Questions & Answers – Drains, Leaks, Pipes, Odors
For your convenience we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers to some of the most common issues that our customers seem to experience within their own homes. While it won’t perform as an end all do-it-yourself plumbing manual, this list will help you to find basic answers to troubleshooting problems and to common questions in the plumbing world.
What is an easy solution for sink or bathtub drain clogs?
A clogged or slow drain can be due to a variety of causes, but a couple of things can be done to try and treat the problem before having to call in the professionals. The first step is to ensure that hair or soap is not stuck inside the drain. This can be done by visually inspecting the drains. After cleaning excess hair or soap chips out of the drain, using a commercially available plumbing maintenance product that is designed to get rid of built up soap scum.
How do I use a snake in the bathtub drain?
You simply need to take off the overflow plate (the metal plate that’s over the drain) by loosening the two screws on it. When you take this plate off, both sections of the stopper mechanism will come up with it. If you’re lucky, a slow drain can be fixed by cleaning the hair off the stopper mechanisms and you won’t even need to use a snake!
Will a Clogged Vent Slow Down a Drain?
If the vent on a toilet is not working properly it won’t flush all the contents of the bowl through the pipes after using the restroom. All other drains in your home will work fine without any vents. However, these vents don’t usually end up with many problems and they’re easy to clean so it’s nothing to worry about.
My faucets have a white buildup of some kind around the area where water comes out. Can I get rid of it without having to replace them all?
These are nothing more than mineral deposits and luckily, you can get rid of them. The shower head is the trickiest. You’ll have to add vinegar to a plastic bag and then using a twist-tie, secure the bag over the shower head to leave on overnight. This will get rid of the deposits and make your showerhead shine. Some aerators can come off your faucets to be soaked in vinegar or you can pour vinegar over the faucets and use a rag to thoroughly wet the aerators to let them sit overnight before rinsing them.
Why does my faucet make a “clunk” sound every time I turn it on?
The majority of the time, when a clunking sound comes from your pipes whether turning a faucet on or off, there is a loose washer somewhere in the faucet. This can be remedied by simply taking the faucet apart and replacing the washer with a new one. Make sure that you get the old nut out or you’ll have to flush it out when you turn the water back on.
Why does the bathroom faucet only drip when the toilet is flushed or the shower is running?
While this can be due to a variety of issues, it’s a good possibility that it’s simply a loose washer within the faucet. When it runs by itself the water pressure is enough to keep the washer in place but when used with another source of running water in the room, the pressure lets up enough to cause the leaking.
Why do the pipes under my sink and garbage disposal keep coming loose?
One of the biggest culprits of loose pipes under the kitchen sink are mixed washers and nuts. It’s important to use either PVC or metal washer and nuts, not a mixture of both. You are also going to want to ensure that you place the thicker sides of the pipes against the nuts for proper fittings.
How can I stop the roots from growing into my pipes?
If roots are already growing in or around your pipes, you are going to want to have a CCI Plumbing professional come out to remove those roots with heavy-duty tools like cutting blades. In order to keep roots from growing into your plumbing system you will want to use a plumber approved treatment solution that can be simply flushed down your toilet twice a year. These solutions will only kill roots near your pipes, they won’t affect the tree’s actual root system.
A foul odor is coming from my garbage disposal and I can’t get rid of it. What can I do?
This can be a tough smell to get rid of because of all the food that ends up in disposals. An easy fix is to fill the garbage disposal halfway up with ice cubes and to run it until the ice gets crushed. Then flush it with cold water and finish up by grinding half a lemon in there. This fix provides freshness for weeks.
Something smells weird in by shower stall that’s made of concrete. Can I get rid of it?
If the trap seems to be working then it’s probably a pipe leak somewhere. Typically a leak can be found where the shower pipe and the drain itself meet. An excess of water buildup under your concrete base can cause plenty of unpleasant odors. A small lead or rubber ring is commonly found on concrete shower stalls that can be replaced, which will help to fix the leak and in turn stop the source of the smell.