At Kelly Plumbing & Heating we know issues happen and understand frustrations when you are not able to use your toilet, sink, shower, or all the above. With customer satisfaction a top priority we want to share some frequently asked questions to support you every step of the way.

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What are the most common plumbing problems?

Plumbing problems are sure to happen. Even in newer homes, clogged drains or a water leak can show when you least expect it. No matter the age of your home, these are the most common plumbing problems:

  • Clogged toilet
  • Clogged bath or shower drain
  • Jammed garbage disposal
  • Leaky faucets
  • Leaky pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Running toilet
  • Sewage smell in home
  • Sewer system backup
  • Slow draining sink
  • Water heater repair
What type of pipe material is used in my home?
  • Copper: Plumbing in home built from the 1970 into the early 2000s was likely built with copper pipes. These pipes are a bronze color when new and slowly fade to a deep rust or brown color over the years. Copper pipes last about 50+ years.
  • Galvanized Steel: If you pipes are a gray metal color, they’re likely made of galvanized steel. This material is cheaper than copper and was often used in homes leading up to the 1970s. The material was used less when builders discovered it only lasted for about 40 years.
  • Cast Iron: This pipe has a black finish and was used in homes through the mid-1960s.
  • PVC (polyvinyl-chloride): The white plastic pipes are most commonly seen under your kitchen or bathroom sinks used as drain pipes.
  • PEX (cross-linked polyethylene): Plastic tubing that is usually white, red, or blue and used to indicate hot and cold lines. Plumbers use this type of material because of its flexibility.
  • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene): Plastic pipe that generally comes in black. It can be used for indoor or outdoor plumbing, generally as a drain, waste, or vent pipe as well as sewer pipe.
How do I avoid clogged pipes?

Clogged pipes can be a major inconvenience. Whether it’s a slow-draining tub or a severe blockage in your main sewer line, addressing the problem immediately will help prevent further damage. The best way to prevent clogged pipes is to be mindful of what you put down your drains and toilet. Use these tips as a guide:

  • Run cold water when using the garbage disposal
  • A drain strainer should be used if there is no garbage disposal
  • Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain
  • After washing dishes, run hot water to rinse away grease
  • Clear drain stoppers in shower and bathtub
  • Only flush waste and toilet tissue down toilet
  • Pump septic tank every two to three years
  • Avoid coffee grounds, bones, grease, fruit peels and other fibrous foods in garbage disposal
What is a plumbing emergency?

A plumbing emergency will consist of various scenarios with your plumbing that are more severe than normal. Such cases can include damaged pipes, clogged drains, gas leaks and more. A  plumbing emergency will commonly involve the risk of water damages or compromising the safety of occupants as seen with gas leaks. There may even be situations where utility costs are being severely affected by heavy water loss.

Do I have a water leak?

Detecting a water leak can be difficult if your home is built on a slab or your pipes run underground. The most common signs of a water leak include:

  • Damp or spongy flooring
  • Unexpected Increase in monthly water bill
  • Sound of running water coming from walls
  • Loss in water pressure
  • Grass is greener in one part of yard

If you experience any of these issues, contact us today!

How long do water heaters last?

The typical water heater lasts 8 to 12 years. Routine maintenance will help extend the life of your unit. If you have a traditional tank, draining the water heater once yearly will help rid the unit of sediment and minerals that can settle at the bottom. If your water heater isn’t advanced in age and is showing signs of trouble, call us at 651-699-1232.

What’s the best temperature for a hot water heater?
The EPA recommends a setting between 120 and 140 degrees. It’s important to not go below that recommendation as bacteria can grow in water that is too cool, threatening your family’s health. If the temperature is set too high, you’ll waste energy and risk scalding burns with water usage.
How do I unclog a toilet?

A clogged toilet is problematic for your home or business which can quickly turn into a health risk if waste is not disposed of properly. If your toilet isn’t flushing, try removing the clog with a Plunger or a Plumbing auger.

Does homeowners insurance cover burst pipe damage?

Damage caused by broken pipes is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims. Most insurance companies will cover damage caused by leaking or burst pipes if the damage wasn’t preventable. There are steps you can take to avoid broken pipes or leaking appliances:

  • Ensure tubs and showers are caulked and sealed properly
  • Inspect for leaking faucets indoors and outside
  • Insulate pipes if you live in a cold climate
  • Routinely inspect appliance hoses on your dishwasher or washing machine and replace as needed
How do I prevent pipes from freezing?

Prevent frozen pipes by following these pipe insulation steps:

  • Turn up the heat.
  • Set up fans to blow heat into cold rooms.
  • Open vanity or cabinet doors so warm air can reach the pipes under sinks.
  • If you have exposed pipes inside closets or pantries, leave doors open.
  • Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Even frostproof outdoor faucets can burst if a hose is connected.
  • Keep the garage door closed.
  • If you have reduced water flow, heat the most vulnerable pipes with a hairdryer.