7 Common Plumbing Problems and How to Prevent Them
If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t like having to spend more money than you have to on plumbing services.
Some homeowners avoid calling in a professional by ignoring the problem, but that can end up costing even more in the long run as many plumbing problems can cause water damage and allow mold to develop.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do when encountering the most common plumbing problems that will allow you to only call a plumber when necessary.
Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to keep plumbing problems at bay.
1. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems faced by homeowners. Blockages may be made up of food, hair, or foreign objects such as toys. These can sometimes be removed with chemicals, a plunger, or a snake.
In this case, prevention is easier than dealing with the problem. You should ensure that all of your drains have guards. These are cheap and easy-to-find at your local hardware store.
Keep your drain guards cleaned out and they will prevent a myriad of things from getting into your drains which can cause them to become clogged.
2. Slow Drains
Sometimes, a drain still works but it takes far longer for the water to vanish than normal. In most cases, this is caused by a blockage that is still allowing some water to pass through the drain.
If not taken care of, a slow drain can evolve into a completely clogged drain which is why it’s important to act quickly when you notice your sinks or tubs aren’t draining like usual.
This is another easy plumbing problem to prevent with drain guards. However, these don’t keep grease and soap from getting into the drains which can slow things down.
To break up potential clogs, regularly pour hot but not quite boiling water down your drains. You can also pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda followed by a lot of water to flush out small clogs before they become big ones.
3. Dripping Faucet
A single leaky faucet can waste up to 10 gallons of water every day. This costs you money and is harmful to the environment. Although in some cases this will require replacing the entire faucet, many times it’s a far simpler job that you can do yourself.
As long as you have the right tools, you can shut off the water to the sink and then pull it apart. Look for a washer that’s worn out, torn, or not sealing properly. Replace or adjust it before putting the faucet back together.
This is a problem that will likely come back eventually since things wear out over time, but you can put it off for longer by using high-quality washers that fit your faucets well.
4. Toilet Running
Most people have had to deal with a running toilet at some point. Although a jiggle to the handle can often solve the problem in the short-term, there are other steps you can take to more permanently resolve this issue.
Because a running toilet wastes even more water than a dripping faucet, it’s essential to get this fixed as quickly as possible.
In most cases, a toilet runs because the flapper is not properly closing. This is the rubber stopper that opens when you flush the toilet and then closes to allow the tank to fill up again.
When the toilet is running, open the tank and check the status of the flapper. Is it tangled in the chain that connects it to the handle? Is the chain too short and not allowing it to close? Is it worn out and not sealing properly?
Once you identify the problem, you can replace or adjust parts as needed and it should prevent you from literally flushing money down the toilet.
5. No Hot Water
Few things feel better than a steamy hot shower on a cold day. But, what do you do when that water never gets that warm or suddenly goes cold even though nothing else is using that water?
When there’s a problem with your hot water heater, don’t panic or call a plumber quite yet. It may be a simple fix that you can do yourself. There are two things that you want to check.
The first thing to look at is the pilot light. Relight it and then check back often to ensure it stays lit. If it doesn’t, you may need to clean or adjust the thermocouple to get it working again.
You also want to think about the last time you drained and cleaned out the tank. Over time, sediment can build up inside the hot water tank which can prevent it from heating properly or staying hot.
Flushing your hot water tank every year is a great way to prevent the hot water from going out and from needing more costly repairs done on your water heater.
6. Leaking Pipes
This is one of the most serious problems you can face. Leaking pipes can cause dampness throughout your home which can lead to mold growth. Mold is a health hazard and can cause damage to the structure of your home.
Although there’s not much you can do besides calling a plumber if you’re already dealing with this issue, there are some things you can do to prevent this problem in the first place.
The most common cause of leaking pipes is freezing temperatures that can cause the pipes to crack and burst. Although this isn’t as big of an issue in Arizona as it is further north, it can still happen.
When faced with freezing temperatures, allow your water to run at a trickle, especially when coming from outside sources. Running water can’t freeze and will prevent your pipes from doing so, too.
7. Sewage Backup
Another serious plumbing problem that some homeowners unfortunately face is a sewage backup. This can cause water damage to your home and is a serious health and environmental hazard.
The main thing you can do to avoid this problem is to prevent slow or clogged drains, so be sure to re-read those sections above for more information on how to prevent these issues.
If all of the drains in your home are running slow, call a professional plumber because this could indicate a sewage problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
You should also be aware of where your sewer lines are and avoid planting trees and other deep-rooted plants above them as these can damage the lines as they grow.
Need Help with One of These Common Plumbing Problems?
Now you know seven of the most common plumbing problems and what you can do to prevent them. These can help you save money and protect your home from water damage and mold.
If you are dealing with one of these problems and can no longer deal with it on your own, schedule an appointment with us. One of our experienced plumbers will come out and let you know how we can resolve your problem quickly and effectively.