Plumbing Tips For Your San Diego Home

Foul Odors

I have an odor coming from my garbage disposal, what can I do?

Foul odors are from a build up of food debris inside the disposer. To help with this you can place ice and citrus (lemon-lime-orange) peels inside the disposer, install the disposer-stopper for safety and run for 30 seconds, followed by a little liquid detergent and water to rinse away the debris. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

I have an odor coming from my lavatory sink, what can I do?

Foul odors are from a build up of soap, toothpaste, hair and debris. The overflow portion of the drain can accumulate this debris. Placing a little cleaning agent or bleach inside the overflow holes and using an old toothbrush to scrub away the visible debris and allowing it to work inside the overflow portion will go a long way towards eliminating the problem. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

I have a foul odor coming from my basement-bathroom that is rarely used. What can I do?

Plumbing systems are designed with a p-trap that is full of water to keep out sewer gases from entering the household, oftentimes in a bathroom that is rarely used the p-trap dries out allowing sewer gases to enter the room. Simply running a little water in the sink fixture to fill the p-trap usually does the trick. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

Roots

I have roots in my plumbing lines

Root systems are made up of large, permanent roots for support and smaller feeder root and root hairs. It is the smaller roots that are the primary water and nutrient absorbers. Roots will travel long distances in search of moisture and therefore follow the trail of moisture escaping from small cracks and holes from poorly sealed pipes. The roots penetrate the openings to get water and nutrients. The roots can become clogged with paper, hair, grease and food debris. This is where a complete stoppage may become apparent. Once roots enter the pipes they continue to grow and expand, thereby exerting pressure on the pipes and cracking the pipe and eventually causing a complete collapse.

If roots have entered your pipes then you can call a Brinks technician to remove them using a variety of methods. You can have them cut out with a powerful root cutting blade or a powerful jetter with a root nozzle. You can then treat the line with a foaming root killer that will inhibit future root growth and/ or you can have Brinks install an a new line by digging up the old one or you can avoid the mess of digging and install an epoxy pipe liner that will permanently seal the breaks and cracks in your existing old pipe and create a "pipe within a pipe"and never worry about it again.

Strange Noises

I hear a rumbling sound coming from the water heater

The rumbling sound you hear is from built up sediment on the bottom of the water heater. The noise is from trapped water in the sediment that is boiling. This means that the water heater has not been serviced properly and is not working efficiently. This built up sediment is not allowing the heat to transfer to the water in the tank, which sends the heat up the flue vent. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

A Brinks technician can properly and safely drain your water heater and remove the sediment, clean your burner, inspect your pressure and temperature relief valve to ensure your water heater is working safely, efficiently and "strange noise free". You may also benefit by replacing your old water heater with a "tankless" or newer model, ask your Brinks technician what's best for you. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement"

Whistling Toilets

I hear a strange noise that comes and goes when I flush the toilet but I can't seem to find the source. This sound is usually caused by the fill valve that is slowly leaking. To locate the offending toilet, remove the tank lid and adjust the fill valve mechanism until it stops. Once you have done this you can repair or replace the fill valve to eliminate further problems. A Brinks technician can help you solve this problem by checking the toilet flush valve, fill valve, flush lever, angle stop, supply tube, bottom jets and rim jets for efficiency - or make the recommendation to replace the toilet with a newer low flush model. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

There is a "rattling- shaking"noise when I flush a toilet, turn on the faucet or take a shower

Sometimes a washer becomes loose on a faucet, shut off valve or shower valve and the water rushing past the loose washer makes a noise, a similar effect is when you blow air across a reed on a wood wind musical instrument, it makes noise. It can also indicate a loose pipe in the wall. A Brinks technician can check your system to help locate this problem. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

Running Out of Hot Water

We are constantly running out of hot water

There are two possibilities. First, incoming water to the water heater is not going to the bottom of the tank because the "dip tub" has broken off. When the dip tube breaks the incoming cold water mixes with the hot water in the top portion of the tank instead of being sent to the bottom of the tank to be heated, therefore, you get warm water. This can happen to both gas and electric models.

The second possibility occurs with an electric water heater when the lower element fails to heat the water properly and only the upper half of the tank gets warm. This could be an element or a thermostat malfunction. With this type of problem you should have a professional Brinks technician evaluate this for you. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

Why does my water heater run out so quickly now?
 

Several things could happen. First check the shower head volume if showers are too quick. A new shower head puts out about 2.5 gallons a minute. Some older heads put out 5 gallons a minute. Working with the shower head would double shower length in this case.

In some cases, the dip tube on the cold water inlet has broken or worn. When this happens, it creates a short loop for the water, water at the bottom half of the tank, will not be used.

On electric water heaters, they commonly have two heating elements that work in turns. First the top element heats up the top of the tank, then power goes to the lower element. If the lower element is out, only the top of the tank gets heated. If the top element isn't working, there will be no hot water.

Sometimes the Reset button needs to be pushed or reset. If this doesn't get the element working, use a continuity tester to determine if the element has shorted out. Replacement of the element may be needed.

Excessive Water Bills

My Water Bill appears to be higher than normal

The first thing to check is the toilet to see if it is leaking. First, check the water level and make sure water is not overflowing into the "overflow tube". This is in the middle of your tank. If this is the problem, simply adjust the water level to about 1" below the top of the "overflow tube". Second, perform a "Dye Test". Place a few drops of dye in the tank and wait 15 minutes, if dye appears in the bowl it is an indication the flapper needs to be replaced. This is a free service with a "Preferred Service Agreement".

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