Q: I'm fixing up both my bathrooms and plan to keep the existing plumbing fixtures. But, I would like to update the toilets and faucets with all-new parts.
The problem is, I don't know the make and model of my bathroom fixtures. I'm told that I need model numbers so parts can be ordered. Can you please give me some clues on where I can find this information?
-- Fred, Florida
A: The first step is to find out the make of the plumbing fixture, and that basically means "who made it." This is usually pretty easy since most manufacturers print their company name and/or logo somewhere on the exposed base of the faucet, or on the back rim of the toilet bowl just behind the seat. A magnifying glass can help you with this search.
Now, finding the "model number" can be a little more work. For faucets, you should look under the sink for any tags or markings on the underside of the faucet itself. With toilets you can lift the tank lid and look for any letters and/or numbers marked on the upper inside walls of the tank or on the underside of the lid. At the very least, if you find out the make of your fixtures and contact the manufacturer, they may be able to identify your model through a digital photo you can email them of the fixture.
Now, that's what you call a "picture perfect" solution to your problem!
Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com.