Frequently Asked Questions
Before contacting us, you can check out some of the frequently asked questions below. Many common plumbing issues can be prevented or corrected by you and avoid costly repairs and service fees.
Water is dripping from my tub spout. Is this normal?
Drips of water coming from a tub spout can be normal if it has a diverter. If there is dripping water after using the shower and then stops, it's water draining down from the shower head and emptying into the tub. If the spout leaks continuously, please contact us so that we may make a repair.
My shower head and faucets have a build-up of a white substance around where the water comes out. What is this and how can it be cleaned?
This unsightly build-up is mineral deposits. NEVER use chemicals or harsh abrasives to clean your fixtures. Doing so can damage the finish on your fixtures and is not covered under your home warranty. To remove these deposits from the shower head, pour a cup of vinegar in a plastic bag. Place the bag over the shower head and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. After allowing the shower head to soak overnight, remove the bag and use and old toothbrush to gently scrub off the mineral deposits. For faucets, you may also be able to remove the aerators and soak them in vinegar overnight. DO NOT use any tools, such as pliers or wrenches, to remove the faucet aerators. This can damage your faucet's finish and is not covered under your home warranty. If you cannot remove the aerators yourself, please contact us and we can assist you.
What can I put down the garbage disposal?
This can be a major problem for homeowners. Here are some tips to help keep your garbage disposal working properly.
- Always use cold water when running your garbage disposal. Fats and grease congeal and harden in cold water and are more easily flushed through the system.
- Almost all biodegradable food waste can be put down the garbage disposal. However, you should not put clam or oyster shells, corn husks, or other high fiber content down the disposal. NEVER put glass, plastic, or metal materials in the disposal. This includes bottle caps and aluminum foil, which are commonly found by service technicians in clogged or broken disposals.
- Putting eggshells down the disposal actually helps clean the disposal by scraping away stubborn deposits. Grinding a small amount of ice is another way to clean deposits and get rid of odors. For the most part, though, garbage disposals are self-cleaning.
My garbage disposal quit working. What can I do to fix it?
There are some steps that you can take to get your garbage disposal working again.
- If there is no sound or hum from the garbage disposal when the switch is turned on, you may need to reset the built-in circuit breaker. You can reset the circuit breaker by pushing the red button on the bottom of the garbage disposal unit.
- If the disposal does not start after checking the built-in circuit breaker, check the electrical panel to see if the circuit breaker for your garbage disposal has tripped.
- If the disposal hums when the switch is turned on, but the blades are not turning, something is probably jammed in the disposal. First unplug the disposal before attempting to clear the jam. You can attempt to free the blades by using an allen wrench to manually turn the blade wheel from the bottom of the disposal. Usually this wrench is attached to the side of the disposal unit or may have been left in a kitchen drawer when your house was new. If you are able to free the blades, be sure to remove the object from the disposal to prevent another jam. Please be sure that the disposal is unplugged before reaching inside!
If none of these solutions work for you, please contact us and we can service or replace the disposal unit. Depending on the cause of the problem, this service may or may not be covered under your home warranty.
I always get bad odors from my disposal. Is there something I can do to eliminate these odors?
When your run your disposal, be sure to run COLD water for at least 20-30 seconds after you turn off the disposal. This ensures that all the waste is flushed out of the disposal and down the drain completely. You can try the following to eliminate any existing odors:
- Run HOT water down the disposal for a couple minutes.
- Shut the water off and pour about half a cup of baking soda down the disposal.
- Follow with a small amount of white vinegar.
- Allow the solution to foam in the disposal. This will clean the disposal and help eliminate smells.
Citrus fruit, such as lemons or orange peelings, put through the disposal will also help clean the disposal.
When I flush the toilet, why does water come up into my tub?
When a sewer line to the city is clogged, any water flushed into the sewer line will come up into the lowest drain in the house, which is usually a tub, shower, or floor drain. A common cause of sewer clogging is due to flushing of too much toilet paper at once or flushing of something other than toilet paper, such as paper towels. Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate when wet and should be the only product flushed down a toilet besides waste. If you are having this problem, please contact us to have your main sewer line unclogged. Depending on the cause of the problem, this service may or may not be covered under your home warranty.