Troubleshooting Tips

Steve would rather save you some money and suggests the following ideas that the average homeowner can handle.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Heat any part of the house that water pipes pass through
    • Open the cabinet doors on any walls with pipes to allow the room heat to have access
    • Turn on a lamp or ceiling fixture; the heat from the bulb will raise the room temperature and it may be enough to prevent the pipes from freezing
  • Install foam sleeve pads on all water pipes
  • Install heat tape around the pipes where the insulation may not be enough: under kitchen sinks in older or mobile homes, cabins, barns, etc.

No Hot Water?

  • Check the breaker, make sure it hasn't flipped (electric water heaters)
  • Check the pilot light (gas water heaters)
  • A flipped breaker or a pilot light that has gone out can signify a bigger problem; contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Perform Regular Maintenance of:

  • Water heater
    • Drain the sediment from the bottom of the water heater once a year
      1. Hook a hose up to the low point on the water heater
      2. Weight the other end down next to a floor drain
      3. Open the tap on the water heater and allow the water to flow for 10-15 seconds
      4. Close the tap; undo the hose
  • Keep the drains clear with a natural enzyme product or a bioproduct which you use on a regular basis, i.e., once a month
    • These products are not fast-acting
    • Use them only if you are prepared to wait the time stated on the product label, for example, if you go away for a weekend, etc.

Using Your Garbage Disposal

  • Never put grease or fats down your garbage disposal
  • Allow the water to continue to run for 10-15 seconds after you turn off the garbage disposal
Especially for vacation homes, motor homes, foreclosures, commercial properties
Shut off exterior water

Drain hose bibbs
Pipes drained

Anti-freeze added to traps and toilets

Drain water heater and hydronic boiler

Drain in-floor heating

Empty toilets

Disconnect water meter

Blow out waterlines

Protect exterior hose bibs
Sinks, Tubs, and Toilets
Check sinks, tubs, toilets, and outside hose bibs to ensure they are not leaking and wasting water

Replace faucet aerators
Most faucets and bibbs are old and need replacing; I have the special tools needed for these types of repair—keep the wife happy, call me instead

Faucet repair and/or replacement

Change the height of the collar for the toilet (if you replace the bathroom flooring)

Toilet repair and/or replacement
Sump Pumps
Check if the sump pump is working Sump pump repair or replacement

Install battery backup systems for sump pumps
Sewers, Pipes, and Drains
Use a drain cleaning product as part of preventative maintenance to keep your drains open; do NOT use such products when the drain is actually plugged—it's too late then Let me cut/replace piping

Sewer and drain cleaning

Water pipe and drain pipe repairs and/or replacements

Gas piping repair and/or installation

Install backwater valves
Garbage disposal repair or installation

Install and troubleshoot icemaker lines
Major Appliances
Check washing machine hoses
  • Replace as needed with burst-proof hoses
Repair or replace water heaters