Ask A Plumber: Plumbing FAQs


Are you tired of dealing with plumbing problems in your home? Leaky faucets, clogged drains, or malfunctioning toilets can quickly become a major inconvenience and source of frustration. Plumbing issues not only disrupt your daily routine but can also lead to water damage and costly repairs if left untreated. In addition, maintenance to prevent frozen pipes, large leaks, and other plumbing emergencies will save you money down the road. That’s why having the right information and access to reliable plumbing service is crucial to maintaining a smoothly functioning household. 

In the guide below, we address some of the most common plumbing FAQs and provide expert insights to help you better understand and tackle plumbing issues effectively. From minor repairs to a plumbing emergency, Al Coronado’s team of professional plumbers is equipped to offer expert advice and—if necessary—professional plumbing services to ensure your plumbing system is in excellent condition.

Whether you’re facing a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or need assistance with toilet repair or installation, Al Coronado Plumbing has your back. Contact us today to obtain your free estimate and experience the difference a trusted and reputable plumbing company can make in your home.


What should I do if there’s a major leak?

If you discover a major leak in your home, it’s essential to take immediate action to minimize water damage and prevent further complications. 

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Locate the main water valve in your home and turn it off to stop the flow of water. This will help prevent additional water from causing further damage.
  2. Contact a trusted plumbing service like Al Coronado Plumbing right away. Our experienced plumbers are equipped to handle your plumbing emergency and can quickly assess and repair the source of the leak.
  3. Move belongings away from the affected area—if possible, remove furniture, electronics, and other valuable items from the vicinity of the leak to protect them from water damage.
  4. Begin cleaning any standing water as soon as possible. If there are several inches of water pooled in one area, your plumber may be able to help you siphon it away.
How do I unclog a toilet?

Dealing with a clogged toilet can be unpleasant, but you can often resolve the issue yourself using these steps:

  1. Plunger method: Start by using a plunger specifically designed for toilets. Place the plunger over the drain hole and create a tight seal. Then, push and pull the plunger vigorously to create suction. This action can dislodge the clog and allow the water to flow freely.
  2. Hot water and dish soap: If the plunger doesn’t work, try pouring a few cups of hot water mixed with dish soap into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then flush the toilet. The combination of heat and soap may help break down the clog.
  3. Plumbing snake or auger: If the clog persists, you can use a plumbing snake or auger. Insert the snake into the toilet drain and rotate it clockwise to break up or pull out the obstruction. Be careful not to scratch the porcelain.

If your attempts to unclog the toilet are unsuccessful or if you encounter recurring clogs, it’s best to call a plumber and let a professional address the issue and prevent further damage.

Why is my water pressure low?

Low water pressure can be a frustrating problem caused by various common plumbing issues.  One possible culprit is mineral buildup within the pipes. Over time, minerals and sediment can accumulate, restricting the flow of water and reducing water pressure. This is especially prevalent in areas with hard water. Fortunately, a professional plumber can address this issue by cleaning or replacing the affected pipes, and restoring proper water flow and pressure.

Another potential cause of low water pressure is a faulty pressure regulator. The pressure regulator is responsible for maintaining steady and consistent water pressure throughout your home. If it malfunctions, it can result in decreased water pressure. A skilled plumber can inspect the pressure regulator, make necessary adjustments, or replace it if needed. This ensures that your water pressure returns to its optimal level.

Hidden leaks or damaged pipes can also lead to low water pressure. Even a small leak can significantly impact water flow. To identify and resolve such issues, a plumber can perform a thorough inspection of your plumbing system. They have the expertise and equipment to locate leaks and damaged pipes, allowing for proper repairs that will restore water pressure.

In some cases, low water pressure may be due to temporary issues with the municipal water supply. This can be caused by ongoing maintenance or repair work being conducted by the local water utility provider. If you suspect that the low water pressure is not specific to your property, it’s advisable to contact your water utility provider for information about any known issues or scheduled work that may be affecting the water pressure in your area.

How do you use a snake drain?

Drain snakes, also called augers, can help clear stubborn clogs in your pipes, and they’re fairly easy to use.

To use your drain snake effectively, follow these steps: 

  1. Insert the snake: Extend the auger’s cable into the drain opening until you feel resistance. This indicates that you’ve reached the clog.
  2. Rotate and push: Rotate the handle of the snake while applying gentle pressure to break up the clog or hook onto it. Continue pushing the cable farther into the drain as you rotate the handle.
  3. Break up or retrieve the clog: Once you’ve made contact with the clog, you can either break it up by applying more pressure and rotating the snake, or slowly retract the cable to pull the clog out.
  4. Flush with water: After clearing the clog, flush the drain with hot water to remove any remaining debris and ensure proper flow.

It’s important to exercise caution when using a drain snake to avoid damaging the pipes or features like a garbage disposal. If you’re unsure or unable to clear the clog on your own, it’s recommended to call a plumber.

Why is my toilet always running?

Toilets are supposed to run for just a few minutes after flushing. If your toilet runs for long periods or simply never stops running, it’s an indicator that something inside your toilet isn’t working properly. To keep your home energy efficient and your water bill low, it’s important to identify and resolve the source of this problem quickly. 

Some of the most common causes of a continuously running toilet are listed below: 

  • Flapper valve issues: If the flapper valve—located at the bottom of the toilet tank—isn’t sealed properly, it may be allowing water to leak continuously from the tank into the bowl. Adjusting or replacing the flapper valve can resolve this issue.
  • Faulty fill valve: The fill valve, also known as the ballcock, regulates the water level in the tank. If it fails to shut off properly, water will continue to flow, leading to a running toilet. Adjusting or replacing the fill valve can fix this problem.
  • Float arm or ballcock problems: The float arm or ballcock assembly may be misaligned or damaged, preventing the float from rising and shutting off the water supply. Adjusting or replacing these components can rectify the issue.
  • Mineral deposits or sediment: Accumulation of minerals or sediment can interfere with the proper functioning of the toilet’s mechanisms. Cleaning or replacing affected parts can restore normal operation.

If you’re unsure about the cause of your running toilet or if your attempts to fix it are unsuccessful, it’s recommended to consult a professional plumber for an accurate diagnosis and effective repair.

What can I do to fix my dripping faucet?

A dripping faucet is not only annoying, it can also increase your water bill. Here are some simple techniques to troubleshoot and fix your dripping faucet yourself:

  1. Turn off the water: Locate the shut-off valve under the sink and close it to stop the water flow.
  2. Identify the type of faucet: There are various types of faucets, such as compression, cartridge, ball, and ceramic disk. Understanding the specific type will help you determine the appropriate repair method.
  3. Replace the faulty components: In many cases, a dripping faucet is caused by a worn-out washer or O-ring. Disassemble the faucet and replace these components with new ones. Make sure to use the correct size and type for your specific faucet model.
  4. Check for mineral deposits: Mineral buildup can also cause a faucet to drip. Soak the disassembled parts in vinegar or a descaling solution to remove any deposits, then reassemble the faucet.
  5. Test and check for leaks: Turn the water supply back on and test the faucet to ensure that there are no leaks and that the dripping has stopped.

If you’re uncertain about the repair process or the dripping persists, you should contact a professional plumber, such as those at Al Coronado Plumbing, for help. Our licensed plumbers can accurately diagnose the issue and repair it efficiently.

Why does plumbing need to be vented?

By ensuring proper venting, you maintain the functionality and longevity of your bathroom plumbing  while promoting a healthy and odor-free environment in your home using the following mechanisms: 

  • Preventing trap siphoning: Plumbing fixtures, such as sinks and toilets, have traps—a curved section of pipe that holds water. Traps create a water seal that prevents sewer gases from entering your home. Venting allows air to enter the system, equalizing pressure and preventing siphoning that could break the water seal and allow gases to escape.
  • Removing sewer odors: Proper venting helps eliminate unpleasant sewer odors by allowing gases to escape through the vent stack, which extends above the roofline. The venting system creates positive air pressure, pushing odors out through the vent and preventing them from lingering in your home.
  • Allowing efficient drainage: Venting prevents airlock or suction issues that can hinder drainage. When water flows down a drain, air needs to replace it to maintain a smooth flow. Without proper venting, negative pressure can build up, causing slow drainage, gurgling sounds, or even trap siphoning.
  • Preventing pipe corrosion: Adequate venting reduces the potential for moisture buildup within the plumbing system. Excessive moisture can lead to pipe corrosion, which can compromise the integrity of the pipes and require costly repairs.
Which plumbing device prevents a backflow?

A backflow preventer is a crucial plumbing device that prevents the reversal of water flow within bathroom plumbing. It protects potable water from contamination by keeping non-potable water from flowing back into the main water supply. 

The most common types of backflow preventers include:

  • Atmospheric vacuum breaker (AVB): This device is commonly used for low-risk applications, such as garden hoses or irrigation systems. It features a check valve and an air inlet valve to prevent backflow.
  • Double-check valve assembly (DCVA): The DCVA consists of two check valves separated by a chamber. It provides a higher level of protection against backflow and is commonly used in commercial and industrial settings.
  • Reduced pressure zone (RPZ) assembly: The RPZ assembly is one of the most reliable and widely used backflow preventers. It incorporates two check valves and a relief valve, creating a barrier that protects against backflow even when there is a significant pressure drop.

The specific type of backflow preventer you need depends on the level of risk and local plumbing codes. It’s essential to consult a licensed plumber—such as those at Al Coronado Plumbing—to determine the appropriate backflow preventer for your specific plumbing system and ensure compliance with regulations.

Can plumbing and electrical be in the same wall?

In general, professionals do their best to keep these two systems separate, as mixing water and electricity can be dangerous. A leaky or burst pipe and other plumbing system issues can potentially come into contact with electrical wiring or devices, leading to electrical shock or short circuits.

Additionally, most building codes require the separation of plumbing and electrical systems to ensure safety and compliance. These codes are in place to protect homeowners and occupants from potential hazards. Keeping plumbing and electrical systems separate also allows for easier access and maintenance—if there’s a problem with either system, it is more convenient to address and repair the issue without interfering with the other system.

However, there may be specific circumstances where plumbing and electrical systems may need to intersect or run in close proximity, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. In such cases, it is crucial to consult with qualified professionals, such as plumbers and electricians, to ensure both systems follow proper safety measures and are compliant with building codes.

Why do plumbing pipes make noise?

Noisy plumbing pipes can be a source of annoyance and concern, as they usually indicate a problem with your plumbing system or fixtures. 

Some of the most common reasons for noisy pipes are as follows:

  • Water hammer: Water hammer occurs when the flow of water is suddenly stopped or redirected, causing a loud banging or hammering sound. It is typically the result of sudden valve closures, such as when a faucet or valve is shut off quickly. It can be addressed by installing water hammer arrestors or adjusting water pressure regulators.
  • Loose or worn-out pipes: Loose or poorly secured pipes can vibrate or rattle when water flows through them. Over time, the movement can cause wear and tear on the pipes, leading to potential leaks. Securing loose pipes with brackets or hangers can help reduce noise and prevent further damage.
  • High water pressure: Excessively high water pressure can cause pipes to vibrate and create noise. Installing a pressure regulator can help control water pressure and minimize the noise associated with high pressure.
  • Sediment buildup: Sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate in pipes over time, narrowing the passage and causing water to flow more forcefully, resulting in noise. Flushing the pipes or employing water-softening systems can help reduce sediment buildup and alleviate noise issues.

If you’re experiencing persistent or concerning noises in your plumbing system, it’s advisable to consult a professional plumber. They can assess the situation, identify the underlying cause, and provide appropriate solutions to mitigate the noise and ensure the proper functioning of your plumbing system.

Why is plumbing important?

Plumbing is a crucial aspect of any modern infrastructure and plays a significant role in our daily lives. Without plumbing systems and services, every aspect of our lives that requires either obtaining or disposing of water would be much more complex and potentially hazardous. 

Below is a list of the specific ways plumbing supports modern efficiency and sanitation standards:

Clean Water Supply

Plumbing systems ensure the delivery of clean and potable water to our homes, businesses, and public facilities. Without plumbing, accessing safe drinking water would be challenging, and sanitation standards would be compromised.

Wastewater Removal

Plumbing systems also facilitate the efficient removal of wastewater and sewage from our buildings. Proper drainage and sewage systems help maintain cleanliness, prevent waterborne diseases, and protect the environment.

Convenience And Comfort

Plumbing enables us to have running water for various purposes like bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Fixtures such as toilets, sinks, showers, and dishwashers make our daily routines more manageable and hygienic.

Public Health And Safety

Plumbing systems help prevent the spread of diseases and provide a sanitary living environment. Proper wastewater disposal and the availability of clean water help prevent contamination and ensure the well-being of individuals and communities.

Economic Development

Reliable plumbing infrastructure supports industries, businesses, and commercial establishments by providing the necessary water supply and sanitation services.

Are plumbing services taxable?

Whether or not your plumbing services are taxable depends on your jurisdiction and local tax laws. In some regions or countries, plumbing services may be subject to sales tax or value-added tax (VAT), while in others, they may be exempt from taxation.

It’s important to consult the specific tax regulations in your area to determine if plumbing services are taxable. Local tax authorities or professional accountants can provide accurate information regarding the tax treatment of plumbing services in your jurisdiction.

Can you do plumbing on mobile homes?

Yes—mobile homes have their own plumbing systems that require installation, maintenance, and repairs like any other residential or commercial property.

Plumbing work on mobile homes may include:

Installation Of Water Supply Lines

This involves connecting the mobile home to a reliable water source and installing water supply lines to provide running water inside the home.

Drainage And Wastewater Systems

Mobile homes require proper drainage and wastewater systems to dispose of sewage effectively. This includes installing drain pipes, venting systems, and connecting the mobile home to a sewer or septic system.

Fixture Installation And Repairs

Plumbing fixtures such as sinks, toilets, showers, and tankless water heaters need to be installed or repaired in mobile homes to ensure functionality and convenience.

Pipe Repairs And Maintenance

Like any plumbing system, mobile home plumbing can develop leaks, clogs, or other issues that require professional repairs and regular maintenance.

When dealing with mobile home plumbing, it’s important to work with a plumber who has experience and expertise in mobile home plumbing systems like those at Al Coronado Plumbing. We have the knowledge and skill to handle the specific requirements and challenges associated with mobile home plumbing.

What plumbing work requires a permit?

In general, major plumbing projects or modifications to an existing plumbing system will require a permit, including the following: 

  • New construction: If you’re building a new property or adding an additional structure, you will likely need a permit for the installation of the plumbing system.
  • Remodeling or renovations: Significant remodeling or renovations that involve changes to the plumbing system, such as relocating pipes, adding new fixtures, or altering the drainage system, usually require a permit.
  • Hot Water heater installations: Replacing or installing a new tankless water heater may require a permit to ensure compliance with safety standards and building codes.
  • Sewer line repairs or replacements: Repairing or replacing the main sewer line, which connects the property’s bathroom plumbing to the municipal sewer system or septic tank, often requires a permit.
  • Gas line installations: If you’re installing or modifying gas lines for appliances like stoves, ovens, or water heaters, a permit is usually required due to safety concerns.

It’s important to check with your local building department or municipality to determine the specific plumbing work that requires a permit in your area. Working without the necessary permits can lead to legal and safety issues, so it’s best to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Do you offer free estimates?

Yes—Al Coronado Plumbing offers free estimates to help you accurately plan and budget for the cost of your plumbing project before committing to the service. Whether you need drain cleaning or a leaky pipe repair, we can provide you with all of the tools to make an informed decision.

To calculate your free estimate, we’ll schedule a time for one of our licensed plumbers to visit your location and assess the plumbing issue or project. During this visit, our plumber will evaluate the scope of work, consider any specific requirements, and provide an estimate of the cost involved—typically in writing.

Your estimate will include an itemized list of what’s included in the final rate, plus our terms and conditions to ensure you have all the information you need to make the best decision.

Contact The Repipe Specialists At Al Coronado Plumbing Today

Don't wait until old or defective pipes burst. If you're experiencing issues with your plumbing system or suspect it's time for a whole house repiping, call on the repipe specialists at Al Coronado Plumbing in Tucson. With our extensive expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction, we're here to address all your plumbing needs promptly and effectively.

Contact Al Coronado Plumbing today and let's ensure your plumbing system is in top-notch condition for years to come.

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