Plumbing FAQs

In an effort to provide our customers with the information they need to make informed decisions, we have decided to gather some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about plumbing. These are questions that are commonly asked by our customers.

Are There Any Plumbing Services That I Should Not Attempt on My Own?

Some plumbing services, such as drain cleaning or fixing a leaky toilet, may be attempted by individuals who know what they are doing. Unfortunately, there are some plumbing services that should never be attempted by someone who is not an experienced plumber. Fixing leaky or broken water, sewer, or gas lines, and cleaning out sewers or drains are things that only a licensed professional plumber should do.

What Plumbing Problems Could Be Causing an Increase in My Water Bill?

Plumbing problems, when left unresolved, can often cause your water bill to dramatically increase. If you notice an unexplained increase in the billed amount of water used on your water bill it may be caused by a leak in the plumbing system. Toilet leaks, pipe leaks, hot water tank leaks, and sprinkler line leaks can all be the cause of your increased water usage.

Is Liquid Drain Cleaner Safe to Use on Clogged Sinks?

Typically, we do not advise people to use liquid drain cleaner on clogged sinks. The chemicals used in these products could damage the pipes leading to your sink, especially if they are made of PVC, plastic, or cast iron.

If you want to fix a clogged sink, try a plunger. If that doesn’t work, consult a professional plumber for help.

How Do I Get Rid of Bad Odors That Appear to Come from the Garbage Disposal?

Most odors coming from garbage disposals are caused by food that has backed up in the garbage disposal. Smells may be eliminated by placing the peels of lemons or oranges in the garbage disposal and some liquid detergent in the disposal. Run the disposal for 30 seconds then rinse it with cold water. That should remove any odors.

Why Would Water Stop Going to the Dishwasher?

If water was running normally to the dishwasher and suddenly stopped, it could be a sign there is a blockage or clog in the water line leading to the dishwasher. A professional plumber will be able to fully evaluate the situation to determine what may be causing the dishwasher problem and how to fix it.

Why is There a Whistling Sound Coming from My Plumbing System?

A high pitched whistling sound that appears to be coming from the plumbing system leading to your toilet could be an indication that there is a leak present. The high pitched whistle is the sound that the water makes as it slowly starts to leak out of the toilet. Replacing or repairing the fill valve on the problematic toilet will stop the whistling sound.

What is the Black Ring Forming Around the Base of My Toilet?

Occasionally a black ring will start to appear around the base of your toilet. This is often a sign that the wax seal on the toilet is damaged. When the wax seal is damaged, bacteria and sewage start to seep out around the toilet. The black ring you see is from the mold, bacteria, and sewage.

Fixing a damaged wax seal on a toilet is a complex process. The toilet must first be removed, the old wax seal removed, and a new one placed. An experienced plumber will be able to determine why the black ring is forming and how best to fix it.

Do I Need a Plumber if My Water is Discolored?

A plumber may not be required depending upon why your water is discolored. If the discoloration is caused by hard water, you may be able to add a water softener to your water without the help of a plumber. If the water is discolored because of a sewer leak or rusty pipes, a plumber may be required to help fix the rusted pipes or sewer leak.

Can I Replace My Hot Water Heater on My Own?

If you have experience working with hot water heaters, you may be able to attempt replacing it on your own. However, if you don’t have plumbing experience or are uncomfortable with the idea of replacing your own hot water heater, it is best to let the professionals replace it. A professional plumber will make sure the hot water heater is properly installed.

Why Does My Faucet Make a Clunking Sound When I Use It?

Clunking sounds coming from your faucet are often caused by a loose washer. To replace the washer, you must remove the faucet from the sink. Once removed, you can replace the old washer with a new washer.

These are just some of the many questions our customers ask us here at HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler. If you have a plumbing question that wasn’t answered here, feel free to call us to speak with one of our professional plumbers.