General Plumbing FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About Plumbing
If you are like most people, you tend to not think much about your plumbing unless something goes awry. That’s why qualified, trustworthy plumbing companies like Dynamic Drains can be such a valuable asset to you when you have a problem like a leak, clog, or backed-up toilet or tub. We can use our industry experience to help solve these issues and get your life back to normal as soon as possible.
Our passion is plumbing, and because we want to share our passion with you, we’ve put together this list of some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our customers throughout Southeastern Michigan including Canton, Chelsea, Dundee, Howell, and Ann Arbor.
How can I tell if I need professional plumbing services?
Overall, if your plumbing isn’t working properly, it’s a smart idea to schedule service with a trained professional. How can you tell if you have a problem with your plumbing? Check for strange noises, unusual smells, reduced efficiency, higher water bills, or other unexplained issues with your home’s systems.
How can I tell if my toilet is leaking -- and should I be worried?
If you hear any unexplained noises from your toilet when nobody is using it, it’s likely you have a leak. There are a few methods you can use to figure out whether your toilet is leaking. First, open the toilet tank and check the rubber flapper to make sure it is not worn out or otherwise damaged. Next, make sure the water level in the toilet tank is not at risk of overflowing. Finally, one easy do-it-yourself way to check for leaks is to add a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank, let it sit for at least 25 minutes, then come back and check whether the water in the bowl has changed color.
Whatever the case, a leaking toilet is a cause for concern, as it not only wastes water, it can also cost you hundreds of dollars throughout the year. Whether you need to have a worn-out part replaced or you need extensive repairs, it’s always best to trust a professional plumber.
What are some ways I can save money on my water bills?
Though your water bill probably isn’t your most significant monthly expense, it is easy to cut down on how much you spend on water at your home. The savings can add up quickly when you do things like installing Energy Star appliances, taking shorter showers, and buying low-flow toilets.
How can I avoid toilet clogs?
The best way to steer clear of clogs is to never flush anything down the toilet except human waste and toilet paper. Items you should not flush include wet wipes, paper towels, kitty litter, diapers or feminine products. If a foreign object falls into the toilet, such as a child’s toy, do not flush it. Also, try to avoid using more toilet paper than you need, as this can lead to clogs.
Why is my faucet dripping?
Dripping faucets often result from wear and tear to the washers within the faucet that close onto a metal washer seat. Typically, when you hear the telltale drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet, it indicates it’s time to have the internal mechanisms, including these washers, replaced or repaired.
Why am I smelling sewer odors from a toilet my family rarely uses?
Plumbing systems are designed to prevent unpleasant odors from entering your home via a trap containing water. If you allow this water seal to evaporate, the smells will get into your house. To solve this problem, restore the water seals by pouring a bucket of water into each sink, shower, and floor drain.
Why does water come out of the shower drain when I flush the toilet?
If you experience unexplained drain backups, such as water coming out of the shower drain or bathroom sink after you flush the toilet, it’s likely there is a problem within the main sewer line. Unusual clogs such as these are usually symptoms of a larger issue, and you should call the professional team at Dynamic Drains as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
What can I put down my garbage disposal?
Misusing the garbage disposal is the most common cause of broken or clogged machines. Never put any non-biodegradable items down the garbage disposal, including glass, metal, or plastic. Most soft, biodegradable materials are OK, as are some hard, biodegradable materials such as eggshells, ice, and small bones. Avoid putting tough or stringy food items such as corn husks, potato peels, or celery stalks through the disposal, and always run cold water while you are running the machine, as this can prevent cooking grease from congealing within the pipes.
How can I tell if there is a problem with my water heater?
If you are experiencing a lack of hot water, unusual noises or smells from the water heater, or you see obvious signs of a leak, it is probably time to call a professional to take a look at your water heater. At Dynamic Drains, we can assist you with water heater repairs, replacements, and new system installations. Our technicians will help you choose the right size and type of water heater for your home.
What are the common signs of a hidden water leak?
Even a small leak has the power to create extensive damage to your property. If you ignore the warning signs of a leak, you could be putting yourself at risk of a costly problem. You must identify these leaks and get them repaired quickly to avoid further damage. If you suspect you may have a hidden leak, look for these signs:
- Sharp increases in your water bills
- Damp or spongy patches in your yard
- Hearing running water when water is not in use
- Mold or mildew growth
- Obvious water damage on walls or ceilings
- Soggy spots in carpet or flooring
What should I do if I have a major leak?
Most people’s knee-jerk reaction to a major leak is panic. A smarter thing to do is learn the location of your water main shutoff valve so when a leak occurs, you can turn the water off at the source before it causes more damage to your home. If you can’t find where the water main shutoff valve is in your home, you can also turn the water off at the meter. The leak should stop right away. Then, call the Dynamic Drains team for repairs.
Why are my pipes so noisy?
If your pipes are rattling or making other loud noises, it usually means they aren’t properly secured. Loose pipes develop spots where they rub or vibrate against things like floor joists and make loud noises every time water flows through them. If your pipes are becoming unbearably loud, call Dynamic Drains.
Why does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?
Nasty-smelling water won’t make you sick -- it is harmless. Sulfur and bacteria are present in nearly all the water that enters your home. The odor happens when the magnesium anode rod in your water heater tank reacts with the sulfur and bacteria in the water, creating hydrogen that then forms hydrogen sulfide. There are many ways to take care of this issue, from replacing the magnesium anode rod to purifying the water in your water heater.
Why did my drains get clogged?
Clogs usually occur because people are careless about what they put down the drain. Kitchen clogs often result from a combination of cooking grease and food scraps, while drains in the bathroom typically consist of soap scum and hair. While some clogs are inevitable, you should always be conscious of what you are putting down your drains if you want to avoid problems with your water flow in the future.
Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners?
At Dynamic Drains, we recommend avoiding off-the-shelf drain cleaners you can buy at your local home improvement store. These contain a blend of harsh chemicals that make them extremely corrosive, and the fumes they emit can also make people and pets sick. They are also not as effective at clearing a clog as a professional plumber armed with the right tools and technology.
How can I determine the age of my pipes?
Though plumbing systems are designed to be long-lasting, the pipes will eventually wear out. If you live in an older home, it’s likely your pipes are made of an outdated material such as Orangeburg or lead. The older your pipes are, the more susceptible they are to developing leaks or cracks, and it’s not unusual for older piping systems to collapse completely. Call Dynamic Drains to schedule a minimally invasive video sewer camera inspection. We can examine the entire length of your pipeline using our high-tech camera and provide you with the most accurate picture of the health and condition of your pipes.
What if I need to replace my sewer line?
If we determine that you need a new sewer line, we can help you replace it with our advanced trenchless sewer replacement solutions. Since this technology enables us to complete the repair process completely underground, it requires far less digging than traditional excavation-based plumbing repairs. Because it is less invasive, it is also more environmentally friendly and saves our residential and commercial customers time and money. Best of all, we use such high-quality materials to complete repairs that the new pipeline will be durable enough to resist damage for many years to come.
Why is my water pressure low?
There are many reasons you might be experiencing an unwelcome drop in water pressure at your home or business. The most severe and potentially costly of these is corrosion in older pipes, which gradually builds up to the point where it begins to restrict water flow. The Dynamic Drains team can evaluate the condition of your pipes to determine if a repair or replacement would improve your water flow, or if the reason for your low water pressure is something much more straightforward.
Are tree roots causing my frequent sewer backups?
If you live in a well-established neighborhood with many large, mature trees, it’s possible tree roots have grown into your sewer line. Tree roots are one of the most common culprits of sewer backups because they are constantly searching for moisture and nutrients -- two things that are abundantly available in plumbing pipes. They will invade any small crack in their quest, and before you know it, you are dealing with a plumbing headache. If this has happened to you, count on your neighbors at Dynamic Drains to solve the problem with our cutting-edge drain cleaning solutions. We can use high-pressure jetting to blast through the tree roots, even if they have grown extensively enough to cause a total pipe blockage.
Do I have to install low-flow toilets?
Low-flow toilets use a fraction of the water to flush compared with older models -- 1.6 gallons per flush, as opposed to the 7 gallons outdated toilets use. If you buy a new toilet today, it will be a low-flow toilet, since 1.6 gallons per flush is the federally mandated maximum, according to 1992’s Energy Policy Act. Installing low-flow toilets is environmentally friendly, and you will begin realizing significant savings on your water bills immediately.
Does my plumbing really need regular preventive maintenance?
The simple answer is yes. Proactive plumbing maintenance services and tune-ups can extend the lifespan of your pipes, make your water flow more efficiently and allow technicians a chance to spot and fix minor issues before they have a chance to develop into more significant problems. You’ll save money, stress, and time in the long run -- and who doesn’t want that?
Choose Dynamic Drains for All of Your Pipe Needs
When plumbing crises rear their ugly heads, it’s essential to contact a company that can help you minimize the disruption and restore normalcy in your life as soon as possible. Dynamic Drains wants to be the first and only call you need to make if you’re experiencing any issues with the water flow and function at your Southeastern Michigan residential or commercial property. We are proud to serve the greater Ann Arbor area as well as Saline, Ypsilanti, Milan, Canton, Chelsea, Dundee, and Howell, Michigan with the most reliable and knowledgeable team of master plumbers and service technicians in the business.