A Few Plumbing Tips from Your Trusted Plumbers

Hopefully, by checking the items on the troubleshooting list below, you can avoid an unnecessary service call. However, if these Quick Plumbing Tip solutions do not solve your problem, call us or schedule an appointment online with an ESCO Plumber. For emergency service, please call 866.406.0111.

Gas Hot Water Heater is Not Producing Any/Enough Hot Water
Make sure that the flue is located in the proper position. Make sure that the gas is turned completely on. (Most systems locate the gas value next to the gas pipe.) ESCO Quick Tip: To solve this problem, turn the gas on and make sure to light the pilot. The lighting of the pilot will vary depending on the system. Consult the directions for pilot lighting.

Gas Hot Water Heater Pilot Light Won’t Light
Make sure the gas supply is turned on. The valve is usually located on the gas pipe, however this may vary depending on the system. ESCO Quick Tip: If the gas is turned on but the pilot still will not light, service is recommended. The procedure for lighting the pilot will vary by system, and the owner’s manual should be consulted before any lighting attempt is made.

Gas Hot Water Heater Does Not Have Power
Check to see if a fuse has blown or if the circuit breaker has been tripped. If your system has a power switch, make sure that the power is switched to on. ESCO Quick Tip: Check to see that the system is turned on. If a problem persists, call a ESCO Plumber.

Electric Hot Water Heater is Not Producing Hot Water
Check to see if the water heater is receiving power. There might be a blown fuse, which needs to be replaced, or a timer might be set. Also, a circuit breaker might need to be reset. Check to see if resetting the thermostat on the water heater to a higher setting solves the problem. ESCO Quick Tip: The water heater temperature may have been set too low. Remember that setting the temperature higher than 120 degrees F may cause injury!

Electric Hot Water Heater is Not Producing Enough Hot Water
Test the water heater elements to see that they’re functioning properly. Consult a ESCO Plumber if you need help doing so. Make sure that the tank has been drained within the last year. Draining the tank regularly removes sediment that could diminish the tank’s capacity. With age, the heating element on some systems has a tendency to fail. When this happens, a replacement is necessary. ESCO Quick Tip: Replacing a heating element and checking both the upper and lower heating elements can be done without assistance. However, the work is complicated and potentially messy!

Electric Hot Water Heater Does Not Have Power
Check to see if a power outage has blown a fuse or tripped the circuit breaker. Make sure your water heater power switch is on. ESCO Quick Tip: If a circuit breaker has been tripped, the red side showing “no power” will be displayed. If a fuse has blown, it will look cloudy. Don’t forget that the problem might be as simple as turning the system on.

Sink Drain Flows Back
ESCO Quick Tip: Many times, when waste water flows back into the sink, it’s because of a clog which can be removed with special tools and experience. If you have a clog in your main drain, it’s best to make an appointment with a ESCO Plumber.

Drain Empties Slowly
Check to see if a drain cleaner improves the flow of waste water. Waste products may be clogging your drain. If this is the case, drain cleaner should be used on a regular basis. If a commercial drain cleaner improves water flow, narrowing of the pipes is not occurring. If a drain cleaner does not work, make sure there is nothing visibly clogging the drain. If you cannot see anything in the beginning of the pipe, make sure that nothing is located in the U-shaped trap. To do this, you will have to move a section of pipe and can expect water leakage, so you might want to consult a ESCO Plumber. ESCO Quick Tip: Using a drain cleaning enzyme (available from ESCO) on a regular basis should prevent slow draining and waste water from flowing back. Clearing a clog in the trap and other sections of the main drain take specialized knowledge and tools.

Toilet Is Backed Up
The main tools to help a clogged toilet are a plunger and a clothes hanger. Use the hanger to catch visible objects. Use the plunger to force hard-to-see items through. If a toilet is about to overflow, the water can be stopped by lifting the lid and manually closing the flush valve! ESCO Quick Tip: Most clogged toilets can be taken care of without the help of an expert. If a plunger and hanger do not work, the clog might be deeper, requiring professional help.

Toilet Will Not Stop Running
Check under toilet lid to make sure that the flush valve is firmly resting across the opening. Make sure the flush flapper does not have cracks or corrosion, which can prevent a water-tight seal. If the flapper continues to leak water then it must be replaced. ESCO Quick Tip: Many times, an object gets caught in the flapper valve. Or, the flapper value chain may be caught on something.

Toilet Is Leaking
Check the toilet to find the source of the leak. See if the leak is coming from condensation, the bowl-to-floor connection, the fill valve, or the water supply tube. If the leak is due to condensation, then the tank should be insulated. If the leak is occurring at the bowl-to-floor connection, the gasket needs to be replaced. If the leak is occurring around the fill valve, the value might need to be tightened or replaced. If the leak is coming from the water supply tube, the tube might need to be tightened at its connection or replaced altogether. ESCO Quick Tip: Most times, leaking can be stopped by simply adjusting the water levels of the tank-to-bowl fittings. Because the size and weight of a toilet are awkward and all components need to properly fit to prevent leaking, you should contact ESCO for major repairs/problems.

Toilet Will Not Flush
Make sure that there is water in the toilet. If not, slowly pour a gallon of water into the bowl. (Pour the water slowly to prevent the toilet from flushing!) The ideal amount of water is almost level to the overflow drain. Make sure the water supply valve is turned on. This valve is located at the lower backside of the toilet. ESCO Quick Tip: Check to make sure that the chain connected to the flush valve has not corroded and broken. Many times the chain has broken, preventing the toilet from flushing. Also, the supply valve might need to be turned on.