General Plumbing Questions – Answers to common questions
How can I locate the valve to shut off the water supply to my home?
To locate your shutoff valve, look for the outside water line that leads to your home. The water line usually flows directly from the water meter to a location inside the residence. The most likely places for the valve to be located are on the internal pipes near your outside walls or where the water enters the structure.
Severe flooding and damage that can occur when pipes burst can be prevented by knowing how to shut off the water supply quickly. Every member of your household should learn this important information in order to act fast if an emergency plumbing situation should arise. Your next step should be to immediately call Mike’s Plumbing, and we’ll be there as quickly as possible, most often times in 45 minutes.
Should I close and open the main water supply shutoff valve periodically?
Yes. You want to make sure they’re not stuck in the open position just when you have a water emergency. Do the same periodic check for the shutoff valves on your sinks, tubs, and toilets, too.
Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?
Noises can be fairly common in plumbing supply lines. If a washer in a faucet or valve is loose, you’ll hear it rattling or knocking. If the sound occurs when you open and close faucets rapidly, it generally means pipes are loose, and can be corrected by anchoring pipes more securely. If it really bothers you, you can add air chambers at the end of long pipe runs. Call Mike’s Plumbing to handle this installation.
I am hearing a whistle sound that seems to be connected to the plumbing system. It comes and goes at times, but I can’t find the cause of it. What could cause this?
The sound you are describing is usually caused by a toilet fill valve that is slowly leaking. To locate the leaking toilet, remove the lid of each toilet tank and adjust the fill valve mechanism until it stops. Once you have found the toilet causing the problem, call us to repair or replace the fill valve.
Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom faucet?
Check if the emergency shutoff under your sink is fully open. Next, check to see if the rubber washers or seals have begun to deteriorate, as that is a big culprit of water pressure loss. Because calcium and lime buildup also cause low water pressure, you may even need to clean your aerators. For tips on cleaning the aerators, read the next question.
Can I replace my two-handled faucet with a single-handle faucet?
The answer is usually yes because faucet dimensions and sink openings are standard throughout the plumbing industry. There are a few exceptions, so check the size of the sink opening before you buy new fixtures.
My shower head and faucet aerators have a buildup of a white substance around the area where the water comes out. Is there anything I can do other than replace them?
The unsightly buildup is mineral deposits. To remove these deposits from the shower-head, take a plastic bag and pour a cup of vinegar in it. Place the bag over the shower-head and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the deposits. You might be able to remove the aerators from the faucets and allow them to soak in the vinegar overnight.
What should I do to take care of my faucets and sinks?
Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, as much as 150 gallons a day! Be sure to check under sinks for moisture or small leaks. And always repair leaky faucets right away to avoid paying for wasted water, and also to avoid water damage to your fixtures and pipes. Remove and clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even flow of water. Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanity are clear and open to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings.