Common Plumbing problems explained.


Low water pressure:

If you are on a county fed plumbing system, low water pressure is typically due to a faulty or reduced PRV (or Pressure Reducer Valve). This can be adjusted up or down to accomodate your needs. If it can not be adjusted it is typically due to a faulty diaphragm inside the PRV. A faulty diaphragm can also lead to a vibration noise in your pipes.

Continuously running toilet:

A continuously running toilet is typically due to a bad diaphragm inside the flush valve, or debris has blocked the diaphragm from closing all the way. In some cases the diaphragm can be cleaned or replaced to stop this problem. If not the flush valve will have to be removed or replaced.

A toilet that occasionally runs for a few seconds:

A toilet that occasionally turns on is due to an aged or bad flush valve flapper. If you are running into this problem the best thing to do is replace the flapper, making sure to clean the seat of the flush valve.

Low water pressure at an individual fixture:

There are two main causes for low water pressure at one fixture.

1: Debris has entered the plumbing supply lines and clogged up your aerorater. The areorater can be removed and cleaned allowing proper water flow.

2: One of the supply lines could potentially be kinked causing disruption in the water flow.

One toilet in your house gets stopped up more than the other:

If one toilet in your home works better than the other, you need to first make sure that they are flushing the same volume of water. If one is a newer toilet and one is an older toilet, the older toilet will always work better. The older toilet flushes three gallons as opposed to the 1.6 liter of the new style toilets. If both toilets are 1.6 liters or new style toilets, and one flushes better than the other and they are not the same brand, its simply because one is simply just a better designed toilet.

Stopped up bathroom sink:

When a bathroom sinks gets stopped up, most of the time it is a lot simpler than what you would think. Seven out of ten times the obstruction is within the first five inches. This can very easily be solved by removing your stopper from the linkage and pulling out the obstruction by hand.


Money saving tips that your plumber can help you with.

We get questions all the time about different ways to a plumber can help a homeowner to save money. We decided to form some ideas into a blog.

One of the more common questions that we get is what is the cheapest operating temperature of an electric water heater. We recently did an experiment of different temperatures over the course of a year. The experimental temperatures were 115 degrees 120 degrees and 125 degrees. This was done on a residential and commercial scale. The different temperatures were run over a four month span. Our experiment showed us that 125 degrees was the cheapest operating temperature in a residential application. We found that the reason why was because the most hot water that you will use throughout your day is in the shower. If the water is too hot you will use more cold and less hot putting less strain on your water heater. Keep in mind, 120 degrees is recommended in a residential application.

Another common cause of higher water bills is dripping faucets. On average one drip per second on a faucet will increase your water bill by about $30 per billing cycle. A lot of these drips or leaks could be inconspicuous if they are located in a low traffic area. Common areas are mother-in-law suites, outside faucets or areas of the house that are not easily accessed by the elderly or disabled.

One last area to investigate would be leaking or continuously running toilets, also known as the ghost flusher. When a flapper in a toilet slowly leaks down, the tank will fill just for a few seconds, or it does not stop running completely and the sound is so quiet that you are unable to hear it.

These are quick and simple tips to decrease your water consumption and keep your water bill as low as possible. If you are having trouble with any of these, give Smith Plumbing LLC a call and we an have a plumber come and help save you money.