FAQ

Q?

If roots get inside the sewer pipe what happens?

A.

If not remedied roots will fill the pipe up and very quickly become clogged with toilet tissue, grease and sink debris. Once roots have entered the pipe they will continue to grow and create pressure on the joints and eventually crack the pipe. If a repair is required then a PVC pipe may be a good choice because it has less areas for the root to enter the pipe.

Q?

Are bathroom in the basement is not used often but does produce a foul smell, what is wrong with it?

A.

Foul odors are prevented from entering the home in all modern systems by traps in the fixtures themselves. These traps have water to seal out any smells; however if the water evaporates the odors will be noticed. To solve the problem pour a bucket of water in each trap, sink, shower and floor drain.

Q?

The pipes in my house bang on the wall when the water is turned on or off. Any faucet triggers the banging and I’m not sure if any damage is occurring, how can I stop it?

A.

Loosely fitted pipes usually cause the problem as described. Since the line that supplies water is made out of metal it will transmit sound waves as water flows through it and the system in general. The sound waves can become rhythmic and then cause the pipe to vibrate with the sound. To quiet them you will need to refit and or secure the offending section of piping. If the pipes are running through joists then the pipes could be expanding and contracting making the noise and need to be refitted.

Q?

There is water under the water heater which doesn’t go down the drain, what is causing this?

A.

If there is a puddle of water under the water heater and there is a floor drain below the heater then be sure there isn't a hole in the heater. A clue to this is if the water heater is constantly running which means there is a leak. If the water comes up in other fixtures around the house then there is most likely a blockage somewhere in the line.

Q?

The pilot light on my water heater won’t turn on and it’s not very old. What is the problem?

A.

When a pilot light no longer stays lit it usually means the thermocouple is faulty. These are little electric devices that use magnets to open a gas valve in front of the water heater. If the generator can no longer detect heat at the pilot it will automatically shut it off every time. Replacing the thermocouple will usually take care of the problem and instructions can be found in the manual.

Q?

It’s been said that the new flow toilets do not work as well as old ones and don’t flush properly, is that true?

A.

New toilets were government mandated and had to use less water per flush. Manufactures then had to develop new toilets to achieve the new levels. Early models did have some troubles and complaints began to arise, however since then the new flow toilets do work well. Some new models have a pressure tank inside and when it's flushed it works like a commercial toilet. It is also a good idea to choose a toilet from a major manufacturer.

Q?

There is a crack in my toilet tank. Is there anything to repair this?

A.

There are some repair kits available that involve a proxy resin to seal the porcelain. However more cracks are typically inevitable due to cold water entering the tank cooling it, and then warming up to room temperature. A better recommendation would be to replace the tank from the manufacturer.

Q?

The floor around one of my toilets has a black ring around the base, what is the problem?

A.

Usually this happens when the wax ring seal is leaking underneath the toilet. It turns black due to the leaking sewage and bacteria. The only way to repair this is to lift the toilet and replace the wax ring. It is also good practice to ensure the line sewage line is clear as well while the toilet is off.

Q?

There is a problem of water backup happening in our house during heavy rain, how can this be prevented?

A.

The water is most likely coming from the city sewer line or septic system. A backwater valve can be installed to prevent water from flowing back into the house and only allow it to flow out.

Q?

The sewer in the house is still backing up even after running a 100 foot snake through, not sure what to do next?

A.

It is possible that the line wasn't cleaned out properly or any tree roots were just pushed to the side rather than scraping them off. It is unlikely that the city line is backed up, a camera inspection is recommended in this case.

Q?

I’m not able to get the access panel off because it is too old, what should I do?

A.

The first thing to try is a steel chisel and a ball peen hammer. Place the chisel on a 45 degree angle and hit it with the hammer in the turning direction (counter clockwise). If this doesn't work then you must chisel right through the plate and then cut off the rest with a sawzall.

Q?

We tried to clear a bathtub plug but wasn’t successful, what should I do now?

A.

You will need to find the access panel and remove the trap and the clean the drain from that point.

Q?

There is a discoloring of water that comes out of the faucet when I run the water but not all the time, what is the cause?

A.

There are several reasons that could cause this and a water test is essential to determine the cause. Things that could be the culprit are things like iron, magnesium, minerals, algae or a degrading pipe somewhere in the system. Looking inside a toilet tank and seeing black stains refers to magnesium and iron in the water. It is harmless to you however if you want it removed then you will need a filter. If the piping in the home is steel or galvanized, then there could be flakes or rust from areas of exposed iron. Pink stains on a tub or toilet means that iron is in the water. In this case the water is most likely from a well and requires a water softener.