The 10 most common plumbing issues
Last modified: 2019/01/31 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
Plumbing problems quickly shake up our day-to-day habits. Since we're used to having access to clean water, as soon as a situation complicates this process, many of our daily tasks are affected. Indeed, even the smallest plumbing malfunctions can have a big impact on our lives. This is why it’s best to act quickly if you find something wrong.
Luckily in this article, we’ll address the most common plumbing problems as well as offering tips to complete the adequate repairs.
Here are the 10 most common plumbing issues
1- Flowing Faucet
Does your tap have the habit of running when it shouldn’t? If you find a drop of water constantly hanging at the end of the faucet and falling into the sink, you’ve likely noticed the ceaseless dull noise caused by the slow drip. In the long run, hearing this noise over and over becomes tiring. In addition to the tiring nature of this sound, it’s also a major problem when it comes to water consumption. In general, repairs for flowing faucets are fairly simple. If you can determine the cause and have access to the right tools, it’s likely you’ll be able to complete this work on your own.
2- Blocked toilets
Unless you’re living in a home with multiple toilets, this is the type of problem that will need to be dealt with as soon as possible. In most cases, a simple process of unblocking should be enough to fully resolve the situation. To do this, you must be equipped with a suction cup, possibly a tool for draining as well as hardware cleaning products. If you find this to be a regularly occurring issue, it’s important that you get in touch with a plumber as soon as possible. This is because the problem could likely be a much deeper issue that will go beyond the immediate knowledge of the DIYer.
3- Constantly flowing toilets
This is a common problem that many homeowners have likely experienced. As a general rule, simply hang up the chain or replace the valve in the tank to solve this problem. In some cases, there may be something else occurring that causes the toilet to constantly flow. If this is your situation, we would again recommend contacting a plumber who will help to evaluate the situation and proceed with the necessary repairs.
4- Issues with water pressure
Have you showered and found the water pressure to be extremely low? If so, you’re probably not happy with the results of the shower, as it’s an inefficient and unpleasant experience. This problem is particularly prevalent in homes that are rather old and were built decades ago. It is not always easy to determine what can cause water pressure problems, but here are some of the possible explanations:
- Your shower head is dirty;
- Your pipes have been affected by corrosion;
- There is a water leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
Start by cleaning your shower head as well as the vents of your faucet with products designed specifically for that purpose. Again, if you find that this problem persists, get in touch with a plumber.
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5- Clogged drains: sinks, baths, and showers
This is a problem that can cause serious issues very quickly. Many people tend to be slightly careless when emptying things into their baths, sinks or toilets. There are some quick fixes to empty the drains and make sure your water flows as it should.
First and foremost, tools to unclog your drains can be used. If you find that these are not enough, there are many other products which can help break down elements causing a blockage. Be careful, as some of these products are very harmful and can damage your pipes. Make sure you read the packaging carefully to find the most suitable products for the job, especially true if your plumbing system is older and already damaged.
6- Water heater issues
We often take our continued access to hot water for granted, until our water heater stops working properly. Sometimes, the situation is fairly easy to resolve. For example, you may need to turn on the indicator light again, as it commonly goes out. However, if the problem is located inside the water heater, you’ll need to contact a plumber.
If your water heater happens to be a few years old, it’s possible for sediment to accumulate in the tank and this is a common source of problems. Do take into account that the average lifespan of a water heater is 10 to 15 years, and after this length of time, it will be necessary to replace the appliance.
7- Broken sump pump
Not all homes are equipped with a sump pump, but if you do have one located in your basement, you might have to deal with a few problems. This is especially true if a power outage occurs. If your pump does not come equipped with a backup system, you could face a flood. In other cases, it may occur that the sump pump switch will stop working, or that the pump will overwork. In all cases, the services of a specialized plumber will be necessary.
8- Leaking pipes
If you think or know you are facing a problem of leaking pipes, know that this is a situation which needs to be handled delicately. In fact, unless directly in front of your eyes, you may find it difficult to find the location of the leak. Very often, leaks will occur near joints, but this isn’t always the case. It’s important that we mention only plumbers have access to tools which allow them to thoroughly explore piping systems, which will be able to find both the source and cause of the flow.
9- The garbage disposal no longer works
Although a very useful addition to a kitchen, the garbage disposal is not problem proof. For example, it can happen that loved ones throw an excessive amount of food down or that objects inadvertently fall into it.
If this is the situation you’re currently in, make sure to consult the instructions of the manufacturer. If the problem is serious, it’s better to contact a plumber as there’s quite a bit of risk in performing this repair yourself.
10- Constantly flowing garden hose
Like the pipes inside your home, things which are part of the irrigation system can also have problems. Sometimes this is due to misuse, or different parts of the hose are exposed to weather, causing premature wear. Hoses tend to crack due to cold weather or corrosive products that melt ice and snow.
In order to avoid having to buy a new garden hose every year, why not get a hose that is designed to be cold proof? Otherwise, there are also temporary solutions such as plumbing tape. However, do not count on these to solve the situation in the long run.
Some tips when doing plumbing work
First of all, in many cases and especially when it comes to toilets as well as with blockage problems, it’s advisable to temporarily shut off your water. This will help to prevent overflow when completing repairs. Then, make sure to use the right equipment and products for the job. Otherwise, you might actually do further damage to parts of your plumbing system.
When it’s time to call a plumber
Although this has been repeated many times throughout the article, we will repeat it again here: when it comes to plumbing problems, it’s almost always better to work with a specialist. They have enough experience to know what they’re doing and most importantly, they can fix the problem without causing others that do damage in the long run.
Also note that in some places, it’s actually forbidden to do any plumbing work yourself, especially larger jobs. This could also affect insurance refunds. It is thereby advisable to inquire with the various governmental and municipal authorities to find out what regulations are enforced.
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