1. When I take a shower, I run out of hot water faster than before. What could be causing this? In most standard electric water heaters, there are two elements. One element to maintain the temperature of the water when it is not being used and the second is called a “quick recovery” element. This element comes on when water is running to keep the temperature up as the cold water flows into the tank. In most cases, this second element is burned out and needs changing. However, there are other reasons that can cause this to happen so be sure to let a licensed professional check your heater out before trying to tackle changing an element yourself.

2. I have a private well for my water supply and my pressure goes up and down at times or is weaker than normal. Why does this happen? With a standard private well system, there is a holding tank more commonly known as a “pressure tank”. This tank has an air bladder inside that needs a certain amount of air determined by the pressure switch setting. If the air is low or the bladder is damaged, this can cause the fluctuation in pressure or weaker pressure. If not corrected, this can cause increased wear on the pump itself and shorten the life of the motor. A few other possible causes could be from a leak in one of the water lines, a faulty pressure switch, an improperly adjusted switch, or even a system that was not sized correctly before being installed. A licensed plumber with training on well systems would need to troubleshoot the system to determine the exact cause or causes.

3. I have a private well for my water supply and my water is “muddy”. It is orange or red and stains the commodes and my white clothes. What is in my water that causes this? A large number of wells in central North Carolina have different levels of iron (Fe) in the water. This is a common problem but it is not considered dangerous to consume. However, it is a big nuisance that can be brought down to a manageable level with the correct treatment. Some homeowners try to control this with cartridge filters but this does very little to slow the amount coming in and requires frequent changing. For free water testing and a free estimate on a system to help clean your water, please give us a call. For more information on iron and other common water problems, click here.

4. I have a private well for my water supply and I have bluish green stains on my fixtures. What causes this? If you have copper pipes, this bluish green staining is actually copper residue being left behind after the water evaporates. The reason the copper is leaching into the water is because the water is acidic or what is known as low pH. The corrosive nature of the water eats away at the pipes and over time, the pipes will become thinner until they start leaking. Consuming water with high levels of copper and other heavy metals can also be dangerous. The acidity of your water can be determined with a simple water test. For free testing and a free estimate on how to neutralize the pH level, please give us a call. For more information on acidic water and other common water problems, click here.

5. I have a private well for my water supply and when I run the water sometimes, it has a “rotten egg” smell. It is also very strong when the hot water is used. What causes this? The most common cause of a “rotten egg” smell in well water is usually from hydrogen sulfide that naturally occurs as a result of decaying organic matter down in the water table. This is not known to pose any health risk but it is a nuisance and can even make your laundry smell bad. There are several different ways to address this problem. For the best way to take care of your individual problem, call us for a free in-home estimate. For more details on odors in well water and other water problems, click here.

6. When I cut the hot water on in my shower or sink, it takes several minutes for the hot water to make it from the water heater. What can I do to speed up the hot water so I don’t have to wait so long? The most common way to have hot water quickly reach all the fixtures in your house is by installing a circulation pump system. Over the past few years, more cost effective circulation systems have been developed that are easier to install in houses already built. The correct type depends on the size of your house the type of water heater, etc. There are different types of circulation systems as well as other solutions that can help. For the solution that is right for you, just call us for a free in-home estimate. We’ll be glad to help.

7. I have an older home with older metal drain lines. They drain very slow and stop up often. I use store bought drain cleaning chemicals but they don’t help very much. What else can I do? It has been my experience over the years that drain opening chemicals do not work and are not worth the expense. There are a couple of solutions ranging from cleaning out the lines with cable machines to replacing the lines with PVC pipe. For the best solution for your particular problem and budget, give us a call for a free in-home estimate.

8. Sometimes I have a bad odor coming from my (kitchen drain, shower drain, bathroom sink drain, etc…). What causes this and what can I do to stop it? Drains that aren’t holding back the sewer odors can be caused by several reasons. A couple of more common reasons are because the trap underneath is going dry or there is a venting problem. If you have a drain that is not used on a regular basis (like a guest bathroom shower or sink), be sure to run a little water into the traps every few days to replace what evaporates. If you cannot trace down the cause yourself, please don’t hesitate to call us.

9. Sometimes when no one is in the bathroom, I hear the toilet fill up and shut off. What causes this? The most common cause is a leaky flapper or flush valve seal. There are other possibilities such as an incorrectly installed fill valve or a cracked flush valve. Try putting some food coloring in the tank and if it shows up in the bowl within a few minutes when no one has flushed it, replace the flapper or seal. If this proves difficult or is not the solution to your problem, send a message or call us for help at very reasonable rates.

10. I have an outside faucet that leaks around the handle or from around the faucet in the wall when I cut it on. What can be done to fix this? In some of the simpler cases, it’s as simple as tightening the packing nut around the stem. In some other cases, it could be the result of a busted faucet that froze and split in the winter time. To determine if it needs a repair kit installed or needs replacing, give us a call or send a message.