As plumbers working in the Toronto area, there are several questions that we encounter on a regular basis. If you have a question or a problem with your bathroom plumbing, there is a good chance that someone else has faced it before, and there is a good chance that it is a problem that we have addressed in the past. In this post, we are going to answer some of the most common questions that we come across regarding bathroom plumbing service.
How do you increase water pressure in the shower?
Nobody likes a shower that has low pressure, and it is one of the most common complaints when it comes to bathroom plumbing. With low water pressure in the shower, there are a few things that could be causing this problem.
To start, you are going to want to determine whether it is just the shower that is experiencing a problem with water pressure or if it extends to other fixtures. Starting with the bathroom that the shower is in, you want to run the water in the shower and turn on the sink. If the pressure gets even lower with the sink on, this could indicate a problem with the supply lines. You’ll also want to check the hot and cold water separately to see if the problem only exists on one side.
After you see that the pressure drops when you use the bathroom sink, you want to see if it is just the bathroom lines that are affected or if it is the entire house. With the water running in the shower, go to other fixtures in the home and turn them on. If the pressure continues to decrease as you turn fixtures on, then it could be a problem with the main.
If you are lucky, the pressure held relatively steady while you were doing this test. As I mentioned before, if the pressure drops with the addition of more fixtures, it could indicate an issue with the supply or the main, and this is a problem that will probably require the attention of a professional plumber.
If the pressure did remain constant during this test, then this is an indication that the issues with low pressure are isolated to the shower. In this case, you can try some troubleshooting and attempt some simple fixes that might restore the pressure.
Start by removing the showerhead from the arm. Turn the shower on to see if you get good flow from the arm without the head. If the flow is good, then it might just be a problem with a dirty or clogged showerhead. Most showerheads have a restrictor, which is a component that is designed to limit the flow of water. Over time, little bits of debris or mineral deposits can build up on the restrictor, and this can limit the flow and reduce the pressure. If you clean the restrictor and the area around it, you should be able to fix the problem.
You might also have a problem where some of the holes in the showerhead are clogged. Usually, this is the result of mineral deposits. If you want to clear that up, you could sit the showerhead in a solution like CLR to remove the deposits. If you have tried all of these steps and still have a pressure problem, then it is time to call a plumber.
Why does water get cold in the shower?
Showers that turn cold are another common problem that some homeowners have. If you are experiencing issues with the water turning cold in your shower, it could be connected to a number of different problems.
You want to start simple with this problem. If you are using the shower at a time when other people might be using hot water, then there is a good chance that your hot water heater is having a hard time keeping up with the demands. You could remedy this by installing a larger hot water heater or you might want to consider upgrading to a tankless model.
It could also be an issue with the hot water heater itself. If the water starts out hot but quickly turns cold, then you might need to replace or repair the hot water heater. If you find that the water only comes out warm but not hot, then you might want to check the temperature setting on your hot water heater.
If the hot water problem only exists at the shower and there are no other fixtures using hot water, then the likely culprit is the mixer valve. This valve mixes the hot and cold water, and it gives you the blend that you need to have a comfortable shower. In some cases, the valve may have gone bad, but it may also be a faulty washer or O-ring.
Do I need a vent for a toilet?
Many people are unaware of the vents in their plumbing system or they might not know exactly what they are for. Most homeowners don’t fully grasp the importance of this element until there is a problem.
Anything that has a drain needs a vent, and this includes your toilets. When water goes down a drain, it creates a partial vacuum, and the vent is there to supply air and relieve the pressure created by this vacuum.
If you didn’t have a vent, the toilet wouldn’t drain properly and it would cause problems with the P-trap. Even if you have a vent, it could become blocked, and you might notice some symptoms of this. You might notice a bubbling of the water when you flush or an incomplete flush that takes a long time to drain. It can also compromise the trap, and this could allow sewer gases into the home.
Your sinks, tubs and showers also need a vent. This is what might cause a bathroom sink or a shower drain to bubble and gurgle as it drains. If you didn’t have a vent or the vent got clogged, the air would have to come in from somewhere, and as it rushes in from the sink, it will make this gurgling sound.
Why does my toilet smell like sewer gas?
If you have a toilet that constantly smells like a sewer, it is not only very unpleasant, but it could be a hazard to your health. This means that sewage gases are coming up from the drain, and it is something that needs to get fixed right away.
With most toilets, the issue is most likely located at the P-trap. With toilets, they are built into the fixture, but you might have noticed the U-shaped section of pipe under one of your sinks. That is a P-trap. A P-trap will hold a small amount of water in it, and this forms a seal that prevents gases from coming back up the line.
There are a few problems that can cause a P-trap to fail. If there is a leak at the P-trap, the water level in the trap will get too low, and it won’t be able to form an effective seal. If the drain vent is blocked, this could also cause the P-trap to run dry. A serious clog in the drain could also cause the P-trap to malfunction.
If your drain is clear and the P-trap is doing its job, then there are a few other points to consider. You could have a broken or loose seal on the toilet. The toilet itself might need to be replaced or repaired. You may also have a problem with your lateral connection to the municipal sewers. Something like a collapsed line or backed up lateral could cause gases to come back up the drain.
Why does my sink make a gurgling noise?
A gurgling noise from your bathroom sink may not seem like a major problem, but it is something that will need to be addressed. If you hear this type of noise from any sink drain, it probably comes down to one of two possible problems.
The first is the vent that the drain is connected to. The vent prevents the build up of air pressure as the water goes down the drain, and if the vent is blocked, it may leave the sink as the next best source of air to break this vacuum.
If it is not a blocked vent, then it is probably a significant clog in the line. A clog can cause air pressure and drainage issues with the sink, and one of the symptoms could be strange sounds coming from the drain.
Can a shower drain be connected to a toilet drain?
A bathroom is likely to have many drains. Since it would be inefficient and expensive to run individual connections to all of the drains in a bathroom, they usually all connect to one common drain that then goes to the home’s connection to the municipal sewer.
If you are adding a shower or replacing one, the shower drain can be connected to the toilet drain. In general, the toilet drain is going to be the largest drain in the bathroom, so it is generally acceptable to connect any smaller drain to a larger drain line.
You may have some codes that do apply, and there could be technical issues that could prevent this from being a possibility, but in most situations, it should work. The two main points to consider are the diameter of the pipe for the shower drain, and the height of the shower drain in relation to the toilet drain.
How do you fix a leaky bathtub faucet?
If you have a leaky bathtub faucet, it is a bigger problem than the annoying dripping noise that you may hear. Of course, the sound is what might drive you to get the repair done, but it is also a waste of water, and the cost of that water can add up over time.
With a bathtub faucet, there a number of small parts that could go bad over time. You have different washers, nuts and screws, and if any of them get worn out, it will result in a leak. To fix the leak, the best thing that you can do is to disassemble the leaking faucet and replace all of the parts that could be potentially worn.
To perform this job, it will require an array of tools and materials, but they are all things that you should be able to find at your local hardware store. If you are a DIY kind of person, this is something that you could fix for yourself, but it may be worthwhile to hire a professional plumber. They are more familiar with the parts, they already have the tools, and they can ensure that the job is done right.
If you are going to do this job yourself, you are going to need a set of screwdrivers, a monkey wrench, some pliers, a shower stem socket, a seat wrench, plumber’s grease, seat washers, seat washer screws and a new faucet seat. It is important to point out that there can be some complications that may require additional tools or materials. This is just a base list of what you may need if things go exactly to plan.
Of course, you may need to take the old parts to a hardware store to find the correct replacements, so you may not be able to get all of the parts until you have the faucet handle completely taken apart. If you cannot find the parts at the hardware store, then you may need to go to a plumbing supply store.
To start this operation, you need to turn off the water supply to the faucet. Once the water supply is turned off, you can then use a flathead screwdriver to pry the cover off the handle. With the cover removed, you will see a Philips head screw that holds the handle on. Remove this screw and remove the handle.
With the handle removed, the stems should be exposed. This is where you would use the stem socket to remove the shower stems. Slip the stem socket over the stem, and use a wrench to turn the socket counter-clockwise. With the stem removed, you can then use the seat wrench to remove the seat from inside the wall.
Once you have the faucet assembly completely taken apart, you can replace the old parts with the new ones. As you replace the parts and put the handle back together, you need to remember to apply grease to the parts as the go back together.