Why is My Sewage Pump Not Working?

a pump in a basement

What is a Sewage Pump?

Sewage pumps are essential components in wastewater management systems, designed to transport sewage and effluent from low-lying areas to higher elevations, where it can be processed or discharged into sewer systems. These pumps are commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications, and when problems occur with sewage pumps you can experience many different issues, making it important to have access to sewage pump repair from skilled professionals such as the team at Grateful Plumber. We’re here today to answer some of the most common questions homeowners and business owners have about sewage pumps, including questions about why your sewage pump may not be working the way it should be. 

What are the Signs I Need Sewage Pump Repair?

It’s always important to ensure you are getting sewage pump repair as quickly as possible whenever a problem arises. Fortunately, there are many things you can watch out for that can indicate you require service. Signs that can indicate a sewage pump repair may be needed include:

  • Unusual Noises: Grinding, whining, or other abnormal sounds can signal mechanical issues or debris in the pump.
  • Frequent Cycling: If the pump turns on and off more frequently than usual, it could be due to a malfunctioning float switch or a problem with the electrical components.
  • Inefficient Pumping: Reduced performance or inability to pump sewage effectively may indicate blockages, impeller damage, or motor problems.
  • Bad Odors: Persistent foul smells around the pump area can be a sign of leaks or improper sewage handling.
  • Visible Leaks: Any signs of leaking water or sewage around the pump indicate potential seal or connection issues.
  • Power Issues: If the pump frequently loses power or fails to start, it could be due to electrical problems or motor failure.
  • Alarm Activation: Many sewage pumps have alarms that alert users to high water levels or other issues, indicating a need for immediate attention.

If any of these signs are observed, it’s important to address them promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the system continues to operate efficiently.

What Should I Do in Case of Sewage Pump Failure or Overflow?

In the event of a sewage pump failure, prompt action and safety precautions are crucial. First and foremost, prioritize safety by turning off the power supply to avoid electrical hazards, and if necessary, wear protective gear. Assess the situation by identifying the cause of the failure, whether it’s a power outage, mechanical malfunction, or blockage. Check the power supply and attempt a reset if applicable, but be cautious not to exacerbate the issue. Inspect the pump and sewage lines for any visible damage or obstructions, and attempt to clear them if safe to do so. If you’re unable to resolve the problem on your own, it’s always crucial that you contact a licensed plumber or sewage pump technician promptly to address the issue by providing sewage pump repair or any other necessary services, such as a sewage pump replacement if needed. 

How Often Should a Sewage Pump Be Maintained or Serviced?

A sewage pump should be maintained or serviced at least once a year to ensure optimal performance and longevity. However, more frequent inspections and maintenance may be necessary if the pump is used heavily or in demanding conditions. Regular maintenance includes checking for blockages, inspecting and cleaning the pump and float switches, ensuring that the ventilation is adequate, and looking for signs of wear or damage. 

Periodic professional servicing can also help identify potential issues early and prevent costly repairs or failures. By adhering to a consistent maintenance schedule, homeowners and facility managers can ensure the reliable operation of their sewage pumps. You can often prevent the need for more frequent sewage pump repairs by ensuring you are getting maintenance on a regular basis. 

What is the Expected Lifespan of a Sewage Pump?

The expected lifespan of a sewage pump typically ranges from 7 to 15 years, depending on various factors such as the quality of the pump, the frequency of use, and the conditions in which it operates, though high-quality pumps, when properly maintained, can reach or even exceed the upper end of this range. Regular maintenance, including inspecting for blockages, ensuring proper ventilation, and checking for signs of wear or damage, is crucial to extending the pump’s operational life. 

Additionally, the type of materials the pump handles, such as solids and corrosive substances, can also impact its longevity. Investing in a reliable pump and adhering to a strict maintenance schedule can significantly enhance its durability and performance. While it’s always a good idea to reach out for sewage pump repair, it’s always important to remember that you may require sewage pump replacement if your pump has reached the end of its overall lifespan. 

Whatever the issue, our team can provide you with the assistance you need. When you’re looking for help with services such as sewage pump repair in Indianapolis, IN or any nearby cities, just reach out to us – call today at 317-677-4918

Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home: Gas vs. Electric vs. Tankless

plumber repairing water heater

Water Heater Installation in a City Near You

Energy efficiency, cost, available space, and your household’s hot water usage patterns are all things to consider when getting a new water heater. Tankless or storage tank. Gas or electric. What’s the better choice? Here’s a comparison of gas, electric, and tankless water heaters to help you make an informed decision. 

And if you need water heater installation in Indianapolis, IN, be sure to call your local plumber at 317-677-4918. Our prices are fair, and we provide a range of services, so reach out to learn how we can help you.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters are typically more cost-effective to operate than electric heaters, especially in areas with low natural gas prices. They tend to recover hot water faster than electric heaters, making them suitable for homes with high hot water demand. Gas heaters continue to provide hot water during power outages if they have a pilot light (though some newer models may require electricity).

On the flip side, gas water heaters tend to cost more than their electric counterparts, and installation may require venting to expel combustion gases, which can add to installation costs. Finally, gas water heaters will work only if there is access to natural gas or propane.

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters can be installed in any home, even those without access to gas or propane. It’s generally more affordable to purchase an electric water heater and installation is simpler.

Although electric water heaters are cheaper than gas ones, it’s usually more expensive to operate a gas unit — particularly in areas with high electricity rates. It also takes longer to heat up water using an electric unit than a gas unit. Finally, your electric water heater may not function during power outages unless equipped with a backup power source like a generator.

Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heater

 As their name indicates, tankless water heaters don’t have a tank of stored hot water. Instead, they heat water on demand or as needed. This means that a tankless unit can provide an endless stream of hot water, whereas a storage tank unit can provide as much hot water as its tank allows it to hold. Lack of a storage tank makes tankless units a lot more compact. 

Although having unlimited hot water is nice, tankless units take a lot longer to heat up water than do storage tank units. Tankless water heaters are also more expensive, and their installation can be a bit more labor-intensive.

Call Your Local Indianapolis, IN Plumber

When choosing a water heater, consider your budget, energy preferences, hot water needs, and available space. It’s also essential to research energy efficiency ratings and potential rebates or incentives offered by utility companies for more environmentally friendly options. Additionally, consulting with a professional plumber or HVAC technician can provide valuable insights tailored to your specific home and requirements. If you need help choosing a water heater in Indianapolis, IN, give Grateful Plumber a call. We are here to answer any questions you may have, and when you’re ready, we guarantee a water heater installation done right. Call 317-677-4918 or connect with us online.

Why is my ice maker leaking?

ice cubes against a black background

Why is my ice maker leaking?

With the cost of living increasing every day, we can’t afford to waste water, which is why ice maker line repair is important. A leaking ice maker water line can not only cost you money on your water bill, but the damage it can do over time can get expensive, too. Keeping that in mind, how do you know your ice maker is leaking, and when should you think about getting it repaired?

What kind of damage can a leaking ice maker water line cause? 

Just because a leaking water line is behind the refrigerator and out of sight doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is important to check behind the refrigerator for possible ice maker line repair needs. Even the smallest of leaks will cause damage that will need to be addressed.

From water stains on the wall behind the refrigerator to cracked paint, they create mildew and mold and cause the baseboards to swell. As the ice maker water line slowly leaks, that water runs under the refrigerator, too, damaging the flooring under it. 

What causes an ice maker water line to leak?

Some common causes that lead to ice maker line repairs include: 

  • An ice jam inside the ice maker can cause it to overfill and prevent the arms from rotating fully.
  • The refrigerator is not level.
  • The ice cube fill-cup and valve aren’t aligned.
  • The drain line is clogged.
  • The water supply is cracked or otherwise damaged, causing the leaks.
  • The water line connection is loose.
  • The fill tube in the ice maker is damaged or loose.  

How do you prevent an ice maker water line from leaking?

Before you attempt to repair the ice maker line, you must first determine where the water line is leaking. 

  • Check behind the refrigerator where the water line comes out and that the connection to the fridge is secure. If the water line under the sink is connected and nearby, check the connection there. 
  • If you don’t see any water in those areas, open the ice maker at the front panel and examine for possible water leaks. This kind of ice maker line repair is more common than you think. 
  • If you don’t find any water leaks there, check the drain. Any excess water from the ice maker drains into a drain, and if that line or the drain pan is clogged, it could appear as a leaking ice maker line. 

If you can’t find where an ice maker line repair is needed, call an appliance expert or plumber.

How much is the cost of an ice maker line repair?

The cost of repairing an ice maker line will vary between appliance repair services and plumbers. Some may charge a flat rate, and others may charge by the hour. Either billing method charges an additional fee for any parts needed.

Is a copper or plastic line better for an ice maker?

Copper and plastic are suitable materials for ice maker lines. Plastic would be easier to work with if you’re doing your own ice maker line repairs. However, if you’re having the ice make line repairs done by a professional, they will probably recommend using copper because it is more durable and will have a longer lifespan. 

Are ice maker water line repairs worthwhile?

You can shut the water off to the ice maker, and ice maker line repairs aren’t necessary. But you will lose the convenience of ice being immediately available! So that is a call you need to make for your personal preferences. 

How often does an ice maker water line need to be replaced?

We don’t think about the dishwasher and ice maker water lines daily. Both can have subtle leaks, though, so minimize those unexpected water line leaks. Experts recommend replacing both every five years, whether leaking or not. 

Are ice maker water lines universal?

If you or a plumber find that ice maker line repairs aren’t sufficient and you need to replace the line, they are not universal fitting! Every make and model of ice makers takes a different water line size.

Will homeowner’s insurance cover repairing ice maker lines?

No, homeowner’s insurance policies won’t usually include this. However, if you have a home warranty plan, that will probably cover any ice maker line repair or replacement. You should review your home warranty plan to know what to expect.

In Closing

Similarly to the water heater, you don’t usually think about the ice maker water line until there is a problem. If you suspect or find that your ice maker water line is leaking, even the smallest amount, it is important to get ice maker line repairs or replacement done sooner rather than later. Like any water leak, it starts small and becomes a more significant problem requiring more maintenance costs. Fortunately, by working with a plumbing professional who can help you understand what to expect, you can get the repairs you need and prevent future problems when you get the ice maker water line repair you require.

What are the Most Common Problems With Toilets?

plumber repairing a toilet

What should you do if you need toilet repair?

Ahhh …. The toilet. The throne. The ‘John’. It is known by so many names, but it serves only one purpose. To collect and remove human waste. Sometimes, there are homeowners (or small children) who like to flush things that aren’t meant to be flushed, but the main purpose is to collect and remove human waste through the sewer system. When things are flushed that shouldn’t be, it can lead to needing toilet repair, or even replacement. Fortunately, if you need toilet repair in Indianapolis, IN or the surrounding area, the team at Grateful Plumber can be there to help. We’re always available with the information you require, so give us a call at 317-677-4918 if you need to know what to do when you’re looking for assistance with toilet repairs.

What makes a toilet clog and not flush?

Chances are the culprit is an excessive amount of human waste and toilet paper. Other things that can clog a toilet include non-flushable items like diapers and wipes, feminine products, cotton balls, cotton swabs, animal waste, and more like FOG (fats, oils, and grease) from the kitchen.

These are things that can become stuck in the toilet trap and once there is a significant amount stuck there, the toilet can’t flush as needed. Then you’re in a panic with the plunger, but sometimes that isn’t enough, and a professional plumber is needed for toilet repair service.

What is the average cost to repair a toilet?

There isn’t a way to average the cost of toilet repair service because it is dependent on the problem. In addition to the problem being a factor in determining the cost, every plumber has their own rates. Most will charge by the hour plus parts, and others, after inspecting the problem, may charge a flat rate. 

Can you do your own toilet repairs? 

Yes, some toilet problems can be fixed by the homeowner with some DIY skills and tools, like a toilet that keeps running after you have flushed it. How do you fix a toilet that keeps running after flushing? We are going to share a four-step strategy that can solve up to 95% of possible toilet flushing problems while answering the common question, “What is the most common cause of a running toilet?”, because there is more than one common cause:  

  • The Fill Tube

This is a small flexible tube that runs between the fill valve and the overflow tube. As the tank refills, this tube allows enough water to refill the bowl after each flush. If the tube falls off or the water it releases misses the overflow tube, the water will keep running into the bowl.  Simply reattach the fill tup firmly and you have completed a toilet repair job! 

  • The Float

An adjustable float inside the tank controls the water level, and if it is set too low, you’ll have a weak flush, meaning the waste doesn’t disappear. If this float is adjusted too high, the water will spill into the overflow tube and the fill valve won’t shut off, letting the toilet keep running. For a toilet repair to fix this,  find the fill level mark inside the tank, mark the overflow tube at the same level, and adjust the float height accordingly. 

  • The Flush Handle and Chain

If the chain that runs from the handle to the flapper is too short or entangled, the flapper can’t close and water will keep leaking into the toilet bowl. If the chain is too long, the flush rod will hit the tank lid and the flapper can’t open enough for the flush. A simple toilet repair is to adjust the chain length as needed! 

  • The Flapper

If these three steps didn’t stop the toilet from running, then you need to replace the rubber flapper inside the tank, another easy toilet repair. How do you fix a toilet flapper that won’t seal? Adjusting the chain longer or shorter is often the needed toilet repair. Another possibility is the flapper is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Why is the toilet struggling to flush?

Again, five possible problems can keep a toilet from flushing. Among them include some of the items we just listed like the flapper needs to be replaced, the chain is too long or too short, or the float needs to be adjusted. And of course, one of the most common problems is a clogged toilet. 

For toilet repair for the first four things, review the issues listed above. For the clogged toilet possibility, use a toilet plunger, these are black and have an extension coming from the ball of the plunger that fits into the toilet. Plunging for 10 to 20 seconds repeatedly. 

If that doesn’t clear the clog, you’ll need to use an auger, similar to a plumber’s snake.  And if that doesn’t successfully clear the clog, call a plumber for toilet repair. The clog may be further into the sewer line, even a possible broken sewer line. 

In Closing

Flushing the toilet is an activity that takes place several times a day. And the more people in the house, the more flushing! It is an expected and needed activity, but the flushing problems are usually unexpected. Fortunately, not all toilet repairs require the services of a professional plumber! But having one that you trust is important because when you do need a professional toilet repair, you can’t always say you’ll find one later.  And if you do find yourself seeking toilet repair in Indianapolis, IN or any nearby cities, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Grateful Plumber. You can give us a call at 317-677-4918 if you need to speak to one of our plumbing professionals.

How Do You Repair a Frozen Pipe?

Frozen nozzle pictured outside covered in frost

Frozen Temperatures; Frozen Pipes

The temperatures in Indianapolis, Indiana can frigid during the winter, especially at night. Many homeowners have experienced the aftermath of these cold temperatures that leave them needing frozen pipe repairs and the clean-up of what happens when those pipes burst. 

Can frozen pipes be fixed?

When you realize you have frozen pipes, repairing won’t be the first thing you’ll think about. Your first thought will be, “How long does it take for pipes to unfreeze?”. The answer to that is, “It depends on the weather if you’re going to wait for them to unfreeze on their own.”. 

You won’t know you have frozen pipe repairs until they do that though, but yes, if they do burst, a plumber can repair the pipe. However, depending on how damaged the pipe is, they may have to replace the pipe instead. 

But really, do pipes eventually unfreeze on their own? 

Yes, really, frozen pipes will eventually thaw on their own. But as we just said, it will take time for the pipes to thaw because the temperature has to get above freezing first, and then stay there for a while. While this is taking place, they can actually re-freeze as temperatures begin dropping again. And that is when they are most likely going to burst: during re-freezing. 

Is it OK to let frozen pipes thaw on their own?

You can, it’s a personal decision to wait it out or you can assist in the start of thawing them. If you assist in the thawing process, you’re less likely to need frozen pipe repairs. 

How do you know if a pipe is frozen? 

The first indication you’ll have is no water is coming from the faucet when you turn it on. Or worse, the toilet doesn’t flush after you’ve used it. Then, how can you thaw frozen pipes?  Well, first you need to gather some tools, which include an electric hair dryer, space heater, and heat tape. With these things in hand, and if the thermostat setting is down low, turn it up and open all cabinet doors then follow these steps: 


Depending on the size of your house, this may not be that easy. Start in obvious areas, like a drafty basement, under cabinets, and areas where the exterior walls aren’t insulated. If your home is a pier and beam build, look under the house. When you find the frozen pipe, open the faucet that is closest to that area. Then locate the area of the pipe that is frozen, it will likely be covered in frost. 


Next, with the hair drying on the highest setting, start moving it back and forth over the frozen area.  NEVER use any type of open flame for the thawing process! Yes, that would thaw the pipe faster, but at great risk of catching your home on fire. 

Keep moving the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area, evenly, never stopping in one area of the pipe. This will help thaw the pipe while minimizing the chance of it rupturing. 

While you’re using the hair dryer, have somebody place the space heater close but not too close (a three-foot distance is recommended) and turn it on. Make sure the heater isn’t near anything flammable.

You can also wrap the pipe with heat tape. Make sure it is evenly wrapped and then plug it in. As the cable in the tape heats up, it will start slowly thawing the pipe. Once the water begins flowing again, unplug the heat tape, heater, and hair dryer to keep from getting shocked. And never leave the heat tape plugged in without being there to watch over it. 

If the pipes are broken, as they thaw, the water will start coming out, and that is when you’ll know you need frozen pipe repairs! How much does it cost to fix a frozen pipe? 

This cost will vary between plumbers, the location, and the size of the busted pipe. After examining where the frozen pipe repair is needed, a plumber may quote you a flat rate for the job. Most plumbers, however, will charge by the hour plus materials. 

Can you do your own frozen pipe repairs? 

In most cases, with some basic tools, yes, a DIY homeowner can do their own frozen pipe repairs. After you’ve thawed the pipe and have seen where the frozen pipe repair is needed, the process will depend on what type of pipe your home has. 

With PVC pipe, you can simply cut out the damaged area with a hacksaw and replace it with a piece of PVC pipe and PVC glue. If the pipes are any type of metal, you’ll need a torch and that is when calling a plumber is recommended. 

How long can pipes be frozen before they burst?

Plumbing pipes aren’t going to freeze and burst immediately. They have to be exposed to below-freezing temperatures for a minimum of 6 hours before they become frozen. However, during that 6-hour period, the water won’t be able to flow once the freezing starts. 

How can you prevent needing frozen pipe repairs? 

As tempting as it may be to turn the thermostat down when you’re not home during the winter, DON’T!  Keep the thermostat set at a decent setting, keep the cabinet doors open, and leave the water at a trickle when you know the temperatures are going get down to or below freezing (32 degrees is the warning temperature). 

Before winter arrives, make sure all exposed pipes are wrapped, and wrap any pipes that are along exterior walls, like under sinks. Wrap the water heater in a blanket made for water heaters too. 

In Conclusion

Never ignore frozen pipes! Once you know you have frozen pipes, even if you’re not going to try to thaw them, make sure the faucets are open so that when they do start to thaw, hopefully, the open faucets will relieve the pressure that freezing creates and causes pipes to burst. 

It’s a good idea to call us this winter when you experience frozen pipe issues. Call us at 317-677-4918 for frozen pipe repair in Indianapolis, IN.

How Do You Know it is Time to Replace the Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposal in use

Does Your Garbage Disposal Need Maintenance?

The garbage disposal is often unappreciated. This kitchen device is, usually electrically powered, and is installed under the kitchen sink, situated between the drain and the trap. It shreds food into small pieces that can pass through the drain. 

There is a debate about when and by whom the garbage disposal was invented. Was it by John Hammes, a Wisconsin architect in 1927 or 1935 by a team at General Electric?  It was in the late 1930s when it became widely available, and after World War II, its popularity increased as kitchens were modernized and remodeled. 

Today, you’d be challenged in trying to find a home without a garbage disposal, with the exception of older homes built before the 1960s. This small device has become an essential kitchen appliance, and like the water heater, it is usually hidden from sight. 

Are there different types of garbage disposals? 

This is something that most homeowners do not realize, there are two types of garbage disposals. 

Continuous Feed: This garbage disposal grinds the food continuously until the switch is turned off. There are pros and cons to this type of garbage disposal: 

  • The Pros:

The waste is inserted in small amounts and ground all at once. This keeps the kitchen counter clean, cleared, and organized as meals are prepped and cooked. 

  • The Cons: 

Because the drain is continuously open, it is accident-prone with other things falling into the drain by accident. This type of garbage disposal uses excessive amounts of power and water with continuous running power and water. 

Batch Feed: The mechanics of the batch feed type of garbage disposal runs when the drain cover is in place. As you fill the chamber and turn the machine on, it then begins to grind the food waste. If any random items fall into the unit unintended, they can be removed safely with the unit turned off and reaching in with tongs. 

  • The Pros:

The cover is protection which prevents accidental grinding. It uses less power and water because they are only turned on when the unit is in operation.

  • The Cons:

This type of garbage disposal is more expensive than the continuous feed type. It is louder when operating, requiring a noise suppressor.  Possibility of health hazards if the chamber has food left ungrounded, allowing bacteria to grow. 

How is a garbage disposal properly maintained? 

With proper cleaning and maintenance, a garbage disposal can last forever. The first step is to never put anything in the unit that shouldn’t go in it! What should never be put in a garbage disposal? The following items should never be put in a garbage disposal: 

  • Bones, Fruit Pits
  • FOG (fat, oil, grease)
  • Pasta, Rice
  • Stringy Foods
  • Fruit and Vegetable Peelings
  • Anything that isn’t food related 

Always allow the unit to thoroughly grind the food and run cold water while grinding the food waste and practice a monthly cleaning. Any of the following will work in cleaning your garbage disposal: 

Weekly cleaning of the inside with a bottle brush. Grinding up citrus food will cut any grease that is coating the inside and give it a fresh smell.  Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays and then grind one or two in the garbage disposal to eliminate bacteria buildup. 

What are the signs a garbage disposal should be replaced?

If your garbage disposal is doing any of the following, it is time to replace the unit: 

  • Making loud sounds. 
  • It doesn’t grind food properly and thoroughly. 
  • Leaking water under the sink. 
  • The unit jams and resetting doesn’t help. 
  • Keeps clogging.
  • Has been installed for 10 years or longer.

What are the common causes that garbage disposal? 

A garbage disposal is a basic, yet complicated unit. There are several plastic components and parts inside the unit that can cause a clog. Other things that can cause the garbage disposal to clog are: 

  • Motor burns out
  • Blades get jammed
  • The drain pipe has clogged
  • Too much food is put in the garbage disposals

How do you unclog a garbage disposal? 

First, use a flashlight and look for anything obvious in the drain. Turn the unit off and use tongs to pull out anything you see clogging the drain. If there isn’t anything obvious, follow these steps: 

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the unit.
  • Pour half a cup of white vinegar into the unit.
  • Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. It will be fizzing as it cleans.
  • Next, pour hot water into the unit, then let the hot water run for 5 minutes.

Keep It Grinding! 

Can a garbage disposal be installed as a DIY project, or do I need to hire a professional? A homeowner that has some mechanical knowledge should be able to follow the instructions that come with the garbage disposal for installation. Be sure to follow all safety measures recommended by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that if any errors are made during installation, the warranty is voided. Please give us a call at 317-677-4918 if you would like a consultation or to schedule garbage disposal repair in Indianapolis, IN.


Can a Toilet Be Repaired?

bathroom with a white porcelain toilet

Dealing With Toilet Damage

There it sits, all day, every day, at your beck and call. It doesn’t require much attention –  an occasional cleaning perhaps. It’s always at the ready when you need it, but then out of nowhere, something goes wrong. Yes, the toilet is what we’re talking about, at the most inopportune time, you find yourself needing toilet repair service. 

Or maybe your toilet has been telling you it was getting ‘sick’, but you weren’t paying any attention to the indications it was giving you. Now, here you are, having to pay for emergency toilet repairs. Some common toilet issues that maybe you could have taken care of before having to call a plumber for toilet repair services. 

You may find yourself asking “How can I know what’s wrong with my toilet?” Try these Toilet Repair Examples first:  

  • Phantom Flushes: If you’re noticing that your toilet will periodically and spontaneously flush itself and refill, this is usually an indication the flapper inside the tank needs replacing. This doesn’t have to be done by calling a plumber for toilet repair service. You can purchase a replacement flapper at any hardware or big box home improvement store and do it yourself, following the directions on the package. 
  • Trickling Water: Why is my toilet running nonstop? If you’re hearing your toilet hissing, check the overflow tube inside the tank. The water should never get more than an inch below the overflow tube rim. If it is, then adjust the float cup by turning the adjustment screw on the valve assembly. If the float cup is functioning right, the fill valve assembly needs to be replaced.
  • Slow Flushing: If the toilet bowl is emptying slowly, has a weak flush, or the toilet isn’t flushing at all, sometimes it is because the holes under the bowl rim are clogged. You don’t need a professional toilet repair for this, just a piece of wire poked into each hole will usually clear those clogs, using a mirror to see where to poke the wire, be cautious not to scratch the toilet bowl. 
  • Clogs: Probably the number one call for toilet repair service calls are clogged toilets. There are several methods to clear a clogged toilet, start with the basic toilet plunger. With repeated hard thrusting of the plunger, most clogs can be cleared. 
  • A Leaking Seal: There are a minimum of five seals on any standard toilet and each one of them has the potential be a leaking problem. When you notice you have water leaking from the toilet, you need to determine where the leak is coming from, in most cases, you won’t need a professional toilet repair service, you can simply tighten up a connection or replace the seal. 
  • When is an overflowing toilet an emergency?

No matter who you are, an overflowing toilet is an emergency plumbing matter. Let alone the possible water damage happening, the cleanup process of what overflowed with the water is not pleasant. There are three possible issues that can cause a toilet to overflow: 

Float Improperly Adjusted: A float that is adjusted too high will allow water to overflow from the tank. Most of the time, you can adjust the float yourself without having to pay for toilet repair service. 

Blocked or Clogged Drain: Yes, the clogged toilet drain is the most common cause for a toilet to overflow from the bowl. As we mentioned earlier, using the plunger will clear most toilet clogs. If it doesn’t then you will need a professional toilet repair service. 

Vent Pipe Blocked: If your toilet is clogging frequently, it may not be the toilet. The vent pipe that runs through the roof could be blocked, usually by a bird or other critter nesting.  With a little bit of knowledge, which we are about to share with you, you can do your own toilet repair service: 

  • Step One: Close the Toilet Valve at the shutoff behind the toilet. If this won’t turn or you don’t find one, then you’ll need to turn the water off at the main. 
  • Step Two: Stop the Water Flowing inside the toilet tank by removing the tank lid and checking the flapper. This is the rubber disc covering the hole at the tank bottom. If it is up, push it down to close it. If it won’t stay down, then lift the float. You may need to prop it up for now. The toilet float, the cylindrical or ball-shaped valve that sits on top of the water in the tank, should work to shut off the water. To keep it off, you may need to prop or hold the float in place.
  • Step Three: Attempt to unclog the toilet using the plunger first. If that doesn’t clear the clog, use an auger or plumber snake. If you don’t have those tools, squirt some dish liquid into the bowl and then pour hot water into the bowl. Last resort, use your wet/dry shop vac and try to suck the clog out. If none of this works, call for a professional toilet repair service! 
plumber surrounding by plumbing tools providing toilet repair

In Conclusion 

How often should I have toilet maintenance? As regards cleaning your toilet, with all the bacteria, germs, and viruses around today, twice a week is recommended, using an anti-bacterial agent. And when do toilets need to be replaced? If your current toilet is over 10 years old, it should be replaced now. The toilets today are designed as low flow, which will save you money on your water bill. Then every 10-12 years a new toilet is recommended. 

Should I get a home water filtration system?

woman holding a glass of water

Keeping Your Water Clean

Like anywhere else, homeowners in Indianapolis, Indiana are concerned about the water quality in their homes. And therefore, water filtration systems have become incredibly popular today. Federal, state, and local governments have put certain regulations into place to assure that the water going into homes is safe. So, are water filtration systems necessary then? 

While the systems are used for assuring that we have clean water coming into our homes, there is always the slightest chance of failure. So no, a water filtration system isn’t necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe either, right?  There is always the chance of system failure and mishaps from the very start of mass water safety. 

 A water filtration system can eliminate the contaminants that may get through the city, county, or state filtration system. There can be contaminants between the last bit of the filtration process and the plumbing in our homes that have contaminants that could make the water taste bad, or even make us sick. 

Why Water Filtration is Important

Water is something we use every day. It is an essential part of our lives, so being concerned about the quality is natural. A water filtration system can give us assurance that we’re receiving the best water possible, especially in areas where the tap water has been deemed undrinkable. 

A water filtration system takes out the contaminants and can make water taste better.  It encourages us to get the hydration we need every day without the worry of becoming ill.  This can be of special concern when there are elderly adults, infants, or anyone in the home with an immune system that is at risk of being compromised. 

When water has the possibility of being contaminated by any of the following due to any failure or outbreak in the water system, the repercussions can be deadly:  

  • Copper
  • E. coli
  • Hepatitis A
  • Norovirus
  • Salmonella

Each of these is a contaminant or heavy metal that has been known to be associated with issues of the kidney, respiratory system, cancer, and cause reproductive challenges. A water supply that is polluted can damage the hair and skin, and finally, the pH level in water has been found too high in many areas. A water filtration system in the home can help minimize, or even eliminate these possibilities. 

When you know the basics of how water filtration works, you can appreciate these concerns better. First, the large interior surface of a water filtration system traps contaminants and sediments physically. Then, almost like a magnet, there is activated carbon that catches lead, volatile compounds, and others as the water passes through.  The last step of most water filtration equipment, chlorine and other like chemicals are reduced. 

What type of water filtration system do I need?

 Before you buy a water filtration system for your home, you should know how to choose a water filtration system. There are different styles, and each has a specific function for different contaminant issues.  Experts in water filtration systems recommend having your water tested to find out what is in your water first. 

There are companies that will come to your home, this is the more expensive way, or there are DIY water testing kits you can purchase. That is the least expensive but not always as comprehensive. No water filtration system will be 100% effective in removing every possible contaminant. This is why knowing what is in your water is important before you make the investment.  A list of water filtration systems that are available: 

  • Water filter pitchers: These are filled at the top of the pitcher and a built-in filter will filter the water as it is poured. These are the most inexpensive, easy to use, and don’t require any installation. The downside are the limited models, the pore size, the filtering process is slow, and the filter needs to be replaced on a regular basis. 
  • Refrigerator filters: Today, a refrigerator with door access to water and ice will have a built-in water filtration system that will improve the taste of the water and ice. The filter will need to be replaced on a regular schedule. 
  • Faucet-mount filters: This type of water filtration system will attach to your kitchen faucet and is manually turned on and off as desired. A relatively inexpensive investment but may not work on every type of faucet. 
  • Faucet-integrated filter:  Designed with a built-in filter, this option requires installation, and is easy for switching between filtered and unfiltered. A more expensive water filtration system that requires installation. 
  • On-counter filters: Another faucet-integrated filtration system with built-in filters that are installed, making it easy to switch between filtered and unfiltered water. A more expensive choice of water filtration systems. 
  • Under-sink filters: As the name says, these are installed under the sink, the water goes through a pipe to a specially installed faucet. Substantial amounts of water are filtered without taking up countertop space. Plumbing modifications are required and this is one of the more expensive water filtration systems on the market. 
  • Whole-house water treatment: The crown of all water filtration systems, and the most expensive but comprehensive. Water throughout the home is filtered, a plus in areas with hard water and high VOC count. The unit itself is expensive in addition to the upfront cost of professional installation by trained professionals that know how to install a home water filtration system as well as provide a routine maintenance schedule. The types of filtering system will often remove chlorine that is needed to keep germ growth at bay. 
worker installing a water filtration system

When It Is All Watered Down …. 

Once you make the investment, how long do home water filtration systems last? Each of the water filtration systems we listed have different lifespan expectations. If you have a thorough understanding of how to maintain a water filtration system, the longer the service. For example, a whole house water filtration system is typically maxed at 12 months.

How can you tell if your pipes are leaking?

mildew growth on a wall

Get Your Pipes in Shape

Has your water bill been slowly increasing over the past couple of months? If you haven’t been watering the lawn or filling up a swimming pool, you could be dealing with a leaking water pipe. This leaves two questions. Where is that leaking pipe and how quickly can you get a pipe leak repair

It could simply be that your water bill rates have increased, but it’s worth checking for a leak, right? Before you call the water department and complain about your bill, you need to make sure the problem isn’t on your end. If it is a leak, the quicker you find it and get it fixed the better, both financially and for the sake of your home. 

Here are some subtle visual indicators that can help if you’re trying to figure out how to detect leaking pipes:

  • Water stains on ceilings, floors, and walls
  • Wet areas on the floor and walls
  • Mildew and mold along the outside of the shower and bathtub
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Musty odors of mildew and mold
  • An unexplained increase in cost and usage on the monthly water bill
  • Sounds of water running  

How do I stop my pipes from leaking?

So – how to fix leaking pipes. This can be a challenge no matter how much DIY experience you’ve got. But if you have a water pipe leak, repairing it is a “must do” – not a “when I get around to it” thing. So, what’s the big hurry? Is there a reason why leaking taps and pipes should be repaired sooner rather than later? 

Yes, there is a reason why any size of water pipe leak repair is urgent! If you leave a water pipe leaking, the amount of damage it can cause may be devastating to both your budget and your home. Even a seemingly minor leaking water pipe can cause structural damage. So, along with the cost of the pipe leak repair, you could also end up needing to repair or replace your ceilings, flooring, and walls. 

There are many different ways to take care of water pipe leak repairs. Often, you can use epoxy plumber putty and/or pipe clamps for a temporary fix. But first, you need to know the location of the pipe leak, as repairs differ for each one. Read on as we answer a few more questions on different types of leaks and their locations. 

How do you tell if pipes are leaking behind a wall?

You may be able to recognize you need pipe leak repair behind a wall with these common indicators: 

  • A musty odor in a certain area of the house
  • Mildew or mold on the baseboard and wall
  • Water stains on the wall
  • Paint or wallpaper bubbling and peeling
  • Walls warping 
  • Ceiling and floor buckling 

How do I know if my pipes are leaking under my floor?

For a home on a foundation, this could be a slab leak. This is an ASAP repair as not only is this breeding mildew and mold as it leaks, but it is also creating serious damage to the foundation, which will affect the floors, walls, and more until a pipe leak repair is completed. So, how do you know if there is a slab leak? 

  • Sounds of Running Water: If there aren’t any water fixtures turned on inside or outside of your house and you’re hearing running water, it is most likely under the foundation of your home. 
  • Wet Areas on the Floor: Pinpoint where you’re hearing water running and then check the floor in that area for damp or wet spots; you may even find puddles of water. You could also feel a warm spot on the floor. These are often signs of a pipe leak in the slab. 
  • Higher Water Bill: If your water bill has gradually increased or had a sharp increase and your water usage hasn’t changed, this could indicate a water leak in the floor or other parts of your home.
  • Buckling or Cracking Foundation: A slab leak can damage the foundation so that it begins to buckle or crack. You may notice cracks in the walls, the doors not closing or opening right, or doors staying opened/closed. The same can happen with your windows. You may even feel “soft” spots on the floor.
  • Damp or Moldy Carpeting: When a water pipe leak repair is needed in the slab, the foundation will become saturated with moisture over time. That dampness will cause mildew and mold under your carpeting, in which case you’ll end up with a musty odor throughout your home that carpet freshener can’t cover up. You then have a health hazard in your home, as well.
  • Cracking Garage Floor: If the garage is attached to your home, a slab leak will start showing itself there too. In fact, if the slab leak is at the water heater in the garage, it may show up there before appearing anywhere else in your house with cracked flooring. 
  • Low Water Pressure: If you have noticed a drop in the water pressure while bathing, showering, washing dishes, or doing laundry and there isn’t any running water in other parts of the house, you may have a pipe leak. Repairs are needed pronto. 

How do I know if my underground pipes are leaking?

The signs we have mentioned here are typical indicators of water leaks, but they aren’t always there. Sometimes the signs you need pipe leak repairs are more difficult to find, like those underground. The following steps can often help make that determination: 

  • Turn all faucets or water-using appliances off, both inside and outside.
  • Get the reading off the water meter.
  • After two to three hours, check the water meter reading.
  • If the water meter shows any increase, you likely have a water leak.

What causes leaking pipes? 

Here are seven common causes of water pipe leaks: 

  • Appliance Seals: These are one of the best pipe leaks you could have because the repair is simple – replace the seals to the appliance!  This can happen over time as the appliance ages, the seals age, and wear and tear weaken them. 
  • Clogged Drain Lines: Clogged drains are always inconvenient, but a severe clog can cause the drain to overflow or worse, burst your pipes.  Don’t take slow drains too lightly! 
  • Corroded Pipes: As pipes age, they begin to corrode and may even develop rust, which will start eating away at the pipes. A visual check of the pipes in your home can help you catch this kind of issue before a pipe bursts. Replace the rusting pipe yourself or call a plumber. A professional inspection of your home’s plumbing is never a bad idea if you suspect corrosion.
  • Pipe Connections and Joint Damage: Water pipe connections are one of the weakest parts of a plumbing system, yet they are necessary. Over time, those joints will start to deteriorate and can even leak. Unfortunately, you won’t always notice a leaking pipe joint, but sometimes you can hear a banging sound while running hot water due to those weakened plumbing joints being under pressure. A professional plumbing inspection is recommended in this situation.
  • Water Pressure: While you may enjoy having nice, high water pressure as you bathe or wash dishes, it could be damaging the water pipes by putting them under strain. Plumbing fixtures and water pipes are designed to withstand a certain max in water pressure. Going beyond that can cause them to wear out faster. 
  • Tree Roots: Underground leaks are often caused by tree roots – the biggest enemy of water pipes. Does your yard have wet patches without any rain? How about sinkholes? Call a plumber and they can do a camera inspection of your underground plumbing to determine if it is tree roots or simply a water line that’s busted due to age.
  • Sudden Temperature Changes: This is common in the winter when the ground freezes up and the plumbing going into your home begins to freeze. Water pipes contract and expand with temperature changes, and that can cause them to break, burst, and crack. 
burst pipe gushing water

In Closing – Financial Help?

As a homeowner, you know you’ll have unexpected expenses, including pipe leak repairs. So, does insurance cover leaking pipes? Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover water pipe leaks and the water damage caused because of an accident or a sudden, unexpected event. This includes a water pipe that has burst with no obvious warning. Any subsequent damage it causes is also typically covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Do note that if you have a water pipe leak that causes gradual water damage over time, this will not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. This is especially true if there were obvious signs that you had a leak. It is always best to review your own policy and question your agent about the coverage so you know exactly what kind of help you can receive paying for your water pipe leak repairs.

How do I know my garbage disposal needs to be replaced?

garbage disposal

Signs of garbage disposal issues

With the holidays coming up fast, you want to make sure you have all the ingredients for those wonderful meals and treats. The ham and turkey, the cakes, cookies, and cheeseballs and more, there is baking and cooking to be done! The last thing you have on your mind is the garbage disposal failing. 

With all your holiday preparations, take the time now to make sure you don’t have a garbage disposal failure and get it repaired or replaced. How do I know if my garbage disposal is bad? While the garbage disposal is an invention that has become an essential fixture in kitchens today, they do wear out. When you think about how much it is used on a daily basis, not to mention the overtime during holiday baking and cooking, it isn’t surprising that they do, right? 

 If your garbage disposal is showing any of these four signs, it is time to shop for a replacement: 

  • Not Functioning: Now, this could be a simple power reset button on the bottom of the garbage disposal, or breaker switch in the electrical panel. Make sure the unit is plugged in and press the reset button. If it still isn’t working, check the breaker box and flip the breaker if it is off. 

If you hear the motor trying to turn but the blades aren’t moving, with the unit unplugged, shine a flashlight inside the drain and see if anything is stopping the blades. It could be a dish rag wrapped up, or paper, a utensil, or even food that didn’t break up and wash away.  If there isn’t anything stopping it up and all of these steps doesn’t get it started, it is time to replace the unit. 

  • Foul Odors Lingering: Combine food waste with moisture, and you’ll get foul odors if the garbage disposal fails to grind it up and wash it on down. The foods that are the worse in causing this are oily, sticky foods byproducts like chicken skin, grease, vegetable skins and stringy foods that get wrapped around the blades, creating clogs. You can help keep this from happening as much by running hot water with degrease soap in the drain with a couple of cups of ice cubes. It gets the stray food removed and sharpens the blades too. 
  • Draining Slow: A garbage disposal can sound like it doing okay, but it takes forever for the water and food waste to drain. This can be caused by either a clog in the drain line or in the garbage disposal itself. Try plunging the drain with a basic household plunger and see if that helps. Keep repeating the process several times if necessary.  If plunging doesn’t work, you should look for a replacement unit. 
  • Water Leaking: Depending on the problem, there are several places a garbage disposal failure can start leaking. The leaks from the top are the easiest to handle with simple resealing the flange. Leaks from the bottom are usually a sign of garbage disposal failure. 

When should a garbage disposal be replaced?

If your garbage disposal is exhibiting any of the things we just covered, and you’ve tried the recommended steps, then you need to replace the unit, sooner than later. Especially with the holidays coming up, you’ll be glad you did! 

Why do garbage disposals stop working?

If you’re having garbage disposal failure by not turning on, then it has lost power. Three things to do are: 

  • Make sure the unit is plugged in
  • Push the reset button on the bottom of  the unit
  • Check the circuit breaker

The other common reasons for garbage disposal failing is a clog. If you’re hearing a mute humming sound, it could be a clog. The unit is getting power but because there is a clog, the blades can’t spend.  You can remove the clog, press the rest button, and try to use the unit. If it still won’t work, then you need a replacement unit. 

What causes garbage disposal leaks, and can I install a garbage disposal myself?

The following are three scenarios of a garbage disposal failing with leaking issues.  There are also recommendations of what you can do yourself before deciding the unit needs to be replaced. 

  • If your garbage disposal is leaking from the top, it is probably the piece that connects the garbage disposal and drain, the flange. The flange is installed with plumber’s putty, and you can re-putty the flange should stop the leaking from the top. Additionally, check the brackets under the sink that attach the unit to the sink. 
  • If your garbage disposal is leaking from the side, it could be coming from the drainpipe that connects to the dishwasher and garbage disposal. The drainpipe may have come lose and can be reattached will typically fix this garbage disposal failure. Check the drain hose as well and all brackets that attach the unit. 
  • A garbage disposal failure with a leaking bottom could indicate the unit has simply reached its end of life. There could be internal damage as well. In either of these cases, it is best to replace the unit. 

How can you tell your garbage disposal motor is burnt out? 

One immediate thing that will indicate the motor to your garbage disposal has burned out would be a burning smell. Other things that can indicate the motor is burnt out could be one of the following: 

  • Needs Frequent Resets
  • Leaking From Bottom 
  • A Persistent Odor
  • Grind Time Extended
  • Unusual Sounds
  • Clogs Frequently
  • No Power with Reset Button and Circuit Breaker
garbage disposal under sink

Who can fix a garbage disposal?

If you have a garbage disposal failing, a professional plumber would be the first person to call, or a small appliance shop.  Since it has to connect to water, the plumber would be the best choice. 

How long does a garbage disposal usually last? On average, with normal usage, a garbage disposal should last no less than eight years. A quality brand unit could last up to 15 years. Can you live without a garbage disposal? Yes, with some changes to your daily routine, there are other ways to dispose of your food waste, one would be to start a compost pile. Call 317-677-4918 today for your garbage disposal repair in Indianapolis, IN.