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General Plumbing FAQ

Mr. Rooter of Charlotte is the trusted name in common plumbing problems in Charlotte, Matthews, Waxhaw and beyond. Large or small, your plumbing, water line, drain cleaning and property management issues can be handled by the professional plumbers at Mr. Rooter of Charlotte. Part of our friendly, professional plumbing services involves offering reliable information when you need it most. Our professional Charlotte plumbers understand that not each drain or pipe issue requires the assistance of a pro, so we’ve designed a guide with answers to the most common general plumbing asked questions.

When you are in need of professional Charlotte plumbing services, we hope our wide selection of quality solutions will be the first place you turn. Whether you’re trying to determine if your challenge is a plumbing emergency or the difference between a water heater that needs repaired versus replacement, our answers will give you straight-forward guidance on steps to take and those to avoid.

The Mr. Rooter of Charlotte team is here to guide you through the basics of plumbing and provide easy-to-understand answers to your pressing questions. As industry leaders serving neighborhoods throughout Charlotte, NC, we want to provide helpful tips that you can use in your own home or business. Our expert plumbers have the necessary years of experience and knowledge to tackle the most complex plumbing and rooter problems.

Do I have a plumbing emergency?

It can sometimes be difficult to determine if your plumbing issue calls for the attention of an emergency Charlotte plumber. Inconveniences occur at all hours, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re facing an emergency.Plumbing emergencies in Charlotte are generally those that:

  • Cause flooding (Broken pipe, water main leak)

  • Cause raw sewage to seep from drains

  • Create an unhealthy or dangerous environment for your family

  • Create sewage pooling in your yard

  • Cut off your water supply

  • Simultaneously clog all drains

  • Stop all toilets from flushing

We understand that your goal is to protect your family and home from any unnecessary damage. If you’re unsure if the problem should be treated right away, contact the Mr. Rooter of Charlotte team 24 hours a day.

Should I call a plumber for a clogged drain?

With a plethora of liquid drain cleaners at any big-box store, it’s no surprise many homeowners attempt to clear a clogged drain on their own. The trouble with DIY drain cleaning methods is that they can cause more damage to your pipes than you realize. Your drains are an essential part of your property that should be taken care of with precision and accuracy. Store-bought liquid solutions or even drain snaking methods can cause harm to your plumbing system. Using at-home methods of drain cleaning involve unnecessary guesswork that only temporarily mask your plumbing problems instead of solving them all together.

Eco-friendly drain cleaning in Charlotte is the best way to clear your drains and pipes. Chemical-laden drain cleaners use toxic ingredients that create a slime and sludge within your pipes that speed up the pipe corrosion process, causing more damage in the long run. Instead of trying to fix your clogged drain problems on your own, call your trusted Charlotte area plumbers at Mr. Rooter of Charlotte.

What common plumbing problems may require a Charlotte plumber?

Plumbing issues never choose a good time to occur, but some are more prominent than others. An annual plumbing inspection with Mr. Rooter of Charlotte will help you prevent these common plumbing problems:

  • Clogged toilet

  • Clogged bath or shower drain

  • Faulty water heater

  • Jammed garbage disposal

  • Leaky faucets

  • Leaky pipes

  • Low water pressure

  • Running toilet

  • Sewage smell in home

  • Sewer system backup

  • Slow draining sink

Should I call a plumber for a leaking toilet?

Small issues that cause your toilet to leak are ok to handle on your own. Replacing a faulty flapper, for example, is a simple DIY task. For more complicated leaking toilet problems, call the professional technicians at Mr. Rooter of Charlotte. To determine how severe the toilet leak is, first find the source of the leak. If water is coming from the base, try tightening the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. If that doesn’t help, you’ll need to remove the toilet from the floor and replace the wax rings that sit under the bolts. If the toilet is leaking from the tank, ensure that you have no cracks and that the hose is secured to the base of the toilet. Depending on the age of your toilet, it may be time to replace it, which our team at Mr. Rooter of Charlotte will happily do for you.

How often should I replace my toilet?

You may be spending more than necessary on your monthly water bill if your home is equipped with old toilets. Even if the stool appears to be working fine, there are a few signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement:

  • Age (toilets 10 years or older aren’t energy efficient)

  • Continuous clogs

  • Multiple flushes after each use

  • Ongoing leaks

Can I clean my pipes myself?

Using regular practices that prevent buildup and debris in your pipes will help prevent major blockages down the road. But, as your pipes age, routine drain cleaning is the best way to ensure the lines are free from blockages that could cause major damage to your entire system. Charlotte HydroScrub is a chemical-free way to rid your pipes of clogs, debris, and invasive tree roots. In between annual drain cleaning services, use these tips to ensure your pipes are debris free:

  • Avoid certain foods in garbage disposal (coffee grounds, bones, grease, fruit peels)

  • Clear drain stoppers in tub and shower

  • Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain

  • Don’t use the toilet as a trash can - waste and toilet tissue only

  • Have septic tank pumped every two to three years

  • Run cold water when using the garbage disposal

  • Run hot water to clear grease residue after washing dishes

  • Utilize a drain strainer if you don’t have a garbage disposal

What is professional drain cleaning?

Professional drain cleaning in Charlotte can be completed in an environmentally friendly way without disrupting your property. For pipes that are comprised of clay materials or are clogged with organic materials and food waste, we will use snaking tools to snag the clog and manually remove it out of the pipe. If we find that the pipe is comprised of PVC or another hard, durable material and is plagued by the presence of hardened grease deposits or tree roots, our experts will recommend HydroScrub as the preferred solution.

What is Charlotte HydroScrub?

HydroScrub services offered by Mr. Rooter of Charlotte will ensure your pipes and drains are clear of years of debris and buildup. By forcing water through your pipes at nearly 4000 PSI, the drain cleaning process will remove buildup, debris, and tree roots. The water is sprayed at an extremely high pressure and flushes away the debris, allowing water and waste to flow through your plumbing freely. Our team will thoroughly explain your plumbing situation to help you understand which drain cleaning process will be better to clear your pipes.

How do I determine my pipe material?

If you want to know what your plumbing pipes are made of, one of the best determining factors is the age of the home. As professional plumbers began to take note of how long material lasted, changes were made in pipe material choices. See our guide to determine your Charlotte pipe material:

  • Copper: These bronze colored pipes were frequently used for plumbing systems in houses built from the 1970s into the early 2000s. As they age, copper pipes will slowly fade to a deep rust or brown color. Copper pipes last about 50+ years.

  • Galvanized Steel: Leading up to the 1970s, plumbing systems were often built from galvanized steel pipes. The material was used less when builders discovered it only lasted for about 40 years.

  • PB (polybutylene): These pipes are flexible and usually marked with “PB2110.” PB pipes are typically gray, black or blue.

  • PVC (polyvinyl-chloride): The white plastic pipes are most commonly seen under your kitchen or bathroom sinks used as drain pipes.

  • PEX (cross-linked polyethylene): Plastic tubing that is usually white, red, or blue and used to indicate hot and cold lines. Plumbers use this type of material because of its flexibility.

  • Cast Iron: This pipe has a black finish and was used in homes through the mid-1960s.

While age is a very good indicator of the pipe material used in your home, a sewer camera inspection is the best way to get a definite answer. Our Charlotte plumbers can run a live camera feed through your system to determine the material, current condition and develop an annual maintenance plan.

How long does a water heater last?

The longevity of your Charlotte water heater depends on the style and upkeep of the unit. Tankless water heaters can last for up to 20 years, while most traditional units have an 8 to 12-year lifespan. No matter the style, routine maintenance will help extend the life of your water heater. If you have a traditional tank, draining the water heater once yearly will help rid the unit of sediment and minerals that can settle at the bottom. When you need Charlotte water heater repair, maintenance or installation, the Mr. Rooter team is available.

What’s the ideal hot water heater temperature?

The recommended temperature setting for your hot water heater is between 120 and 140 degrees. Your home’s water usage and family size will play a role in which temperature setting you choose. For homes with several family members who constantly have multiple sources of water running at once, setting the unit closer to 140 degrees may make more sense. If the temperature is set too high, however, you’ll waste energy and risk scalding burns with water usage. For homes with only one or two residents, 120 degrees should suffice. It’s important to not go below the 120 setting, as bacteria can grow in water that is too cool, threatening your family’s health.

Can tree roots cut through my pipes?

It may seem unlikely, but invasive tree roots can cause leaks in your Charlotte plumbing, resulting in a high water bill and low water pressure. Your pipes can suffer extensive damage from invasive tree roots if the problem is not handled right away. The Mr. Rooter of Charlotte team will feed a high-definition camera through your pipes to locate the root problem. HydroScrub can typically be used to clear out the roots.

Is burst pipe damage covered by homeowners insurance?

Unpreventable damage caused by a burst pipe is typically covered by a home insurance policy. To avoid dealing with a burst pipe, be sure to:

  • Ensure tubs and showers are caulked and sealed properly

  • Inspect for leaking faucets indoors and outside

  • Insulate pipes if you live in a cold climate

  • Routinely inspect appliance hoses on your dishwasher or washing machine and replace as needed

How do I prevent frozen pipes?

Proper insulation of your pipes can keep them from freezing during the frigid winter months. Follow these steps:

  • Run heating cable along the pipes before covering with insulation. The cable will keep the pipes at a constant temperature.

  • Inspect the outside of your home looking for visible cracks near the foundation or basement. Use spray foam or caulking to fill cracks.

  • Shut off the water valves to your outdoor faucets. Allow excess water to drain then cover the faucets with an insulated dome to prevent freezing.

  • Allow the warm air in your home to reach the pipes beneath your sinks by opening the cabinet doors.

  • Have your HVAC system checked annually to prevent your heating system from crashing during the winter months. The freezing temperatures can quickly affect your pipes.

  • Allow a small, slow drip to come from your faucets. Running the water even a minimal amount will help prevent frozen pipes.

What causes low water pressure?

Low water pressure causes more water waste and a higher utility bill because each activity calls for you to leave the water running longer. The Mr. Rooter of Charlotte team will inspect the most common reasons for the dip in water pressure and fully explain how we can resolve your issue. The most common causes of low water pressure include:

  • Clogged Pipe: A clogged water pipe can contribute to low water pressure. Attempting to unclog a water line yourself could lead to water contamination in your home. Hire a professional Charlotte plumber to handle the job.

  • Faulty Pressure Regulator: Every faucet in your home will be affected if the pressure regulator attached to the pipes outside your home fails. Our team can test the regulator to see if it is the problem.

  • Mineral Buildup: Overtime, your pipes, faucet nozzles, and shower heads will be affected by mineral buildup. If the change in your water pressure happened gradually rather than all at once, having the buildup professionally removed could solve the issue.

  • Old Pipes: Old iron pipes are especially susceptible to corrosion and can inhibit the flow of water. These pipes corrode from the inside out, so it would be impossible for you to identify this as the problem without a camera inspection from a plumber.

Why should I schedule a professional pipe inspection?

A professional plumber can see what’s happening inside your pipes, even if you don’t suspect anything is wrong. Adding professional pipe inspection to your yearly home maintenance checklist means you’ll be able to detect small issues before they turn into large emergency issues. A thorough inspection will reveal common plumbing problems, like why your drains release slowly, why the water pressure is low, and what makes the garbage disposal constantly smell like sewage. A high-resolution camera is used during the inspection process and can help detect and prevent future plumbing issues.

Schedule an Appointment with Mr. Rooter of Charlotte Today

The Mr. Rooter of Charlotte team consists of professional plumbers who take the time to answer your questions. We’re ready to serve you whether you’re battling a Charlotte plumbing emergency or want to schedule a routine inspection, our friendly staff can help you book your appointment today.

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