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Trap Repair Questions

According to the Free Dictionary, a tap is “a valve and spout used to regulate delivery of a fluid at the end of a pipe.” Taps are opened to get the water supply turned “on” and they are closed to turn the supply “off”. They are, usually, not designed to control the water pressure and generally give out water at the same pressure constantly. If you want to alter the water pressure, you would need to examine the general pressure in the water system and change it. Another way to do this would be to put a pressure regulating valve in the pipes that are connected to the tap so that the water flows out at the desired pressure.

Listed below are a few questions answered by an Expert on problems related to taps.

My tap water smells odd, makes my eyes water and has given me skin problems. Despite buying a new water heater and a filtration system, installing new toilets, a washer, dryer and sinks, I still face this problem. I use city water and have had it tested but it continues to smell funny. What can I do?

There could be a few reasons for this. One is that the anode rod in your hot water that needs to be aluminum is probably magnesium. The smell is probably because of this and the smell can persist even if the water is just sitting in sink traps and toilet bowls. Once you change the rod, the smell should go away. Another reason could be that you have a broken or dry fixture trap or a broken unconnected vent or trap. In this case, pour bleach in all the overflows to kill the bacteria. After that, pour water in all the sinks and tubs. Check if the smell leaves by not running the water for a few hours. In case you have a vent in the wall, call a plumber to do a smoke test and find the broken/ unhooked pipe in the wall.

I have an outdoor freeze proof tap that has started leaking both from inside around the rubber end seal and also around the faucet. As the house was built in 1999, I can’t find a supplier who stocks this type of plumbing supplies. What can I do?

If the tap doesn’t leak when it is turned off, it probably can be fixed. In case you don’t find the right parts to fix it, you might have to replace the tap since local supply houses switch the valve line very often and don’t often stock old parts.

My cold water main tap is still flowing after I switched it off. The cistern has also fallen off. How can I fix it?

It seems like there is sediment build up in the line which is why the shut off isn’t closing completely. To begin with, shut off the main water supply inlet (or well pump) power and turn on another faucet in the house to release the pressure remaining. Then examine the valve and see if there is a nut behind its handle. If you locate it, try and loosen it and check if that will help the handle to close.

In many cases, this fixes the problem immediately since valves often get stuck and filled with sediment because they are not being turned.

My hot water tap spews black water after 5-10 seconds of opening it. This colored water lasts for a few seconds before clearing. If I turn the tap off and open it again, the same thing happens. What can I do?

This is probably happening because there is a build-up of deposits in the water piping system. These build-ups are harmless and temporary and usually the result of a system shut down, maintenance or a re-start which causes disruption in water pressure.

In case your water system has recently undergone any repairs, run both the taps—hot and cold—for a few minutes to see if the problem goes away. If no work has been done on the system, it’s possible that the softener or the hot water loop pump has a problem. If this is the case, it’s better to get a plumber to take a look at it and check if it is safe to use and drink.

If you detect a smell of sulphur in your tap water, test both the hot and cold water lines to check if the problem is being caused by the water heater or the water supply. This smell is caused by sulfur bacteria that are present in a well or other sources of water. Shock chlorination or acid treatments can kill the bacteria that live in well water. If the bacteria is found inside a water heater, raising the unit's temperature to over 140 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours can kill them. However, if you are installing a chlorination system, or performing an acid treatment on a well, always get the help of a licensed professional to do this as it involves adding potentially hazardous chemicals to your tap water. When dealing with problems related to your tap water, this can cause frustration. For more information on how to fix many problems associated with tap water contact an Expert.

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