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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

26
votes
3answers
14k views

How do I fix a “water hammer” problem?

When I shut off a water faucet or right after the toilet tank refills after flushing, I hear a vibrating sound in my pipes. It last between one and two seconds. On the interwebs, I found out that ...
11
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Toilet does full-blast, one-second refill every hour or so

I wouldn't lose sleep over this, except the unexpected and fierce sound startles my girlfriend and cat every time. So I just replaced the refill valve on our toilet (using a kit, so everything from ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I eliminate the “whooshing” sound of water running though pipes?

At every faucet and toilet in our house, when water is running, it creates a loud wooshing noise in the walls. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it's like the normal "oh I can hear the sink or ...
15
votes
2answers
20k views

How do I fix a leaky toilet that only leaks from underneath?

I am noticing some water spots on my concrete in my (unfinished) basement. When I look up for the cause of the water I can see water dripping around the hole that is used for the sewer pipe for the ...
9
votes
2answers
545 views

Why is the water pressure in my home clearly less than my neighbors?

I own a relatively new home (3 years old) in a new development. I have a PEX water system, which I love (as do all my neighbors). So, I put out the "fan" sprinkler in my yard, and it shoots an ...
5
votes
3answers
20k views

When should pipe dope vs thread tape be used?

For threaded plumbing connections, you typically use pipe dope or thread tape (aka teflon tape). Are there situations when one is preferred over another? Does the size of the pipe, type of pipe, part ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How can I install a sink/dishwasher in basement?

I am looking to finish my basement and as part of the renovation, I'd like to install a bar complete with a sink and dishwasher (and beer taps of course). Attached (once I get enough rep) is a ...
45
votes
9answers
34k views

How can I improve the water pressure in my shower?

I recently purchased my first home. It has two bathrooms and the water pressure in both is less than ideal. What are some steps I can take to increase the pressure?
13
votes
8answers
7k views

Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Pex tubing? How does it compare to copper?
28
votes
4answers
36k views

Why does my dishwasher back up into the sink, but running the disposal allows it to drain?

When my dishwasher runs the kitchen sink backs up. I have a two tub sink and only the side nearest the dishwasher with the garbage disposer backs up. Running the disposal for a few seconds causes the ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I tell if these pipes are gas lines or water lines?

I recently moved into an in-law unit of a large old house. In the kitchen, there are two pipes coming out of the wall (one protruding out a little more than the other). I had assumed they were gas ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I verify where the pipes in my basement go?

In the photos below, I have 3 pipes coming up out of the ground in my basement. One is about 4" (sewer?), the other 2 are 2" (gray water?). Then there are a few coming out of the ceiling (vents?), all ...
16
votes
4answers
31k views

How do I wrap pipe threads with teflon tape?

When wrapping pipe threads with teflon tape (thread seal tape), what is the direction and recommended number of times to wrap the tape around the threads? Any other recommendations or tip/tricks when ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why would you use copper over CPVC or PEX?

Are there any advantages to using copper rather than CPVC or PEX?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the first shower of the day is colder than the second?

Description Since I've moved into this house, I've noticed that the first shower of the day is colder than the any subsequent shower. More specifically, if no hot water has been used for a while, ...
5
votes
1answer
403 views

What is this component that connects to the garbage disposal?

I am trying to install a new faucet with a soap dispenser. I removed my old facuet; however, where the soap dispenser is supposed to go, this is here: It has pipes that go to the sink erator under ...
4
votes
2answers
799 views

Did I just ruin the flange on our toilet?

The point where the elbow joint from our flushometer meets the toilet bowl has begun leaking (dripping, really) whenever we flush (so, whenever water passes through it). I jiggled it a bit and the ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How to fix a bathtub faucet that leaks only when the shower runs?

I just moved into an apartment and the faucet in the tub is fine when all of the water is off. It leaks when I turn on the water and switch it to the shower head. What could be the problem? It's a ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Decipher my bathroom rough in

Can someone help me decipher this picture? When I had the house built, the builder roughed in a bathroom for later use. The pipes in this picture are A 2" pipe, possible a vent with a T connector ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

How can I fix a leak in the pipe coming out of my water heater?

There's a water leak in the tube coming out of my heater. Yet the bolts look tightly put. I'm not sure how to fix it. Any idea ?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What could be causing water to drip from the relief valve of my new gas water heater?

My old hot water tank met its maker about two or three weeks ago, and since then I have installed a new Kenmore 50 gallon gas water heater to replace it. The new water heater seems to work fine, I ...
3
votes
1answer
39k views

What could cause bubbling toilet when the shower or sink is running?

One of the two toilets in my rental house is bubbling when the shower or sink in that master bath area are on. In the past, about 6 months ago, I have had plumbers and rotoruter out and they could ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What goes on threads first: tape or dope?

Should the dope be applied directly to the male threads or should the tape go on first?
2
votes
3answers
4k views

What are some causes/solutions for poor drainage?

What are some causes/solutions for poor drainage? It seems that our house tends to drain water very slowly. The bathroom sink could probably overflow if the water was left on, the bathtub also seems ...
1
vote
1answer
376 views

How long can a sink drain be?

I've read that the rule is 1/4" per foot of drain line. From what I know, the rule is based on the height of the P-trap to where you tie in. What part of the P-trap do you measure from? How low can ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

How does one determine whether a waterlogged High HP pump is electrically OK to use?

A high power pump (the mechanic said it is a 0.75HP induction motor) is mounted on the old well using those huge bolts driven through the stone. During the recent rains the grounds were water-logged, ...
11
votes
8answers
10k views

What can I do about my drains constantly getting blocked?

The one thing I have tried to do about this is use those foaming and non-foaming drain unblockers regularly. That has just been money down the drain, pardon the pun. I suspect that unblockers only ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How to fix a leaky flapper valve?

I bought a house that had been sitting for some time. One of the the issues that I've discovered is that the flapper valve leaks. I've come to this conclusion by turning off the water to the tank ...
14
votes
2answers
8k views

How often do septic tanks typically need to be pumped?

At the risk of potentially asking an off-topic question, I'd like to better understand the maintenance of a septic tank. I've never had one before and am unfamiliar with how to manage one. My ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Are tankless water heaters worth it in cold climates?

I was thinking of switching over to a tankless water heater, but a friend of mine said they are not good in colder climates since the water coming in is colder and takes longer to heat. Is this a ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do I have blue water coming out of the faucets?

We have an upstairs bathroom that we've gutted and are having some contractors remodel. The toilet is the only thing that hasn't been touched. We had a plumber come and redo all of the source and ...
6
votes
4answers
17k views

Can p-trap be installed higher than drain entry?

I have p-trap entry in drain at 16" above the floor. However, vanity that I got has lower drawer which has top at about the same height. There is also about 4" clearance behind drawer. I was told that ...
6
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
581 views

Options for replacing an at-grade hose bibb

The problem My house is built on a crawlspace and the floor of the house is just a few inches above grade. The hose bibbs come straight out of the crawlspace and are thus very close to the ground. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Are hot water returns worth putting in?

Once I saw on an episode of This Old House that they were putting in hot water return lines: pipes that recirculate idle hot water back to the heater so you get hot water right away, instead of ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What alternative methods exist to correct a belly in a clay sewer line?

In the first 18 months of living in my house, I've already had 4 sewage backups in my basement. Luckily the basement is not finished and I've caught the backup each time before it became a large ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is this clunking noise in my water pipe?

Earlier today, I noticed a strange, repetitive clunking noise from the vicinity of my water heater. After some investigation, it seems to come from the cold water supply to the water heater. Here's ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Low Pressure From Shower Head Troubleshooting

The water pressure from the shower head in one of my bathrooms is extremely low. The pressure coming out of the faucet of the bath is low as well. It has not always had this low pressure, it has ...
16
votes
1answer
7k views

What temperature should I set my hot water heater to?

When adjusting my hot water heater, what temperature should I set it to? Is the answer different if you have: Concerns about diseases A dishwasher Young children or elderly that can be easily burned ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I replace this cast iron toilet flange?

I have a big old gawd awful cast iron (at least I think it's cast iron, the house was built in 1940) toilet flange that is in sorry shape. See? There will never be a better time to replace it - as ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Will a PEX run freeze if it's in the attic above a foyer?

I plan on running PEX pipes both hot and cold across 16 feet of unheated attic space above a foyer. The foyer is 16' long and is off the kitchen, it isn't heated directly but is part of the house; it ...
9
votes
1answer
864 views

Can a toilet be moved 6 inch to the right?

I want to move my toilet over horizontally by 6 inches. Is there an "S" shape pipe piece I can use to connect my existing plumbing to my toilet? Is there any other simple solution to getting this ...
9
votes
5answers
12k views

Why does my shower switch keep burning out?

I have a Mira Shower 10.8 kW. My switch is a 45A switch. I have a 50A fuse for the shower. The shower uses 10mm2 cable. 9 months ago the switch sparked and refused to turn off and the fuse ...
8
votes
2answers
437 views

When should I not use pipe dope/tape?

When is it appropriate to use tape, dope, or nothing at all when connecting pipe fittings? Several advised not to use any product when I posed this question. What is the purpose of each product, and ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

What would cause air bubbles in the toilet when I'm showering?

My basement bathroom has recently been remodeled, everything was working fine for a few weeks, but now all of a sudden I am hearing bubbles in the toilet when I shower, at which point the shower drain ...
8
votes
12answers
14k views

Is it worth it to insulate hot water PEX tubing?

Is it worth the time and expense to put the foam pipe wrap on pex hot water pipes? I've seen mixed statements. What is your thought? But more importantly, can you back it up?
7
votes
5answers
25k views

How do I “fix” a bad sweat (solder) joint?

I tried soldering some 1/2" copper (to make something like this) and some of my joints are horrible. I tested it with water and some of the joints leak. What is the best way to fix the joints? ...
6
votes
2answers
787 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 ...