For questions about the supply and removal of water and liquid waste.

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3
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the most effective way to remove epoxy plumbing putty?

At some point in the past, I used epoxy plumbing putty to seal a joint going into the faucet on my bathtub. It's now leaking again (seeping out past the putty) and I'd like to get the putty off so ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a way to increase toilet flush pressure to prevent clogs?

My toilet seems to be a little, well, underpowered when it comes to flushing. It often "chokes" and "coughs" when flushing only liquid, which seems to indicate that the water pressure isn't high ...
8
votes
1answer
374 views

How can I stop a running toilet?

I have a really weird issue: my toilet is running water, but it's not in the tank. It seems like there's a neverending small flow of water entering the bowl of the toilet from the left side of the ...
2
votes
1answer
538 views

What does the Plumbing Code say about securing a bathtub faucet to the studs?

My son is renting an apartment. It looks as if the bathtub faucet (spout and valvehandle) are only secured by the grout of the tile and haven't been properly secured at all to the studs. I know that ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Why can't SharkBite plumbing connectors be sold in CA and VT?

I've spent the last couple of weeks replacing my copper hydronic heat in the house. I'm now a convert to PEX and SharkBite connectors. I had to run out tonight to Home Depot to pick up one more ...
13
votes
4answers
788 views

Is plunging a toilet without a plunger a good tip or a horrible idea?

Read this elsewhere and personally, I thought it was a bad bad bad idea, but I wanted to put this out there to see if I might be mistaken: I learned a quick tip from a handyman on how to create a ...
0
votes
2answers
187 views

What is the minimum drill voltage/power required for a plumbing snake bit?

In particular this one Cobra Products 25Ft Power Drain Snake. Will a 12-volt cordless be strong enough?
3
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I clean hard water buildup from pipes?

I've basically confirmed that my overall plumbing problems are down to hard water buildup. My softener has been out of action for about a month or two (waiting on a part), so I have at least that much ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

How can I fix a broken shower elbow?

The shower elbow in the shower broke off at the copper pipe in the wall, leaving some of the plastic inside the copper pipe's threading. There seems to be some sort of sealant. How might you go about ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I replace a broken bathtub drain?

I am trying to replace my bathtub drain however the cross bars have broken off so I am unable to unscrew it from the tub. How can I unscrew it? EDIT: This is approximately the product I am trying ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I fix a leaky spigot on a rain barrel?

I created a rain barrel using an old plastic 55 gallon barrel and a brass spigot. I drilled a half-inch hole in the side of the barrel for the spigot, wrapped some plumbers tape around the threads, ...
4
votes
1answer
607 views

Should central heating pipes through internal brickwork have insulation?

My house has old (large diameter) steel central heating pipes. These travel through the basement before passing up through the house. My concern is that when they pass through internal walls they are ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I test the water in my house for contamination?

I live in a house that was built in the 1930's. I'm paranoid that the old pipes for hot and cold water(for the kitchen, shower, etc..) are contaminating the water. Is this something I should be ...
3
votes
3answers
886 views

What tools are required to unclog sink drain with garbage disposal?

So yesterday someone in my family put some celery stalks (with the hard stems included) down the garbage disposal, after which our drain drained much slower. I tried filling up the sink with water ...
2
votes
1answer
607 views

Snake drain gun vs compressed gas drain gun vs liquid - which is better for what?

I borrowed a powered snake style drain gun for some toilets and shower stalls, from an HVAC guy who said that liquid drain cleaners were next to useless. The short version is that the drain cleaner ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Do pressure reducing valves also function as check/one-way valves?

If installing a pressure reducing valve, is there any sense in installing a one-way check valve in series, or would it be redundant? (i.e. does the PRV also act as a one-way valve?)
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is my kitchen faucet dripping even after water is shut-off?

Kitchen faucet (two separate handles, pull-out hose, Price-Pfister Catalina model) is dripping from the faucet itself. I shut the water from below the sink, determined it's a cold water, unscrewed the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I unclog a clogged swimming pool vacuum?

I have a swimming pool which I was vacuuming the other day. Unfortunately, I accidentally vacuumed some larger items (leaves, paper, etc) which caused the whole mechanism to clog, i.e., I can no ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Should a circulator pump be installed on the supply or return of a forced hot water heating system?

I currently have a forced hot water heating system with 3 zones, all of which have the circulator pump on the supply side of the line. I need to install a 4th zone and am being told that putting the ...
2
votes
1answer
270 views

Why would the pressure in my kitchen faucet drop overnight?

The kitchen faucet has just noticeably decreased in pressure. No leaks anywhere. It did get a lot colder overnight, but that's the only thing that changed. Any ideas?
4
votes
3answers
141 views

What's a good entry-level text/video on residential plumbing?

Anything for the near-absolute beginner? I've removed the 180-degree angle dirt trap under my sink and cleaned a pipe with a motorized snake, but that's about it. Any book recommendations would be ...
4
votes
1answer
675 views

Do I need to install the grounding clamp on a water softener if both input and output are PEX?

We are installing a Whirlpool water softener in a new home with PEX water lines. The installation manual says to place the supplied ground clamp over both inlet and outlet water lines. As I mentioned ...
6
votes
1answer
904 views

When replacing a supply line to a house in Houston, TX, what is the best material to use?

A house in Houston, TX (southern "sun belt" climate, no frost, but flexible clay soils) has a Polybutalyne supply line running from the meter to the house. It's already burst once and been repaired, ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do the water pipes around my water meter vibrate when water is flowing?

I have a problem where there is a vibration in the cold water pipes whenever water is flowing (i.e. a tap is running, just after the toilet has been flushed etc.). The vibration appears to be focused ...
13
votes
4answers
29k views

Why do my toilets flush slowly and often incompletely?

I have three toilets that all flush slowly and incompletely. I've adjusted the chain to ensure the flap raises completely. I've raised the float to ensure the tank fills nice and high. Yet I have this ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is my toilet humming?

After one of my toilets is flushed, and it fills the bowl back up, I sometimes get a loud thrumming/humming noise. It is the flusher stacky thingy making the noise. I turned down the volume of ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I need to replace my hot water tank's pressure release valve?

Recently we had an extended water outage. When water came back, pressure in the lines was much higher. The hot water heater started leaking from the pressure release valve and after flipping it a ...
6
votes
7answers
22k views

How do I retrieve a detached plunger from a bathtub drain?

I have an old bathtub drain assembly that is similar to this: As far as I can tell, the linkage broke off completely due to old age. If I unscrew the trip lever and cover, it's not attached to ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does my kitchen sink smell when the washing machine is running, and what can I do about it?

I live in a flat, on the second floor. When we run the washing machine (which is connected to the kitchen sink's plumbing) it gurgles a lot and often produces a nasty smell. Why is this, and how can I ...
7
votes
2answers
25k views

What is causing a whistling sound coming from my upstairs bathroom?

My upstairs shower is causing a high-pitched whistling sound when it's running and there is a showerhead attached. If I remove the showerhead, but keep the water flowing, the whistling noise stops. It ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my kitchen faucet suddenly have too much water pressure?

I have a single lever Kohler kitchen faucet. The water comes out with so much pressure that if I am trying to rinse anything it makes water spray everywhere. The faucet has not always done this. Is ...
5
votes
2answers
857 views

How do I realign copper water pipes after cutting?

I cut a 1/2" copper pipe to insert a tee fitting a which will eventually go to a Pex line for an outdoor tap. The copper pipe was vertical, and when I completed the cut I found that the pipe was ...
4
votes
7answers
15k views

How can I prevent or remedy “bio slime” accumulation in a sink drain?

The drain in the sink which we use for mouthwash consistently gets clogged by a very repugnant slime. I've tried all the common drain unclogging products (Drano, Liquid Plumber) as well as some ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Can I cut or cover a sewer cleanout pipe in front of my house?

I have a PVC pipe sticking up in front of my house, in a flower-bed area. It's 20 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. As I understand, it is a sewer clean-out pipe. It's rather unsightly and I've ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

What's that dripping sound I hear in the attic whenever we turn on the water?

Obviously it has something to do with water, but I haven't been able to track it down. Basically, whenever someone turns on the water in my house, I hear a dripping sound coming from the ceiling ...
4
votes
2answers
721 views

What do you call this old pipe to bath tap join and how do I remove it?

I'm trying to replace the bath taps. I'm at the point where i've removed one, but can't get the 2nd one off. They are connected differently (go figure). See attached image: As i'm new to plumbing i ...
2
votes
1answer
578 views

What flux should I use for copper that will be used for food prep?

I need to solder some copper tubing that will be used in food preparation. I have of course silver/lead-free solder, but I understand that I might need/want water soluble flux or another type of ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What would cause a slight thumping noise in water pipes on toilet and washer?

Everyone once in a while, some of the pipes in our house make some noise, mainly only when you flush a the one toilet, or use the washer. When using the sinks, hoses, or shower, the noise is not ...
3
votes
3answers
426 views

What options do I have for quick disconnects for copper/plumbing?

(Related to this question) but I think that may be too specific in that I already had an idea of how to solve the problem - perhaps the better way is to pose the problem and ask for the best ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

What temperature are faucet feed lines rated for? (don't want them to leach into potable fluid)

I am planning on using the flexible faucet feed lines for a project I am working on. (they have a metallic outside and I suspect vinyl or plastic interior) The temperature of the fluid that I will ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I loosen my bathroom stopper pivot nut

I'm trying to remove my bathroom sink stopper so that I can clean out the drain. I found these instructions for doing so but they talk about a pivot nut that can be loosened. Under my sink, in the ...
5
votes
2answers
17k views

Maximum run on drain?

I'm planning a reconfiguration of my basement and want to move both the powder room and w/d to new locations. The powder room would be close enough to the stack not to worry me, but I'm looking at ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

How do I find out who manufactured the plumbing in my home?

There is a nationwide class action lawsuit going on against defective manufactured copper piping in homes. I need to find out who manufactured my home's copper piping to determine if my piping ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does my new replacement pull-out kitchen faucet sprayer leak?

I've had the same old sprayer attachment to my kitchen sink for a long time and last week I finally decided to get rid of it. The current sink hose (with sprayer detached) is shown here: And if ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What steps should I take after kitty litter has been washed down the drain?

A relative tried to do me a "favor" and clean out the bathtub where a kitty box had been temporarily stored. I guess 2-3 pounds of clumping litter were washed down the drain. It doesn't appear to be ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

Stuck, leaking water shutoff valve to toilet

The problem... I recently replaced the fill valve and the flapper in one of the toilets in my house. When I turned the water back on using the shutoff valve below the toilet, a slow drip had ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Connecting a P-trap to a female drain connector in the wall

I am replacing a bathroom vanity and while I'm doing that, I'm also replacing the p-trap for the sink (mostly because I want one with a drain, but also because I have to raise the height a couple ...
2
votes
1answer
631 views

How to turn on a ballofix / ball valve?

When I turned the valve off, it was as if it made a small click, as if it had reached a locking position. Now I can't turn it on again. I have one other just like this one, and that one can I turn ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

How do I dismantle a faucet assembly to replace a leaky valve?

A bit embarrassed asking this, but... I'm trying to replace a leaking valve off my faucet assembly, but am unable to unscrew the faucet cap. Here is the faucet assembly - Taboret® widespread lavatory ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

New Vanity: Sink Won't Drain Completely

My wife and I just replaced the vanity in our bathroom. To fit the new sink, we had to cut some new PVC. Here's a picture. All the plumbing works, without leaks, except that it will not drain ...