Plumbing Tips

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Things You Should Know

It’s important to know where your main water shut-off valve is and what to do if there is an issue. If you have a pipe burst or leaking waterline, turning off your main water shut-off valve will help minimize the damage until we can get there to help.

Often, main water shut-off valves are located near your hot water heater, in a closet, under a sink or inside your garage. If you cannot find your main water shut-off valve inside the home, the next place to look is outside, there should be a “curb stop” at your water meter.

If you are experiencing low water pressure in a single faucet it is usually caused by debris build-up in the aerator and/or fixture supply line or damaged faucet components. If you are experiencing low water pressure throughout your home, first check to make sure your water shutoff valve is fully open as this controls the flow of water into your home. Depending on the condition of your pipe and the age of your home, low water pressure throughout the home can indicate it may be time for a waterline replacement or repair.

Fats, Oils and Grease (F.O.G.) do not belong in your sewer system. F.O.G. can cause extensive damage to your drains and lead to costly backups. Improperly disposing of F.O.G. can result in plumbing clogs, which can lead to total blockages in your pipes and eventually in your municipality’s sewer system. Proper disposal methods include waiting for the fat to solidify before throwing it in your compost bin/trash, pouring the fat into a glass container, and wiping grease residue off with a paper towel before washing your dishes.

You should not flush anything other than toilet paper and bodily waste down the toilet. This includes, hygiene products, cotton balls, prescription medications, and “flushable” wipes.

If you notice that your toilet becomes clogged more frequently there could be several reasons, which include: a blockage from a foreign object (e.g., trash), using too much toilet paper or toilet paper that is too thick, the jets in your toilet bowl are backed up making your toilet not flush properly (e.g., old toilet), and venting issues.

  • Gurgling sounds coming from a drain.
  • Unusual odors coming from sinks, showers, or drains.
  • One or more drains moving slower than usual.
  • Water backing up into a shower or tub.

If your drains are backing up, you should check to see if the backup is on the homeowner’s side or the city’s side. If it is on the city side, the city is responsible for clearing the line, typically at no cost to the homeowner. If it is on the homeowner’s side, then you can call Ziegler Plumbing at 757-877-2054 to clear the line.

While acid drain cleaners can temporarily and quickly unclog a drain, we do not recommend using them. Acid drain cleaners are very bad for the health of your plumbing if there is any metal material in your drain system. Acid cleaners can cause the drain to deteriorate, which can lead to leaks and other issues.

  • Coffee grounds
  • Fats, oils and greasy foods
  • Eggshells
  • Vegetable peels and fruit skins
  • Potato (including potato peels)
  • Dry pasta and rice
  • Bones and shellfish

Waste from garbage disposals is a major cause of kitchen sink drain backups. Drains are installed to take digested waste that breaks down; food and food products that don’t dissolve cause backups.

Freezing temperatures can cause costly leaks. To avoid freezing pipes, have conditioned air circulating through your home, open cabinet doors under plumbing fixtures to condition space, insulate waterlines that are in exterior walls since they are at the most risk of freezing, and drain your garden hose valve and the hose itself completely.

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