Unfortunately for plumbers, no one really wants to have to call them out to their home. If you've had to call a plumber, your day is probably not going great. Plumbing issues cause damage in our home, possibly smell bad, and just make our life difficult in general.
Having the knowledge to fix some common plumbing problems on your own can really come in handy, but you need to know when to call in the pros.
Keep reading for 10 of the most common plumbing problems and when you should throw in the proverbial (or in the case of a water leak or an overflowing toilet, the literal) towel and call a professional.
1. Low Water Pressure
A weak shower or a stream so weak you can't even rinse dishes is no good. Low water pressure could be due to many different things and is common in older homes. It could be something minor, like a clog somewhere in your faucet or showerhead. Or, it could be due to bigger plumbing problems, like corrosion or a leak in your home.
If you have the capability to check your faucets and showerheads, go ahead and do that. If that doesn't solve the problem, call a plumber to come in and inspect your plumbing.
2. Running Toilet
Constantly running toilets probably happen to everyone at some point. Usually, when this happens, the flap in the bottom of the toilet tank isn't sealing shut. If you jiggle the handle, the toilet usually stops running because it seals the flap.
Constantly running toilets not only waste water, but are also annoying. Ever tried to go to sleep when you can hear your toilet in the bathroom next door running all night?
It's a pretty easy fix yourself, but if the thought of getting your hands wet in your toilet tank sounds unappealing, a plumber can take care of the issue for you.
3. Clogged Drain
Do you find yourself standing in ankle-deep water during your shower? Does a sink in your bathroom or kitchen take forever to drain? If this sounds like you and your house, you might have a clogged drain.
Sinks in the bathroom and kitchen are typically the ones that get clogged. Think about everything going down them: food particles, hair, soap and shampoo build-up.
Over time, things built up in your drains, causing them to slow down. It's not pleasant to think about, but it could always be worse. Ever hear of a fatberg?
You can try to remove the clog on your own with drain cleaners, but be careful, as some of them are damaging to your pipes or to you if they splash back and get in your eyes or on your skin. The better choice would likely be to contact a professional drain cleaning company.
4. Leaking Pipes
The lifespan of your pipes depends on what they're made of, but they don't last forever. From a high of 40 to 70 years for brass pipes and a low of 20 to 50 years for galvanized steel, you might have to replace the pipes in your home someday, especially if it's older.
As pipes wear down, they may begin to leak. Wet spots on your ceiling or walls are good indicators that your pipes are leaking. Some other indicators include unusually high water bills, mold, and mildew growing in the bathroom, musty smells in bathrooms and basements, cracks in your foundation, and water spots along the wall.
5. Dripping Faucets
Just like constantly running toilets, dripping faucets waste water and are annoying. The good news about a dripping faucet is that it is typically something you can fix on your own.
It might just need to be tightened or replaced, but faucets can be purchased and replaced relatively inexpensively. And, you can definitely do it yourself. If you're hesitant or have never done it before, YouTube can show you the way!
6. Burst Pipes
Since it doesn't get too cold in Austin, we don't have to worry about burst pipes too much. Not as much as someone who lives in Chicago or another cold northern city might, though.
When it's extremely cold outside, your pipes could freeze and burst. This can cause a huge amount of damage to your home. You'll definitely need to call a plumber for this repair.
7. Water Heater Replacement
Just like the pipes in your home, water heaters don't last forever either. Unfortunately, water heaters only last about a fraction of the time that pipes do. The average lifespan of a water heater is about 10 years.
You should keep track of the lifespan of your water heater, because when they fail you're not only facing a cold shower, you could experience a giant mess of water if the bottom of the heater gives out and all the water inside comes pouring out.
Many places also require permits to install a new water heater. A plumber will know what permit is needed and can handle the installation for you.
8. Leaking Hose Spigot
During the cold winter months, hose spigots located outside might freeze and crack. These leaks become noticeable in the spring and summer when things are no longer freezing and you're actually using your hose outdoors.
A leak is going to waste water, driving up your water bill, and can also impact the water pressure elsewhere in your home.
9. Appliance Leaking
If the water line to your washer, dishwasher, or refrigerator is leaking, a plumber can identify that leak and fix it for you (if it's a problem with the actual appliance, that's a call to an appliance repair person though).
A plumber can install a new water line for you too, if you get a new refrigerator that has an ice machine and water dispenser for example.
10. Remodeling Damage
If you're remodeling your home, you know how careful you need to be not to hit a water line or mess up any of the electrical work. If you do accidentally hit a pipe, stop the leak as best you can and then get a plumber out there ASAP.
A plumber can also move your plumbing if you want to change the layout of your bathroom or kitchen. They can move the plumbing fixture and pipes to a different location within the room. This is not a job that you want to try to DIY, so build the money for an expert plumber into your remodel budget.
Final Thoughts on Common Plumbing Problems and Calling The Professionals
Some common plumbing problems can be handled on your own (you'd be surprised at how much you can figure out with the internet and YouTube!) but there are some jobs you should leave to the professionals.
If you find yourself with a plumbing situation out of your realm of knowledge, call us today. We offer same-day and 24-hour emergency service.