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

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17
votes
6answers
90k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
38k views

What temperature should I set my water heater to?

When adjusting my 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
94k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
39k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
56k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
78k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
865 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
51k views

What causes tub drain to gurgle when toilet flushed?

Recently, the drain in my second floor tub makes a gurgling sound when I flush the toilet, which is located right next to the tub. They are obviously on the same drain line. I know that there is a ...
3
votes
1answer
10k 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
9k 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 ...
58
votes
9answers
80k 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?
18
votes
11answers
22k views

Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Pex tubing? How does it compare to copper?
8
votes
2answers
21k views

How should I configure my plumbing with PEX?

I have a house built in 1940, which has a mix of copper, PVC and galvanized pipe for its plumbing at present. I am going to be gutting the upstairs bathroom in the near future, and have access to ...
17
votes
5answers
43k views

Why does the shower get cold when I flush, and how can I prevent it?

When the shower is running and someone flushes a toilet, why does the shower get cold (or sometimes hot) in some houses, but not others? More importantly, would fixing that require replacing the ...
24
votes
5answers
88k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
75k 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? ...
8
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
16k 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
5answers
17k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why would you use copper over CPVC or PEX?

Are there any advantages to using copper rather than CPVC or PEX?
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Are SharkBite plumbing connectors as reliable as soldered connectors?

Are SharkBite plumbing connectors as reliable as soldered connectors?
7
votes
4answers
9k 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
988 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
2k 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
3answers
81k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
15k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
11k views

Why does my kitchen faucet cut out intermittently?

Sometimes when I'm running water from my kitchen faucet, it will cut out for no apparent reason. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm running hot or cold water (or a mixture), but does seem to happen ...
3
votes
3answers
10k 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
374 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
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

How to identify an old compression stem in order to find a replacement

I have an old (circa 1920s) bathroom faucet with a compression stem that started to leak unless tightened extremely tightly. When I took out the compression stem to replace it, I found that the screw ...
2
votes
1answer
442 views

How to get down slope on drain lines?

A question on how to get the proper slope in a drain. Let's say you have two section of drain line that must be plumb to each other. To connect these lines by code a 1/4" down slope is needed per ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is my toilet bubbling?

Last night while my washing machine and sink in the master bath was running, my master toilet started having air bubbles come up. Then this morning while I was showering I heard bubbles again, and ...
2
votes
5answers
12k 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
7k 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
86 views

How can I intentionally make my toilet make this noise?

For Halloween I want to haunt my toilets and have them make the noise heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S0zewtkqso How can I do that? I think I would just need to cut a slit in a rubber ...
1
vote
1answer
5k 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
82 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, ...
12
votes
8answers
41k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
11k views

Are toilets supposed to be caulked to the floor?

I've heard that in some cases toilets are supposed to be caulked to the floor. I replaced both toilets in the condo I moved into last week, and one was calked to the floor, and one was not. One ...
15
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
12
votes
11answers
26k views

Why is my toilet constantly backing up?

I've been in my new house for a few months now, and I end up plunging one of our two toilets about once a week - they tend to swap turns on which one gets to be finicky each week. Is there a more ...
6
votes
6answers
53k 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
41k 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
5answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
89k 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 ...