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Common Changes in Your Plumbing and What They Mean

Monday, August 3, 2015 - 3:28pm

Homeowners rarely think about their plumbing until they notice a change—such as lack of hot water; a drop in water pressure; or a sudden, strange gurgling noise. Changes in your plumbing shouldn’t be ignored, as they often signal a problem that needs to be addressed. Recognizing the symptoms of plumbing problems and knowing what they mean can help you more quickly diagnose and repair these issues, rather than allowing them to continue to cost you in terms of money and comfort.

Water Pressure Drops

Changes in water pressure are a common plumbing problem, especially in older homes. A drop in water pressure means you can’t get the steady stream of water you expect when you turn on a faucet or shower. This can affect your comfort when bathing and the speed with which you can wash dishes, fill pots, and perform other simple tasks. If the change in water pressure appears to affect only one fixture, it could be due to a clog in the fixture itself. You can remove mineral buildup by cleaning the fixture with an old toothbrush and a mixture of baking soda and water, or by tying a plastic bag of vinegar over the faucet or showerhead for a few hours to loosen any caked-on minerals. However, if the water pressure has dropped throughout your home, or cleaning the affected fixture produces no results, there could be a larger problem affecting your plumbing system.

No Hot Water

A lack of hot water is obvious when you experience a shock of cold during a shower. Insufficient hot water can be due to many causes, from a broken heating element in your water heater to an increase in demand that your water heater can’t keep up with. Any time you can’t get the hot water you expect, you should call in a plumber to evaluate the situation. If you’ve increased your hot water usage, it’s important to tell your plumber so he can determine whether your water heater needs repairs, or whether it should be upgraded to accommodate your needs.

Discolored or Poor-Tasting Water

Changes in the color or taste of the water coming from your tap are signs that you need to call in a professional plumber. These changes are typically due to mineral buildup inside the pipes. This occurs slowly over time as dissolved minerals are deposited on the walls of your plumbing pipes as the water flows through them. In many cases, solutions such as hydro jetting can scour pipes to leave their interiors like new for fresh, clean water and a new lease on life for your plumbing. In cases where pipes have been severely degraded by mineral buildup, they may need to be partially or completely replaced. Adding a water softener to your home’s plumbing can help you maintain clearer pipes by removing dissolved minerals from your incoming water before it reaches the rest of home’s plumbing system.

Any change in your Portland home’s plumbing is worth investigation. If you aren’t sure why the change has occurred or can’t solve the problem yourself, your professional plumber will be happy to help you get your home’s plumbing back on track. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus for more great home plumbing tips and information!

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