Plumbing problems are an unavoidable part of life, no matter how diligent and careful you are. These issues can range from minor, easily fixable leaks to burst pipes and serious water damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair.
To best avoid this, you should be aware of the warning signs of any plumbing issues and how to best resolve them. This guide will get you up to speed on the most common plumbing issues, and what you should do when you find them.
Dripping faucets are easy to spot and incredibly common. If your tap is turned all the way off but water continues to drip out, you may have an issue at hand. Although they can seem inconsequential, dripping faucets can waste huge amounts of water and drive up your water bill, costing a considerable amount of money over time. In fact, a slowly leaking tap can waste upwards of 9,000 litres of water a year.
Often, the issues that cause leaky faucets can be fixed by someone with basic DIY skills and tools. They are most commonly caused by an internal washer that has become stiff or worn out over time. This can be fixed by switching off the water supply and disassembling the faucet, and then replacing the faulty washer and reassembling the faucet.
It’s a relatively simple task, but if you’re unsure don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help.
The most common issue with toilets is a sudden inability to flush properly. This is often caused by the cistern filling up at a slower pace, which means more time waiting in between flushes. Alternatively, the buttons may have become misaligned over time.
To check the cistern, open the toilet lid and see if anything is blocking it from filling up properly. If it’s able to be easily removed do so, if not you may have to call a plumber. If the buttons are misaligned, replace the lid with one that allows the buttons to fit properly over the mechanism of the lid.
This problem is usually caused by some sort of blockage that is restricting water flow, such as hair or food scraps.
Luckily, this one can be pretty easily resolved most of the time. Pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain is a great solution that is surprisingly effective, or a chemical clog remover can be used too. For more severe blockages you may need to use a plumber’s snake.
Whatever solution you choose, make sure it’s done promptly after noticing the problem, as if left untreated your drain may become completely blocked.
Broken water heater
No one wants to take a cold shower, and it can come as a nasty surprise to hop in the shower and find that your hot water isn’t working.
There’s a range of things that can cause your water heater to become faulty, such as a build-up of sediment in the tank, an issue with the thermostat or the pilot light going out.
Other than relighting the pilot light, which is very basic, it’s best to get a 24-hour plumber in when having hot water issues.
Low water pressure
If water is only trickling out of your tap, this is a sign of low water pressure. It is especially common in older homes and is commonly caused by leaky pipes. You’ll need to get a plumber to assess the severity of the problem and whether you need to replace the pipes.
If there’s low water pressure in the shower, it’s probably being caused by a build-up of minerals and sediment on the aerators. This can be resolved by soaking the aerators in vinegar or you can simply clean or replace the showerhead if the aerators are not the cause of the problem.
Leaky can be one of the most potentially damaging plumbing problems to your home, often damaging furniture and floors and causing cockroach infestations.
Although tape, fillings and compounds can provide a temporary solution, to permanently fix the problem it’s best to call a professional. For more severe pipe leakages, contact an emergency plumber to prevent as much destruction to your home as possible.
Sewerage backups are a nightmare and generally the most dreaded of plumbing issues. And for good reason! They can be smelly, unhygienic and expensive to fix.
Sewerage problems can be detected by bad smells coming from your drains, slow drainage in multiple fixtures and sewerage coming out of your cleanout pipe. They are most often caused by the main sewer being clogged or collapsing, or by tree roots invading the pipes.
If these problems occur, you’ll need to call a plumber immediately. No one wants to deal with sewerage, and luckily with a professional on your side, you shouldn’t have to.
A leaking roof is something you’ll want to get a roof plumber onto immediately, as they can cause an enormous amount of damage to your home. Moisture marks, peeling paint and yellow or grey stains on your wall are the biggest indicators of a leaking roof and can be unsightly and expensive to repair.
Even if the problem seems small, still get a plumber in for repairs right away. Small leaks can still cause big problems and devastate any building.
Knowing the warning signs of potential plumbing problems is the key to preventing further damage down the road. While DIY solutions can be great, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber if you’re feeling out of your league or are facing more severe issues.