Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions

Have a plumbing, related question? We have the answer. Check out these FAQs and give us a call today for more information!

It’s true that the water system should be fine while you are away, but “should” and “will” are two different things. Just because no one will use the faucets while you’re gone doesn’t mean pipes won’t leak or burst.

Consider the consequences. While you’re away, even a small leak or other issues such as plumbing problems from water backing up can prove disastrous. Left unchecked, these leaks will continue to pour water into your home for days or weeks, depending on how long you are away.

To prevent these types of scenarios, simply shut off the water to your home before you leave. This will limit the amount of damage any major plumbing problems can cause while you are gone. This step isn’t a must to enjoy your vacation, but it will provide additional peace of mind and could save your home from a flood. Call a plumbing contractor on our team to learn more.

Locating your main water shut-off valve shouldn’t be too difficult, but you may need to search a bit. Here are a few helpful suggestions from our plumbing contractor.

  • It’s near the perimeter. Look around the inside edge of your home.
  • It’s roughly 3 feet below ground level. It will usually be at eye level or lower if it’s in the basement. If it’s on the main floor, you’ll need to look down.
  • It’s on the shortest route. Find your outdoor water meter and look for the nearest point of your home’s exterior. Water lines take the shortest path from the meter to the house. You should find the shut-off valve where the line and your house meet.
  • It’s in your inspection report. Did you hire a home inspector to inspect your home when you purchased it? If so, did you keep the report? This should contain a notation of where your shut-off valve is located. Dig out the report to help you with your search.
  • It’s behind a panel. Builders should not seal water shut-off valves behind drywall. However, if a remodeling project has hidden your valve, an access panel should be present to reach the valve. Look for any access panels in the walls.

If you’re experiencing cloudy water, our plumbing contractors conclude that it’s due to one of three reasons.

  • Bubbles: The most common cause of cloudy water is air bubbles. Air bubbles in the water create the cloudiness you see. This often occurs during cold weather. The combination of pressure and temperature changes creates air bubbles in the water as it travels to your faucet. The air bubbles are harmless and will dissipate with time. Simply let the water sit in an open glass or container for a few moments, and the bubbles will naturally rise to the top and disappear.
  • Dirt: Sometimes, tiny particles can get into your water supply. These bits of sand and dirt get suspended in the water and cause cloudiness. This small amount of particles is generally harmless, although you probably prefer not to serve your guest’s cloudy water. It may taste okay, but it looks displeasing. To clear up your water, treat it with a sediment filter.
  • Sulfur: Does your water smells like rotten eggs? If so, this indicates hydrogen sulfide is present. Sulfur bacteria thrive in plumbing systems or wells where there is little oxygen and they can thrive on rotting organic matter. They produce hydrogen sulfide gas, which gets trapped in your water. Chemical reactions in your water heater may be the cause, or the bacteria may be present in your well. Sulfur is not typically a threat to your health, but to ensure your water is safe, have it tested. To remove the unpleasant appearance and aroma, determine the source of the bacteria.

For water heater issues, have the appliance serviced by a professional. For water source issues, ensure your system offers proper ventilation for the gas and install a home and water filtration unit to eliminate sulfur bacteria.

Walls and flooring can hide small leaks, making them undetectable. The first detectable sign might be when the water finds its way through the floor into the light fixture. If this happens, you most likely have a leak somewhere nearby. This is a common plumbing emergency. Take the following steps to correct it.

  • Don’t touch it. Do not touch the light fixture or try to drain the water from it. Avoid using the fixture’s switch, too. Remember, water and electricity are not friends.
  • Cut the power. Instead of turning off the light, go directly to your home’s breaker box and shut off the power.
  • Cut the water. If you find the source of the water, such as an overflowing sink or washing machine, shut off the water supply there. If you aren’t sure where the source is, turn off the water supply at your home’s main shut-off valve.
  • Call a professional. Contact one of our plumbing contractors to locate the leak and make repairs. Check with an electrician to determine if your light fixture is safe to use or should be replaced.

When you use your hose, water gets trapped in the line going to the spigot and this water remains once you’ve shut off the hose. When the temperature drops, this water freezes and causes the pipes to crack. With a frost-free spigot, the cracking still occurs, but it usually happens behind the washer, inside your home. A non-frost-free spigot reveals cracks immediately, while frost-free spigots can make the problem less noticeable right away. Water may pour into your home while you’re outside, unaware. To prevent these issues, remove the hose before winter. For further protection, use the spigot’s shut-off valve, located inside your home. If you don’t have one, our plumbing contractor can install one for you!

If you’ve noticed a recent spike in your water bill or have always had high water bills, this could be due to several factors. Some are major plumbing problems, and others are minor issues that are easily fixed. Some of the frequent issues our plumbing contractors come across include leaking toilets, faucets, irrigation systems, and underground pipelines, as well as outdated fixtures, water waste from human errors, and simple seasonal changes.

Modern appliances often work so quickly that they cause pipes to jerk as the water pressure changes. If the pipes are not fastened tightly, they may move around and cause banging noises. If this banging continues, it can wear out the pipes and cause damage. To prevent the pipes from banging, you can do one of three things.

  1. Locate the pipes making the noise and add pipe straps to hold them in place. You can find these at any store that sells plumbing supplies.
  2. If you’re unable to access the pipes, you can install water hammer arrestors. These shock absorbers cushion the change in water pressure so the pipes don’t jerk and bang.
  3. Call a plumbing contractor to investigate the problem and install one of these solutions for you.

Homeowners can use a variety of methods to treat their water. A good pump UV light is an effective method to treat water for bacterial organisms. According to our experts, UV light kills 99.9% of biological contaminants, including bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. This light works by removing living organisms from the water by passing it through the UV rays. This passage alters the organisms’ DNA to prevent them from reproducing and leaves them inert. Installed at the point of entry, UV light is an effective way to remove biological contaminants from the water entering your home. Call us today and we can have a plumbing contractor come out and install a pump with UV light.

Have you noticed an unpleasant odor drifting through your home? This smell is typically caused by one of three reasons:

  • Sewer trap plugs: Missing or loose sewer trap plugs are the most common cause of indoor sewer smell. Your sewer access pit contains a house trap. This is a U-shaped piece that traps water to serve as a barrier between the city sewer and your home. If the plug on this trap is poorly fitted or gone entirely, public sewer odor can travel into your home. Simply replace the plug, and your air should clear.
  • Dried trap: If the water in the U-trap has dried up, it no longer acts as a barrier to the sewer odor. Run some water into the trap to recreate the barrier. This should eliminate the odor.
  • City sewer: Is the odor coming from outside? A sewer smell outdoors can indicate the city sewer is experiencing major plumbing problems, not your home. However, if the smell persists, it may be due to the drains from your house.

Contact a plumbing contractor to check your drainage system for proper functioning.

A ductless system is made up of two individual units. An indoor unit (the evaporator) and an outdoor unit (the condenser). Each condenser comes pre-charged with refrigerant and is connected to one or more evaporators. Think of a mini-split system like an upgraded space heater that heats and cools your whole room and cleans your room’s air of allergens and pathogens while potentially saving you on your monthly energy bill. These benefits make this system a popular choice. According to ComfyLiving, 57% of air conditioning units that are sold are mini-splits. If you’re looking for a mini-split system or air conditioner installation, Pilgrim Plumbing, Inc is here to help!