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Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions

Plumbing problems can be extremely frustrating, especially when it means you can’t use your toilet, sink, shower, or all of the above! Have plumbing questions? Looking for answers from a trusted plumber?

While we suggest consulting a Northern Virginia plumber for all your plumbing issues, it never hurts to have a good sense of what you’re dealing with before you call for a repair.

Check out our list of some of the most common plumbing questions below, and give us a call when you need professional help!

Residential Plumbing

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Running But Not Working?

There are many modern conveniences we often take for granted during our everyday lives — until we have to go without them. You don’t realize how nice it is to be able to dispose of food waste down the drain until your garbage disposal stops working. One of the common issues we hear about is a garbage disposal that seems to turn on and makes a humming noise but won’t actually shred up any food. There are a couple of reasons this could be the case.

How Do I Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

The wintertime around Northern Virginia can produce temperatures in the teens — and even below — which means homeowners in the area should take steps to prevent frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands, which can cause your pipes to burst — this can cause major problems and create lengthy plumbing bills. Rapid drops in temperature, poor insulation, and improperly set thermostats are the major culprits behind frozen pipes.

Why Are My Recent Water Bills Increasing?

There could be a few reasons why your water bills have started to rise. The first thing to check is if a toilet is leaking. Check the water level in the tank to see if water is overflowing into the overflow pipe. In the event water is running into the overflow pipe, adjust the fill valve to stop the flow approximately 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube or to the water level mark stamped on the side of the tank.

How long does a water heater last?

The average life span of a traditional tank water heater is about eight to 12 years, depending on the quality of the unit, the hardness of the water, and how well it’s maintained. Tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

Pump Services

How often should I check my sump pump?

It’s advisable to check your sump pump at least once a year, preferably before the rainy season. If you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall or have had basement moisture issues, consider checking it more frequently.

Why Is My Well Pump Short-Cycling?

When your well pump is cycling on and off, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. Getting to the root of the problem is the first step in fixing it. Here are some of the reasons why your well pump may be short-cycling and what can be done to fix it.

Why is my sink draining slowly?

Slow drainage is often caused by blockages from hair, soap scum, food particles, or other debris. You can try clearing minor clogs using a plunger or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. For persistent blockages, you might need a drain snake or professional assistance.

Water Services

How Do I Unclog My Drain?

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face. Clogs happen at the worst times — like when you sleep through your alarm and are going to be late for work but still decide to take a shower and now the water is overflowing onto the bathroom floor. Although a clogged drain can be a major inconvenience, it’s a relatively easy problem to fix!

Why Is My Home’s Water Discolored?

After an extended trip away from home, the water coming out of your faucet could be slightly discolored — luckily, the discoloration usually goes away on its own in less than a minute. But what if this happens to your hot water regularly? Is the discolored water dangerous to your health? Can you use it to cook, bathe, or clean? Often the water is safe to use, and can often be associated with an aging water heater or rusty pipes.

What causes low water pressure?

Low water pressure can be caused by various factors including clogged pipes, a malfunctioning pressure regulator, closed shut-off valves, or issues with the local water supply. It’s essential to identify the root cause to address the problem effectively.

Call John Nugent & Sons for Answers to All Your Plumbing Questions!

Above are just some of the most common questions Northern Virginia residents frequently ask us about their home plumbing systems, but there are far more! If you have a plumbing question not answered on this page — or if you need a plumber to help with your plumbing problem — contact us online or give us a call at 703-291-1926 today!

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