Common FAQs

Plumbing FAQs

When do you shut outside faucets off in the colder months?

You should always shut off your outside faucets at the inside of the house and DO NOT leave hoses attached all winter long! If you do not have working shut-offs inside the house, give us a call. November is more than likely the best month to do this. 

I want a new toilet, what do I do?

FSi works with several different showrooms throughout the area. Degrees of Comfort in Northampton 413-247-5311, Frank Webbs in Springfield 413-726-9950 and Northampton 413-586-8003, The Plumbers Showcase in Chicopee 413-736-5484, Bath & Kitchen Gallery in West Springfield 413-642-2318 and Baystate Plumbing 413-733-6696.

Insulating the pipes in my basement, good idea or bad?

Insulating cold water pipes in your basement will help prevent them from sweating (or dripping condensate) in the summertime. Insulating hot water pipes in your basement will help deliver more efficient hot water to your shower in the wintertime. So yes, great idea!

Does FSi replace sump pumps?

Yes we do! If you have a sump pump that is old, we would be happy to replace it. If you do not have a sump pump but have problems with water in your basement, give us a call and we can walk you through some solutions.

Can I put a gas fireplace insert in my existing wood fireplace?

If you have natural or propane gas in your home and you have a wood fireplace, chances are you can. FSi has done hundreds of these types of installations. Please give us a call and we can inspect your gas lines and see if it will work for you.

What can go down my garbage disposal?

Any soft item that is edible is able to go down a garbage disposal. No plastic, no paper, no bone, and no coffee grounds should go down it because it may cause the motor to malfunction. 

Water Treatment FAQs

Why do I have streaking and stains on my dishes and shower doors?

When you notice streaking or stains on your dishes and shower doors, you probably have hard water. Hard water (or excessive minerals in the water) will leave stains when the water dries. A water softener may be right for you, see our Water Treatment page.

My water smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, can FSi help?

The infamous rotten egg smell is no match for FSi. So yes, we can. FSi has filtration systems that remove foul odors caused by Hydrogen Sulfide. See our Water Treatment page.

There's chlorine in my water, what do I do?

Whether there’s chlorine present in your water, or it just smells off, FSi can help. If you live on a Municipal Water System, then the EPA mandates that the water system be chlorinated in order to protect from bacteria. However, that chlorine has done its job once the water enters your house. You can filter out the chlorine with a carbon filter. See our Water Treatment page.

Should I be concerned about contaminants in my drinking water?

There are many Municipal Water Systems throughout the region that have contaminants of varying degrees of severity. Please see our Service Map with a guide to water reports for your community. We would be happy to come out and discuss what these reports are telling you and how you can protect your family. BOTTLED WATER IS NOT THE ANSWER!!

Is there lead in my drinking water?

Almost all water systems have at least trace amounts of lead. Some systems more than others. If you have small children living in your home, it is always a good idea to install a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System to protect against lead in drinking water. Please see our Water Treatment page for details.

Water Heater FAQs

The average water heater life span would be...

Most tank-type water heater (electric, natural gas, propane gas, and oil) manufacturers suggest that the tanks can last about 7-11 years.

Is there any way to increase the life of my water heater?

It is suggested that draining down a tank-type water heater yearly in order to decrease the amount of sediment that settles to the bottom in order to improve efficiency and prevent excess corrosion.

Are tankless water heaters good for your home?

Tankless water heaters offer far more efficiency and last longer than traditional tank type water heaters. However, they are more expensive and installation challenges need to be considered. The most efficient and cost-effective tankless water heaters are usually fired by natural or propane gas. If you already have this type of gas in your home, call and we can give you a cost estimate. See our water heater page for more details, or if interested in propane gas, see our Fuel Services propane page.

What is the best temperature for my water heater?

Your water heater can safely run at 120 degrees F, however, you’ll typically find that most water heaters are automatically set to run at 140 degrees F. If your water heater falls below 120 degrees it runs the risk for bacteria to develop inside your water heater. Hot water burns bacteria and harsh chemicals that can stay stagnant and build up in your pipelines. Old, dirty water can get into your home and cause certain skin conditions, illnesses, and other like problems. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your heater running at a recommended temperature that is hot enough.

Do you offer Free water testing?

FSi plumbing offers free water testing to better educate you on what particles are contaminating and living in your water system. Your waters contaminants can be from a variety of different factors. One of which, is where your water comes from. If you have a private well (which most individuals don’t) then any contaminants in your water will slowly develop over time based on environmental factors like flooding, agricultural runoff, and seal in your pipeline or home that wasn’t filled correctly, and more. If your home’s water is supplied by a public or town source, you run the risk of heavy metals, pesticides, nitrates, and chlorine chemicals all building up in your water system. Contact FSi plumbing today for your free at-home water test!

How often should I test my water?

The regular standard to test your home’s water varies whether or not it is a private well or a public supply. When your water gets tested, the test will look for total coliform bacteria counts, nitrates, and total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If your home or business’s water supply comes from a private well, you should have it tested annually. A good time of year for this is usually found to be the springtime. If your water supply is coming from a public source, since there are hundreds and thousands of individuals using the same supply, your town should test it each season (4 times in one year).

Why should I test my water?
If you start to notice any of the following signs, it sounds like you should’ve called the experts at FSi a while ago…. But alas, we can still help!
  • The water tastes different than usual
  • The color isn’t crystal clear
  • There appears to be a foul odor coming out of the faucet
  • You notice a change in consistency; does your water feel chalky? Or does the pressure seem a bit off?
When your living area undergoes any special circumstances or environmental changes then it may be a good idea to get your water tested sooner rather than later.
  • A tropical storm
  • An earthquake
  • An abrupt change in water pressure can occur after heavy rainfall or excessive drainage.
  • Runoff from any sort of agricultural farm, and more

Plumbing Services

We offer service and repair on all plumbing equipment, whether it’s plumbing conversions, updating fixtures or putting in completely new plumbing systems.

Water Treatment Services

You can protect your plumbing and appliances when you use a home water filtration system. Heavy metals, minerals and chemicals in unfiltered water can all cause gradual damage.

Water Heaters

You can have confidence that the certified and experienced FSi technician who arrives at your home to install your new water heater has been thoroughly trained to do the job.