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When I fill a container with hot water it is milky, but after a few minutes, the water in the container clears up. What causes this?
Complaints of discolored water are commonly blamed on water heaters and storage tanks, but in fact, it is a rare occurrence for today’s high quality glass lined tanks to have a lining failure significant enough to allow water to contact enough bare metal to discolor the contents of even a small tank. The most common cause of “rusty” water is a non-toxic iron reducing bacteria, scientifically termed Crenothrix, Leptothrix, and Gallionella. Water heaters and storage tanks usually require new anode rods as presence of iron bacteria contributes to premature anode failure. The simplest treatment available is shock-chlorination of the system. This is a surface treatment, and often requires repeated trials in heavily infected systems. The chlorination of a system requires that you follow each step explicitly to avoid an un-treated portion of the piping system from reinfecting another part.
My cold water doesn’t smell, what is the solution for this problem?
The most common cause of “smelly water” is a non-toxic sulfate reducing bacteria, scientifically termed Divibrio Sulfurcans. This bacteria often enters the water system through construction or a break in ground piping. The bacteria creates the energy it needs to survive by converting sulfate (SO4) to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas you smell in the water. Hydrogen sulfide gas is distinctive because of its rotten egg-like stench. Its presence can severely affect the taste as well as the odor of the water. The simplest treatment available is the shock-chlorination of the system. This is a surface treatment, and often requires repeated trials in heavily infected systems. The chlorination of a system requires that you follow each step explicitly to avoid an un-treated portion of the piping system from reinfecting another part. Longer lasting solutions include chlorination or aeration of the water supply.
There are several things that could cause low water pressure, including a partially closed or malfunctioning shut off valve, a crimped water line, or deposits that gather in older galvanized pipes. If your neighbors have strong water pressure, the problem is most likely between the water meter and your home. our qualified plumbing technician will be able to identify the problem and explain your options.
A broken water line out in the yard may include an excessively high water bill, puddles in your yard or the sound of running water when no faucets or appliances are using water. Our plumbing technicians can “see” inside your pipes with Video Camera Drain Inspection technology. We can pinpoint the problem without needless trial and error destruction of working pipes. In many cases we can fix the problem right away and save you money.
You may be able to insert an Allen wrench into the bottom of the disposer and “crank” it to help free up a jam. If this doesn’t work, DON’T USE IT! You could cause serious damage to the disposal motor or even your home electrical system. If the problem is actually do to a jam Drano® will most likely unclog the drain. Drano® has been around for decades and in my experience has never failed to unclog a drain. If all else fails The Plumbers Inc can usually fix a jammed up garbage disposal. If it can’t, then it will need to be replaced.
Recently my water bills appear to be rather high. None of the faucets appear to leak. What else could contribute to a high water bill?
You may want to check to see if a toilet is leaking. First, check the water level to ensure that water is not overflowing the tank by way of the overflow pipe. This is the pipe in the middle of the tank. It has small tubing connected to it. If water is running into the overflow, adjust the fill valve to stop the flow approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube or to the water level mark stamped on the side of the tank. Second, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank to test the flush valve mechanism. If the water in the bowl changes color within 15 minutes, this is an indication that water is leaking into the toilet bowl and that the ball or flapper needs to be replaced.
We are constantly running out of hot water. After a five-minute shower, the water starts to turn cold. This change occurred quite recently?
There are two possibilities. First, the dip tube has broken off. This is a tube that forces incoming water to the bottom of the tank so that hot water will be drawn off of the top. When the dip tube breaks, cold water entering the tank mixes with the hot water and cools it down. This can occur in both gas and electric models. Second, if your water heater is electric, the lower element that heats the water may not be operating properly, thus only the upper half of the tank will heat up. The cause of this problem could be a bad element or a thermostat malfunction. This type of problem should be evaluated by a qualified technician.
When the federal government mandated that new toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, manufacturers had to develop a toilet that would achieve this but that would also flush properly (clear the bowl) and carry the waste to the city sewer or septic system. Some of the early models did not do this properly. Since then, the complaints have forced the manufacturers to develop new ways of flushing toilets. One new way is the use of a pressurized toilet tank. This model looks like a regular toilet, but it has a pressure tank inside. When flushed, it works like a commercial toilet. A large surge of water enters the bowl and clears the bowl of any waste. These toilets work well, but are not as quiet as a conventional model.
When considering a new fixture for your home such as a toilet, we recommend that you choose a fixture made by one of the major manufacturers, such as American Standard, Kohler or Eljer.
I hearing a whistle sound that seems to be connected to the plumbing system. It comes and goes at times, but I can’t find the cause of it?
The sound you are describing is usually caused by a toilet fill valve that is slowly leaking. To locate the leaking toilet, remove the lid of each toilet tank and adjust the fill valve mechanism until it stops. Once you have found the toilet causing the problem, repair or replace the fill valve.
Rumbling sounds coming from a water heater are an indication that sediment has built up on the bottom of the water heater. What you are hearing is water that is trapped in the sediment and is boiling. This is an indication that the water heater is not operating efficiently. Sediment will not allow the heat to transfer to the water in the tank, which sends the heat up the flue. You may try draining a few gallons of water off the bottom of the water heater tank. This is done by attaching a drain hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank. Allow it to drain for about five minutes. WARNING: HOT WATER IS DANGEROUS. DISCHARGE THE WATER INTO A FLOOR DRAIN, LAUNDRY TUB OR BATHTUB. HOT WATER WILL KILL YOUR GRASS IF DISCHARGED ONTO THE LAWN. HOT WATER WILL CRACK A TOILET BOWL IF DISCHARGED INTO THE TOILET. Many newer models of water heaters have a new feature that prohibits the buildup of sediment in the tank. If your heater is an older model, it may be cost effective to replace the water heater if the buildup is severe.
Our kitchen drain has taken longer than usual to drain during the past year. Should we have it cleaned?
Dishwashers are designed to keep enough water in the unit at the end of each cycle in order to keep the drying element from burning up. It’s very similar to a water heater element. If a lot of water stays in the sump the drain could be clogged. A partially clogged air gap will do the same thing. The air gap is the little chrome dome on the kitchen counter.
The unsightly buildup is mineral deposits. To remove these deposits from the showerhead, take a plastic bag and pour a cup of vinegar in it. Place the bag over the showerhead and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the deposits. You might be able to remove the aerators from the faucets and allow them to soak in the vinegar overnight.
If not disturbed, the roots will completely fill the pipe with multiple hair-like root masses at each point of entry. The root masses quickly become clogged with toilet tissue, grease and other debris flowing from homes and businesses to the main sewer, resulting in reduced flow and slowed drains. A complete blockage may occur if the roots are not removed and root growth impeded.
Once roots have entered the pipe, they continue to grow and expand, exerting considerable pressure at the crack or joint. The increased pressure often breaks the pipe and may result in total collapse, which requires repair or replacement.
Some pipe materials are more susceptible to root intrusion than others. Clay tile pipe is easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusion, but to a lesser extent than clay pipe. PVC pipe usually has fewer joints and the tightly fitted joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement around the pipe
I am getting a foul odor from a bathroom in the basement. We hardly ever use this bathroom except when we have company. This is embarrassing. What can we do?
Plumbing systems are designed to prevent foul odors from entering the house by means of the trap attached to fixtures. Traps contain water to seal out foul odors; if the water seal evaporates, the odors enter the house. To solve this problem, pour a bucket of water in each trap, sink, shower and floor drain. This will prevent the odors from entering the house.
Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposer. To eliminate this odor, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposer and run for 30 seconds. Next, squirt a little liquid dish detergent into the disposer while it is still running. Finally, run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away.
Tankless water heaters can be a great option for a home. They can vary in the features they have depending on the brand and model. Some may offer features such as built-in circulation pump and buffer tank or automatic water leak detection. They offer lower emissions, higher efficiency to assist with conserving energy, and are very small in comparison to a tank style heater so you can save space too. You will find that although the initial cost of a tankless heater installation is considerably higher, the overall lifetime cost of the heater will be less. (purchase, installation, and energy cost per day for the life of the heater) There are a few less desirable features that can be identified about them as well. They are limited in the amount of hot water that can be produced at one time. They may also take just a little longer to actually heat the water because it doesn’t start heating until you turn the faucet on.
For more information regarding the size and type of tankless water heater that would best fit your home please call our office and ask to talk with one of our plumbers.
Hard water is water that contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals (like calcium and magnesium). Soft water is treated water in which the only ion is sodium.
As rainwater falls, it is naturally soft. However, as water makes its way through the ground and into our waterways, it picks up minerals like chalk, lime and mostly calcium and magnesium. Since hard water contains essential minerals, it is sometimes the preferred drinking water, not only because of the health benefits, but also the flavor. On the other hand, soft water tastes salty and is sometimes not suitable for drinking. So why, then, do we soften our water?
When it boils down, the major difference between hard and soft water can best be seen while doing household chores. Hard water is to blame for dingy looking clothes, dishes with spots and residue and bathtubs with lots of film and soap scum. Even hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull. Hard water can take a toll on household appliances as well, using up more energy. The elements of hard water are to blame for all of these negative factors, as soap is less effective due to its reaction to the magnesium and calcium. The lather is not as rich and bubbly.