Here are answers to the most common questions we are asked:
Q: What if my garbage disposal is jammed?
A: First make sure the electricity supply to the disposal is turned off. At the bottom on most disposers is a hole to insert a hex wrench to work the jammed blade backwards and forwards. That is usually enough to free the motor.
Q: I hear a lot about tankless hot water heaters, what are they?
A: Traditionally most homes have one big tank full of hot water, which is constantly heated to provide hot water at any time. A tankless system is a powerful heater installed next to a faucet, and just heats up the water only when the faucet is turned on.
Q: How can we reduce our water bill?
A: First check to see if you have any leaking faucets or minor leaks, and have them fixed. It is surprising how many gallons is dripped away over a few days. Other suggestions are installing a low-flow shower head and changing a toilet to a high-efficiency flush.
Q: What is the reason for low water pressure?
A: Actually there are several possible reasons for low water pressure. The first thing to check is the main shut-off valve (next to the water meter) and to make sure the valve is fully open. Next check supply lines to the home to ensure there are not any breaks. Your plumbing professional can test the incoming pressure with a water pressure test gauge.
Q: How do I stop a leaking valve dripping?
A: If you have a leaking stop valve on an exterior faucet, sometimes due to frequent use, the packing (locking) nut behind the handle works loose. Tightening the nut may well stop the leak. If not, then the reason may be a worn washer inside the valve body which will need replacing.
Q: How do I fix a wobbly toilet?
A: If the toilet base is loose, then it may be possible to tighten the mounting bolts at the floor. If you are unlucky, then the mounting flange may have broken which needs the toilet to be removed to access it.
Q: Why does our faucet make a banging noise when turned on?
A: A banging or hammering noise at a faucet is usually due to air being compressed and released by water pressure. The most common cause is a worn or faulty rubber washer in the faucet body. Turn off the water and take the faucet apart so the right size replacement washer can be obtained, as there are so many different makes, models and sizes. See http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20809699,00.html
Q: The water pressure supply to our home is too high, what can we do?
A: Have your plumbing professional install a pressure reducing valve at the water main to your home. This valve will have an adjustment to vary and set the water pressure at a lower value.
Q: Our hot water has gone cold – what do we do?
A: Try turning up the temperature on the heater tank thermostat. If the water stays cold, it may be a faulty heater sensor or faulty heater element. Call Prime Plumbers to check out your heating system today.
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