Plumbing FAQs: 10 of the Most Common Questions Plumbers Hear (pt2)

I have an issue with fruit flies. Are they here because of my drains?

Maybe. All plumbing fixtures have self-sealing water traps that store a bit of water in the U-shaped bend. When that water is absent, odors can develop and flies may congregate. Pour in some hot water and treat the drains with bleach. If the flies return, something might be wrong with a drain line or the trap.

My hot water runs out within a few minutes.

This kind of hot water loss is often caused by the dip tube. That’s the pipe that transports cold water to the bottom of the water heater so it can be heated up. Sometimes the dip tube falls off in the water heater and the cold water ends up on top, and cold water comes out of the hot water faucet within a few minutes. Check the condition of the dip tube to verify that this is the problem.

An underground water pipe is leaking into my basement. Can the leak be located before digging?

Absolutely. Plumbers have underground leak detection equipment that lets technicians find the exact location where the pipe is leaking. These detectors are accurate and sensitive and will save you a lot of time and hassle.

If my toilets keep backing up, could tree roots in the sewer line be the cause?

It’s definitely possible. You can use a root-killing product in your sewer pipe to both kill the present roots and prevent additional root growth for quite sometime. You might also want to have the main sewer line cleaned out up to the city sewer main.

How often should my septic system be inspected?

At minimum, once every three or four years. Even if you don’t have problems now, an unchecked full septic tank might cause waste to flow into the drain field. If that becomes blocked, it will cost a lot of money to repair or replace.

Have a question that wasn’t listed here? Contact our plumbers at SOS Drain & Sewer.