Gloved hands using a plunger on a clogged sink (a common residential plumbing issue).

The Most Common Residential Plumbing Issues

There are some things we get called to fix over and over again. If you are a homeowner, you’re likely to encounter at least a few of these common residential plumbing issues.

Clogged Drains & Toilets

The problem: One of the most pervasive plumbing issues is a stubbornly clogged drain or toilet. Over time, debris, hair, soap scum, and other foreign objects can accumulate in your pipes, leading to slow drainage or complete blockage. While store-bought drain cleaners may seem to provide a quick fix, they contain harsh chemicals that will damage your pipes over time.

The solution: Invest in a good plunger and reach for it anytime you have a minor clog. For more stubborn blockages, it’s a good idea to call the professionals at JJ&A Mechanical. Regular preventive measures, like using drain strainers and being mindful of what goes down the drain, can also go a long way in preventing clogs.

Toilet Keeps Running

The problem: The constant sound of a running toilet is not only annoying, it’s also wasteful. A running toilet can significantly increase your water bill over time. This common issue is often caused by a faulty flapper or fill valve in the tank.

The solution: Lift the tank lid and check if the flapper is sealing properly. If not, it may need to be adjusted or replaced. You should also inspect the fill valve for any signs of wear or malfunction. Replacing these components is a relatively simple and cost-effective fix.

Low Water Pressure

The problem: Few things are more frustrating than weak water pressure when you’re trying to take a shower or wash dishes. Low water pressure can result from various issues, including sediment buildup in pipes, a partially closed shut-off valve, or a malfunctioning pressure regulator.

The solution: Start by cleaning your showerhead and faucet aerators, as sediment can accumulate there. If the problem persists, check the shut-off valve near the water meter and make sure it’s fully open.

Leaky Faucets

The problem: A dripping faucet can waste a significant amount of water and, if left unchecked, can lead to major issues down the road. The most common cause of a leaky faucet is a worn-out washer, though other internal components may also contribute to the issue.

The solution: Turn off the water supply to the faucet and disassemble it to inspect the washer. Replace any worn-out components and reassemble the faucet. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, don’t hesitate to call a plumber at JJ&A for assistance.

Water Won’t Heat Up
The problem: When your hot water taps only give you cold water, it might be a sign of trouble with your water heater. This issue can stem from a malfunctioning thermostat, a faulty heating element, or a buildup of sediment in the storage tank.

The other possibility is that the cartridge in your faucet and/or shower may be failing. This will cause the improper mixing of hot and cold water, resulting in your faucet or shower water not getting hot enough.

The solution: Start by checking the thermostat settings on your water heater. If everything seems in order, it might be a heating element issue or sediment buildup. Flushing the tank periodically can help prevent sediment accumulation. If the problem persists, have a professional inspect the water heater and determine the best solution.

If it is an issue with your faucet or shower cartridge, you will need to contact a plumber to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

Whatever your plumbing issue is, our team at JJ&A mechanical has got the solution! Get in touch today for all your plumbing repair, maintenance, and installation needs. We take pride in providing our customers with honest, quality workmanship and custom solutions.

Exposed pipe under a bathroom sink.

Tips to Prevent Plumbing Damage in Your Home

Plumbing damage is always a pain to deal with, but luckily there are some steps you can take to help prevent the inconvenience and cost of plumbing issues around your home. Here are some simple tips to help you maintain a healthy plumbing system.

Regular Inspections

Conduct routine inspections of your plumbing system. Look at all the exposed pipes in your home and check for leaks, hairline cracks, rust, discolouration, and signs of corrosion. Check your water heater and boiler or furnace as well and look for anything unusual. If you catch a minor issue like rust or corrosion, you can get it fixed and keep it from becoming a bigger problem.

Check for Leaks

Regularly inspect faucets, shower heads, and pipes for leaks. Even a small leak can lead to significant water damage over time, posing a threat to the structural integrity of your home. By proactively identifying and repairing leaks, you can prevent the gradual accumulation of water-related issues, ultimately safeguarding your home from significant (not to mention expensive) damage. Regular leak checks help maintain the functionality of plumbing fixtures and increase the longevity of the entire water distribution system.

Monitor Water Pressure

If you don’t already have one, install a pressure regulator to control water pressure. High water pressure can strain pipes and fixtures, leading to leaks and bursts. Make sure that you monitor your water pressure and don’t ignore it if something seems off.

Take Care of Your Drains

Be mindful of what goes down your drains. Avoid putting grease, hair, or food scraps into sinks and toilets. Use drain strainers in showers and kitchen sinks to catch debris. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage pipes. Instead, use a plunger to remove clogs. For more information, see our tips to prevent clogged drains.

Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves

Familiarize yourself with the location of shut-off valves for water supply throughout your home. This knowledge is crucial in case of emergencies. Many homeowners don’t know where their water shut-off valves are located until it’s too late. If you suddenly have a pipe burst or another plumbing emergency, it’s important to turn off the water as soon as possible to reduce the amount of water damage. Make sure you know where your home’s main water shut-off is located and how to use it – this could save you a ton of time and damage in the event of an emergency.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of plumbing damage in your home and improve the longevity of your plumbing system. Regular maintenance and preventive measures will save you time and money in the long run, which is why we recommend hiring a professional plumber annually to do a thorough inspection of your home’s plumbing system. Get in touch with our team today to book a plumbing maintenance inspection.

Assorted tools used for regular plumbing maintenance, laid out on a wooden surface.

How Regular Plumbing Maintenance Saves You Money in the Long Run

Having your pipes, water heaters, fixtures, and other plumbing equipment serviced at least once a year is a smart investment that pays off over time. Here’s how regular plumbing maintenance pays for itself in the long run.

Fixing Minor Problems Prevents Major Problems

Fixing seemingly minor issues with your plumbing can save you a bundle of money because those minor issues left unchecked often become big problems that require costly emergency repairs. For example, if you notice a minor leak under your sink and have it fixed right away, it will be a relatively inexpensive, simple repair. However, if you ignore that leak until it gets bigger and bigger, and then one day the pipe under your sink bursts, you will have to pay for an emergency plumber to do much more complicated repairs, and you may have water damage to fix as well. As they say: if you do not schedule your equipment’s maintenance, the maintenance will schedule you – typically on a holiday or a weekend!

Regular Maintenance Makes Plumbing Equipment Last Longer

You wouldn’t expect a car to last as long if you never took it to the mechanic as it would with regular tune-ups. The same thing is true with your plumbing. Your pipes, fixtures, water heaters, and other plumbing equipment will last longer before needing to be replaced when they are properly maintained. Regular maintenance helps to resolve minor issues, such as mineral buildup, rust, and malfunctioning components. This prevents your equipment from breaking down prematurely, and means you won’t need to replace it as often as you would without regular maintenance.

Increase Efficiency & Decrease Monthly Bills

Having your plumbing and heating systems regularly serviced keeps them running as efficiently as possible. This keeps their energy use low, which translates to savings on your monthly energy bills. While regular maintenance service may cost you money at the time, it pays for itself in the long term with the money you save on monthly bills over time.

Is your plumbing system due for some maintenance? Get in touch with JJ&A Mechanical today to make an appointment!

Hand taking a drain strainer out of a kitchen sink.

Tips to Prevent Clogged Drains

Do you hate dealing with nasty clogs, sink backups, and water damage? We can’t say we blame you. Save yourself a headache and costly repairs by following these tips to maintain your drains and help prevent clogs.

Use a Drain Strainer

Drain strainers are affordable, easy to use, and effective for reducing the frequency of blockages in your sinks and showers. You can pick up drain strainers at your local hardware or kitchen store. Pop one in the shower drain to prevent hair from going down the drain and clogging it up, and always keep a drain strainer in your kitchen sink to catch small bits of food and other debris.

Don’t Use Your Garburator as a Trash Can

Most people do not use their garburators properly, which often results in nasty drain blockages. Garburators are not designed to dispose of large food scraps, they are only meant to be used for the very small bits of food that accidentally end up being washed down the drain. We do not generally recommend using garburators at all (instead, use that drain strainer and don’t let solids go down the drain), but if you do prefer to use one, be mindful of how you’re using it. Avoid putting vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, and other large food scraps into your garburator.

Don’t Pour Fat, Grease, or Oil Down the Drain

Many people think it’s okay to pour cooking oils and fats down the drain because they are liquid, but they can actually cause big problems in your pipes. While oils, fats, and grease are liquid when they are still warm from cooking, they become solids that will cause blockages in your pipes once they cool down. Instead of pouring oils and fats down the drain, pour them into a can or jar, then toss the whole container into the trash.

Be Careful What You Flush

When it comes to your toilet, a good rule to follow is to never flush anything but toilet paper and waste. Don’t even flush so-called “flushable” products, such as kitty litter or baby wipes. While many of these products may say “flushable” right on the package, they can still take a long time to break down full and cause blockages in your pipes.

Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaner

You may be surprised to find out that plumbers do not recommend using store-bought drain cleaning liquids. Store-bought drain cleaners contain corrosive chemicals that eat through clogs, but they can also corrode pipes and lead to leaks over time. Instead, get a good plunger and learn how to use it. For really stubborn clogs that can’t be taken care of with a plunger, call the team at JJ&A Mechanical to come and clean your drains using specialized equipment that will not damage your pipes.

Got a clog you just can’t get rid of? The team at JJ&A is highly skilled and equipped with drain cleaning equipment and cameras to ensure that your drains get flowing again. Trust us to get the job done right. Contact us today to book service or get a free estimate.

Close-up of a sink drain with water from drain cleaning

Signs You Need Professional Drain Cleaning

Do you need professional drain cleaning? If you’re not sure, watch for these telltale signs.

Loud Gurgling

If your drain has been making loud gurgling sounds, there may be a blockage in your pipes which is causing trapped air to make noise. Pay attention to sounds coming from your drain or toilet, and if you notice it begins to gurgle in unusual ways that it didn’t use to, you probably have a clog that needs removing.

Multiple Recent Clogs

It’s normal to have the occasional clogged drain, but has your drain been blocked up more frequently lately? This likely means that there is debris in the system that is simply moving around and reclogging again soon after you take your plunger to it. In cases like this, you need to get a professional drain cleaner in to fully remove any debris and blockages.

Slow Drains

Is your sink or tub still draining, but just not as quickly as it used to? If plunging it doesn’t mitigate the problem, you’ve likely got some more severe blockages that require professional drain cleaning equipment. It can be tempting to ignore a slow drain since it still technically “works,” but, believe us, it’s better to address the problem now than wait for it to become a major issue that could result in severe damage and costly repairs.

Foul Odours

What smells funny? If it’s your drain, it may be time to have it professionally cleaned. You may have sewer gases coming up from your system, or there could be bits of food waste stuck to the inside of the pipes and decomposing. Pay attention to strange odours emanating from your drains, and if they do not go away quickly, it’s time for a thorough drain cleaning.

At JJ&A Mechanical, we clean drains with a hydro jetter, which sends high-pressure water through pipes in order to clean out even the most difficult clogs, grease, and debris. Get in touch today to book your drain cleaning or get a free quote!

A plumber from your chosen plumbing company, fixing a pipe.

How to Choose a Plumbing Company

When you need plumbing repairs done, it can be overwhelming finding the right plumbing company. Follow these simple steps to make it easier to choose a plumbing company.

Ask Around

If you are not sure how to find a good plumbing company in your area, a useful way to get started is by asking around. Ask friends and family in your area about their experiences with plumbers they have hired before. You might get some helpful recommendations or suggestions on which companies to avoid.

Check Reviews

Another reliable way to learn about others’ experiences with a given plumbing company is to check their online reviews. Once you have a few possible plumbers in mind, take a look at their reviews and see if they are mostly positive or negative, and what the comments are like. Most reputable plumbing companies publish reviews on their own website to showcase their positive customer experience. Check out JJ&A Mechanical’s testimonials to learn what our customers are saying about us!

Ask About Credentials & Experience

Once you have narrowed down your search to two or three companies, get in touch with them and ask them a few questions about their credentials, experience, and areas of expertise. Find out about hiring standards within the company and choose a company that provides employees with ongoing training and skill upgrades.

Compare Quotes

Ask for estimates from a few plumbers and see which one fits best with your budget. Any reputable plumbing company will be happy to provide you with a rough estimate for the job you want done, so if you call a company and they are hesitant to give you a quote, pay attention to that red flag. Remember that suspiciously low quotes might also mean that you won’t get the quality work you want.

Pay Attention to Customer Service

The way that you’re treated when asking for an estimate can tell you a lot about the company as a whole. Pay attention to the customer service of a plumbing company when you contact them with your questions and to get a price estimate. If you feel respected, listened to, and valued as a customer over the phone, odds are you will have a similar experience if you hire that company to do your plumbing job. However, if you find the customer service lacking, you may find other aspects of the company lacking as well.

If you are looking for plumbing services, JJ&A Mechanical is happy to provide comprehensive commercial and residential plumbing services, including 24/7 emergency services. 

hot water tank life, when to replace hot water tank post image

Extending Your Hot Water Tank Lifespan and Knowing When to Replace It

Hot Water Tank

Your hot water tank is a workhorse that provides you with a steady supply of warm water for various daily needs. However, like any appliance, it has a limited lifespan. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the lifespan of a hot water tank, signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement, and valuable tips to help you extend its life.

Understanding the Lifespan of a Hot Water Tank

On average, a hot water tank has a lifespan of 8 to 12 years. However, it’s important to note that this range can vary depending on factors such as usage patterns, water quality, maintenance practices, and the quality of the tank itself. With regular maintenance and proper care, you can significantly prolong its life and ensure uninterrupted hot water supply.

If your hot water tank is nearing its average lifespan or showing signs of deterioration, consult a professional plumber to determine the best course of action and ensure your household’s hot water needs are met consistently.

hot water tank life, when to replace hot water tank post image

Signs It's Time to Replace Your Hot Water Tank


If your hot water tank is approaching or has surpassed its average lifespan, it’s prudent to consider a replacement. Older tanks are more susceptible to leaks, corrosion, and efficiency issues that may impact performance.

Rusty Water

If you notice rusty or discolored water when using hot water, it could indicate corrosion inside the tank. This is a clear sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Leaks and Moisture

Any visible leaks or signs of moisture around the tank are red flags. Leaks can lead to water damage, mold growth, and should be addressed promptly by replacing the tank.

Strange Noises

Popping, banging, or rumbling noises emanating from the tank suggest sediment buildup. Over time, sediment accumulation reduces efficiency and can ultimately lead to tank failure, necessitating a replacement.

Insufficient Hot Water

If you frequently experience a lack of hot water or notice that the water doesn’t get as hot as it used to, it might be an indication that your tank is reaching the end of its life.

Increased Energy Bills

Aging hot water tanks tend to become less efficient, resulting in higher energy consumption. If you notice a significant increase in your energy bills without any apparent reason, it may be due to an inefficient tank nearing the end of its lifespan.

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Hot Water Tank

  1. Regular Maintenance: Schedule annual inspections and maintenance performed by a professional plumber. They can identify and address any potential issues early on, preventing costly repairs or replacements.
  2. Flushing the Tank: Regularly flush your hot water tank to remove sediment buildup. Sediment acts as an insulator, making it harder for the heating element to transfer heat efficiently. Flushing helps maintain optimal performance and prolongs the life of the tank.
  3. Temperature Control: Avoid setting the water temperature too high, as it can accelerate wear and tear on the tank. Set the temperature to a safe and comfortable level that meets your household’s needs while minimizing strain on the tank.
  4. Insulation: Properly insulate your hot water tank and pipes to reduce heat loss. Insulation improves energy efficiency, minimizes strain on the tank, and ensures a consistent supply of hot water.
  5. Pressure Regulation: Install a pressure regulator or expansion tank to maintain optimal pressure levels in your plumbing system. Excessive pressure can strain the tank and other components, leading to premature failure.
  6. Anode Replacement: The sacrificial anode rod inside the tank helps prevent corrosion by attracting corrosive elements. Have the anode rod inspected regularly and replaced when necessary to protect the tank from premature deterioration.
  7. Professional Installation: Ensure your hot water tank is installed correctly by a qualified professional. Proper installation prevents potential issues and ensures optimal performance throughout its lifespan.
Drain Repair plumber image

Do Plumbers Offer Free Quotes?

Do plumbers offer free quotes?

It depends on the plumber and the company. Some plumbers and plumbing companies offer free quotes for their services, while others may charge a fee for a quote, especially for complex projects or emergency services. It is best to check with the specific plumber or company you are interested in hiring to determine their policy on quotes.

When looking for a plumber, it’s important to compare quotes from multiple sources to get an idea of the average cost of the service you require. This will help you make an informed decision when choosing a plumber and ensure that you are getting a fair price for the work.

It’s also worth considering the experience and reputation of the plumber when comparing quotes. A more experienced and reputable plumber may charge more, but they are likely to provide higher quality work and have a better track record of customer satisfaction.

In summary, some plumbers may offer free quotes, while others may charge a fee. It is best to check with the specific plumber or company you are interested in hiring to determine their policy on quotes.

Why You Should Avoid Hiring a Plumber Who Works on Commission

When it comes to plumbing repairs and installations, it’s important to hire a skilled and trustworthy professional. Unfortunately, not all plumbers are created equal, and some may work on commission, which can lead to a number of problems. In this article, we’ll explore why you should avoid hiring a plumber who works on commission.

  1. Commission-based plumbers may overcharge you: Plumbers who work on commission are often motivated by the desire to make more money, which can lead to overcharging their clients. This can result in you paying significantly more for plumbing services than you would if you hired a plumber who was not working on commission.

  2. Commission-based plumbers may recommend unnecessary repairs: Plumbers who work on commission may be incentivized to recommend unnecessary repairs or upgrades in order to increase their earnings. This can result in you paying for services that you don’t actually need, and it can also lead to damage to your plumbing system.

  3. Commission-based plumbers may not be as qualified: Plumbers who work on commission may be less experienced or qualified than other plumbers, as they may be more focused on making a sale than providing high-quality service. This can lead to subpar workmanship, which can result in further problems with your plumbing system in the future.

  4. Commission-based plumbers may have a conflict of interest: When a plumber is working on commission, they have a financial interest in the outcome of the job, which can create a conflict of interest. This can make it difficult for them to provide impartial and unbiased advice on the best course of action for your plumbing needs.

It’s best to avoid hiring a plumber who works on commission. These types of plumbers may overcharge you, recommend unnecessary repairs, be less qualified, or have a conflict of interest. Instead, look for a plumber who has a strong reputation, is fully licensed and insured, and who offers fair and transparent pricing. This will help ensure that you receive high-quality plumbing services and that your plumbing system is in good working order for years to come.

Reputable plumber

How do I Find A Reputable Plumber in my Area?

Tips on finding a Reputable Plumber near me.

Finding a reputable plumber in your area can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know who to trust with your plumbing needs. Here are some tips to help you find a reliable and trustworthy plumber in your area.

  1. Ask for referrals – Word of mouth recommendations from friends and family are often the best way to find a reputable plumber. If someone you trust has had a positive experience with a plumber, it is likely that you will too.
  2. Check credentials – Make sure the plumber you are considering is licensed and insured. You can check with your state’s licensing board to verify the plumber’s credentials. A licensed and insured plumber will give you peace of mind that the work being performed is up to code and that you are protected in the event of an accident.
  3. Read reviews – Check online reviews from websites such as Home Advisor, and Google to see what other customers have said about the plumber’s services. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of the plumber’s services and reputation. Focus on any negative reviews and see if the company has made any attempt to resolve the matter instead of ignore the customer leaving the negative review (JJ&A Mechanical for example has 135 google reviews and 134 5 out of 5 stars) with the one negative review being a traffic incident where we reached out to reviewer) 
  4. Get multiple quotes – Before making a final decision, get quotes from several different plumbers. This will help you compare prices and services and ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
  5. Ask questions – When speaking with potential plumbers, ask about their experience and expertise in the type of work you need done. It is also important to ask about their availability and response time in the event of an emergency.
  6. Pre-Customer Experience & Service – Try reaching out via email, chat, phone to the company you are interested in; how quickly did they get back to you? did they sound knowledgable? 
  7. Commission – Avoid plumbing companies that pay their technicians “commission” for upselling or by the job. This is a big variable that divides good customer service from bad or ultimately the customer “you” being taken advantage of.

By following these tips, you can find a reputable plumber in your area who will provide quality service and meet your plumbing needs. Trusting a professional plumber will give you peace of mind and ensure that your plumbing issues are resolved in a timely and effective manner.

Qualities of a good plumber

What are the qualities of a Good Plumber?

Choosing a Plumber. Why our reviews Speak for Themselves.

When you are in need of plumbing services, it’s essential to find a plumber who is trustworthy, reliable, and skilled in their work. A good plumber can make a significant difference in the quality of work performed, the safety of your home, and the longevity of your plumbing system. Here are some of the qualities you should look for when choosing a plumber. All of JJ&A Mechanicals plumbing technicians posses the following qualities.

  1. Experience and Training: A good plumber should have extensive experience in the industry and proper training. Look for a plumber who has a proven track record of successfully completing plumbing projects and can demonstrate their expertise through certifications and licenses.
  2. Communication Skills: A good plumber should be able to effectively communicate with you, explaining the problem and the solution in a way that you can understand. A good plumber should also be able to listen to your concerns and address any questions or worries you may have.
  3. Attention to Detail: A good plumber should be meticulous in their work, taking the time to thoroughly diagnose a problem and develop a comprehensive solution. They should also be diligent in their cleaning and take care to leave your home as clean as it was when they arrived.
  4. Customer Service: A good plumber should have a commitment to customer satisfaction, going above and beyond to ensure that you are satisfied with their work. They should also be willing to stand behind their work, offering warranties or guarantees on their services.
  5. Professionalism: A good plumber should be professional in their appearance, demeanor, and approach to their work. They should show respect for your home, be punctual, and take care to minimize disruptions to your daily life.
  6. Availability: A good plumber should be available to respond to your needs in a timely manner, offering emergency services if necessary. They should also be flexible and willing to work around your schedule to minimize inconvenience.
  7. Knowledgeable: A good plumber should have a strong understanding of the latest plumbing technologies and techniques. They should also be knowledgeable about local building codes and regulations and have the ability to properly install and maintain plumbing systems. JJ&A Mechanicals dedicated team of professional plumbing technicians attends the latest industry conventions / conferences and updates its tool kit regularly with the latest technology to help better serve you allowing our trained technicians to be comfortable and flexible in any situation.   

In conclusion, finding a good plumber requires careful consideration of their experience, training, communication skills, attention to detail, customer service, professionalism, availability, and knowledge. By choosing a plumber who possesses these qualities, you can be confident that your plumbing needs will be met and that your home will be in good hands.