Questions tagged [plumbing]

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

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27
votes
6answers
321k 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
76k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
251k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
130k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
55k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
105k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
101k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
28k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
269k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
66
votes
10answers
104k 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?
34
votes
4answers
48k 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'...
30
votes
5answers
117k 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 ...
21
votes
20answers
197k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
154k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
89k 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 ...
7
votes
12answers
65k 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?
13
votes
9answers
191k 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? ...
7
votes
5answers
137k 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
180k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
34k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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
1answer
20k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
7k 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?
1
vote
1answer
20k 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 ...
26
votes
14answers
61k views

Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Pex tubing? How does it compare to copper?
40
votes
7answers
48k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
132k views

How to fix stinky bathroom sink?

It smells like really musty water, but the water itself does not smell or taste bad at all. Only happens when I run the water, so it doesn't make the room smell, just when you fill something up or ...
10
votes
6answers
181k 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)....
28
votes
10answers
130k 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 ...
13
votes
9answers
111k 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 ...
34
votes
6answers
182k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
160k 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
6answers
106k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Why would you use copper over CPVC or PEX?

Are there any advantages to using copper rather than CPVC or PEX?
15
votes
4answers
42k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

Pros and Cons of buildings permits

We live in a single family home and are doing a renovation of our kitchen and adjoining room. We are not making any architectural changes. For the kitchen, we are adding electrical circuits and ...
10
votes
2answers
17k views

What to look for in a new/replacement toilet?

I have a slow/weak flushing toilet and it's not the tank or flapper, etc. Shirlock says in an answer to a related question, that it's "time to spring and spend 200 bucks for a new Class 5 toilet. ...
8
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
168k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
24k views

How do I disconnect (and reconnect) the tubing from this fitting?

The plastic tubing supplying filtered water to our refrigerator currently runs below a suspended ceiling. I want to reroute it above. How do I disconnect it without damage from either the union or tee,...
5
votes
1answer
31k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

Options for replacing an at-grade hose bibb

The problem My house is built on a crawlspace and the floor of the house is just a few inches above grade. The hose bibbs come straight out of the crawlspace and are thus very close to the ground. ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Is PVC an acceptable pipe for a vent stack through the roof

I'm trying to figure out what type pipe I need for terminating a vent stack in the roof. Is it acceptable to run 1 1/2" schedule 40 PVC through the roof for a new vent stack. This will have 2 ...
4
votes
4answers
61k 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....
4
votes
2answers
27k views

Should a kitchen sink S-trap be replaced?

Everything I see mentions P-traps. I seem to have instead an S-trap. What are the downsides of this, and is it something that should be fixed?
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
391k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
160k views

Is there a way to thaw a frozen pipe, if you can't access the pipe?

Big freeze, new house. Just found out the add-on bathroom was plumbed by amateurs, and the cold water supply froze. I don't have access to the frozen section of pipe (without major demo), so I can't ...

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