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How to Repair a Cracked Toilet

Finding a crack in your toilet is extremely stressful. Even if it’s not leaking, it’s a promise of future problems. POM Plumbing is here to help answer some of your questions about what to do if this happens to you. Here’s how you can repair a cracked toilet.

How Big Is the Crack

The first step is figuring out if this crack is one that can be fixed or not. Finding the answer is simple: Is the crack leaking? If the answer is yes, your crack is too big to be repaired. A crack that goes all the way through the toilet bowl or tank will not be fixed by patching it. Patching it will only serve as a bandaid. This may be enough if you just need some more time to arrange for the fixture to be replaced. However, you can’t rely on this patch for long if the crack is big enough to leak water.

If the crack isn’t leaking at all, it’s probably just superficial. These cracks can be caused internally during manufacturing and may only appear on the surface of the toilet after years of use. Patching small cracks like this is a perfectly fine long-term solution. It will cover the crack back up and discourage growth, putting your toilet right back into the state it was in before the crack surfaced.

Repairing the Crack

If your toilet is cracked in a spot that isn’t usually underwater (e.g. up by the rim), you may not need to repair it at all. If the crack is only hairline, you can simply monitor it to make sure it’s not growing. However, if the crack is below the waterline, you’ll need to patch it with waterproof epoxy.

Cracks on the exterior of the bowl may not appear to go all the way through, but the shape of a toilet bowl can make it difficult to see very small cracks – especially if they’re underwater. If there’s any leakage or moisture around the exterior crack, either replace the toilet, or attempt to patch both sides.

Pushing the water in the toilet bowl down can be done with a plunger or toilet brush. Repeatedly shove downward and it will push water down the drain, giving you a dryer area to work with. 

If your interior crack is visible and doesn’t go all the way through, patching it with waterproof epoxy will prevent water from getting into the crack and widening it. 

If the crack is on the exterior and showing signs of moisture getting through, a temporary patch can be used. Apply your waterproof epoxy on the interior of the toilet bowl about where you think the crack would be. Even if you can’t see the interior side of the crack, this is more likely to help than doing nothing. Plus, this patch should be temporary, so it’s okay if it’s not perfect. The end goal with any leaking crack should be fixture replacement.

Why Is My Faucet Dripping?

Is your faucet driving you nuts from its constant dripping? You’re not the only one! If you’re tired of hearing your faucet drip, the first step to fixing it is figuring out why it’s dripping in the first place. Below are some of the most common causes for faucet dripping.

What Causes a Leaky Faucet?

Leaky faucets are caused by a few very simple problems. It’s usually just wear and tear in one form or another.

A Worn Out Washer

In a compression faucet, every time you turn on the water, there’s friction between your faucet handle’s rubber washer and valve seat. This friction slowly wears away at the washer, making it harder for the washer to do its job. What is its job? Keeping the handle watertight. If the washer is worn through, there’s space for water to escape through the handle and drip down into the sink. This is fixed by replacing the old washer with a new one of the correct size.

Valve Seat Corrosion

The valve seat connects the spout and faucet. If the valve seat hasn’t been cleaned of sediment in a while, it’s possible that it’s begun to corrode. A corroded valve seat will present as leaking around the spout.

O Ring Problems

In cartridge faucets, regular use can wear out a piece called the O ring. This ring is located with the stem screw, which is what holds the faucet handle in place. A worn out O ring will cause leaking from the handle. If your handle is leaking water, you likely need to replace the O ring.

Why Do Dripping Faucets Need to Be Fixed?

Sure, listening to the faucet drip is bothersome, but is it really a big deal? The answer is yes. There are many reasons to fix a leaky faucet promptly. 

First off, leaks waste money. Even a slow leak can waste over a hundred gallons of water each month. That’s a lot of water doing absolutely nothing for you and your wallet.

Moisture from faucet dripping also attracts pests. From rodents to roaches, pests of all kinds need a source of water. Your leaky faucet could be just the thing that makes them decide to stay. After all, they can rely on that to keep them hydrated. To avoid being a pest hotel, it’s best to keep that water inside the pipes until you need it.

And, last but not least, drippy faucets are really annoying. If the money and risk of bugs isn’t enough, maybe the lost sleep will convince you. Quit losing rest at night while listening to the drip drip drip of your money going down the drain.

Get Help from POM Plumbing

If you need affordable, friendly, plumbing help, POM Plumbing is the place to call. Not only is keeping your faucet from dripping better for your home and sanity, it’s a quick fix that a professional can have done in minutes. Give us a call if you need faucet maintenance.

Installing an Outdoor Faucet or Spigot

Most homeowners need an outdoor faucet or spigot of some variety. The question is, how do you go about getting one of those if your home is lacking? The good news is, you’ve come to the right place. POM Plumbing is Toronto’s favorite local plumbing crew and we can help you with your outdoor plumbing as soon as you call us. Here’s how we can help with installing an outdoor faucet or spigot.

Choosing a Water Source

The first step to installing an outdoor faucet or spigot is choosing a water source to take from. If you have no outdoor faucet already, we’ll have to branch off from an existing water source. This can be done from most areas of the house. It’s no different than adding a new bathroom or remodeling your kitchen and moving the sink.

The only limitation is that we need to make sure that whatever source we take from isn’t going to have poor water pressure if the sprinklers turn on. When you give us a call, one or more of our crew members will come out to your home and do some looking around. Then they can give you more information specific to your home and provide you with an estimate.

Installation Location

The installation location is almost entirely up to you. When we’ve figure out the possible water sources, all that’s required to run it to the desired location is some pipe. If you want a faucet attached to the side of your house, that’s an easy addition. However, some people prefer installing an outdoor spigot out in the yard, especially if their yard is large and they need to connect a sprinkler system to it. In these cases, we’ll simply dig a small trench and lay piping out to the desired installation spot.

Faucet Purpose

For some, installing an outdoor faucet or spigot is primarily for recreational purposes. In these cases, putting a faucet on the side of your house is usually best. This allows less piping and also allows you to store any attached hose right up against the house, protecting it and any storage box from unnecessary weathering.

Faucets that are primarily for recreational use can be used to fill buckets, watering cans, water balloons, and more. You can also attach a hose which can then be used to fill swimming pools, can be attached to a children’s sprinkler, or used to spray each other directly.

Spigots that are primarily for gardening use are better placed at a distance, close to where they’ll be in use. These come in multiple styles, but a favorite is an upright spigot with a faucet on either side. One can be used for a hose and sprinkler and the other for washing hands or filling watering cans.

Call Us Today

If you want help installing an outdoor faucet or spigot before summer comes around, call us today. We can get you scheduled for a visit in spring when the ground has thawed and summer heat hasn’t arrived. This will give you plenty of time to start your gardening and plan ahead for summer activities with the family.

The Cause of Water Temperature Irregularity

Is your home’s water temperature kind of all over the place? Want to find out what’s causing the water temperature irregularity? POM Plumbing is here to help. Let’s check out some of the most common causes of water temperature irregularity.

Poor Pipe Insulation

One of the most common causes of water temperature irregularity is poor pipe insulation. This is especially common in older homes. If poor pipe insulation is the culprit in your case, you may notice that you have to turn the temperature hotter in the winter just to get a warm shower. Likewise, you may have to stop short of your usual heat in the summer or the water will come out near boiling!

When your pipes are poorly insulated, the temperature outside affects the temperature of your water excessively. The summer heat will heat up your pipes and the winter cold will freeze them. Because of that, you have to over or under-compensate when choosing how much water to let out from each tap. Some old pipes will need to be replaced entirely, as the weather’s effect on them is due to aging. Other pipes may just need to be insulated in the lower levels of the building to counteract temperatures in the crawl space or basement.

Old or Damaged Faucet Controls

Another reason for water temperature irregularity is if your faucet controls are damaged or aged. When you turn the knobs to your faucet, or adjust a handle, you’re actually opening up one or both of your water lines to allow them to put out water. If your hardware is old and faulty, it may not be consistent in its function.

For example, if you have a faucet with a single handle, if the part that unblocks the hot water line is loose, pulling it all the way up might not unblock the hot water all the way, meaning the water runs colder than it should. Replacing the hardware of the faucet may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Your water lines and pipes may have nothing to do with the problem.

Water Heater Problems

Finally, the third reason you may be struggling with water temperature irregularity is that your water heater may be struggling. An old water heater can begin to fail at its job. If your water’s temperature varies by the time, it might be that sometimes your water heater is doing its job and other times it’s struggling.

To figure out if your water heater is the culprit, keep a log for a few days of when it’s hotter or colder and see if there’s a pattern. If it’s hotter in the afternoon and colder at night, it’s more likely an insulation problem. However, if the temperature changes seem to be fairly sporadic, it’s more likely your hot water heater just being more or less effective at random times. If that’s the case, it’s time to call someone to check it out and probably replace it. Any water heater older than 8 years is likely to need replacement if it’s struggling.

If your water heater is on the newer side, it might be that your mixing valves just need adjusting. We can do that too.

Give us a call at POM Plumbing if any part of your plumbing needs service. We’re here to help!

Why Is My Washing Machine Leaking Water?

If your washing machine is leaking water, you need some help fixing it ASAP. POM Plumbing is here to help. A washing machine leaking water can be caused by a handful of things. Therefore, let’s check out some of the most common.

Broken Door Seal

If you have a front-loading washer and have had it for many years, it’s possible the seal on the door is broken. The rubber seal along the perimeter of the door is vital for keeping water in. After many years of use, the seal can break or get damaged. Therefore, it’s important to maintain it.

It can break in a few different ways. The first is that it can come away from the door. If the door seal’s adhesive wears down, the seal may come away from the door without actually breaking. This can be fixed by buying a waterproof adhesive from your local hardware store. Then, apply the adhesive to the back of the door seal and press it back into place, allowing it plenty of time to set. Keeping the washer door closed while the adhesive sets will improve the adhesion.

If the seal has split, cracked, or otherwise been damaged, it will need to be replaced entirely. Washer door seals can often be bought at the hardware store. If your store doesn’t have one, you can order them online. Make sure the seal you buy is the right size and model.

Disconnected or Broken Hose

If the source of your washing machine leaking water seems to be from beneath it, it might be a hose issue. There’s a hose attached to your washing machine that allows it to fill with water. Therefore, if that hose gets disconnected or breaks in some way, the entire laundry room may flood. If the leak or flood started suddenly, when you weren’t washing clothes, it’s probably a hose issue.

Hose replacements can be bought at a hardware store. If the hose is disconnected, it will simply need to be reconnected. If you don’t know how, getting some help from a professional never hurts. This is especially true if your washer hose is connected somewhere that’s hard to reach or which requires moving the machine.

Leaky Drain

Another one of the connections between your washing machine and home is the drain connection. If your washing machine is leaking water from the drain, your leak or flood will likely be soapy. A leaky drain may be a simple problem with the drain connection. However, it may also be as complicated as a pipe burst. In that case, the drain pipe will need to be replaced. Our team at POM Plumbing can come to your house and check it out for you. If any plumbing work needs to be done, we’re here to help.

Give us a call today and we can give you a quote for our services. We can also schedule a consultation if you need some investigative help. We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Does My Toilet Clog So Easily?

If you find yourself asking, “Why does my toilet clog so easily?” you’re in the right place. If your toilet seems to clog a lot, there’s got to be a reason. Let’s figure out what that reason is so it can be fixed. 

Water Pressure

Why does your toilet clog so easily? It might be a problem with water pressure. If your home gets poor water pressure throughout, even the slightest obstacle will clog your toilet. The problem can be as simple as wiping twice. If there’s not enough pressure to push the toilet paper down, it will block things up.

In some instances of low water pressure clogging, the toilet paper from the last use didn’t get all the way down. Then, one innocuous trip to the bathroom later can have additional toilet paper getting caught on the first offender. The clog may seem sudden, but it’s possible it was a chain of events.

Water pressure issues are often a system wide issue in houses with poor general plumbing. Bents in the pipes where there shouldn’t be, pipes that are too narrow, and many more things can cause water pressure issues. Check out how we can help with replumbing.

Toilet Flush Model

Similarly to the water pressure issue, your toilet flush model might be the culprit. Many toilets are designed to use less water. Some of these models only work with certain types of in-home plumbing. If your water pressure isn’t enough to make that smaller flush effective, the model will be your downfall.

If your water pressure seems to be fine otherwise, compare your frequently-clogged toilet to the other toilets in your house. Are they all the same model? Are the others clogging as well? If it’s the only one of that model that’s clogging regularly, you might want to look into getting a new toilet.

Pipe Size

If your drain pipes are too small, clogging can be a regular occurrence all over the house. Pipe diameter standards have changed over time. These days, we typically use wider pipes. This is especially necessary for toilet drains. We’ll need to replace drain pipes that are too narrow.

Plumbing Installation Problems

An unfortunately common problem in old houses, large houses, houses that have been remodeled, and houses that were cheaply built, is plumbing installation errors. Plumbing only works effectively if it’s installed right. You can’t just attach a series of pipes together and expect them to work well.

When it comes to plumbing installation problems making your toilet clog so easily, it could be a number of things. The drain pipe might turn at a 90 degree angle and continuously block up when someone’s #2 gets stuck. All of the toilet drains in the house might meet at an intersection that shouldn’t exist and cause “collisions” that back up.

Therefore, if your home is full of plumbing installation errors, you might need the whole system overhauled to achieve consistently working toilets. 

Get the Solution

No matter what the problem is, we’ll get to the bottom of it. Give us a call at POM Plumbing and have us come out for a consultation. There, we can work up a quote, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not the project is within your budget. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dishwasher Maintenance You Didn’t Know Is Necessary

Dishwashers are one of those appliances that most people know how to turn on and not much else. They’re somewhat mysterious past their most basic use. However, did you know dishwashers require maintenance? Check out these types of dishwasher maintenance you’ve been completely ignoring.

The Food Trap

This is one of the most important parts of dishwasher maintenance – and one of the most ignored. Did you know you’re supposed to be emptying and cleaning the food trap in your dishwasher? It’s also known as the filter. You’ve certainly seen it before while loading dishes. At the base of the dishwasher basin, there should be a spot covered in mesh or a plastic strainer. This is where food bits collect and water drains. If you don’t wash your dishes completely free of food before loading them, your dishwasher’s food trap probably has a number of things collected in it by now.

The food trap in a dishwasher can be removed, then dumped into the trash and washed off in the sink. Keeping the filter free of food collection makes draining easier and keeps the dishwasher more sanitary. After all, do you really want the water circulating in your dishwasher to be running over month-old bits of food before being sprayed up onto your dishes? We didn’t think so.

The Door Seal

While door seal dishwasher maintenance isn’t strictly necessary for the dishwasher to function, it can help prevent the seal from breaking. Plus, it will also alert you to any damage in the seal before it gets bad enough to break or cause a leak.

If you want to maintain your dishwasher’s door seal, simply take a minute to wipe it down once a month. Ensuring no minerals or food particles are building up on it ensures it continues working its best.

The Sprayer

The sprayer in your dishwasher is one of the parts that are vital to its function. Wiping the sprayer down every once in a while is a key part of dishwasher maintenance. Not only can food remnants get onto the sprayer, making it less sanitary, it can also get blocked up with hard water. Take some time once a month to wipe the sprayer down with soapy water and check for blockages. If one of the holes is blocked with mineral buildup, use a sewing needle of other pointy object to clear the blockage. To prevent future blockages, you may want to consider investing in a water softening filtration system for your home’s water.

Run the Dishwasher

Last, but not least, keep running your dishwasher. Did you know a month of no use can lead to problems with your dishwasher? Similarly to a car’s motor, continued use is an important part of dishwasher maintenance. Plus, your dishwasher saves on water. Running your sink continuously to hand wash dishes – or even filling multiple sinks and leaving running water out of the equation – uses up more water than a modern dishwasher. Do yourself a favor and keep your dishwasher in use.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater?

Most homes have a water heater of some kind, but most people don’t know much about them. The main thing that makes most people remember their water heater exists is the running out of hot water. However, if you’re a homeowner or beginning to have water issues, you may start asking the eternal question: When do you replace your water heater?

Outdated 

Let’s cut to the chase. If your water heater is 8-10 years old, you should consider replacing it. If it’s over 10 years old, you should almost definitely replace your water heater. Finally, if you’re even wondering about when it should be replaced, there’s a good chance things are going wrong already.

An appliance that turns off and on, runs all the time, and has such a heavy workload as the water heater must retire. Ten years of heating up water for showers every day – or sometimes multiple times a day – is a lot of work. If you have two people living in a home and showering about every day for ten years, your water heater has provided enough hot water for over 7000 showers! That doesn’t even include hot water for laundry, dishes, and washing up at the sink.

Rusty Tank or Water

If your water heater’s tank is rusty or the tank is dispensing rusty water, you need to replace it. If the rust is coming from hard water with iron in it, you should consider buying a water filter that softens water. Otherwise, the hard water will continue to destroy appliances that take water, such as your sink or a fridge with a dispenser. Plus, the rust will coat the inside of pipes, damaging their integrity and narrowing them. If you need home replumbing because of hard water damage, give us a call. We can come out and take a look, then give you an estimate.

If you don’t have hard water, rust could be a sign that the water heater has lost its internal coating and/or has some kind of crack that’s letting in air. Either could be dangerous and shouldn’t be ignored.

Leaking

If your water heater is leaking, it is no longer airtight. That’s a huge safety concern, as it could mean pressure causing further damage, the water heater exploding, and more. Leaking is never something to ignore in a water heater. Have a professional replace it immediately.

Mysterious Noises

Mysterious noises in a water heater are never a good sign. Generally, your water heater should only make the kind of noises you expect, such as a hum. If there are any popping, klinking, dripping, or tapping noises, something is loose or damaged. Any damage in a water heater poses a serious safety risk.

Water Isn’t Getting Hot

If your water is no longer getting hot, your water heater has given up the ghost. Something vital broke completely. If your water heater is fairly new, you should check the warranty. You may be able to get a replacement or refund. However, if your warranty is no longer valid or the water heater is already reaching its age limit, opt for a replacement.

How Can I Repair a Cracked Tub?

If your tub ends up with a crack in it, you might be in kind of a panic right about now. It may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but a cracked tub can lead to leaking water and water damage to the floor. Can you repair a cracked tub? The plumbing experts at POM Plumbing have some advice for you.

The Cause of the Crack

The first thing we have to discuss is how your tub came to be cracked. If the crack is along the side due to some accidental collision or acute damage, you’re in luck. That kind of crack can easily be fixed with some epoxy or a tub repair kit. However, if the crack has simply appeared and is along the floor of the tub, things become a bit more complicated. This is a stress crack, which can happen after many years of use, especially if many people are using it or if users are very heavy. Fortunately, there are some fixes that may be able to help you with a stress crack in your tub.

Repair a Cracked Tub Temporarily

The first thing you must know is that a stress crack in the floor of an acrylic tub isn’t something that can simply have a bandaid slapped on it. Because it’s caused by stress, any fix will only be temporary. However, if you need an emergency fix that may last a few weeks at best, epoxy will do the trick. 

Applying epoxy and pressing it into the crack may allow you some extra time to organize a replacement. However, in the end, if you don’t have the tub replaced, the crack will simply keep appearing, worse each time. Each time it reappears, there’s the possibility of water getting in and leading to water damage on the floor beneath. This can cause structural issues to your floor. That’s incredibly dangerous when the weight of the tub relies on it to hold it up.

Repair a Cracked Tub “Long-Term”

If you’re up for some ugly repair work that might end up making things worse if done wrong, there is one more solution. An acrylic tub getting a stress crack is typically because there isn’t enough support beneath it. Fixing the support issue and then patching the crack might be enough to prevent the crack from returning for many months. However, the end goal should still be replacing the tub.

To give additional support to an acrylic tub, you’ll have to make things worse before they get better. Using a drill, create a hole at each end of the crack. Add a few in other areas of the floor of the tub that could use more support as well. Once the holes are drilled, you’ll want to spray an expanding foam into each of them. Do this until the hole is filled completely. This foam will expand beneath the tub and firm up, providing some more support to the tub floor. Any excess foam should be scraped away. Then, a tub repair kit should be used to waterproof the areas of the tub floor that were damaged.

Tub Replacement

When it comes time to replace your tub, POM Plumbing is here to help. Ensuring a new tub is installed properly is extremely important. Let us help with the installation to guarantee your plumbing continues working as intended.

How Can I Fix a Leaky Faucet?

If your faucet is leaking, there’s more going on than just an inconvenience. You’re wasting water and, therefore, wasting money. Plus, a leaky faucet dripping water into the sink makes your home more attractive to pests like bugs or mice. So, how do you fix a leaky faucet? It’s actually quite easy to do yourself if you’re not fond of hiring professionals. Here’s how to get it done.

Find the Source

The first step to fix a leaky faucet is knowing where it’s leaking. You probably already know where the leak is. However, if the water is simply running down the back of the sink, you’ll want to take a closer look. Is it coming from the base of a handle or knob? Is it coming from the base of the faucet? Both require different fixes.

Leaking from Handles

If your faucet handles are leaking, this has to do with one or two things. Your handles either need to be tightened or have their gaskets replaced. The answer may end up being both fixes. Before you start, make sure you turn off the water line under the sink.

If you have knobs, you’ll need to remove the cap at the top of the knob. This cap will usually be a circular piece of plastic with a brand logo on it or the letters L or R. There should be a small opening along the edge just big enough to fit the edge of a flat screwdriver or another rigid object. Pop the cap off and you’ll see a screw underneath. Simply tighten this screw down and then turn on the water. If the knob is still leaking water, you’ll need to remove the screw, remove the knob, and replace the rubber gasket beneath.

The same process can be applied to a handle, but the location of the screw will be on the back of the handle base. 

Leaking from Base

If your sink is leaking from the base of the faucet when you’re running water, it’s an issue with the o-ring there. The o-ring is simply a type of rubber gasket that’s meant to create a seal between the faucet and sink. When it’s worn out, it no longer seals, allowing water to escape from the faucet when the water is on.

To replace the o-ring on your faucet, you’ll need to remove the faucet from the sink. Depending on the type of faucet you have, this may be as simple as unscrewing the back of it. Some other sinks may require more complicated maneuvers, such as unscrewing the faucet from beneath the sink. If it’s a difficult case, you’ll want some professional assistance. Once the faucet is removed, simply pull away the old and worn-out o-ring and put the new one in place.

Dripping When Off

If your faucet is dripping while the water isn’t on, there’s a problem with the cartridge or valve. Start by opening up both handles as in the Leaking from Handles section above and tightening their screws. If the handles are slightly loose, it can prevent them from rotating entirely into the off position. This may not fix the problem, however. If not, you may need to check the valve or replace the cartridge in the faucet.

If you need help with any of these repairs, our professionals at POM Group are happy to help. We do these kinds of repairs all the time and can be in and out in no time, leaving you with a functioning sink. Give us a call if you have questions or would like to schedule a visit.