A survey found that over one million American adults required a plumber more than ten times between 2022 and 2023. In addition, more than 12 million Americans needed a plumber over three times over the past year (2022). These statistics demonstrate how common plumbing issues are. When not resolved immediately, plumbing problems, such as leaky faucets, may result in water wastage, raising your monthly water bill. Blocked/ leaky pipes can burst, leading to flooding, which can destroy furniture, flooring, walls, and personal items.
In addition, where a plumbing concern is due to standing/ pooling water, leak-related moisture can cause mildew or mold, leading to additional issues like home damage and health issues. While these issues are preventable, they can be resolved once they occur. Discussed in this post are seven common plumbing problems and how to fix them.
Leaky water pipes are a water waster that can cause severe home damage, resulting in high repair costs if not detected and resolved on time. Water leaks can be caused by clogged lines, resulting in overflowing water. These leaks, if not fixed early, can lead to pipe bursting. If your plumbing system is corroded, pipes may get damaged and cause water leaks, especially in an older home. Leaky pipes may also result from water flowing through plumbing pipes at high pressure. Tree roots growing into your plumbing system can cause underground pipe leaks.
If you notice mildew or mold on your walls, ceilings, or floors and damp patches on these surfaces, there’s a high possibility of water leaking from damaged pipes. Trying to fix this problem on your own may not yield positive results because seven out of 10 or 69% of homeowners unsuccessfully tried repairing leaky pipes on their own. A professional plumbing service from a trusted and respected local plumber can help fix this issue.
Low water pressure
Low water pressure doesn’t serve your fixtures adequately. If you’re living in an old home, the problem could be due to old steel pipes obstructed by lime deposits that prevent free water flow. To address this issue, you should get your home re-piped. If you’re experiencing low water pressure at a single fixture like the shower head or faucet, consider checking for flow restriction, a dislodged washer, or a blocked aerator. Where the aerator is the problem, remove and clean it. If it’s a sink faucet, ensure the supply valves below it are completely open.
However, if the valves are open already, close them and take out the supply valves to ensure the rubber washer isn’t dislodged. If you’re experiencing low water pressure in the entire house, ensuring the shutoff and the main supply valves are completely open can help solve the problem. Failure for these adjustments to resolve the low water pressure problem, a plumbing contractor can help.
Clogged drains, if ignored, can have devastating effects on your home. Besides being inconvenient and a major disruption, they can result in corrosion and flooding. In the most severe cases, clogged drains can cause sewage backups. They may also lead to:
- Unpleasant odors
- Mold and pest infestation
- Weakened home structure
- Slow drainage
- Health problems
These issues are caused by what you allow down the drain, including food scraps and mineral buildup. To clear a clogged drain, consider:
- Pouring extremely hot water down your drain to break down the clog until it passes down the drain. This option works best for mild clogs
- Using a sink/ toilet plunger to clear clogs in sink and toilet drains
- If the plunger doesn’t work, snaking the drain can help
- If you can’t handle the clog drain yourself or these methods have failed, call in a professional plumber
High water pressure
High water pressure places undue stress on your home’s entire plumbing system. This may result in:
- Leaking pipes: The increased water pressure loosens joints/ causes pinhole leaks in your water pipes. If not fixed, leaky pipes may lead to severe water damage, including mold growth
- Damaged appliances: Excessive water pressure causes unnecessary strain on water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines
- Water hammer: High water pressure can make plumbing pipes bang into one another, breaking the pipes or loosening plumbing connections
High water pressure may also lead to leaking faucets, high water bills, and running toilets. Consider calling a professional plumber to install a water pressure regulator to control or regulate your water pressure.
A running toilet is often a result of a defective floater or flapper. If your toilet has a problem with these parts, water gets unnecessarily drained between flushes. The wasted water can add up quickly, leading to increased water costs. A running toilet raises the risk of flooding, leading to a high plumbing bill. The water loss from your tank can lead to low or weak water pressure. Failure to address this problem early enough can flood or damage the septic tank.
The constant water flow into the septic tank may keep the tank from getting rid of waste properly. An overflowing septic tank eventually causes a complete system shutdown and drain field flooding. A flooded drain field may cause further issues, especially when the ground saturation gets to your property’s foundation. Follow a DIY guide or call a professional plumber to fix the running toilet problem.
Sump pump failure
A sump pump is vital to keeping your basement dry, averting home water damage easily. To determine if your sump pump has failed, look out for flooding and water damage issues in your basement. Your sump pump problems may be due to several reasons, including a misaligned drainage system. If the drainage system is the problem, you’ll see leaks leading to the sump pump, a sign that the pipes in the system aren’t correctly aligned. To resolve this problem, call a professional to look at the sump pump and the drainage system.
Water heater problems
Water heater issues may be caused by water heater’s element failures, gas or electrical issues, or faulty valves. These problems may include:
- The water heater isn’t heating the water
- Hot water has a foul odor
- Limescale building up on the water heater
- Water heater leaks
- Water that’s too hot or too cold
Water heater issues are among the plumbing problems you shouldn’t fix yourself. So, contact a professional plumber for assistance.
Plumbing issues are inconvenient and can have adverse effects on your home. Understanding the common plumbing problems and how to fix them can help avoid the associated risks.