Top 10 Most Common Plumbing Questions

Kenneth McDonald Plumbing & HVAC is a Pittsburgh company that gets numerous questions about plumbing and HVAC systems. As two of the most vital systems in your home, it’s imperative that they are operating at full capacity. From clogged drains to slow leaks, all these small issues can have a significant impact on your bills and overall functionality. From the most common to the bizarre, here are the top 10 questions that our customers ask.

1. Why is my toilet always running?

A running toilet is a frequent problem that most people run into at some point. It can be an annoyance, but it can also cost you a great deal of money on your water bill. See, the running toilet is trying to fill the tank in the back, so the water is continually in the “on” position. It’s no different than leaving your faucet running all the time.

If this issue is not addressed quickly, that slight annoyance can turn into a hundred-dollar complication. Never let a toilet leak run its course. It won’t magically get better on its own.

Thankfully, fixing a running toilet is a straightforward process. In most cases, the handle-flapper connection just needs to be adjusted or replaced. Another consideration is that the fill valve needs to be replaced. Either solution is not expensive or complicated.

2. Where are the leak spots on my ceiling coming from?

Most people have no clue they have a leak until they see water stains on their walls or ceiling. A water spot is a strong indication of a leak. There is no apparent source as water travels quickly. It can be infuriating to track down a leak. See, water doesn’t just land right where the drip is located. It can travel through the joists and structural materials before it falls into the wall or on the ceiling.

These pesky leaks can be infuriating to track. Since there is no single method to track it down efficiently, you must start at the most common places first. In these situations, it’s almost always best to call out a professional to use their equipment to help find the problem. The longer the water can drip, the more damage it will cause.

3. Why is my shower wall covered in mold or deteriorating?

The drywall located in your shower is a common area for mold and deterioration. Since gypsum board is made of paper, it doesn’t mix well with moisture. Splashing from the shower in a specific location can cause all sorts of problems. The drywall may have bubbles or start crumbling. It’s easier to fix a small section than to tear down the whole wall. Any mold will need to be handled by a professional for your safety. Try replacing these walls with a waterproof material.

4. Why is my water discolored?

Brown water is something that is often seen in a home with older pipes. It can come from old lead pipes that have developed rust. However, if you see discolored water in your home, it can be something environmental too. When the fire department flushes out the fire hydrants, people often notice the signs in their water. Also, a water main break can also affect the quality and color of your water. If the problem persists, then it’s probably something to do with your pipes.

5. What is the common lifespan of a water heater?

In general, a water heater can last up to 15 years on average. Other factors come into play in that lifespan determination. Just like any other system in your home, this heater requires some maintenance. Flushing the tank once a year will help to remove sediment and keep it from building up inside the tank. Most tanks reach their death because of excessive residue that ruins the unit. Buy a quality unit and maintain them to achieve the maximum lifespan.

6. What should I never put in my garbage disposal?

Garbage disposals are one of the handiest tools in the kitchen. However, many people think that they can put anything down there and it will still function well. Some things should never go into a garbage disposal, they include:

• Raw Meat

• Potato Skins

• Glass or Plastic

• Seeds or Pitted Fruits

• Coffee Grounds

• Bones

• Seafood

• Celery or Corn Husks

• Grease

• Starchy Foods

7. What should I do if my kids flushed a toy down the toilet?

Flushing a toy or action figure down the toilet is not an uncommon problem for parents of young children. While your first instinct may be to get the plunger and try to flush the clog, it won’t work. You need to remove the toy from the toilet. It’s a tricky job, and you may need a professional to help.

8. How much does it cost to add another water line?

Many people want to add a sink to their mudroom or laundry room, or you may want to add another bathroom to your home. There is no simple answer when it comes to adding something to an existing structure. Every home is different and has a diverse layout. It’s cheaper to add another line when you are adding close to an existing one. If you travel too far outside of the main water lines, it’s going to cost a bit more. You need a professional evaluation to determine the exact cost.

9. Why are my pipes making all kinds of noise?

We find that pipe noises are very common in older homes when air gets into the lines. It almost always indicates that you have lost fittings or pipes that are not secured. Thankfully, it’s not a cause for alarm, but it can be annoying. You can have a water hammer arrestor put on the lines to allow the air to escape. Any loose pipes can be secured to ensure the banging stops.

10. Why is my toilet is making all kinds of weird sounds?

If your toilet is making lots of noises that sound like its burping or gurgling, then it’s probably caused by a pressurization issue in the system. All drains must have a trap for them to plug sewer gas from getting into the home. These traps must be vented to stop them from blowing out when the system is in use. Unfortunately, these vent lines can become obstructed, which causes the pressurization to be off. When you hear those distinctive toilet burps, it’s coming from a pressure issue that can be easily fixed.

While there are some issues that you can handle on your own, it’s best to call a professional plumber. As a premier Pittsburgh plumber, Kenneth McDonald Plumbing & HVAC are top rated plumbers serving Western Pennsylvania, and they can fix any issue. When you need help, they are there to serve you. They are available 24/7 for your emergency needs.

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At Kenneth McDonald Plumbing & HVAC we strive to be the best in the business. Our team of skilled, NATE certified technicians have vast knowledge and expertise in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning industry. We are here to help you with your plumbing and HVAC emergencies, as well as your residential or business maintenance needs.

Our technicians arrive equipped to get the job done right the first time. Give us a call 724-789-7197 and you’ll find that our certified technicians have simple, convenient, prompt, and affordable solutions to all of your plumbing and hvac problems.

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