FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers from Our Birmingham Plumbing Experts

Why Is the Temperature of My Water So Hot?

Many water heater manufacturers set the default temperature of their units at 120°F. For most households, this is just the right temperature. For an older model water heater, we recommend setting the thermostat to medium. Gas models have a dial on their gas valve while electric models typically have thermostats concealed behind panels. While you can set your temperature wherever you like, it’s important to remember that hot water helps to reduce bacteria in your home’s pipes. Note that it is important to turn off power to a water heater before adjusting it to reduce the risk of electric shock. If you have any more questions about the temperature of your water, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham today!

My Water Heater Is Making Noise. What Does This Mean?

Rumbling sounds from a water heater could be a sign that it has a buildup of sediment. When water becomes trapped in this sediment, it can boil and cause a rumbling sound. Sediment causes a water heater to be inefficient because heat is not properly transferring within the tank.

To fix this, try draining water from the bottom of your tank. This can be done by attaching a hose to the tank’s lower valve. Allow the water to drain for five minutes and be cautious as it could be hot. Dispose of hot water into a drain and avoid dumping it on your lawn as it will kill your grass.

In many instances of sediment build-up, it might be best to replace your unit. Modern water heaters have features which prevent sediment buildup, so they are a lasting and reliable option over older heaters with sediment. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham offers maintenance plans to ensure your water heater lasts as long as possible.

What Maintenance Should I Do for my Water Heater?

You should test your unit’s pressure relief valve regularly. Additionally, owners should flush out sediment from their heater about once a year. Finally, have an expert from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham check your heater’s anode each year. Anodes prevent water heaters from rusting and are a crucial component for your unit’s longevity.

Can Roots Affect Drain Lines?

Yes. Roots from shrubs and trees and fill a pipe with roots. These roots cause clogs as debris becomes caught on them. Signs of pipes with root problems include reduced flow, slow running drains, or complete blockage.

Additionally, roots can crack pipes and cause them to collapse. Pipes made from clay are particularly susceptible to root damage. Concrete and PVC pipes are also vulnerable to roots. However, PVC pipe has fewer joints, so it is less likely to leak because of roots. If you suspect you are having root issues with your pipes, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham is equipped to diagnose the problem quickly.

Why Are My Shower Heads & Faucets Turning White?

This is caused by a buildup of mineral deposits. One solution for removing deposits is filling a bag with vinegar, attaching it to your showerhead or faucet, and letting it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and scrub the deposits with a toothbrush. Then, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham to discuss water softeners or the H2O Harmony system for the prevention of mineral buildup.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell Bad?

Your garbage disposal smells bad because it has a buildup of food debris. To help improve the smell, place ice cubes and citrus peels in the disposal. Let it run for about 30 seconds and then add a small amount of liquid dish detergent while the disposal is still running. Then, run cold water through the disposal for about 30 seconds to rinse it.

Do You Have Tips for New Toilets?

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham recommends choosing a toilet produced by one of the major manufacturers. A toilet needs replacing if it has cracks or fissures in the tank or bowl. Additionally, it’s important to install a new toilet correctly. Improper mounting and seals can keep a toilet from working correctly.

New toilets are mandated by the government to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water with each flush, so your new toilet may use less water than you are used to.

Why Are My Water Bills So High?

Leaks are a common cause of high water bills. First, ensure that your toilet is not leaking by checking the water level in its tank. If water is leaking into the overflow pipe, adjust the fill valve so the water level is approximately one inch below the pipe’s opening. If your toilet is functioning properly, you may have a leak in a pipe in your plumbing system. For a quick diagnosis, call us as soon as possible.

Why Does My Plumbing Make Groaning & Honking Noises?

You might have lost the “air cushion” in your plumbing system. To get this back, turn off your home’s water at the main valve. Then, turn on all the faucets in your home and turn the water back on. Shut off all faucets, and the problem should be fixed. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham is ready to help you with this problem if you cannot remedy it yourself!

Why Are My Drains Working Slowly?

They could be clogged. First, try using a plunger on them. If this does not work, a liquid drain opener may help the issue. Finally, remove the trap to clean out any debris clogging the pipe. For deep clogs, tools are available to remove them. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Birmingham is prepared to help you remove tough clogs quickly, including with treatment with our BioBen enzyme-based drain opener.

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