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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.

How to Fix a Tub That Won’t Drain

Every day, tons of people across the world find that their tub just isn’t draining anymore. For some, this is a sudden change. For others, it’s been a gradually worsening problem. It’s so common, there are even quick fixes available at most stores in the form of drain cleaner. However, what most people don’t know is that drain cleaner is really bad for your plumbing. So, let’s check out what to do and what not to do to fix a tub that won’t drain.

Find Why the Tub Won’t Drain

The first step to fixing your drain is to figure out the general cause of the draining issue. Generally, there are two branches of things that can cause draining issues: plumbing failures and buildups.

The most common cause is a buildup of stuff like hair and grime. If your tub has gotten gradually worse at draining, the drain probably just needs to be cleaned out.

Plumbing failures can come in many forms. The best way to assume you’ve got a plumbing failure is if the draining issue came on suddenly. If one day your tub was draining just fine and the next it’s barely draining at all, something is very wrong. A pipe underground may have collapsed, or a break in a pipe may have allowed something (previously) alive to get into your drain pipe.

Removing Blockages

When it comes to buildups, clearing the drain is easy.

Drain cleaners will try to get you to buy their chemical solution to do away with the buildup by yourself. While it’s true that chemical drain cleaners may work to remove gunk from your drain, they also remove metal. That is, they eat away at the inside of your pipes. This thins the pipes, making them more susceptible to bursting, breaking, cracking, and so on.

It’s just as easy to use a snake. A snake pulls blockages out of the pipes by screwing into them and then pulling straight out. This method won’t damage your pipes like chemical drain cleaner, and is much more effective. POM Plumbing can give you a visit and have your drain cleared ASAP.

Fixing Broken Pipes

Drain cleaner won’t fix the problem at all if the issue is a plumbing failure. In fact, it will only make it worse. If you’re pretty sure your drain has stopped working because something broke further down, you’ll need a professional from POM Plumbing to take a closer look.

Accessing underground pipes may require digging. Pipes hidden in walls may mean removing sections of drywall. Because of this, we need to investigate before we go directly to the plumbing. Camera inspection of the drain is an easy way for us to take a peek at where the problem is without getting into the thick of things. Once we know, for sure, where the problem is, then we can go about accessing the pipes.

Prevent Plumbing Problems

If your drain was blocked because of a buildup, it might be worth investing in a cheap drain guard. These guards can come in many forms. Some of them are just mesh grates while others are a solid piece of metal with holes drilled into it. The TubShroom is a great choice for most tubs. It’s inserted into the drain and catches hair before it can go any further. You can then dump the contents into the trash when it begins to get full.

If your drain isn’t made to accommodate a guard, you can also get regular drain maintenance by calling us at POM Plumbing.

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.

Low Water Pressure in Only One Bathroom

Are you struggling with low water pressure in only one bathroom? If so, you’ve probably been scratching your head wondering why on Earth this is even happening. There are a few things that can cause this, and POM Plumbing is here to help you get to the bottom of it.

Sediment Buildup

One of the first things that can cause low water pressure in only one bathroom is sediment buildup. This is especially common if the affected bathroom is on the bottom floor.

If your home has, or has ever had, hard water, there’s sediment and little bits of metal in it. These things may not be visible at a glance, but you can probably taste them in your tap. Furthermore, they can build up over years of running that water. If that sediment builds up in your pipes or in your faucet, water will have a hard time getting through. This can lead to low water pressure, or small streams of water that are higher water pressure than they should be. 

Closed Valve

It may seem obvious, but sometimes the culprit is a closed valve. “I’ve checked the valve!” you may say. And we believe you! Sometimes valves are damaged or installed incorrectly, making them appear open when they’re really closed. If you checked by sight and didn’t fiddle with the valve handle, try turning it and see if it fixes the problem.

Broken Valve

If your valve is simply not affecting the water flow, it’s most certainly broken. In all likelihood, it broke sometime when the valve was partially or completely closed and it never got fixed. Therefore, the bathroom was left with little to no water flow. Having the valve replaced should fix the problem.

Water Flow Restrictor

In many homes, water flow restrictors have been put in place. While many modern retrofits increase water pressure to make up for the lower amount of water, many older models of restrictors simply limit the water. This can mean water coming out at basically a trickle.

If your water is being restricted in an unsuitable way, this can be solved by removing the water flow restrictor. Replacing it with a modern retrofit is ideal for saving water and, therefore, money. However, it’s not strictly necessary. 

Get Professional Help

If you’re not up to the task of sleuthing out the issue, POM Plumbing’s team of experts can do it for you. We help with water pressure issues all the time, from residential to high rise scale. Give us a call and we’ll be out as soon as we can to help get your bathroom back into working order.

How to Repair Cracked Pipes Quickly

Maintaining you plumbing can be difficult to keep up on but there comes a time when it can’t be ignored anymore. That time is when your plumbing begins developing cracks. POM Plumbing is here to talk about how we can repair cracked pipes quickly to prevent disaster in your home.

Finding the Cracks

The first step to repairing cracks in plumbing is knowing that there are cracks and where they are. If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of finding a leak in your home, you may already know where they are. However, if you’re dealing with water damage below the second floor or in the basement, it may take a little searching around.

POM Plumbing has a fantastic group of professionals who have been repairing cracked pipes for years. Whoever is sent out to help you with your plumbing problem will start with finding the source.

Gaining Pipe Access

Next up is gaining access to the pipes. If the affected plumbing is in the wall or between floors, it may require some drywall removal. If the drywall has sustained water damage, it will need to be replaced anyway to avoid mold problems in the future.

However, not all pipes are hard to reach. Many of them are exposed, such as those under the sink and those in an unfinished basement. In those cases, fixing the problem is even faster. If your sink is dripping water in the cabinet below it, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll get it fixed up in no time.

Assessing the Damage

Next up is checking out what kind of damage we’re dealing with. If the pipe is burst completely, it will need to be replaced. On the other hand, we can repair cracked pipes quickly with the right approach. The typical solution is using a rubber sleeve or wrap. By coating the crack in epoxy and then slipping a tight, rubber sleeve around it, we ensure it won’t crack further. The sleeve keeps the pipe from expanding outward at the cracked point. That’s great for keeping a cracked pipe from turning into a burst one. After all, the last thing you need is a flood in your house because a pipe gave out.

Hire POM Plumbing

If you have a problem with your pipes, POM Plumbing is the company for you. Our team of experienced professionals have been doing plumbing repairs for years and helping repair cracks in plumbing for people just like you. Respectable appearance and respectful communication are two of our top priorities. That’s because we want customers to feel like they’ve hired an exceptional team. We also want them to feel like they’re being listened to and like they know what’s going on.

It’s far too often that plumbing experts walk into a home and start fixing things without explaining the process. We believe it’s your right to know what’s going on in your home. All processes will be covered before they’re started.

If you need help with your plumbing, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!

How to Check Plumbing When House Hunting

Buying a house secondhand can mean inheriting some unfortunate problems that the previous homeowners didn’t know about (or didn’t mention). One of the most commonly inherited problems is plumbing issues. So, how do you check plumbing when house hunting? In order to make sure you’re getting a house with the plumbing intact, POM Plumbing is here to help. Let’s take a look at what you should be checking for.

Water Heater Age

The hot water heater in any house on the market typically must meet a certain standard to pass inspection, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on the older side. When looking at a house, be sure to ask the realtor how old the water heater is. If they don’t know the answer, request that they get one for you. Any realtor showing you a house should be happy to get information for you regarding such an important system as plumbing. 

If the water heater is older than 8 years, it’s going to need to be replaced soon. If you’re willing to have it replaced, yourself, after buying, that’s no problem. But you should always be aware of how much additional work you need to put into a house after buying. Therefore, you know whether the listing price is reasonable for your budget.

Additionally, you should check tap temperature. If the hot water takes a long time to heat up, this could spell issues with the water heater or with pipe insulation. 

Evidence of Water Damage

This is a big one. To check plumbing when house hunting, include always looking at ceilings and in under-sink cabinets for water damage. If there is any water damage visible in the house, the realtor should have answers about it. If they don’t, that means they haven’t spoken with the homeowner about it and there could be problems that they’re not aware of.

Ceiling water damage on the first floor may have been caused by a plumbing malfunction on the second floor. Ceiling water damage on the second floor may have been from a roof leak. Both of these leaks can lead to mold, rot, or other types of damage. Don’t let it go by unmentioned because you should always get full assurance that it has been inspected and repaired before committing to the house.

Water damage under sinks can be superficial, or problematic, depending on the extent. A small warp in the wood from what may have been an old drip may not be a problem. However, if there’s a wider spot of water damage, it could mean a recurring leak or hidden mold.

Outlet Placement

This is something that frequently misses people’s notice. Always look at electrical outlet placements – especially in bathrooms and kitchens. If outlets are below water sources, it can be a huge hazard. These rooms should always have outlets above the counter and never down by the floor.

Drain Effectiveness

Finally, you should always test drain effectiveness. This is especially true of houses over 20 years old. Run the cold water in each tub and sink for 10-60 seconds and see how the drains handle. The drain should easily keep up with a full flow of water. If it doesn’t, it could be that the plumbing is outdated, doesn’t meet code, or needs to be completely cleaned out. All of those are expensive fixes and should be handled by the current owner or reflected in a lower cost. But you know you won’t want to move into a house where your drains are immediately backing up when you try to shower.

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 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.

How Can You Prevent Frozen Pipes in Winter?

Frozen pipes are a disaster for any home. No matter how big and fancy your home is, if your pipes freeze, there’s a high chance they’ll burst and end up flooding your house. So, how can you prevent frozen pipes in winter? There are lots of creative solutions that we’re happy to share with you.

Leave Bathroom Doors Open

The first thing you should do when winter approaches is keep your bathroom doors open – unless you’re using them of course. When the bathroom isn’t in use, keeping the doors open allows air flow. This isn’t strictly necessary if your bathroom has its own forced-air vent. However, it doesn’t hurt. If your bathroom doesn’t have its own forced-air vent or radiator, it can become much colder than the rest of the house if the doors are left shut. Allowing warm air to flow into the bathroom will ensure the pipes beneath the sink don’t freeze.

Leave Sink Cupboards Open

For the same reason, sink cupboards should be left open. This applies to anywhere with a sink above a cabinet. The bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and even a laundry room sink should have their cabinet doors left open. If there’s no other insulation keeping your pipes from freezing, allowing warm air into the cabinets may help.

Let the Sink Drip

While it may not be necessary if you’re still at home, when on vacation, leave the sinks to drip. Turning on each hot and cold tap in the house, just enough to allow it to drip, will aid in preventing pipe bursts. The water continues to move around, lowering the likelihood of freezing. Plus, the dripping helps to relieve pressure in the pipes. 

Keep Heat On

If you’re going somewhere else for vacation, don’t turn your heat off. This is important no matter what time of year you’re leaving. Always keep your heat set to at least 50 Fahrenheit when you’re traveling. Doing this keeps your home’s pipes warm enough to prevent freezing. Even during the fall or spring, if you leave with your heat off, a sudden drop in temperature could have you returning to a flooded house. A small amount of heating will cost a lot less than flood repairs.

Blanket Insulation

If your pipes are getting too cold, even with maximum airflow and keeping the heat on, it might be time to insulate your pipes. If you don’t have money to buy insulation, wrapping blankets or towels around your pipes is the way to go. It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing. A nice, thick barrier between your pipe and the cold air may be just the trick. This applies to sink pipes under cabinets as well as pipes in the garage that may lead outdoors, such as to a spigot.

Styrofoam Insulation

If you do have the money for some dedicated insulation, buying styrofoam insulation for your pipes is easy. Check with your local hardware store and you’ll find there are dedicated styrofoam forms meant to fit over your exposed pipes. If there are long stretches of exposed pipe – perhaps in the garage – you might want to get some expanding spray foam insulation instead. This will last longer and be more effective than a styrofoam form.

If it’s too late and your pipes have burst, once the initial disaster is cleaned up, we’re more than happy to come out and fix your pipes. That’s what we’re here for! Give us a call at POM Plumbing if you need assistance with pipe repair in your home.