Common problems in plumbing occasionally be inexpensive and minor. However, more serious problems, like sewer system backups, can be disastrous if not addressed right away. You must be aware of the common issues with plumbing systems in homes in order to avoid possible damage to the walls, floors, and other personal property.
Let’s talk about some common plumbing problems that can occur in any home. Of course, prevention is better than cure, and by understanding the types of problems that are most likely to arise, you can reduce their likelihood of happening or getting worse. If you have some basic tools and are willing to learn, you can handle some minor issues fairly easily saving both time and money.
9 Common Plumbing Problems
- Leaky Faucets
- Clogged Shower or Bathtub Drain
- Clogged Toilet
- Running Toilet
- Defective Water Heater
- Low Water Pressure
- Pipe Leak
- Slow-Draining Sink
- Sewer backup
Let’s discuss more about these 9 common plumbing problems through a list below that explains why and how they occur.
1. Leaky faucets
It’s uncommon to meet someone who hasn’t dealt with a dripping faucet due to how widespread the problem is. This is easily one of the most common plumbing problems. Water waste can increase your water bill and cost you money in addition to being an annoyance.
In many instances, an internal washer that has gotten stiff, torn, worn out, or dislodged over time is the root of dripping faucets. If this is the issue, it can typically be resolved by someone with basic DIY knowledge and access to basic tools. Turn off the water supply to the leaky faucet before disassembling it, replacing the defective washer, and putting it back together.
2. Clogged shower or bathtub drain
Similar to slow-draining bathroom sinks, hair and soap clogs frequently cause bath and shower drains to become blocked. It might be necessary to use a plunger or a plumber’s snake to unclog the blockage. In some cases, the clog can be removed using vinegar and baking soda.
If the issue is left unattended, it usually gets worse over time. By purchasing a drain guard to catch the hair, the problem can be avoided or reduced from occurring again.
Common way to remove hair out of shower drain
- Remove the drain cover first to get hair out of your shower drain.
- Pull out as much hair as possible from the P-trap with a zip-it tool, wire coat hanger, or tweezers.
- After 30 minutes, pour 1 cup of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and flush it with hot water.
3. Clogged toilet
You have a clog when the toilet bowl fills up and refuses to empty. The obstruction is typically brought on by a combination of paper and human waste. A plunger can usually unclog a clogged toilet. If that doesn’t clear the blockage, a sewer snake or drain auger can be used.
4. Running Toilet
Unattended running toilets can waste a lot more water than you can imagine, adding to the cost of your water bill. The flapper valve that controls the water flow from the tank to the bowl is the most frequent cause. With a toilet repair kit that is easily accessible at any hardware store, this problem can be fixed.
Less frequently, sediment that interferes with flushing and filling could be the cause of toilet runs. Put some food coloring in the upper tank and observe whether it makes its way to the bowl without flushing in order to detect silent leaks if your water bills appear to be high.
5. Defective water heater
You might not notice this issue until the water in the shower suddenly turns cold. A water heater failure can be caused by a variety of problems. It might be necessary to relight the pilot light if it goes out. Having too much sediment in the tank can also be problematic. Another time, the thermostat might be to blame.
Generally speaking, unless it’s something very simple like the pilot light needs to be relit, you should have a professional inspect, maintain, and repair your water heater.
6. Low water pressure
Low water pressure may be indicated if your water trickles out of the faucet rather than gushes. This is a common issue in older homes. A number of complicated problems, including leaking pipes that have over time grown damaged, worn out, or corroded, can result in low water pressure. That is why it is important to determine the issue before looking for a solution.
If there is a problem with low water pressure in the shower, sediment and mineral deposits on the aerators are typically to blame. To clean the aerator, soak it in vinegar. If the shower is the issue, you should either soak the showerhead in vinegar or replace it entirely.
How to use vinegar to clean a showerhead?
- Disassemble, then wash off any soap or dirt.
- If there are any mineral deposits, scrub them loose with a toothbrush dipped in vinegar.
- Remove any loose deposits by prodding them with a safety pin or toothpick.
- To get rid of any lingering deposits, soak the components in vinegar overnight.
7. Pipe Leaks
Leaky pipes can be more than just an inconvenience; they can harm floors and furniture, and the moisture they create can attract pests like cockroaches. The pipe joints are almost always where leaks occur. That is why regular inspections are encouraged to ensure the long-term and timely repair or replacement of pipes, saving you both time and money.
Pipes can now leak for a variety of reasons, including corrosion, excessive water pressure, stubborn clogging, and cracked pipes or seals. Tape, compounds, and fillers can frequently offer a temporary fix, but for a more long-lasting solution, you must replace the pipe or the associated fittings. The skills of a plumber may be necessary in this situation.
8. Slow-draining sink
This issue is typically brought on by a blockage that prevents water from flowing freely. Congealed fat and food scraps might be present in your kitchen sink drain. The blockage in a bathroom sink is more frequently brought on by knotted hair and soap.
Using a plunger, pouring down baking soda and vinegar or a chemical clog remover, or using a plumber’s snake are all methods for unclogging a clogged sink. If the issue isn’t fixed, it will probably get worse over time and eventually clog the drain entirely.
How to use chemicals to unclog a sink drain?
- Follow all of the instructions on the packaging, and avoid using too much.
- For safety, put on gloves and sunglasses.
- Never combine chemicals. Toxic gas may be produced as a result.
- Down the drain, pour chemicals
Note: Relying on this method carelessly could result in damage to your drainage pipes from chemicals if they are used repeatedly.
If, on the other hand, you notice multiple slow or clogged drains, you may be dealing with sewer line problems, which can be a more complicated problem. In such cases, it is preferable to contact a plumbing company to avoid sewage backup and to have the problem resolved.
9. Sewer back ups
In all honesty, sewer back ups are a nightmare. They may be unpleasant to the senses, unsanitary, inconvenient, and expensive to repair. This is probably your issue if you have several broken drains and toilets in addition to a strong odor of human waste.
The location of the blockage really determines who is responsible for fixing the problem. It is your problem if it is on your property. Your water company is responsible for fixing anything that is out on a public street. Although it’s frequently worthwhile calling your water company first if you suspect that the blockage is not on your property, you may have to pay for a plumber just to locate the blockage.
3 typical reasons for sewer back up problems:
- The main sewer is backed up first. To fix this, you’ll probably need expert assistance. Watch what you flush down the toilet (no diapers, tissues, or napkins) and steer clear of pouring grease down the drain to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.
- Second, the pipes have been invaded by tree roots. Pipes can be crushed by roots that encircle them or squeeze through cracks in the pipes.
- Third, outdated sewer lines could collapse or break. While cast iron and clay, which are prone to decay over time, were once used to construct sewer lines, they are now made of plastic.
3 Common Plumbing Problem in Apartments
Certain plumbing issues are more likely to occur in apartments. Here are three typical ones.
1. From above or below flooding
The apartment below may also sustain damage from a bathroom or kitchen flood, typically to the ceiling but occasionally more severely. Blockages in the pipes, poor drainage or water supply, or broken dishwashers or washing machines can all cause issues.
2. Ineffective or irregular property management
In an apartment building, you depend on the building management doing their job correctly and on other residents promptly reporting issues. Regular inspections of water tanks, pipes, and water heaters are necessary to reduce the likelihood of plumbing emergencies.
3. Unclean water
This can happen for a number of reasons, and older apartments may particularly struggle with it. The culprit is frequently corrosion, such as rusty pipes. If a sewage line is malfunctioning, the issue could be hazardous to one’s health and needs to be resolved right away.
Common Plumbing Problem in Older Homes
In addition to the plumbing problems that are common in homes, older homes can present a number of unique difficulties.
1. Pipes made of steel
Iron is used to create galvanized pipes during 1960’s, which are then zinc-coated. The zinc corrodes and breaks down over time due to erosion. Water pressure and quality deteriorate as soon as the pipes are damaged. Often, replacing the piping affected by damage is the only option.
2. Pipes made of polybutene
Due primarily to their affordability, these were widely used in houses constructed between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. However, over time, these pipes have a propensity to weaken and fail due to reactions with oxidants in water.
3. Bad repairs from the past
You essentially inherit an old house from one or more previous owners when you buy it. Therefore, the caliber of earlier repairs and plumbing work may have varied. It is common to find insufficient or improper plumbing that needs more long-term fixes because previous owners chose to save money by not hiring a professional plumber.
4. Belly pipes
Rarely is the earth directly under a house completely static. The shifting over time may cause the house’s pipes to sag or bow. These bends, also referred to as “pipe bellies,” can stop the flow of water and result in obstructions.
Common Plumbing Problems After a Heavy Rain
After a significant downpour, a number of plumbing-related issues may arise like:
A lot of debris, including leaves, twigs, and small pieces of trash, can be picked up by flowing rainwater. This makes it more likely for pipes and drains to clog. Since prevention is always preferable to treatment, you can reduce the issue to some extent by keeping your roof and gutters clear of leaves and other debris and by performing routine property cleanups.
2. Sewage backup in a tank
After a lot of rain, skeptics may be particularly vulnerable to flooding issues. Drainage issues arise as the area around the tank becomes saturated. Use less water or change your septic system’s settings until the drainage field has had a chance to dry out.
3. Leaking pipes
Pipe breaks can result from heavy rain because it can cause the ground to shift, especially if it comes after a protracted dry spell. If your pipes are old or made of galvanized steel, this issue is more likely to occur.
4 Tips for DIY Plumbing
- Before attempting a plumbing repair, always shut off the water main.
- Plumbing is a messy industry by definition. Always dress appropriately and anticipate getting wet and dirty.
- The proper planning and equipment are crucial. Before you begin your plumbing repairs, make sure your measurements are accurate and that you have everything you need.
- Always have a professional plumber’s contact information on hand in case something goes wrong and you require immediate assistance.