Frequently Asked Questions

Plumbing is confusing. We know you have questions! Find some answers by viewing our most common questions. Can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch and we'll gladly help clarify!

What causes a bathroom sink to clog?

Bathroom sinks are most commonly clogged by the build-up of hair, soap scum, dirt, etc. Removing the trap may allow you to clean out the build-up and restore proper flow. Be sure to put a catch basin below the trap, as some water will likely spill. Most modern traps are relatively easy to remove without special tools, but a pair of groove-lock pliers is handy to have. Be sure not to over-tighten the slip nuts when you reconnect the trap.

Why does my kitchen sink keep getting clogged?

Kitchen sink clogs usually occur due to improper disposal of things such as grease, starchy foods, coffee grounds, etc. Even if you have a kitchen sink garbage disposal, many items cannot be put down the disposal. When in doubt, place the food items in your trash instead. Removing the trap could help you clean out clogs and allow better drainage. Place a catch basin below the trap to catch spilled water. You should be able to remove the trap without special tools, but a pair of groove-lock pliers could be helpful. Make sure you do not over-tighten the slip nuts when you are finished and reattaching the trap.

When do I replace my water heater? How long should a water heater last?

The average lifespan of a hot water heater is 8-12 years. After this time, you may start to notice the hot water running out prematurely, rust in your water, a leak, or loud noises. Planning for your water heater to be replaced about every ten years is wise. You can also do yearly or twice-yearly maintenance on your water heater by flushing it thoroughly to prolong the heater’s lifespan. Keeping rust, silt and other debris flushed from your water heater will help assure it lasts past its warranty period.

How can i detect a water leak under the slab?

The most noticeable indicators are an unexplained spike in your water bill or a noticeable warm spot on the floor. If you have noticed any of these signs, contact action plumbing’s professional team right away. A good sign of an under-slab leak is if your pet has begun to lay in a different spot on the floor from where he usually lays. A leak under the slab can cause serious problems if not addressed quickly and properly.

Does toilet paper clog pipes?

If you use too much, toilet paper can cause clogs. If you have old, rough pipes, your chances of a clog are greater. Typically, toilet paper should not be an issue when used in moderation.

What makes water pipes rattle?

The most common reasons for pipe rattling include loose mounts, water hammer, and excessive water pressure. If the mounts are loose, the rattling might be the least of your problems, as you may also have a leak. If pressure is the issue, you will likely notice the rattling when turning the faucet on and off. Both of these problems will require a plumber’s intervention.

How often should I replace my sump pump?

The lifespan of a sump pump is approximately ten years, though they can start failing at around seven years. Once your sump pump is seven years old, it is wise to have it inspected periodically.

How do I know if my sump pump is going bad?

When a sump pump is going bad, there are some key warning signs to look out for. These include strange noises, excessive vibration while running, irregular cycling, running for a long time, rust, motor sticking, and motor failure. If any of these things apply, or if your sump pump is over 7 years old, you may want to call for an inspection.

What happens when sump pump fails?

The purpose of a sump pump is to keep your basement and crawlspace dry. When your sump pump fails, you could experience significant damage to these areas of your home. If you are concerned about the functionality of your sump pump, call for an inspection. Action plumbing can make sure your sump pump is functioning properly so your home will be prepared for the next storm.

What to do in a plumbing emergency?

If your emergency involves leak, sewage, or water, eliminate the source first by shutting off the incoming water immediately. This should help limit the damage. Next, call Action Plumbing 24/7 when you have an emergency. Do not get distracted by the catastrophe and wait to call until later. If we tell you it is safe to stay in your home, continue to the next step.

It is often a good idea to shut off your water heater. If your water heater is electric, and if it is safe to do so, shut off the power to the heater. This can help preserve the heating elements.

While you are waiting on service and cleanup, go ahead and fight the little leaks. If you can plug up a leak with towels or put a bucket under a drip, do so.

Finally, for water leaks, try to get water out of your pipes by turning on an outdoor spigot or hose.