Advice from Rocky the Plumber


Have a plumbing question, feel free to ask it in the comments section below. Check back here for periodic Tips From Rocky. 


During the use of your water heater, mineral deposits in the water begin to build up on the inner tank. As this sediment settles, it begins to build up and prevents the water from being heated efficiently. It will also cause loud popping noises when the water is being heated. By draining the water heater, it will remove some of the sediment in the water which keeps some of this sediment from sticking to the inner metal tank, therefore allowing the water to be heated more efficiently and slowing down corrosion in the tank.


In some cases when you are not getting enough water pressure from your kitchen faucets or lavatory sink faucets, there is one simple solution you can try first before deciding to call a plumber. Remove the aerator which is located under the spout of the faucet. You can usually remove it with your fingers but if it’s too tight, just use some pliers to remove. Once you have removed it, remove any debris lodged inside aerator. Sometimes you may have to use a needle to remove any debris that may be blocking water flow. Once cleaned, simply replace it. If the aerator still does not work you can always take it to your local plumbing supply store and purchase a new one.


Maintaining your garbage disposal helps prevent those awful odors coming from your kitchen sink. Under your sink is a black hose connected from the airgap to the disposal. It’s secured by two hose clamps. Loosen both clamps from each side and remove the hose. Take the hose outside and rinse until it is clear of all debris. Re-install the hose. Before going to bed, pour 1/2 a cup of vinegar, 1 Tsp of baking soda, and some lemon wedges optional, and let it stand overnight. In the morning, run the water and turn on your disposal until clear of all debris. This should cut down on those awful odors.


What do you do when your next water bill is double or triple your regular payment amount? Two different things could be happening. One, your water utility company has made an error on your bill which is probably unlikely. Or two, you probably have an underground leak and you don’t know it. What do you do?

First, before calling your local water utility company go to your water meter which is usually located in front of your house by the curb. For some homes, the water meter may be located in the alley behind your house. Once you have located your water meter, remove the steel cover (you may want to use some pliers or screw driver to pry it open). Then you want to look at the dial-reading which has a glass cover over it. Focus your attention on the red triangle inside the dial-reader. This triangle will only move or spin if there is running water inside your home. (Make sure that no one in your home is using water). If the red triangle keeps moving or spinning, then there is a possibility that you have some kind of water leak occurring either inside your home or underground.

Next step is to check all fixtures in your home and look for any signs of water leakage. If there are no indication of any water leaks, try to hear any water running, sometimes you can hear the sound of water running by putting your ear against a wall for example in the bathroom. Also, how do you determine if it is a hot water leak or a cold water leak? Well the answer is simple. Shut off the water valve on top of your water heater, then go back outside to the meter and check if there is still movement on the red triangle. If there is still movement, then it is a cold water leak. If there is no more movement then that means you have a hot water leak. Sometimes you can tell when you have a hot water leak by feeling the floor which usually will feel warm. In any case, if that red triangle is moving or spinning then you need to contact your plumbing professional. You may want to contact your home owners insurance as well, depending on your insurance carrier sometimes they cover the cost to repair.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.