Customer Info

People from both Commercial and Residential Sectors often ask A-General about various issues related to their plumbing systems. Listed below are several of our most commonly asked questions. If you do not see what you are searching for, please contact us.


Odor occurs when food debris builds within the disposal. To eliminate an odor, begin by placing ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposal and run for 30 seconds. Next, spray some liquid dish detergent into the disposal while it is still running. Lastly, run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away from the mechanism.

Plumbing systems are designed to prevent foul odors from entering the house by means of the trap attached to fixtures. Traps contain water to seal out foul odors; if the water seal evaporates, the odors enter the house. To solve this problem, pour a bucket of water in each trap, sink, shower and floor drain. This will prevent the odors from entering the house.

Along with turning off the water, you must also disconnect the hose on the exterior of the house. Doing so will allow the water to drain out, thus preventing breakage.

Septic systems should be inspected and/or pumped a minimum of once every three to four years. You might not be experiencing any problem now, but a full septic tank allows unwanted solids, such as toilet paper, to flow into the drain field, eventually clogging it. A blocked drain field is costly to repair or replace.

The chalky buildup is mineral deposits and calcium. To remove mineral deposits from a showerhead, take a plastic bag filled with 1 cup of vinegar and tie it around the showerhead, using twist ties if needed. Leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the bag from the showerhead and, using an old toothbrush, scrub off the deposits. You might be able to remove the aerators from the faucets and allow them to soak in a small bucket of vinegar overnight.

Before you have the drain cleaned, try using name brand drain maintenance products. These products are designed to dissolve buildups of food, grease or hair. Most of the time, these products can fix small clogs without a problem.

Rumbling sounds coming from a water heater are an indication that sediment has collected in the bottom of a tank. The sound is boiling water trapped in the sediment, thus preventing the heat to transfer into the rest of the water in the tank.

You can try draining a few gallons of water off the bottom of the water heater tank, to try to reduce some of the sediment. This is done by attaching a hose to the tank valve at the bottom. Allow it to drain for about five minutes.

WARNING: HOT WATER IS DANGEROUS. DISCHARGE THE WATER ONLY INTO A FLOOR DRAIN, LAUNDRY TUB OR BATHTUB. HOT WATER WILL KILL YOUR GRASS IF DISCHARGED ONTO YOUR LAWN. HOT WATER WILL CRACK A TOILET BOWL IF DISCHARGED INTO THE TOILET.

Many newer models have anti-sediment mechanisms built in. If your heater is an older model, it may be cheaper to just replace the heater if buildup is severe.

The sound you hear may be caused by a toilet fill valve that is slowly leaking. Locate the leaking toilet by removing the lid of each toilet tank and adjusting the fill valve mechanism until it stops. Once you have found the toilet causing the problem, repair or replace the fill valve.

Recent Federal government mandates have been put in place that new toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Toilet manufacturers had to develop a toilet that would achieve this, but that would also clear the bowl and carry the waste to the city sewer or septic system. Some of the early models performed poorly. Since then, complaints have forced manufacturers to develop new ways of flushing toilets. One new way is the use of a pressurized toilet tank that looks like a regular toilet, but it has a pressure tank inside which works like a commercial toilet. A large surge of pressurized water enters the bowl and clears the bowl of any waste. These toilets work very well, but are as loud as a commercial model.

Most customers are satisfied with their hot water set at 120F, the new standard that manufacturers use when pre-setting it at a factory. If you have an older model, set the thermostat at medium, and test. Locate the dial on your tank. On a gas model, there is a dial on the front of the gas valve usually. On electric models, the thermostats are concealed behind the two panels on the side of the tank. NOTE: Make sure to turn off the electricity before adjusting any mechanism on an electric heater.

One of two things have occurred. First, the dip tube may have broken off. This tube forces incoming water to the bottom of the tank so that hot water is drawn off of the top. When a dip tube breaks, cold water entering the tank mixes with the hot water causing it to cool. This is both a problem for gas and electric heaters.

Second, if your heater is electric, the bottom heating element may be malfunctioning, causing only the top of the tank to heat properly. The cause of this problem could be a bad element or a thermostat malfunction. This type of problem should be evaluated by a qualified technician.

First, check to see if the toilet is leaking. Open the tank and see if the water is flowing into the overflow tube. If it is, adjust the valve so that the water stops approximately one inch from the top.

Second, put a few drops of food coloring in the top of the tank to test the flush valve mechanism. Let the water sit for 15 minutes and, upon returning, the water in the bowl has changed color, this is an indication that water is leaking into the bowl and that the ball or flapper needs to be replaced.

For Your Information

A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water EACH DAY, or 5000 gallons per month. This can really add up on your water bill.

Read More Water Saving Tips

It’s a good idea to flush your water heater at least once a year. This will help prolong the life of your heater by reducing sediment buildup and keeping valves operational.

Read More Water Saving Tips

People form both Commercial and Residential Sectors often contact us about issues related to their plumbing systems. We’ve listed several of our most commonly asked questions.

Read More Water Saving Tips