Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions
Why Isn't My Water Heater Hot?
There are a variety of reasons why the water in your water heater may not be getting hot.
- The most common reason is the thermostat or heating element is malfunctioning. To test the water heater's thermostat, turn on a nearby hot water tap and check the water temperature in about 15 minutes. The thermostat may need to be replaced if the water heater's water is only warm.
- Another possible explanation is the water heater is low on water. This can be caused by a water leak or when the water heater tank is drained for maintenance. If the water heater water level is below the "minimum water level" line on the water heater dip tube, water may not be available to heat.
- Also, mineral build-up in the water heater is another possibility. Over time, sediments accumulate in the water heater tank, obstructing water flow and lowering heating capacity.
- If the water in your water heater isn't hot, see whether it's because of a clog. Try draining and cleaning out your water heater tank with a garden hose.
- The water heater may require repiping if the water heater drain valve is leaking and the water in the tank is running out.
What are the different water heater sizes?
Water heaters come in a variety of sizes, and the size you need depends on how much water your household uses. Here are some general water heater size guidelines:
- If you use less than 40 gallons of water per day, a 40- or 50-gallon water heater will be large enough.
- If you use between 40 and 80 gallons of water per day, a water heater with a capacity of 60 or 80 gallons will probably be required.
- If you use over 80 gallons of water per day, an 85-gallon water heater should provide an adequate supply.
Note that these are general guidelines only; how much water your household actually uses may vary. To be sure you have the right water heater size, consult with a plumbing professional.
What is the best way to clear a clogged grease drain?
There are a few effective ways to clear a grease-clogged drain.
- Use boiling water and dish soap to break up grease buildup.
- Pour water mixed with baking soda into the drain, then pour vinegar on top of it to get a chemical reaction that breaks down grease.
- Drain cleaners can also remove water buildup and hard water scale.
- Plumbers recommend using a water-powered mechanical drain cleaner to clear clogs altogether. These machines are easy to use and clear away any type of clog quickly.
For a badly clogged drain, you may need to hire a professional plumber that can clear out the drain with special equipment.
How often should I clean my drains?It is recommended that you clean your drains every six months. However, if water is backing up into the tub, sink, or toilet in your home when you flush it, then you need to call a plumber right away to clean the drain. If water backs up into your sink then it's probably coming from your shower and vice versa. Cleaning out the lines will prevent water from backing up into your home.
What should I do if my water pressure is low?If your water pressure is low, you may need to call a plumber to have your water pressure checked. Low water pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a clogged water filter or a leaky faucet. It's important to address low water pressure as soon as possible, as it can lead to water waste and increased energy costs.
Can I repipe my home myself?While it is possible to repipe a home yourself, it is not recommended, as it can be a difficult and dangerous process. Repiping a home requires working with water and pipes, which can easily lead to accidents if not done correctly. It is best to leave this job to the professionals.