We get a tremendous number of questions on not only plumbing, but also heating and air-conditioning! We’d like to post some of them for your interest.
If your subject isn’t covered here, just e-mail us and we will get back to you as quickly as possible!


Q: My toilet bowl does not refill after a flush – only a very small amount of water reenters the bowl itself after the flushing action is complete. I’m stumped! RR.

A: If the hose from the ballcock is not in the overflow, the bowl will not fill correctly. Check that first. Then, check the water level in the tank. It should be 3/4″ below the top of the overflow. Adjust it as needed.


Q: When I flush the toilet, the valves stays open and the water keeps running! I have a Kohler 1.6 gallon toilet. How in the world does one get the thing to work? I paid a fortune for the toilets and none of the three work!!

A: New 1.6 gallon toilets are very sensitive to adjust the flapper. It sounds like the chain needs to be readjusted, so as to allow the flapper to drop.


Q: I just replaced the flapper in my toilet. The prior one stayed up in a partial position while the water drained from the tank after the flush lever was raised. With the new one installed, the flapper immediately drops down to close the tank stopping the water flow to the toilet bowl. To make the flush work properly, I have to hold the flush lever until I hear a gurgle sound telling me the bowl is empty. Something is wrong, but I can’t figure it out! Any suggestions?? PLEASE???

A: It sounds like you still have a problem with your flapper. When you replace a flapper, always use the correct one – universal styles don’t always work!) The most often seen problem is chain adjustment – it’s either too tight or too loose. Check which hole it is in the handle. If this is a new 1.6 gallon toilet, the adjustment process is very critical!


Q: I have a quick question for you. My toilet overflows at least once a day. I wanted to know what type of products to use to stop clogs in drains or pipes of a toilet. Every store I have been to, the products say not to be used in toilets. What do you suggest. A concerned customer.

A: Once again, Concerned, is this a 1.6 gallon toilet? If so, they plug up VERY easily and sometimes the toilet tissue will plug these as well. You could have 2 problems: Try this! The next time it plugs up, before you plunge the toilet, run water down the bathroom lav (sink) and tub. If these do not back up also, the problem IS your toilet. If the problem is in the toilet, find someone who has a toilet snake (closet auger) and use that. If a comb or some other item fell in to the toilet, a plunger will not remove it.

As for the drain cleaning products that ‘work as advertised’, save your $$! Any product available to the general public is not strong enough to do a complete job. If the problem is in your main drain pipe, I suggest you call a drain-cleaning service.


Q: I have a Comfort-Aire window air-conditioning unit, and we can’t find a local rep in our area. Any ideas?

A: Contact Heat Controller at 1900 Wellworth Avenue, Jackson, MI 49203 or call 517-787-2100 or fax at 517-787-9341. They can put you in touch with a service rep in your area. Hope this helps!


Q: I hope you can help me! I have a central air unit in my basement. For about the past month, there is water under the unit that I believe should be going out the condensation pipe to my sump pump. The water under the unit eventually makes its way to the sump pump. The unit is about 4.5 years old. Could the condensation runoff pipe be clogged? If so, could I clear it myself, or do I need to call a technician? The unit otherwise runs/cools fine! Thanks for your help!

A: Sounds like the condensate drain is plugged! The easiest way to clean it is to blow air backward up the drain. If that doesn’t work, take the coil front off and remove the debris with a wet/dry vac. Hope this helps!


Q: I have a garbage disposal that simply will not work! I haven’t put anything down it that is unusual, and I don’t know a thing about these things! I thought maybe the breaker was tripped, but that’s not it! Any idea?? A dismayed Eve

A: Ok, here’s the story! Look at the bottom of the disposal – is there a small hole in the center? Is it the size of a ballpoint pen? If so, try inserting an Allen wrench and turning the cutter. Is there a red button on the bottom? This is a build-in circuit breaker. Try pushing that too.