Frequently Asked Questions
Q: We live in a new home. Why is my front yard settling along the water and sewer lines running out to the street?
A: The utility ditches were not tamped down during back fill. Petersen Plumbing takes great care to back fill in “lifts”. We tamp our ditches so this settling will not occur.
Q: Is the leak in the street or my front yard my responsibility?
A: In many cases, yes it is. Sad but true. The water company’s responsibility stops at the main, as does the municipality's with regard to the sewer. It is unfortunate. That is why Petersen recommends you invest in insurance to cover this kind of repair.
Q: If my drains are running slow, what is the best method to get them back to normal?
A: The old plumber’s helper is always a good bet. Drain cleaning chemicals can be used but with caution. If these sort of measures don’t fixed the problem or if they only provide temporary relief, do not wait until the drain stops working completely! You can often avoid more expensive repairs if you call in a professional when the drains are running slow.
Q: Are do-it-yourself plumbing repairs dangerous?
A: There are many competent men and women who can change a faucet or put in a new sink or unclog a drain or toilet. But even these handy folks should be careful with more major repairs!
There is a reason plumbers are required to serve fairly lengthy apprenticeships and to be licensed by competent authority. Plumbing is one of the most critical systems in your home. If you do not have the training and expertise, toxic waste material and gases can find their way into your drinking water supply. There are repairs the handy person can handle. But there are many that you need to have handled by a professional.
Q: Why is it we never seem to have enough hot water?
A: Your water heater may be too small to serve the needs of your family. Or there may be a problem with the heater. Call your plumber. Often, a component on your current heater can be fixed or replaced.
Q: What is a comfort height toilet seat?
A: It is a specially designed toilet that sits higher off the floor than conventional stools.
Q: My cast iron tub must weigh 300 pounds, how can I get rid of it?
A: It might weigh even more than that. If you do not want to save the tub, you can break it into pieces with a sledge hammer. Be very careful! The cast iron and it’s enamel finish can shatter. Protect your eyes!
Q: When I am in the shower and someone runs the dish washer or flushes a toilet, I either get scalded or frozen with icy water. What is going on?
A: Your water pressure is poor. This can be caused by blocked piping or undersized piping.
Q: What is a sewer ejector pump?
A: When plumbing systems are installed below the city sewer or septic tank elevation, your household waste must be pumped up to an elevation that will drain into your sewer/septic system. A sewer ejector pump is the device that makes this possible.
Q: What’s that stack on my roof people tell me is a plumbing vent?
A: It is a pipe that let’s your plumbing system breathe. It protects trap seals and keeps the sewer gas from staying in your home.
Q: Why do I have hot water in my toilet?
A: There is a cross connection somewhere in the house or the plumber ran the wrong line to the toilet.
Q: Why does the water in my toilet just spin around and not flush or take a long time to drain down?
A: The rim jets may be limed up or blocked? There also could be some sort of blockage in the waste pipe.
Q: Why does my plumbing make so much noise and shake the house when someone flushes the toilet?
A: This phenomena is called a water hammer. There is air in your system. It can also be improperly supported lines. When your valves close, the water bounces back. You may need an air chamber installed to soften the pressure.