Being a homeowner means that dealing with repairs and maintenance issues is inevitable. Plumbing is an area where damage can happen quickly and is costly to repair. As such, homeowners need to know the signs of plumbing issues to ensure they’re handled efficiently.
Here are five of the most common home plumbing issues to watch for and what to do when you notice them.
One of the most common plumbing repairs homeowners face is a dripping faucet. These are more problematic than simply dealing with the annoying “plink plink” sound on repeat; they can dramatically impact your water bill. While those little drops may seem inconsequential, they add up fast. According to the EPA, a leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water a year. As the average family of four consumes 100 gallons per person per day (approximately 12,000 gallons per month) this means a quarter of your water bill could be caused by a leaky faucet and costs you hundreds of dollars each year.
Fixing a dripping faucet is a straightforward repair, but you need to know what type of faucet you have, what’s causing the leak, and what parts need replacing. In other words, it’s worth the money to call a plumber for this simple repair, and it will pay for itself in utility savings.
Slow Drains or Toilets
Slow drains and toilets are another common home plumbing issue. Our first reaction is often to run to the store and buy a dose of chemicals to flush out the drain. Unfortunately, this can often exacerbate the issue. While the chemicals might temporarily get the drain running faster, they won’t help with more severe or recurring clogs. Furthermore, the chemicals can damage your pipes and the environment.
You can prevent these issues by adding hair traps to drains and monitoring to ensure no one flushes anything other than waste and toilet paper. Try unclogging the drain or toilet with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, call a plumber to snake the pipes.
Continuously Running Toilet
A continuously running toilet is another big drain on your utility bills. This issue is typically caused by parts wearing down in the tank, whether it’s a degraded seal or the chain has worn down. In most cases, you’ll be able to see what the issue is by taking the top off the tank and watching what happens when you flush.
Most part replacements are quite intuitive and straightforward to install in a toilet, and you can find many helpful online diagrams and videos. However, call a plumber if you’re not comfortable trying anything, or if you attempt a repair and it doesn’t work.
Hot Water Issues
There’s nothing like an unexpected blast of cold water to set your mood on a cold winter’s day. If you’re experiencing hot water issues, there’s likely a problem with your water heater.
Start with a basic inspection of your water tank to see if there are any obvious issues. These problems could include the temperature having been adjusted accidentally, the pilot light being out, or a puddle of water indicating a leak. Then, call a plumber for assistance — this isn’t a DIY job.
Water Pressure Issues
Finally, another common plumbing problem is issues with water pressure. If you move into a home with poor water pressure, ask a plumber to take a look and determine the cause. Note that many aerator faucets have less water pressure. If you notice changes to the water pressure over time however, this could indicate a leak.
If you experience a sudden drop in water pressure or your water cuts out entirely, turn off the main water valve and call a plumber immediately.
Being mindful of these common household plumbing issues will help you be proactive in repairing them before they drive up your utility bill and cause expensive damage.