For questions relating to the water system of a home or other building, including plumbing and fixtures, water heating, water filtering and treatment, and irrigation/sprinkler systems. Questions regarding swimming pools and spas should have the additional tags "pool" or "spa".

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15
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I prevent spillage from my bathtub?

Let's set the scene: The horizontal surfaces of the bathtub in my apartment are flat. We have a double shower curtain (with the waterproof bit that hangs on the inside of the tub and the fabric bit ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I prevent water from pooling in the street in front of my house?

I have a problem with water pooling in front of my house. Between my Sprinklers and the rain there is always a puddle where my lawn meets the street. What do you think is the best way to stop this ...
10
votes
4answers
15k 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
3answers
5k views

Did the plumber hook up my water heater backwards?

I just had a plumber install a new 50 gallon water heater, but the cold water pipe is installed to the hot side (the left pipe when facing the front of the heater) and the hot water pipe is installed ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Is this plastic pipe connecting city water to the main line dangerous?

I bought a whole house water filter to hook up to the main water line. The plumber who came in said that he won't be able to install it because the pipe that comes from the ground hooked up to the ...
9
votes
3answers
436 views

Do I need to do anything for my external spigots during a short hard freeze?

Like the questioner in Do I need to do anything to protect my pool during a rare freeze? I live in central florida and its going to be a hard freeze tonight. Do I need to let the spigots drip or cover ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

Why will my pilot light on the gas water heater not stay lit for more than 15 minutes?

The pilot light went out on my gas water heater. I followed the instructions and had it lit three times now for about 15 minutes each time but it wont stay lit. Not sure what to do at this point?
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a good way to test water quality in your house?

What are the best ways to test for water quality in your house? The water is from a well, not town water. Are there any products that can continuously test the water coming in (versus manually ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are my gutter guard options?

As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm planning to add some gutters to my house. I see that there's wide variety of gutter guards available and was curious which ones are better? As far as I can ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What sort of things should one look for in a water-softener?

Hard water (from a well) at the house, and I was wondering what to look for in terms of getting a water-softener, or things to avoid.
7
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I remove (food) oil stain from a wood table?

Spilled some oily salad dressing on a wood table that was not varnished or sealed in any way. Not sure the type of wood - it almost looks like teak, but I don't believe it is. We used water on the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

If the iron levels in our home's water are too high, how do we adjust them?

Although I haven't tested the actual water quality in our house, we often get orange colored stains in toilets and around drains where water has evaporated - which I would assume are from high iron ...
7
votes
3answers
352 views

Options for fixing outside cement staircase?

We have a below-grade basement and a exit door. There are concrete steps to the door, parallel to the house (so on your right is the house) and on the left is a brick wall. The steps appear to have ...
7
votes
2answers
299 views

How can I prevent water from being fed to my foundation through the gas-line ditch?

I recently had a gas line installed, and now there is water leaking into my basement about six feet below grade. It is not surprising that the 130-year-old fieldstone foundation is porous, but until ...
6
votes
6answers
679 views

Should I replace fallen gutters?

This past winter a heavy snow fall ripped two sets of gutters off our house, and I haven't had a chance to re-hang them yet. One is over our back door and it's really annoying having the running off ...
6
votes
2answers
355 views

How can I monitor my mains water use?

I'm in a debate with my water company about usage. Are there any methods to verify that the reading on my water meter outside my house is increasing at the proper rate?
6
votes
10answers
14k views

Why might our washing machine cause our clothes to smell damp when dry?

Recently we've noticed that our clothes smell damp once dried. It doesn't matter if we tumble-dry them, hang them outside or hang them indoors. This leads me to believe it's our washing machine. We ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I add a carbonated water tap in my kitchen?

I love carbonated water, but am sick and tired of buying it in bottles. There are home water-carbonating appliances like SodaStream, but I prefer not to have another countertop appliance. Can I ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Should the water heater be shut down if the water main has to be turned off?

I have a brand new AO Smith 50gal Gas water heater, today there was a pipe burst from the cold spell we're having in the states currently so I had to turn off the water to the house until the plumbers ...
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, ...
6
votes
1answer
407 views

What to do if my sump is bone-dry?

My wife has been suffering the past two years with severe asthma symptoms (never had asthma before this). She's been advised that it's probably mold. We asked a company to look for moisture ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
620 views

How can I determine what is in my water?

My question is, how can I determine exactly what these "floaties" are that I see in my drinking water? I know that I sound crazy and more than a little obsessive-compulsive....my wife tells me this ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
1answer
4k views

How to stop outside rainwater from coming in under the wall and through the concrete floor of my garage conversion?

I have got a problem with an attached garage converted den in a 1978 built brick home. The heavy spring rains are redirected to the two year old perforated drain system on the side of the house ...
5
votes
4answers
627 views

Is it possible to collect rain water from a roof for drinking use?

For a re-roofing or new build, I was pondering the possibility of capturing and purifying water for drinking use. Are there good examples of this? What roofing materials should be used or avoided? ...
5
votes
5answers
6k views

Do external faucets have an indoor shutoff valve somewhere indoors?

Spring is here! So I decided to see if I could draw some water for watering the plants outside and... no water and no pressure at my outside faucet. I just bought my house (1948 victory house in ...
5
votes
6answers
549 views

Can I build a hot tub using lumber?

So, as it stands now I am hoping to build a hot tub from lumber. I've done ponds and makeshift pools and such, but this I want to be a lasting thing. It'll be framed and then lined with a thick ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it time to replace my 20 year old water heater?

My water heater (gas) shows a date of 1991 on it, although the house was built in 1993. There is nothing wrong with it. It is a little slow to heat the water up, sometimes taking almost 5 minutes to ...
5
votes
5answers
863 views

Why is there white crust on my dishes after they are washed in the dish washer? [closed]

Recently my dishes have been coming out of the dish-washer with a lot of white powdery-crust all over them. It's extremely hard to scrub off and often the only way to remove it is to soak them in ...
5
votes
3answers
19k views

What causes a water heaters relief valve to discharge water?

I have a Gas Reliance Water Heater 1212. I found recently (in winter) there is a water dip through the relief valve into a 5 gallon bucket. Sometimes, it can fill the whole bucket. Sometimes, it has ...
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
2answers
2k views

Understanding water and sewer

In my water bill (in U.S.), there are two charges, one for water consumption and the other for sewer consumption. I was wondering what the difference between water and sewer is? This month, our water ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the fridge water line popping out of the connection when under pressure?

I am trying to run a water line for my fridge. I put the saddle valve into the sink cold water copper pipe. That seemed to work fine - no link from the valve. But, when I screw the plastic tubing ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Resetting fence posts in very wet condtions

This winter the Minnesota frost heaved up 5 fence posts in my yard. I've pulled out the 5 posts, and have found basically puddles of water and very very wet mud. I shop-vac'd out the standing ...
5
votes
3answers
220 views

How do I seal a garden hose against a nipple?

I put a nipple on the end of a garden hose. It leaks when I close the valve at the other end of the hose. I have pushed the hose all the way up the nipple. It's sealed really tight. I could barely ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I repair a flexible hot water supply hose that is leaking at the nut?

The hot water supply hose under my sink started leaking after I replaced the popup drain on the sink. Apparently I disturbed the hose in some way. It is leaking from just above the nut where it ...
5
votes
1answer
612 views

Should a curtain drain be covered/back filled?

I do some light maintenance and yard work in exchange for rent. The building had some problems with flooding. We have an extensive drain system, but it was a bit clogged. Even after the plumbers ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I cut and cap copper water tubing cheaply and safely?

In my basement I have copper water pipes that look like they hooked up to an old shower. Now they don't hook up to anything. I want to prune these pipes where they come off the main water line (so I ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I repair drywall around a bathtub?

I have an area of drywall that is next to my bath tub that has gotten soft and crumbly. Mostly held together by paint & caulk now. I'm reasonably sure I understand why. We're getting some water ...
5
votes
2answers
642 views

What could be the cause of a washing machine hose coming loose?

Ok, I'm not a rocket scientist but this has me stumped. I have a new hot water hose for my washing machine. I replaced the O-ring on the faucet side of the the connection, tightened and went to use. ...
5
votes
3answers
367 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
203 views

Will internal waterproofing solve my moisture problems?

We've been working on our water problem for awhile now. Here's the deal: There is black drain tile under the home (all the way around) tied into a sump crock. Water was only coming in one side. A ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

Why am I getting water scaling even with a softener installed?

I have a problem with higher levels of scaling around sinks and toilets and I'm wondering if someone can help. We recently purchased an older home (35 years old), which did not have a water softener ...
5
votes
1answer
337 views

Why has my water filter made my water less clean?

A few years ago I installed a Whirlpool under sink water filtration system that I purchased from Lowes, as part of a kitchen renovation. I've just replaced the carbon filter again (following the ...