Common Plumbing Problems and How to Avoid Them
Dealing with plumbing problems is an inevitable part of being a homeowner. Over time, these issues arise due to normal wear and tear or improper use and maintenance. But the problem is that many of these usually go undetected. Even worse—leaky and aging pipes contribute to about two trillion gallons of water lost yearly.
So to prevent costly repairs and water wastage, it’s essential to learn the basics of your plumbing system. This way, you can resolve minor issues with DIY fixes or determine when you need to call a professional. Regardless, it’s always best to address any concerns immediately when you spot them. To help you with this, here’s a list of the most common plumbing problems and how you can address them.
Dripping faucets are so common that every homeowner has probably experienced this at least once. Not only are they a nuisance from the irritating sound of the tap, but they also lead to excessive water wastage. The good news is that this problem is generally easy to fix since it often comes from worn-out washers or O-rings.
Other times, dripping faucets may also be caused by improper faucet installation or corrosion. Even then, you should still be able to address these with basic tools and plumbing experience. However, if you don’t have any, it’ll be best to call for professional plumbing services.
As mentioned, leaky pipes are the biggest culprit to gallons of water wasted in households. They also make up a big chunk of the plumbing problems in old homes since copper pipes are standard in these buildings. Unfortunately, copper doesn’t do well under extreme temperatures, making it prone to expansion and contraction.
Generally, leaky pipes can happen for many reasons, such as pipe corrosion, cracked seals, stubborn clogs, or excessive water pressure. But regardless of the cause, you should get your pipes fixed immediately to prevent more damage to your plumbing system.
Running toilets are one of the most easily overlooked toilet plumbing problems since they don’t cause obvious leaks to the floor. The culprit is often a faulty flapper valve, but these are easy to fix with a toilet repair kit from your local hardware store. In less common cases, toilets may also run due to sedimentary buildup, affecting flushing and filling.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure makes it challenging to do most daily tasks, from showering to washing dishes to flushing the toilet. So when this happens, you first need to determine the cause.
Start by checking if the problem affects your hot and cold water. If so, the problem is likely calcium or sedimentary deposits in the aerator. Fortunately, this is easy to fix—all you need to do is remove the aerator carefully, remove the built-up debris, then put it back on. You can also soak the aerator in vinegar to get rid of the buildup more easily.
Less frequently, low water pressure happens because of pipe corrosion, sewer clogs, or blocked sewer lines. If you can’t figure out the exact cause, it’s best to have your plumbing system checked by a professional, as there may be more significant problems you don’t readily see.
Leaking Hose Bibb
Leaking hose bibbs are common in the spring and summer as many hose bibbs lose their integrity and crack from the cold winter. When this happens, the hose starts leaking all over the place, so you’ll need to replace it with a new one. In this case, it’s highly recommended that you invest in a heavy-duty and frost-proof hose to avoid changing it so frequently.
Slow or Clogged Drains
Slow or clogged drains are common plumbing problems for which people schedule expert plumbing services. Usually, these occur from soap, hair, and foreign objects building up and clogging your drains over time. While you can try cleaning the drains yourself, it’s often challenging since the pipes are hidden behind drywall. As such, you’ll need to call a professional that knows how to work around pipes to reach the clogs and clean them.
Conversely, if you notice slow or clogged drains in multiple areas, this may be a sign of sewer line problems. This will be more complicated to resolve, so it’s best to call a reputable plumbing company to help you.
Sump Pump Failure
Sump pumps collect water and redirect it away from your home. However, they sometimes fail for reasons like improper installation, heavy rains, stuck switches, and clogged discharge pipes.
Whatever the cause, it’s best to seek professional help and ask for advice on what you can do to prevent sump pump failure in the future. Aside from regular maintenance, it may also be useful to implement some changes in your patio or deck to improve the irrigation system.
Water Heater Problems
There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering that your water heater’s not working when you’re about to take a shower. Generally, water heater problems may arise from corrosion and rust, sedimentary buildup in the tank, or a faulty thermostat. These issues tend to be more technical, so the safest option is to get professional plumbing repair to resolve them.
Get Rid of Plumbing Issues with a Professional Plumber
Plumbing problems with toilets, faucets, showerheads and other parts of your plumbing system can be a huge headache. Unfortunately, the longer you leave these problems unsolved, the more severe the consequences. When the time comes, you’ll need to spend on expensive repairs and replacements, which you could have avoided with early action.
So if you notice any major plumbing problems at home and aren’t sure what to do, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. Crandall’s Plumbing offers a wide range of plumbing repair services—including emergency plumbing—so you won’t ever have to worry about a leaking pipe. Call us at (714) 465-7819 to schedule your repair.