Answers to Your Commonly Asked Plumbing Questions
Oct 7, 2015
We’ve all been there. The drain clogs, the sink drips, or a foul smell just won’t seem to leave your kitchen sink. When plumbing issues come up, questions often come along with them. What’s causing this issue? How can I fix it? Should I be scheduling regular maintenance? Just like any field, we run into some frequently asked questions from our clients about their plumbing concerns.
We are here to make it easy for you by providing the answers to common questions on our blog! Give us a call at if you have additional questions.
1. What Should I Avoid Putting in My Garbage Disposal?
While most people think a garbage disposal is the answer to their leftovers, there are many items you want to prevent dropping down your your disposal. Small scrapings from your plates, minimal peelings, and other cut up food are fine, but your garbage disposal is not designed to destroy large chunks of food.
Never put fats, oil, or grease down your drain when possible, as they can accumulate and cause a clog. Also, avoid putting items like coffee grounds, cornhusks, celery stalks, or any high fiber content down the disposal. Most biodegradable food waste is fine, but make sure to always run cold water before dropping anything down the disposal. Foods that expand, like pasta and rice, can also cause damage.
2. There Is a Weird Smell in My Disposal. Can I Fix It?
Because garbage disposals are used to break up food and send it down the drain, food particles can often get stuck or accumulate around the blades or walls of the disposal. This can create odor-causing mold and mildew to develop. The good news is that this can be a pretty easy fix!
There are a few methods you can use, such as:
- Dropping a few ice cubes in and running your disposal.
- Running a lemon or orange through the disposal.
- Pouring in baking soda and let it set for a few hours before running the disposal and water through it.
- Using safe and approved drain cleaning chemicals as directed.
3. Why Is My Kitchen / Bathroom Sink Taking So Long to Drain?
Whether in the bathroom or the kitchen, a slow drain can be very frustrating. This issue is actually fairly common in both areas, as sink drains are typically only 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. That means even minimal food particles, grease, fats, and soap can begin to buildup in the pipes and slow down the drainage process. In some cases, kitchen drains may be far away from the main sewer line, allowing for low, slower draining spots where buildup occurs.
4. What’s Causing My Constant Drainage Backups?
Drainage backups can occur for a number of different reasons. The age of your pipes, condition of your plumbing and sewer line, and drain habits may all play a part in poor drainage. If your sewer pipe is made of concrete, clay, or transite piping, you could run into constant issues, from unsealed connections to tree root damage. Older pipes may be restricted or collapsed, leading to constant backups. If the pipe settled in many different spots, low spots or breaks could also be causing drainage issues.
5. My Leaky Faucet Is Driving Me Crazy. Is There a Simple Fix?
Most fixtures, even when quality brands, are susceptible to leaks. Whether the bathroom shower faucet or the kitchen faucet, your leaky faucet could be caused by a number of different issues. The age of your fixtures and the hardness of the water in your home are likely the main culprits. So what’s the fix? If there is just minor damage, you may need to replace worn out parts like washer steams, faucet handles, or seats. If the issue is more serious, you may need to rebuild or replace the entire fixture. This may even be a better solution than replacing hard to find or expensive parts on an older faucet.
6. Is My Sewer Line Causing Constant Plumbing Backups?
There are a number of different issues that can lead to backups in your home plumbing. If you are suspicious that your sewer line may be to blame, you need to call on the professionals to perform an inspection. One of the best ways to determine if your sewer lines are the issue is to set up a video inspection. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we can insert a small camera into your line and get to the bottom of the issue. We may uncover a damaged line, a minor buildup, or even invasive tree roots. You can be sure that if your sewer line is the issue, we’ll figure it out and find a fix for it!
7. Can You Replace Sewer Lines Without Digging Up My Lawn?
Thanks to our trenchless pipe repair technology, we can take care of sewer line issues without having to dig up your landscape or create an unsightly construction zone on your property! Whether you have cracked, corroded, or burst pipes, our plumbers can restore them in no time. Trenchless pipe repair is less invasive, can often be completed in just one day, and is much more efficient than traditional methods.
8. What Should I Do If My Water Heater Is Leaking?
Water heaters can be very beneficial for homeowners. While having a supply of hot water can be great, if there is a leak or other issue with your water heater, it is crucial that you get it fixed right away to avoid other problems. Though you may think of a small leak as just a minor issue, a leak in your water heater can indicate major issues. In most cases, a leak means that the bottom of a tank water heater has rusted, which typically requires replacement rather than repairs. Depending on the type of water heater you have, however, the leak may be resolved with just some basic tune-ups. Regardless, the sooner you get the leak checked out, the sooner you can go back to having hot water.
9. My Toilet Bowl Is Always Running, But Does it Really Matter?
Yes! Though you may not even notice the constant sound of your toilet bowl running, you should notice the dollars it adds to your water bill. In some cases, leaky toilets may tack on an additional $100 to your yearly bills! If your toilet continues to make that running sound whenever you flush it, it is time to get some parts repaired or replaced.
Rather than throwing away money, it is important to get the minor issue fixed right away before it snowballs into a major hit for your wallet.
10. How Can I Maintain My Plumbing Fixtures?
There is one simple way you can help your plumbing fixtures function great for years: install a water softener. From water heaters to kitchen faucets and garbage disposals, the hardness of your water can begin to take a toll on your fixtures. While it isn’t always visible, hard water can create a scale build-up that damages your plumbing pipes, fixtures, and appliances! If you don’t want to have to replace your showerhead or water heater so frequently, you need to invest in better quality water. Not only does a water softener help preserve your appliances and fixtures, it also provides you smoother hair, softer skin, shinier dishes, and a more efficient household.