Plumbing issues in your home come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from the relatively minor and inexpensive -- like a dripping faucet or running toilet, all the way up to a major sewer system backup.
Below are the 8 most common problems, what causes them, and how they can be fixed.
- Dripping faucets
- Clogged or Slow Draining Sink, Bath or Shower Drain
- Running toilet
- Clogged toilet
- Leaky pipes
- Low water pressure
- Faulty water heater
- Sewer system backup
1. DRIPPING FAUCETS
- Dripping faucets are very common but it's not just a source of irritation from the constant dripping noise; the water waste increases your water bill and costs you money. A single faucet can drip away hundreds of gallons over the course of a year.
- The cause of dripping faucets in most cases is an internal washer that has become worn, torn, stiff or dislodged over time.
2. CLOGGED OR SLOW DRAINING SINK, BATH, OR SHOWER DRAIN
- This problem is normally caused by a blockage that is restricting water flow. Your kitchen sink drain may contain things like congealed fat and food remnants which may cause a foul smell as well. In a bathroom sink, bath or shower, the blockage is more likely to be caused by knotted hair and soap scum.
- If the problem isn't repaired, then it will likely worsen over time, and eventually, the drain can become completely blocked.
- Note: Chemicals can cause damage to your drainage pipes, so we recommend not resorting to this method to help clear out drains in your home. Shower drains are prone to get clogged by hair and soap scum. The problem can be especially acute if the users have longer hair which causes large knots. There are drain strainers you can get that can help to prevent problems from developing by catching the hair before it goes down the drain.
3. RUNNING TOILET
- Did you know that a running toilet can lose up to 200 gallons of water each day! That is a lot of wasted water and money. The most common culprit is a faulty flapper valve that controls the water that passes from the tank to the bowl. If the flapper isn’t the issue, it may be the toilet fill valve that needs to be replaced.
4. CLOGGED TOILET
- When the toilet bowl fills up and doesn't drain away, you've got a clog. Assuming that a toy or foreign object wasn’t flushed down the toilet, the blockage is normally caused by a mixture of paper and human waste. Clogged toilets can normally be fixed with a plunger. If that doesn't work, then a sewer snake or drain auger can be used to remove the blockage. Contacting a licensed plumber to perform this repair is recommended to prevent damage to your toilet or pipes.
4. LEAKING PIPES
- Leaky pipes can be more than just a nuisance, they can cause damage to your floors, walls, and furniture, and the dampness can encourage mold to grow as well as attracts bugs. Leaks almost always happen at the pipe joints. Tape, compounds, and fillers can often provide a temporary fix, but for something more permanent replace a piece of pipe or the related fittings.
- Leaks are more common in the winter when water can freeze, expand, and cause pipes to burst.
6. LOW WATER PRESSURE
- If your water trickles out of the tap this may be a result of low water pressure. This is often a problem in older homes. Low water pressure can be caused by leaking pipes that have become broken, worn, or corroded over time. Often, it's caused by a build-up of sediment and mineral deposits. A water softening system can help to reduce the amount of buildup in your home’s plumbing system, appliances, and fixtures.
- If the low water pressure seems to be throughout the whole house, that is usually due to a bad pressure regulating valve (PRV) that may need to be replaced or adjusted with the help of a licensed plumber.
FAULTY WATER HEATER
- You may not discover a problem with your water heater until you are in the shower and the water suddenly goes cold. There are multiple issues that can cause a water heater to fail. The pilot light may go out, the build-up of sediment in the tank can also cause problems. Sometimes the water heater is old and not functioning well or has a leak.
8. SEWER SYSTEM BACKUP
- Sewer system backups are, frankly, a nightmare. They are smelly, nasty, inconvenient, and can be expensive to fix. If you have multiple drains and toilets not working and a bad odor of human waste, this is likely your problem.
- Responsibility for fixing the issue really depends on the location of the blockage. If it is on your property, then it's your problem. If it's out on the public road, then your local utility company should fix it. Unfortunately, you may have to pay for a plumber just to locate the blockage, though it's often worth calling your utility company first, as they won't charge you if it's their issue.
- There are three common causes for a sewer system backup. You can have root intrusion, pipe belly, or pipe misalignment.
We’ve listed the 8 most common issues that occur in your home and can result in the need for plumbing work. You can prevent or minimize problems from occurring if you know the types of things that most often go wrong with the plumbing in your home.
Some issues may require the help of a professional plumber. If you feel you are in over your head with a plumbing problem or have tried to fix something and it didn’t take care of the issue, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be happy to help!