3 Problems Happening Behind the Scenes of Your Shower

Some of the biggest issues in your shower could be the ones that you can’t see. There is a lot going on behind the scenes in your shower, including all your pipework. When an issue occurs there, it can cause a lot of damage before you become aware of the problem. Here are five problems that occur behind the scenes and warning signs that may help you spot the problem sooner.

Are These Issues Happening Behind the Scenes of Your Shower?

Hairline Cracks Letting Moisture into Your Walls

If a leak is flowing onto your floor, it’s pretty easy to spot by the puddle left behind. But if a hairline crack is allowing moisture into the area behind your shower, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to detect. Hairline cracks can happen in the tub itself (especially if a lighter, less expensive material is used). They can also happen along the seal where the tub meets the wall. Old tile may be to blame for the leak as well. Hairline cracks can happen where old grout wears away and lets water slip in. In some cases, these hairline cracks are best treated by replacing the shower instead of trying to repair it.

What are the warning signs?

  • Water stains on walls behind the bathroom or on the ceiling below the bathroom
  • Mold or mildew appearing in areas other than the shower walls
  • Warped walls or flooring around the shower

Drain Sizes Not Up to Code

There are very specific building codes attached to the size of drain required in your bathtub or shower. These codes have changed over time, too. If you are living in an older house that’s never had a bathroom renovation, there is a good chance your drain sizes aren’t up to code. They may not be up to code if a builder installed them who didn’t know better. But why does size matter? Because it’s going to affect how the shower drains. If your drain is too small for your shower, you could end up flooding the shower pan and causing water damage. Even if you haven’t encountered this issue yet, it’s one that you’ll want to address before it becomes a problem in the future.

What are the warning signs?

  • Bathtub or shower drains slowly
  • Standing water while you are showering

Corroded Pipes Leaking Behind Your Drywall

Unless you have x-ray vision, it’s tough to know what’s going on with your pipes. Unfortunately, pipes don’t last forever. Pipes can corrode over time, especially if the plumbing system hasn’t been properly maintained. Corroded pipes can become weak and allow leaks to start. Because these pipes run through your walls and all over your home, a leak can cause a lot of damage. If you live in an older home, it’s a good idea to have your pipes inspected to determine if they need replacing. New homes aren’t immune, though, either. Poor quality pipes can spring leaks even when they are new, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out.

What are the warning signs?

  • Water stains on drywall of walls or ceilings
  • Warped walls or flooring, including bulging or giving way when you touch it

Worried About What’s Happening Behind the Scenes in Your Shower?

If you suspect that problems are happening behind the scenes of your shower, you need to contact our team right away. The sooner we can diagnose the issue, the less water damage is likely to happen. We will help you diagnose the issues happening with your plumbing system and get them fixed. We can help address minor leaks or major plumbing renovations throughout your home.

What Is A Kitchen Plumbing P-Trap

The Kitchen Plumbing P-Trap Explained

If you've ever encountered problems with your sink's drain, you've probably heard the term "P-trap" thrown around here and there. While the P-trap is a simple device, few homeowners understand how it works and why it matters. Here's a quick overview of P-traps that you can reference when sink-related plumbing issues arise.

What Is a P-Trap in Plain English?

In a nutshell, a P-trap is a U-shaped bend in the waste pipe that connects a sink's drain to a home's septic tank or to a municipal sewer system. Under normal circumstances, P-traps always contain a certain amount of water much like the trapway of a toilet.

Why Are P-Traps So Important?

The most critical task of the P-trap is to prevent noxious gases such as methane from making their way into a home. P-traps also allow homeowners to quickly and easily recover small items that fall down the drain. Long story short, P-traps are an integral part of responsible modern plumbing design.

P-Trap Problems You're Likely to Encounter

By far the most common issue associated with P-traps is the accumulation of debris in the bend. Over time, things like hair, food, grease and mineral deposits build up and reduce the diameter of the drain pipe. Eventually, the drain will clog up and have to be thoroughly cleaned out.

The other big problem with P-traps is that they can eventually vent sewer gases into a living area. This usually occurs because the water in the P-trap evaporates over the course of several weeks and isn't around to capture expanding gases. Fortunately, this problem can be remedied by periodically running water through drains that are seldom used.

3 P-Trap Cleaning Techniques

If you have a sink that's draining slowly, the simplest way to deal with the problem is by running a drain cleaner through the pipes. Drain cleaners attack and destroy grease or mineral deposits on the walls of a pipe to increase water flow through the P-trap assembly.

Another great way to deal with a fully or partially clogged drain is running a "snake" through the conduit to dislodge obstructions. Snakes are simply flexible cables that are inserted into drains for the purposes of scraping pipe walls. Good snakes have a handle on them that allow users to rotate the cable to grind off deposits.

If a chemical cleaner or a snake won't clear a clogged pipe, physically removing the P-trap and cleaning it by hand is the only solution. Once removed, P-traps should be scoured thoroughly to ensure that waste water flows through efficiently. Care must be taken when reinstalling the P-trap to guarantee that no seals or PVC welds leak.

What to Do When P-Trap Problems Arise

When drainage issues plague a sink in your home, it's likely that a P-trap problem is to blame. Bringing in an a local Denver plumber to assess and rectify the situation is highly recommended. Doing so will save you time and money when all is said and done.

Denver Kitchen Plumbing CTA

How Much Can A Low Flow Toilet Save Me

How Much Can I Save By Using A Low Flow Toilet?

Investing in a low-flow toilet saves water and money. You may think that a low-flow toilet will not flush as good as your old toilet. But the truth is that the low-flow toilet today does not resemble the original model that was first manufactured in 1994. At that time, a low-flow toilet used less than 2 gallons per flush while a standard toilet might have used up to 7 gallons. Unfortunately, the small amount of water used in low-flow toilets performed in an inefficient manner.

Step into the Modern World Filled with High-Efficiency Toilets

Today, low-flow toilets flush with a greater sense of accuracy even though they still do not use excessive amounts of water. Consequently, think about purchasing a high-efficiency toilet (HET) when it is time to update your bathroom. You may save at least $90 on your water bill every year. If you have several bathrooms, multiply the $90 in annual savings for each toilet.

Shop for a Toilet Bearing an Approved WaterSense Label

Shopping for the right HET toilet is easy when you look for a WaterSense label identifying the toilet as a certified HET receptacle. The WaterSense certification means that an independent laboratory certified the toilet. Each HET toilet has a specific Maximum Performance (MaP) rating. The MaP figure lets you know if the toilet's low-flush also removes waste in an acceptable way. For instance, you can find toilets with MaP ratings as low as 250 grams and as high as 1,000 grams. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the minimum acceptable number equals 350 grams while the gold standard number equals more than 500 grams.

Select your Preferred Flush Option

Similar to an older low-flow toilet, an HET toilet has various flush mechanisms. Each flush option has a different price tag and noise level. Plus, you need to decide how much of an impact you want your toilet to make on the environment. A gravity-flush toilet features the standard type of flush mechanism relying on the water's weight. A pressure-assist toilet relies on compressed air created at the top of the toilet tank. Unlike the gravity-flush option, a pressure-assist mechanism increases its flush capabilities based on the amount of compressed air. Plus, the pressure-assist option performs each flush with less than 1 gallon of water.

The drawback associated with a pressure-assist flush is that its annoying sound is too loud, especially for youngsters. If you do not want to hear a noisy sound each time the toilet flushes, choose a gravity-flush HET toilet. You can also find tankless HET toilets. An example is the Kohler Hatbox toilet that flushes via an electric pump in lieu of gravity or pressure. The problem with this type of toilet is that you need to use electricity every time you press the flush button. Plus, the toilet is more expensive to maintain.

Consider the Amount of Money you will Save on an Annual Basis

If you want to cut down on the amount of water used in your household, a new HET toilet will help you reach your goal. Boasting approximately 27% less usage, you will save an admirable amount of money on your utility bill each month. With an average life span exceeding 20 years, you may eventually end up with an additional $2,000 in your savings account. Furthermore, the city or state in which you reside may offer a special discount or rebate if you purchase an HET toilet. Some cities even provide homeowners with free HET toilets. Nonetheless, you will use less water in comparison with your older toilet that does not offer a low-flow feature.

Think About Installing a Dual-Flush HET Toilet

Additionally, you have the option to install a dual-flush HET toilet featuring two flush buttons on the toilet's tank. You can select the half flush button or the full flush button. If the toilet only contains liquid, choose the half flush option. Otherwise, select the full flush button. Caroma is a toilet manufactured in Australia featuring two flush buttons. In Australia, the law stipulates that HET toilets must feature two flush options. The Caroma brand has also been sold in the United States for about 10 years and currently features approximately 12 different dual-flush designs.

Remember to do your Research

Look at online reviews before you buy a toilet. Read about different models and maintenance costs. Study positive and negative reviews. Check out the prices at various online vendors. Calculate the shipping costs and read the vendor's policy regarding returns. You can also buy a more elegant model for an additional price. However, remember that your new toilet is designed to last a long time. Accordingly, choose an HET toilet featuring practicality, convenience and appearance so that every person in your family enjoys the luxury of a modern receptacle. When you've got your new toilet and are ready to have it installed, give our Denver plumbing company call and schedule a plumber to come out!