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Plumbing Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


How do I remove a Faucet Handle?

Under normal circumstances, removing a faucet is fairly simply. The first step requires you to turn off the water supply and open the faucet handle to relieve water pressure. Next, you can simply remove the faucet handle. Normally, the faucet handle is secured to the stem with a screw hidden under a decorative cap. Stubborn handles may require a faucet-handle puller. This tool can be found at any large hardware store for less than $20.

What can I do to eliminate sump pump odors?

Sump pumps are typically used to remove ground water from around the perimeter of a building foundation to prevent seepage and flooding into basements and crawl spaces. It is extremely important that you verify that the sewage pit is gas tight and well vented to prevent odors.

In addition, it is also essential that you check the trap on your sump pump to make sure that there is always water in it. Odors, sewer gas, radon gas or soil gas and mold spores can potentially enter your home through the dry trap of your basement drain. Ultimately, your home can be exposed to unwanted odors, plus, there's the risk of radon gas exposure.

For dry trap related odors, you may need to call in a plumber to make sure your sump pump is installed correctly and draining properly.

Why is my faucet making loud noises?

Often when a facet is making loud noises, it is either related to the washer/seat being loose, or issues with the pipes. If you remove your handles and stems to find that the washer or seat is loose and moving around, tighten everything back up. This should stop the noises.

Sometimes the loud noise is a result of loose pipes, clogged air chambers, or your water pressure being too high. It is important to pay attention to the actual sound that your faucet/pipes are making. You may hear banging, squeaking, or water hammering.

If you hear banging when you turn on your sink, you may need to add cushion to your pipes with a rubber blanket. Most likely your pipes are anchored with pipe straps. Banging noises usually mean that you need to add straps or cushion. Squeaking noises can be fixed by the same means. Just add cushion.

If you hear a hammering noise when you shut off the water on your faucet, you may have loose pipes, faulty air chambers or your water pressure is too high. Loose pipes will require that you anchor them to stop the noise.

In order to cure faulty air chambers, you will need to shut off the main water valve and open all the faucets. This allows the faucets to drain. Once you close the faucets and turn the water back on, the chambers should fill back up with air.

If your water pressure is above 80 psi, you need to install a pressure reducing valve. It is best to leave this up to a professional plumber to make any adjustments and installations.

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