Q: What could contribute to a high water bill besides leaking faucets and/or pipes?
A: Most leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in the toilet tank. These leaks typically result from worn parts or improper alignment of some part of the flushing mechanism. It is important to stop these leaks because they will cause an increase in your monthly water bill.
Q: How do I know if my toilet leaks? What should I do?
A: Toilet leaks occur in two ways and are often very difficult to detect. First, the most common toilet leak and often hardest to detect is caused by a deteriorated or defected flush valve (flapper) or “tank” ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If the flapper or ball valve does not seat properly and form a water-tight seal, water will leak around it into the toilet bowl. Often, this leak will occur without being heard. Here is an easy way to check for flush valve leaks and in just minutes, you can find out if a toilet is wasting thousands of gallons due to an undiscovered water leak. Remove the tank lid, then flush. After the flapper/tank ball drops and the tank refills, add several drops of dark food coloring) or a Fluid master leak detector tablet. Wait at least 20 minutes. If any trace of color appears in the toilet bowl, there is a leak. The second most-common type of leak is caused by improperly adjusted or broken fill valve. If the float is set too high or the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube. This type of leak can be seen simply by taking the tank top off and observing if water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full. Excess water pressure can also have a negative effect on the operating system in your toilet.
Q: What makes plumbing and drainpipes rattle all the time?
A: This is usually caused by the water lines not being properly secured. This can be fixed easily but only if your water lines are easily accessible. It means that there are one or more places your water lines come in contact with the wood of your floor joists. You will need to get plastic pipe hangers that go between your water lines and your joists. A defective pressure reducing valve can also cause some very strange noises.
Q: How do I get my toilet tank to stop over flowing?
A: Probably the fill valve in the tank has a leak in it. If the fill valve is old, you should replace it. Sometimes the shaft or wire that is used to set the level corrodes off. If the shaft or wire seems to be your problem then by replacing this you should fix your problem. Another possibility, if the fill valve has been replaced recently, is that it could be set too high.
Q: My faucets only drip a little bit every now and then, should I replace them?
A: More than likely you will not need to replace the faucet. If it is dripping from the spout than replacing the seats and springs or the ball valve could be all you need to do. If it is dripping from the supply lines underneath a simple tightening of the fittings might solve the problem. However if it is dripping from underneath the faucet itself you may have to replace it and this can be discussed with your plumber.
Q: I have checked all my faucets, toilets, and outside hose bib none are running or appear to be leaking but my meter is still spinning, what’s going on?
A: If you have checked all your water sources the next step would be to check your meter box and make sure there is no water leaking there. After that you can check you water heater to make sure the overflow pan is not holding water. If it is then either your tank or your relief valve is leaking and needs to be replaced. Then look over your yard and see if there are any dark green spots where the grass is richer and more moist, if you find a spot like that you may have a leak on your main water line that would need to be repaired.