How can I increase the water pressure in my faucets?
Check the emergency shutoff under your sink to make sure it’s fully open. If rubber washers or seals have begun to deteriorate, you will also lose water pressure. Calcium and lime buildup may also cause low water pressure.
Can I replace my two-handled faucet with a single-handle faucet?
Faucet dimensions and sink openings are standard throughout the plumbing industry, so the answer is usually yes. There are a few exceptions, so check the size of the sink opening before you buy new fixtures.
How can I prevent clogged drains?
Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs. To help prevent clogs, fit all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer regularly.
What causes my kitchen sink and washing machine drains to clog?
In some homes, the kitchen and laundry drains are connected. When the lint from the laundry drain meets the grease buildup from soap and food products, a nearly solid substance is formed, causing blockage. Using filters and strainers will help, but you will also need to get the drains snaked periodically as well.
Should I close and open the main water supply shutoff valve periodically?
Yes. You want to make sure they are not stuck in the open position when you have a water emergency! Do the same periodic check for the shutoff valves for your sinks, tubs, and toilets.
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 the noise continues, have air chambers installed at the end of long pipe runs (Their installation will probably require a plumbing professional)
What can I do about a sewer line blockage?
The main culprits are tree roots. Abacus will snake the line to get it as clear as possible and then use copper sulfide products to kill the remaining vegetation. Eventually, the sewer line may need to be replaced.
Are caustic liquid drain openers (like Drano or Liquid Plumber) harmful to pipes?
For minor clogs, they are fine, but never use them on a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients can get trapped in your pipes, and the drain opener can severely damage the pipes. If you cannot snake the drain yourself, contact ABACUS to do so. Never use caustic drain openers in a drain that has a garbage disposal.
Why does my old water heater not work as well as it used to?
This is usually due to a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters grow older, they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these deposits are not removed periodically, the sediment will create a barrier between the burner and the water, greatly reducing the water heater’s performance level.
You should also periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow, or if the area is sooty, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. At least once every two years have your water heater inspected by us. We will also check the drain valve for signs of leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion.
What’s the best way to extend the life of my garbage disposal?
Always use plenty of cold water when running your disposal and avoid overloading it. Never dispose of very hard items such as bones or corn husks. And never use a caustic drain opener. Never use your hands to remove items dropped inside the disposal – use tongs instead!
What should I do if my garbage disposal stops working?
Before calling ABACUS, be sure to try the reset switch located on the bottom of most disposals.
What’s the best way to check for toilet leaks?
Toilet leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year, check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of blue food coloring to the tank, and then check the toilet bowl later. If the toilet bowl water is colored blue, water is seeping through from the tank. If it is leaking, ABACUS PLUMBING will replace the seal.
We can’t use more than one plumbing fixture at a time because the pressure is too low - What can be done?
A common misconception is that the pressure is bad, however the pressure may be fine but it is more a problem with the volume of water coming out. Some homes built prior to 1975 had galvanized water service lines. And, other homes built prior to 1965 had galvanized piping throughout them. Galvanized pipe rusts over time and eventually the inside of the pipe fills with rust leaving only a fraction of the space that it once had. It may be beneficial to replace the water service lines. That will allow them to run multiple fixtures at a time without the water volume dropping.
When I'm in the shower and a toilet is flushed, I am either scalded or frozen - Is there anything that you can do for this?
There is nothing more frustrating than someone flushing the toilet while you are in the shower and nearly getting burned or iced in freezing water. That is why the government mandated the use of pressure-balanced valves back in the early 90’s. The easiest fix is to replace the shower valve or install a tempura valve. We normally recommend replacing the shower valve to correct this problem. Normally we can do this without needing to replace the tile.
When we use our plumbing in the house, the downstairs bathroom or bathtub is filling with water, what is the problem?
Sometimes a bathtub or toilet will fill with water on a lower level – unknown to you. Most people notice this in their home by a smell or when something isn’t draining well. The problem is caused by something blocking the sewer. We’ll clean it out; however, it is not usually a permanent fix. We will run a camera to identify the underlying problem(s), make recommendations, and give you an estimate. The most common culprit is Root Intrusion and Pipe Separation.
I have a high water bill this month and my usage hasn't changed nor do I have any leaks that I'm aware of in the house. Has the water department made a mistake?
Most often this is a leak on the water service line. In most cases it is more cost effective to install a new water service line then try to find the leak on the old one. However, there are simple tests we can do to determine if the water service line is leaking before recommending a remedy.
I love my older toilets that use more water because you don't have to flush them twice like I've heard about the newer low consumption toilets Are there any good brands out there that flush really well?
Most of the brands have gotten much better from the early days of the 1.6 GPF requirements. We recommend ‘air assisted toilets’ for maximum flushing ability.
My water heater is getting older and I have seen rebates and advertisements for Tankless water heaters. Is that the best solution for conserving energy?
We will be happy to analysis your situation and make recommendation that best meet your hot water needs while saving you money on your energy bills. We install traditional water heaters as well as Takagi and Rinnai tankless gas water heaters.
I have heard bad things about polybutylene pipe. How would I know if I have it in my house?
Poly is common in homes built in the early 80’s to the mid to late 90’s. It was used for water service lines, however, in some cases it is found inside the homes as well. To find out if it is in the yard, we normally dig a hole at the water meter or where it enters the house. To find it inside, look on the top of your water heater where the pipes connect. If you observe a grey or light blue plastic pipe, then it is likely it is present throughout the house.
What is the typical lifespan of a water heater?
Typically, professional brand gas and electric water heaters last about 8 to 12 years, while consumer brands time lines are shorter; with electric generally lasting longer than gas heaters. Gas Tankless heaters are advertised to last 20 to 25 years according to the manufacture. Warranties can be a big clue. Consumer brand heaters have prorated warranties whereas professional brands have full warranties.
I have a need to use hot water outside. How can that be done safely?
Moen makes a single handle hose bibb that uses both hot and cold water.
I am tired of getting those bothersome propane tanks refilled. Can we hook up natural gas directly to my grill?
ABACUS is able to do anything with gas piping. We normally can get the grill converted and run a new pipe if needed.
It seems like suddenly a couple of my faucets started dripping and the toilet runs. Is it a coincidence or is there something that can cause this?
This situation usually has to do with the water pressure inside the house. It can be caused by thermal expansion or high water pressure. Both conditions go hand in hand and typically can be easily corrected.
Where do I find the water shut off for my house?
Homes that pay for their own water and are not on a community plan can shut the water off at the water meter with a meter key. For homes with basements or crawl spaces, the water line generally comes into the house on the front wall and goes up into the ceiling. Look for the hand valve close by. For homes on slab, look for the shut off near the water heater inside the house, or look inside the laundry room.
ABOUT YOUR PLUMBER and PLUMBING REGULATIONS:
What should I do to Prepare for the plumber?
If possible, the work area should be free from any fragile furniture or personal property. Remove all cleaning products from under your kitchen sink area and in the bath area please remove rugs, cleaning products and toiletries from the work area. For outside and basement repairs clear access is most important. A small amount of preparation will ensure a pleasant plumbing experience.
Why do I need a Licensed, Bonded, and Insured plumber?
Licensing, bonding and insuring protects you. To legally operate as a plumber we must be licensed, bonded, and insured. Licensing insures that we have the knowledge and experience to properly plumb your project to code. Being bonded insures that your project will be completed. Insurance protects you against any mistakes or accidents that happen to people or property while performing plumbing work. We carry both liability and workmen’s compensation insurance.
Why do I need a Permit?
A permit insures that the plumbing work you are paying for will be inspected by an objective 3rd party. The inspection process helps to assure the customer is actually receiving what they are paying for and that all work is performed to code. Additionally, if/when you sell your home you can rest assured the work you had done will pass the home inspection process.
Does your company offer a Warranty?
Yes…depending on the service..See the Warranty area of our site for details.