Plumbing and HVAC FAQ

At Parthenon Plumbing, we’re committed to answering your questions about residential and commercial plumbing and HVAC. Below you’ll find a few of the most commonly asked questions. For more information about our greater Nashville area plumbing, heating, and cooling services, or to schedule a service call, please contact us.

Plumbing

My toilet is running continuously, what’s wrong?

If your toilet won’t stop running, and the bowl refuses to fill, then it’s probably a defective flapper. Act fast! A defective flapper can waste up to 200 gallons of water in just 24 hours.

My shower is driving me crazy! One second it’s comfortable and then the next second the water is freezing cold. What’s going on?

There are a few different problems that could cause your water to suddenly run cold. 1: Your pipes might be clogged, rusted, or corroded. 2: If you have a gas water heater, your pilot light might have gone out. 3: Your temperature control could be damaged. 4: Or you may have sediment buildup in your water heater tank. Contact us to learn more about water heater repair and tankless water heater installation.

My faucet is dripping, what can I do?

Usually, a dripping faucet is a relatively minor repair. Be sure to turn off the water supply and allow the water to drain out of the faucet. Remove the handle, tighten the cap and adjusting ring. If your faucet is still leaking, you’ll need to replace the seats and springs. What’s the difference between hard and soft water?

Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium. Pure water is naturally soft and does not contain these minerals. If your water has picked up some extra dissolved minerals as it makes its way to you, then you may want to invest in a water softener for to extend the life of your dishwasher, water heater, washing machine. Soft water may also reduce your energy consumption!

My garbage disposal smells terrible! What can I do?

You can put just about any biodegradable waste in your garbage disposal. (Although we understand how easy it is for measuring spoons and bottle caps to find their way into garbage disposals!) Grind small bones, eggshells, or lemon slices and ice to clean your disposal. If this doesn’t work, your unit may be on its way to clogging and needs to be professionally cleaned.

The water pressure throughout my house is low. What can cause that?

There are two very common causes of low water pressure. In some cases, your shut-off valve may have closed or may be malfunctioning. In other instances, water lines may be crimped or, if you have older pipes, deposits may be clogging your pipes. We can help get to the source of the problem and we can fix it for you!

The bathtub won’t drain and the water is gross. What can I do?

The drain may need a good cleaning and we have the best drain cleaning prices in Nashville! The problem may also be corroded water pipes, defective plumbing parts, or incorrect installation. Don’t keep standing in that dirty water, contact us – we’ll identify your problem and fix it ASAP. Or, to learn more about what our Nashville plumbers can do for you, give us a call at 615-298-2995.

My basement floods every time there is a medium to heavy rain. I’m concerned about mold. What can be done to prevent additional damage?

The installation of flood-proofing devices saved dozens of clients thousands of dollars of damage during Nashville’s 2010 flood. We can install a sump pump and a backup pump in your basement before the next rain.

What’s the difference between my traditional water heater and a tankless heater?

Conventional water heaters are the most common, however, as homeowners replace aging, inefficient tank-style water heaters, tankless (also known as on-demand hot water heaters) are becoming increasingly popular. Water heated is heated and then stored in large tanks. Although conventional systems are less expensive to purchase and install, they are very large, may run out of stored hot water, and are much less efficient than tankless systems. Tankless water heaters are incredibly efficient, heating water only as you need it, so you’ll never run out of hot water or waste energy heating water that you’re not using. Tankless systems can even be installed outside if space is tight! Call us at 615-298-2995 with any questions — we’re happy to help!

My dishwasher isn’t draining, do I need to buy a new unit?

Fortunately, there are several possible solutions to dishwasher drainage problem and you may not need to spring for an entirely new dishwasher. If there’s a sizable pool of water in the base of your dishwasher after your washing cycle has been completed, check the filter in the base or the tub of the dishwasher. Small particles of food or debris can clog the filter, preventing proper drainage. If your filter is clear, then make sure the hose between the sink drain or the garbage disposal is straight and unkinked. Make sure your sink drain (or garbage disposal, if that’s where your dishwasher is connected to drain) is clear and is draining properly. If your dishwasher has one, check the air gap — if water comes out, you have a blockage. To clear it, you’ll need to remove the cap next to the faucet, locate the hose that goes into the disposal or drain, and clean it using a bottle brush. Finally, you can test your dishwasher’s drain valve. This valve prevents water from draining back into the dishwasher, push on the valve bracket to make sure it’s not stuck. If it doesn’t move easily, then you may have a problem with the solenoid that powers the valve. When all else fails, contact Parthenon Plumbing for reliable dishwasher and garbage disposal repairs.

HVAC

The airflow throughout my home seems weak. Why?

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system helps keep the air temperature in your home comfortable and the air that you breathe clean and healthy. If air is not circulating properly it may be due to a dirty air filter. Inspect your filter monthly, if it’s dirty, replace it immediately. We recommend keeping a supply of clean filters on hand to prevent inadequate airflow. Before using a filter with a very high minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating, make sure that your furnace motor can handle the additional strain. While these dense filters are great for filtering out the even the smallest of particles, they may impact air flow, clog faster, and damage your HVAC systems. If your filter is in good shape and is appropriate for your system, make sure that the ductwork in your home is correctly sized, clean, clear, and efficiently installed. While you’re at it, make sure that there are no leaks in your ducts or duct seams.

How important is routine HVAC maintenance?

Routine HVAC cleaning and maintenance helps prolong the life of your systems, maintains a healthy indoor air quality, and reduces energy consumption. For a cost-effective maintenance plan that delivers peace of mind, contact Parthenon Plumbing.

My furnace and central air conditioning work, but they’re old. Is it worth replacing them?

If your systems are more than a decade old, you should definitely consider replacing them. There’s nothing worse than being left without air conditioning during a hot Tennessee summer or, even worse, without heat during the coldest winter months. Not only that, but today’s high-efficiency HVAC systems can save you up to 50% on energy costs. To determine whether or not a new furnace or air conditioning unit is a wise investment or to learn more about modern energy efficient systems for your home or business, give us a call.

When I use my furnace, the ducts pop and bang. What causes this?

When using your furnace to heat your home, the change in temperature may cause the walls of your ductwork to expand and contract, causing that annoying popping sound you’re hearing. The shape and thickness of your ducts may also contribute to the popping and banging you’re hearing. Contact an HVAC professional for a thorough assessment and to make sure that your system isn’t pumping more air than it has been designed for.

My furnace goes boom. Should I be worried?

If you’re losing sleep because your furnace is making too much noise, it’s time to call in the reinforcements. The booming may be caused by delayed ignition, which may be caused by dirty or damaged burners and can cause strain on your furnace. Annual cleaning and maintenance should take care of the problem.

My furnace is running, but no heat is coming out. What’s going on?

There are a few things you can try before calling in the reinforcements. Check your thermostats to make sure that they’re properly set. Make sure that your vents are on and your air filters are clean. If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas is on and your furnace is receiving fuel. You may also reset your furnace, but be sure to follow the instructions in the owner’s manual carefully! If you have an electric furnace, reset the circuit breaker. If your furnace is still blowing cold air (or not at all), call a professional.

How can I tell if my heat exchanger is cracked or damaged?

Faulty heat exchangers can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to enter your home. Look for visible cracks, rust, or soot on the exchanger. If you see any of these signs, contact an HVAC technician immediately. If your heat exchanger is cracked or damaged, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible!

My air conditioning unit keeps seizing up, is there anything I can do on my own?

When your AC unit freezes, it’s probably due to insufficient air flow. You can inspect your air filter, to make sure that it’s clean and unobstructed. If that’s not the cause, you may be low on refrigerant, the evaporator coil may be dirty or corroded, or your blower is malfunctioning. In most cases, you’ll need an expert hand. For more information on common heating and cooling problems, visit our blog or contact us to schedule a service call.

What is a SEER rating?

The efficiency of air conditioners is rated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the unit. Basically, the SEER is the amount of cooling your unit delivers per dollar spent on electricity. When installing a new air conditioning unit, the US Department of Energy recommends a high SEER, an EER of greater than 11.6, variable speed air handlers, fan-only options, and an automatic delay fan switch to turn off the fan a few minutes after the compressor turns off.

What’s the big deal with a zoning system for my heating and cooling?

Zoning systems ensure maximum comfort and maximum efficiency. If there are rooms in your home or office that retain heat or tend to be cooler than other areas, a zoned heating and cooling system will address these discrepancies. A zoned system also gives you much greater control over the temperature of your home, so you can turn the heat or air conditioning on when you need it, where you need it. According to the US Department of Energy, zoned systems can save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling bills.