Most frequently asked plumbing questions (and answers)

Serving Brooklyn Since 1906

Commonly asked plumbing questions

Nearly all of us have experienced a run-in with a clogged toilet or an overflowing sink in our lifetimes. Neither can be fun to fix, and the clean-up after such events isn’t pleasant.

But some of the price of being a homeowner – or even a conscientious tenant – is that there are some everyday plumbing issues we have to deal with. We should have some idea of how to fix them or at least stop the water from gushing onto the floor so that it doesn’t result in water damage.

Your Brooklyn plumbing experts at Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning offer some of the most commonly asked questions we receive and the answers to them.

1. How can I stop my toilet from running?

In most cases, the toilet is running because the rubber flapper is not closing all the way or making a proper seal around the flush valve. These flappers degrade over time and need to be replaced. You will need to look inside the tank of your toilet to determine the type of flapper you have and get a replacement at your local hardware store.

2. Can I use chemical drain cleaners?

While it’s very tempting to use a chemical drain cleaner when you have a stubborn clog, please keep in mind that these chemicals are very toxic and can not only create health issues for your family but can also damage your pipes. It’s better to use a plunger or a snake to remove a clog. Keeping your drains clean with a baking soda, vinegar and hot water cleansing once a month is also a safer method of prevention.

3. What is safe to put into the garbage disposal?

A garbage disposal is not a catch-all for all food items. Do not use your disposal to grind items like bones or egg shells and put coffee grounds in the trash or compost. These items will jam the blades. Use the disposal for soft items like cooked carrots or small bits of food debris that are too large to run down the sink.

4. Why do I run out of hot water so quickly?

There are several reasons why this may happen. One reason is that your water heater isn’t large enough for your house or family size. You could also have sediment build-up, a thermostat issue or your water heater is simply getting old. Your water heater will probably need to be replaced at least every 10-12 years.

5. How can I keep my drains clear?

Drains usually get stopped up by a combination of food debris, grease and hair. The best thing you can do is be conscious of what you’re putting down your drain. You should also regularly clean your drains with a baking soda, vinegar and hot water wash.

But if you have more serious issues than those listed above, it’s a good idea to call a plumber. Let the professionals get your water running or draining correctly. Petri has been handling the plumbing issues of Brooklyn residents for 117 years. Call us or contact us online if we can help!

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