Joe the plumber - Seattle

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Question: I have no hot water and my hot water tank is not leaking, what is the problem?

Answer: First determine if the tank is a natural gas or electric model. If electric, has the breaker in the electric panel tripped? I have found this to be a common occurrence in tank problems. If the breaker continues to trip, there may be something wrong in the wiring or heating element of the tank. For gas water heaters, the most frequent problems arise when the pilot light goes out. If this has occurred, read the manufactures instructions for lighting the pilot. If the problem continues to occur, a problem may exist with the gas control valve or a thermocouple. Either way, i can repair the problem.

Question: What happens if my hot water tank is leaking?

Answer: First, shut the breaker in the electric panel off for the hot water tank. Next, your tank should have a water shut off valve on your cold supply into the tank. This is usually located at the top of the tank. If this cannot be found, shut your main cold water house supply off. And last, call Joe the Plumber. Leaking water heaters usually indicate the bottom of the tank has rusted. There are really no good repairs for this problem. You most likely need a new water heater.

Question: Its 2 A.M. and my water line just broke! What now?

Answer: First, remain calm. Try to locate a valve near the break and shut off water to the area. If all else fails, find the main water valve and shutoff the water. Next, call me and i will do my best assist you in this matter. If not an emergency, please contact me first thing in the morning and we can set up a time to repair your plumbing problem.

Question: Why does the dishwasher not completely drain itself.

Answer: Dishwashers are supposed to leave some water in the unit at the end of each cycle. This is to keep the element type heater used for drying the dishes, from burning up. It's a lot like a water heater element. If a lot of water stays in the sump - the drain could be clogged. A partially clogged air gap will do the same thing. The air gap is that little chrome dome on the kitchen counter.

Question: I have a foul odor coming from my garbage disposal. What can I do to eliminate this odor?

Answer: Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposer. To eliminate this odor, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposal and run for 30 seconds. After that, run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away.


Question: Recently my water bills appear to be rather high. None of the faucets appear to leak. What else could contribute to a high water bill?

Answer: You may want to check to see if a toilet is leaking. First, check the water level to ensure that water is not overflowing the tank by way of the overflow pipe. This is the pipe in the middle of the tank. It has small tubing connected to it. If water is running into the overflow, adjust the fill valve to stop the flow approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube or to the water level mark stamped on the side of the tank.

Second, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank to test the flush valve mechanism. If the water in the bowl changes color within 15 minutes, this is an indication that water is leaking into the toilet bowl and that the ball or flapper needs to be replaced.

Question: Why does my drain get clogged?

Answer: Usually drains are clogged because people are not careful of what they put in them, especially in the kitchen. If you put to much food in your disposal at one time then turn it on, there is a good chance your drain will get clogged. Other drains, like in the bathroom, get clogged because of the oil residue from soaps, shampoos and hair. It is recommended that you are conscious of what you put down your drains.

Question: What causes my faucet to drip?

Answer: Usually when a faucet is dripping the problem has a simple solution, it needs a new washer. This is an easy and inexpensive fix. Did you know that you can extend the life of your washers by turning off your faucets gently rather than forcefully.