10 Common Plumbing Questions and Answers
Plumbing problems are always expected and are common in almost every home. It may be minor or major plumbing problems, but for some reasons, these issues are commonly experienced by a lot of people.
We have put together 10 of the most common plumbing questions and their solutions.
If you run into any plumbing problems and you require the help of a professional, do not hesitate to place a call to Baker Smith Plumbing & Gas engineers. We have a team of trained and experienced plumbers who are skilled at handling different plumbing issues no matter how complex; we are also equipped with the right tools and most modern technology to deliver professional plumbing services. Give us a call whenever those plumbing emergencies occur, and we will be right at your doorstep to fix any plumbing issue within the shortest time possible.
1. Why is my water cloudy, and how can i fix it?
Opening up the tap and seeing cloudy, milky water rush out can be alarming. However, you should not panic, as several factors can cause this to occur, and some of them include:
Dirt or tiny particles can find it’s way into your water supply and cause cloudiness. The cloudy look may be caused when particles of sand or dust are suspended in the water. Although the water may look unhealthy, it may be drinkable and harmless. To clear up the water, try treating it with a sediment filter, or you can place a call to us for help.
This becomes a likely cause if there are is a rotten egg smell and a cloudy water look. If the smell is present, it means hydrogen sulfide is present in the water. The sulphur bacteria thrives in plumbing areas with little oxygen and rotten organic matter. The bacteria produce the hydrogen sulfide gas, and it can get trapped in the water system. Sulphur is not a threat to human health, but it is advised you have your water tested to be sure it is safe.
Before the odour and cloudy appearance are removed, the source of the bacteria must first be determined. Sometimes, the chemicals in the water heater can be the cause. If so, the heater should be serviced by a plumber.
If the water heater is not the cause, then the water source should be provided with enough ventilation. Also, a home infiltration unit should be installed to eliminate sulphur bacteria.
Bubbles are also one of the most common causes of cloudy water. As simple as it may sound, air bubbles can often be responsible for murky water, especially in cold periods – the changes in temperature and pressure combine to create air bubbles in the water. This air bubbles are harmless and will rise to the top and disappear if the water is left in an open container or glass for a long time.
2. Should my water be turned off when i go on holiday?
Leaving the water valve on when you travel can be risky. This is because there will not be anyone around to use it; it does not mean that accidents cannot occur in the form of leaks or burst pipes. A small leak can escalate into a house flood if left unchecked for a long time. If you can remember to pack all your essentials in preparation of you trip, and also remember to turn off the gas valve or electricity, then the water valve should not be exempted.
Your vacation or trip can be completely ruined if you should receive a phone call from a neighbor, informing you that your house has been flooded while you were away. The best thing to do is to turn off the main water valve before you leave the house for your trip. Although this is not a necessary precaution, but it will give you some peace of mind while you are away.
3. Where is the main water shut off valve?
Everyone should know the location of the main water shut-off valve, in case there is an emergency. To control the water flow when there is a leak or burst-pipe. It is also essential to know the location of the main water shut-off valve so you can easily cut off water flow when you are leaving the house or going on vacation. Locating your main water shut-off valve should not be hard work, you can look at some specific places to find them – here are some clues.
- Check near the perimeter.
- Check three feet below the ground level. An excellent place to start is the basement. If it is in the basement, it should be at the eye level or lower. But if it is in the main floor, you will have to look down.
- Find the outdoor water meter and check from the nearest point of the exterior of your home. Water lines usually take the shortest path from the water meter to the house; the shut-off valve should be at the meeting point of your house and water-lines.
- Check your home inspection report. If you had your house inspected by a home inspector when it was bought, the location of the main water shut-off valve should be in the report.
- It is not common for water valves to be hidden behind drywall. However, if there has been any renovation, your valve may have been hidden behind an access panel – search for an access point in your walls.
If you still can’t find the main water shut-off valve, then you should call a professional plumber for help in finding it.
4. Why does water leak through the ceiling from the light fixture?
If you notice that the light fixture above your dining table or your light holder above the kitchen is filled with water or is gradually filled up with water. You should try to relax, even though this may be enough incite panic. This situation is merely an indication that you have a leakage somewhere – it is only a plumbing emergency that can be rectified.
Call Baker Smith Plumbing and Heating Engineers, and our expert plumbers will be right there to help you fix it. In the meantime, you can take the following steps to have it corrected:
- Do not turn off the light; instead, go directly to the breaker box and cut the power supply.
- If you can locate the source of the water, shut it off immediately. If you do not know the source shut off the main water shut-off valve.
- Do not attempt to touch the light or drain the water in it – it can cause electrocution.
- Call for professional help immediately.
5. Why is my water bill so high?
A high in the water bills is not pleasure news. You may have created a budget for the month only for the water bill to come in at such price. What could be the cause? A ridiculously high water bill can be as a result of any of the following:
- Leaky taps or faucets
This is the most common cause of increase rate in water bills – a dripping faucet wastes water and causes an increase in the utility bill. It has been noted to waste more than 3,000 gallons of water yearly.
- Leaking toilets
Toilets account for 24% of the water we use daily, you can imagine the damage it can cause if there is a leak. It has been estimated that a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
- Inefficient fixtures
Outdated plumbing work are the causes of leaks and other plumbing problems. If you are experiencing an increase in water bills, it may be a time to have the outdated plumbing works replaced.
- Leaky line
An increase in water bills can be caused when the underground water pipes in your home are leaking or loose. These can be caused by tree roots activity, animal activity, or even earthquakes.
- Water waste
Your water bills may be high because water is used recklessly. Some acts that could result in this waste include over watering your lawns or taking long showers.
- Leaky irrigation system
A leak in the sprinkler system of your lawn may be the reason for your high water bill. If it is, then you should have it replaced.
6. Why should i disconnect my hose during the winter even if it says frost-free?
Although your spigot says frost-free, you should still have your hose removed during the winter. This is because, when the hose is used, water is present in it, and remains there even when the hose is turned off – during winter, the water present can freeze and cause the pipes to crack. With a frost-free spigot, the crack will not be noticed, and water may get into your home while you are out. All this can be prevented if you disconnect the hose from the spigot.
7. I have a sewer smell in my house, Why?
If you notice a slight uncomfortable sewer smell in your house, it is maybe caused by one of the following:
- Dry trap
Some may not know but the water in the U-trap of the toilet bowl serves as a barrier to sewer odour. If you notice a sewer smell, it could be that the water in the U-trap has dried up – run some water into it to recreate the barrier.
- City sewer
If the offensive smell comes from outside the house and not inside, then it can only mean that the city sewer may have some plumbing issues, or there could be drain problems in your home. Contact Baker Smith Plumbing and Heating Engineers immediately, and we will be at your door doorstep within 2 hours in most cases.
- Sewer trap plugs
A missing or loose sewer plug is the most likely reason for a sewer smell in your house. The sewer pit contains a house trap that serves as a barrier between the city sewer and your home. If the plug on this trap is loose or gone, the odour from the city sewer can travel into your home. When this occurs, you only have to replace the plug, and the air will clear out.
8. Why do my pipes bang when i use my appliances?
This merely happens when changes in water pressure cause the pipes to jerk as the appliances are used. It can only occur when the pipes are not fastened properly. Ignoring this noise created by the pipe can cause further damage to it over time. However, you can control it by:
- Strapping the pipes in place using pipe straps
- Installing water hammer arrestors, primarily when the pipe cannot be located
- Call for help from a professional plumber
9. Quest piping: Why can’t i have it in my home?
Quest piping used in the late 1970’s and up to the mid 1900’s for home constructions – is a brand name for polybutylene, or more commonly known as poly pipes. Although it is still available, one of the significant problems with this product is that it lacks durability – it wears away from the inside due to the oxidants present in the water, because of this problem, it is impossible to detect until a leak occurs. The leak is usually severe because most of the pipes have already deteriorated.
10. A well pimp UV light: What is it used for?
A pump UV light is used by house owners to treat water for bacterial organisms. It is highly effective, as it can kill about 99.9% of all biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses etc.
Baker Smith plumbing and heating engineers are available and ready to provide answers to any questions you might have concerning plumbing. We are your go to plumbing company whenever you have any plumbing emergencies.
Call us today on 01727 730 590 and our team will be happy to help!