LESLIE: We’ve got Doug in Rhode Island on the line who wants to know what to do after pipe work yields dirty water. Tell us what’s going on.
DOUG: Hi. What happened was the water service was turned off for a day. When it was turned on, we received a lot of dirty water with a lot of grit. And it seemed to be causing a problem – well, not a problem. I’m concerned if there could be a problem. There’s a lot of grit and sandy sediment in the water tanks behind the toilets.
DOUG: And I don’t know if that’s going to be an issue.
TOM: I don’t think so. Here’s what you need to do after pipe work yields sediment in water. First of all, the fact that you had some dirty water, some brown water, some gritty, dirty water after pipe work was done is not really that unusual. You do have to flush it out.
Here’s something – first of all, before we get to the toilet – you may have forgotten to do and that is I would recommend you take off the aerators from the sinks in the bathroom and the kitchen. Because those screens will sometimes trap a lot of that debris behind it. And that will reduce your water pressure over time, especially if some more dirt comes down the line. So I would take those aerators out and flush them out. Just keep in mind that they – sometimes they come apart in three different pieces but it’s like a Rubik’s Cube to try to get it back together. So just remember how you disassembled it and put it back together and clean those out.
As far as the toilet tank is concerned, the only problem is that sometimes if you have a lot of grit in it, it will wear on the flush valve, which is the flapper on the bottom of the tank. If you want to just be sure, what you could do is turn the water supply off behind the toilet, go ahead and flush it a couple of times, get all that water out of the tank. And if there’s any sand lying in the bottom of the tank, just kind of wipe it out, clean it up as best you can and then just turn the water back on. You’ll be good to go.
DOUG: OK. I appreciate it. And you’re correct: I did have one aerator that did – interrupted the flow, the pressure.
TOM: Alright. But you knew enough to take it apart and get it cleaned out. It’s not unusual when pipework ends up with dirty water. Good man.
DOUG: Yes. Yeah.
TOM: Alright. Well, there you go.
DOUG: Thank you very much.