Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions

Plumbing FAQs

What are the most common plumbing problems?

Some of the most common plumbing issues that residential and commercial property owners encounter include:

It’s essential to address these plumbing problems promptly to prevent further damage, water wastage, and increased repair costs.

What causes a clogged drain?

Accumulating debris, grease, hair, soap scum, or foreign objects in the pipes can cause clogged drains. Over time, these build-ups can restrict water flow, which leads to clogs.

What are some things I should not put down the garbage disposal?

To maintain the functionality of your garbage disposal and prevent clogs or damage, avoid putting the following items down it:

Grease and Oils: Grease and cooking oils can solidify in your pipes and cause blockages. Dispose of them in a separate container.
Bones: Hard bones can damage the disposal blades and impede the performance.
Fibrous Foods: Vegetables like celery, corn husks, and artichokes have stringy fibers that can wrap around the blades and cause jams.
Starchy Foods: Foods like pasta, rice, and potato peels can expand in water and create a gummy paste that clogs the disposal.
Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds can accumulate and form a sludgy residue in your pipes.
Eggshells: The membrane inside them can wrap around the blades, and the shells may not break down easily.
Fruit Pits and Seeds: Hard fruit pits and seeds can damage the blades.
Non-Food Items: Avoid putting non-food items such as plastic, glass, or metal down the disposal.

Always run cold water while using the garbage disposal and let it run for a few seconds after grinding food to ensure everything is flushed down the drain properly.

How can I prevent clogged drains?

Drain screens can prevent clogged drains by catching debris. We recommend avoid pouring grease down the drain and be mindful of what you flush or wash down sinks and toilets. Routine plumbing maintenance and professional drain cleaning can also help.

What should I do in case of a leaking faucet?

If you have a leaking faucet, turn off the water supply to that fixture or the entire house if necessary. It’s always best to contact a professional plumber to assess and repair the leak. A dripping faucet can waste a significant amount of water, cause damage to your property, and increase your water bill.

How often should I have my water heater flushed?

Here at Smoak’s Comfort Control, we recommend having your water heater flushed at least once a year, sometimes twice yearly, to ensure it functions efficiently and safely. Routine water heater maintenance extends the life of your water heater, prevents unexpected breakdowns, and improves its overall efficiency.

What is the difference between a tankless and a conventional (tank) water heater?

Traditional water heaters store and heat water in a tank, while tankless water heaters heat water on demand. Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient and provide a continuous hot water supply but typically cost more upfront.

What temperature should I set my water heater to?

The best water heater temperature setting is typically around 120°F. This temperature strikes a balance between providing hot water for your needs and preventing scalding. However, it’s also essential to consider your specific needs and circumstances for those who have young children or elderly family members in your home and might be more susceptible to scolding. Consider setting the water heater to a slightly lower temperature, around 110-115°F.

If you need hotter water for a specific reason, you can set it higher, but be cautious about scalding risks. We always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when adjusting the water heater temperature to ensure your and your family’s safety.

Why is my toilet constantly running?

A constantly running toilet is often due to a faulty flapper valve or a problem with the fill valve. Replacing these parts or seeking professional assistance from a plumber can help resolve these issues and save water.

What is the purpose of a sump pump?

Sump pumps prevent flooding by pumping out excess water accumulating in an enclosed space or room, such as a crawl space or basement.

How do I locate a hidden water leak?

A hidden water leak can be detected by checking for unexplained increases in your water bill, water stains on walls or ceilings, or using specialized leak detection equipment. A plumbing professional can help locate and repair hidden leaks.

Can I use chemical drain cleaners to clear clogs?

While chemical drain cleaners can clear minor clogs, they can damage pipes and the environment. Using mechanical methods or seeking professional advice for stubborn clogs is often safer and more effective.

What is the best way to thaw frozen pipes?

If you have frozen pipes, first, you should turn off the water supply to prevent a pipe burst. You can use a heat gun or hair dryer to thaw them out. It’s crucial to apply heat gently and avoid using open flames to prevent damage.

How can I improve the water pressure in my home?

Various factors, including clogs, pipe corrosion, or pressure regulator issues, can cause low water pressure. A plumber can diagnose the problem and recommend repairs, and replacements.

What should I do in case of a sewer backup?

If there is a sewer backup, avoid using plumbing fixtures and contact a professional plumber immediately! Sewer backups can pose health risks and require expert handling.

Who should I call for plumbing services in Charleston, SC, and the surrounding areas?

If your home or business needs further assistance with your plumbing, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Smoak’s Comfort Control. We provide heating and air conditioning services for homes and businesses throughout Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties. We are prepared to address your home comfort needs. Visit our plumbing areas we serve page to see if we provide services to your location.

This frequently asked questions page offers basic information about some common plumbing issues. For more tips, tricks, and hints, please read our blog. Please return to this page again because we will be updating the plumbing FAQs occasionally. If you don’t see your question listed here, please get in touch with us today. If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our professional plumbers, contact us today by giving us a call at (843) 556-9550 or complete our easy online service request form.