Frequently Asked Questions

Your water heater shouldn’t smell like gas. So, it’s not normal. But natural gas is odorless and what you’re smelling is mercaptan, a chemical with a distinct sulfuric smell that’s added to the gas so people can spot gas leaks immediately. Many smells can arise in a water heater, so you need to determine that what you’re smelling is indeed gas. Once you’re certain you have a gas leak, seek professional help right away. Take necessary safety precautions. Leave your home and contact local heating experts or your gas company so experts can confirm the leak and its source for you. If you don’t already have a gas leak detector, consider purchasing one online or from your local home services store.
Most people often overlook their sewer line when preparing their homes for winter. A frozen sewer line can cause a lot of stress and damage. To ensure that you don’t have to deal with a frozen sewer line this winter, here are a few preventative measures you can take.
  • Insulate your pipes.
  • Inspect your water heater.
  • Run a small stream of water from one of your sinks (constantly flowing water is much less likely to freeze than standing water).
  • Keep drains clear.
  • Seal off outside vents in your basement or crawlspace.
The short answer is no. The IRS doesn’t have a category to cover home repairs or replacements of any kind. These are considered the normal costs of homeownership, so you can’t deduct the cost of a sewer line replacement from your taxes. The IRS doesn’t feel the need to incentivize homeowners to replace their plumbing (with some minor exceptions). However, you can get a tax break if:
  • You have a home business or rent part of your home.
  • You pay for the replacement with a home equity loan.
  • The replacement counts as a home improvement.
  • You may be able to get green tax credits.
PEX offers a potential advantage to property owners over rigid plumbing options such as copper and hard PVC. Due to its chemical structure, PEX allows for higher flexibility under the damaging pressure caused when water freezes in your pipes. If the weather gets cold enough, like any plumbing, PEX pipes can and will freeze. However, PEX may be less likely to burst as a result of freezing. It will expand when frozen and revert to its original shape when thawed. But frequent stress increases the chances of leaks and failure. So, to keep your pipes in good condition, you should use insulation precautions to keep PEX from freezing.
It’s not unusual for a drain or sewer line to unclog itself. This is especially the case if the clog was due to a “soft plug” sitting with water pressure against it before it eventually cleared itself. A clogged toilet, for example, will typically unclog itself over time when the water-soluble clogs dissolve in the water over time. The pressure of a flush should be enough to clear the pipes if you give the clog enough time to break down. That said, a sewer or drain line will unlikely clear itself if the line has issued deep within the plumbing system, such as tree roots or broken pipes.

Here are some of the most frequently asked plumbing questions we get from our customers. Check out these FAQs and contact us at 360-773-8039 if you still have questions or want to schedule service in Ridgefield, WA. At Henco Plumbing Services, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee.