Plumbing FAQ’s

Here are some of the questions our experts hear on a frequent basis.

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Emergency Questions

In an emergency, how do I turn off my water?
If it is the toilet or faucet, there is a shutoff ball type valve behind the toilet or under the sink near the apparatus. These valves are not turned very often, so are hard to turn. Your washing machine also has a shut valve behind it. If none of these work for you, you may need to turn off the water at the main incoming supply to the building. This will turn off water to the entire house or building. The water meter box coming into the building, and from outside, has a valve attached to it, usually under a metal door or covering. Being careful of insects, you can use a wrench or sometimes what is known as a meter box key to turn this valve. If you are unable to turn this valve you should call the water dept. Keep this number near your phone. Water damage can be expensive for a home or business.

Company Questions

Where are you located?
1105 Moskowitz Ave, Seabrook, TX 77586
What are your rates?
$120.00 per hour. Anything between 4:30 pm and 8:00 am and holidays is time and a half ($180.00 per hour).
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes, we have a master’s license #M-38686 and we are fully insured.
Why do you pay your plumbers hourly instead of by commission?
If a plumber is paid by commission he is more likely to markup the job so he can make more money. We pay our plumbers a flat hourly rate, so they make the same amount of money regardless of your cost. It ensures a lower rate for our customers.

Toilets

My toilet is clogged, what should I do?
Using a plunger with a soft rubber head that is free of cracks, place the rubber end of the plunger over the drain opening. Be sure that the head of the plunger is flush with the drain surrounding and makes a good seal. With steady pressure, push down firmly on the plunger several times in a pumping motion. Remove the plunger and check to see if the water will flow freely. If not, repeat the procedure. It may take multiple tries to clear the clog. If you are not able to clear the clog with a household plunger, then call Able Plumbing, Inc to schedule a service call.
Why does my toilet continue to run for a few minutes and then stop, and then cycle repeats or it continues to run?
The most common cause is that the flush valve inside the tank is not seating correctly allowing water to bypass the seat, and run into the bowl. First verify that the chain connected to the flush handle is not twisted or hung under the seat. It could have corroded and fell under the flapper. Next is the flapper itself which need to be soft and pliable. If the chain and/or flapper are in bad repair, replacing them should rectify the problem.
What is the pink film I sometimes see in the tub/toilet?
The cause of the pink film that sometimes appears in your toilets, sinks or tubs is bacteria. Typically, the bacteria is just a nuisance and poses no real health concern. The best way to battle the pink bio film caused by the bacteria is to scrub the affected area regularly, try to keep the area as dry as possible, and properly ventilate your bathroom.

Bath Tubs

What are my options for cleaning a clogged bathtub or sink drain?
The best solution for a clogged bathtub or sink drain is to visually inspect the drain and clean out any hair or soap chips. We advise that you do this after showers, baths, hair washings, or shaving, etc. If you have cleaned out what you can see and it is still not draining freely call Able Plumbing and schedule service. We strongly advise against drain cleaning chemicals because they can damage your home’s pipes and cause bigger problems in the future.
What is the correct way to plunge a bathtub drain?
Using a plunger with a soft rubber head that is free of cracks, place the rubber end of the plunger over the drain opening. Be sure that the head of the plunger is flush with the drain surrounding and makes a good seal. With steady pressure, push down firmly on the plunger several times in a pumping motion. Remove the plunger and check to see if the water will flow freely. If not, repeat the procedure. It may take multiple tries to clear the clog. If you are not able to clear the clog with a household plunger, then call Able Plumbing, Inc to schedule a service call.

Showers

There are white crusty substances on my shower head. What is this? What can be done about it?
Many water supplies have mineral deposits in the water. The water evaporates and leaves the mineral deposits behind. A good solution to remove this build up is to use a plastic kitchen bag filled with a cup of vinegar . Simply tie this bag over the shower fixture head with a rubber band or wire, and leave for 8 hours. The next day, remove the bag, and using an old toothbrush, scrub the head. It is good to do this regularly since many fixtures can corrode quickly and may slow your spray.

Kitchens

Water flowing out of my kitchen sink faucet is just a dribble. Why?
The aerator on the fixture may be clogged. This aerator design is to diffuse water to prevent splashing in the sink is filled with screens to allow the diffusion to take place. These screens, like shower heads, get mineral deposits and “sand like crystals” that plug the nozzle, and over time, restricts flow. Unscrew the end of the faucet carefully making note of the screens, and making sure that they all come out together and you should carefully clean with a brush and vinegar solution to remove the debris. This will also apply to your bathroom faucets also. If your water valve has been turned off, for a reason, and then back on, it would be best to remove these aerators before turning the water source valve back on.
Why does my garbage disposal have a foul smell?
From time to time all disposals have an odor. To assist, put ice cubes in the disposal while it is off, filling about ½ way. Turn on the disposal, run with cold water, and allow the disposer to chop up all of the ice. Then cut up a small lemon, lime or orange and put it into the disposer. Turn on hot water, then the disposer, and allow the disposer to chop up the fruit.

Hot Water

Why don’t I have hot water?
Electric water heater: There is a high temperature cutoff for the water heater, it could have tripped off, and needs to be reset, or the breaker feeding the water heater needs to be checked, to see if it has tripped. Most likely it is a heating element or thermostat in the water heater. Each water heater also has a water drain, and owner instructions should be followed regarding methods of draining to remove deposits that can build up on elements. You should also have the relief valve, its exit path, as well as the sacrificial anode in the tank checked.

Gas water heater: The pilot gas light may be out. There could also be a faulty thermocouple or a gas valve. Due to the hazards of gas, it is recommended that if the pilot light is on, and you still do not have hot water that you have a licensed plumber inspect your water heater to determine the problem. Whether you have a gas, electric, or tankless water heater, our plumbing technicians can get your hot water flowing again. Just give us a call to schedule service.

Pipes

My pipes are slow to drain and I continuously get clogs. What can I do?
This is a problem that should involve a licensed plumber. Somewhere in your system could be a broken, collapsed, or a plugged drain. We have a state of the art video camera that can be run into the underground sewer lines, or inside the pipes. Our trained plumbers can use the camera to locate problems with the drains or pipes. Once the problem has been diagnosed, our plumber will explain what is going on with your plumbing and explain your options for correcting the problem.
Why do my pipes rattle?
Usually this is due to the water pipes in the ceiling or walls or under the building from not being secured. Steel straps fasten the pipes to the structure and if they become loose, the water pipes can rattle. This can be easily repaired if the pipes are accessible. Use steel, copper or plastic straps where the pipes are accessible and fasten the pipes to the building’s structure.

High Water Bill

What caused my water bill to be so high?
The most common cause of high water bills are leaky toilets. If you have a toilet that keeps running, please see the previous FAQ regarding a running toilet. Another cause may be a leak between the meter and the house. All leaks on the user side of the meter are the user’s responsibility. The use of leak detection cameras can locate leaks in the water main. Other common causes may be leaks in sprinkler systems, use of water for lawn care, a dripping faucet, overuse of your dishwasher, etc.

Sewer Clean Out

What is a sewer clean out?
A sewer clean out is one or two pipes connected to the main sewer line and used as an access point to clear stoppages or to check the condition of the main sewer line that runs between your home and the city’s sewer line. It is typically found in your front yard or backyard, maybe in a flower bed, 2 to 4 feet from your home’s foundation. Able Plumbers will use the sewer clean out to run a sewer camera or test ball through the line to inspect the condition of the main line. This clean out could then be used to unstop the clog with the use of a sewer cable. If you are having a problem with your toilets, washing machine, dishwasher, etc. not draining properly it could be a clog or break in your main sewer line.

Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners