Yes and No. Flushable wipes can technically be physically flushed and while they might make it through the curved part of your toilet, they are likely to get stuck in the drainpipe or build up over time and cause a clogged drain.
The problem with flushable wipes is that while they do flush and go down the drain, they don’t disintegrate. When toilet paper is wet, it falls apart quickly because it is manufactured to dissolve. Flushable wipes do not fall apart when they are wet – they actually hold together better than paper towels.
The bottom line is that flushable wipes will most likely cause a sewage backup and should not be used under any circumstances.
When water pools around the base of the toilet, it most likely means that the wax seal has failed. Soak up the water from the floor with a sponge and dry off the toilet with a towel. Wait until a new puddle appears on the floor, then check to make sure the water is seeping out from under the toilet and not coming from a loose supply tube, faulty shutoff valve, cracked tank, or sweaty bowl.
If water is leaking from beneath the toilet, try tightening the closet bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. Use a putty knife or slotted screwdriver to pry off the bolt caps. Use a wrench to alternately tighten each bolt, a little at a time. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid cracking the toilet’s base.
If tightening the bolts doesn’t help, a new wax ring needs to be installed. This can be an overwhelming do-it-yourself project. Give Capps a call – our professional plumbers are ready to help!
Water shut-off valves not working can be a major problem. There can be many reasons your valves aren’t working properly. The first step you should take is to turn off your main water supply, then you can figure out why your valves aren’t working.
A stuck valve may only require a spray of lubricant. Spray the valve, let it rest to lubricate and then try to move the valve.
If the valve is partially closing, you will need to replace the valve.
If it’s leaking, this can mean the seal isn’t working. Try tightening the fitting and/or replace the washer inside the valve. If neither of these fix’s work, it is time to replace the valve.
A clogged shower drain can get blocked by hair and soap residue. Using a flashlight, locate the blockage (if you can) and try to remove it with your hands or a pair of tongs to extend your reach. You can also use a plunger to try to remove the clog (make sure the plunger is submerged in water). You can also try a plumbing snake and auger which can reach further down into the drain.
Be careful of utilizing the boiling water/vinegar/baking soda method. If your drain is attached to PVC (plastic) pipes, the boiling water could melt or damage the plastic, creating a much larger problem.
One of the worst things you can do to unclog a drain is to use a chemical solution such as Drano. The chemicals in these products can corrode your pipes, increasing the risk of leaks, and can have potentially dangerous reactions to other things found in your plumbing system.
If you’re unable to clear the drain using the methods above, we can help.
Clogged or Faulty Fixtures: Fixtures themselves, such as showerheads or faucets, can become faulty or clogged over time. In some cases, simply cleaning out the screen or aerator is enough to fix the issue, but at other times, an entire fixture may need to be replaced. To clean the aerator, unscrew the nozzle and look for signs of buildup. If the piece needs to be cleaned, soak it in a vinegar-water solution; if that doesn’t work, buy a replacement. While the aerator is off, turn on the faucet to confirm that is the issue. If low water pressure persists, the problem may not be the aerator after all but rather a clog in the line to the fixture. Clogged lines are best handled by a plumber.
Too much water in the tank.
The most common cause for a running toilet is overflow water leaking down into the bowl from the tank via the overflow tube. This happens when there’s too much water in the tank. You can adjust the water level by adjusting the height of the float. To lower the water in a toilet with a float arm, loosen or tighten the screw until the float arm lowers. To lower the water in a toilet with a column float attached to the fill valve, loosen the screw or clip, push down the float, and tighten everything back up again.
Another reason for a running toilet is an old flapper that needs to be replaced. When flappers get old, they don’t seal the way they should, and this allows water to pass constantly from the toilet tank into the bowl. To replace the flapper, simply remove the old one and replace it with a new one from the hardware store. Remove the old one by detaching the chain and taking the flapper off the pins on the side of the overflow tube. To attach the new one, connect the chain and attach the sides to the pins.
Tip: Drain the water from the tank before you replace the flapper. Shut off the water supply to the toilet, and then flush the toilet to drain the water.
Tip: If the chain is too long on the new flapper, you may need to shorten it. If it’s long enough to get caught underneath the flapper, you won’t get a good seal, and the toilet will continue to run.
The Refill Tube is Too Long.
Another cause of a running toilet could be that the refill tube is always pumping water into the bowl. This happens when the tube is too long and isn’t positioned properly. To shorten, pull the refill tube out of the overflow and hold it just above the opening of the overflow. Trim it off at that point and clip it to the side of the overflow tube to keep it in place.
If none of these remedies work, give us a call and we’ll be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.
When your sewer line is clogged, sewage can come out of your toilet, tub, or shower. When your sewer line (also known as main line) is clogged, water can’t go down the drain. Instead, it flows back up the pipes and comes out at the lowest point — usually the shower drain.
Yes. Our license number is 058-142639.
Not if a repair is completed during regular business hours. We charge a $78 service call fee which includes 15 minutes of visual diagnosis. If we perform the recommended work at the time of our visit, the $78 fee is waived. If an emergency visit is scheduled, the service call fee is $195 (is not waived with completed work) and emergency rates apply.
We do not offer financing currently.
Yes. Call 847-884-8300 to schedule.
We have technicians available 24/7. Our office is open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. Regular service pricing applies to appointments scheduled between 8am and 5pm, Monday – Friday, excluding the following holidays:
New Year’s – Emergency hours begin at 12pm on New Year’s Eve day and may be extended depending on the day of the week this holiday falls on. Check with our office for more details.
Memorial Day Weekend – Emergency hours begin at 12pm the Friday before. Regular hours resume on the Tuesday after the holiday.
Independence Day (4th of July) – Emergency hours may be extended depending on the day of the week this holiday falls on. Check with our office for more details.
Labor Day Weekend – Emergency hours begin at 12pm the Friday before. Regular hours resume on the Tuesday after the holiday.
Thanksgiving – Emergency hours being at 12pm the Wednesday before. Regular hours resume the Monday after the holiday.
Christmas – Emergency hours begin at 12pm on Christmas Eve day and may be extended depending on the day of the week this holiday falls on. Check with our office for more details.
The best way to keep drains clear is to limit what you put in them:
- Do not put hard food (food you wouldn’t give a baby), coffee grounds, and grease down your garbage disposal.
- Keep hair and soap scum out of bathroom drains. Cover your tub and shower drains with a mesh screen or a perforated shower drain hair catcher.
- Remove loose hair by brushing it before you take a shower or bath.
- If you wash your dog in the tub or shower, put a washcloth over the drain. The amount of hair a dog sheds during a bath can clog your regular shower drain hair catcher.
- Toilets are designed to only flush human waste and toilet paper. Dental floss, feminine hygiene products, and other household waste should go in the trash instead.
Plunging is an effective way to open a clogged drain. It’s important to know that there are two types of plungers. The kind with a steep black cup is a toilet plunger. The red plungers with a shallow cup are designed for opening sink and tub drains. Make sure there is water covering the drain. Place the plunger cup over the drain and push down until the plunger makes a good vacuum seal over the drain. Then grasp the handle and pump the plunger cup up and down quickly five or six times. Pull backward and see if the drain opens. Repeat the process until the clog is forced out and the drain opens.
Roots do not invade healthy, well-kept pipes. They attack vulnerable pipes that have cracks and leaks. These occur when regular maintenance is not conducted, or trees are planted too close to sewage lines.
When it comes to landscaping, it’s important to know where your underground pipes, lines, and cables run. Limit the number of trees and find out which trees are safe to plant close to your sewage lines. If you can’t avoid planting trees close to your sewage line, make sure to plant slow-growing trees with small root balls that are unlikely to invade your pipes.
While preventative maintenance seems costly, it prevents high-cost repairs. When regular maintenance is performed, you can deal with any issues before they get worse. Routine video inspection and cleaning prevents roots from invading your pipes.
If you already have tree root damage, it’s important to get your sewer lines clean and work with us to develop a maintenance program. Ask about our root inhibitor treatment that kills roots up to 12” outside of your sewer pipe.
“Clearing” and “cleaning” can be synonyms in some cases, but in the world of plumbing, these terms refer to two very different processes designed to meet differing needs.
Drain clearing is considered more of a “quick fix” for clogged pipes. During clearing, the plumber breaks up the clog with a rodding machine. Rodding machines consist of a heavy-duty cable and cutting blade attachments and are motor-powered. The blades are designed to spin and break up clogs when the motor is turned on. While normal flow can typically resume once the clog is broken up (cleared, not cleaned), remnants of past clogs are left behind, which makes it more likely that you’ll experience another clog.
Drain cleaning uses a machine called a hydro jetter which runs highly pressurized water through your pipes. Clogs and/or grease buildup is removed (cleaned) from the walls of your pipes. Drain cleaning solves existing problems and helps prevent future buildup, which will save you money in the long run.
Hydro-jetting CLEANS your pipes. It uses pressured water to push away any obstructions and leave the pipe as clean as when it was first installed. This process works by attaching a cleaning head to a water line that is threaded into the pipe. The head is covered in holes that release high-pressure jets of hot water up to 4,000 PSI into the lines, obliterating the clog and flushing it away without damage to the pipe. Besides removing the clog, pressurized water also dissolves grease and sludge that could cause another outbreak of clogging.
Power Rodding CLEARS your pipes. It carefully eases a stabilized metal cable into the pipe to avoid damaging the delicate plumbing system. At the end of this cable, is a cleaning head made of extremely sharp blades that are measured to the diameter of the pipe. The blades rotate at high speed breaking up the clog and scraping away accumulated sludge from the pipe walls, resulting in a clear sewer for water to flow.
Condos are often on a shared water system. The pipes run from one unit to the next, or they’re all fed off one (or more) main valves. Shutting off the service to one unit may mean shutting off the service to all of the units in the complex. If you need plumbing work done on your unit, you need to schedule water shut off with your HOA (Homeowners Association) or property management company. Some townhomes have their own main water shut-off valve, which can be found either inside or outside, but you should still check with your Association before shutting off the water.
Once the temperature drops, you need to take measures to keep your pipes warm and water running. Research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois states that the “temperature alert threshold” is 20° F, especially if you have uninsulated pipes running through an uninsulated space. Below are some basic steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes:
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall.
- Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night.
- If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
- For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.
FIXTURES: Sinks, toilets, water heaters, and washing machines should have a small valve (angle stop) located near the fixture plumbing that can easily shut off and isolate the water supply to the fixture. Simply turning the valve clockwise will turn off the water flow.
HOUSE: For most single-family homes, the shut-off valve is typically located within two feet of where the main water enters. If your water is supplied by the village and you have a water meter, there are two valves that will shut off water to the entire home – one located on each side of the meter. It is important to always first shut off the valve located between the meter and the home (also known as the house-side valve). If that valve doesn’t work, only then attempt shutting off the valve between the meter and the outside of the home (also known as the street-side valve). If neither meter valve is operable and it is an emergency, contact us or your village to shut off the water from the exterior b-box. The exterior b-box requires a specific key to be turned off and should only be operated by village personnel or licensed plumbing professionals. WARNING: Do NOT tamper with the b-box or the meter itself. It is illegal to tamper with, obstruct access to, or remove a water meter. Be very careful, and if you have any doubts at all, give us a call.
- Evacuate the property immediately; leave doors and windows open (this will not stop a leak, but will help some of the gas escape)
- Do not use any electrical devices (cell phones, light switches, garage door openers, etc.) until you are at a safe distance from the property.
- Do not start a vehicle if it is on the property.
- Call your gas company.
- Call Capps Plumbing & Sewer at 847-884-8300
PEX – Polyethylene cross-linked pipe (PEX) is an affordable plastic tubing that’s popular for water supply lines because it doesn’t leach traces of rust or corrosion into the water as some other types of pipes (for instance, galvanized) have been known to do.
PVC – Pipe made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is often used in a home’s sewage system because of its durability.
ABS – Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) black pipe commonly found in sinks, tubs, or toilet drains.
Copper – Copper pipe is found in sinks, showers, tubs, and other fixtures. It is a favorite for water supply lines because the metal does not affect water quality.
Galvanized – Found in many older homes, galvanized pipe was once widely used, but is no longer used in new construction. Over time, this type of pipe rusts and causes pressure issues.
Cast Iron – Used for more than a century for home plumbing, cast iron pipes were commonly used in houses built before 1970.
Anytime you experience a plumbing problem, you might feel you need to take care of it to prevent further damage immediately. Calling an emergency plumber on a night, weekend, or holiday comes at a high premium. It is essential to know when to call and when to wait. Here are the 5 plumbing problems that are emergencies and need attention immediately:
- Gas Leak
- No Water
- Risk of Burst Pipe
- Risk of Flooding
- Sewer Backup
An unusually high water bill is usually caused by a leak or change in water use. The most common reasons include:
- Leaking toilet
- Running toilet
- Dripping faucet
- Broken pipes
- Irrigation leaks
- Old, outdated fixtures and toilets
- Recent changes in water use
There are several reasons why you are experiencing low water pressure:
- Clogged Pipes
- Leaking Pipes
- Corroded Pipes
- Clogged or Faulty Fixtures
- Broken Pressure Regulator
- Emergency Shutoff Valve at Fixture Isn’t Open All the Way
- Water Meter Valve or Main House Valve Isn’t Open All the Way
- Your Water Supplier is Having an Issue
Outside faucet leaks are usually caused by a malfunction, that arises over time or is due to damage of some sort. Causes of outside spigots leaking include:
- Loose packing nut
- Worn-out washers in the spigot assemblies
- Frost damage
- Damage to supply pipe
A rotten egg or sulfur smell indicates traces of hydrogen sulfide in your water. If the smell is coming from just your hot water, then the problem most likely exists in your water heater. If the smell is coming from both hot and cold water, it might be an issue with your plumbing or ground/well water. If the smell is coming from isolated fixtures, then the problem is probably only in these drains or pipes and not your entire water supply.
Fully licensed and insured plumbers provide quality services within the standards and codes of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Hiring a licensed plumber also protects you against fraud and property damage.
The number one thing you need to know about fixing clogged garbage disposals is to never use chemical drain cleaners. The chemicals can corrode the machine and severely break down and damage the plastic and rubber parts.
Try using a plunger to push the clog out of and past the disposal and kitchen sink drain. Then flush it through the line with plenty of water.
If you’re unable to clear the clog, we can help!
Clogged kitchen sinks are among the most common drainage issues homeowners face, largely because food debris and soap residue are nightmares for smooth draining. Before you start with a chemical-based drain cleaner like Drano – stop! Don’t do it! The chemicals in these products can sometimes cause more damage to your system, even if the clog initially seems fixed.
Also, beware of utilizing the boiling water method. If your drain is attached to PVC (plastic) pipes, the boiling water could melt or damage the plastic, creating a much larger problem.
Check your garbage disposal. If the clog is in the disposal, check out our tips to unclog your garbage disposal.
If the disposal is not the problem, try using a plunger. If you have a flat-bottom plunger, use it. If not, a toilet plunger will work too. Remember, plungers work best when they are submerged in water.
A natural alternative to chemical cleaners is a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Follow these steps:
- Remove standing water from the sink with a cup or bowl.
- Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, using a spatula or spoon to push the powder down the drain if necessary.
- Pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain opening.
- Place a stopper or cover on the drain to seal the opening.
- Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cover and run hot tap water down the drain.
If you’re unable to clear the drain using the methods above, we’re here to help!
Foods that ARE NOT safe to put down the disposal:
- Fats, oils, and grease – While they go down the drain as a liquid, they will congeal cause clogs further down your system.
- Starchy foods – Rice, pasta, and potatoes break down into mush and can clog your drain and gum up your disposal.
- Fibrous vegetables and peels – Celery, corn husks, artichokes, asparagus become stringy material that balls up and causes clogs.
- Eggshells, shellfish, and coffee grounds – They don’t decompose or break down easily, so a large accumulation will clog the drain.
Foods that ARE safe to put down the garbage disposal:
Any soft liquid or food – if you can feed it to a baby, you can put it down the disposal. If you wouldn’t feed it to a baby, do not put it down your disposal!
If the shut off valve under your sink isn’t working, it could be because it’s either stuck, partially closed or leaking. If it’s stuck, you can try to fix it with a little bit of WD-40. In most instances, this is a short-term fix. It is important to turn the valves on and off every so often along with spraying them with WD-40. If this fix doesn’t work, then it’s time to bring in a professional.
There can be a few different reasons causing your sink to fill up with water when you run your dishwasher.
- Clogged Sink – A kitchen sink clog could prevent your dishwasher from draining properly. You might be able fix the clog by running the garbage disposal, plunging the sink, or snaking the drain.
- Air Gap Blockage – Air gaps are installed in kitchen sinks next to the faucet. An air gap prevents wastewater from backing up into the dishwasher. If water is flowing in the sink from the air gap, look inside it and remove any debris causing the block.
- Garbage Disposal Drain Plug – The drain plug covers the hole connecting your garbage disposal to your dishwasher. Sometimes when a garbage disposal is installed, the drain plug is not removed. Simply remove it from the garbage disposal to resolve the issue.
There are many reasons for low water pressure. If there’s low water pressure throughout your house and your neighbors are having the same problem, then you need to contact your local water company/municipality to address the issue.
If yours is the only house in the neighborhood with low water pressure you can check to make sure that your main valve is fully open and functioning.
If the problem is only in your kitchen faucet, the two most common reasons for low water pressure are a blocked aerator or a clogged cartridge.
There are many benefits to having an outside cleanout:
- Outside cleanouts provide a full-size access point for effective sewer rodding to remove tree roots and other blockages. Because many sewers transition to a larger size outside, the outside cleanout allows the entry of a full-size rodding cutter to clear the entire diameter of the outside sewer pipe.
- With an outside cleanout, you avoid possible water damage and pipe damage when rodding is done from an inside cleanout.
- Outside cleanouts prevent a mess from being made in your home. When rodding from an outside cleanout, there’s no need for technicians to prep the area like they would do if rodding from an inside cleanout. Any overflow will occur outside your home – not in it!
Annual drain cleaning (hydro-jetting) is the best way to maintain sewage lines to avoid slow or clogged drains. Also, during drain cleaning, our technician can inspect the sewer lines to identify any problems. Remove trees and bushes that are close to the sewer line. This will help prevent tree roots from invading your pipes. Do not flush wipes or other hygiene products down the toilet. You should never pour grease down the kitchen drain. Only soft foods you would give to a baby should go down the kitchen drain and run through the disposal. Avoid using acid-based drain clearing solutions.
- Stop running water – do not use the toilet, shower, dishwasher, or laundry.
- Check the water level in your septic tanks – it’s best to call a waste-water professional to do this.
- If your sewer line is clogged due to damaged or warped pipe, schedule an appointment for repair and/or replacement.
There are several causes for a foul sewer smell in your home or basement:
- Dried out P-traps. Water in any trap under unused drains will eventually evaporate, allowing sewer gas to come up through the drain. Pour a pitcher of water followed by a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil down the drain. This restores the trap water, and the floating seal of oil will keep the water from evaporating.
- A broken seal around the toilet in the wax ring or caulk. If the wax ring is broken, you’ll need to remove the toilet and replace the wax ring. If there is a crack in the caulk, apply a bead or line of caulk around the exposed area.
- Cleanout plug issues. Remove the grate that covers the opening and make sure there’s a plug inside the drain bowl. If the plug is missing, there’s a direct path for sewer gas to bypass the water trap. Sometimes, the plugs are removed to clean sewer lines and not replaced. Buy a replacement plug at a hardware store.
- While unlikely, the water in the toilet trap also could have evaporated. Weeks of no use could cause this. Flushing will restore that water.
- Broken or cracked sewer pipe. You’ll need to call a plumber to do a video inspection to determine the severity of the problem.
What Should I Expect When My Sewer Needs Repair or Replacement?
- We apply for a permit with your city to do the job.
- Before excavation, we contact JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) to mark underground utility lines.
- Once the site is ready for excavation, plywood is laid down to protect the yard as much as possible.
- If needed, a portion of the street is blocked off so our crew can complete in-street work safely and efficiently.
- We use excavation equipment to dig up the length of the pipe that needs to be replaced. All excavated material is dumped onto the plywood to help protect landscaping. We haul away all concrete and/or asphalt that is dug up.
- Brand new PVC pipe is installed.
- We call the city to inspect the work.
- We backfill the excavated yard material.
- We fill the concrete and asphalt holes to grade with new stone.
- We will provide estimates for landscape, asphalt, and concrete restoration if requested.
Sewer video inspections are a quick and easy way to determine the health of your plumbing systems and detect issues early before they become expensive repairs. There are two situations when camera inspections are especially helpful. The first is for homes that are over 20 years old. The other is if you are having backup issues.
If you are looking at repairing a water line that’s 50 years old or more, you should seriously consider a total replacement. More issues occur at the end of service life, and at this age it’s likely to happen again and again. If you’ve already made several repairs, it’s time to trade up and replace the pipe.
Yes! A battery backup system ensures that water is continually pumped away from your house even if the power goes out, a circuit breaker gets tripped or if your primary sump pump fails for any reason.
Yes! Sump and ejector pumps should be checked at least once per year. Regular maintenance helps eliminate costly repairs and reduces your chance of flooding.
As a rule of thumb, batteries for your sump pump backup system should be replaced every 3-5 years.
- If the drainpipe, also called the discharge pipe, gets clogged, the pump can’t move water from your basement to the outside of your home. If the water in your sump pit is moving slowly, or not at all, the drainpipe may be blocked by debris. You can repair this by cleaning the pipe. Remove the screen at the end of the drainpipe, if your pipe has one, and rinse off any debris that has built up on the screen. The end of the drainpipe will be outside your home, with the pipe draining on a downslope leading away from the house.
- Check the pipe for any obvious blockages and remove, replace the screen.
- Unplug the pump or turn off the power at the circuit breaker.
- Remove the water in the sump pit using a wet-dry vacuum.
- Grab the pump by the handle or the pump body and remove the sump pump unit from the pit. Do not lift the pump by the float switch or power cord.
- Loosen the clamp that holds the drainpipe in place and remove the drainpipe from the main body of the sump pump.
- Insert a plumber’s snake into the end of the pipe that was connected to the pump, and then try to push the snake through toward the other end.
- Hold the pipe over a bucket or sink, and spray water down the pipe using a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle if the plumber’s snake doesn’t remove blockage.
- Run the plumber’s snake through again to loosen any remaining material inside the pipe.
- Spray water into the pipe a final time to rinse the remaining debris from the pipe.
- Attach the drainpipe to the pump and tighten the clamp to secure it in place.
- Set the pump gently back into the pit and reconnect the power. Turn the pump on and pour water into the pit to make sure the assembly works as it should.
Ejector pumps pump wastewater away from your home. If you have plumbing that is below the sewer line (below-grade), you need an ejector pump to move the wastewater up and out into the sewer line. The ejector basin installed under your basement floor collects wastewater from the floor drain, washer, basement sinks, and below-grade bathrooms.
A sump pump pumps ground water (water from the soil/drain tile surrounding your home’s foundation). When the sump pump activates, it pumps the water out of the sump basin through a discharge pipe out onto the lawn or a municipal storm sewer.
An ejector pump moves wastewater up into the main sewer line. Homes that have bathrooms and/or water-using appliances installed in the basement or lower-level need an ejector pump. Because these fixtures are lower than the home’s main sewer line, wastewater cannot flow out utilizing gravity – therefore a pump is needed to pump it up and out of the home.
The main difference between a sump pump and an ejector pump is the presence of sewage. Ejector pump failure can cause raw sewage to enter your basement. Sump pump failure causes flooding and water damage.
- Jammed float switch
- Underground leak
- Check valve failure
- High water table
- Clogged or frozen discharge pipe
Yes! Annual maintenance will help you avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your water heater. Annual maintenance consists of flushing, pressure-relief valve testing and anode rod testing.
The typical residential water heater lasts between 6 and 12 years. Beyond 12 years, you are on borrowed time!
Gas and electric water are factory set at OSHA recommended levels, around 140 degrees. However, the EPA suggests a temperature of 120 degrees to reduce power consumption and use a booster heater to reach sanitizing temperatures at select appliances and outlets.
Tank water heaters heat water and store it in the tank for use when needed. These types of water heaters come in different sizes from 30-75 gallons – the size needed depends on household size and consumption. Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, do not heat water ahead of time and hold it in reserve. Rather, the water is heated as soon as your fixtures or appliances call for hot water.
Both tank and tankless water heaters run by gas or electricity.
Without a functioning pilot light, your water heater won’t be able to maintain internal temperatures which leads to cold water in the tank. Some reasons for a pilot light that won’t stay lit:
- Dirty Pilot Tube – dirt and debris can collect in the pilot tube, causing the flow of gas to be blocked. As a result, the pilot doesn’t get enough fuel to stay lit. This is also a likely cause if the pilot won’t ignite at all.
- Kink in the Flex Tube – The flex tube provides fuel via the gas controller. On occasion, the tube can become kinked, interrupting the flow of gas.
- Obstruction in or Damage to the Thermocouple – the thermocouple picks up an electrical signal from the pilot light’s heat to determine whether the pilot is on. Interference with or damage to interferes with this signal, leading the thermocouple to believe the pilot has gone out. It then shuts off the gas supply as a safety precaution.
- Main Control Valve – With all other options ruled out, a problem with the main valve control is almost certainly the culprit.