Everything that goes down your sinks and toilets goes into the City’s wastewater system. Things that can clog your home drain can clog the City’s wastewater system, too. The system is designed to handle human waste and toilet tissue, which are biodegradable (or will break down biologically). Problems may occur when non-biodegradable materials enter the system.
Plumbing Tips and Advice:
Even your pipes can get stressed. Water should enter the house at about 45 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). You can check your water pressure with a water pressure gauge. The gauge screws to a hose bib. Water pressure over 60 psi can cause a strain on your plumbing fixtures or pipes and even cause bursts in the waterline.
Possible causes of low or no water pressure:
- Bad diverted valve for a spray nozzle
- Clogged water filter attached to a faucet
- Clogged strainers just inside hose connections
- Clogged shower head
- Frozen or freezing pipes
Faucet aerators often clog after work has been done on supply pipes because repair work often loosens rust inside the pipes. If you suspect a buildup of sediment in a supply pipe, turn off the water supply, remove the angle stop and peer down the supply pipe. If the pipe is clogged, clear it with a snake. Reattach the angle stop. Turn on the water supply and, with a bucket to catch water, flush out the pipes before reattaching the valve to the supply tube.
Blocked or restricted water flow is the first indication of a problem. If you don’t act quickly, your pipes will burst as the water expands. At the first sign of a blockage, open the faucet. Finding the blockage is critical. Trace the supply pipe to where it runs through exterior walls or other unheated parts of your house, such as the basement or crawl space. To melt the ice, use hot water, a heat gun, hair dryer or heating pad. It is far better to adopt the slower and more conservative procedure of melting ice by the use of a blow dryer or heat gun. Shield flammable materials from the heat. While applying heat, leave the faucet open so water can drain.
Once the ice melts and the pipes cool, prevent them from refreezing by wrapping them with foam insulation. Wrap all pipes that pass through unheated spaces. Pipes buried outdoors should run about 12 inches. Below the frost line and should be wrapped with foam insulation extending below frost line. If you expect a freeze, leave exposed taps dripping to prevent frozen pipes.