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Bathrooms

What is a "comfort height" toilet?

A comfort height toilet, also referred to as an ADA compliant toilet, is a toilet bowl that is 1 1/2" - 2" higher than the average toilet. Comfort height toilets are approximately the same height as a table chair and are easier to sit on, especially for the elderly or disabled. Comfort height toilets not only make life easier for individuals with disabilities but are becoming more popular with all homeowners due to their convenience.

The average cost for a comfort height toilet is $200-$400 as compared to an average non-comfort toilet cost of $150-$300. If you're thinking about installing a comfort-height toilet in your home, be sure to double-check the space you have for a toilet. Comfort-height toilets require more front-to-back space than regular toilets do.

My water bill just came and seems higher than usual. Is my toilet leaking without my knowing it?

A leaking toilet is the number one cause for higher than usual water bills. Even tiny cracks can waste hundreds of gallons in a month. A leaking toilet is often not noticeable which is why many homeowners check their dishwasher or washer first when they receive a high water bill. To check if your toilet is leaking, place a few drops of blue food coloring in your toilet tank. (Don't flush the toilet.) After a few minutes, check the bowl. If the water has a blue tinge, your toilet is leaking.

Other signs that a toilet is leaking include having to jiggle the handle to make the toilet stop running, sounds coming from a toilet that isn't being used, having to hold down the handle to empty the toilet and water trickling down the sides of the toilet bowl after it has been flushed.

If you suspect that you have a leaking toilet and the immediate cause is not apparent, a good plumber can assess the situation for you and give you recommendations. The worst case scenario is that your toilet bowl is cracked. It is generally not possible to repair a toilet bowl that is already cracked; it should be replaced. However, if you have a multiple-piece toilet, it is possible to replace only that part that is cracked.

Can you get parts for my toilet?

It is possible to get parts for your toilet whether it is old or new. It is just a matter of knowing where to find the part. Mike Ingrilli has been a plumber for over 25 years and has a vast network of contacts, retailers and wholesale vendors to call on to find the right part for your toilet, even if it was installed 25 years ago.

My showerhead is not working and there's no water pressure. What can I do about it?

There are a couple of options you can explore if water is coming out of your showerhead at very low pressure. First, remove the showerhead from the angled pipe coming out of the wall. Once the showerhead is off, turn on the water to see if you get a reasonable amount of water coming out of the pipe. If you do, then the problem lies with your showerhead.

Check that mineral deposits (i.e., lime) have not built up on or in your showerhead over time. These are usually white deposits that are clogging up the holes in your showerhead. To remove the deposits, soak the showerhead overnight in white vinegar. In the morning, scrub the showerhead with a toothbrush to remove the deposits.

If cleaning the showerhead itself does not work or there is not a good flow of water coming from the angled pipe as described above, the underlying problem is with the pipes themselves. At this point, a plumber would probably recommend to flush the water lines in your house to remove debris that is restricting the water flow. Flushing the lines in your house should be done by a professional as damage can occur to fixtures such as faucets and pipes if done improperly.