10 Silent Signs your House has a Plumbing Problem

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Are you suspicious of the plumbing in your home? Repair bills can be costly, but don’t delay if you have a plumbing problem. Water leaks can lead to all sorts of damage when they aren’t fixed by an experienced technician. These issues aren’t always obvious – keep your eyes, nose, and ears open for signs of a potential water leak in your home:

1. You notice a sewer-like smell. Does your home smell like rotten eggs? It might be caused by something other than your messy roommate – a sulfur-like smell can indicate a major plumbing problem. Your pipes may be clogged or backed up. Alternatively, it might mean that sewer gas is seeping to your home – aside from smelling unpleasant, this is also a health hazard. 

2. There is a patch of unusually green grass or a large puddle in your backyard. In this case, one of your sewer pipes may have collapsed. Watch out for plumbing emergencies like this one. Broken pipes can lead to extensive damage and hefty repair bills if they go unnoticed. 

3. Discoloration or build-up around your pipes. Take a look at the exposed water pipes under your kitchen sink or in your basement. Do your galvanized steel or cast iron pipes look rusted? If you have copper pipes, look for white or green discolorations, which can indicate corrosion. Discoloration can be caused by a moisture leak which happens from a dripping drain line, or a supply line with a slow leak. Since supply lines are highly pressurized, what begins as a slow leak can quickly turn into a spewing mess. 

4. Your taps have weak water flow. The fix to this problem depends on whether it happens with one tap or multiple. With only one, you may only need to replace the faucet aerator or clean the tap fixture. When it’s every tap in the house, the problem becomes more complicated. There may be a leak at the water main, supply line, or water heater.

5. The water bill has increased drastically. This is what people notice first when their plumbing goes awry. A bill that goes up even when your water usage has remained the same, is a big indicator of a water leak or damaged pipe. In some areas, you can be fined for excess water usage caused by a leak. Listen to your toilets and taps to see if they are running, which is a common cause of higher water bills.

6. The water is draining slowly. Most people think nothing of a sink that drains slowly – usually, it just means that some hair is clogging the fixture. But when multiple sinks take several minutes to drain, you may have a more serious issue on your hands. In this case, your sewer line might be partially blocked. If there is a large tree on your property, its roots may be interfering with your water pipes.

7. There are damp spots on your floors or ceilings. Is your carpet soggy? Does the occasional water droplet fall on top of your head, almost like it’s raining inside your home? When you have a water leak, that’s essentially what happens – except this rain can be expensive! Read up on what to do if you suspect a water leak. The key is to act fast so that you avoid potential water damage, which can cause cosmetic and structural issues in your home. 

8. The pipes freeze in the winter. Frozen pipes pose an immediate problem. Without water, there is very little that you can do in your home. You can’t shower, wash dishes, or even quench your thirst. During the coldest months, fix your frozen pipes right away. If not, the pipes will eventually thaw and the water will return at high pressure, which can cause them to burst. 

9. The paint inside your home is bubbling or peeling. Paint is sensitive to moisture; when internal leaks come into contact with your walls, the result is an unsightly bubbling effect. Peeling paint can occur in rooms with poor aeration and high humidity, like bathrooms or kitchens. But if you notice this cosmetic defect in your bedroom, chances are you have a plumbing problem. The outcomes of moisture within the walls are very unpleasant. It can cause mold and mildew, easy access and breeding grounds for pests, and structural damage. Investigate the walls that show signs of peeling to determine the location of your water leak. 

10. Your tap water is an unusual color. Have you put a glass beneath your kitchen tap, only to find that the liquid is brown, green, or yellow? Yuck. Corroded pipes cause water discoloration. It also occurs when there is rust within the pipes. If your water is cloudy, there might be air in the pipes. Either way, it’s a sign that your water pipes may be leaking or be on the verge of bursting.   

Water is essential in every home, whether it’s for showering, doing dishes, or tending to the garden. Pay attention to your taps to spot any potential issues. Do you suspect that your home has a plumbing problem? The signs can be difficult to identify. If you have a hunch that your water pipes are leaking, don’t delay; the structural damage that can result will be more expensive than a repair bill.

About The Author: Kiara is a content manager based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and home improvement for a variety of businesses. Some of her most recent pieces about commercial cleaning in London can be found on the Certified Green Cleaning website.
Photo by Cannabox on Unsplash

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