Plumbing FAQs

Plumbing Troubleshooting Tips

Sometimes it can be useful to troubleshoot a common problem on your own. Our professional plumbers have explained some everyday plumbing issues to help our customers while saving them a more expensive in-home visit. 

If you have a plumbing emergency or need professional assistance, please call us at 262-781-6466. We’re here to help!  

Can I use Drano® or a chemical drain cleaner if I have a clog?

Our plumbers recommend that you NOT use Drano or like products. They can erode older waste pipes and cause leaks. Instead, opt for a professional waste line cleaning and use a natural drain opener, like Bio-Clean, to prevent future clogs. 

How do I protect my plumbing if I’m going to be away from home for an extended period?

We recommend you turn off the main shutoff valve above your water meter (outlet). You should also keep your heat set to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to avoid frozen or burst pipes. If it’s any colder, you’ll have to drain your water lines entirely.

Why do I keep running out of hot water?

If you frequently run out of hot water, your water heater may be undersized for the number of bathrooms or people in your house. It could also be malfunctioning and need a repair. Your sink or shower could also be improperly mixing hot and cold water together. Schedule an appointment to have Borth-Wilson evaluate the situation so you’re not left out in the cold!

Why does it take so long to get hot water in a certain faucet?

Some faucets—especially newer ones—only allow 1.5 gallons of water or less out of the spout per minute. Therefore, it takes longer to get cold water out before hot water will start running.

How much will my plumbing service cost?

We know homeowners prefer to know how much service will cost upfront, so we do our best to provide an accurate estimate. We have fixed rates for our typical installation services, including water heater replacements, faucet and toilet replacements, and more. However, plumbing repairs are based on time and material, so we can’t give you an exact cost as easily. Instead, our service manager will give you a general range over the phone and an exact quote will be provided once one of our plumbers inspects the problem and recommends a fix.

What can I do if my garbage disposal is jammed?

As soon as you notice your garbage disposal is jammed, stop using it. Switch off the power and locate the reset button on the bottom of the unit. Press the reset button and then switch the power back on—your disposal should start running again. If it doesn’t, give us a call so we can take a closer look.

How do I turn off water to a faucet? What about my entire house?

It’s important to know how to turn off water in the event of a leak or burst pipe. Some houses have shutoff valves located right under the fixture, with the left side being hot and the right side being cold. Turn the valve clockwise slowly to turn off the water.

Your house’s main shutoff valve is located above the meter, which you can probably find in your basement or on an outside wall in a utility area. Slowly turn it clockwise to turn off the water. If you have a well, turn off the electric well switch.

When turning the water back on, turn the valves slowly to ensure there are no leaks. Then flush the system by running water through every faucet in your home.

What is a clean out?

A plumbing clean out is the access point used to clear clogs and debris from drain lines.

My sump pump won’t stop running – is something wrong?

No, in fact it sounds like it’s working perfectly! Spring and fall seasons in Wisconsin tend to bring quite a bit of rain, which means your sump pump is likely running nonstop to pump the water out of and away from your home.

To keep things running smoothly and avoid clogs, make sure the discharge pipe is clear. Also check to make sure there is little water in your crock when it stops running. If there’s little to no water in it, then it has done its job. If water is coming up too high in the crock and the pump isn’t running, it may be malfunctioning, and you could be at risk of flooding problems if not addressed.

Bonus Tip: Don't Ignore Leaks!

If you notice a drip, drip, drip coming from your sink faucet, think of it as money going down your drain. The typical leaky faucet can waste up to eight gallons of water per day, and a running toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. Schedule a repair now before your water bill soars sky high.

Plumbing emergency?

If you have a plumbing emergency or need professional assistance, please call us at (262) 781-6466. We’re here to help you!