Category Archives: plumbing tips

Fall Pipe Prep: 4 tips to prevent frozen pipes this winter

4 tips to prevent frozen pipes this winterWhile Indiana’s recent unseasonably warm temperatures might have had you fooled, the fall season is here, and it’s time to start thinking about prepping your plumbing for winter.

When water freezes, it can slow the passage of water inside your home’s pipes to a trickle, and, if left untreated, the frozen water will continue to build and expand until the pressure causes the pipes to burst. Frozen pipes and pipes that have burst can be costly to fix.

Avoid frozen pipes by taking these proactive steps before the cold weather arrives.

  1. Drain water from outdoor faucets and water systems. 
Prevent standing water from freezing in unused pipes by draining the water from the pipes before the season’s first freeze. Not sure how to do this? Follow these helpful steps from
  2. Add insulation to any pipes that are outdoors or in unheated areas, including pipes connected to outdoor faucets, garden hoses, underground sprinkler-systems or pipes in crawl spaces, unfinished basements, attics and garages. There are various types of insulation you can use, from newspaper and plastic wrap to more durable foam insulation pipe sleeves you can purchase at a hardware store.
  3. Leave your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open if you’re away from home for a long period of time.
    If you plan to go out of town or be away from your home for more than a day, lower your chances of frozen pipes by keeping your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open. This will ensure your pipes have access to the warm air inside your home.
  4. Never set your thermostat to lower than 55 degrees.
    It’s common for homeowners to try to save on winter energy costs by lowering their thermostats during the night or when they plan to leave town for the weekend. However, this can be a risky decision when low temperatures are expected. If you’re expecting subzero temperatures or wind chills, let your furnace blower run. This will more evenly heat your entire house, including those areas that are harder to reach, like the crawl space. Slightly higher energy bills will be less cumbersome to deal with than costly repair bills.

We know it’s never a good time to not have running water! If you suspect your pipes are frozen or your pipes have burst, contact us at (888) 242-2937, and we’ll get you up and running again.



Do aging pipes pose a health risk to you and your family?

In 2014, more than 100,000 Flint, Mich., residents were exposed to contaminated water, after improperly treated water from the Flint River caused aging lead pipes to corrode and leach lead into the water supply. A state of emergency was declared in 2016, rightfully prompting a nation-wide discussion about aging pipes and water safety.

How can lead get into our drinking water?

Aging pipes can be a risk to you as a homeowner, whether you live in an older home or a brand-new home. Exterior service line plumbing runs from the water main into your home, while your interior premise plumbing includes the pipes, joints, solder and faucet fixtures used inside of your home (under sinks, behind toilets, etc.).

Homes built prior to the 1980s are more likely to have lead pipes or parts in their premise plumbing. However, even if you live in a newer home, you’re not necessarily safe from lead exposure. Because most of Indiana’s pipes were installed after World War II and some even as far back as the 1890s, many of them consist of lead or have been soldered together with lead. As these pipes age and decay, particles from the pipes can break off into the water stream and pose serious health risks to Hoosiers — something that has been a topic of discussion in the Indiana State Legislature since the Indiana Finance Authority released this November 2016 report.

What are the health risks associated with lead?

Lead is a neuro-behavioral toxin that can cause learning, behavioral and developmental issues in children. Adults exposed to lead may experience kidney damage, anemia (iron deficiency) and hypertension.

Lower your risk for plumbing-related lead exposure by:

  • Finding out what pipes you have, either by hiring a plumber to do an inspection, looking at your home inspection report or using this helpful tool available through
  • Hiring a plumber to replace plumbing that consists of lead or that shows signs of corrosion, such as discoloration, stains, dimpling and flaking.
  • Using a tap water filter that has been certified by the Public Health and Safety Organization. Just look for an NSF-certified logo on the package.
  • Practicing safety when you return from long trips. Run water out of your faucets for one to two minutes, if it’s been sitting in your pipes for more than six hours and especially if it has not been used for more than one day. This will flush out any accumulated lead or other chemicals.


If you’re concerned about your risk for lead exposure, it’s worth it to contact Justin Dorsey Plumbing and ask for an inspection. Contact us at (317) 745-4830 or

4 common plumbing problems: how you can prevent them today

Avoid a plumbing disaster with a free plumbing inspectionThere’s a long list of things that can go wrong in a home’s plumbing systems. After more than 30 years in the business, we’ve seen and fixed it all.

Here are 4 common plumbing problems that we repair on a regular basis and how to prevent them:

  1. Leaky toilets – 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, and you should replace the tank ball and its connectors.
  2. Malfunctioning water heaters – Before doing any maintenance on your water heater, first shut off the power and read your owner’s manual. At least once every three months, drain water from the tank to rid the tank of built-up sediment. 
   Periodically you’ll need to check the water heater burner. It should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow, or if it’s sooty under there, your flue may be clogged. This is a dangerous situation, and you should call a technician to inspect the appliance. 
   Have your water heater serviced by a professional technician at least once every two years.
  3. Clogged sink or shower pipes – To help prevent clogs, avoid rinsing fats and cooking oils down the kitchen sink, and fit all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that will catch hair and soap chips. If left to go through the pipes, these items solidify and cause clogs.
  4. Garbage disposal problems – Extend the life of your garbage disposal by using cold water when running it, avoiding overloading it, never disposing of hard items like bones or corn husks and never using a caustic drain opener (like Liquid-Plumr). If the disposal stops working, try the reset button located on the bottom of most disposals before calling a technician.

We hear it all the time. Homeowners call us with a plumbing emergency and then say, “I wish I would have known how to prevent this.”

You can prevent plumbing emergencies by being proactive and scheduling a Free Plumbing Inspection with us.

Our free plumbing inspection includes:

  • A visit from one of our efficient, highly-skilled plumbing technicians, who will check your home’s plumbing.
  • A thorough inspection of your plumbing – everything from pipes, faucets and washing machine hoses, to supply lines, water pressure and toilets.
  • A written report of our findings and recommendations on how to proceed.

This is a $167 service and worth every penny, but we’re giving it to you for free until May 31!

Schedule your free inspection today by filling out our online request form or calling us directly at (317) 745-4830.

Why we don’t give phone quotes

Many people call our office and ask what a particular “fix” will cost. They get annoyed when we can’t answer the question. Here’s why the dispatcher cannot answer your question.

Service techs are paid more than dispatchers. Dispatchers are not plumbers. Even our service techs are hesitant to give phone quotes for these reasons.

Scope of the problem – Without correctly diagnosing the problem, service techs cannot give an accurate quote. Once the tech has seen the problem and determined the correct solution or solution possibilities, then a accurate quote can be assessed. At Justin Dorsey Plumbing, we offer “up-front pricing.” This means that you will know what it will cost before we start the work. You may think the well pump has given up, when it could be a simple problem with the electrical box.

Location of the problem – Some problems require digging or need to have a water heater replaced in the basement or access to a tiny crawlspace. All these factors affect the price. Phone quotes unfortunately lock us into a price that customers will hold us to. We need to see where the problem is and how best to repair it taking into account the particulars of the environment.

Equipment or materials – In order for us to repair the problem correctly, our technicians must be able to see what materials were there before. For instance, if your home uses copper piping, you will likely be disappointed if we quote you a price for pex, which in most cases is less expensive.

In order to best fix your plumbing problem, please allow us to send a service tech to your home or business and get a correct diagnosis. In the end, we know you will be highly satisfied with our service and you will get our limited guarantee on our repairs.

Get peace of mind.

Call Justin Dorsey Plumbing at 888-242-2937 and let us handle your plumbing problem.

When the drain clogs…


If you have a clogged drain, sink, or toilet, that cannot be worked free with a plunger, then call one of the guys at Justin Dorsey Plumbing.


At JDP, we have a bevy of tools that can help fix your problem. Our techs can run a mechanical snake through your drain to unclog it. It’s best if you have a cleanout, or alternative access point, to your main drain line. We can install those too.


We can also send a jet-pressured stream of warm water down the drain line to loosen a clog.


If that doesn’t work, we can run a camera down the line to see the nature of the clog. During the drought a few years ago, trees and other shrubbery were literally dying of thirst. Clay tile is no match for the roots of a thirsty tree. If roots are you problem, we have a treatment that can clear your line that is much cheaper than digging it up and replacing pipe.


Drains get clogged from time to time. However, it is not recommended to pour drain cleaner down your drain. This could damage your pipes and make it dangerous for our techs to work with mechanical solutions. The caustic liquid just lies in front of the clog while our snake is trying to get to the clog. Often times this can lead to a real mess.


Next time you have a drain clog, call the professionals at Justin Dorsey Plumbing. Call Today, Fixed Today, is our motto. Call (888)242-2937 and discover the pride of professionals.


Why you need a service plan

Seems like everyone and their brother wants to sell you an extended warranty. Most consumer websites advise against this. But what about service plans? What are the benefits to getting a service plan for the largest financial investment of your life?
Here are a few things to consider.ID-100228284
Maintenance is a key component in taking care of your home. Consider that you take your car to regularly get the oil changed and a rare tune-up. Your home mechanical systems need the same level of care. Regular checking can extend the life of your plumbing system.
Having a Justin Dorsey Plumbing professional check out your system, they can spot problems i.e. a leak that can result in costly repairs and/or higher energy bills.
During our annual inspection plan, our friendly technicians will

  • Check all supply connections to each fixture
  • Inspect and set water heater temperature
  • Examine flue gas expulsion
  • Check and clean burner box of the gas water heater
  • Basement sump pump test
  • Inspect toilets for leakage, flapper, and fill pump
  • Check inside faucets for leakage, lime build up, aerators
  • Outside faucet inspection, freeze, hose hook ups
  • Inspect drainage system
  • Inspect water filtration or conditioner
  • Plus much more

Plus, if you become one of our preferred customers, you can earn a 12 percent discount on all labor for any future repairs. Then you can be moved to the front of the line when an emergency occurs.

Talk to your technician, today about the Justin Dorsey Plumbing Service Plan and becoming a preferred customer and enjoy the peace of mind when it comes to your whole house mechanical systems.

Vacation: Water on or off? These tips can help







From a customer:

I am a long time customer with a question; When leaving for vacation should I turn off electric power supply for the well water pump, electric water heater, and turn off the valve for the main house water supply?

Thank you in advance.




Justin Dorsey reply:

Those are good questions.

There is no standard answer on this, as often, it depends on how long you are going to be gone, as well as possible weather conditions while gone.

Here is a way to look at it:

If you are going to be out less than a month, do not do anything, leave everything in normal service.  The reason is that when going through the shut down procedures and restart,  component failure can occur.  That would cost more to repair than the cost of operation for a month.  Simply turn the thermostat down on the water heater and the water conditioner into a vacation mode.

If gone more than a month, you might consider, turning power to the water heater off

If there is no vacation mode on water conditioning, unplug it and adjust to bypass. Turn power off to the pump and drain pressure to 0#psi.

Of course, when returning home you will have to remember everything needs to be put back into service. When you do, please remember this:

Do not turn water heater power on without first filling with water or you will burn out elements. 

This is not a exhaustive list, but just some ideas.  Hopefully this will help.


Justin Dorsey