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May 05
Posted By liu shing

Low Angle View Of A Shower

Low-flow fixtures have been mandated by The National Energy Policy Act. Low-flow fixtures can provide the homeowner with significant savings and be a sustainable measure in your remodeling or construction project. Low flow fixtures such as toilets, faucet aerators, and shower heads, can provide the same utility when compared to non-low-flow fixtures.

Low flow fixture manufacturers vary on their technology used, but they can provide with the same results, and new mechanisms are being developed to be used with low flow fixtures.

Low Flow Shower Heads

Low flow shower heads are the ones with a flow rate of less than 2.5 GPM at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi). However, recent low flow shower heads can even provide a flow rate of less than 2.0 GPM. The two basic types of low flow shower heads are:

  • Laminar-flow - Laminar-flow shower head will form streams of water and will provide with a more accurate temperature control.
  • Aerating - This type of low flow shower head will mix water with air forming a misty type of water spray. This will create a great amount of steam and moisture, and in humid climates are not recommended.

Low flow shower heads should replace older ones that were designed with a flow rate of 5.5 GPM.

Low Flow Toilets

Low flow toilets and ultra-low flow toilets have been designed to use half the amount of water of traditional toilets. Low flow toilets are averaging 1.6 GPF, instead of 3.5 GPF.


The design of low-flow toilets has been under fire due to the claim that some models cannot flush the toilet in an efficient way. Later techniques and toilets performance have been upgraded to relief these problems, and they are designed, the majority, with a half flush option for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste disposal.

Many low flow toilets are also designed to reduce clog problems because their drainage passage is wider.

  • Gravity-Fed Low Flow Toilets - This kind of low flow toilet uses the traditional weight of water to push it down the bowl. They are cheaper and less noisy that pressure-assisted low flow toilets.
  • Pressure-Assisted Low Flow Toilets - This type of low flow toilet is usually noisier but can reduce water consumption by 45% when compared to gravity-fed toilets. This system uses air pressure built up inside the tank to push the water down.

What About Faucets?

Old sink faucets can also be wasting a lot of water and money. You should consider replacing your faucets if it uses more than 2.5GPM. There are a couple of ideas that you can choose from to replace that outdated faucer. You can choose whether to replace it with a new faucet, normally with less than 1.5GPM or by installing an aerator. The aerator or flow restrictir can be added to almost any faucet, providing for an easy and cheap modification that will save you some money over the years.

Cost Benefits of Using Low Flow Fixtures

Low-flow fixtures can certainly require some additional upfront cost to procure when compared to traditional fixtures.

However, since many building codes require to have low flow fixtures, we have analyzed how much cost will these type of fixtures can add to your construction proposal. Depending on the manufacturer, a basic toilet can cost between $75 and $450, only the fixture. A low flow toilet can easily cost about $100 more depending on the manufacturer, but the payback for that customer could be as fast as three years due to savings on water usage.

Low-Flow Fixtures Benefits

  • Ideal for Retrofitting
  • Low-flow toilets can save more than 20,000 gallons of water per year for a four-member family
  • Available in a wide array of colors and styles.
  • Regulated by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials(IAPMO)
  • Must meet the appropriate American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Water-efficient toilets save money on your monthly water bill.
May 05
Posted By liu shing

dripping water faucet

Today’s water faucets have become more sophisticated, and the task of installing or troubleshooting these faucets has become more difficult. The procedure to install a faucet is relatively the same process but today’s technology brings different components that you need to be aware of.

Common Faucet Issues

Once it has been connected, some issues might affect the performance of your faucet, such as leaks, squeaks and other problems.

Let’s go over some common issues and how to solve them.

Low Water Pressure

Normally, low water pressure from a faucet is caused by its sprayer diverter. The diverter valve is a small piece located inside the faucet body. The diverter controls the water going into the faucet, so you must check that it is clean—it might be clogged with small debris and minerals.  If the diverter is not clogged, you might need to replace the diverter. 

Another area that you may be a culprit in low water pressure is the aerator. The aerator like the diverter can be cleaned with a brush and cleaning solution. You can also try to use vinegar to remove materials and unclog it.

Finally, make sure the problem is not the water pressure coming out from the utility and check that the water supply valves are turned on all the way.

Spray Misting from Faucet

If water sprays a mist off from the main flow when you use the faucet, you might want to check that the aerator is screwed on tightly.


Use a cloth or a brush to remove minerals, tape or debris from the aerator, as it could be clogged. Be sure to also check the aerator washer.

Reinstall the aerator and check again. If the problem still shows up you will need to replace the aerator as it might be cracked or damaged.

Faucet Handle Leaks

When you discover that the water faucet leaks, try tightening the packing nut at the handle, as this can be the primary cause of the leak.

Sometimes a damaged O-ring needs to be replaced.

To replace the O-ring, shut off the water supply line, disassemble the faucet and replace the cartridge if necessary, depending on the problem that you are facing. When replacing the o-rings, clean the inside of the spout and the outside of the valve body. We also recommend lubricating the spout o-rings with silicone-based grease.

Drips from the Spout

Another common problem is drips from the faucet spout. If you are installing a compression style faucet, you will need to replace the seat washer and/or replace the valve seat.

For all other water faucets, you will only need to replace the valve seat.

Faucet Noises

When you hear a noise after you turn off the water faucet, it could be water hammer. This might be solved by installing an air chamber.

If you have already installed air chambers, turn off the water supply, drain the water line and turn the water back again. When the noise occurs after the water faucet is turned on, the valve might require a new washer, or the water pressures from the supply line is either too high or too low.

Faucet Handle Is Difficult to Operate

Normally a tough to operate handle might occur because sediments or debris have damaged the cartridge.


Debris, metal pieces and minerals could damage the seal within the cartridge.

You might also need to replace the cartridge or lubricate it with silicone-based grease. Do not use plumber's grade faucet grease, silicon sprays or any lubricant that may contain petroleum. Petroleum-based lubricants may react with the rubber seals and could cause the handle to become even more difficult to operate.

May 05
Posted By liu shing

There are many types of plumbing pipes for residential or commercial buildings. Plumbing pipes such as PEX, Copper and PVC are used normally depending on their application and the location in which they are installed. In addition there are some other plumbing pipe types such as black, galvanized and brass. Let’s see below the best application for the most common used plumbing pipes.


 Stainless Steel Pipes

Stainless steel pipe
 Stainless steel pipe. Photo Hans Pixabay

Stainless steel can look very neat but it is very expensive.Stainless steel pipe are used in areas subject to corrosion and near coastal areas. This type of pipe is available in both flexible and rigid and will need some special couplings to be attached to other types of pipes. Do not confuse stainless steel pipes with galvanized pipes. It is available in various sizes and lengths. 


 PEX Piping

PEX plumbing manifold
 PEX plumbing manifold. Photo

Pex piping is a flexible plastic piping that has become a popular selection in residential and small business applications. Although slightly higher initial cost, its minimal maintenance and fast installation process makes it the best pipe for water distribution inside a building. PEX piping provides a really leak-free product offering advantages over copper piping. One of the most important drawbacks is that it cannot be used in outdoor applications because UV rays can damage is outdoor plastic layer.More 


 Copper Piping Used in Plumbing

Copper Clean
 Clean copper after it has been cut. Photo

Copper pipes are probably the most traditional plumbing pipe used due to their extensive duration and reliability. They provide superior corrosion resistance, great material to be used for hot and cold water, and it can be managed easily. However, the most important factor to consider before using copper piping is that it needs to be soldered together and it might require additional fittings. Not everyone is a good at soldering copper pipes, but the article How to Solder Copper Pipes might help you.


 PVC Piping

PVC pipe
 PVC pipe. Photo publicworksgroup Flickr

PVC plumbing pipes are used for cold and hot potable water as well with sewage applications. PVC pipes vary on their thickness and configuration depending on the application where it will be used. For example, pressure water pipes, are not the same as sewer pipes, and not the same as the ones used on storm drainage systems. Plastic plumbing products designed for potable water applications are usually designated with either "NSF-PW" or "NSF-61" to indicate that the product complies with the health effects requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 6.


 Galvanized Plumbing Pipes

Galvanized pipe
 Galvanized pipe. Photo Home Depot

Galvanized piping was used several years ago as the standard for residential projects. However, with time it is used less frequent because rust can build up inside small diameter pipes. If the pipe is old enough, then you can see water coming from the faucet with rust traces as the scale can break loose from the inside of the pipe. Galvanized pipes can be used to transport grey water or non-potable water.


 Brass Pipes Used in Plumbing

Brass plumbing
 Brass plumbing. Photo EugenesDIYDen Pixabay

Brass plumbing pipes provide great rust resistance piping, if it’s made of 67% to 85% copper. The best brass pipe grade is obtained when the alloy contains 85% copper and is called red brass pipe. Brass piping provides a long lasting material that does not rust in the interior and it does not causes friction losses inside the pipe. Brass plumbing pipes are easier to thread than steel pipes and excellent for hot-water and large distribution systems, such as pump fittings, water tanks, and wells. Brass pipe normally tend to last longer than any other plumbing material. Brass pipe generally comes in 12-foot straight lengths.


 Cast Iron Piping

Cast iron pipe
 Cast iron pipe. Photo McWane, Inc.

Cast iron plumbing pipes are normally manufactured as bell-and-spigot type. It can be found also with threaded joints but are more expensive than the bell and spigot one. These pipes are heavier than any other pipes, normally used for water distribution systems, or underground installation as the main pipe on drainage or sewer systems. The smallest size that normally is manufactures is 4” pipe, large enough to be used on residential applications. Cast iron pipe is heavy and must be supported while you assemble a joint.

May 05
Posted By liu shing

Salesman talking to Hispanic family in bathroom supply store



Toilets are really important equipment used constantly and one of the most overlooked pieces of a bathroom. People will focus more on a bathtub or the vanity instead of focusing on the toilet. There are many types of toilets, such as traditional, low level, back to wall, wall hung, and many more. But it is really important to know that not all the toilets are the standard toilets. So be sure to check our toilet buying guide.

Toilet Buying Guide

This toilet buying guide will assist you before you buy your next toilet. So be sure to:

  • Decide if you’ll be using a one piece or two piece toilet
  • The selected toilet shall be in compliance with local standards
  • Select the type of installation
  • Measure the available space where the toilet will be installed
  • When possible, try to buy a toilet from a branded name
  • Decide between a circular or elongated toilet bowl

Toilet Features

In addition to the buying guide, also consider these important toilet features

  1. Water Saving- Some toilets could have a water sense certification, high-efficiency toilets flushing with 1.28 gallons or less per flush, as compared with the 1.6 gallons of conventional toilets.
  2. Dual Flush- Do you want to choose a toilet that can provide you with the ability to have a partial flush for liquids or a full flush for solid waste?
  3. Toilet Bowl Height- Comfort toilets are considered as non-traditional toilets. A standard bowl rim is located about 15 inches above the floor, but toilets bowls at 17 inches are considered the best ones. A 17 inch and even a 19 inch toilet bowl height will also be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  1. Bowl shape- An elongated bowl, although occupies more space, provides more seating space and allows fewer odors to escape. Take this into consideration as an elongated bowl could be up to 6” longer than a standard bowl.
  2. One Piece Toilet- Two piece toilets are cheaper than one piece’s but they tend accumulated dust in between the tank and the bowl. One-piece toilets are more expensive and can be harder to install than a two-piece toilet. As for performance they are almost the same.
  1. Flush Systems- Rubber flappers are things of the past. Look for newer flush towers that are more reliable than old flappers. Pressure-assist toilets are more water-efficient flushers than gravity toilets.
  2. Valve- Go after toilets that have at least a 3 inch flush valve. Traditional toilets have a 2 inch valve that delivered less thrust than new ones.
  3. Rough-in Dimensions- Distance from back wall to the water line entrance varies from model to model, so ask before you get your new toilet.
  4. Noise- Noise could be a factor when your toilet is going to be installed near high transit areas.
  5. Color- More than 80 percent go after traditional white, although more and more people each day are trying new exotic colors.
  6. Water Lines- Use flexible stainless steel water lines instead or rigid chrome-platted copper lines.
  7. Shut-Off Valve- There are multiple types of connections for a shut-off valve. Solder connection and a compression connection are the most used, but be sure that you don’t have old iron pipes as they might require some sort of different connection.

Toilet Manufacturers

These are the top toilet manufacturers that you can find in the US. It will all depend on previous factors and how much money the client is willing to pay.

  • Toto-Toto is one of the big 3 of toilet manufacturers
  • Kohler- Kohler offers very good products at reasonable prices.
  • American Standard-For pure price, the American Standard toilet is a worthy competitor.
May 05
Posted By liu shing

Towel ring height

Towel Ring and Other Bathroom Accessories Installation Heights

Bathroom accessories are normally one of the latest things to be installed when remodeling or during the construction process. However, if you don’t know how and where to install bathroom accessories, then you can run into bigger problems as you could be drilling over tiles causing damages by unnecessary drilling. Here are some recommended heights that you can use when installing bathroom accessories.

Remember always to double check with your local building codes and ADA guidelines.

Many of these recommended heights are taken from the International Residential Code (IRC), requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and published by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Standard Mirror Installation Height

Mirrors can be installed at a different height depending on the type of mirror being installed. As a general guideline, they could be installed between 38 and 42 inches. This measurement is related to the bottom height of the mirror, measured from the finish floor. My recommendation is that the mirror shall be mounted with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no higher than 40 inches above the finish floor. Sometimes you will want to center the mirror with the wall and the vanity for aesthetic purposes. It is recommended to install a  single full-length mirror in each washroom when the bath will be used by the public.


Installation Height for Bathroom Shelves

Shelves are installed at different elevations depending on the use and type of shelf being installed. Normally then can be installed between 3 feet and 4 feet too, as mirrors.However, this will vary depending on the type of bathrooms and there is the new trend to have niches instead of shelves.

Bathroom Accessories Installations: Soap Dish/Soap Dispenser

The soap dish must be installed at an approximate height of 44 inches or as high as 54 inches. The soap dish height location shall be located out from the shower spray. While the soap dispenser must be installed at a minimum 40 inches and as high as 48 inches. Ideally the soap dish shall be installed at 48  inches; however, if it's a soap dispenser, their push buttons should be located 44" maximum above FF.

Towel Ring Installation Height

The towel ring must be installed between 50 inches and 52 inches height, measured from the finish floor. If you are measuring it from the vanity then is shall be hung 20-22 inches above it. Generally, the absolute minimum height is 36" for towels, 18" for wash cloths measured from the vanity countertop.

The towel rail height installation will vary depending on the type and use of the bathroom. The rail will not be installed at the same height when the bathroom will be used by children. A towel rail shall be installed 48 inches above the floor. You want to check also the location of electrical outlets and decorative tile work. When installing multiple towel rails, measure the one that will be highest, and then fold a towel at that level.

Mark 2 inches below the area where the towel bottom and that should be the place to install the second rail.

Toilet Paper Roll Holder Height?

The toilet paper roll holder can be installed between 19 and 26 inches from the floor. The Americans with Disabilities Act encourages using 19 inches while the National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends 26 inches as the ideal height. If you don't have a lot of space, you might want to consider attaching it to the side of the vanity.

Bathroom Accessories Installations: Cabinet

Bathroom cabinets are normally installed at 54 inches above finished floor. That is because you will usually have a 36 inches standard vanity plus 18 inches of clear space in between. Sometimes a combination of mirror/cabinet is chosen so be sure to have it installed at 12 inches on top of the countertop.

Bathroom Accessories Installations: Grab Bars

Grab bars should be placed at least 33"-36" above the floor. When the installation is on the side wall grab bar shall be 42 inches long minimum, located 12 inches maximum from the rear wall and extending 54 inches from the rear wall.There is additional information on how to install grab bar, as recommended by the Americans with Disabilities Act in our article about Grab bars.

Installation Height for Hand Dryers

Hand dryers have some more specific guidelines, as they should be able to be operated easily applying only minimum force.These units shall meet specific ADA dimensions in respect to how much they can protrude and should be from a contrasting color. The push button should be installed at 38 inches above FF with at least a clear floor space of 30" x 48" in front of them.When more than one hand dryer is installed, the second unit can be installed between 42"-48" above finished floor.

May 05
Posted By liu shing

Update your bathroom by refreshing the paint on the bathtub.

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May 05
Posted By liu shing

Outdoor showers aren't just for poolside and public beaches anymore. They're fast becoming a refreshing addition to the everyday home bathroom.

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May 05
Posted By liu shing

Learn all about bathtubs including how to remove and replace one.

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May 05
Posted By liu shing

Stop sudden shower water temperature changes by installing an anti-scald valve in your shower.

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May 05
Posted By liu shing

This compact yet stylish shower kit can free up space in a small bath.

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