Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions

Water Service (Main Water Lines)

Water Heaters

Misc


Answers

Water Service (Main Water Lines)

Why did my water service break?
Material failure is a common cause of water service leaks with plastic piping. Over time pipe materials wear out. Hard water, chlorine, ammonia, and acids will shorten the life of any water pipe.

The ground tends to shift throughout the seasons as it freezes and thaws, adding extra stress or crushing the water pipe. This added stress may cause the pipe to fail.

Back to Top

What about Copper water services?
Most failures with cooper water services result from the acids in the water or ground that deteriorates copper.

In both cases there is always the possibility of improper installation.

Back to Top

How deep is my Water Service?
36 inches is a standard in Virginia. International Plumbing code states that a water service must be six inches below the freeze line. Thus your water service could range from 36 inches to 20 feet.

Back to Top

Water Heaters

How old is my Water Heater?
In most cases the manufacture date is encoded in the serial number of the heater, located on the plate on the front of the water heater.

Back to Top

Why does the hot water from my faucet smell?
This is caused by a chemical reaction between minerals and acids in the water and the anode rod in the water heater. If you do have this problem you might want to think about having your water tested and getting a water conditioner installed.

Back to Top

My Gas Water Heater makes loud sounds, why?
The popping sound is caused by a mineral build up on the bottom of the water heater that traps water between the tank and the mineral. When the water is being heated it turns this trapped water into steam. The steam then escapes or explodes through the mineral causing the popping sound.

Back to Top

Misc

What is a Pressure Reducing Valve?
It has been determined that pressures above 80 psi cause premature faucet wear and can lead to joint failure in a water piping system. Thus a PRV is installed to keep the pressure in your home at a regular level that is not harmful to the pipes in your home, usually about 50 psi.

Twice as much water flows through the system at 150psi then at 50psi. Installing a PRV could save you as much as 30% on water heating costs, and other cost benefits in general water usage.

Back to Top

Why Does My Toilet Run?
If your water pressure is so high that it leaks past a Wolverine Brass ballcock or another new ballcock – then you NEED a pressure-reducing valve. Other water pipes, connectors, clothes washing machine hoses and your water heater could leak or break. Best to get a pressure regulator if your pressure to the house is more than 60 pounds (80 is code throughout most of the U.S.).

Back to Top

Why Does My Bathroom Faucet Drip?
Could be a loose washer The pressure holds it down when no other faucet is running water and the lower pressure let’s it rise up a bit when other water is used.

Back to Top