fREQUENTLY aSKED qUESTIONS

Do you offer emergency plumbing?

If we miss your call after-hours, please leave a detailed message.  We will do our best to attend to your plumbing emergency first thing the next day.  However, it is not always possible if prior appointments have been scheduled.

Why is my toilet bubbling?

If your toilet has never bubbled before then this is cause for concern. Let’s check several things starting from least to worst-case scenarios. Remember, the bubbles or gurgling sounds are a symptom of a problem that could be serious. You will want to check the fil valve and several other components. Read this article for a complete list of troubleshooting.

What can you do about a gurgling noise in your sink?

It could be a single fixture issue causing the gurgling noise in your kitchen sink, meaning the problem is only in the kitchen sink drain. If the kitchen sink is gurgling but draining, it’s most likely a partial clog and this is the time to address the problem. If you wait, it will be more difficult to clear the clogged drain and clean the pipesRead this article for more information.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH MY SEWER LINE?

You’ll have chronic blocked drain problems and sewage backups into your house. To figure out the severity of this problem, you may want to consider a sewer camera inspection.

How can I get my jewelry out of my plumbing?

There is, under your sink, a pipe fitting called a P-trap which connects your sink drain to the rest of your plumbing drain system. The P-trap’s function is to keep sewer gas out of your home. Because the P-trap is a literal trap, it’s also good at catching things, such as jewelry, that get dropped into the sink drain.

Since most jewelry is denser and therefore heavier than water, if you accidentally drop it into the sink drain, the jewelry will fall to the bottom of the P-trap and will remain there. The water will be unable to push the jewelry up and over the trap weir. Read this article for full details.

How do I cold-proof my plumbing?

When the temperature outside drops low enough, the water in uninsulated pipes can freeze, and as the water expands into ice, it can tear a hole right through a piece of copper–and, while PEX piping is more flexible and can withstand more stretching, there’s still a risk it could rupture. Why take that risk if you don’t have to?

Fortunately, any pipes in your home’s interior walls are already plenty insulated from the outside cold, unless you live in a giant refrigerator. Aside from those, you may have exposed pipes in your garage; if the garage gets below freezing when the outside temperature drops, you should insulate those as well (you can purchase pipe insulation online or in most hardware stores).  Read this article for full details.

Why is my outdoor hose stuck to my faucet?

The most common type of corrosion encountered by us plumbers is called galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process that occurs when two dissimilar metals come into electric contact with each other, and the results aren’t pretty. Ever had a hose that just wouldn’t come loose, even with a wrench?* You were probably dealing with the results of galvanic corrosion.  Read this article for full details.

What is a hose bibb?

Sometimes called an outdoor faucet (and technically termed “sillcock”), a hose bibb is a valve where you attach your garden hose. And since summer is when you’ll usually use that hose the most, it’s a good idea to have some basic understanding of how a hose bibb works, which is what we’ll cover today–along with some maintenance tips and tricks.  Read this article for full details.

How do I check the age of my water heater?

Your unit will probably have a few different labels on it, but the important one is usually plain and white or light gray. It’ll look something like the one here.

Usually (especially on newer units), the manufacture date will be printed as such right on the label. If not, you can usually figure it out by looking at the first four digits of the serial number.

The water heater associated with this label you can see was manufactured in January 1997 (0197). If your water heater is this old, it means that you’re very lucky–and that you should replace it as soon as possible. Most standard water heaters are warrantied for six years, and the average life expectancy is 10-12. If you’re in that range, it would be wise to keep an eye on it even if you’re not experiencing issues. Read this article for full details.

What is a tankless water heater?

Unlike a traditional water heater, which stores and then heats cold water before dispersing it, a tankless water heater works on demand. That means that until you open up a hot water tap somewhere in your house, the unit remains in standby mode. When you open that hot line, the water heater fires up and heats the cold water as it passes through its heating coils, providing you with hot water as long as you need it. Read this article for full details.