A place to ask advice and help in dealing with the piping systems of homes and offices. That includes water supply and waste transport and the associated fixtures.

22,932 Questions
Home Improvement

Can you install a toilet without plumbing?


Home Improvement
Concrete and Cement

Can you install a toilet on a four-inch cast in a basement floor?

Yes, you can put a toilet on it. The hardest part would be putting a toilet flange onto the cast. There are two options: you can either get a cast iron flange to fit over it and pour a lead joint or you have to chip around the pipe enough to get a no hub band on it. You also have to consider the distance from the wall. If it's 15" to the back wall you only need a minimum of 12" to finished wall. That means if you fur the wall out you could only fur it out 2.5" leaving you with 1/2" drywall. The side of your toilet needs a minimum of 15".Here is more input from others:* Go to your plumbing or hardware store. There you'll find a brass flange you can fasten to the floor with zamma pins. You will not need to chisel the floor with this method, but, you will need ensure the 4" is flush to the floor. A hammer drill is also needed to drill six 1/4" holes in the cement for the zamma pins.* In order to ensure the proper safe and sanitary conditions of your plumbing system it is recommended that you hire a licensed plumber to do this type of work. If the floor of your basement is concrete it will have to be jackhammered to expose the cast iron pipe under the floor. The pipe will have to be cut using proper tools. Cast iron pipes are hard and brittle at the same time and if they are old and corroded will often crack. A proper fitting will have to be installed and fastened with right couplings to be water tight. Plastic ABS 4" pipe is then installed vertically though the floor just above the floor level and proper distance from the wall in back of the toilet, capped and wrapped to accommodate the floor flange after the concrete is poured back. When the concrete dries the cap and wrapping are removed, the ABS pipe is cut flush with the floor and toilet floor flange is installed.* You may be able to add a toilet to the line but it must be properly vented!*Another option, and probably the easiest for a homeowner, is to buy what is called a "twist and set flange". It is basically a PVC flange with a longer base that has 2 rubber seals that actually thread into the cast iron pipe. You would insert the base of the flange into the pipe and turn it until it becomes firm, then I would suggest anchoring it to the floor with 1/4" drive pins, or some other form of anchor.

DIY Projects

How can you increase water pressure?

If your home is on city supply there will be a PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve ) where the pipe comes into the house. This can be adjusted, or if more than 20 -25 years old, possibly needs to be replaced. - If you are on a well, adjust pressure at the pressure switch and if necessary pump up the tank air charge.


P trap in a water closet?

The trap is in the toilet. There shouldn't be one in the drain itself.

Thunderstorms and Lightning

Is it safe to take a shower during a thunderstorm?

No—in fact, the CDC encourages avoiding all water in your house during a thunderstorm. Your plumbing and the water coming out of it can conduct electricity if lightning strikes your home, and that can lead to you getting seriously hurt. Granted, this is a pretty rare occurrence, but experts still advise against it as an easy way to avoid something potentially fatal. You should wait half an hour after hearing the last boom of thunder before hopping into the shower.

Car Sounds

What causes the popping or tinkling sounds as hot metal pipes cool off?

The sound actually emanates from breaking atomic bonds, and the subsequent rearrangement of the crystalline matrix within grains. This change occurs so quickly, that the material produces a pressure wave (sound wave) that you can hear as a popping sound.

Pretty cool, huh!?

Source: B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology

Home Improvement

What would cause low water pressure from a deep well tank?

Gauge is not worth properly

Home Electricity

Is an electric hot water heater 100 percent efficient?

No, but close to it.

In regards to just the heating of the water, Tank-type, and tank-less, electric water heaters are about 99% efficient* because the heating elements are immersed in water, and little energy is wasted between heat source and water.

However, all tank-type water heaters loose heat from their reservoirs (tanks). This heat loss lowers the overall efficiency.

Most electric heaters fall between 90-95% total. This is the number that is usually reported by the manufacturers.

* Efficiency is not the same as cost savings. For example electric heaters have higher efficiency, but cost more to operate than same-size gas water heater. Also tankless gas heaters, gas water heaters with blowers, and gas heaters with high recovery may claim higher efficiency, but they consume more fuel per hour of operation.

Additional Information:

Efficiency of heating elements does not consider inefficiencies in production, transmission, refining, and delivery of electricity. Estimates say coal-fired power plants waste half the energy of coal during electric generation. However hydroelectric power plants are very efficient.

Tank-type gas water heaters are 69% efficient, since hot combustion gas escapes out the flue after hydrogen content of fuel is burned. This number does not consider inefficiencies during production, transmission, refining, and delivery of gas.

Tank-less gas water heaters are 79% efficient, but tank-less burn more gas per gallon of hot water than tank-type heaters. Hot combustion gasses are released out the flue and are not actively recycled without slowing combustion which turns off unit. Newer type tank-less with blower recycles heat into a tank operate at 96% efficiency, and are made for oversize consumption of both energy and hot water.

High efficiency tank-type gas heaters operate at 96% efficiency by using blowers to circulate hot combustion gas through coiled tube located inside tank. Same amount of combustion gas is released since only heat is recycled. The use of electric blower affects overall cost.

Environmental efficiency: Electric water heater does not release CO2 at each home, instead CO2 is localized at power plant. Gas water heaters release CO2 at each home which factor in environmental efficiency.

Efficiency of all gas water heaters falls and cannot be fully restored if untreated hard water deposits sediment over heat transfer surface. Generally, gas heaters exposed to hard water require softener which affects overall efficiency.

Efficiency of tank-type electric water heater remains at 99% until sediment reaches element, causing element to burn out. Full 99% efficiency is restored by cleaning out tank and replacing element. Generally, tank-type electric heater does not require water softener.

Downsizing water heater, reducing consumption, selecting water heater with fewer parts, reading the manual, and draining tank each 6 months to avoid sediment are key to saving energy.

Math and Arithmetic
Waste and Recycling

How many cubic meters of water in each toilet flush?

1.5 galleons average im not certain

about cubic metres

DIY Projects

How do you install a trap primer?

You purchase a tap set for the laundry tub that has a built in trap priming nipple and then run 1/4" Polyethelyne tubing from that nipple to the trap in the floor drain.
Floor drain collars with trap primer nipples are available.
The tubing may be run under the poured concrete floor of the basement.
Each time the water is used in the laundry tub, a trickle of water is also sent to the trap, preventing it from drying out.

Waste and Recycling
Acids and Bases

How do you dispose of Liquid Fire Drain Opener?

How to rid yourself of Liquid Fire The best way to dispose of it would be to pour small amounts down the drain, wait awhile, and then flush it out with some water. Repeat this while waiting in between sessions because the water will cause the drain opener to heat up quite a bit. If you want to keep the flora in your septic tank alive it would be best to neutralize it. Liquid fire is sulfuric acid. You can first carefully mix it with a base thus creating a salt and water and then flushing down the drain. Common bases you could find around your house are baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and ammonia water (ammonium hydroxide). The latter will actually flush fertilizer (ammonium sulfate) down your drain :)


Your local town or county should have a place where you can dispose of chemicals that you no longer want to use, such as paint, paint thinner, fertilizer and so on. This is much better than tossing it into the regular garbage or into the sewage system.


How much water does a running toilet use plus?

Toilet water use can vary significantly. Older toilets can use 3.5, 5, or even up to 7 gallons of water with every flush. But new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush.

DIY Projects

How do you find a leak in underground copper pipe?

i think the only way is to visual inspect it.

True but that is if you already know where the line runs and have a good idea where the leak is underground. However if you dont have this knowledge you will need to plot where your line runs and walk the area with a pole and look for a place that is excessively damp and probe the area with the pole not too hard or you may rupture the line worse. When you have found said leak (general area) get a shovel and start digging till you uncover the area to be fixed. Then depending on your leak shut off the main cut the pipe where leak is then solder a copper sweat sleeve 1" longer than your removed area to the pipe.

Home Appliances

Why is my Pilot light on but no hot water?

If the pilot light is on and no hot water, then the regulator is not turning the gas flow on. The commonest cause for this is a faulty thermocouple. This is a thin copper tube that's heated by the pilot light and relays a voltage to the regulator. This can be changed by a competent handyman in about 1/2 hour. The part you need is available in many plumbing stores, best one is Honeywell Universal Thermocouple, costing $8-10. Installation is intricate and you need a good flashlight, very small wrenches and patience. The copper tube is delicate, be careful not to kink it.

Pipe Fitter

How do you seal stainless steel pipe thread?

Stainless steel pipe threads are prone to leaking as well as seizing or gulling of the threads. After many years of experience and pressure testing systems up to 7700 PSI I have found this works best.

Apply UNASCO MX-68 Silver Stainless Steel Pipe Thread Sealing Tape to the threads (4-5) wraps is sufficient for smaller pipes. Generally found that covering all the threads 2 layers deep works well.

Step 2

On top of the Teflon apply a layer of SWAK thread sealing compound. Be sure to cover all around the pipe from the starting thread to the half way point of the entire length of thread.

Step 3

Tighten away


What is the vertical pipe which supplies water to the overhead sprinklers?

Sprinkler main.


What is the standard size for waste pipe for lavatories?

I never use any pipe under 11/2"

Home Improvement

What is the correct wax seal for a toilet flange that is flush with the floor?

I usually use the thickest wax ring I can find with the plastic funnel thing embedded in it. If it's a little too thick, the extra wax will just squeeze out a bit underneath the toilet. Sometimes its necessary to double up on the ring (use two - one with the funnel one without) to make a good seal on a flange after installing a thick (tile) floor in a bathroom which I kind of assume is your issue.

If the closet collar is even with the top of the finished floor, no amount of wax will stop the water from coming out. It may not happen right away, but it sure will. One way to fix this problem is to attempt to raise the closet collar so that it will rest on top of the finished floor. Another way is to buy a closet collar extension. Either way the toilet will be held to the floor and the wax ring should then seal tight.

It depends... The advice above is good however if you have one of the newer "Super Toilets" such as the Toto Drake or Am Std Champion the outlet hole on these are enlarged and you should not use the wax rings that come with the plastic horn. The plastic horn will actually get pinched by the larger outlet and be squeezed into an oval shape that will actually cause clogs.

Another option is not to use wax seal at all. I have encountered many problems using wax seal ,it does not last long and it does not look nice. My option would be to use white, Prattley Putty standard setting. It seals water tight, goes very hard in 2 hours, easy to apply and it gives off a white, smooth very appealing finish.(Its Plumbers Cement)

*If you are attaching to a plastic Floor Flange, you would use a Kant Leak(which has the plastic hub installed with the wax seal) and use a hacksaw to cut a regular wax seal in half,still leaving it like a round donut. You put the Kant Leak on the flange, then mold the wax seal half on top of the Kant Leak. The 1/2 wax seal should be formed so when you put the toilet down it does not push into the center and down the drain. If you are putting the toilet onto a Cast Iron or Lead flange with a brass ring, DO NOT use the Kant Leak. Use one and 1/2 wax seals and do the same as I stated previously.

If the toilet flange is flush with the floor you are probably fine and would not need to use an extension kit to raise the flange. As long as your flange is in good condition and firmly secured to the floor below it you should be ok.

Home Appliances

Why does your water heater keep going off?

If you mean that a gas hot water heater (HWH) has the flame go out (located beneath the HWH tank.) Then this is the normal operation whenever the temperature reaches the set point. You can regulate this temperature by adjusting the control, on the HWH. (hint: Be careful when raising the temperature, increase it slowly over a few days as the shower temp. may surprise someone in your home.) If it continues to shut off too frequently, you may have a gas or HWH regulator related problem, in that case call a professional.

This explanation does not apply to electric or oil fired HWH's.

Waste and Recycling
Green Living

Who many times do you flush your toilet?

The question is missing some commas. Let's correct it.

Who, many times, do you flush your toilet?

Answer: Yes, I do flush the toilet, but usually I wait till I need to use it again before doing so, cause I like to watch the flies.

Yes, many times...yep....sure do...often...

Yes, who....?

Jobs & Education
Pool Building and Repair
DIY Projects

How do you repair a heaving pool deck?

You probably need to have the leak fixed that is most likely causing the deck to heave.

Determine why the deck heaved. Trees and ground movement can also cause decks to heave. Sometimes you can cut the deck at a control joint and it will drop back down. If it is saturated expansive soil the source of the water must be stopped. I have seen decks go back down when the soil dried out as long as no soil displacement occurred. Most of the time however you need to remove the bad part and replace it.

Home Buying
DIY Projects

How do you know if you have a septic tank?

If you are in a city, it is unlikely you have a septic system. Country, you probably do. Most places have a charge for sewer on the water bill. If you are on a well, you have a septic. When it is dry in the summer, the grass over the lateral field will be green longer than the rest of the yard. Look to see where the main drain leaves the house. If it is towards the street you are on a sewer, if towards the side or back yard, it is most likely a septic.

Home Appliances
Elements and Compounds

Does copper rust or tarnish?

It does not rust. It oxidizes and tarnishes. The bright red color of clean, new copper will burnish into a dull brown. Look at a penny... a pre 1982 US penny is 95% copper and 5% zinc.

Fluid Dynamics

How does toilet flush work?

Check out the Youtube video.


What is the standard drop per foot of a 2 inch sewer line in a house?

1-foot section of pipe contained 0.6528 gallons of water. 1/4 inch per foot but standard would be 1/8" per foot sewer line necessary in a house.


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