Common Household Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them

Plumbing problems often go undetected until they reach critical mass, so it is crucial that homeowners be aware of potential issues and know what to do should they arise.

Most plumbing issues are easily repairable at home; however, when necessary it may be wiser to hire a plumber for assistance.

Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes can seriously compromise your water supply and damage to your home, leading to reduced quality water, warped and stained walls, black mold growth, flooding and further. Unchecked leaks may even increase flooding.

Leaks in pipes can waste as much as 1 trillion gallons annually, so it’s crucial that leaks are detected and fixed quickly before they worsen. Knowing the warning signs so you can contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Locate and turn off the water shutoff valve under your sink or toilet and switch it off. Its exact location varies by house; however, it should be near any problematic pipes.

Once you’ve stopped the flow of water, use putty to seal off the pipe. Be sure to wear gloves while working with epoxy putty as this can burn. While this temporary fix might do the trick for smaller breaks, more serious ones require extensive repair work.

Clogged Drains

Household plumbing issues that homeowners often run into include slow drains and leaky faucets. While these issues are sometimes manageable on your own, other times they require the services of an experienced plumber to address.

If your sink or shower drain is clogged, using a plunger might help clear it out. Plungers work best with shallow obstructions. Pump it swiftly up and down for best results; forcing water through quickly can force any trapped particles out through the drain.

A wire drain snake can help with deeper clogs. Simply insert the snake into the drain opening, twisting as you push it through – especially effective at clearing hair or other debris from sink drains.

Install a drain screen – an inexpensive and simple solution – which can easily be removed when covered in hair. They’re available at almost every hardware store and work to prevent hair from entering your drain.

Frozen Water Heater

One of the most frequent plumbing issues during cold weather is frozen hot water heaters. A frozen heater can lead to no or limited hot water production as well as damage to both its own unit and surrounding pipes and connections.

There are a few simple solutions available to you which should address this problem.

First, switch off the main water source in your home and close all faucets. This will prevent other pipes from freezing and potentially bursting during winter weather conditions.

Unfreeze any pipes exposed to extreme cold using tools such as an infrared thermometer, hair dryer, portable heater, heating pad or heat tape.

After your frozen pipes have thawed out, reconnect your water heater. If this doesn’t work, contact a professional plumber as they may be able to repair or replace your heater altogether – either way it is important that these issues are taken care of immediately so as to prevent further damage to your home.

Low Water Pressure

Water pressure is essential to your home’s plumbing system, and any decrease in it could render all aspects from washers to faucets ineffective.

Clogged pipes can often be the source of low water pressure. This typically results from mineral deposits like rust and limestone accumulating within the pipe itself, which reduces water pressure considerably.

Step one in solving this issue is cleaning out the pipe. This will eliminate buildup and allow water to flow more freely once again.

Corrosion in your pipes can significantly impact water pressure. Corrosion may affect only certain sections of piping or it may spread throughout your entire plumbing system, leading to reduced flow of water from its source.

Your plumber will evaluate the condition of your lines to ascertain whether cleaning or replacement are possible and necessary. Clogs and corrosion can quickly lead to costly pipe repairs; so acting promptly is recommended.