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Plumbing FAQs

It’s easy to forget what a staple functioning plumbing is for our everyday life. But when problems come up, you can turn to AJ Danboise for all the solutions. We’ve answered common plumbing questions we receive. If you don’t see your specific issue listed, feel free to reach out to one of our Farmington Hills plumber.

I have a foul odor coming from my garbage disposal. What can I do to eliminate this odor?

Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposer. To eliminate this odor, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposer 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.

My shower head and faucet aerators have a buildup of a white substance around the area where the water comes out. Is there anything I can do other than replace them?

We would be happy to replace them for you. But first, try this: to remove mineral 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.

Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom?

Begin by checking the emergency shutoff valve under your sink to make sure it's fully open. If rubber washers or seals have started deteriorating, you'll also lose water pressure, so be sure to check them as well. Calcium and lime buildup will also cause low water pressure.

What should I do to maintain my faucets and sinks?

Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water—up to 150 gallons or more a day. Check under your sinks for moisture or pin-hole leaks. If you find a leaky faucet, repair it immediately and save yourself from paying for wasted water and damage to your fixtures and pipes. Remove and clean aerators regularly to ensure an even flow of water. Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanities are clear from obstructions to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings.

How can I prevent clogged drains?

Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs. To help prevent clogs, fit all of your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips and clean the strainer regularly.

Should I close and open the main water shutoff valve periodically?

It's a good idea to close and open the main water shutoff valve from time to time to make sure that it will close if you ever need to close it during an emergency. You should also close and open other shutoff valves in your home on your tubs, sinks, and toilets. If you're having trouble locating your homes shutoff valves let one of our helpful technicians know and they'll be happy to assist you. We can tag your shutoff valves for free as a service to you and your family in case of an emergency.

Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?

It's not uncommon to hear some noises coming from your plumbing supply lines. When washers in a faucet are loose, you may hear a rattling and knocking. If you're hearing a vibrating noise when you open or close faucets rapidly, it generally means pipes are loose. Anchoring these pipes can resolve this, or if it really bothers you, add air chambers at the end of long pipe runs—contact us and we can help with this repair.

Are caustic liquid drain openers such as Drain-o or Liquid Plumber harmful to pipes?

For very minor clogs, they're fine, but never use them on a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes, and it can severely damage them. Contact AJ Danboise and we can snake the drain for you. Never use caustic drain openers in a drain that has a garbage disposal.

What can I do about a sewer line blockage?

The main culprit is probably tree roots. Once tree roots have blocked the line, we recommend consulting a professional drain cleaning company. Contact AJ Danboise and we can send one of our skilled plumbers to your home to assist you with analyzing the issue, clearing the blockage and also options to prevent the issue from re-occurring. There are products that can be used to limit blocked sewer lines, such as Root X, but once your sewer line is blocked, you will need to have it snaked before beginning treatment on the line. Our plumbing service technician can snake the line to get it as clear as possible, but the sewer line will more than likely need to be repaired or replaced.

Why doesn't my old water heater work as well as it used to?

This can be because of a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters get older they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these deposits are not removed annually, the sediment can create a barrier between the burner and the water. This barrier between the burner and the water will reduce the water heater's performance. To prevent this, we recommend draining water from the tank. Draining a gallon or so on a regular basis helps remove the sediment. Along with draining water from your tank annually, we also recommend doing an inspection of your water heater burner. The flame should appear blue with yellow tips. If it's mostly yellow, or if it's sooty under the burner, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. Contact us and have one of our professional plumbers inspect it. Our plumber will check the drain valve for signs of leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion.

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We cannot use more than one plumbing fixture at a time because the pressure is too low. What can be done?

This problem is typically a problem with the water service or the piping inside the house. A common misconception is that the pressure is bad. However, the pressure might be fine, and the real problem could be the volume of water that is coming out. A lot of homes built prior to 1975 had galvanized water service lines, and many homes built before 1965 had galvanized piping throughout the home. The problem with galvanized pipe is that they can begin to rust and over time the inside of the pipe is so full of rust that only a fraction of space is available for water to run through them. If you're experiencing an issue like this, we can send a plumber to your home and they can do a thorough diagnosis and present you with options to resolve the issue.

When I'm in the shower I either get scalded or frozen whenever a toilet is flushed. Why does this happen?

The easiest way to stop your shower from burning or freezing you is to replace the shower valve or install a tempura valve.

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