Our drain is taking a long time to drain. Should we have it cleaned?
Yes! The drain very well may need a hand snake ran through to alleviate the problem. However, a professional drain cleaning product may be more beneficial. These products remove the usual build-up of soap scum, grease and hair. They are designed to be gentle on the drain pipes, unlike the store brands. We can help with these types of situations.
Our bathroom sinks drain very slowly and water comes up in the other sink. What could be the problem?
When the drain from one fixture backs up into another, it means that the two lines are connected before it enters the main drain. Water will seek its own level so it will come up in a lower fixture or another fixture at the same level if there is a branch line connecting the fixtures that has a blockage.
A hand snake can open minor clogs in small traps or lines. It will put a hole in a clog, but it is often like punching a hole in gelatin. The sludge builds up, when you pull the snake back the sludge will just fill back in. Hand snakes won't open piping under the floor. If the clog is there, you'll need a professional plumber.
Once the line is cleaned you can use an enzyme-type drain cleaner to eat away biological material and prevent it from sticking to the inside of the piping, which keeps the line open and flowing properly.
We have sewage backing up in a drain pipe when we do laundry or take a shower. What does this mean?
Once the water is backing up in multiple fixtures it can mean either the main sewer line from the house to the sewer has a blockage. When the lines get filled, a small hand snake and/or chemical clog removers are ineffective. You will need a professional to solve your sewer problems.
Water keeps coming out of the spout in the bath tub when we shut the faucet off. Why does this happen?
Water coming out of a tub spout can be normal if it has a diverter. It can also be a leaky washer in the shower faucet. If it continues to leak, then it's a leaky washer. If it leaks for a short time, but then quits, it means that the water draining down from the shower head is just emptying into the tub.
My shower head has a build-up of a white substance. What is the best way to clean this or should I replace it?
The build-up is mineral deposits. To remove this from the shower head, use a plastic bag and pour in a cup of vinegar. Place the bag over the shower head & tie it to hold it in place overnight. Then remove the bag and use a brush to gently scrub off the deposits. If you notice this on your aerators as well, remove them from the faucets and allow them to soak in the vinegar overnight.
INSTALLING NEW PLUMBING
I want to install a new drain system for a shower, a toilet and sink. The grade to the front house is uphill.
A sewage ejector would need to be installed. This will pump the sewage uphill. A sewage ejector is a basin that sits below the ground. The sewage ejector has a pump grinder with a float, when the water rises up to the max level, the pump turns on and removes the debris by vacuum and forces the products up to the level of the sewer. The horsepower will be determined by the distance it will need to travel to reach the sewer.
But you may be able to drain by gravity, if the sewer line uphill is low enough, you may be able to drain by gravity. This will need to be determined by a professional. We can take a look & let you know the best solution for your situation.
Our water bill is extremely high. What should we do?
To check for a leak on your water system, shut off all the fixtures in your home and put red food coloring in all of your toilet tanks. Wait at least one hour and check the toilets. If the water in any of the toilets is red, then the toilet is leaking. If a leak is not detected in the toilets then your trouble could be a leak from the water service coming into the house.
Our toilets are backing up and someone said it could be tree roots. What should be done?
This is a common problem. We can take a look and assess your situation. If the plumber finds that this is most likely the problem, the sewer would need to be cleaned out from the house to the main sewer line. If the plumber pulls tree roots out on the cable, this is, of course, very likely your trouble. If there is too much resistance and the cable cannot effectively cut through, the line will need to be replaced. - See our "Sewer Line" section to learn more
We need a new toilet. What is your recommendation for a toilet replacement?
When considering a new toilet, we recommend that you choose a fixture made by one of the major manufacturers, such as Toto, Mansfield or Kohler. There are a few things to decide on when purchasing a new toilet. Would you prefer an elongated bowl (oval) or round? Do you want a comfort height toilet or standard? We install a great deal of comfort height toilets. These are slightly taller than the standard toilet and become a very popular choice.
My Toilet is not sitting firmly on the floor. It seems to rock/move a bit. What does this mean?
It is most commonly 1 of 2 things:
1. Toilet bolts are loose
2. Broken flange. This, however, is not an easy repair for a homeowner. Give us a call & we can help you with this repair.
What does a black ring under the linoleum of my toilet mean?
When a black ring starts to appear around the toilet under the linoleum it generally means the wax ring is leaking. The color is coming from a black bacteria, mold. The only way to fix this is to pull the toilet up and remove the wax ring and replace it with a new wax ring. If it doesn't flush properly, the water will build up causing it to leak. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by calling a professional to check for leaks and insure proper installation.
WATER HEATERS Our hot water runs out in five minutes or less. I have replaced the heating element and turned up thermostat on the tank, but I'm still having a problem. What else can I check? When you experience a rapid loss of hot water, the first thing to look at is the dip tube. This tube is a pipe that is attached to the cold water inlet pipe (inside the water heater) and transports the cold water through the hot water to the bottom of the water heater where the burner can heat it up. It is designed to prevent the cold water from coming into the top of the water heater and running right over to the hot water outlet and out to the faucets. The water that is brought in through the cold pipes ends up on the bottom of the water heater and the hot water stays on the top. Once in a while, the dip tube falls off (inside the water heater) and the cold water doesn't get to the bottom but stays on the top. This is why you will get cold water after only a few minutes. In order to stop your loss of hot water, you will need to check the condition of the dip tube.
My water heater’s pilot light is out and will not light. What can I do?
If the pilot light won't light, it typically means the thermocouple is bad. Replacing the thermocouple will most likely solve the problem. Be certain to read the instructions thoroughly for the water heater thermocouple and follow all safety guides.
ICE MAKER WATER LINES There is a problem with my ice maker line to the refrigerator. What should I do? A plumber can take a look & identify the problem and repair it. The valve may need to be disassembled in order to verify that water is reaching it. If you do not have water coming through the water supply tube, then there is probably a blockage or a part of the refrigerator is broken. This is not a problem for amateurs. Flooding could occur if precautions aren't taken while repairing or replacing a refrigerator water line.
If you’re unsure how to test or fix the water line to your refrigerator, contact CRAFTON PLUMBING 618-346-8806
What happens when roots get inside lines?
If not disturbed, the roots will completely fill the pipe at each point of entry. The roots quickly become clogged with toilet paper, grease and other debris flowing from to the main sewer, resulting in reduced flow and slow drains. Complete blockage may occur if the roots are not removed and root growth impeded.
When roots enter the pipe, they will continue to grow and expand. They exert considerable pressure at the crack. The build up of pressure often is the cause of the pipe to break and may result in total collapse, which will require repair or replacement.
How do roots grow? Tree and shrub roots require oxygen and water to grow. The growth rate is variable and is generally affected by the soil depth, water supply, and temperature.
Small roots are the primary water and nutrient absorbers. Most of these are found in the top 6 to 18 inches of soil, where water, nutrients and oxygen are.
The roots extend up to two or three times the height of the tree, but it is not uncommon for them to extend as far as seven times the height of the tree. Large trees can have thousands of feet of roots searching for nutrients.
How does dry weather affect root growth?
During dry conditions and in the winter, roots travel long distances in search of moisture. The reason you find tree roots in sewer lines and drains is because they get thirsty. They follow the trail of moisture that escapes from small cracks, holes, or poorly sealed joints in pipes, where they find nutrients and moisture.
We have poor inside water pressure to our faucets and toilets. What can we do?
There are several things to check for this type of problem.
1. You will want to check the strainers (aerators) in the faucets and make sure there are no mineral deposits. These can be taken off and cleaned out.
2. Check your main shut off valve coming into the house & make sure it is in the fully open position.
3. The next thing to consider is the age of your water service. The water services in our area 30-50+ years ago were made of galvanized pipe. If your water service is old, the incoming pipe most likely is filled with calcium build-up. This is a natural occurance. In this situation, the only solution is to replace the water service. If the pipes in the house are also galvanized theses pipes are also affected and would need to be replaced as well. The new pipes would be of either copper or pex. This is an individual decision left up to the homeowner.