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

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6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I fix the sewer smell in my bathroom?

After several hours and no use, the bathroom accumulates some noticeable "sewer gas" smell, with kind of garlic. It is gone after a few minutes when the ventilating fan is turned on. The bathroom and ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this a bleeder? Why won't it close?

In trying to repair a pipe I went to empty my baseboard heating system, and so I tried to open what I thought was a bleeder. It didn't seem to make any difference, and now after unbolting it it will ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to remove this plastic pipe elbow

I cannot seem to get this plastic pipe elbow (pictured below) off. It joins a plastic pipe to an outside tap and the elbow has a crack in. I've tried twisting, pulling and pushing it - but it won't ...
6
votes
2answers
707 views

What are some ways to find a leak in a pipe?

I have a leak somewhere under my sink in the kitchen. I have a number of junctions/pipe/hoses there (6 lines), and one of them has a leak. It doesn't happen all the time, only when there is back ...
6
votes
2answers
975 views

“Dead-ending” unused plumbing

I'm planning on moving our hot water heater from its current location in our mudroom down to the basement, to live in what will become sort of a mechanical closet in the to-be-finished basement. My ...
6
votes
5answers
496 views

Which floor should be done first when updating a multi-family residence?

I'd like to renovate a 3 family rental property but don't know which floor is best to start on. The house was built in 1896. The electrical was recently updated prior to purchasing it in 2008. The ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it possible to reuse a copper pipe's compression fitting?

I removed what I didn't realize was a compression fitting on a copper pipe for my kitchen cold water supply. Is it possible to reuse the compression fitting or do I need to buy a new one to replace ...
6
votes
1answer
769 views

What is a quick and temporary fix for a cracked toilet waste pipe?

Somehow the porcelain waste pipe of the toilet has cracked and has started leaking. We're about to replace the whole bathroom so I just need a quick fix. Will wrapping the crack in duck tape work?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I fix a leaking outdoor faucet with broken threads?

We bought a house recently. The backyard has a faucet that is leaking (at the connection between pipe and faucet). looks like the previous owner tried to fix it too and in the process did the ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What could cause my sink to drain slowly?

Sometimes our bathroom sink will drain so slowly (with the water running) that the water will fill it faster than it can drain. However, after shutting the water off and letting it completely ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does flushing a toilet or running a clothes washer sometimes change shower temperature?

Admittedly, this isn't something that is happening to me but I'm curious: I've heard that in some houses, flushing toilets or running a clothes washer sometimes changes the water temperature for ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there an alternative to a self-piercing saddle valve for a humidifier?

I bought and installed a whole home humidifier. The humidifier is located in my attic connected to the air exchanger. The Self-Piercing Saddle Valve is located there as well to draw water to the ...
6
votes
1answer
435 views

What could cause the water flow in house pipes to suddenly be altered?

After 23 years of steady water flow when using toilets and all taps in our house, we noticed that in the last few weeks, whether it is in using the shower, or the toilet refilling, the water ebbs, ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

Should I replace my toilet's wax ring when I see moisture around the base?

I am noticing moisture around the bottom of the toilet, and can tell some moisture is staining the wood floor when viewed from the basement. The bolts holding the toilet are easily tightened. Will ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why would my pressure reducing valve fail after repairing my water main?

I had a main water line bust on my side of the water meter. After fixing it and turning water back on to my house my water heater T&P valve kept releasing spurts of water which found out it was ...
6
votes
2answers
30k views

Why does my toilet make a high pitched whine when it refills?

When my toilet is refilling with water,it makes a very high pitched whine. Any suggestions on how to resolve?
6
votes
4answers
15k views

What would cause the water pressure to be too high for just a second?

Lately when I turn on any faucet in my house the water comes rushing out at about twice the normal pressure for about half a second and then drops to normal pressure. I am worried the pressure is ...
6
votes
1answer
725 views

What will I need if I remove a broken garbage disposal from my kitchen sink?

I have a dual sink tub, with a broken garbage disposal attached to one drain. I just want to take the disposal off, and hook the dishwasher to the sink drain. Will I need to buy any extra tubing and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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

How strong are copper refrigerator ice maker water lines?

How strong are the standard copper refrigerator water lines? I have a decent size coil of copper line behind my refrigerator and I am afraid to re-position/re-coil it because I have no idea of it's ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

What can I use to lubricate a new kitchen faucet no longer turns?

I installed a new kitchen faucet about 6 months ago. However, it no longer turns/swivels at the base. My non-expert inspection of the problem seems to suggest that the point-of-swivel has a build up ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What can I do about a gas pipe that is in my way?

I have just taken part of a studded wall out for modernization reasons, but found a gas pipe right there in the middle of the aperture. The easy way round this would be to use a 'flexi hose' is this ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I lengthen my vent stack and are there any negative effects in doing so?

I have observed that when we receive a lot of snow here in Ontario, at least one of the drain vents on my roof is covered by snow. While after one winter in the house I have not yet observed any ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is required to relocate a garbage disposal?

I have a garbage disposal in my two well sink, only problem is when it was installed, it was placed on the left side of the sink -- closest to the dishwasher, further from the stove. When I'm cooking, ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
576 views

How can I locate the pump in a wet open-vented central heating system?

Lost: One Central Heating Pump. Reward offered (in reputation points ;) I have a wet open-vented central heating system, and I've turned it on after six months to find the radiators aren't getting ...
6
votes
7answers
74k views

Is there a way to thaw a frozen pipe, if you can't access the pipe?

Big freeze, new house. Just found out the add-on bathroom was plumbed by amateurs, and the cold water supply froze. I don't have access to the frozen section of pipe (without major demo), so I can't ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I “un-winterize” my sprinkler system?

I just moved into a house in which the sprinkler system has been winterized. I want to get it going again, but I'm not sure what to do about these four valves here. The previous owner told me that ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I replace a section of a 4" cast iron pipe with PVC?

I am working on our upstairs bathroom and plan on moving some of the fixtures around to a different side of the room. This means I need to make changes to where the drain comes into the stack (I want ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the symptoms when 1 of the electric water heater elements goes kaput?

I suspect that something has gone awry with the electric water heater. We do get water that is plenty hot, but it doesn't seem to last as long as it used to. My suspicions are further aroused because ...
6
votes
1answer
575 views

What is the best way of plumbing a bathroom so as to avoid temperature fluctuations in the shower?

Everyone has been in a shower where you can tell when someone flushes a toilet, opens a kitchen tap, etc, as the temperature rapidly changes. There's also other places where the shower is virtually ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I easily separate unglued PVC pipe from joints?

I've been retrofitting an existing PVC irrigation system around my house. Part of that work requires that I work in shallow holes adding T joints and elbows in places where there were none before. In ...
6
votes
3answers
928 views

How can I eliminate play in a water tap?

My hot water tap in the bathroom has had half a turn of play for as long as I can remember. That is, after increasing flow it takes half a turn before the flow will start going down again, and vice ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Does PEX leach BPA when used for hot water plumbing?

Would using PEX for potable hot water result in having Bisphenol A (BPA) leached into the water? Does PEX have BPA content?
6
votes
1answer
229 views

I think I have a section of frozen PEX inside an exterior wall. What should I do?

The sink in our main floor bathroom, which has an exterior facing wall, seems to have a frozen hot water pipe. The cold water flows freely and toilet is fine, but hot water seems to be frozen, which I ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Do tub drains of the same diameter ever have different thread-per-inch counts?

My tub's drain flange has had the little cross piece inside it broken out, which means I cannot screw a grid drain into it. Right now, it's totally open and an invitation for my toddler to drop stuff ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Should I install an inline water heater for my bathroom?

It takes 3-4 minutes of the shower running before the hot water reaches my upstairs bathroom. I'd like to not have to waste all that water and time. My initial though was to install an inline water ...
6
votes
5answers
15k views

Why does hot water come from the faucet when only the cold water tap is on?

On occasion, when I open the cold water tap on the kitchen sink, the flow from the faucet briefly becomes warm: it starts cool, becomes warm for about 30 seconds, and then returns to the desired cold ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

What should I do about putty that fell in the toilet opening?

When I was lifting off the old toilet a large chunk of plumbers putty/clay fell in the opening. (There was a huge amount under the toilet, and no wax that I could see.) I tried using a vacuum to get ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to install Water Heater drain pan to sump pit?

I want to replace my electric water heater. The current water heater does not have a drain pan. I'd like to add one with my new water heater. This is all in the basement. Our basement does not ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Do I have to do anything different to use compression fittings on chrome pipe?

I have a radiator sitting on a concrete floor in my bathroom. I'm connecting it up to the central heating with chrome pipes and chrome compression fittings - the piping is all visible above floor due ...
5
votes
3answers
498 views

What type of hose should be used when flushing a water heater?

I know that a hot water heater should be flushed yearly to mitigate sediment buildup. What kind of hose should be used? Is a simple garden hose sufficient, or will the hot water melt or damage the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What accessories, aside from faucets, fit into sink faucet holes?

I'm going to replace an existing 3-hole faucet with a single hole faucet in my kitchen sink. I plan on installing a soap dispenser into one of the other holes, but that will still leave me with one ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a freestanding bathtub drain be damaged by regular use?

I recently moved out of a house with a freestanding bathtub. During our tenancy there, the floor developed cracks which I reported and 2 months before we left, we would find water on the floor every ...
5
votes
4answers
12k views

Can I use a PVC cleanout plug in a Cast Iron Cleanout?

There's a cleanout plug on this pipe that I simply can't get loose. I've tried liquid wrench, PB blaster, heating up the area with a torch, everything I can think of. All that's really left is to go ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it a problem that my toilet flange is 3/8" below the surrounding tile?

My tile setter had to elevate the tiles around the toilet hole in order to make up for some unevennesses. As a result, the toilet flange is approx. 3/8" below the surrounding tile. Can that be ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I fix a leak at a decommissioned saddle-valve?

Water is dripping, about a drop every other second, out of the end of this thing. what is it? why is it dripping? can I fix it myself?
5
votes
3answers
536 views

What can soak up moisture from a closed space

I have a really weird problem. I have a bedroom wall where the paint kept bubbling and peeling off. I have re-textured and painted it several times. I finally ripped all the drywall off and ...
5
votes
5answers
866 views

Why do I have a vent stack if none of my fixtures are vented?

As far as I can tell, none of my plumbing fixtures are vented. I have a double-sink in the kitchen, but no vent pipe. My washroom (photo here) similarly has an s-trap. Same thing on my washing machine ...