When I Call a Plumber to come fix the plumbing problem that I’m having what should I expect when he arrives?

Your plumber should be neatly dressed, clean, and well groomed. He should listen to your problem carefully. He should also ask if you have ever had this problem before. If so, how was it handled? He should inspect the problem you are having and then inform you of the actions necessary to fix the problem in question. After you understand the solution to your problem, he should provide you with a written estimate for the problem and explain the corresponding warranty.

Do I need to use a licensed plumber just to fix a small leak under the sink?

Whether you have a small or large problem, you should always use a licensed plumber to fix the problem. It is still possible to flood or damage a home while fixing a small leak. Always ask the company you are considering if they have general liability insurance for your home as well as workmen’s compensation insurance. The company license insures you that the state requirements for plumbing services have been met. The insurance insures that if he breaks something, you can get it fixed. Some insurance companies will not cover all of your loss if you do not use a licensed company with insurance. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

What is straight forward pricing?

1.You know the price before the job is started. There are no surprises.
2. You pay the same amount regardless of the time it takes to complete the job.
3. You know you are receiving a fair price for the work.

When I take a shower I run out of hot water before I'm done. Also, we can only take one shower at a time, and then we have to wait 30 min before we can take another. Why?

If you have an electric water heater, the elements or thermostats for the heater are probably bad or going bad. Depending on the age of your heater, it may be possible to replace them. However, if the heater is over 6 years old, it is best to replace the heater itself. This is in part because most water heaters come with a 6 year warranty. Due to the hard water in Arizona, most heaters only last 6 to 8 years. In the long run, it will be cheaper to replace the heater than to repair it. It is not uncommon to replace the element and have it start leaking anywhere from a week to 6 months later.

I brush my teeth every morning waiting for my shower to heat up. I feel like I am wasting too much water. What can I do?

There are some very energy-efficient recirculation pumps available. They do not require much plumbing to install and will provide instant hot water to most fixtures. They are installed on your water heater. The electricity to run these pumps is minimal compared to the amount of water being saved. Additionally, some of these pumps even come with timers so that you can control the usage.

If my shower or bathroom sink is backing up, is it okay to use Drano?

Most shower and bathroom sink back-ups are due to hair build up in the drain which should be removed by a powered auger (“snake”). Products like Drano can break down the soap scum and oils from your body that are caught in the hair but will not break down actual hair. The result is that after using one of these products you may see a progress in the drainage, but it will not last long since only the soap scum and oils have been removed, not the hair.

When I walk barefoot around my home there is a spot that feels warm all the time on the floor now. Is there a problem with my plumbing?

When your home was built, the hot and cold water lines were run under the floor. Plumbers call type of problem a slab leak. The copper pipes under the foundation of your home are most likely leaking. Other signs of a slab leak you should be aware of are: noticing hot water arrive to a faucet quicker than it did in the past or hearing a continuous sound (humming) in the walls, at the water heater or under the sinks. You may notice that you run out of hot water faster or you have no hot water at all. The most obvious symptom is actually having water surfacing in your house from a crack in the foundation.

My faucet started dripping. Do I need to replace the whole faucet?

Most dripping faucets are due to either a worn washer or cartridge. In most cases these parts can be replaced without having to replace the faucet.

My water pressure is fine everywhere in the house except at my master bathroom faucet. Is there a problem in my water piping?

In most cases the aerator is full of sediment due to our hard Arizona water. The aerator is the part with the screen located at the tip of the faucet spout, which with a wrench can be twisted off and replaced or cleaned.

I have a bathroom that is used mainly when I have company staying over. In this bathroom we frequently smell a sewer odor. What could be causing this?

Because you do not run water down the sink or tub regularly, the p-traps are dried out. The p-traps hold water to keep sewer gases confined in the sewer system. The shower’s p-trap is underground but does still exist. You may have to occasionally run water once a month in your shower sinks and toilets to keep the traps full.

I’ve been told not to put potato peels down my garbage disposal because it will clog my drains, is this true?

The problem most people have with disposals is that they try to put too much down the disposal at one time without enough water. You should run the water full on and then slowly add the item that you want to dispose of. There are some things that should not go down the disposal like stringy vegetables (such as celery) and bones. The more water you run with the food the better.

When I use my kitchen sink I smell a bad odor coming from the disposal.

You have food built up in your disposal and the food is rotting. Your can clean the inside out by running citrus down the disposal after cutting it up. Run the last piece down with no water to leave it smelling fresh. Your can also buy disposal cleaner at the store.

My garbage disposal is not working properly and when I turn it on it just hums. What is wrong with it?

Your disposal may be jammed. The humming means the motor is working. It is unable to spin because there is an obstruction inside the unit. Many garbage disposals come with an allen-like tool that fits into a slot underneath the disposal in the center. If you do not have this tool, an allen wrench will work. This tool allows you to manually spin the blades and dislodge the debris creating the obstruction. Once it is moving freely, you must reach in the disposal and retrieve the debris before turning it on. *Remember to always unplug the unit before putting your hand inside to remove debris.

The toilet in my hall bathroom runs constantly. It sounds like it is filling up every 10 minutes or so. What is going on?

The problem you are having could be one of two things. The most common is that the flapper inside the tank is warped, allowing water to pass into the bowl. When this occurs, the water level in the tank goes down. Once the water level is low enough, the fill valve inside the tank is triggered and fills the tank back up with water. This is the sound you are hearing. The second most common is that the flush valve inside the tank is creating the leak, which will trigger the fill valve as well.