5 Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

The bathroom is our private place, and we need to make sure that it is always working properly. Sometimes, issues may occur and usually, we can't understand why.

If you find yourself in the middle of any issue and you don't know what it is, this article may help you answer the most common plumbing questions.

1. Why does your toilet keep running?

Most of the time a toilet will continuously run because the flapper does not close or because there is not a proper seal around the flush valve. The best way to solve it is by shaking the handle up and down. This should fix the issue most of the time.

However, this is only a temporary solution. If the flapper is not sealing properly, you will need to replace it.

2. What can you put in your garbage disposal?

The garbage disposal is a useful feature in the kitchen, but this does not mean you should put everything into it. Disposals can only break soft debris, so take care of considering what you put in it. Placing hard objects like bones or nutshells can damage your disposal. Softer items, such as coffee grounds and pasta can also be detrimental as they can result in blockages. A good rule of thumb is to remember your disposal isn't a trash can and to only put small bits in at a time (small pieces of food, eggshells, etc). Also, be sure to use water to help further break down the food to be kinder to your drains.

3. Is it safe for you to use chemical drain cleaners?

Drain cleaners are very toxic, and they are not recommended to be flushed in the toilet. If you have a septic system, they can upset the delicate ecosystem of bacteria necessary to break down solids and create cleaner wastewater. They can also deteriorate your drain pipes from the inside resulting in more serious problems (and costly repairs) in the long run.

4. Why do you run out of hot water so quickly?

This is a very common question. If you run out of hot water very fast, there are a few things to look for. Is your water heater the proper size for your household? Smaller capacity tanks cause you to run out of hot water sooner and also puts more strain on the equipment as it has to work harder to keep up with usage. There also may be an issue with the heating elements (if you have an electric tank) or the gas valve (if you have a gas tank). Another thing to keep in mind, if you have an older water heater, is the average life expectancy for a water heater is 8-12 years which can be impacted by maintenance and the quality of water in your home.

5. What causes a drain clog and why does it happen to you?

A clogged drain can be the result of a variety of issues. For bathrooms, it's common to find blockages caused by a buildup of hair, skin cells, and soap residue in shower drains; toilet blockages are commonly a result of a surplus of waste, too much toilet paper or wipes, or the occasional foreign object (ever had a child attempt to flush a toy?). In the kitchen, grease buildup is a common culprit for clogged drains. Being aware of what goes down your drains can have a considerable impact on the number of blockages you will experience.

Regardless of services needed, it's important to contact a licensed plumber to make sure your home is taken care of properly. Contact Debord's Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, your local and trusted plumbing contractor, for all your plumbing needs today.