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

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49
votes
9answers
40k 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?
28
votes
4answers
46k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
43k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
12k 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 ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

What should we look for when buying a fixer-upper house?

My fiance and I are considering buying a fixer-upper house rather than an apartment when we get married. Obviously things like location, neighbors etc. are important, but; what should we be looking ...
17
votes
10answers
10k views

Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Pex tubing? How does it compare to copper?
16
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Are “1/4 turn” water supply valves more reliable than “multi-turn” valves? Or vice-versa?

Aside from personal preference, is there any reason why I would want to buy a "1/4 turn" water supply valve instead of "multi-turn valves"? Is one technology/design clearly superior than the other in ...
15
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
772 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
9k 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
1answer
2k views

What are the uses of the various schedules of PVC pipe?

I had a plumber come out the other day to do some work and I offered up some spare PVC that I had leftover from various projects and he told me that it was schedule so-and-so and wouldn't be ...
11
votes
11answers
13k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
11
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?
10
votes
5answers
15k views

Safe way to close gaps around copper pipes?

I have baseboard heaters in my main living space. I can't see for sure without taking the covers off (which I haven't done yet) but it appears 2 copper pips come up from the basement (through the ...
10
votes
4answers
20k views

How much water do water softeners waste?

I'm considering buying a water softener, but I heard that they waste a lot of water, and I don't really want my water bill to skyrocket. I haven't been able to find any clear indication of how much ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

Do I need a vent for extending a drain to a new bathroom addition?

I am building a new full bathroom on what used to be my back porch. I am planning to extend the existing drain at a cleanout and to run it outside the house underneath the floor. I need to know if I ...
9
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
349 views

Removed sink, now what?

We've decided to replace the sink (which was way too small) with one from Ikea. This is how it looks after the removal: Now for the problems: The sink that was there before was a free-hanging ...
9
votes
2answers
639 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
14k views

Can someone explain to me how this hot water recirculating system works?

How is my hot water recirculating system installed? ... and why is it not working like it should? Moved into a house recently that was built in 2006. There is a hot water recirculating pump ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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
1answer
1k views

How do I install an in-wall tank (wall-hung toilet) with the stack in the way?

Every toilet I've ever worked with (not many, I admit) has a stack in the wall directly behind it, including mine. I'm re-doing my bathroom and I'd like to install a wall-hung toilet. I have 2x4 ...
8
votes
3answers
9k 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
12answers
17k 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?
8
votes
4answers
219 views

What is this and can it be used to stop the flow of water?

I have a leaky spigot that I am trying to fix. I followed the water line back and found this. Does anyone know what it is? Can it be used to stop the flow of water?
8
votes
5answers
33k views

Why does this toilet clog so often?

My inlaws have one toilet in their house that regularly clogs. They have two more toilets that don't seem to clog at all. They live in a suburb with full plumbing (not a septic tank). The toilet isn't ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I install a sink in a room that doesn't have a drain vent?

I want to install a sink in my attached garage where there is no existing plumbing. I will be running new water supply and drain pipes to mains behind a nearby wall. I'm concerned I will need a ...
8
votes
2answers
18k 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
4answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What is this thing next to my sink? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is this component that connects to the garbage disposal? As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently moved to a new place and I'm still trying to figure out what ...
8
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

How proud can a toilet flange sit above the floor?

Related to How do I replace this cast iron toilet flange? I've removed the cast iron and am dry fitting the replacement parts. I used a 4" - 3" reducing coupling, 3" pvc and a 3" 90 to line up where ...
8
votes
2answers
750 views

Why does my toilet's seal wear out so fast?

The toilet in our only bathroom seems to go through drain seal about once a year. The flange on the drain line is old, and broken in several places, but we're able to keep everything firmly in-place ...
8
votes
1answer
306 views

Can I reduce or eliminate water hammer without plumbing?

I have a friend who lives in an apartment with terrible water hammer problems which the management is unwilling to fix. I'm curious if there is a product or device that would attach, for instance, to ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

How should I drain water from a basement dehumidifier?

Our basement has had difficulty with water in the past, from intrusions through the side (fixed by gutters) and chimneys (fixed by chimney caps). Most recently, however, water has been collecting on ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I deal with waste water from a washing machine in a non-plumbed room?

My wife wants to build a small add-on to the house in the current carport for the washer/dryer. It's not a huge project. The washing machine will be about 30ft from it's current location. I don't want ...
8
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Handheld showerhead backflow preventer

Every year my rental house is inspected by the city. Last time the inspector told me to add a backflow preventer (one-way check valve) to the handheld showerhead in the bathroom. The showerhead is ...