A dishwasher filling with water when it’s not being used typically means that dishwasher repairs are imminent, but the severity of the issue may not be immediately obvious. The problem could be as simple as a minor drain clog or a kinked drain hose, or it could be something more extreme such as a leak in the water supply line. Common causes of water in the bottom of a dishwasher include a backflow caused by a kink in the drain hose, a malfunctioning check valve in the dishwasher’s drain system, a broken or worn out inlet valve, a leaking water supply line, a faulty drain pump, and a clog in the drain line. Steps to take to confirm if the drain is clogged include removing the pooled water from the dishwasher, checking the bottom of the dishwasher for debris and ensuring the drain is clear, cleaning the dishwasher filter, checking the drain hose to ensure the hose isn’t blocked, and running an empty dishwasher cycle. There are steps a homeowner can take to troubleshoot the issue, however, most repairs should be completed by a licensed plumber or appliance repair technician.
Radon, is a radioactive gas released from water, soil, and rocks, is invisible and has no odor. The gas can enter a home through cracks or holes in the foundation or siding, and since radon is invisible and has no smell, there is no way to detect it without performing a test.
Radon gas poses a serious health and safety threat. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 1 out of every 15 homes has an unsafe radon level – and, no level of exposure to radon gas is considered safe. Interior radon levels vary and can fluctuate over time.
Radon levels are typically highest during winter months. One reason why that snow and ice can form a temporary barrier over the ground, and as a result, seeping into a basement of a home is the easiest way for the gas to travel. Additionally, during winter the warm air inside a home rises and as the warmer air escapes the home, colder air is pulled into the home from below ground, meaning that any radon gas present below the home will also be pulled in with the colder air – this is known as the thermal stack effect.
Basement radon levels are typically the highest, but the gas can be present in the upper levels of a house. Solutions to addressing radon in a home include installing a radon mitigation system, increasing natural ventilation and airflow, sealing foundation and basement wall cracks, and installing an air purifier.
Learn about radon gas, common levels found in a home, and ways to mitigate the issue.
The toilet fill valve is one of two main components inside the toilet tank. If the fill valve is worn, damaged, or not operating properly, it could cause a leak from the toilet tank base or lead to the toilet continually filling. By replacing the fill valve assembly, you can reduce wasted water and lower utility bills.
On average, toilet fill valves last 5 years without any issues, depending on the quality of the valve, hard water content, and how frequently the toilet is flushed. The toilet fill valve is located inside the tank, and is responsible for allowing water to flow into the tank and stopping the flow once the water level reaches a set point.
If the toilet keeps running after flushing or runs intermittently when not in use, it could indicate that the fill valve is leaking or has failed, in which case you will need a toilet fill valve replacement. Learn how to identify if a toilet fill valve is malfunctioning and steps to follow when replacing the part.
If a mold problem is suspected in a home, the first service provider to contact is a mold inspection and remediation company. These service providers have the experience and equipment to inspect a home for mold. A mold inspection can be particularly useful if there has been a water or flooding issue in a home, as mold could be forming in areas that are not visible. Mold inspections typically cost between $300-$500 with additional costs for testing, which is usually between $200-$350. A mold inspector may also perform a basic mold air test. These tests will determine if remediation services are required. The best way to control mold in a home is to reduce or eliminate moisture in the home. Identifying and fixing water leaks, ensuring adequate room ventilation, and using a HVAC system and dehumidifier are ways to reduce the likelihood of a mold infestation. It is important to identify and address mold issues quickly, as mold in a home can cause health issues, including congestion, wheezing, and red or puffy eyes as well as other symptoms. Workers who have direct and extended exposure to large amounts of mold are likely to see more severe health reactions such fever, shortness of breath, and possibly asthma. Learn how to identify mold issues and solutions for remediation.
With proper maintenance, a quality water heater can last about 15 to 20 years. However, if the water heater anode rod is not regularly inspected and replaced, the water heater tank might rust out before it reaches 10 years of service. The anode rod – a long metal rod, usually made of magnesium or aluminum – is used to attract iron, limestone, and other minerals in water that would otherwise rust the inside of the water heater’s steel tank. The anode rod gradually corrodes in place of the steel tank, extending the water heater’s lifespan. And, in most cases, owners will need an anode rod replacement only about once every 3 to 5 years. Considerations before replacing the anode rod include determining if a magnesium, aluminum or zinc anode rod should be used, the hardness of the water, and what types of metals and minerals are present in the water. Learn about replacing the anode rod to extend the lifespan of a water heater.
A home can have all sorts of lingering and unpleasant smells, such as a stench from the bathroom. And, while some household smells are merely objectionable, others can be an indication of a hazardous condition. Household odors that may be cause for concern include a natural gas smell which is similar to a rotten egg, a fishy smell that could be emanating from a wall outlet, a musty or dusty smell which could be the result of mold or mildew, and a sewage odor which could be a sign of a clogged drain pipe. Learn about potentially hazardous household odors and how to successfully remediate each.
Common causes of an electric water heater not working or running out of water too quickly include a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, a faulty thermostat or heating element, or the water heater is undersized and cannot produce adequate hot water for the home. To identify the cause of the water heater not functioning properly, it is best to contact a licensed plumber or electrician. A professional plumber or electrician can diagnose the issue correctly and determine if the water heater can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Learn about common causes of an electric water heater not functioning properly and resolutions.
Roaches are unsightly in kitchen cabinets as well as other areas of a home, and can carry diseases and be a risk to pets. To get rid of cockroaches in kitchen cabinets, there are some remedies that can be used before contacting a pest control specialist. Steps include cleaning out kitchen cabinets to eliminate possible food sources, identifying and filling cracks where pests may gain entry, address possible water leaks and moisture sources, applying gel baits, and applying diatomaceous earth or boric acid to kill the insects. Learn more about remediating roach infestations in kitchen cabinets.
A sump pump works to keep a basement dry by discharging captured water from a sump pump basin that could have penetrated a basement by seeping through seams or cracks in basement walls or basement floors. To ensure the sump pump is in proper working condition, it is recommended to perform annual, and in some cases quarterly, inspections and maintenance. Sump pump maintenance steps include checking and clearing the sump pump basin of debris, checking the sump pump for corrosion and other damage, cleaning the sump pump inlet screen, lubricating sump pump bearings if recommended by the manufacturer, and clearing the sump pump discharge line of debris. Learn about basement sump pump maintenance to ensure performance.
Causes for water leaking into a basement crawl space include leaking pipes or plumbing fixtures, water from gutters and downspouts, and groundwater seeping through seams or cracks in the foundation. Resolving this issue quickly is important, as standing water can erode a home’s foundation, rot the wooden beams and joists, and create mold and mildew issues. Depending on the root cause of water in a basement crawl space, possible solutions include repairing plumbing leaks, installing a sump pump, adding a vapor barrier, cleaning gutters and diverting downspouts away from exterior basement walls, and fixing grading around the foundation to redirect water away from it. Learn about causes of water in a basement crawl space and remediation tactics.