Plumbing Questions

Ask Your Local Springfield MO Plumber…

How can I avoid cold showers?

If you are experiencing cold showers, it is most likely because you have a traditional water heater, and you are using the heated water more quickly than the water heater can keep up. This is especially common when more hot water is being used than normal (i.e. you have guests over).

One solution is to purchase a water heater with a larger tank. However, this will also increase the energy used to heat the water. A better solution is to either replace the traditional water heater with a whole-home tankless water heater, or install an on-demand water heater at the point of use. Contact us for more information.

What does it mean when I hear a rumbling sound coming from the water heater?

Rumbling sounds can be an indication that sediment has built up on the bottom of the water heater. Water can become trapped in this sediment and begin to boil. This means the water heater is not operating efficiently, and the sediment isn’t allowing the heat to transfer to the water in the tank.

You may try draining a few gallons of water off the bottom of the water heater tank. This is done by attaching a drain hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank. Allow it to drain for about five minutes. Many newer models of water heaters have a new feature that prohibits the buildup of sediment in the tank. If your heater is an older model, it may be cost effective to replace the water heater if the buildup is severe.

Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for membership opportunities in the Ben Franklin Society™ for year-round maintenance of your water heater.

WARNING: Hot water is dangerous. Discharge the water into a floor drain, laundry tub, or bathtub. Hot water will kill your grass if allowed to run on your lawn and will also crack a toilet bowl if discharged into the toilet. Turn off power to your water heater prior to draining.

Is there any maintenance I can do for a water heater?

Yes, you should test the pressure relief valve regularly and replace it if it fails to operate. At least once a year you should flush out the sediments. As long as a tank has a functioning anode, it should not rust. Therefore, you should have the anode checked by a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® professional about once every two years.

What is the white substance around my shower head and faucet?

The unsightly buildup is mineral deposits. To remove these deposits from the shower head, take a plastic bag and pour a cup of vinegar in it. Place the bag over the shower head and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the deposits. You might be able to remove the aerators from the faucets and allow them to soak in the vinegar overnight. Your Benjamin Franklin Plumbing professional can explain to you all about the water softening and conditioning options available to you through our H2O Harmony system.

I have a problem with the plumbing in my house making groaning and honking noises.

It could be that you have lost your “air cushion.” To get it back, turn the water supply off at the main valve. Turn on all the faucets around your home. Then turn on the main valve again and shut off each faucet. This should take care of the problem.

How do I eliminate the foul odor coming from my garbage disposal?

This is a common plumbing troubleshooting question. Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposal. To eliminate odors, place ice cubes and lemon peels or orange peels in the disposal, and run for 30 seconds. Next, squirt a little liquid dish detergent into the disposer while it is still running. Finally, run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away.

I think my kitchen drains are partially clogged because the sink drains slowly. What do you recommend?

First, try using a plunger. Second, try using a liquid drain opener, but use caution and read the directions. Third, you can remove the trap and remove any debris. Be careful if you have used a liquid drain opener, because there may be some in the trap. Fourth, if the clog is beyond the trap, there are drain augers that extend from about 15 feet to about 50 feet. There are also special enzyme-based drain openers, like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing®’s BioBen®, that will help dissolve buildup in pipes in older homes.

What could be the cause of my recent high water bills?

You may want to check to see if a toilet is leaking. Check the water level in the tank to see if water is overflowing into the overflow pipe. This is the pipe in the middle of the tank which has a small tube connected to it. In the event water is running into the overflow pipe, adjust the fill valve to stop the flow approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube or to the water level mark stamped on the side of the tank. Periodic maintenance by a plumbing professional will ensure proper operation.

What is the recommendation for replacing a toilet in my home?

When considering any new fixture for your home, we recommend that you choose a fixture made by one of the major manufacturers. If cracks or fissures are present in the tank or bowl, this can impede the operation of the fixture. Poor mounting and deteriorating rings and seals can affect the operation as well. Keep in mind that many of the new toilets conform to new government standards that require they use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. If you are replacing an older model, this may take getting used to.

Contact the punctual plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Springfield today for all your plumbing service needs. Call: 417-823-8400.