FAQs

Can a Clogged Pipe Cause a Leak?

If a clogged drain line is not addressed, it can absolutely result in a water damage event. If you know you have a clogged drain but keep using the fixture attached to that drain line, whether it be a sink, toilet, tub, or shower, the result will be that the drain water will seek its own level. Often, this leak will be into a basement, crawlspace, around the base of a toilet, or in the shower basin. Once water seeps past a toilet seal at the floor, that seal will be prone to leak from that point on and should be changed. It is possible for a toilet seal to leak and never show on the floor, showing up below in the basement or crawlspace. When the stoppage is removed from a drain line, it is a good idea to be sure there are no resulting problems with the piping that can cause damage later.

What Causes a Bathroom Sink to Clog?

Bathroom sinks most commonly get clogged because of the build-up of hair, soap scum, dirt, etc. Removing the trap may allow you to clean out the build-up and restore proper flow. Be sure to put a catch basin of some type below the trap as you will surely spill some water. Most modern traps are relatively easy to remove without special tools, but a pair of groove-lock pliers is very handy to have. Be sure not to over-tighten the slip nuts when you reconnect the trap.

Why Does My Kitchen Sink Keep Getting Clogged?

Kitchen sink clogs usually happen because of improper disposal of things, such as grease, starchy foods, coffee grounds, etc. Even if you have a kitchen disposal, many items cannot be put down the disposal. When in doubt, place the food items in your trash instead. Removing the trap could help you clean out the issue and have better drainage again. Place a catch basin below the trap to catch spilled water. You should be able to remove the trap without special tools, but a pair of groove-lock pliers could be helpful. Make sure you do not over-tighten the slip nuts when you are finished and reattaching the trap.

What Can Cause a Pipe to Leak?

There are many reasons for a pipe to leak including pipe deterioration due to age, excessive internal pressure, clogs, temperature changes, and poor plumbing work. Although you may be able to determine the most likely reason for the leak, it is always better to consult a professional. We have the best equipment for exploring what is going on below the surface.

What Causes Pinhole Leaks in Copper Water Pipes?

Pinhole leaks in copper pipes happen as a result of internal corrosion. The corrosion can happen because of water quality and/or dissimilar metals in the water piping system. If your water is at the wrong pH or contains certain minerals, or lacks certain qualities, your pipes can begin to fail. Connecting dissimilar metals in plumbing creates a chemical reaction which will eventually cause the leaks. It is common in our area to find copper water piping systems in failure when the system is supplied by a well. While copper is otherwise usually a good choice for water piping within a home, there are other materials that should be chosen for new construction or for replacement of the system. PEX plastic piping is an excellent choice. If the home is copper and the damage to the piping is minimal, there are treatment options that can remove the aggressive agents from the water and restore a balance to the water in the copper system.

What Causes Low Water Pressure in a House?

Low water pressure can be caused by a valve not being fully open, failing pressure regulator, or old, corroded water pipes. If you are experiencing low water pressure, call FitzGerald & Sons. We can help determine the source and restore your pressure.

What Causes Low Water Flow at the Kitchen Sink?

This problem is usually caused by a debris or mineral buildup in the aerator at the end of the faucet spout. These mineral or debris deposits could be in your supply line or the shut-off valve under the sink.

If the low flow is on the hot water side only, a good first step is to make sure the cold-water inlet valve at the water heater is fully open as well as the valve under the sink. Check the other fixtures around your house to determine if the hot water problem is just with the kitchen sink or at other fixtures as well. At this point, you will have a clearer picture on the water situation when you call for help.

What Causes Low Water Flow in Shower?

Low water pressure in your shower could be because of debris or mineral buildup in the fixture, shower head or piping. A partially closed main house shutoff valve or a failing pressure regulator could also be the cause. If the pressure problem is just one shower, the issue may be with just the shower head itself. Call our professional team to find the source! It may just be time for a new shower head.

What Causes a Hose Bib to Leak?

Hose bibs typically have rubber seals and seats. Over time, these can wear out, or, if subjected to freezing temperatures, the hose bib can burst and leak only when in the “on” position, (if a freezeless type), or if not freezeless, burst from freezing and be very visible. Always remove hoses during the time of year potential for freezing occurs. If not a freezeless hose bib, turn the hose bib off in the house if a shut off valve is present or purchase the foam covers from a hardware store and put them over the hose bib during the cold weather. The leaking may not seem like a big deal, but it can cause damage, waste water, and make a more expensive repair necessary later. If you want to attempt to fix your own, make sure the water is turned off and then tighten the packing nut or change the washers and/or seats. When in doubt, call FitzGerald & Sons. We will determine if your hose bib is fixable or needs to be replaced.

How Do I Know If My Sump Pump Is Going Bad?

When a sump pump is going bad, there are some key warning signs to look out for, such as strange noises, excessive vibration while running, irregular cycling, running for a long time, rust, motor sticking, motor failure, and aged at least seven years. If any of these things apply, you will probably need help with your sump pump soon.

What Happens When Sump Pump Fails?

The purpose of a sump pump is to keep your basement and crawlspace dry. When your sump pump fails, you could experience significant damage to your home. If you are concerned about the functionality of your sump pump, having an inspection would be wise. We can make sure your sump pump is functioning properly so your home will be prepared for the next storm.

What Causes a Sump Pump to Fail?

A sump pump can fail for a variety of reasons, such as power failure, old age, improper installation, improper maintenance, clogged or frozen drainage pipe, overloaded pump, and a jammed switch. A plumbing professional can assess your sump pump, find the source of the problem, and suggest a solution.

How Often Should I Replace My Sump Pump?

The lifespan of a sump pump is usually about ten years, but they can start failing at around seven years. Once your sump pump is seven years old, having an inspection periodically is wise.

How Do I Know If My Sewage Ejection Pump Is Going Bad?

If you have plumbing in your basement and your sewer line leaves the building above the level of the floor, you may very well have a sewage ejector pump. If the pump should fail, you should immediately stop using any fixture that discharges into the basin as this will cause flooding of the basement with sewage, etc.

What Happens When Sewage Ejection Pump Fails?

When a sewage ejection pump fails, it is generally due to either the age of the pump or most commonly, from objects other than those intended to be flushed into the system. Feminine products, wipes, paper towels and other objects not intended to be flushed will damage and often cause failure in a common sewage ejector pump. When your pump fails, it is usually replaced although if it is just jammed at the impeller, it may be able to be un-jammed and continue working.

How Often Should I Replace My Sewage Ejector Pump?

The lifespan of a sewage ejector pump is typically less than a sump pump because of the type of usage. If used correctly, a sewage ejector pump might last 10 years or more. If not, the usage will determine how long it lasts. Unless it fails, there is no reason to replace it.

How Do Sewage Ejection Pumps Work?

Depending on brand and size, most pumps work on either a float(s) system or on an integral pressure sensor. Single float pumps work such that when the water level gets high enough to trip the switch inside the float, the pump comes on and when the water level drops low enough to allow the float to be in a “relaxed” or downward position, the pump shuts off. Some pump systems may have multiple floats for on, off, and alarm status. Regardless of the number of floats, it is important the floats be positioned so as not to allow debris to pile up on the floats, which can cause them not to work. When installing a new pump, pay attention to the position of the float relative to where the inlet to the basin is.

What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency?

If your emergency is a leak, sewage or water, eliminate the source first. Shut off your incoming water immediately. This should help limit the damage. Next, call us 24/7 when you have an emergency. Do not get distracted by the catastrophe and wait to call until later. The faster we can come, the more damage we can limit. If we tell you it is safe to stay in your home, continue to the next step. It is often a good idea to shut off your water heater and if it is electric, if safe to do so, shut off the power to the heater so that you will preserve the heating elements. While you are waiting on service and cleanup, go ahead and fight the little leaks. If you can plug up a leak with towels or put a bucket under a drip, do it. Finally, if it’s a water leak and you have successfully turned off the water, try to get water out of your pipes by turning on an outdoor spigot or hose. This step will try to limit how much water could potentially still cause problems inside your home.

What Causes Faucet to Drip?

Most everyone has experienced a dripping faucet, which is not only annoying, but a waste of water. The cause of the dripping faucet usually lies in a worn, loose, or missing washer or seat. With the correct tools a homeowner can often get to the cause of the problem and find the replacement parts at the local hardware or box store. Before you take your faucet apart, REMEMBER TO SHUT OFF THE WATER. Occasionally, a malfunctioning pressure reducing valve can allow the water pressure in the home to get high enough to cause faucets to drip, toilets to run, etc. Keep an eye on that pressure.

What Makes Water Pipes Rattle?

The most common reasons for pipe rattling include loose mounts, water hammer, and excessive water pressure. If the mounts are loose, the rattling might be the least of your problems as you may also have a leak. If the pressure is the issue, you will likely notice the rattling when turning the faucet on and off. These two problems will require a plumber’s intervention.

Why Do the Pipes Rattle When I Flush the Toilet?

If the piping rattles when a fixture with a quick-closing valve is being used, such as a toilet, ice maker or washing machine, it could be the pressure is too high or the piping is loose and needs to be strapped. If the pressure is too high, check the pressure reducing valve using a simple gauge on a hose bib you can purchase at the local hardware store for less than $10. If the static pressure in the house is 60 psi or less, the piping is probably loose. If it’s higher and the pressure reducing valve seems to be failing, it should be replaced as the first step. If on a basement or crawlspace, you may be able to access the loose piping and secure it to stop the rattling. If the guilty piping is inside a wall, you may have to remove drywall to access.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Pipe Corrosion?

Pipe corrosion in sanitary piping is usually due to age and type of material the piping is made of. The newer plastic piping such as PVC or ABS is much less apt to have any scale and buildup because the piping is generally very slick, and things simply don’t stick to it as easily. If the pipe is cast iron, clay or what is commonly referred to as Orangeburg, the pipe could be very deteriorated, collapsed, partially collapsed or have scale buildup to the point paper and waste does not flow as it should.

If you believe you have corroded water piping because of low flow, it is probably due to that water piping being galvanized and being rather old. The only way to correct that is to replace the piping with new, modern piping.

When to Replace Water Heater? How Long Should A Water Heater Last?

The average lifespan of a hot water heater is 8-12 years. After this time, you could start to notice the hot water running out prematurely, rust in your water, a leak, or loud noises. Planning for your water heater to be replaced about every ten years is wise. You can also do yearly or twice yearly maintenance on your water heater by flushing it thoroughly to prolong the heater’s lifespan. This should be done from the time your water heater is 6 mos. to 1 year old and be kept up. Keeping rust, silt and other debris flushed from your water heater will help assure it lasts past its warranty period.

How Big of a Water Heater Do I Need?

The size of your water heater is dependent on your family’s needs. As a rough guide, a family of 1-2 will likely need at least a 30-gallon, a family of 2-3 will likely need at least a 40-gallon, a family of 3-4 will likely need at least a 50-gallon (electric) or 40-gallon (gas), and a family of 5 or more will likely need at least a 80-gallon (electric) or 50-gallon (gas). If you are going tankless, you will not have to consider the size, but you need to look at flow rate and temperature rise. It is often not feasible to use an 80-gallon heater in a residence but sometimes the use of two 40-gallon water heaters is an option if you have the room.

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

Water heaters are made of steel. The inside of a residential water heater is lined with a glass lining. Eventually the water will find its way through small voids in the glass and rust through the steel. For this reason, a sacrificial anode rod is part of a residential water heater as it will corrode before the water heater steel will. Once the anode rod is gone, the tank will begin to corrode. Changing an anode rod every few years may prolong the life of the water heater, depending on the water quality. It is common for drain valves to begin leaking also. If the heater is shut off while you are out of town, or for prolonged periods of time, then started back up, the heating and cooling can cause any of the threaded joints to begin leaking. These should be, mostly, relatively easy to repair.

Are Tankless Water Heaters Better?

Tank-less water heaters are often a good choice for those who wish to lower the risk of water damage from a storage type water heater located in an attic or other less-than-ideal location, or for those who simply wish to lower their energy consumption. Tank-less water heaters are generally smaller and more energy efficient than conventional tank-type water heaters. But there are also other non-conventional water heaters on the market such as “hybrid” water heaters which utilize both a tank and an instantaneous water heater along with several electric water heaters, some with stainless steel, anode-less, tanks and some with plastic tanks. We always recommend the customer educate themselves and then contact their preferred professional for specific information related to installation. There are many brands and types available and certainly, one size does not fit all.

How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?

Tankless water heaters generally last twenty years and beyond. Although they typically have a higher upfront cost in comparison to traditional water heaters, their energy savings and longer lifespan often make it a more fiscally sound decision.

How Much Electricity Does a Tankless Water Heater Use?

Tankless water heaters are designed for efficiency. They are 99% efficient and the annual savings can be up to $100 per year. A typical residential tankless water heater only requires a 115 vac outlet to operate the controls. While they are available, all electric tankless water heaters consume enormous amounts of electricity and we do not recommend them.

Which Is Better Gas or Electric Tankless Water Heater?

This choice can depend on your situation. See above. We do not recommend electric tankless water heaters, in fact, the brand we use the most of and recommend, Rinnai, does not make an electric tankless water heater. Electric tankless water heaters are not at all efficient and use a lot of electricity. Gas, natural or propane, tankless water heaters are the most efficient, use less energy and heat quickly.

How to Detect a Water Leak Under the Slab?

The most noticeable indicators are an unexplained spike in your water bill or a noticeable warm spot on the floor. If you have noticed any of these signs, contact our professional team right away. A good sign of an under-slab leak is if your pet has begun to lay in a different spot on the floor from where he usually lays. A leak under the slab can cause serious problems if not addressed properly.

Can A Cracked Toilet Tank Be Repaired?

We do not recommend attempting to repair a toilet tank. The cost of a toilet tank is negligible compared to the potential for water damage from a failed attempt at a repair. We do not ever recommend repairing cracked or damage china.

What Causes a Toilet to Overflow?

A toilet overflow could be due to a blockage, a sewer backup or septic issues. If the issue is a clog, most toilet clogs can be dealt with by using a plunger or a closet auger. Correctly using a plunger can easily dislodge the “soft” clog without making a mess of the bathroom. A firm up and down motion will cause the water in the trap of the toilet to move up and down and dislodge the clog in most cases. If not, a closet auger will often take care of it. Of course, if these don’t work, the use of a longer “snake” will be necessary.

Does Liquid Laundry Detergent Clog Pipes?

Your pipes should be okay with liquid. Liquid detergents are designed to fully dissolve. If you read labels, you may even find some liquid detergents which will not disturb your enzyme balance as well.

Does Toilet Paper Clog Pipes?

If you use too much, toilet paper can cause clogs. If you have old, rough pipes, your chances of a clog would be increased as well. When used in moderation, toilet paper should not be an issue though.

Contact Us

FitzGerald & Sons Plumbing Co.

Phone

770-487-8714

Physical Address

105 Auburn Court, Peachtree City, GA 30269

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 2688 Peachtree City, GA 30269