Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

Q. How do you stop water continually running in to the toilet bowl?
Several things cause the toilet to “keep running.” Either the flap in the bottom of the tank isn’t sealing shut. When you push the button, a lever connects an arm on the handle to the flap on the bottom of the cistern. The flap opens letting the water in the cistern to run through the bowl. After the cistern is empty, the flap should seal off the bottom of the cistern and let it refill. Also, the float valve can fail. When the cistern refills there is a float mechanism that is supposed to shut the water off when it gets to a certain level. If the float is out of adjustment or doesn’t work any longer, there is an overflow tube where the water in the cistern will overflow into the tube and down to the bowl. If the cistern is full and won’t stop running, check for adjustment on the float mechanism.

Q. How does one clear a drain in the floor that stubbornly resists all drain-clearing products?
This is a build up of hair, body grim and soap fillers. Remove the floor grate, use a toilet cleaning brush to scrub the bottom of the trap under the floor, poor a cup of disinfectant down the drain and flush out with clean hot water. If this does not resolve the problem than a drain cleaning machine may be required.

Q. How often should a hot water system be serviced?
You need to check the relief valves that they are in working order every 4months and replace these valves every five years. The anode in an electric and solar hot water system requires replacement every five years.

Q. If when you turn the shower off, water still drips from the shower head like a dripping tap, can this be easily fixed?
Does the shower drip constantly over a period of 4-5 hours, if not, it’s water holding in the shower head which has a water saving feature that holds water in the head. If it drips constantly, you’ll need to have the taps serviced and check the integrity of the tap seats within tap set.

Q. What can cause kitchen drain problems?
Sink wastes run to a ‘trap’ This will usually be a section of pipe work that comes apart just below the drain point on your sink. This trap is a low point in the system so heavier items can collect here and stop them from blocking the main system. So any heavy stuff you wash down your drain will collect there. Also fat washed down the drain will congeal here, making a plug of solid fat bound with any existing debris in your drain.

Q. What could cause loss of hot water pressure throughout the house all of a sudden?
There may be a small filter built into the cold water control valve on the hot water system. This filter may be blocked. A pressure limiting/reduction valve may be fitted to the hot water system. This valve may have failed and requires replacement

Q. What would cause a toilet to continuously keep filling the cistern on the wall?
Your cistern is probably overflowing due to a failed fill valve, debris under the fill valve rubber or the float is set too high.

Q. What would cause a vibration in the pipe supplying the toilet every time it is flushed?
A loose washer in the shut off valve or a tap that is constantly turned on.

Q. What would cause the water to be rusty and brown?
Corrosion/rust forms on the inside of water pipes. A change in water pressure will cause this rust to turn loose and come through the taps. Sediment from the hot water heater. If the glass lining in the hot water heater may be compromised, allowing the metal jacket to rust. If this is the case, you are not long till the hot water system starts to leak.

Q. Why does it take so long for hot water to arrive in the shower?

Several conditions contribute. Distance your shower is from the hot water heater, type and age and size of pipe to your shower from your hot water heater and climate. Cold weather climate tends to cool the static water in the pipes while waiting to be turned on. Old pipes have a build up of rust / minerals inside slowing the normal flow. Distance, well it takes a while for the hot water to leave the tank and get to the tap especially if the other two factors are involved. Insulation of the pipes will alleviate some of this issue. This will help save energy and keep the water in the pipes hotter longer. If the water still takes an unacceptable time to warm up you have a circulation pump that circulates water from the hot line to the water heater through the cold line, installed. This means that you’ll have hot water at the hot tap immediately.

Q. Why would a tap in upstairs bathroom not flow at all when other taps in the house are fine?
The tap washer inside of the tap may have failed and is not allowing water to pass. There may be a blockage of debris pipe leading to that tap or on the out let of that tap.

Q. Why would a toilet when flushed fill the bowl completely of water and then the another waste hole would bubble up with water?
You have a blockage, within the main drainage line and the water is coming up in the other waste holes to alleviate pressure.

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