Domestic services

frequently asked plumbing question

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domestic services

frequently asked plumbing question

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Plumbing FAQs

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Toilet Problems and Solutions:

Blocked or slow flushing toilet

If you can’t clear a blocked toilet with a plunger, a plumber may be required to use a snake to clear the blockage. Mineral build up inside the bowl of an older toilet can also cause lazy flushing of an otherwise unblocked toilet. Toilet replacement by a licensed plumber is the best option for older toilets that regularly flush poorly.

Constantly running toilet

A leaking flush valve at the bottom of the toilet tank is one common cause of water that keeps running continually into a toilet tank and bowl. A defective or poorly-adjusted fill valve can also allow water to continue filling the tank without stopping. There’s limited risk of water damage involved in these repairs, so some homeowners tackle it themselves.  A plumber is also an option.

Water supply leak

Even a small water leak from the pipe or hose that connects to the toilet tank is serious because it can develop into a large and damaging leak. The water supply will need to be shut off, the connection repaired, then the water turned back on.  Most homeowners require a plumber for this task.

Tank-to-toilet leak

If a leak appears where the toilet tank connects to the back of the bowl, the tank-to-bowl gasket needs to be replaced. The tank will need to be drained and the tank removed from the toilet bowl to install this gasket. Most people hire a plumber for this work.

Base-of-toilet leak

If water appears where the toilet sits on the floor, a defective toilet ring is probably the cause. Sometimes the water only appears immediately after a flush. The toilet tank will need to be drained, the toilet bowl unbolted from the floor, lifted, a new ring installed, then the toilet and tank replaced. This repair is as complicated as toilet replacement, so most people hire a

Overflowing toilet

Most toilets have a valve on the pipe connected to the toilet tank and shutting off this valve will stop a toilet from overflowing. If your toilet doesn’t have a shutoff valve, shut off the main water supply valve for your house. Don’t turn this valve back on until the toilet blockage is cleared and the toilet bowl is emptying properly.

Bathroom Basin Problem and Solutions:

Dripping Taps

Cartridge or washer needs to be replaced. Handy homeowners can do this work themselves, but older taps often have corroded parts that can break during removal.  Stop and call a plumber if you can’t get things to come apart.  Some Taps manufacturers offer free replacement cartridges or even free replacement taps. Call customer service before you buy any repair parts.

Blocked or slow drain:

This is a common bathroom basin problem because soap products and loose hair sometimes build up within bathroom drains. If your wash basin has a mechanical drain stopper, check to see if the blockage is caused by hair build up on the horizontal pivot rod a couple of inches below the drain opening. This common problem can be remedied by lifting out the drain stopper and removing hair with your fingers or needle nose pliers.

Leaking Drain Pipe

Water pooling on the bottom of a bathroom vanity cabinet or the floor underneath an open basin is usually caused by leaks where the drain pipe meets the basin, a leaking drain trap plug, or flaws in drain pipe joints. Occasionally under-basin leaks are also caused by a loose or broken drain stopper mechanism or by failed caulking joints that allow splashed water from the countertop to leak in around top-mount basins. See below. Repairing drain leaks can be more challenging than replacing a tap cartridge so most homeowners call for professional help

Malfunctioning drain stopper

This mechanism allows the drain to be opened and closed with a knob at the top of the tap. It’s typically a reliable part of a bathroom basin installation, but problems can still occur. A loose retaining nut securing the horizontal pivot rod can prevent the drain stopper mechanism from working or it can allow waste water to leak under the basin. Tightening the ring around the horizontal pivot rod with your fingers can sometimes eliminate leaks. Replacement drain stopper mechanisms can be purchased separately for DIY repairs or you can call a plumber.

Deteriorated Basin caulking

Many bathroom basins are molded parts of the vanity countertop so there are no caulked joints to leak. But if your basin sits on top of a countertop, and caulking is missing or deteriorated, splashed water can pool and leak around the basin and under it.

Basin smells like rotten eggs

Assuming your bathroom drain was installed correctly, odours like this are caused by microbial infection of the drain and possibly the basin overflow passage. A treatment of 3% hydrogen peroxide from a drug store should solve this problem. Pour 500 ml (2 cups) of hydrogen peroxide down the drain at night.

Shower Problems and Solutions:

Dripping shower head

Most showers have a single valve that controls hot and cold operation and a worn valve that allows dripping is the most common shower issue. A handy homeowner can replace the valve after shutting off the water supply, but most people call in a plumber for the work. As with basin taps, some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on shower valves. Call customer service to see if they’ll send you a replacement valve for free, even if you’re going to call Pace to install it.

Blocked or slow drain

Soap and hair build ups are the most common cause of drain problems in a shower. Drain cleaner may work in mild cases, but a plumber is usually required.

Leaking shower enclosure

This problem is not uncommon. Shower enclosures can leak where the floor meets the walls, or where a door joins to the shower opening. Some showers leak through tile grout on inadequately constructed showers. Although caulking may be able to stop leaks around doors, most leaky shower enclosures need to be rebuilt.

Smelly drain

This is caused by the same microbial infection that makes bathroom sink drains smell. Pour 500 ml (2 cups) of 3% hydrogen peroxide down the shower drain at night before bed. If the problem is microbial, the odour should be gone in the morning.

Mold growth

Increased ventilation is the cure for this problem. Run exhaust fans for at least 20 minutes after each shower and leave shower doors and curtains open between uses. Mold-resistant paint is effective at discouraging growths on walls and ceilings.

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