Owning a home or building can come with its own set of challenges, the plumbing kind, and you will often have to do a frenzied plumber near me search, hoping to find a plumber to solve your issues in the 11th hour. Thankfully, if you stumble upon Plumbing Ways in your plumber near me search, you won’t have to worry about extreme after-hours rates, as Plumbing Ways has the same rates at any time of the day, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! A lot of plumbing issues can however be avoided, and you may find, in our comprehensive top questions and answers guide, the answer to your plumbing conundrums.
Should I turn off my water when I go on vacation?
Vacations are a beautiful period and bring such excitement and joy, but can also leave you nervous and agitated about leaving your home and everything in it, without supervision. Before jet-setting off to a land of luxury, many people make checklists for their homes and the various different processes and amenities to ensure that everything goes seamlessly while you are away. This includes turning off electricity and plug points, as well as turning off the geyser, but you may wonder whether or not you need to turn off your property’s water for the duration that you are away.
The simple answer, is yes, you should ideally turn off your water while you are away. While it is actually highly unlikely that something will happen to your water system, it is not worth taking the risk. Something that wasn’t even noticeable could turn into a big issue while you’re away, and if there’s a burst pipe involved, then it could lead to serious furniture, floor and ceiling damage. That is why it is always best to turn off your property’s water while you are away.
Where is my main water shut-off valve?
If you’re living in an apartment building then this won’t really apply to you, but if you are living in a house with a garden and are in charge of the water, then you should definitely know where your water shut-off valve is. You should know this because in the event of water damage or a burst pipe, your go to move will be to switch off the main water valve. Have a look at the blue prints for your property or call the person who sold you the house, as they should be able to find out. If you hired a home inspector before buying the home, which is always a good idea, then they would have given you an inspection report. The location of the shut off valve should be in this report.
Why is my water mirky?
This is a common question asked when it comes to plumbing and can often prompt one to search for a plumber near me, or frantically ask on your neighbourhood WhatsApp group if anyone else is experiencing mirky tap water. Mirky tap water is quite hard to miss, it resembles either a milky white colour or a foggy brown colour, and definitely doesn’t look too appetizing. Mirky water is usually caused by one of the following three reasons, dirt, bubbles and sulphur.
-Dirt: Dirt in the water can occur when small particles enter the water supply. These small bits of dirt, grain and sand can release smaller fragments and make the water appear mirky. You may notice that the water doesn’t taste entirely different, maybe slightly earthier, so it’s really just the appearance that is unwelcome. In most instances, a small amount of dirt in the water supply is generally quite harmless, but you can use a sediment filter going forward to ensure crystal clear water.
-Bubbles: Bubbles are more often than not the culprit behind mirky water, with the small air bubbles causing a cloudiness to the water. These bubbles are also fairly harmless and occur more in colder weather than hotter weather. The bubbles can be caused by temperature changes and pressure changes and the bubbles will travel through the pipes and into your glass of water. If you just allow your water to sit, uncovered, for a few minutes, most of the air bubbles should rise to the top and dissipate.
-Sulphur: The third culprit behind mirky water is sulphur and is usually accompanied by the awful smell of rotting eggs. Sulphur comes into play when there is little oxygen in the water and sulphur bacteria form and produce hydrogen sulphide gas, which causes bubbles. The reason for sulphur in your water could be because of a chemical reaction in your water heater, or could also mean that there is sulphur bacteria in your main water supply. While sulphur is generally safe, it could require a plumber near me to do a water test and ensure that it is safe. An at home remedy for the sulphur bacteria though, would be to install a water filtration unit, which you can purchase at some hardware stores.
Plumber near me: Why is my water bill so high?
Querying an expensive water bill is also a common reason that people search for a plumber near me. Budgeting your monthly income into specific aspects of your home, including rent, electricity, water, food and petrol, means that you simply don’t have the capacity for an exorbitant water bill. What makes a high water bill that much more damaging, is that you usually only get them at the end of the month, which means that something as simple as a leaking toilet could rack up thousands on your water bill before you’ve had the chance to find the culprit. If you see an increase in your water bill or feel that you are using more than you think you should be, then assess the following in your home:
-Leaking tap: A leaking tap or faucet is not only one of the most common plumbing issues, but it is arguably one of the most annoying too. Trying to sleep at night and hearing a tap continuously dripping, and hearing your money literally pouring down the drain, could cause anyone to call a plumber near me. A leaking tap, if left unnoticed, can cause a massive spike in your water bill and it is estimated that a tap leaking one drop per second can waste over 3000 gallons annually. Ensure that all taps are closed tightly, including outside taps and areas that you don’t often check on.
-Leaking toilet: A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, and as toilets are the biggest source of indoor water use, it is vital that they are not leaking. There may be small temporary leaks, such as if the toilet handle gets stuck when you flush, and it continues to pour water, or it could be a more serious leak where you will need to call a plumber near me. As soon as you pick up on a leak in your toilet, you will need to get it fixed immediately!
-Leaking line: A leaking line refers to the underground water system of pipes that connect the home to the meter. If this is leaking, it is usually because of large movement in the earth that has disturbed the pipes and cracked or loosened them, such a earthquakes, excavators and over time, tree roots. Repairing a leaking line could just be a quick patch up, but if the damage is more severe then you may need to call a plumber near me to replace the line pipe.
-Leaking irrigation system: This common leak is a sneaky one that often goes unnoticed by property owners. When watering a vegetable garden or a patch of lawn, many people make use of irrigation systems that spray water onto the surrounding area, but these can sometimes leak. If you’re noticing a peak in your water bill and have been turning the sprinklers on often, then give your sprinklers a once over for any damage or cracks and feel the ground around the sprinklers, which should be dry if you haven’t used it recently.
-Outdated plumbing fixtures: Another thing to consider when receiving a high water bill, is the age of your plumbing fixtures and how this may be impacting them. If your home is older with outdated fixtures, then that may be the cause as these older fixtures tend to leak and crack. If this is the case for you, then it is definitely time to upgrade your plumbing fixtures to more modern and effective fixtures.
-Water waste: The final point to consider if you’ve just been slapped with an expensive water bill, is your own usage. Are you a water wise household? Do you always make sure that the tap is off while you’re busy, or that you only do your laundry when you have a full load of washing? If not, then it may be time to look at your water behaviour. Try and cut down on your water consumption, and be more mindful of it in your daily tasks, and see if you notice a decrease in your next water bill.
-Lifestyle changes: If you’ve just welcomed a new-born and are running your washing machine 3 times a day to account for the copious heaps and heaps of dirty laundry, then you should not be surprised by the sudden increase in your water bill. It is also important to keep seasonal changes in mind, for example you may decide to fill your pool in summer or water your garden more which will lead to a steady increase. In saying that though, you may find that there are periods where your water bill is lower than usual, if you’ve gone on holiday or have taken showers at the gym each weekday.
What are the most common plumber near me tools?
When researching for a plumber near me, you may wonder what tools they use to do their work, and if you have any lying around the house. The truth is though, that most plumbing tools are not your everyday ‘lying around the house’ items, and are usually quite costly. Here is a list of some of the most common plumber near me tools used:
-Pipe wrench (adjustable)
-Tap valve reseating tool
-Tap valve seat wrench
-Tap packing and washers
Plumber near me: What type of drain cleaner should I use?
Deciding which type of drain cleaner to use is dependent on the drain you are unblocking and the cause behind the blockage. In severe cases, it is recommended that you contact a plumber near me to unclog the drain safely, but if it is a simple blockage then decide between these three drain cleaners:
-Acid: Acid drain cleaners are one of the more hardcore drain cleaners and have the potential to be quite dangerous. These cleaners have a high percentage of acid which reacts with the clogging culprit and completely dissolves it using hydronium ion’s produced heat and acid.
-Caustic: Caustic drain cleaner, sometimes called caustic soda, also contains a substance that generates heat that is used to dissolve the blockage.
-Oxidising: Oxidising drain cleaners are sort of a concoction of household ingredients, blended together to form a chemical, including peroxides, bleach and nitrates. Once the mixture meets the blockage it causes a chemical reaction and causes the blockage to lose and electron and become iodised, which coupled with the generated heat, unblocks the drain.