Bernhard Pluming Inc.•MP #668641

Handy tips

High water bills?

Q: If someones water bill seems higher than normal, what could they do to check for a leak in their house?
A: If your water bill seems higher than normal the first place to look would be in your toilets.  Many times you will find that a toilet will be leaking through the flapper / flush ball.  What causes this?  The chemicals that the consumers are using in the toilet tanks such as the chlorine tablets deteriate and breakdown the flappers / flush balls.  To make sure that is where the leak is you can take some food coloring and put it in your tank.  DON’T FLUSH !  Let it sit in the tank and see if you get any bleed through into the bowl, if you notice color in your bowl, your flapper /tank ball is probably leaking.  You should then call your professional licensed plumber and have your toilet repaired.

If when using the shower or dishwasher the toilet gurgles or doesn't flush correctly, what should a

Q: If when using the shower or dishwasher the toilet gurgles or doesn't flush correctly, what should a person do?
A: If your toilet gurgles or doesn’t flush correctly you may have a clog in your toilet or downstream somewhere.  If it occurs when using other plumbing fixtures, it may be a clog in the pipes downstream.  What is happening is that the water is looking for place to back up and the air in the pipes are being forced back through the toilet.  Also, another occurrence may be a blocked vent, if your piping is not vented correctly or block your toilet will not flush properly. 

If you feel your garbage disposal doesn't seem to be working properly, what are the steps you would

Q: If you feel your garbage disposal doesn't seem to be working properly, what are the steps you would take to see what's wrong and/or fix it?  At what point would it be necessary to call you?
A: It is best to call your plumber so they can go through a list of questions and problem solving solutions with you. 

Romoving a cast iron tub.

Q: How does the average homeowner remove a cast iron tub?
A:We typically take them out in one piece, you must first remove the drywall, tile or tub surround.  You will then be able to lift one end up or roll the tub out of the opening.  You will need an appliance cart to remove the tub from the residence.

Setting the temperature on water heaters

Q:What temperature should the average water heater be set at?
A: According to the Wisconsin Plumbing Code “Hot Water” means water at a temperature of 110 F  or more.  We typical set a water heater about 125 F, many times though it is a matter of personal preference.  Example:  My own water heater is set at 135 F.

Weekend Sale

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What do you recommend if you have an odor coming from your garbage disposal?

Q: What do you recommend if you have an odor coming from your garbage disposal?
A: Fill your sink with water (adding a cup of bleach per gallon of water).  Let the drain out so the bleach water can clean and sanitize the disposal ( this kills the bacteria in the disposal)
Sometimes you might have to go as far as replacing some of the connecting drain piping underneath the sink.

What does it mean when your pipes make noise?

Q: What does it mean when your pipes make noise, for example, if you hear a noise when you flush your toilet?
A: The term is called water hammer.  The problem occurs when the pipes are not properly fastened, there is a valve that shuts off quickly which causes the water hammer which in turn cause s the pipes to move.

What is an air gap?

Q: What is an air gap and why is it important?
A: If you are referring to an air gap for the use in a dishwasher, it is used to prevent the back up of waste water into the dishwasher.  If you have back up into your dishwasher you can create bacteria in which case you no longer have clean dishes, also you could create odors in your dishwasher.

Whats the best sink to have?

Q: In your opinion, what is the best kind of sink to have?
A: It is really all about customer preference.
Q: Could you possibly give me some pro's and con's to the different kind of sinks that are available to the average consumer?
A: Pros and cons: Some customers prefer stainless steel because of the look, easy maintenance and durability.  Other customer like Corian type products because of the color choices, ability to sand out a scratch or stain.  If you buy a stainless steel sink, you must buy a higher-grade and quality of stainless as the low end are “tinney and potential to rust”. A good stainless steel sink can cost more than a Corian type sink.  Both sinks allow you to install undermount or as a drop in.  Both sinks have various styles in terms of sizes and divider options.