Emergency Service Available:
(703) 253-7469

Home > Frequent Questions > Plumbing

Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

These questions are ones we are often asked about plumbing. If your question is not below, or if you have additional questions, just call 703-924-1650 and we’ll help you as much as we can!

We don’t use our basement bathroom very often however it has a bad odor. What can we do?
When my water bills seemed to be higher than usual I checked all my faucets for leaks and did not find any. Is there anything else that could be leaking that I am missing?
We turned off the outside faucets before the weather began to freeze however the pipes to our outside faucet still froze and broke. Why?
Is there any way to get the white build up off of my shower head and faucet aerators?

Q: We don’t use our basement bathroom very often however it has a bad odor. What can we do?
A: Plumbing systems are designed with a trap attached to the fixtures. The traps form a water seal to prevent odors from entering the house. If the fixtures are not used very often the water evaporates therefore breaking the seal and allowing the odors into the house. Therefore in order to prevent this problem, simply pour a bucket of water into each fixture such as the toilet, sink, shower, etc.

Q: When my water bills seemed to be higher than usual I checked all my faucets for leaks and did not find any. Is there anything else that could be leaking that I am missing?
A: Your toilets are usually a good place to start. Check the water level to ensure that water is not overflowing the tank by way of the overflow pipe (the pipe in the middle of the tank) If water is running into the overflow, 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. Second, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank to test the flush valve mechanism. If the water in the bowl changes color within 15 minutes this is an indication that water is leaking into the toilet bowl and that the ball or flapper needs to be replaced.

Q: We turned off the outside faucets before the weather began to freeze however the pipes to our outside faucet still froze and broke. Why?
A: Along with turning off the water you must also disconnect the garden hose from the faucet to allow the water to drain out of the pipe. This helps the piping endure the cold.

Q: Is there any way to get the white build up off of my shower head and faucet aerators?
A: To remove the mineral deposits, try pouring vinegar in a plastic bag, put the bag over the shower head and fasten with a rubber band or twist tie. Let the shower head soak overnight and in the morning take a soft brush (such as an old toothbrush)and scrub off the mineral deposits.