Ask the Plumber's Wife ?

Yes, I am the Plumber's Wife. And, I will be offering a variety of tips to help you out with your home plumbing.

electric water heaters
water-saving-toilet-vs-regular-toilet
tankless water heater
frozen pipes
soggy lawn
drain

 Q: How Do I Choose the Right Water Heater Size?

 We see it all the time in this industry: a homeowner needs a water heater replacement, so they order one from a big box company…and that’s where the problems start.

The water heater shows up, and it’s too big for their closet, attic, or basement. They wind up paying far more than they otherwise would have just to get their pipes resized, walls knocked out, and drywall cut out to make room! In the end, the result is always the same: they wind up with a slapdash job and a huge bill.

Getting your water heater replaced always seems like a hassle, and many people just want to be done with it as soon as they can. However, as with all hassles in life, doing the process right will save you precious time and money. Here’s how:

  1. Never Buy From a Big Box Company – Home Depot or Lowe’s may quote you the lowest price on a water heater, but what that price tag doesn’t show you is all of the extra cost you’ll wind up with from the installation. Call your local plumber instead! A licensed professional will take the time to take measurements and do the job right the first time around.
  2. Always Demand Upfront Pricing – Pay for the appliance and the installation from the same professionals to ensure you’re getting the right product at the right price. Our professionals always offer upfront pricing, which means the number on your estimate is guaranteed to be the same as the price on your bottom line. It’s the only honest way to do business.
  3. Know Your Regulations – In April of 2015, new water heater regulations went into effect for water heater manufacturers. The new laws require all water heaters to have more insulation so they waste less energy. The additional installation makes the new models about 2 inches taller and wider, sometimes more. If your water heater needs to fit through a tight attic access or into a tiny utility room, ask one of our plumbers for a consultation before you buy.
  4. Consider Switching to Tankless – The homeowners who order from big box companies are often unaware of all the options at their disposal. One space-saving alternative to conventional water heating is to go tankless. Tankless water heaters save energy and room by heating water on-demand instead of in a storage tank. These appliances are about the size of a carry-on bag, and they can be installed on just about any interior wall!
 

 Q: What is a high efficiency toilet?

If you have no idea what a high-efficiency toilet is, then you have come to the right place. Some toilets can take more than one flush to work properly. This is certainly not one of the most efficient things to have. Today, there are many high-efficiency toilet models out there.

The main purpose of high-efficiency toilets is to reduce the amount of water that is used in every flush. Today, some of the best high-efficiency toilets can save up to 20% of the water that normal toilets use.

These types of toilets, are also very efficient, because they do not make as much noise as normal toilets do when flushing.

 High-efficiency toilets are also cleaner than normal toilets are because they flush differently. They help to keep the bowl less contaminated than other toilets do. The method for getting rid of waste is also a lot different in high-efficiency toilets. The trap ways of these modern toilets are now glazed, which helps to optimize how the waste flows through the passage.

High-efficiency toilets, also come with a different flushing system or buttons. These systems allow you to select the right amount of water to use when flushing. They also allow you to have a dual flushing service, which makes it simple to keep your toilet clean at all times.

According to some experts, high-efficiency toilets can help you save up to 30,000 litres of water per year! High-efficiency toilets are without a doubt the way of the future. 

 Q: My hot water heater is sweating, what does that mean?

 A water heater that’s sweating or “weeping” is often a sign of a slow but steady leak. When you go near the water heater you will see that the ground is a little damp.

Small leaks come from cracks in piping or the casing and will eventually lead to bigger issues. 

Other danger signs to watch for include:

  • Rusty spots on your water heater or the surrounding piping
  • Corrosion on the water heater
  • An unusually large pool of water in the drip pan or nearby

Call your plumber if you notice any of these signs. When you call a plumber for this type of inspection, they should also do a thorough check for gas leaks or other electrical problems. 

Professionals can resolve these concerns and prevent major headaches if you know when to call a plumber.

 Q: My water bill is more this time. What should I do?

Repair Leaks  

Repair drips and leaks as soon as you become aware of it, because a leaking toilet can waste 90,000 gallons of water a month, while a dripping faucet can lose approximately 20 gallons a day.

Install Water-Saving Fixtures

Low-flow, dual-flush toilets, water-efficient appliances and low-flow showerheads can all help save plenty of water (and money, in the process). In the typical household, low-flow showerheads and faucets can save an estimated 45 gallons of water per day. A low-flow toilet could potentially save up to 80 gallons a day.

Outdoor Watering

Research to learn about xeriscaping, a gardening method that uses low-water and native plants. For lawns & garden water during the coolest part of the day or night to minimize evaporation.

 Q: My toilet is leaking at the base. What should I do?

  It sounds as if the toilet will need to be pulled up and a new wax ring installed. I would first make sure nothing is leaking around the supply valve and tubes? The tank to bowl nuts and washers should be checked as well.

 Q: Why are patches of my lawn a lush green colour?

  To put it simply, the nutrients in the sewage feeds plants, shrubs and trees just as fertilizer would. If you have one or more patches of lush greenery it’s a sign that your sewer pipe is damaged. The reason you’re not seeing pooling water might be because the pipe is located deep below the ground. Therefore, the water doesn’t rise all the way to the surface.

 Q: What can I do for a slow drain ?

  This is a common occurrence in every home. Here is a simple solution using basic items from your home. When boiling water alone won’t clear a sink, you can try using vinegar and baking soda. Start by pouring half a box of baking soda down the drain. Don’t add any water. Next, pour half a cup of vinegar down the sink and then stop up the drain with a metal stopper or rags; to contain the “volcano” reaction often seen in school projects. Wait 30 minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain. It’s safe, cheap and good for the environment!

 Q: What causes a faucet to leak?

  Pipe corrosion, defective gaskets, and mineral deposits are all possible causes, and there are plenty more. Ignoring a problem with a dripping faucet in your home will make a simple repair become a major repair over time. The most common problems are worn out seals, loose fittings and broken parts. Take care of the problem now to avoid expensive repairs. If you cannot solve the problem on your own call the professionals at Island Plumbing so we can provide you with quick and thorough repairs.

 

 Q: What do I do for frozen water pipes?

  No homes in Victoria are immune to frozen water pipes. If this happens to your home, the first thing you want to do is mitigate the potential for water damage. Shut off the water main leading into the home or business in order to reduce pressure on frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst. If the frozen pipe is exposed and visible, use a hair dryer to thaw the ice blockage. DO NOT use an open flame in an attempt to thaw the blockage. If the frozen pipes are not visible, call a plumber, they have the professional pipe-thawing equipment to quickly fix frozen water pipes. If you ever notice slower water flow in your home or business and think that you might have frozen pipes, you should call a plumber immediately. In most cases, frozen pipes can be repaired before any long-term damage occurs.

Q: What is the best way to prevent clogged pipes?

 Clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems, and when it comes to a shower or sink drain, it can become gross and messy thanks to hair and soap residue. Avoiding the icky is as simple as using a basket strainer. This will help prevent a time-consuming and unpleasant task in the future.

Q: I hear a leak in the walls when my daughter takes a shower. I tried to locate it but I can’t seem to find the cause. What could it be?

During the fall/winter, it is common for the hot water lines tend to expand (which may sound as if there is a leak somewhere).  If you do still feel that there is a leak, you may want to purchase a cheap moisture reader to see if there is any dampness within the walls.  Or you can contact a certified plumber to confirm whether there is a leak. 

clogged drains
water heater
the plumber's wife
soggy lawn
frozen pipes

 Q: How do I tell if something is in my drain?

 Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face. It’s the cause of 90% of after hours emergency plumbing calls. It usually takes a while for buildup inside the pipes to turn into a major clog, but if you’re observant, you may spot some symptoms that indicate a clog soon enough to deal with it before it causes a messy problem. When you suspect a sewer drain clog, have it checked and repaired by a professional as soon as possible.

Prevention is better than cure, so avoid putting anything inappropriate down the drains, and schedule an annual power drain cleaning with Island Plumbing & Mechanical.

One of the first things you will notice when your drain is blocked, is that you bath tub, sink, shower and toilet drain slower than usual. When the blockage is very bad, it may not drain at all. In most cases, when only one fixture drains slowly, that’s usually the one with the issue. If all the fixtures drain slowly, you probably have a main drain blockage.

Your plumbing will likely sound different too. You may hear gurgling sounds when you flush the toilet and similar sounds may come from the pipes, plug holes and drains. This gurgling sound is caused by the air trapped inside the pipes. 

A wet lawn with plants growing near the sewer line can also indicate a blocked sewer. If a puddle appears on your lawn, it is a great idea to call in a professional plumber. Roots from trees and plants around the sewer line can cause severe damage to your underground water lines and sewers. 

Sometimes, debris inside the drains will begin to rot, causing a foul odour. It’s possible that you will smell the rot before any of the other symptoms appear. That is usually a good time to call the professional plumbers to take a look. Dealing with a plumbing problem as soon as you’re aware of it is a great way to avoid high repair costs and damage to your property.

Regular drain cleaning is a great way to prevent having to deal with the mess of clogged and overflowing drains. Contact us for our powerful hydro jetting service, which will remove tree roots and clogs and restore your drains to optimal functioning.

 
 

 Q: My hot water heater is sweating, what does that mean?

 A water heater that’s sweating or “weeping” is often a sign of a slow but steady leak. When you go near the water heater you will see that the ground is a little damp.

Small leaks come from cracks in piping or the casing and will eventually lead to bigger issues. 

Other danger signs to watch for include:

  • Rusty spots on your water heater or the surrounding piping
  • Corrosion on the water heater
  • An unusually large pool of water in the drip pan or nearby

Call your plumber if you notice any of these signs. When you call a plumber for this type of inspection, they should also do a thorough check for gas leaks or other electrical problems. 

Professionals can resolve these concerns and prevent major headaches if you know when to call a plumber.

 Q: My water bill is more this time. What should I do?

Repair Leaks  

Repair drips and leaks as soon as you become aware of it, because a leaking toilet can waste 90,000 gallons of water a month, while a dripping faucet can lose approximately 20 gallons a day.

Install Water-Saving Fixtures

Low-flow, dual-flush toilets, water-efficient appliances and low-flow showerheads can all help save plenty of water (and money, in the process). In the typical household, low-flow showerheads and faucets can save an estimated 45 gallons of water per day. A low-flow toilet could potentially save up to 80 gallons a day.

Outdoor Watering

Research to learn about xeriscaping, a gardening method that uses low-water and native plants. For lawns & garden water during the coolest part of the day or night to minimize evaporation.

 Q: My toilet is leaking at the base. What should I do?

  It sounds as if the toilet will need to be pulled up and a new wax ring installed. I would first make sure nothing is leaking around the supply valve and tubes? The tank to bowl nuts and washers should be checked as well.

 Q: Why are patches of my lawn a lush green colour?

  To put it simply, the nutrients in the sewage feeds plants, shrubs and trees just as fertilizer would. If you have one or more patches of lush greenery it’s a sign that your sewer pipe is damaged. The reason you’re not seeing pooling water might be because the pipe is located deep below the ground. Therefore, the water doesn’t rise all the way to the surface.

 Q: What can I do for a slow drain ?

  This is a common occurrence in every home. Here is a simple solution using basic items from your home. When boiling water alone won’t clear a sink, you can try using vinegar and baking soda. Start by pouring half a box of baking soda down the drain. Don’t add any water. Next, pour half a cup of vinegar down the sink and then stop up the drain with a metal stopper or rags; to contain the “volcano” reaction often seen in school projects. Wait 30 minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain. It’s safe, cheap and good for the environment!

 Q: What causes a faucet to leak?

  Pipe corrosion, defective gaskets, and mineral deposits are all possible causes, and there are plenty more. Ignoring a problem with a dripping faucet in your home will make a simple repair become a major repair over time. The most common problems are worn out seals, loose fittings and broken parts. Take care of the problem now to avoid expensive repairs. If you cannot solve the problem on your own call the professionals at Island Plumbing so we can provide you with quick and thorough repairs.

 

 Q: What do I do for frozen water pipes?

  No homes in Victoria are immune to frozen water pipes. If this happens to your home, the first thing you want to do is mitigate the potential for water damage. Shut off the water main leading into the home or business in order to reduce pressure on frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst. If the frozen pipe is exposed and visible, use a hair dryer to thaw the ice blockage. DO NOT use an open flame in an attempt to thaw the blockage. If the frozen pipes are not visible, call a plumber, they have the professional pipe-thawing equipment to quickly fix frozen water pipes. If you ever notice slower water flow in your home or business and think that you might have frozen pipes, you should call a plumber immediately. In most cases, frozen pipes can be repaired before any long-term damage occurs.

Q: What is the best way to prevent clogged pipes?

 Clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems, and when it comes to a shower or sink drain, it can become gross and messy thanks to hair and soap residue. Avoiding the icky is as simple as using a basket strainer. This will help prevent a time-consuming and unpleasant task in the future.

Q: I hear a leak in the walls when my daughter takes a shower. I tried to locate it but I can’t seem to find the cause. What could it be?

During the fall/winter, it is common for the hot water lines tend to expand (which may sound as if there is a leak somewhere).  If you do still feel that there is a leak, you may want to purchase a cheap moisture reader to see if there is any dampness within the walls.  Or you can contact a certified plumber to confirm whether there is a leak. 

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