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.
  • Periodically inspect under the sink for signs of leakage from the water supply lines and the drain piping.


  • 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 associated 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 re-glazing. The advantage of re-glazing is that it can be done in place and is much less expensive than replacing the tub.
  • 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.
  • Sealing the tile grout is recommended yearly.
  • Look for voids between tile grout and re-grout when needed to prevent water incursion behind the tile.
  • Loose ceramic tile may be a sign of water penetration and damage and should be repaired immediately or further damage could result.
  • Keep the void between the tub and the floor sealed and caulked to prevent moisture damage below.

Shower Enclosure Maintenance

  • It is recommneded to clean the glass using a squeegee, and best if done after every shower.
  • Then once a week, clean the walls, glass, and framework with a clean, soft damp cloth and using a mild soap.
  • If the walls are ceramic tiles, they should be cleaned cleaned between every four to six weeks.
  • To clean the grout, make a past using baking soda and vinegar and seal the grout after it has been cleaned.


Most toilets are made of porcelain or vitreous china and glazed with enamel, 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.

Toilet Maintenance:

  • 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 adequately 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.


  • 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 sub-floor.

Mechanical Ventilation

  • If a bathroom has a bathtub or a shower, an exhaust fan is required.
  • Concentrations of moisture in an un-vented bathroom can lead to mildew and moisture 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.