Plumbing FAQ

Plumbing FAQs

Emergency Questions

In an emergency, how do I turn off my toilet?
If you need to shut off a toilet or faucet, there is a ball-type shutoff valve near the apparatus. Look on the wall behind a toilet or in the cabinet space beneath a sink. These valves are not turned very often, so they may be hard to turn. Your washing machine also has a shutoff valve on the wall behind it.

If none of these work for you, you may need to turn off the water at the main emergency shutoff valve for the entire building. This will turn off the water to the entire property, so try to avoid doing this if you can. This shutoff valve is usually located in your water meter box, which is usually located under a metal door or covering near where your water supply enters your building. Being careful of insects, you can use a wrench or sometimes what is known as a meter box key to turn this valve and shut off your water. If you are unable to turn this valve you should call the water department.

Company Questions

Where are you located?

Our office address is 1105 Moskowitz Ave, Seabrook, TX 77586.

What are your rates?

Our standard labor rate is $120.00 per hour. Any work performed between 4:30 pm and 8:00 AM, or over a holiday is performed at an upcharge rate of $180.00 per hour. All parts and components are subject to additional charges as well.

Are you licensed and insured?

Yes. We have a master plumber’s license from the authorities here in the state of Texas (Lic. #M-38686). For your protection and for our own, we also carry full-coverage insurance for all of our employees.

Why do you pay your plumbers hourly instead of by commission?

We feel that if a plumber is paid on commission he is more likely to try and sell you more expensive and elaborate repair solutions so he can make more money on his next paycheck. We don’t believe that truly exemplifies customer-first service, so we pay our plumbers a flat hourly rate. When they make the same amount of money regardless of your cost, they’re more likely to help you choose the right service for your home. In turn, this means lower rates for our customers and better customer satisfaction.

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 dislodge the clog. If a household plunger isn’t able to remove the obstruction, then call Able Plumbing and our technicians can come to investigate the issue further. Do not use chemical drain cleaners to try and clear obstructions from drain lines.

Why does my toilet continue to run constantly, or turn on and off every few minutes?

This is a common symptom of a leak somewhere in one of your toilet’s mechanisms. The stopper at the bottom of your tank likely isn’t seating properly, usually due to corrosion and age, resulting in water escaping the tank down 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 fallen under the flapper. Next is the flapper itself, which needs 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 or toilet?

The cause of the pink film that sometimes appears in your toilets, sinks or tubs is a ring of bacteria. Typically, the bacteria are just a rather unsightly nuisance and pose no real health concern. Scrubbing the affected area regularly will help you keep the problem away and your toilet looking beautiful. Often times this happens when the area around the ring stays damp for long periods of time, so try to keep the area as dry as possible. Proper bathroom ventilation also helps with this.

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 that are easily visible in the drain itself. We advise that you do this after showers, baths, hair washings, or shaving, as it is easier to remove this grime and debris at this point. If you have cleaned out what you can see and your drain is still not moving freely, reach out to 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

What is this white crusty substance on my shower head? What can I do about it?

The public water supply contains dissolved deposits of minerals like calcium and magnesium. As water evaporates, it leaves these mineral deposits behind, and they turn into that white residue known as “limescale.” A good solution to remove this buildup 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 as some fixtures can clog up with limescale quickly and may slow your spray.

Kitchens

Why is the water pressure in my kitchen faucet is just a dribble?

There are a few different reasons why your kitchen sink water pressure may be greatly reduced. The most common is a clogged aerator. An aerator is essentially a water diffuser screen that prevents splashing in the sink. These screens, like showerheads, accumulate mineral deposits and “sand-like crystals” that plug the nozzle, restricting water flow over time. Unscrew the end of the faucet carefully and carefully clean them with a brush and vinegar solution to remove the chalky, white debris that has built up. This will also apply to your bathroom faucets also. If the screens appear clean, then call our team and let us inspect your faucet in greater detail—you probably have a more serious issue.

Why does my garbage disposal have a foul smell?

All disposals will start to smell after a while, usually as a result of food debris getting stuck to the rotors or inside the disposal itself. To fix this, put ice cubes in the disposal while it is off, filling about ½ way. Run your cold water, turn on the disposal, and allow it to chop up all of the ice. Then cut up a small lemon, lime, or orange into small chunks and feed them into the disposer. Turn on hot water, then the disposer, and allow the disposer to chop up the fruit. This should get rid of the odor.

Hot Water

Why don’t I have hot water?

Electric water heater: Electric water heaters have a shutoff switch that trips when water temperatures reach levels that are too high. Your safety switch may have tripped and needs to be rest. The issue could also be the breaker feeding the water heater—check it to see if it has tripped. The most likely issues are either a is a heating element or thermostat in the water heater breaking down. 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 have a hot water problem that you have a licensed plumber inspect your water heater to determine the problem.

Pipes

My pipes are slow to drain and I continuously get clogs. What can I do?

You could have a broken, collapsed, or blocked section in one of your drain lines. These types of issues should involve a licensed, professional plumber. We have a state-of-the-art video camera that can be run into the underground sewer lines or inside drain pipes, allowing our trained plumbers to locate problems. 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?

A rattling noise in your pipes is usually due to the water pipes not being secured. Steel straps fasten the pipes to the structure, but they can rattle if this strap breaks or if the pipes were never properly secured in the first place. This can be easily remedied if your pipes are accessible; use steel, copper, or plastic straps to fasten your pipes to the building’s structure.

High Water Bill

What caused my water bill to be so high?

Leaks are the most common causes of high water bills. For example, if you have a toilet that keeps running, you’re probably wasting a ton of water there. Another cause may be a leak between your water meter and the house. All leaks on the user side of the meter are the user’s responsibility, so you should get the leak fixed as soon as possible. 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 a pipe connected to your main sewer line that serves as an access point to clear blockages or to inspect your line itself. It is typically found outdoors, usually somewhere like a flower bed, approximately 2 to 4 feet from your home’s foundation. Able Plumbers uses sewer clean-outs to run a sewer camera or test ball through the line to inspect its condition, as well as to then unstop any blockages with the use of a sewer cable. We also install sewer clean-outs, giving you this easy access for the future.

Hear From Real Customers

Read Reviews
  • “They always give great service and fair prices.”

    - Mike M.
  • “I have used them to replace a water heater in my house, provide general plumbing services in my parent's house and perform an extensive external drain repair most recently at my residence.”

    - M.E.
  • “He was professional, kind, thorough and efficient. He explained the work he was doing and provided a clear quote before he started the work”

    - Katie S.
  • “Very happy with their work and personalities. And the bonus was his partner fashioned up a valve turn off device for me on the fly!!”

    - D. Rasmussen
  • “Keith was very professional and courteous and it was obvious he genuinely cares about his customers. Throughout the entire job, he worked efficiently and tirelessly in a timely and efficient manner he could.”

    - Kim R.
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