10 Common Plumbing Questions and Answers

Plumbing problems are expected. Some plumbing issues are common in almost every home. It may be minor or major plumbing problems, but for some reasons, these issues are commonly experienced by a lot of people.

We have put together 10 of the most common plumbing questions and their solutions.

If you run into any plumbing problems and you require the help of a professional, do not hesitate to place a call to Vanmach Plumbing and Heating. We have a team of trained and experienced plumbers who are skilled at handling different plumbing issues no matter how complex; we are also equipped with the right tools and most modern technology to deliver professional plumbing services. Place a call to us whenever those plumbing emergencies occur, and we will be right at your doorstep to fix your plumbing issue within the shortest time possible.

  1. Why Is My Water Cloudy, And How Can I Fix It?

Opening up the tap and seeing cloudy, milky water rush out can be alarming. However, you should not panic, as several factors can cause this to occur, and some of them include:

  • Dirt

Dirt or tiny particles can find its way into your water supply and cause cloudiness. The cloudy look may be caused when particles of sand or dust are suspended in the water. Although the water may look unhealthy, it may be drinkable and harmless. To clear up the water, try treating it with a sediment filter, or you can place a call to Emergency Plumber Vancouver for help.

  • Sulphur

This becomes a likely cause if there are a rotten egg smell and a cloudy water look. If the smell is present, it means hydrogen sulfide is present in the water. The sulphur bacteria thrives in plumbing areas with little oxygen and rotten organic matter. The bacteria produce the hydrogen sulfide gas, and it can get trapped in the water system. Sulphur is not a threat to human health, but it is advised you have your water tested to be sure it is safe.

Before the odour and cloudy appearance are removed, the source of the bacteria must first be determined. Sometimes, the chemicals in the water heater can be the cause. If so, the heater should be serviced by a plumber.

If the water heater is not the cause, then the water source should be provided with enough ventilation. Also, a home infiltration unit should be installed to eliminate sulphur bacteria.

  • Bubbles

Bubbles are also one of the most common causes of cloudy water. As simple as it may sound, air bubbles can often be responsible for murky water, especially in cold periods - the changes in temperature and pressure combine to create air bubbles in the water. This air bubbles are harmless and will rise to the top and disappear if the water is left in an open container or glass for a long time.


  1. Should My Water Be Turned Off When I Go On Vacation?

Leaving the water valve on when you travel is risky. This is because there will not be anyone around to use; it does not mean that accidents cannot occur in the form of leaks or burst pipes. A small leak can escalate into house flooding if left unchecked for a long time. If you can remember to pack all your essentials in preparation for your trip, and also remember to turn off the gas valve or electricity, then the water valve should not be exempted.

Your vacation or trip can be completely ruined if you should receive a phone call from a neighbour, informing you that your house has been flooded while you are away. The best thing to do is to turn off the main water valve before you leave the house for your trip. Although this is not a necessary precaution, but it will grant you some peace of mind while you are away.


  1. Where Is The Main Water Shut-Off Valve?

Everyone should know the location of the main water shut-off valve, in case there is an emergency. To control the water flow when there is a leak or burst pipe. It is also essential to know the location of the main water shut-off valve so you can easily cut off water flow when you are leaving the house or going on a vacation. Locating your main water shut-off valve should not be a piece of work, you can look at some specific places to find them— here are some clues.

  • Check near the perimeter.
  • Check three feet below the ground level. An excellent place to start is the basement. If it is in the basement, it should be at the eye level or lower. But, if it is on the main floor, you will have to look down.
  • Find the outdoor water meter and check from the nearest point of the exterior of your home. Water lines usually take the shortest path from the water meter to the house; the shut-off valve should be at the meeting point of your house and water-lines.
  • Check your home inspection report. If you had your house inspected by a home inspector when it was bought, the location of the main water shut-off valve should be in the report.
  • It is not common for water valves to be hidden behind drywall. However, if there has been any renovation, your valve may have been hidden behind an access panel - search for an access panel in your walls.

If you still can not find the main water shut-off valve, then you should call a professional plumber for help in finding the main water shut-off valve.


  1. Why Does Water Leak Through The Ceiling From The Light Fixture?

If you have noticed that the light globe above your dining table or your light holder above the kitchen is filled with water or is gradually filled up with water. You should try to relax, even though this may be enough to incite panic. This situation is merely an indication that you have a leakage somewhere - it is only a plumbing emergency that can be rectified.

Place a call to Emergency Plumber Vancouver, and our expert plumbers will be right there to help you fix it, In the meantime, you can take the following steps to have it corrected:

  • Do not turn off the light; instead, go directly to the breaker box and cut the power supply.
  • If you can locate the source of the water, shut it off immediately. If you do not know the source shut off the main water shut-off valve.
  • Do not attempt to touch the light or drain the water in it - it can cause electrocution.
  • Call for professional help immediately.


  1. Why Is My Water Bill So High?

A hike in the water bills is not pleasant news. You may have created a budget for the month only for the water bill to come in at such price. What could be the cause? A ridiculously high water bill can be as a result of any of the following factors:

  • Leaky taps or faucets

This is the most common cause of increase rate in water bills— a dripping faucet wastes water and causes an increase in the utility bill. It has been noted to waste more than 3,000 gallons of water yearly.

  • Leaking Toilets

Toilets account for 24% of the water we use daily, you can imagine the damage it can cause if there is a leak. It has been estimated that a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.

  • Inefficient Fixtures

Outdated plumbing works are the causes of leaks and other plumbing problems. If you are experiencing a hike in water bills, it may be time to have the outdated plumbing works replaced.

  • Leaky Line

An increase in water bills can be caused when the underground water pipes in your home are leaking or loose. These can be caused by tree roots activity, animal activity, or even earthquakes.

  • Water Waste

Your water bills may be high because water is used recklessly. Some acts that could result in this waste include overwatering your lawns or taking long showers.

  • Leaky Irrigation System

A leak in the sprinkler system of your lawn may be the reason for your high water bill. If it is, then you should have it replaced.


  1. Why Should I Disconnect My Hose During Winter Even If It Says Frost-Free?

Although your spigot says frost-free, you should still have your hose remove during winter. This is because, when the hose is used, water is present in it, and it remains there even when the hose is turned off - during winter, the water present can freeze and cause the pipes to crack. With a frost-free spigot, the crack will not be noticed, and water may get into your home while you are out. All this can be prevented if you disconnect the hose from the spigot.


  1. I Have A Sewer Smell In My House, Why?

If you notice a slightly uncomfortable sewer smell in your house, it is maybe caused by one of the following;

  • Dry Trap

Some may not know, but the water in the U-trap of the toilet bowl serves as a barrier to sewer odour. If you notice a sewer smell, it could be that the water in the U-trap has dried up - run some water into it to recreate the barrier.

  • City Sewer

If the offensive smell comes from outside the house and not inside, then it can only mean the city sewer may be having plumbing issues, or that there could be drains problems in your home. Contact Emergency Plumber Vancouver immediately, and we will be at your doorstep within the hour to help you check it out.

  • Sewer Trap Plugs

A missing or loose sewer plug is the most likely reason for a sewer smell in your house. The sewer pit contains a house trap that serves as a barrier between the city sewer and your home. If the plug on this trap is loose or gone, the odour from the city sewer can travel into your home. When this occurs, you only have to replace the plug, and the air will clear out.


  1. Why Do My Pipes Bang When I Use My Appliances?

This merely happens when changes in water pressure cause the pipes to jerk as the appliances are used. It can only occur when the pipes are not fastened properly. Ignoring this noise created by pipe can cause further damage to it over time. However, you can control it by:

  • Strapping the pipes in place using pipe straps
  • Installing water hammer arrestors, primarily when the pipe cannot be located.
  • Call for help from a professional plumber


  1. Quest Piping: Why You Can’t I Have It In My Home?

Quest piping used in the late 1970s  and up to the mid-1990s for home constructions - is a brand name for polybutylene, or more commonly known as poly pipes. Although it is still available, one of the significant problems with this product is that it lacks durability - it wears away from the inside due to the oxidants present in the water, because of this problem, it is impossible to detect until a leak occurs. The leak is usually severe because most of the pipes have already been deteriorated.


  1. A Well Pump Uv Light: What Is Its Use?

A pump UV light is used by house owners to treat water for bacterial organisms. It is highly effective, as it can kill about 99.9% of all biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses etc.

It functions by removing the contaminants from the water as it passes through the UV rays - through this process, the organisms are left inert and unable to reproduce because their DNA has been altered.


Emergency plumber Vancouver is available and ready to provide answers to any questions you might have concerning plumbing. We are your go-to plumbing company whenever you have any plumbing emergencies in Vancouver. Place a call to us today, and our team of professional plumbers will be at your doorstep within the hour to help you fix your plumbing issue.

Give us a call today!

10 Most Common Commercial Bathroom Problems

Drains are designed to remove unwanted water or waste liquids effectively, so when they become blocked and cannot perform this function, it can be very frustrating and inconvenient. For this reason, it is important to know how to prevent blocked drains and keep your home in working order.

All you need to know about how to prevent blocked drains

If you don’t know the warning signs that indicate your drain may be blocked, it could result in unwanted costs to fix the issue and cause unnecessary stress. Warning signs to look out for include:

  • Unpleasant odours – Blocked drains have a tendency to emit unpleasant odours, especially as a result of food debris build up. As food slowly decomposes, it creates a noticeably bad smell, which is worsened when the tap is turned on.
  • Slow drainage – This is the most common indicator that your drain may be blocked. When water has to filter through or around a blockage, a sluggish flow is created.
  • Raised water levels – If you flush your toilet and notice the water level rises higher than normal, this typically means there is a blockage. However, if the water rises to the point of overflowing, you should contact Vanmech Plumbing and Heating as there could be a more serious issue.
  • Gurgling sounds – Strange gurgling sounds from your drains or plug holes should be treated as a potential blockage. These sounds occur when there is trapped air in the drain, and it escapes when you run water.

Of course, these are warning signs that indicate your drain is already blocked, but there are many methods you can utilise to prevent things from getting to this stage. Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can save yourself the hassle of dealing with a blocked drain.

cleaning drain

Hot water

Pouring boiling hot water down your drain is possibly the easiest and most cost-effective solution to preventing a blockage. If you think any fat or oil has made its way into your kitchen sink, you need to act fast before it solidifies and blocks your drain. Pouring hot water down the sink will melt the unwanted fat and oil so it can exit your drain without causing any issues. However, it should be noted that if you have PVC pipes, the hot water could cause their joints to loosen. Moreover, if you have a porcelain sink bowl, you should never pour boiling water directly onto it as it could cause it to crack. The best way to stop this from happening is to pour the water directly down the drain.

Be cautious of what you flush

Flushing the wrong items down your toilet could be disastrous and not only lead to blocked drains but flooding of your home. To avoid this, we have devised a list of the most common objects that people flush down the toilet which causes major damage:

  • Feminine products
  • Baby wipes/wet wipes
  • Q-tips/Cotton balls
  • Nappies
  • Paper towels
  • Cigarette butts
  • Dental floss
  • Gum
  • Medication

Put simply, the only things you should flush down your toilet is human waste and water.

Invest in a sink strainer

If you don’t already know, a sink strainer is a type of perforated metal sieve that filters out solid debris in your water system. In your household, you can use a sink strainer as a drain cover for your kitchen sink, shower or bath.

Clean and maintain regularly

Whether you decide to use DIY methods or cleaning products bought from the shop, there are so many ways which you can effectively clean your drains to prevent blockages. As natural products are safer than toxic chemical-based cleaners, here are some DIY drain cleaning solutions you can use:

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are a classic combination when it comes to household cleaning, and the dynamic duo will effortlessly keep your drain clear and fresh. All you need to do is combine 70g baking soda with 30g table salt and pour it down the troublesome drain. Then, take 250ml of heated vinegar and pour this down the drain too – it should foam and bubble. At this point, it is worthwhile to cover the drain with a plug or duct tape to prevent the mixture from escaping. After letting it sit for 15 minutes, you should then run the hot tap or pour boiling hot water down the drain for approximately 30-60 seconds. If your drain has a stubborn clog, repeat the process until you feel it has been removed.

If you perform this method once a month on a regular basis, your drain is less likely to become blocked in the future and will remain in pristine working condition.

cleaning sink

Cream of tartar

Safe to use in the bathroom or kitchen, this homemade drain cleaner will have your sink, bath or shower flowing freely in no time at all. All you will need is: a paper towel. 55g bicarbonate of soda, 75g salt, 40g cream of tartar and 500ml boiling water.

Firstly, remove the drain trap and clean as much as you can – using a kitchen roll to wipe around the drain and remove any bits of food or collections of hair. Next, mix together the bicarbonate soda, salt, and cream of tartar in a small container. Once well shakes, sprinkle the mixture down the clogged drain. You should then pour the boiling water down the drain and let the solution work its magic for around an hour. When an hour has passed, simply rinse with cool water. This mixture is useful as the salt and bicarbonate of soda work together to help scour pipes and break up any blockage, while the cream of tartar naturally cleans metals.

The salt and bicarbonate of soda work together to help scour pipes and break up buildup, while the cream of tartar naturally cleans metals.

Collect your food waste

As previously stated, a common cause for blocked kitchen sinks is the buildup of food waste. Foot waste in your drainage system can be very problematic, so to avoid this, you should make a conscious effort to collect as much food waste as possible. Not only will this prevent your drains from clogging up, but it is exceptionally good for the environment. You could opt to create your own compost from your food waste, or recycle it by taking it to your local food waste collection point.

Call a professional

Sometimes, our knowledge and creative DIY methods just aren’t enough to solve the problem. Luckily, there are a plethora of experts on hand to help restore your blocked drain to its original, working condition. Plumbing is very complicated, and if you are not well informed of how to fix a plumbing issue, it is best to leave it to the professionals. As well as having a dedicated and fully qualified team of plumbers that can effectively repair your blocked drain, here at Vanmech Heating and Plumbing we offer many services that will keep your homes plumbing working to the best of its ability. If you think you could use our help, you should consider using our Vanmech Plumbing and Heating.

plumber with a plunger

Just like new!

We understand what a nuisance a blocked drain can be and the disruption it can cause to your daily life. By using the ideas and methods above, we hope you will not have to suffer the wrath of a clogged up drain, but instead use your kitchen sink, bath and shower at any time with ease.

How to Improve Your Boiler’s Efficiency

A boiler is an essential appliance in the home which is heavily used to supply hot water and heat. During the freezing weather, we all need a warm environment through even heating & free access to hot water in your home. Optimum functionality of the boiler is very necessary to make the home comfortable.

When a boiler becomes inefficient, the household energy bills will increase significantly making you spend more money. It will also make your radiators lukewarm before it would finally breakdown.

Fortunately, there are few ways to improve your boiler’s efficiency and get working well again. Here are a few tweaks you could do: 

ANNUAL BOILER SERVICE: Just like your car, you should give your boiler a nice treat. Choose to have a professional boiler service at least once a year. This will ensure it continues to function smoothly for a reasonably long time. An annual boiler service by a Gas Safe Registered heating engineer should avoid the breakdown of your appliance during the freezing winter. It will also help identify any minor issues with the boiler so that it can quickly be fixed.

MAINTAIN A CLEAN BOILER: A dust-free boiler will save you a fortune. Try to keep your boiler dust-free; this will prevent the blocking of tubes & pipes which could affect its performance and also spike your energy bills.

You should hire an best boiler service company Vancouver to help you clean the interiors of your boiler during the regular boiler service. Do not attempt cleaning the boiler’s interior yourself.

BLEED ALL YOUR RADIATORS: Bleeding is a minor maintenance task that will improve the heat efficiency of your radiators.To find out if your radiators need to be bled, simply fire up the heat and observe for some minutes to find out how long it took to warm up. Also, check out if the top of the radiators to see if there are cold spots.

REGULATE THE PRESSURE: The efficiency of your boiler can be affected by a drop in its pressure. To know if the pressure is still at good level, assess the boiler pressure gauge; a healthy pressure is about 1.0 to 1.5 bar. If it reads a different pressure, there is a need to regulate the pressure.

POWERFLUSH: If your radiators are still not getting hot after the bleeding, you should consider power flushing. We can blame the accumulation of deposits in the pipes and radiators for the lack of heating. This accumulation of sludge can cause corrosion of the central heating system. Through powerflushing, water will be sent through the central heating system at a very high speed to dislodge all the build-ups of deposits or sludge, debris and rust.  This will promote improved efficiency of your boiler.

So to perform power flushing, you would require the services of a Gas Safe Registered heating engineer to help you fix it. For a emergency boiler repair in Vancouver, you can contact us at Vanmech Plumbing and Heating to offer a professional power flushing service.

PIPES INSULATION: Once you insulate your pipes, your boiler will no longer have to work too hard. You can insulate the central heating pipes by lagging them with foam tubes which are easy to fit. This will significantly reduce heat loss and also save you some money.

TURN ON THE HEAT: Your boiler is liable to stop heating if left for a while. Prolong working of the boiler can lead to a critical breakdown. So in warmer months, try to switch on your heating once weekly for about 15 minutes. This will prevent it from breaking down.

Not Working?

If after you tried out all these tweaks and your boiler is still inefficient in its functions, you can contact a reliable boiler service company. At Vanmech Plumbing and Heating, we are experienced in providing boiler service, boiler installation & boiler maintenance service.


Why Heating Maintenance Is Important

A heating system is like a car. Both are substantial investments that require regular maintenance. However it’s much easier to forget about maintaining system since you don’t necessary use it or see it every day. Out of sight out of mind. Having an annual heating system maintenance is extremely important. Miller’s Heating is your local heating vancouver wa experts. In this article we will discuss all the benefits of completing an annual heating maintenance.

Lifespan of Equipment

Quite simply a well-maintained system will last much longer than a system which hasn’t had an annual heating system maintenance. If you want to get more years out of your current system, don’t neglect your yearly annual heating service.


When you call a heating contractor to schedule a heating system service, they will send out a professionally trained technician. Not only will the technician perform the annual heating system maintenance, but they should perform a safety check on your system as well. The technician will inform you of any safety concerns that they discovered. For example, cracked heat exchangers in gas furnaces can be extremely dangerous. It’s best to have a pair of trained eyes look at your heating system once a year to protect your family.

Helps to Prevent Breakdowns

Did you know that over 90% of all mechanical breakdowns are due to dirt. An annual heating system service helps to prevent breakdowns since the technician will clean out your system of any dirt buildup. This will save you money in the long run as repairs can be expensive.

Energy Efficiency/Lower Utility Bills

It is estimated that you spend about 25% of all of your utility bills on heating. Want to lower your utility bills? Make sure to have an annual heating system service. This will ensure that your system is working efficiently. The more efficient the system the less you pay in utility bills.

Keeps Equipment in Warranty

When you buy a new system, you are given certain manufacturer warranties. In order to keep these warranties in effect, you must maintain your system yearly. If you have questions about your warranties, call the heating contractor that installed your system. They will have on record what warranties you have associated with your system.

How to Keep Your Plumbing System Healthy

If you’re running a commercial building or property, we’re going to assume that the plumbing is pretty low on your list of daily priorities. Still, it’s important that you take steps to make sure that your commercial plumbing stays as healthy as possible. The wrong kind of plumbing problem could cripple daily operations, or even shut down the whole building for a while. You don’t want that. So, follow the tips below to make sure that your plumbing system stays as healthy as possible.

Schedule Annual Maintenance and Inspection Services

It’s very unlikely that you or anyone else on your commercial property will notice a major plumbing problem in-time to prevent most of the damage. This is because plumbing issues start subtly and develop over time. Most plumbing issues only start to display noticeable symptoms after they’ve had a while to develop. If you want to keep your plumbing system healthy by catching these issues as early as possible, you should schedule annual inspection and maintenance appointments.

Regular inspections allow your plumber to locate any areas in your system that might be starting to have issues, and resolve them before they get any worse. Doing this consistently will cut down on repair costs, increase the efficiency of the system, and allow it to last longer overall. This is the single greatest thing you can do to help keep your plumbing system running smoothly.

Call for Repairs Promptly

Regular inspections and maintenance appointments can help reduce the chances of a problem developing with your plumbing system significantly, but it can’t guarantee that you’ll never run into any issues. If and when a plumbing problem does come up between maintenance appointments, you need to be able to identify it and have it repaired as quickly as possible. True, you won’t be able to prevent as much damage as if the issue had been discovered during a maintenance appointment. But, at that point, anything you can do will be better than nothing.

There are a variety of ways that you can tell if your plumbing system is experiencing issues. For example, you should always call for repairs if you notice water pressure dropping in any part of your building. Falling water pressure could mean that you have a blockage or leak forming in your system. You should also probably have a technician check out your system if you notice your monthly water bills start to rise substantially. Unexplained spikes in monthly water bills are often an indication of a leak somewhere in the system.

These are just a couple of the various indications that could point to a problem in the plumbing system. If you have any reason to believe that your plumbing might be dealing with a problem, it’s better to call a professional than to wait for it to get worse before you’re sure.