Do you have some questions? We’ve got some answers!

When it comes to your plumbing and sewage, you may feel overwhelmed by everything there is to know about maintenance, repairs, and installations. Keeping your plumbing running smoothly should not be stressful! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common plumbing and sewer questions for some easy answers! Check it out below and if you still have questions or are ready for a free quote contact Southeastern Wisconsin’s premier plumbing and sewage experts today!

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Plumbing FAQs

How do you unclog a toilet? 

Uh oh! Back ups happen, and we promise it’s not because of the three day old burrito you ate for lunch! If you find yourself watching the water rise in fear, grab a plunger and get ready to work! Sidenote: we always recommend keeping a quality plunger in every bathroom in case there is an immediate need. If you’re missing your plungers but need an easy fix try quickly dumping a bucket of water into the toilet to push the clog through. 

If clogs become a consistent issue it is important to schedule an appointment with a professional plumber to get to the root of the issue!

There is always a small puddle under the bathroom sink, what do I do?

If there is water collecting anywhere around any plumbing you need to get it repaired as quickly as possible. If left unrepaired it can cause mold and damages to your cabinets or belongings that are kept inside. A leak could be as simple as a loose pipe or many other major repairs. Contact a professional plumber (we’d recommend Water Tight…) to get leaks fixed soon!

My toilet is constantly running, does it need to be replaced? 

The tank fills when the “flapper” (the black rubber valve at the bottom) is firmly sealed, stopping the flow of water. If that seal is bad it won’t know when to stop filling. You can try adjusting the float arm that the flapper is attached to to see if the water stops. If it is still running the flapper will need to be replaced, but most of the time the whole toilet will not need to be replaced!

What causes brown staining on sinks and bathtubs? 

The brown stains are most likely from dissolved iron in your water. When mixed with oxygen it leaves behind brown, rust-like stains on surfaces. There are many products that can remove this build up, but we recommend repairing or replacing your water softener (or installing one if you don’t already have one!) to remove the iron from your water! 

A simple DIY to remove it is 1 part vinegar or lemon juice with one part warm water! Let it set for a few minutes and then gently scrub the rust away! ALWAYS test a small discrete section before doing the whole area to ensure your surface can handle the mix and scrubbing!

My toilet is overflowing, what do I do?! 

First, DO NOT TRY AND FLUSH AGAIN. Next, find the water shut off attached to the back of your toilet! This will stop water from continuing to fill the toilet. Grab as many towels as possible to soak up excess water, we recommend some that you can bleach or feel comfortable throwing away. Try and plunge the clog yourself, and if that doesn’t work it’s time to call an emergency plumber. After the water stops flowing and it’s cleaned up as much as possible, it is extremely important to be thorough in cleaning and sanitization to prevent bacterial growth on floors and other fixtures. Make sure to use a strong disinfectant that will kill anything that may be hanging around.

What causes low water pressure?

Low water pressure can be caused by numerous issues. If it’s always been an issue, it is most likely from an insufficient plumbing system, especially if it occurs when other faucets are on in your home. If it is a sudden issue that isn’t resolved by turning off other water sources there could be a leak somewhere that needs to be repaired quickly. Contact us today and we will come out to evaluate your plumbing and help you get running better!

How do I clean a smelly garbage disposal?

While there are many commercial products for garbage disposals, a quick and easy fix is tossing citrus, ice cubes, or baking soda and vinegar in and running it for 30 seconds or until it is cleared!

How do I prevent hair from clogging my drains?

We’d recommend getting a drain stopper to prevent anything from getting down your drain!

Oh no! My ring dropped down my drain, what do I do?! 

Yikes! Accidents like this happen all the time. There is a small trap in the pipes (where it forms a “U” that is made to catch anything that falls into the drain! If you feel comfortable with a little handiwork, removing the trap is simple! If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, give us a call!

How do I prevent frozen pipes?

When the temperature drops below freezing it is important to take some extra steps to ensure your pipes won’t freeze and burst. Some easy steps to prevent frozen pipes are open cabinets under sinks, let faucets lightly drip, keep windows closed, disconnect outdoor water hoses, and keep your thermostat above 55 even if you’re not going to be home. The most important step to preventing burst pipes is repair any leaks prior to freezing temperatures!

Why does my well water smell like rotten eggs? 

There are a few reasons why your water smells like eggs! While unlikely, there could be a bacteria in your water causing the foul smell. A professional plumber will be able to test and treat any bacteria found in your plumbing system should it be present! The more common issue is hydrogen sulfide in your plumbing. While the smell itself is enough to deter you from using or drinking the water, it is in fact harmless! There are a few ways to remedy the smell: 

  1. Flush out your plumbing. All you need to do is run all the faucets in your home for 5-10 minutes. After that, turn them all off, wait a few minutes, and test the water again!
  2. Sanitize your water heater. To do this, turn off the water heater, empty it by running the water until it turns cold, then refill and turn your water heater up to 160. Let it run for a few hours and that should kill any odor causing bacteria hiding! Do not forget to turn it back down and use extra caution when you’re done cleaning to prevent burns!
  3. The most effective way to get rid of the odor is installing a whole home water filtration system. This will provide delicious (and odorless!) water from any source in your home! Contact us today for more information on water filtration systems!

How do I know if roots grew in my sewer lines? 

Roots grow wherever water and soil are present, so they tend to be drawn to sewer pipes. Some signs that you could have roots in your pipes are slow running drains, gurgling toilets, sinkholes in your yard, foul odors outside, sewer backups, and new puddles in your yard. It is extremely important to repair the damages as soon as possible. When doing any landscaping in your yard, it is best to keep deep rooted plants and trees as far away from sewer lines as possible. Call 811 prior to digging to know exactly where the sewer lines are in your yard!

Do I need a sewer cleanout? 

Technically no. A plumber would have access to your main sewer line through a toilet, however a sewer cleanout, also known as a vent, gives quicker and easier access to see inside your sewer lines. Without a cleanout, seeing inside your sewer lines can be a lengthy and expensive process.

What does a sump pump do and do I need one?

A sump pump is your home’s first line of defense against flooding and moisture in your basement. Water drains into a pit in your basement floor that then drains out a hose far from your foundation! There is a floatation device that rises with the water which signals the pump to turn on if the water gets too high. They are powered by electricity and often come with a backup battery should you lose power. While they are technically not required, they are necessary to prevent mold from moisture build up and flooding which can cause major damages to your home.

How often should I have my plumbing and sewer inspected?

Water Tight Plumbing and Sewer recommends an inspection every 3-5 years unless there is an obvious issue!

What do I do if I have a plumbing emergency?

Water Tight Plumbing and Sewer is proud to offer 24/7 emergency services 365 days a year! If you’re having a plumbing emergency, call us ASAP at 847-623-6810 and a plumber will be there soon!

What is considered an emergency?

We would classify an emergency as anything that will interrupt your day to day life! Some examples would be an overflowing toilet that cannot be easily unclogged, burst pipes, sump pump failure, broken water heater, leaky pipes, and a clogged sewer line. If you’re not sure if your issue constitutes an emergency, give us a call anyway and we will help you from there!

Trusted Plumbing & Water Heater Repair

Don’t hesitate to contact us for an estimate on water heater installation, maintenance, or repair. As the most trustworthy plumbers near Waukegan, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Call 847-623-6810 for emergency services.