A Homeowner’s Guide to Common Plumbing Problems
Enjoy reading the latest DIY articles and saving money?
Receive our latest helpful hints, tricks and savings, directly to your inbox.
Posted June 2, 2023
You’re having an amazing day. You get home from work and you’re ready to hop in the shower before you start cooking a delicious dinner. The second you step into the shower, freezing cold water greets you.
Unfortunately, the loss of hot water is one of the most common plumbing problems you will face as a homeowner. On top of that, there are many other signs of plumbing problems that you will face throughout your lifetime. As frustrating as it is, plumbers can help you figure out the issue and solve the problem. The quicker you figure it out, the less money you will be spending.
So what types of issues are common? Read on to learn more about what you can expect in terms of plumbing problems as a homeowner!
You’ve probably been through this before. You walk into the bathroom and realize that there is a small trickle of water running into the sink. This means that you have one of the most common plumbing problems—a leaky faucet.
For starters, this is detrimental to the environment. Every single trickle of water leads to more water wasted. In fact, a leaky faucet that leaks at a rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year! That’s just one faucet. If you have two leaky faucets, you are wasting over 6,000 gallons. You get the picture.
Not only is a leaky faucet bad for the environment, but it is also going to cause you to have a higher water bill. Even if you are not actually “using” the water, you are technically still using it. Eventually, you’ll start to notice it on your bill.
If you want to save the environment, save your own wallet from a high water bill, and save the surrounding elements from water damage, this is a plumbing problem that you do not want to ignore. If you notice this plumbing problem, do not hesitate to call a plumber right away!
Constantly Running Toilets
If you walk into your bathroom and you hear your toilet running, this is not normal. This means that you have a plumbing problem within your tank.
A running toilet is going to waste a lot of water just like a leaky faucet, and a lot of money as well. This is not something that you want to sit on and wait to fix. Instead, it is time to fix it as soon as possible. But what causes a running toilet? Can you try to fix a running toilet it yourself?
There are a lot of different reasons that can cause a running toilet. In order to get to the root cause, it is best to work with a plumber so that you do not jump to conclusions or treat the wrong issue. This can only lead to more issues down the road.
The most common reason for a constantly running toilet is an old flapper. An old flapper could be getting stuck or jammed every single time that you flush it. If you feel that it is a flapper issue, you can try to fix this yourself; you simply need to replace the flapper.
However, if that does not work, it is time to call a professional to figure out the actual issue. It may not be the flapper itself, but rather the flush mechanism. There could also be broken parts within the flushing mechanism system and not just the flapper itself.
Calling a professional to check out the issue even if you fix the flapper yourself can be beneficial because they will be able to tell if you fixed it properly. The last thing you want is to thank you fix the issue, but still have a leak.
Slow Draining Sinks
Have you been noticing a problem with your sinks not draining as you think they should? This is pretty common! A sink that is draining slowly could be caused by a few different underlying issues. This also means that there are a few solutions to the problem as well.
The first thing you will want to do is check the drain to ensure that there are not any blockages happening. If there is a clogged drain, you can try to snake it to remove the block. Or, you may simply be able to reach your hand down inside to grab what is blocking it (this is only the case in kitchen sinks that your hand can fit). If you do not have a clogged sink, there is another issue happening. A professional can help you diagnose the issue.
They are also a few ways that you can avoid a slow-draining sink. For starters, you can use the sink strainer to prevent food build-up from eventually causing a clog. As more food particles go down the sink, more buildup will occur over time.
You can also choose to clean your sink every few weeks to prevent this build-up. There are a few ways you can clean your sink:
- Use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
- Use a mixture of vinegar and water
This will help to break up the food particles so that they do not get stuck forming larger clogs in your sink. If all else fails, you most likely need a thorough drain cleaning from a professional.
But what about your bathroom sink? You are most likely not putting food down this sink! However, there are other elements that could be causing a slow drain in a bathroom sink.
For starters, if you brush your hair over the sink, hair could be getting stuck in the drain. Makeup residue, facial product residue, and more could also create a buildup. Keep in mind that something as simple as soap can also cause a buildup over time.
This is why it is important to clean your sink often—and using a snake can help to prevent clogs before they happen.
Low Water Pressure
How many times have you stood in the shower trying to rinse the shampoo out of your hair when you realize that you have low water pressure? This can be an extremely frustrating plumbing problem to have, especially when you are in a rush.
Low water pressure can be caused by various factors. There could be a leak somewhere else in the pipes; there could be a faulty pressure regulator, or there could be a buildup of sediment in your pipes.
This is one of those plumbing issues that you do not want to try to mess with. There’s usually an underlying issue that requires special knowledge to fix.
A plumber will be able to figure out the culprit that is causing the low water pressure. Before you call, though, try to figure out if the low water pressure is throughout your home or just in one faucet. This will help them figure out how to get started on fixing the issue.
A burst pipe is probably one of the last things that you want to happen to you as a plumbing issue. Although all plumbing issues or bad, this one can be some of the messiest of issues. It can also be quite expensive.
Usually, a burst pipe occurs when the water in a pipe becomes frozen. From there, it expands. When the water and frozen ice expand within the pipe, the pipe will eventually burst because it doesn’t have enough room to expand further.
However, a burst pipe can occur for other reasons as well. It could be due to corrosion, a clogged pipe, or rust buildup within the pipe itself.
But because a burst pipe most often happens because of freezing temperatures, there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening in your home. During the winter months, you can turn your faucets on to create a slow drip. The slow drip will keep the water running through the pipe so that it will not freeze. If you find yourself in need of a pipe replacement, you should consult with a professional.
Ah, another messy plumbing issue. An overflowing toilet is not a plumbing issue that you want to have to deal with in your home! It creates a mess, can cause water damage, and can be difficult to figure out the reason for the overflow. So what could be causing this?
You could have a blocked drain. This would mean that the toilet is not going to flush properly. Usually, this may be because the outlet of the toilet products is blocked. Although the toilet overflows, this can be a simple fix.
You can take a plunger to eliminate the blockage to allow the water and other toilet products to flow down the drain easily again.
If it is not a simple clog, there is usually a larger problem. If you notice that your toilet is cogging more often, it could be because of a block to the vent pipe. A vent pipe is a pipe that moves the outside air into the plumbing system.
This happens with each flush. However, if it is blocked, it is not going to flush properly. This is what leads to an overflowing toilet. This is not something that you want to try to mess with yourself. You will need the expertise of a plumber to fix this type of overflowing toilet issue.
In addition to your toilet bowl overflowing, you could also be dealing with the toilet tank leaking out of the sides as well. This is usually due to a mechanic inside of the tank that is off. Try to fix this first to see if you can solve the problem. If you can’t, you’ll need help from a plumber.
Loss of Hot Water
There is no worse feeling than hopping in the shower and suddenly losing hot water. You are freezing, yet you have shampoo and soap to wash off before you can get out. If you lose hot water, you are going to want to fix it right away as it is a crucial part of your routine.
If this happens, you are probably experiencing a problem with your hot water heater. This could be something simple like the pilot light may need relighting. Or, it could be a larger issue that you have to fix.
If you need a complete hot water heater replacement, you will not have hot water until you do so. This can be an expensive and timely experience. Before jumping to conclusions, you can ask a plumber to figure out the issue for you. They can look at the breakers and the heater itself to determine the problem that the water heater is having.
If a plumber determines that you need a replacement unit, you will have to turn off all water to your home during the process. This is something you should do on a day that you do not need water. You can prepare for this when you know you need a replacement.
Common Plumbing Problems You May Face
Plumbing problems are an issue that every single one of us will deal with at some point in our lives. They are not fun or enjoyable, but they tend to be a fact of life.
But what type of plumbing problem you face may be different from your neighbors. However, you are most likely going to deal with one of these common plumbing issues. And if you do, it is crucial to get it fixed right away so that you do not cause more issues for yourself!
If you are experiencing plumbing issues, we can help you here at Hiller. We have locations throughout Tennessee as well as a few in Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida.
Need help? Give us a call today!