Have These 5 Common Home Plumbing Issues? Learn How Small Problems Can Cause Big Expenses
Plumbing issues are common problems homeowners face. While some plumbing problems are an anticipated part of wear and tear or maintenance, others can catch people off-guard. Either way, if a homeowner ignores the problem, the result can be costly fixes or an interruption in water access. Here are five of the most common plumbing problems homeowners should know.
Dripping faucets are not just an annoying middle-of-the-night sound — they could signal a larger problem. In some cases, a drip is the result of worn-out washers or the O ring, which is an easy remedy. However, corrosion or improper faucet installation could be the culprit, and this repair is more involved. Either way, it's wasteful. One drip per second equals about 2,600 gallons of lost water per year. The wasted water hurts both the environment and a homeowner's wallet.
Running Toilets: Costly Water Bill
Old toilets use large amounts of water with each flush, and many of them often degrade over time and constantly run. Newer toilets aren't immune from problems either, as basic aspects have remained relatively unchanged over the years. Common toilet issues for both older and newer model toilets include:
- Worn out flapper seals or flush valves
- Improperly sized flapper chains
- Refill tube issues
- Corroded toilet handles
A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. Aside from the loss of water, running toilets can be costly when factoring in water charges.
Leaky and Knocking Pipes
Many people don't realize they have leaky pipes until it's very evident. Ideally, homeowners should repair even small leaks as soon as possible because if they worsen, significant damage to floors, ceilings, and furniture can occur. Causes of leaky pipes include pipe corrosion, pipe joint damage, excess water pressure, frozen pipes (which can burst), incorrect pipe laying, stubborn clogs, and cracks or loose seals.
Additionally, homeowners hearing knocking from pipes should not ignore this warning sign. When water turns on, noise means a pressure issue might exist, or the pipes have loose support straps, leading to a weakened pipe structure.
It's good to perform routine inspections to ensure no unusual noises are occurring and detect small leaks immediately. Homeowners can do this along with other standard maintenance tasks.
Slow Drainage or Clogs
Slow or clogged drains can lead to significant plumbing problems. Fortunately, most of the time, clogged drains are due to the build-up of soap, toothpaste, hair, and other objects. However, if multiple clogged drains occur, it could signal a problem within the sewer line, which is often complicated and costly.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is not only frustrating, but it's typically a warning sign something serious is amiss. It might mean hidden water leaks, drain or sewer clogs, pipe corrosion, cracked or blocked sewer lines, or calcium and sediment build-up in the aerator.
Check to see if the low pressure specifically affects hot or cold water, which will help with a diagnosis. Once the primary cause of low water pressure is identified, it's essential to ensure a fix is applied, which often involves a plumber's services.
Other Common Plumbing Problems
The five problems above are amongst the most common plumbing issues. Still, homeowners should also be aware of leaking or worn-out hose bibbs, sump pump failure, jammed garbage disposal, or water heater failure (caused by sediment build-up or corrosion). Homeowners can correct many plumbing issues with a bit of DIY knowledge, but they should also be mindful there will be times it's more cost-effective to hire a professional.