Frequently asked questions
Why are my pipes knocking when the toilet is flushed?
There are many reasons why your pipes may knock in your house. Whether the pipe carries hot or cold water makes a difference. A hot water pipe would make noise due to thermal expansion, though either a hot or cold water pipe may make noise due to improper fastening. Likewise, improper pressure in your water distribution system could also cause your pipes to knock. Usually, your water pressure is too high.
Another reason you may hear a banging noise could come from the toilet and its fill valve. The fill valve regulates the water level in the toilet tank. Newer models of this valve tend to close very abruptly. When this happens, it sometimes causes what we call a “water hammer” and can lead to banging noises. In fact, any fast closing valve could potentially cause a water hammer situation, even those found in your dishwashers, washing machines, and ice makers.If you hear sounds like a loud chattering or clattering noise coming from the toilet when you flush, that’s usually caused by a loose washer in the shutoff valve. When the water flows over that washer, it opens and closes making a loud noise but usually stops as soon as the water flow stops.
Finally, you may hear a high pitched squeal that comes on suddenly as if your bathroom is haunted! That is caused by a slow leak in the toilet that causes the water metering valve to come on unexpectedly to fill the toilet. This is usually caused by the flapper not sealing properly.
Where is my main water shut off valve?
Your water shut off valve is on the main water line serving the house. The valve will most likely be located outside the house and close the exterior wall. It is typically attached to an exterior wall or it is located in an accessible underground box. You may have to look around a bit because the valve may also be located in a basement or crawl space.
There is also a separate valve that controls the hot water piping in the house. This valve is located at your water heater, which is typically inside the house. This valve is often quicker and easier to access and closer than the house’s main water valve. Every second matters when water is flooding into your home, but remember that this valve only controls the home’s hot water piping and is not the main water shut off valve.
Why is my toilet leaking from the base?
There are two reasons that a toilet might be leaking from the base. The first reason is that someone moved the toilet from its original location during a home renovation or remodel. The second reason is that the toilet may be running under a high pressure that the base cannot handle. Call a professional for assistance.
Why does my toilet keep running?
The most common issue of a running toilet is the flapper, located in the tank of the toilet, has shrunken due to chemicals in the water. This normally takes around 3 to 5 years to happen.
Another common problem is that the fill-valve over time will lose its ability to regulate the water level in the tank, and at that time it will need to be replaced. There is also the fill tube assembly, which has a lower gasket that can leak or a leak can form from the tube itself.
It’s always a good idea to perform regular maintenance on your toilet by replacing the flapper and fill valve to prevent leakage that you may not hear or see.
A great way to check your toilets for water flow is by dropping food coloring dye into the tank. Let the dye set for 5 to 10 minutes and then see if the food coloring dye shows in the bowl of the toilet. If you do, that means you have a hidden toilet water leak.
How do I flush a water heater?
Tank type water heaters are one of those common appliances you rely upon every day. Whether gas or electric, they are generally very dependable and quiet. Water heaters can last for a decade or more with annual maintenance. The maintenance removes the sediment that builds up through draining and flushing.
Sediment (also known as calcium carbonate) is a mineral present in water. This mineral precipitates (turns into a solid) when water is heated and settles to the bottom of the tank where it does a number of bad things. Sediment forms a layer of insulation between the gas burner and the water. This slows down the heat transfer and overheats the bottom of the tank. Overheating weakens the steel and damages the glass lining. In the case of electric, it can bury the element and cause it to burn out. It can move into your recirculation lines, jam open check valves, and cause the recirculation pump to stick until it burns out. It can clog your drain valve. And finally, it causes noise. This noise is caused by small amounts of water under the sediment layer turning to seam bubbles, which collapse violently.
By flushing your water heater, you can extend the life of your water heater even further and save money in the process. To perform a full tank drain and flush follow the steps below:
-Locate the valve on the cold inlet side of the water heater and turn it off
-For a gas water heater, turn the temperature setting on the control valve to Pilot
-For an electric water heater turn off the breaker
-Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located near the bottom of the heater
-Open the drain valve
-Open the temperature and pressure (T&P or blow-off) valve by pulling on the lever to allow air into the tank
-Once the water heater has fully drained open the water valve on the inlet side of the water heater to flush out as much sediment as possible
-Close the drain valve once flushed
-Close the T&P valve when water begins to flow through the valve
-For gas water heater turn the temperature setting on the control valve to hot
-For an electric water heater turn on the breaker