Diagnosing and Fixing Typical Plumbing Problems

Diagnosing and Fixing Typical Plumbing Problems
  • Author: Mohsin Khan
  • Posted On: August 11, 2022
  • Updated On: July 10, 2023

Plumbing is a system that is indispensable to the function of inhabitants in a building. It supplies fresh or clean water for consumption, cleaning, washing, and other uses while providing the means to direct waste away from the building. It is one of the many systems that directly impact the well-being of all people that occupy the structure.

For this reason, when you have plumbing issues, you’ll need to resolve them as soon as possible. However, you can’t always call your local plumber for minor concerns that you can handle yourself (if it’s serious, please do so). So, how do you know what the problems are, and how do you fix them?

Typical Plumbing Issues

Here are some dead giveaway signs to access your plumbing system. These are issues that you should check before it becomes something more significant:

Dripping Faucets

Dripping faucets are not only wasteful of water and money, but it may also be annoying. Worn-out washers or O-rings are the usual cause, which you can easily change. Corrosion or even poor faucet placement are the most typical causes of dripping.

So, what do you do to deal with this plumbing issue? It’s best to seek help from professional repair service to avoid further water waste as soon as possible. Even the typical homeowner can remedy the problem with the right tools and some past plumbing skills.

Clogged or Slow Drainage

Slow or obstructed drains can cause plumbing hazards and even health dangers; therefore, you must resolve them as soon as possible. Suppose you detect a blockage in only one drainage in your property. In that case, it suggests the problem is only in that region.

Over time, soaps, hair, and other foreign things accumulate in these drains, clogging them. Regular drain maintenance, preferably using a maintenance access door, is the only way to solve this plumbing issue.

If you see several slow or obstructed drains, on the other hand, you may be dealing with sewage line troubles, which can be a more severe problem. In such instances, it is preferable to contact a plumbing professional to avoid sewage backup and have the problem securely resolved.

Hose Bibb Leaking

After the cold winters, hose bibbs that don’t have any form of cover may fracture or leak. As a result, leaking hose bibbs are a common plumbing issue in the spring and summer. The expert’s recommendation to prevent such things from happening is to invest in frost-proof hose bibbs, which will help prevent future leaks.

Clogged Bath

Showers and bathrooms, like bathroom sinks, will eventually become blocked with various debris accumulating over time without proper cleaning. You may need a plunger to remove the blockage. You can improve the seal by applying petroleum jelly to the suction pad. Ensure the shower has enough water to leave the plunger fully immersed.

You can also utilize baking soda and vinegar to dissolve blocked debris. Aside from that, you might consider putting a drain guard to reduce the problem.

Water Heater Issues

You’re relaxing in the shower when the water suddenly turns chilly. You can blame a singular cause for this instance, and it’s a broken water heater, which will almost certainly result in a plumbing emergency.

Your water heater can fail for various reasons, including the loss of the pilot light or a malfunctioning thermostat. You can’t even overlook the likelihood of accumulated silt in the tank. Whatever the problem is, you’ll need an expert to examine, maintain, and repair the water heater’s weak electrical connections or heating component defects.

Sump Pump Failure

You have probably already encountered this issue at least once in your lifetime. Troubles with the internal component or an external issue might cause a sump pump malfunction.

Stopped switches, poor pump placement, blocked discharge lines, and excessive rain is common reasons for sump failure. Pumps older than ten years are also likely to fail, so have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure makes using any plumbing system challenging. To correct this issue, you must first identify the source of the problem. Check the water pressure of your hot and cold water taps first.

The most likely reason you have a low water pressure is sediment and calcium accumulation in the aerator. However, remember that this plumbing issue could signify something more serious, such as undetected water leaks, clogged sewage lines, or pipe corrosion.

That is why it is critical to identify the issue before seeking a solution. If mineral deposits on the aerator are the main problem, immerse it in vinegar to clean it. You can do something similar with your showerhead. Disassemble it and clean any dirt or soap from it. After that, clean and dislodge mineral deposits with a toothbrush soaked in vinegar.

After that, you can poke out the loose deposits with a toothpick or anything similar. You can then soak the pieces in vinegar overnight to break down any remaining residues.

Leaky Pipes

You might not realize your kitchen or bathroom pipes are leaking until you conduct a complete investigation. Nonetheless, it’s a common plumbing issue throughout the winter, when water can freeze and burst pipes.

It is a problem that you need to address at once because it could cause irreversible harm to your furniture and floor. As a result, you will need regular inspection to guarantee the pipes are repaired or replaced in a durable and timely manner, sparing you both time and money.

Pipes can now leak for various causes, including corrosion, high water pressure, blockage, and damaged pipes or seals. You can’t ignore the situation, despite the reason, because it could end up causing more harm to your plumbing system and property.

Get a professional plumber to avoid more damage if you don’t have the necessary expertise, equipment, or tools to deal with the situation.

You may, nonetheless, take the essential precautions to avoid pipes from bursting during the winter. Let cold water trickle from the faucet serving exposed pipes to keep the lines from freezing. Ensure the temperature on your property is consistent throughout the day and night.

Running Toilets

Running toilets, like leaking faucets, drain up to 200 gallons each day. It is a frequent plumbing issue whenever the flapper valve that controls water flow from the toilet tank to the bowl malfunctions. However, the solution is straightforward if you have access to a toilet repair kit.

Besides, sediments or mineral accumulation may interfere with your toilet’s flushing and filling. Inspect for quiet leaks, notably if your water bill appears to be unusually high. Drop some food coloring in the more elevated tank and check if the color reaches your toilet.

Slow Draining Tub

Debris and other foreign material like hair can obstruct water flow as it empties from a tub. You’ll need a set of needle-nose pliers to remove the things that are creating the trouble.

However, clearing the trash lodged in the drain can sometimes be challenging, especially if you lack prior plumbing experience and the necessary gear. In such instances, contact a reputable plumber as soon as possible.

Clogged Garbage Disposal

Waste disposals are standard domestic gadgets located beneath the kitchen sink and between drainage and trap. When you use them without water, let utensils get inside, or discard food particles like potato peels and cornhusks, they could become clogged.

So, what are your alternatives for resolving this issue? The first thing you should do is press the reset button. If it doesn’t work, use the key to unlock it. To release the motor, you can use a 1/4-inch Allen wrench.

Sewer System Backflow

Depending on the blockage position, resolving this issue is costly and complex. It’s only natural that you’ll be responsible for the costs if it occurs on your land.

The water company will assist with sewer system blockages on public roadways. Still, if you are not connected to the grid and use a septic tank, you may require support from a third-party specialist.

You’ll have to hire a plumber solely to find the obstruction before you can even consider how to solve it. However, experts recommend contacting your water company first, as they will not charge you if they are responsible.

There are three primary reasons for this plumbing issue. Consider if there could be an obstruction to the mainline sewer. Monitor what you flush down the toilet to help reduce this problem. It would help if you did not throw diapers, tissues, tampons, and wrapping paper.

Second, roots may have penetrated your pipeline, making their way through the crevices. They may also encircle and crush a pipe. Finally, because the original sewer lines are clay material or cast iron, they may collapse or break with time.

The Takeaway

You must consider that you can’t do all the tasks without the required knowledge and skills. You could further damage your plumbing components by attempting to do any unfamiliar plumbing procedure, leading to costly replacements and repairs.

Always hire a competent expert when you’re not confident about doing something so complex.

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Author: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin has worked as one of the experienced editors with ConstructionHow since 2020 with a total span of 5 years of experience in business PR, boasting a remarkable professional trajectory, he has collaborated with entrepreneurs and startups, and certain publications over the last few years. His unwavering interest lies in the construction industry and related materials. He believes in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings, and homes that fall under the right budget. With a wide range of experience in construction, he also tapped into DIY and home improvement projects based on his extensive set of knowledge in the industry.