Home Plumbing Problems & Repairs
Expert Plumbers Here to Protect Your Home
Like most homeowners, you’re probably on a tight budget when it comes to home repairs or maintenance. Unfortunately, plumbing problems often get pushed to the bottom of the list. Until there’s an emergency, most people don’t like to think about their plumbing issues. While some plumbing issues may seem minor, they could actually be serious emergencies in the making. Instead of waiting until a leaking pipe becomes a more costly headache or a clogged drain turns into a major water damage issue, call Mr. Rooter® Plumbing to get the fast and effective repairs you need!
There are countless plumbing issues that can waste your money and cause harm to your property. How do you get informed? We’ve outlined some of the most common below.
Common issues that may indicate your garbage disposal is broken / jammed:
- Disposal doesn’t grind properly but motor keeps humming
- Noises are noticeably louder than usual
- Disposal starts to run but shuts off before you turn it off
- Leaks found below the disposal
- Water pools in sink area
How you can prevent clogs or damage to your disposal:
- Never dispose of starchy, stringy, or sticky foods like potato peels, eggshells, or coffee grounds.
- Regularly freshen your garbage disposal by grinding pieces of lemon peels and ice cubes.
- Try treating your disposal on a monthly basis with a vinegar and baking soda mix to remove buildup and bacteria issues. Get ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda and add mixture to the disposal while turned off. Let sit. When foaming stops, rinse and drain with water.
Flexible plastic tubing can be used to circulate hot water below your home’s flooring, known as hydronic heating. The water / other liquid is stored in a boiler and pushed into a plumbing manifold so that it can be properly circulated throughout your home floors as designed. While this can be a very beneficial way to radiate heat through your floors during colder seasons, there are some serious problems that can occur.
Possible issues you might experience with hydronic heating:
- Boil-over: If the system is running low on water or the controls fail, this may occur.
- Pipe leaks: Without regular maintenance, pipe leaks can cause serious damage.
- Pipe freeze: Losing power can lead to a freeze-up. Anti-freeze may help prevent this issue.
- Breakdowns: A hydronic system can’t maintain performance if breakdowns occur due to lack of inspection.
Well & Sump Pumps
Sump pumps are used to re-route water away from your property and to also protect your basement from flooding, sending water out of easily damaged areas. In most cases, your sump pump will be hardwired to your electrical system or possibly plugged into a wall outlet. Because these power sources can often fail in a storm when water damage occurs, sump pumps are typically equipped with battery backup power.
Types of Sump Pumps:
- Pedestal - Mounted above the sump pit, providing convenient access for service and periodic testing
- Submersible - Sits in a sump pit (or well) and out of sight
Together, the well, sump pump, and sump pit work to collect and eliminate water from unwanted areas.
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Sump Pumps in Action
Sump pumps are pivotal during heavy rainstorms or overflowing water from some type of plumbing issue. For example, when it rains, groundwater around your house’s foundation will be guided into a bordering drain system. From there, the water flow is directed into pipes and diverted to the sump pit, well, and sump pump for collection / elimination.
Other key facts about sump pumps:
- A sump pump is triggered by a float switch, which is set off when the water reaches a pre-set level. Once it reaches this level, the sump pump begins to remove water into a nearby storm drain, outdoor area, or well.
- It is important to equip sump pumps with battery powered water level alarms. This can help ensure you are warned of potential flooding should the pump start to malfunction or overflow.
- Regular testing for sump pumps is important to determine if they are ready for heavy rainfall. A simple test can be performed: pour a bucket of water into the sump pit and watch to see if it removes the water before shutting off.
Homes have many combustion appliances, from stoves to water heaters to fireplaces to furnaces to boilers. Without proper ventilation, these appliances can create harmful PICs, such as carbon monoxide. Adequate ventilation is absolutely necessary in any home. For example, exhaust fans can play a pivotal role in clearing out PICs in bathrooms, cooking areas, and garages. They can keep the air clear of harmful moisture and fumes, while increasing your comfort by keeping humidity levels low.
Modern Ventilation Standards
Natural air convection venting is very common, but also very flawed. It only uses a standard Type B vent to draw inside air for combustion. Since the gases created during combustion are hot, they naturally rise up through the flue and the air exits through the roof. However, back-drafting can occur as indoor air may pull toxic gases back inside.
The safer method? Direct venting. This system uses two different pipes within each other. The outer pipe is used to draw in air for combustion while the inner pipe vents exhaust fumes outside. A chimney isn’t needed for horizontal or vertical setups. Direct venting can also improve indoor air quality and comfort.
Think your ventilation system may have some problems? Look for these signs:
- Odors: If moldy bathroom odors or cooking smells linger for long times, your exhaust fan ventilation may not be up to speed.
- Mold growth: Notice mold growth? This can be a sign of excess moisture within your home.
- Humidity: If your home feels moist or humid, it may not be effectively ventilated.
- Headaches, fatigue or allergy symptoms: Suffering unexplained symptoms? Indoor air quality may be the culprit.
- High energy bills: If your appliances aren’t properly vented, they may not operate as efficiently, wasting energy and making your home less comfortable.