Answering Your Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

Home Plumbing Troubleshooting

Answering Your Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

Our number 1 for taking care of your home's plumbing problem is not to panic when things go wrong. Our number 2 tip is to call the pros if you're ever at a loss about what to do.

Now that we have those important rules established, the rest comes down to knowledge and experience. You'll have to earn experience yourself, but we can help you with the knowledge. Here are our best answers to the questions our customers ask us the most. Just knowing the answers to these questions will help you protect your home's plumbing much more effectively.

Why does my toilet keep running?

There are a number of reasons why your toilet might be running nonstop. Your toilet's flapper may be damaged. A toilet's flapper is the rubber cup at the bottom of the toilet tank. They block the passage between the toilet's tank and bowl. When you depress the toilet's handle to flush, you're raising the flapper and letting tank water into the bowl. Damaged flappers often let water leak from the tank to the bowl constantly, creating the running sound.

Your toilet may also be running because the toilet chain is installed incorrectly. If the chain is too long, it may catch under the flapper and keep it from sealing. It's also possible your toilet's float ball is malfunctioning. After you flush your toilet, the toilet tank has to refill with water. The float ball tells the tank when to stop refilling. If the float ball isn't doing its job, then the toilet will keep running… and running.

What's the difference between hard and soft water?

Hard water is water that contains a lot of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. Soft water is created by filtering out those dissolved minerals and replacing them with sodium ions.

The difference between these two types of water is greater than you'd think. Hard water is harsh on hair and skin. It also creates a mineral build-up in plumbing fixtures and forces water fixtures to work harder. Soft water is considerably easier on skin, hair, plumbing, and fixtures. Installing a water softener makes a big difference for a home's water quality.

Why do my drains clog so often?

More likely than not, it's because your pipes are worn out or you're overdue for a whole-home drain cleaning. Clogs happen in bathrooms when dirt, skin, hair, grease, or soap scum accumulate in pipes over time. They happen in kitchens when you wash food waste like fat, oils, and grease down the sink.

The best way to circumvent clogs is by investing in regular drain cleaning. You should also install drain screens in your showers, and watch what you flush down your drains.

What am I not allowed to put in my garbage disposal?

There's a common misbelief that you can put whatever you want down your garbage disposal. That's definitely not the case.

Unless you want to break or clog your disposal, try to be careful about what you're using it for. Don't throw bones, fibrous vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, grease, rice, or fruit peels down your disposal. Each of these food products could damage the disposal and/or cause a clog.

Is it okay to use chemical drain cleaners?

Chemical drain cleaners are never a good idea. Not only are they toxic and dangerous to keep in a home, but they're also harmful to your pipes. Chemical cleaners may clear away clogs, but they also inflict damage on the surrounding pipe itself.

The chemical reactions that eat away at clogs can't tell the difference between a clog and your pipes. If they're used regularly, they'll wear away at your pipes until they leak or burst. If you have a persistent clog, your best bet is always professional drain cleaning. We can clear away clogs without hurting your pipes.

To have the rest of your plumbing questions answered, never hesitate to call the team at The Pink Plumber.