Helpful Hints

Before Calling Us…

Following are some simple things you can check yourself before you need to call in a professional:

Little or no pressure to a faucet.

Check to see if someone accidentally closed down a valve.

Remove the aerator (or shower head) from the faucet and see if there is debris clogging the screens.

Aerators or shower heads can become clogged with mineral deposits.  You can attempt to clear by soaking these items in vinegar overnight, and gently cleaning with a soft brush.

If the weather is extremely cold, and the faucet is on an outside wall, your pipes could be frozen, open faucet handles just a little bit, open any vanity doors and turn up the heat in that room to get as much heat as possible to the pipes to thaw them out.  Even the heat of a blow dryer has been known to work.  Once the faucet begins to drip (indicating it’s thawing) leave the faucet trickling until the bitter cold snap ends.

Sewer gas odor.

Is there a sink or a drain in that same room that gets very little use?  Run some water in the drain to keep the trap full of water, which will block the back up of sewer gas into the house.

Pump isn’t working.

Check to see if the plug is plugged in, or that a circuit breaker has been tripped

Heat (or air conditioning) isn’t working.

Have you switched the thermostat to heating (or cooling)?

Is the emergency switch to the boiler in the “on” position?

Are you out of oil?  And if you just received an oil delivery, and the burner isn’t firing, you would need to call the oil company because chances are sediment was stirred up when they delivered the oil and your filters are clogged.

Garbage disposal isn’t working.

There is a breaker on most units that trip when the unit is overloaded.  Reset the breaker.  If the unit still doesn’t work, check to see if there is something lodged in the unit that needs to be removed first.

No hot water.

Is the pilot out on the gas water heater?

Is the breaker tripped on the electric water heater?

Are you out of oil?  Or if you just received a delivery, sediment that was stirred up when they made the delivery could be clogging the filters, you would need oil burner service for this.

Have your water bills been high, or you’ve had to have your cesspool pumped more often than normal?

You could have a toilet running without even knowing it.  Take the tank lid off the toilet, and drop a few drops of food coloring into the tank water, and let it stand for an hour or two.  If the colored water seeps down into the bowl and you haven’t flushed the toilet, that’s an indication that a seal is not properly seating.

You have a significant leak from a toilet onto the floor, or from a pipe in the basement.

If the weather is warm and humid, and you don’t have air conditioning in the areas where you are experiencing leaking, the leaking could just be condensation on the exterior of the toilet or the pipe.  Wipe away the water and don’t use the toilet or the hose bibb line for awhile which will allow it become room temperature, and if no leak occurs, it was just condensation.