Q: My water heater is getting up there in age. Is it better to repair it or purchase a more efficient one?

A: This is an age-old question. In general, water heaters are supposed to last somewhere between eight and twelve years. If yours is between those ages, you might consider replacing it, especially if the repair bill is going be a major one considering that most new water heaters do carry at least a five year warranty. Also, the newer ones are much more energy efficient, and if you do use it a lot, it could be to your advantage to purchase a new one. All Vee’s Plumbing would be happy to work up a comparison so you will have all the facts to make your decision easier.

Q: Is there a way to un-jam my garbage disposal?

A: One way is to gently insert an Allen wrench into the bottom of your garbage disposal and try to crank it to help free whatever is jamming the disposal in the first place. However, if this action doesn’t work, please do not use the disposal at all. You may damage the motor on the disposal, or, in some cases, your home electrical system. All Vee’s will be glad to come and repair the disposal if it can be repaired, and before they start, they will give you the option of a new one versus repairing the old one so you know which will be the better option.

Q: I was thinking of installing a water filter system so I could cut down on buying bottled water. Is it worth it?

A: Again, this really depends on your situation. If you are a typical family of four or more, I do believe it is well worth spending the money for one. Considering how much water your family does consume in a year’s time, which, if you run to the store, buy it in bottles, packaged 24 to a case, it isn’t hard to go through 2 to 3 cases a week . That could easily run $400 to $500 a year, not to mention your time involved, and if you use the water to cook as well, it could run even higher. Also, think about how many bottles that won’t have to be re-cycled. We can sit down with you and do a side-by-side comparison so you will have all the facts in front of you so you can make a well-informed decision.

Q: What would cause my water pipes to rattle?

A: There could be several reasons for this happening. The first could be a loose pipe, which just needs to be secured to the wood studs with a pipe clip. Another reason could be that your water pressure is set too high, which can also cause your pipes to vibrate and may also lead to long-term damage to your appliances as well as your pipes. One more reason, which is common, is what is known as a water hammer. This effect is normally caused by fast closing valves, such as toilet fill valves and faucets. As water flows through the pipes and the valve shuts off quickly, it causes the water to suddenly stop in the pipes, causing this hammer effect. By adding a water hammer arrestor to those pipes causing this problem, could, in some cases, correct the issue, but to be on the safe side with this type of problem, an experienced professional plumber is your best choice. All Vee’s Plumbing has the expertise to handle this type of project and would welcome the opportunity give you an estimate in the event you have this type of problem with your pipes.

Q: What causes low water pressure, and can I do anything about it?

A: Here are several reasons why this may be happening: First, pressure regulators. Regulators are typically preset by the manufacturer, and they are designed to never need adjusting, but a pressure regulator sometimes goes bad and needs to be replaced. If this is the case, you are much better off having an experienced professional plumber perform the work. Second, it could be your home valves. These valves sometimes are partially or completed turned off. You have two valves that you need to make sure that are completely on: the water valve inside your home and the main water valve located right outside your home. If these two main valves are not completely open, they can slow down your water pressure. Another cause could be a water leak. If you have any damage to a pipe, whether it is a small or large leak, it will cause your water pressure to be lower. The main thing to do is to determine whether you have a leak or not. You first may look at your water bill, and really examine your usage. If you see a spike in usage, and you know that you haven’t done anything to warrant this spike, chances are you have a water leak. Our suggestion is that you call the professionals at All Vee’s Plumbing who can quickly determine whether you have a leak and the best way to fix the problem.

As you can see, there are many questions about plumbing problems that come up, and we have covered just a few of the important ones; but if you have a particular question you would like answered, please email me at [email protected].