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Questions tagged [plumbing]

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

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35 votes
6 answers
428k 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
  • 42.9k
7 votes
3 answers
105k views

Help with garbage disposal install and high drain pipe

The drain pipe for my sink sits pretty high, and then the sink-bowels holes are pretty close to each other. Below is the best my friend and I could do to make this work, and I just realized we need ...
user18249's user avatar
33 votes
4 answers
104k 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
  • 42.9k
26 votes
8 answers
277k 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
44 votes
7 answers
34k 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
  • 645
14 votes
9 answers
164k views

What can I do about a toilet flange that is 1/4" below the finished floor?

I used two wax seals to set my toilet since the flange is 1/4" below the new tile. At first it seemed to be water tight but after a few flushes I noticed water seeping and pulled it out. As can be ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 1,423
12 votes
7 answers
275k views

Sink tailpiece doesn't line up with trap

After installing a new bathroom sink, the drain tailpiece doesn't line up with the trap coming out of the wall. I've seen flexible accordion hoses for this, but I think that violates code (P3002.3.1)....
Elliott B's user avatar
  • 520
11 votes
5 answers
145k 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 ...
hometoast's user avatar
  • 383
72 votes
10 answers
126k 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
26 votes
21 answers
295k 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
  • 9,364
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
2 answers
153k 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 ...
Vaccano's user avatar
  • 425
15 votes
2 answers
162k views

Does a plumbing vent need to penetrate the roof? (Can it penetrate a wall?)

We're going to move our washer/dryer to the garage (the front loader needs to sit on concrete to keep it from shaking our house to the ground). I'll need to add a washer drain to the garage for the ...
DA01's user avatar
  • 24.4k
12 votes
4 answers
64k 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 ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 329
12 votes
3 answers
307k views

What causes a water heater's 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 ...
Richard Sayakanit's user avatar
12 votes
12 answers
133k 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?
Matthew's user avatar
  • 9,877
9 votes
8 answers
231k views

How do I pressure test a natural gas line and what do the valve pressure ratings mean?

I'm planning to add an appliance to my house, and will want to do a pressure test of the newly installed gas lines. My main shutoff says 175 PSI, but most of the appliance valves say either 1/2 or 5 ...
Pigrew's user avatar
  • 3,415
8 votes
3 answers
96k views

Is PVC Schedule 40 pipe safe to use in a potable water supply?

I have not had a problem for nine years and never noticed what my plumbing pipes used. My hot and cold water feed away from heater use "Bristol 1120 Schedule 40 PVC. 480 PSI 73 deg." Is there strong ...
walter's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
9 answers
74k views

How can I accommodate high washing machine drain flow rates with older plumbing?

Newer machines have a drain flow rate which overwhelms older drains, and there's no adjustment. The only answer I ever hear is tear up your floor and put in new bigger drain pipe. That is not an ...
user91461's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do you control what angle plumbing joints go in at?

I'm an electrical engineer, working on repairing a somewhat complicated pneumatic system, but I figured this would probably be the best place to ask. This is probably a very basic question to anyone ...
Hearth's user avatar
  • 175
3 votes
1 answer
16k 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 ...
Mike Eng's user avatar
  • 196
0 votes
2 answers
268 views

Water Pressure Regulator not regulating after rebuild

I just rebuilt my Zurn Wilkins 600XL 1" pressure regulator, but it still is not controlling the pressure after rebuild. One thing I notice is if I measure the pressure immediately after closing a ...
SDSHuge2.0's user avatar
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
31 votes
5 answers
132k 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
  • 4,222
23 votes
6 answers
567k 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
23 votes
5 answers
108k 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
17 votes
9 answers
236k 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
13 votes
9 answers
215k views

How tight should threaded brass pipe fittings be?

I'm working with 3/4" brass fittings, which seem pretty robust. Some plumbing fittings should be only finger-tight. My friend said I should use 2 wrenches to make these as tight as I can, and then ...
Jay Bazuzi's user avatar
  • 11.7k
9 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Nick Hodges's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
168k 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 ...
bib's user avatar
  • 33.7k
6 votes
4 answers
121k views

Effect of changing the size of a pipe

I've had a couple questions above the sizing of a pipe, but I'm still a little confused and can't find an easy answer. I'll use this image to get a representation of what I'm looking to have answered....
TFK's user avatar
  • 3,714
6 votes
6 answers
139k views

Why does my shower head drip when the tub faucet is on?

I just installed a new tub fixture set: There are two controls - one for temperature and one for volume. The large handle is volume. When the diverter valve is engaged the shower sprays properly ...
The Evil Greebo's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
217k views

What do I do about a toilet flange that is too high?

I just had the floors in my bathroom replaced and now the flange is too high. When I put the toilet on top, the front touches the floor, but the back does not. The flange and piping are PVC, and the ...
Joseph's user avatar
  • 1,300
5 votes
1 answer
26k 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 ...
Michael Moussa's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Connect PVC to metal drain pipe, no interior thread

I moved into a house that has a slop sink in the basement. The sink drains through a PVC pipe, which is plugged in to an opening in a metal drain pipe. The PVC and the interior of the opening are both ...
Steve Saporta's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
61k views

Wet Vent distance for Toilet Drain

When determining drain vents, 2" can have a vent 8' away and 3" can have the vent 12' away, how does that work in terms of wet venting? I have a toilet flange connected to a line that has a Wye which ...
CCCBuilder's user avatar
  • 1,421
2 votes
1 answer
558 views

Can I feed water coming from a water softener into a water heater?

I'm trying to decide where to place my water softener. I originally planned to put it in the utility closet where city water comes in, but this plan had a variety of issues. My current plan is to re-...
T.D. Smith's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
13k views

Why does my water pressure fluctuate?

When I run the shower, mostly hot water, the pressure will run normal for a minute, then raise for a minute, then repeat. My home is supplied by a well. What is causing this?
John's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
27k views

How to seal a pipe pass-through in a basement wall

My house is 15 years old, and ground water has suddenly started to leak into the basement around a pipe that passes through the poured concrete foundation. The method of installation complicates the ...
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 6,118
1 vote
1 answer
26k 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 ...
2 Left Thumbs's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
1k views

Attaching towel rail to drywall

I'm considering attaching a new towel rail to the drywall in my bathroom, with attachment points approximately marked by the yellow postit notes in this picture. This is on the 21st floor of a condo ...
Will Chen's user avatar
  • 101
44 votes
8 answers
80k 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
36 votes
6 answers
193k 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
  • 8,222
31 votes
10 answers
155k 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
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
  • 132k
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
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
15 votes
3 answers
16k views

Should I extend a drain vent that terminates in my attic?

Recently I removed an old water heater stovepipe coming through my roof, because we moved our water heater. Right next to it was my plumbing vent pipe that I thought was associated with venting for ...
Ian's user avatar
  • 299
15 votes
4 answers
71k 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 ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 151
14 votes
6 answers
61k views

Best way to keep a PEX run in an attic (above a foyer) from freezing?

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 ...
Jeremy's user avatar
  • 141

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