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Expert Advice on Solving Your Plumbing Problems: An Interview with Shannon Hancock of Dupage County Plumbers

By Shannon Hancock

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

DuPage County Plumbers is a family owned and operating plumbing company based in Westmont, IL serving primarily customers in DuPage County. We are a full service, licensed, bonded, and insured company with experience in many facets of plumbing and sewer work. We can manage a complete bathroom remodel; coordinating all plumbing, electrical, drywall and tile together. We can also repair/install any type of plumbing fixtures from sinks and faucets, to toilets and water heaters. Even larger projects are easily managed by our experienced team like converting from Well water to City water, or digging up and replacing blocked sewer lines. DuPage County Plumbers also has the special licensing to test/repair/install backflow prevention devices. And all of the services we offer are also provided for commercial and light industrial customers.

What are some clear signs that someone should call a professional plumber?

Call a plumber for any questions or issues related to Water, Sewer, Sump, or Gas lines. A good plumber should be able to do much more than just install a new fixture or unclog a drain. A good plumber should walk through your home and evaluate the plumbing system as a whole. They should also prioritize plumbing work and help you understand needed repairs verses nice-to-have ones.

What is one of the most common plumbing issues you've seen in houses and residences?

We see a lot of unnecessary water damage caused by rocking toilets and cracked/missing grout or caulk in tubs & showers. It is important to remember that water can be a very corrosive substance (look at the Grand Canyon for example). If you have grout or caulking that appears to be failing, water can get behind and under your tub/shower which can cause mold to grow and cause water damage to the ceiling below. If you have a toilet that is not secured properly, water can leak around the base and rot out the floor area resulting in a much larger/more invasive repair.

Do you have any advice on how homeowners can help avoid this plumbing issue?

Take care of these repairs early to avoid more excessive and expensive repairs in the future!

Is there something that most people don't know about their plumbing that they should know?

Many people are not aware that most plumbing repairs/installations are required by law to be provided by a licensed Plumber. For example, any repair/installation of gas lines throughout your home including stove, furnace, water heater, outside BBQ, pool heater, etc? should be handled by a licensed professional. Other items that should be handled by a licensed professional might include repair/installation of water, drain, and vent pipes; repair/installation of new water heaters; repair/installation of backflow devices for lawn sprinkler systems/fire sprinkler systems. When you utilize a licensed professional for plumbing work you are ensuring both your property safety, as well as the health and safety of your family and friends!

Are there any easy steps that people can take to help maintain their home plumbing and avoid expensive repairs?

The best advice for maintaining plumbing in the home is to use fixtures as they were intended to be used. For example, the toilet is not a seat for putting on shoes, not a stepstool for changing light bulbs, nor is it a place to lean back relax and hangout. Toilets were made for a specific purpose, stick to that and your less likely to have leaking tanks and leaks around the bottom! Garbage disposals are another fixture that gets over-utilized. The 30-50 year old clay sewer pipes in your home are not in any condition to take platefuls of potato peels, pasta, and other starchy food products. Over-use of the garbage disposal is likely to result in some kind of sink or whole sewer backup at some point (Let's just hope it is not Thanksgiving morning when you are cooking for 20 people!). Go easy on the garbage disposal, and scrape those plates into the trash.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

DuPage County Plumbers can be found on the web at www.DuPagePlumbers.com. You can reach us via email for service or with questions at info@DuPagePlumbers.com or by calling the office at 630-737-0181.

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