me?
In most cases, yes! There are very few situations in which tankless water heaters will not work (you can ask a top tankless water heater technician about these), and most will work in areas where conventional storage tank water heaters would not. Most tankless water heaters are about the size of a suitcase and require about 120V, 60Hz and 3 amps of power – requirements almost any house meets.
How can I tell if I need a water heater replacement?
A well maintained gas water heater should last you about 8-12 years. An electric water heater will last longer, around 10-15 years. A tankless water heater will last you even longer than that! That said, you should think about having your water heater replaced if you notice any of the following signs:
- Rust colored water
- Lack of hot water
- Moisture or flooding around the base of your water heater
If you are on a well, the hard water can limit your water heater’s lifespan. Water softening or installing a water conditioner will help extend the life of your water heater.