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PLUMBING FAQ

Get Answers from our New Jersey Plumbers

Read below to get answers to common plumbing questions! If you’re facing any of these problems, give A-Absolute Plumbing, Heating & Air a call! We’re standing by 24/7 to handle any issues you might have with flat prices, quality workmanship, and fast response times.

How do I know when my pipes need service?

Pipes have certain signs that demonstrate when they might be experiencing an issue. The most obvious symptom is wet spots in the wall and on the floor, which indicates a leak. However, pipes can have other problems before a leak manifests. Whistling noises indicate that your pipe is dented, while bubbling noises in your pipe indicate crushed or clogged pipes. Both of these symptoms indicate that your pipes could be vulnerable to bursting. Banging pipes means your pipes are loose, which means something is either already broken or about to break.

What causes clogging in my pipes?

Your pipes have a silent killer-FOGs. FOGs is the technical term for a certain class of debris: fats, oils, and grease. Soap, food waste and cooking oil are often thrown down the drain in small amounts, but over the years they congeal and form clumps. Some of these clumps can end up being the size of a tennis ball. Getting your pipes cleaned once every year or two can help prevent clogs from growing too large, but the best solution is to avoid putting any oil or greasy food down your garbage disposal.

How do I know if my toilet needs repair or replacement?

Toilets are made of three main components: the tank, the bowl, and the flange (which connects the bowl to the drain). The tank will also have a couple of small components, namely the float, the flapper, the handle, and the fill valve and tube. All these components are responsible for filling the tank with clean water. Because the large components are so simple, it’s rare that your toilet will need replacement-usually, the problem is a broken component (like a warped flapper) or a drain clog.

In essence, unless your flange, tank, or bowl are broken, you likely won’t need to replace your toilet and can get away with regular maintenance and repairs.

Why is my sink screeching?

Your sink contains something called a valve stem, which controls the flow of hot and cold water into your sink. When the valve stem ages, the washers can become loose and turn as the water passes through them. Loose washers and running water is what creates that annoying screeching sound from your faucet.

I have a problem with water running; how can I stop it?

The best way is to shut off the water at the valve closest to the source of the problem. This would allow a functioning water system to the rest of the house. For faucets, toilets or similar fixtures there are shut off valves connected to the water supply usually located directly under the fixture that should be able to shut off that fixture. If that does not work, or if you don’t find the shut off valve, you can close the main shut off valve (near your water meter) which will shop the water flow to the entire home. Don’t let water cause any more damage to your home, give us a call right away for our 24/7 emergency service and we’ll get you leak-free running water, usually within the same day.

Are tankless water heaters worth it?

Tankless water heaters are often referred to as “on-demand water heating,” because they only produce hot water as the system demands and do not store heated water. Traditional storage tank-type water heaters raise and maintain the water temperature to the temperature setting on the tank. Since the water is stored, they constantly use utilities to maintain the set temperature. In addition to producing water on demand and thus using less power, tankless water heaters are usually eligible for substantial federal tax credits.

Why does my water heater run out of hot water so quickly?

This is usually a problem with your fixtures, not your water heater. Older faucets and showerheads are less efficient, so they may release up to 5 gallons of water in a minute. Newer, high-efficiency showerheads and faucets only release half that much in the same amount of time, which uses your hot water less quickly. Switching to lower-volume fixtures might solve the problem. If it’s not your fixtures, replacing your water heater’s dip tube may also be the solution.

Why is water leaking from my water heater?

The worst case scenario is that your tank has rusted through and has holes in it. If that’s the case, there is, unfortunately, no repair to fix it; you’ll have to replace it. However, if your water heater is younger than 6 years old, the problem is likely much simpler and less costly. The top of the unit has a pressure relief valve that sometimes leaks. If your valve is worn or defective, it’s more likely that the water is coming from the top (not the tank). The owner’s manual might have instructions on how to replace it yourself but if you need help, give us a call!

Why does my toilet keep running?

If water continually runs into the bowl of your toilet, the problem might be the flapper (which keeps the water in the tank). Open up your tank to take a look at the flapper seal. Sometimes the flappers can accumulate a film that keeps it from sealing the water in. It’s a simple fix – you just have to clean the flapper. You’ll have to replace it if cleaning it doesn’t work or it’s already too warped. The other possibility is that your lift chain has a kink in it (which would keep the flapper from closing), or your flush valve is worn out. Tank assembly parts and repair kits are widely available at local hardware and plumbing supply stores, so you can try it yourself if you’re handy around the house. If you ever need a hand, call A-Absolute!

My electric water heater is not heating, what’s wrong?

It could be one of two simple problems. It might be that your temperature cutoff was tripped, which would cause the system to require a reset before heating again. This fix only takes seconds: just press the reset button on your water heater. The other possibility is that it’s a faulty heating element. The only repair, in this case, is to replace the heating element.

How can I be sure I’m getting the right size water heater for my home?

An experienced plumber will have the best chance at sizing the right water heater for you. The water heater size takes into account the number of people who live in your home, the number of tubs and showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and any other type of fixture or appliance that uses hot water. A 40-gallon gas unit is usually enough for a family of 4, but you’ll want to consider getting a larger unit (50-60 gallons) if you prefer electric water heaters. Our technicians can take your usage into account and recommend the best model and tank size for your home.

What do the terms “hard water” and “soft water” mean?

“Hard water” is a term for water that has a large volume of minerals dissolved in it (such as calcium and magnesium). The minerals aren’t harmful to you and aren’t noticeable in the water itself; the problem is when the water dries and leaves behind mineral deposits in the pipes and drains. Also called “scale,” these deposits are usually white solids that appear on the inside of cups and dishes, the surfaces of pipes and heating/cooling appliances, and inside showerheads and faucets. Scale affects the performance of your appliances and causes serious issues with clogging and over-stressing the system. It also makes soap less effective. Hard water turns “lather” into “soap scum,” decreasing soap effectiveness and leaving our clothing, dishes, and bodies less clean.

The only solution for hard water is to install a water softening system, which uses ion exchange to draw the minerals out of the water. Our live technicians are more than happy to answer your questions about water softening systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call for a free estimate!

What causes my water pipes to rattle?

Sometimes pipes rattle because joints are loose or broken, but other times it might be they’re just too close to your home’s beams, studs, or joists. Insulation or a water hammer arrester could dampen the movement of your pipes, reducing or eliminating the sound. The problem itself is a little tricky and requires a few years of know-how to do right. Give A-Absolute Plumbing, Heating & Air a call to take a look at your pipes to see how we can reduce the noise of water movement in your home.

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