Questions tagged [plumbing]

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

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72 votes
10 answers
119k 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?
brendan's user avatar
  • 1,155
50 votes
12 answers
10k views

How can I remove a lemon from a toilet drain?

My little boy flushed a whole lemon down the toilet. It is stuck. What can I use to remove the lemon?
Kristin Westrup's user avatar
44 votes
8 answers
78k views

How can I pull a wire through a pipe that has too many turns for fish tape?

I need to replace a sump pump, but have run into a problem. The route for the cord goes through a 2" pipe with two 90 degree bends, and fish tape is ineffective. The pipe appears poorly jointed as ...
Bryce's user avatar
  • 10.9k
44 votes
7 answers
30k views

How to reinforce a joist with plumbing running through it?

After removing the sub floor in my bathroom in order to extend the sewer pipe for the toilet (it's too close to the tank-side wall), I found that the floor joists have extremely large holes cut in ...
Jordan's user avatar
  • 635
41 votes
7 answers
209k views

Purpose of Fill Valve Tube Going into Overflow Drain

I can easily understand the purpose of the overflow tube itself, but why is the little black hose that comes from the fill valve placed down into the overflow tube? On my toilet, there is a strong ...
Buck's user avatar
  • 733
40 votes
4 answers
21k views

This fell out of my toilet when I unscrewed the supply line. What is it?

I needed to replace my toilet’s tank to toilet gasket, and in the process disconnected the toilet’s supply line. The rubber “screw like” object shown above fell out when I did this. After finishing ...
objectivesea's user avatar
36 votes
6 answers
192k 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 ...
Jeff Widmer's user avatar
  • 8,192
36 votes
5 answers
53k 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 it'...
vitule's user avatar
  • 461
35 votes
6 answers
420k 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 ...
BMitch's user avatar
  • 42.8k
35 votes
2 answers
17k views

How can we dry out a soaked water heater (and restore a novice plumber's dignity)?

Suppose a novice plumber -- a completely hypothetical novice plumber -- removed the top heating element in their electric water heater before the tank had sufficiently drained, resulting in about a ...
universalhandle's user avatar
33 votes
8 answers
6k views

How long do modern flush toilets last?

I have always considered flush toilets to basically last forever. I have graced toilets constructed over a century ago with my behind, and they have worked just fine. Recently, when explaining a ...
End Anti-Semitic Hate's user avatar
33 votes
5 answers
36k views

Why does this pipe feeding a hot water heater dip down like this?

This is a cold water pipe just in front of the hot water heater it is feeding. Why is it shaped that way? What is its function?
Rob's user avatar
  • 1,238
32 votes
4 answers
101k 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 ...
BMitch's user avatar
  • 42.8k
31 votes
5 answers
130k 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 ...
Freiheit's user avatar
  • 4,192
31 votes
10 answers
152k 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 ...
Billy ONeal's user avatar
30 votes
6 answers
6k views

How should I support this large drywall patch?

after the installation of a new water heater and a relatively extensive plumbing fix, I wanted to save a buck trying to patch the drywall myself. It's the very first time I buy a piece of drywall or ...
Alessio Sangalli's user avatar
27 votes
6 answers
38k 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 ...
Mike B's user avatar
  • 8,083
26 votes
9 answers
14k views

Is there a freezing-water-resistant metal pipe?

I want to install a water outlet on the outside of my house for gardening etc. Outside temperatures here in Latvia fall to -25°C sometimes, so I cannot use a common water pipe; it would burst when the ...
AndyZ's user avatar
  • 470
26 votes
14 answers
72k views

Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Pex tubing? How does it compare to copper?
Tester101's user avatar
  • 131k
26 votes
8 answers
272k 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 ...
allnightgrocery's user avatar
25 votes
21 answers
288k views

What is the advantage of PEX pinch clamp vs. crimp rings?

I just saw these for the first time today at Lowe's: The advantages I can see over the crimp style are: A single tool can work with multiple PEX sizes That single tool is cheaper than a single-size ...
Mike Powell's user avatar
  • 9,334
25 votes
6 answers
9k views

Can a toilet get "too old" to the point where it can never be unclogged and must be replaced?

We had an issue where a toilet that worked fine since we moved in 6 years ago recently would not flush. I took a plunger to it and snaked from the roof and it helped in that the toilet would slowly ...
Niles's user avatar
  • 351
24 votes
11 answers
23k 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 ...
BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft's user avatar
24 votes
8 answers
14k views

Why aren’t there water shutoff valves for each room?

Had an issue today with a nail going through a water supply line in a bathroom. It got me wondering if there is a practical or technical reason there aren’t typically room-specific shut offs between ...
Mike Whitis's user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
10k views

Is it safe to flush newspaper down the toilet?

Recently an Australian newspaper printed several blank pages to help readers who may have run out of toilet paper. Would it be safe to flush pieces of newspaper down the toilet?
pacoverflow's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
6k views

Must these old pipes be replaced?

We are currently renovating our bathroom ourselves on the 2nd floor. We were going to redo the tiles only, and we found a newspaper from 1947 around the old pipes which means it was installed a long ...
sol1000's user avatar
  • 384
23 votes
1 answer
10k views

How do I remove this fastener under my bathroom faucet

What the heck is this brass fastener and how do I remove it? It seems to be holding down my bathroom faucet which I'm trying to replace. All I can think is that center "hinge" maybe unscrews somehow?...
Magnus's user avatar
  • 333
23 votes
5 answers
106k 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 ...
BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
557k views

Should a gas 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 burst pipe from the cold spell we're having currently, so I had to turn off the water main to the house until the plumbers get ...
Chris W.'s user avatar
  • 626
22 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is my fast-draining, gurgling sink the cause of sewer smells?

My laundry has a washing machine, a large sink, a toilet and a small hand basin. The washing machine drains into the large sink. We sometimes notice a sewer-like smell in the laundry. I'm trying to ...
OutstandingBill's user avatar
21 votes
17 answers
118k 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?
Dilbert789's user avatar
  • 1,003
21 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can I still be sold plumbing fixtures that contain lead?

I'm shopping for brass or stainless ball valve to replace shutoff on a plumbing line. I see on ebay that some valves are advertised as "lead-free" while others are not. I would've assumed ALL brass/...
codechimp's user avatar
  • 725
20 votes
4 answers
64k views

How can I unscrew the faucet nuts in the tight space behind my sink basin?

My bathroom faucet is dripping, and I would like to change the washers in it. The problem I am running into is the placement of the nuts holding the faucet valves in place: This is the underside of ...
Joel Croteau's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
5k views

Can my municipal water line siphon from my house water lines?

Our local water tower is empty during this winter storm. I heard my water heater "running" even though there were no faucets on in the house - I immediately thought I had a burst pipe. ...
Aww_Geez's user avatar
  • 669
20 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is all copper pipe pretty much the same?

Is there different levels of quality in copper plumbing pipe? I see copper pipe at Home Depot and I assume plumbing supply stores sell it too. Does pretty much everybody sell the same quality of ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 6,829
20 votes
5 answers
288k views

Should my toilet flange sit on top of the backer board or the tile of the floor?

The bathroom model saga continues. The old toilet flange was rusting, and the subfloor was rotting, so I pulled up the subfloor around the toilet, and replaced the drain pipe with ABS, and an elbow. ...
MarkD's user avatar
  • 5,115
20 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why would you use copper over CPVC or PEX?

Are there any advantages to using copper rather than CPVC or PEX?
jlpp's user avatar
  • 1,974
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to get a wrench into this location to remove this nut

How do I remove the nut from this vertical motorised valve in the following picture: The valve itself is a few mm next to the pipe and I have tried quite a few tools to remove this and nothing works. ...
Dave3of5's user avatar
  • 291
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to avoid breaking electric wires, telephone wires, and water pipes in the garden while digging

I'm located in France. For a house (built over 30 years ago) I have to pull new cables through the garden (about 20 m - 30 m). The cable has to avoid certain trees, bushes, obstacles and arrive at a ...
gelonida's user avatar
  • 321
19 votes
9 answers
95k 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 ...
RomanSt's user avatar
  • 511
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can white bread be used to temporarily plug pipes for repair?

I've been digging on the Internet, for a solution to soldering a dribbling pipe. It seams logical, but I wanted to check if anyone has tried this, and if they had any problems getting the bread out. ...
reggie's user avatar
  • 405
19 votes
2 answers
71k views

When is pipe dope/tape needed?

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 ...
glenviewjeff's user avatar
  • 1,450
19 votes
3 answers
35k 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 ...
The Evil Greebo's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
23k views

Toilet bolt broke free from floor...recommendations?

I was recently tightening the nut on a loose toilet (it was rocking) when the bolt surprisingly broke free and came up. There was no real "breaking free" feeling...it just seemed to be ...
jbwiv's user avatar
  • 325
17 votes
10 answers
9k views

What can cause a never-frozen indoor copper drain pipe to crack?

The 1-1/2" copper waste pipe than runs from our kitchen just up and cracked two days ago along its length, and for no apparent reason. The crack is in a section of pipe that runs vertically through ...
mrblint's user avatar
  • 249
17 votes
6 answers
10k views

Is it safe for plumbing to use rainwater to flush toilets?

A couple of articles encourage the use of rainwater to flush toilets. (article 1, article 2) However, would it be safe to do so if the rainwater in your particular area has a pH that is considered as ...
plu's user avatar
  • 331
17 votes
9 answers
233k 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? ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 401
17 votes
3 answers
16k views

Turn off hot water without hot water valve

I have a leaky pipe on the hot water side that I'd like to fix. Following the pipes back to the water heater, I don't think there's a shutoff valve installed anywhere in the line, not even at the ...
Sittin Hawk's user avatar
17 votes
9 answers
73k views

Should I run the tap while dumping boiling water?

It seems to be common advice to run the cold water while dumping boiling water down the drain (for example, when draining pasta). A variety of reasons are cited for this, one of which is that it is ...
browly's user avatar
  • 355
17 votes
3 answers
383k 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 ...
user13773's user avatar
  • 171

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