Most toilets are made of vitreous china, although other materials are occasionally used. There are many different styles of toilets, the most common being the two-piece. This type of toilet has two separate components, the bowl and the tank. For the most part, these units are generally inexpensive and replacement parts readily available. One piece toilets, or siphon action toilets, are usually somewhat expensive. When flushed, the entire bowl surface is covered with water, however a quiet and smooth operation is associated with these units.
- Check for any signs of leakage at the water supply, the tank connection, the bowl, and the toilet connection to the drain.
- Make sure the toilet is tightly secured to the floor.
- Inspect the flush mechanism for proper operation.
- Be sure the toilet is ade-quately caulked to the floor.
TIP: Your drain plunger can become a more effective tool by smearing a little petroleum jelly around the edge of the suction cup. The jelly will create a better seal between the drain and the cup.
Bathtubs can be either built-in or free standing. Typically they are made of enameled cast iron or steel, fiberglass or plastic. Some of the problems as-sociated with bathtubs are leaking water supply or drain connections, corrosion, and chipping of the enamel finish. One option for providing an old tub with a new look is reglazing. This is a relatively new process and the results do not appear to be long lasting. The advantage of reglazing is that it can be done in place and is much less expensive than replacing the fixture. Another common source of leakage is the intersection where the tub meets the enclosure. The enclosure may be ceramic tile, plastic, or simulated marble. Modern, one-piece fiberglass or acrylic enclosures are also available. If properly installed, all of these materials are acceptable. To avoid problems, it is critical to keep the area where the tub meets the enclosure well sealed! Loose ceramic tile at the tub rim may be a sign of water penetration.
Occasionally check the underside of the bathtub for any signs of leakage or wood decay.
Periodically inspect the tub surround for any signs of failure (loose tile, etc.).
Keep the intersection of the tub and surround well sealed.
Sinks & Faucets
Bathroom sinks can be made of stainless steel, enameled steel, cast iron, vitreous china, plastic, marble, simulated marble, or a variety of other materials. All of these sinks are fairly reliable and each have their strengths and weaknesses. Leakage is the most common deficiency found with a faucet. Faucets come in a variety of styles and quality. Regardless of the style, leakage is the most common problem discovered. The popular compression faucet uses a washer to turn off the water when the washer is compressed against a seat. If water leaks out of the faucet this is usually an indication of a deteriorated washer. If water leaks from the handles it usually indicates deteriorated packing. Both of these problems are considered minor and are inexpensive to repair. Modern faucets use a valve, cartridge, or ball to direct the flow of water. These mixing valves allow the control of hot and cold water, and the volume of water with a single handle.
Sink& Faucet Maintenance
Periodically inspect under the sink for signs of leakage from the water supply lines and the drain piping.
If a bathroom does not have an operable window an exhaust fan is usually required. Although fans are not required when a window is present, they are beneficial. It is unlikely that a person would open a window every time they took a shower. Heavy concentrations of moisture in an unvented bathroom can lead to mildew damage on the walls and ceilings. The exhaust from the fan should discharge to the exterior of the building to prevent excessive moisture build-up in the attic.
Check for loose, cracked or missing ceramic tile.
Inspect for deteriorated or missing tile grout.
Be sure the edges of resilient flooring are kept well sealed.
Keep the joint between the tile and the tub/shower well sealed to prevent water damage to the subfloor.
(Allbay Home Maintenance Inc.)