Big Branch Plumbing

Here are some tips to save you money on costly repairs and answers to frequently asked questions.
And you are always welcome to call us at 985-626-5711


  • Prevent clogs by fitting all tubs and shower drains with a strainer to catch hair and soap chips. Clean the strainer regularly.
  • Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. They solidify in cold pipes and create clogs.
  • Avoid caustic liquid drain openers (Drano, Liquid Plumber, etc.) on completely clogged drains. The caustic ingredients will be trapped in your pipes, and can severely damage them. Snake the drain or have a professional plumber do so.

Drips and Leaks
Small drips can waste up to 150 gallons of water/day!

  • Check under sinks for moisture and leaks.
  • Repair leaky faucets immediately.. This minimizes damage to fixtures, countertops and pipes.
  • Remove and clean faucet aerators once a year.
  • Make sure overflow holes on tubs and sinks are clear.

Garbage Disposal
You can extend the life of your garbage disposal by:

  • Use a lot of cold water when running the garbage disposal
  • Avoid overloading the garbage disposal
  • Never dispose of large and hard objects like bones or corn husks
  • Never use caustic drain cleaners.

Water Heater

  • Shut off the power, and read the owner’s manual before doing ANY maintenance on your water heater.
  • Sediment accumulates at the bottom of the tank and this can hamper performance. Drain a gallon of water to help remove the sediment annually.
  • Periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame should appear blue with yellow tips. A yellow or sooty appearance means your flue may be clogged, which is dangerous. Contact a professional immediately.


  • Toilet leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year, check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of red food coloring to the tank, and then check the toilet bowl later. If the toilet bowl water is colored red, water is seeping through from the tank. If it is leaking, you should replace the tank ball.

How can I increase the water pressure at my faucets?

  • Make sure that the emergency shutoff under your sink is fully open.
  • Check if rubber washers or seals have begun to deteriorate. This can cause you to lose pressure.
  • Calcium and lime buildup will also cause low water pressure.

Can a two-handled faucet be replaced with a single-handle faucet?

  • Normally yes. Normal faucet dimensions and sink openings are standardized throughout the plumbing industry
  • To be safe, check the size of the sink opening before you buy new fixtures.

Why do my kitchen sink and washing machine drains clog?

  • Kitchen and laundry drains are connected In most homes. Lint from the laundry drains combines with grease buildup and soap to create a nearly solid blockage.
  • Filters and strainers will help. You’ll need to have the drains snaked periodically.

Should I close and open the main water supply shutoff valve periodically?

  • Yes. This will insure that they’re not stuck in the open position just when you have a water emergency! Do this for the shutoff valves on your sinks, tubs, and toilets, as well.

I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes. What can I do to stop that?

  • Noises are common in plumbing supply lines. A loose washer in a faucet or valve can cause rattling and knocking. So can loose pipes. This can be corrected by anchoring pipes more securely. For severe problems, adding air chambers at the end of long pipe runs may be a solution. Installation of air chambers will require a plumbing professional.

What can I do about a sewer line blockage?

  • This is normally caused by tree roots. A plumbing professional can clear the line as much as possible and use copper sulfide products to kill the remaining vegetation. But many times the sewer line will need to be replaced.

Why is my old water heater not working as well as it used to?

  • Usually this is caused by sediment buildup in your tank. Older water heaters accumulate sediment and lime deposits. These deposits create a barrier between the burner and the water, greatly reducing the water heater’s performance. Periodically drain a gallon or so of water from the tank. This helps remove the sediment.
  • At least every other year, have your water heater inspected by a service technician. They will check the drain valve for signs of leakage and the anode rods for corrosion.

If my garbage disposal stops working, what should I do?

  • Try the reset switch located on the bottom of the garbage disposal before calling a professional.

Is there a best way to check for toilet leaks and if so, what should I do?

  • Annually, check for toilet leaks by adding a small amount of food coloring to the tank, and check the toilet bowl later. Water is seeping through from the tank if the toilet bowl water is discolored . If it is leaking, replace the tank ball.