You can trust Truss for straight answers to your plumbing questions.





Garbage Disposals

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How do I get rid of the odor coming from my garbage disposal?

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My garbage disposal quit working altogether. What can I do?


Septic Systems

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Can grey water run on top of the ground?

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How can I control roots in my lines?

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Is my septic system grandfathered?

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Does Angelina County have the 10 Acre Exemption?

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What is the 10 Acre rule?

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How much land do I need to install a septic system?

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Can I hook a new house to an old septic system?

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How long has Angelina County been licensing and inspecting septic systems?

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Do I have to install an aerobic system?

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Can I move a mobile home or RV on my property and connect to my septic system?

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Can I water my garden with my aerobic system sprinklers?

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Do I have to put chlorine in an aerobic system?

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How often should I have my septic tanks pumped?

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How often should I have my septic system inspected?





Water Heaters

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My water heater makes a rumbling noise.
What′s going on?

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What is an efficient temperature setting on my water heater?

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Why does my water heater run out so quickly now?

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Why do the flexible metal pipes on my water heater look like they are corroding?


Faucets & Pipes

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My faucet drips even when it is turned off. Only a nuisance, right?

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Why does the faucet CLUNK when I turn it on?

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What is causing my pipes to rattle?


General Questions

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How do I thaw frozen pipes?

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What is the white buildup on my shower head?

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What is the difference between hard water and soft water?

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What is the harm in pouring hot grease down the sink?

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Why does the water in my toilet keep running?

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What could contribute to a high water bill besides leaking faucets and/or pipes?



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How do I get rid of the odor coming from my garbage disposal?
Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposer. To eliminate this odor, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposer and run for 30 seconds. While it is still running, squirt a little liquid dish detergent into the disposer. Run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away.



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My garbage disposal quit working altogether. What can I do?
Garbage disposal problems can be plumbing, electrical or appliance. If the disposal doesn′t work at all—no "hum" or any sound, push the red reset button on the bottom of the disposal. If that doesn′t work, check the breaker in the electrical panel. If the unit hums but doesn′t turn then you can try unsticking it. Some units come with a wrench that can be used to turn the cutter flywheel from the bottom. If the unit doesn′t respond, it is time for an appliance repair man or a unit replacement.



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Can grey water run on top of the ground?
No. All grey water (water from washing machine, sinks, showers, or bathtubs) must be discharged into a licensed septic system or into a designed subsurface grey water system.



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How can I control roots in my lines?
If roots have entered your pipes, the best course of action would be to call your plumber who can remove the roots using various techniques. The problem with roots is that once they have found water, they will grow back each year. Some customers opt for one or two service calls each year to remove root problems rather than pay to replace the entire sewer main. Unfortunately, roots in the sewer line are an indication of damaged plumbing pipes and replacement may be the only alternative.



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My water heater makes a rumbling noise. What is going on?
The rumbling noise is due to sediment buildup inside the water heater. Start by draining the water heater. Follow the step–by–step directions printed in the instructions that came with the water heater. If this doesn′t help, replacement of your water heater may be required.

For general instructions on draining a water heater, click here.



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Is my septic system grandfathered?
No. There is no such rule that grandfathers a septic system. If the system is working properly and is not malfunctioning, the system is ok. However, if a system is malfunctioning the system must be upgraded to an approved licensed system that meets state standards.



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Does Angelina County have the 10 Acre Exemption?
No. Angelina County voted not to allow the 10 acre exemption in 1998. The reason that it was voted out was because of the number of illegal septic systems that were being installed. Homeowners misunderstood the 10 acre exemption by thinking that they could install any system they wanted if they owned more that 10 acres.



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What is the 10 Acre rule?
The 10 acre rule was originally designed for land owners with more than 10 acres, to exempt them from having a permit and inspection of their septic system. However, this rule did not exempt the homeowners from having to install the system according to state standards.



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How much land do I need to install a septic system?
If your land was platted before 2004, a half acre is required. Land that was platted after 2004 three quarters of an acre us required. However, when determining how much land is required, one must take into consideration the size of the home and other structures that will be on the property. If you have a creek, stream and/or pond on your property a larger acreage will be needed.



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Can I hook a new house to an old septic system?
Typically the answer to this question would be NO. However, if the system was licensed through the Angelina County and Cities Health District you may be able to utilize part or all of the old system.



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How long has Angelina County been licensing and inspecting septic systems?
Angelina County has been licensing and inspecting septic systems since 1973. The licensing and inspecting process is designated to the Angelina County and Cities Health District through the Commissioners Court.



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Do I have to install an aerobic system?
The type of system to be installed on a property depends on the site/soil evaluation that must be done. Most of the soils in Angelina County do not support the installation of a conventional septic system. Conditions that would keep a conventional septic system from being installed might be clay soil, high ground water conditions and/or seasonal wetness.



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Can I move a mobile home or RV on my property and connect to my septic system?
No. Your original system was designed for a single family home. If you add other homes the water usage changes and could causes the septic system to malfunction. When the original system was designed, it may have been designed for more than one home, but the homeowner must have enough land to support dual residences.



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Can I water my garden with my aerobic system sprinklers?
No. Though the water has been treated, it is not allowed to sprinkle gardens, orchards and/or crops.



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Do I have to put chlorine in the aerobic system?
Yes. This is one of the vital parts of the system working properly. This is one of the major problems that homeowners forget to take care of in order for their system to work according to state standards. Your aerator must operate at all times as well. An aerator that is not working will cause the sprinklers to smell.



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How often should I have my septic tanks pumped?
It is recommended that you have your septic tanks pumped out every 2 to 5 years in order to keep your system working properly.



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How often should I have my septic system inspected?
By law, you are required to have your sewer system inspected every three months and pumped a minimum of once every three to four years. You may not be experiencing any problem now but a full septic tank may allow unwanted solids to flow into the drain field. If paper and other solids flow into the drain field, it becomes blocked and ineffective and can be costly to repair or replace.

For more information on caring for your septic system, click here.



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What is an efficient temperature setting on my water heater?
Adjust the thermostat to a mid to low range which will still provide plenty of hot water, prevent scalding and save money on energy costs. Most people are comfortable with their hot water set at 120°F, which is also the standard that manufacturers use when pre–setting it at the factory. If you have an older model, set the thermostat at medium. On a gas model, there is a dial on the front of the gas valve. On electric models, the thermostats (there may be two) are concealed behind the two panels on the side of the tank.

Turn off the electricity before removing the panels of your water heater. There are exposed wires behind the panels containing HIGH VOLTAGE.



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Why does my water heater run out so quickly now?
There are a couple of things that could be causing this problem. Check the shower head volume. Older models are not "low flow" and can allow as much as 5 gallons per minute to run through. New low flow models reduce that volume by about half. Another area to check is the dip tube on the cold water inlet of your water heater. If it is broken or worn it creates a short loop for the water resulting in the water at the bottom half of the tank not being used. Another possible problem might be a defective heating element. On electric water heaters, they commonly have two heating elements that work in turns. First the top element heats up the top of the tank, then power goes to the lower element. If the lower element is out, only the top of the tank gets heated. If the top element isn′t working, there will be no hot water at all.



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The flexible pipes on my water heater look like they are corroding.
If the "flexes" are covered with green and white buildup and look like they are corroding, there is a slow leak where the flexible pipes connect to the rigid pipes. The constantly drying water causes the buildup. The solution is to replace the flexes.



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My faucet drips even when it is turned off. Only a nuisance, right?
Every drip is the sound of your hard earned money going down the drain. A slow, steady faucet drip can waste 48 gallons of water every day which translates to over 1,400 gallons a month. And leaks never improve on their own. What starts out as slow and steady will only get worse over time.



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Why does the faucet CLUNK when I turn it on?
99% of the time when you hear a clunk in any pipe when you turn a faucet on or off, it is a loose washer in the faucet. When you take it apart, be sure you get the old washer and screw. If you don′t, turn the water back on and flush out the missing part.



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What is causing my pipes to rattle?
The most common cause of pipes rattling is that the washer in the faucet or valve is loose. Another is that the pipe is touching another pipe or hard surface in the wall. For hot water rattles, the energy saving nipples that screw in the top of the water heater sometimes make a serious rattling noise when you turn on any hot water tap. They have a ball in them that acts like a check valve. Under a dishwasher, it could be that the soft copper water supply is hitting a hard surface or the machine itself is not tight in the opening and is moving around.



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How do I thaw frozen pipes?
Locate the suspected frozen area of the water pipe. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt more ice in the pipe. Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials) or by wrapping the pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode, and all open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber. Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

For tips on preventing frozen pipes, click here.



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What is the white buildup on my shower head?
The white buildup is mineral deposits. To remove this buildup, pour a cup of vinegar into a plastic bag and place the bag over the showerhead fixture. Secure it with twist ties and leave it in place overnight. Remove the bag the next day and use an old toothbrush to scrub off the deposits.



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What is the difference between hard water and soft water?
Hard water has high mineral content but is generally not harmful. Hard water does not lather well with soap and leaves a "less than clean" feeling. (It reacts with soap to form a sticky scum.) Soft water lathers better than hard water but leaves a "slippery feeling" on the skin after use with soap. Hard water may be treated to make it more suitable for laundry and bathing. The most economical way to soften household water is with an ion exchange water softener which replaces the calcium and magnesium with sodium (salt).



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What is the harm in pouring hot grease down the sink?
Pouring cooking grease down the drain can result in major clogging problems. When hot grease meets cold water, the problem begins. The cooling grease solidifies and grease starts to build up in pipes, causing flow to slow down. Eventually the drain will clog, blocking all flow. Running hot water and soap down the drain will not break up the grease. Grease should be cooled (but still liquid) and poured into a container with a secure lid, such as a metal coffee can or plastic bottle and placed in your garbage.



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Why does the water in my toilet keep running?
When a toilet has been flushed but is still running water, the flapper seal within the tank is probably too worn. The fill valve is trying to refill the tank to the proper levels (hence, the sound of running water), but the water is able to escape into the toilet bowl, causing the water level to drop too low. It is a cycle that will continue and likely become worse until the seal is replaced.



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What could contribute to a high water bill besides leaking faucets and/or pipes?
90% of all leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in the toilet tank. Toilet tank leaks typically result from worn parts or improper alignment of some part of the flushing mechanism. It is very important to stop the leak. Stop the leak and stop the expensive water bill from hitting you every month.




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