Owning a home comes with its fair share of plumbing troubles. Some of these problems come with age and a result of normal wear and tear, but others may be caused by how the system is used and maintained. Without regular plumbing maintenance, plumbing systems tend to develop issues more frequently.
There is an art and a science to effectively dealing with plumbing issues, whether at home or in a commercial establishment, but it all starts with awareness. Time is of the essence when dealing with a plumbing-related problem. You need to address the problem as soon as they arise and know when to bring in a professional.
Here are five common plumbing issues and how to fix them:
1. Dripping Faucets
Dripping faucets are perhaps the most common of all plumbing issues, but they’re usually overlooked because they are not much of an inconvenience anyway. Faucets often drip because of a damaged washer. When the washer is too worn out, too stiff, or dislodged, it can’t seal the faucet completely when the tap is turned off.
Fixing a dripping faucet is relatively simple. All you need are some basic tools and DIY skills. If you’re not sure you can do it right, though, better call in a professional plumber. A faulty replacement might turn this small issue into a huge and more expensive repair later on.
2. Leaky Pipes
Pipe leaks also make up the bulk of residential plumbing issues, and is a prevalent problem in older homes with old plumbing systems. This is because many older structures are still using copper pipes.
While copper pipes are more durable than PEX (the pipes commonly used in modern homes), copper doesn’t hold up to extreme temperatures that well and isn’t a great conductor. Constant expansion and contraction can cause copper pipes to break. Also, copper pipes are more vulnerable to corrosion. They need a lot of maintenance and upkeep to prevent leaks from developing.
If your plumbing is decades old, you may want to consider a plumbing upgrade and a kitchen makeover or bathroom remodel to go with it.
3. Slow-Draining Sink
If your sink drains water much slower than it normally does, there’s probably a blockage restricting the water flow. There may be congealed fat, food debris, or knotted hair (in bathroom sinks) stuck in there that needs getting rid of.
There are plenty of methods for clearing a clogged sink. You can use a plunger, pour down baking soda and vinegar, or use a plumber snake to remove the clog. The important thing is to tackle the problem right away. Over time, more and more gunk will accumulate inside the drain until it’s entirely blocked.
4. Running Toilets
A running toilet may not seem that urgent of a problem, but it can cost you up to 200 gallons of water each day. So, if you want to save on your water bill, you better fix that running toilet right away!
The most common reason for a running toilet is a faulty flapper valve, which is responsible for regulating the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. In the majority of cases, replacing the damaged flapper valve would solve the problem. If it doesn’t, then something else might be wrong. There could be a silent leak or a sediment build-up in the tank. An experienced plumber can quickly identify the issue and get the repairs done in no time.
5. Low Water Pressure
Is there barely any water coming out of your faucet or shower? You could be dealing with low water pressure – a problem that you need to fix right away because it can cause serious disruptions to your family’s daily routine.
If it’s not just your home that’s experiencing low water pressure, but your neighbors’ as well, then the problem is probably with the main water line. If you’re the only one with low water pressure in your neighborhood, though, there could be a leak somewhere in your plumbing system that’s causing the problem. You’ll need to call your local plumber to locate the root of the issue and fix it.
When faced with plumbing-related concerns that are beyond your skills and capabilities, it’s always better to leave the job to the experts.
About The Author: Rachel Watson is the Senior Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing, and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Rachel enjoys yoga and writing articles about how to make home living more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash
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