As annoying as they can be, plumbing issues are a part of living in a home. What’s important is knowing what common plumbing issues you can solve on your own and when you need to bring in a professional plumber.
Here are 10 of the most common plumbing issues people experience—and what to do about them.
10 Most Common Home Plumbing Issues
You’ve likely heard and experienced some of these problems, but here’s an overview of each potential situation:
1. Dripping Faucets
We’ve all heard that faint drip, drip, drip of a dripping faucet. Or if you notice your water bill is higher than usual without any changes in your water usage, dripping faucets could be the reason.
The usual source of this common plumbing problem is a worn-out washer or O ring, which you can replace yourself. The more difficult problem is if corrosion or improper installation is the cause of your faucet issues.
Occasional clogs are typically due to hair, soap, or debris accumulating, stopping water flow in sinks, tubs, and toilets.
If you only have one clogged drain, you can address it yourself with a plunger or drain cleaner. However, if drain cleaner and plunging don’t help, the blockage may be deeper than you can reach. Don’t try to reach the blockage. It could be behind your walls and need a professional to dig around.
If you have more than one clog, you may have a larger problem on your hands. While not always the case, multiple clogged drains can mean there is a sewer line problem. You’ll be dealing with a sewage backup if this isn’t taken care of.
3. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure makes everyday tasks challenging, but it’s also a sign you have a bigger plumbing problem. Low water pressure can come from corroded pipes, leaks, clogs, or even blocked or damaged sewer lines.
If you’ve already tried to fix the low water pressure yourself and nothing changes, that means something is wrong in a place that is difficult to reach. A professional can determine the exact problem and fix it in no time.
4. No Hot Water
Water heaters stop working for a variety of reasons:
- Sediment buildup
- Heating element failure
- Broken electrical connections
- Bad initial installation
This is one problem where, unless you have in-depth knowledge and experience with water heaters, it’s safer to call professionals to diagnose and fix your water heater. If a replacement is needed, Absolute Air can help you pick the right water heater for your home.
5. Leaky Pipes
This common residential plumbing issue is often unseen until a more significant problem like flooding occurs. Clogs, high water pressure, bad pipe laying, corrosion, cracks, or general damage can cause leaky pipes.
If you find leaky pipes before a bigger problem happens, make sure to address the leaks immediately. This usually means getting replacement parts, which, more often than not, requires a professional plumber to install properly.
6. Freezing Pipes
Not only do freezing pipes stop your water flow, but they can also cause a lot of expensive damage if they burst. Despite outside temperatures dropping below freezing, you can prevent frozen pipes.
To start, let cold water slowly drip from any faucet that uses exposed pipes. Yes, we said leaky faucets are bad previously, but this is deliberate leaking—it’s different. Running water keeps water in motion, so it’s less likely to freeze.
Keeping your home’s temperature consistent day and night is another way to help prevent freezing. Keep garage doors closed and open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors for better air circulation.
Finally, wrapping exposed pipes in insulation will protect them from dropping temperatures.
7. Running Toilet
Like leaky faucets, running toilets waste a lot of water and raise your water bill. Sometimes jiggling the handle can make it stop, but if that doesn’t work—more needs to be done. A running toilet can occur due to refill tube problems, wrong-sized flapper chains, corroded toilet handles, and worn-out flapper seals.
While you can try your hand at fixing these problems yourself, if you feel uncomfortable, call a professional, so you don’t have to replace your toilet due to mistakes.
8. Jammed Garbage Disposal
It’s easy for a garbage disposal to get jammed; specific types of food—or running a disposal without water—will cause a blockage.
To fix this common plumbing problem, find and click the reset button. If that doesn’t fix it, then it’s time to open up the disposal for cleaning. After ensuring the garbage disposal is off, use either the key or a hex wrench to free the motor for cleaning.
Another common problem is the connection between a dishwasher and a disposal or between the disposal and a sink drain. Both of these problems require tightening the connections or replacing the gasket.
9. Sump Pump Failure
Sump pumps (usually located in basements or the lowest area of a home to detect elevating water levels) can fail for various reasons and damage your home. A sump pump can fail because of being overwhelmed with water, clogged discharge pipes, stuck switches, and aging.
If your sump pump fails, a flooded basement could result, so maintenance and inspection are crucial.
10. Sewer System Backup
No one wants to deal with a sewer system backup, but sadly these backups occur. Who’s responsible for dealing with this plumbing problem depends on the location. If the sewer backup is within your property lines—then it’s your responsibility. If it’s on a public road, then the water company should fix it.
Most of the time, a plumber is needed just to figure out where the backup is. If you think it’s not on your property, give your water company a call.
Absolute Air Can Help with All Your HVAC Needs
While some of these most common plumbing issues are minor annoyances, others can cause substantial damage to your home. Don’t try to tackle these problems yourself. Let us help.
Absolute Air has been serving Utah for 25 years in a friendly and professional manner.
Contact us today to learn more about us or to schedule an appointment.