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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I repair my own plumbing?
Some simple plumbing jobs, such as replacing a kitchen faucet or installing a new dishwasher, might be fine as DIY projects, but most larger plumbing jobs require some degree of expertise. If you need to run a new pipe through your wall, replace a drain line, or install a new water heater, you should call in an expert. These types of jobs often require permits from state or local authorities, so you need someone who knows how to submit applications and secure permits in a way that meets current local building code requirements.
Do plumbers handle water heater repair?
Plumbers can handle water heater repairs, and most water heater issues require a licensed plumber. In particular, if your water heater is making loud noises, smells like gas, or starts leaking, call a plumber. You should also call a plumber if hot water from your tap smells bad or if the water comes out of the tap murky or brown.
How often should I replace the plumbing in my house?
The supply pipes in your walls are designed to last a long time, so they only need replacement every 70 to 100 years, depending on the materials used. Drain lines made of cast iron last a similar length of time, while PVC drain pipes may last 25 to 40 years. Appliances and fixtures, such as toilets, water heaters, and faucets, have varying lifespans depending on the materials they’re made of and the typical usage patterns of your household.
Can I hire emergency plumbing services?
Many plumbers offer emergency services for an extra fee. Some reasons you might need emergency plumbing services include burst pipes, water leaks inside the home, and gas leaks from a gas water heater. You might also call for an emergency plumber when faced with a clogged kitchen sink, broken water heater, or frozen pipes.
What do I do if my sewer backs up?
Sewer backups develop when something clogs the lines that drain water from your home. This can cause overflowing toilets or make water back up into your bathtub, dishwasher, or sink. Backed up sewer lines can flood your home with waste, creating a health hazard. Tree roots, broken pipes, grease clogs, and poor drain designs can all cause a sewer backup. If just one drain is slow, you might be able to solve the problem with a plunger or drain cleaner. More serious backups require a plumber.
Do plumbers work on gas lines?
Some plumbers also work on natural gas lines, although not all do. A plumber must be licensed specifically to work on natural gas lines, so check for a license and insurance before contracting the plumber for gas line repairs. Some jurisdictions only allow local gas company employees to work on specific parts of a gas line, so check on local regulations as well.
What are the different types of plumbing in my house?
The five common types of plumbing found in homes are PEX, PVC, ABS, copper, and galvanized pipes. PEX is a flexible material used for water supply lines. PVC and ABS are found in drain, waste, and vent pipes. Copper is used in water supply lines and can be found in older and newer homes. Drain lines and water supply lines in older houses may be made of galvanized pipe, but this material isn’t used as often in modern homes because it tends to rust over time. Many plumbers replace galvanized pipes with PEX when completing upgrades or repairs.