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Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions
for Businesses and Homes

Bathroom Plumbing FAQs

No one wants to see their bathroom plumbing go down the drain, but it happens. Simple problems, such as a clogged or running toilet, are easy to fix, while larger problems, like a backed-up toilet, are tasks you’ll want to leave to the professionals at McKeever Plumbing.

How Do I Unclog a Toilet?

The most common way to unclog your toilet is with a plunger.  A tip for plunging effectively is to make sure the bowl has several inches of standing water.  Make a good seal to the throat of the bowl and pump rapidly 4-6 times.  

How Do I Choose a Toilet?

Look online for comparisons on flush ratings, as well as available rebates on high–efficiency models. Consider features such as pressure assists and heightened thrones when choosing a toilet.  Most commercial applications are required to install ADA styled commodes.  

What Kind of Low-Flow Toilets Do You Recommend?

Any low–flow toilet that uses 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF), has a MaP score of 1,000 and a 16.5-inch bowl height is recommended. Look for a WaterSense–certification on the label as well. Find a low–flow toilet that’s efficient and saves on water, yet has the power to wash away waste.

Why Is My Toilet Always Running?

In conventional toilets, a running toilet is usually caused by a flapper, the rubber or plastic valve on the bottom of your tank, that fails to seal. Open the toilet tank and adjust the float arm to see if the water stops an inch below the overflow pipe. If the water doesn’t continue to fill, the flapper needs to be replaced.

Repairs on power flush commercial toilets are best left to McKeever Plumbing.


How Do I Test If My Toilet Is Leaking?

In conventional toilets, open the toilet tank and put a few drops of food coloring into the water to check if your toilet is leaking.  Return after 15 minutes to see if the color inside the toilet bowl has changed. If the color has changed, your toilet leaks, but if the water’s still clear, you do not leak.

In power assist toilets you can normally see a ripple in the water.

My Water Bill Went up, How Do I Check for Leaks?

The main causes of high water bills are running toilets, which can waste up to 200 gallons per day, and leaky faucets, which can drip up to 20 gallons or more per day. Check for leaks by inspecting faucets, and toilet bowl tanks and listening for any sounds, like hissing. If you don’t find leaks in either of those locations, you’ll need to check your water line and hose bibs. You may also want to contact McKeever Plumbing for a complete inspection.

How Do I Fix a Small Leak on the Toilet Water Supply Valve?

Fix a small leak on your toilet water supply valve by tightening the shutoff valve. Place a wrench around the valve’s packing nut and give it a one–eighth clockwise turn to fix the leak.

Why Does My Toilet Smell Every Time I Flush It?

Your toilet may smell when you flush because of a broken airtight seal. Sewer gas is blocked from entering bathrooms by the drain venting system. A U–shape in the pipe holds a designated amount of water after each flush. The water acts as an airtight seal to block sewage gases. If too much negative pressure occurs, however, the water level can lower and break the seal, causing a smell after you flush.

Why Is Sewage Coming out of the Toilet or Floor Drain?

If sewage is coming out of your toilet or floor drain, it’s likely caused by a backup in the main sewage line. Call McKeever Plumbing right away for assistance.


Hopefully, you’ll never experience sewage escaping from your toilet, but something you’ll likely experience as a homeowner or long-term renter is a leaky faucet or showerhead attachment. So, how do you fix both of those problems and more? Find out below:

How Do I Remove White Buildup on Faucet Aerators?

Remove buildup on faucet aerators by taking off the aerator. Soak it in acidic liquid (CLR or vinegar) and then rinse and scrub it under running water before reattaching it to the faucet.

What Is Causing My Faucet to Leak?

Leaky faucets are usually caused by worn internal parts, which give out over time due to valve seat friction. Give McKeever Plumbing a call.

Kitchen Plumbing FAQs

People often forget about their kitchen’s plumbing, which tends to include their sink and dishwasher. Your kitchen’s plumbing, however, can quickly become noticeable when your drain or garbage disposal is clogged, or if your dishwasher becomes filthy.

How Do I Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal?

Turn off the disposal, and insert an appropriately sized hex or Allen wrench into the hole of the disposal motor. Rotate the wrench back and forth to dislodge the obstruction and fix your jammed garbage disposal.

Can I Use Drain Cleaner in a Sink With a Garbage Disposal?

Drain cleaners are not recommended.  Drain cleaners can damage to metal components of a disposal.

How Do I Get Rid of Odor Coming From the Garbage Disposal?

Remove odor from your garbage disposal by using items like lemons, ice cubes, baking soda, and vinegar.

How Can I Clear My Clogged Drain Without Chemicals?

Sometimes a stoppage can be cleared with a plunger.  Make sure to block any drain opening, make a good, sealed contact with the plunger, and pump rapidly 4-6 times.  

You may also try to clear a simple clogged drain without chemicals by using baking soda and vinegar. Pour half a box of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the drain, then plug the drain with a plunger for 30 seconds to prevent the mixture from bubbling upward. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Pour a gallon of hot tap water down the drain to clear it.  If that doesn't work... who are going to call?  McKeever Plumbing!

How Can I Prevent Clogged Drains?

Prevent clogged drains in your home or business by stopping hairs, oils, greases, coffee grinds, pasta or hard produce parts, such as broccoli stalks, carrots, or apple cores, from going down the drain. A drain stopper or filter can help stop materials from entering your drain.

How Do Grease Traps and Interceptors Work?

Grease traps and interceptors catch oils, greases, and other fatty deposits, so they don’t enter your sanitary sewer system.   Harris County Health Department requires that commercial grease traps be pumped at a minimum every 90 days.  Check with your local health department for their requirements.

Why Is My Kitchen Drain Taking Longer to Drain?

If your kitchen drain is taking longer to empty, then a clog is forming, perhaps deep in the drain. A plunger may be able to pull out the obstruction. You could also use a non-acidic drain cleaner or baking soda and vinegar solution, along with hot tap water to loosen and break up the clog.

Why Do the Drainpipes Under My Sinks Come Loose?

Loose drainpipes under a kitchen sink tend to come unfastened because of a loosened washer, which holds the pipes caused by the expansion and contraction of pipes from different temperatures of water traveling through the drain.  Fumes of chemicals stored under the drain can also affect the pipes.  


Now that you’re up-to-date on how to fix and clean your garbage disposal and sink, why not learn about how to clean your dishwasher and when to schedule routine maintenance? If your answer’s yes, you’ll find the answers below:

Outdoor Plumbing and Drain Cleaning FAQs

Outdoor plumbing is perhaps best known for the infamous water line leaks that every homeowner dreads, or the continued persistence of tree roots to grow into your water pipes. While most outdoor plumbing problems require a skilled plumber, you can do quite a bit of preventative care.

How Can I Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Prevent frozen pipes during the coldest times of the year by allowing sink faucets to slightly drip nonstop, especially if you’re away from your home or business for several days.  Make sure all outside exposed piping is insulated sufficiently.

How Do I Prevent a Well From Freezing?

Prevent your well from freezing by using insulation material, like foam or thick fabric, or a heat lamp or well cover.

What Do I Do If My Water Meter Is Leaking?

If your water meter is leaking, call McKeever Plumbing immediately. You should also contact your water utility provider as well because if the leak is between the meter leading to the water utility, it is their financial responsibility to fix the leak. Leaks between the meter and your home or business are yours.  In some cases, your water utility provider may turn off your water until a repair is made.

Why Did Our Outdoor Faucet Stop Working All the Sudden?

Outdoor faucets tend to stop working suddenly due to debris in the faucet’s opening or an obstruction with the aerator or inner spout.

Why Does My Outside Faucet Keep Running?

Your outside faucet is likely running because the interior components are worn out or obstructed and need to be replaced or cleaned.

Can You Use Trenchless Technology on a Bellied Line?

Trenchless technology can’t be used on a bellied line because the line needs to be accessed at the belly and fitted with a new stretch of pipe.

How Do Roots Grow Into My Pipes?

Roots tend to grow wherever water is present in the soil. Therefore, roots are drawn to separations in sewer pipes, which encourage tree roots to grow into them and cause further damage to the pipes.

What Do I Do If Roots Are Clogging My Sewer Drains?

Have McKeever Plumbing inspect the drains to find the roots clogging your sewer drains and eliminate the problem.

How Can I Control Roots In My Pipes?

Control roots temporarily in your pipes by calling McKeever Plumbing to run cutting blades through the pipes. You can also flush a root–growth suppressant down your toilet twice each year to inhibit regrowth. 

De-rooting pipes won’t work forever because when roots enter a pipe, the holes remain after the roots are cleared. The roots will grow back in and need to be removed again. This cycle gradually puts more and more pressure on the pipes, which will need to be replaced eventually.

What Is a Hydro-Jet?

A Hydro-Jet is a high–powered blast hose that’s inserted into pipes to blow away obstructions, grease buildup, dirt, and grime.

What Is a Sewer Line Inspection Camera?

A sewer line inspection camera is a waterproof camera that makes it possible to inspect sewer lines and other underground pipes.  A sewer camera can show if the sewer has a belly, a separation, or a break that is causing sewer backups.

Do you charge by the hour?

Yes, at McKeever Plumbing, our plumbers are trained to manage their time efficiently. Our customers are charged in 15-minute increments along with a standard trip charge.  

Which payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards, checks and cash.  Financing is available on larger projects.

Do you offer a guarantee?

McKeever Plumbing offers a 30 day warranty on labor for parts we supply and install.

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