10 Common Home Plumbing Problems and How to Solve Them

Mr. Rooter plumber arriving to fix plumbing issues.

The first water pipes were created sometime around 4000-3000 B.C. While some forms of plumbing have been around for thousands of years, there are still many common problems that come with your home plumbing system. Some plumbing problems require the help of a professional, but many can be fixed on your own.

Do you want to learn more about the plumbing system in your home? Keep reading these 10 common home plumbing problems and learn how you can solve them on your own.

1. Slow Draining Sink

One of the most common problems that you can see in your residential plumbing system is slow drainage. Because this is likely due to a partially clogged drain, it is important to take care of it before it completely obstructs your drain.

Typically, sinks get clogged because of soap, hair, and other debris build-ups. One way to fix this is by using a bit of drain cleaner. If you use this regularly enough, it will prevent more significant problems from arising.

If your drain is completely clogged, you may need to clean out your sink's P-trap. To do this, you will need to clear out the cabinet below your sink, put a bucket under it, and remove the trap.

You can clear out any hair or debris with a wire or brush. Once it is clear, you can reassemble it.

Lastly, slow drainage in one of the drains in your home is a sign of a clog. If you have several slow drains in your house, you may have issues with your sewer line. This will require the help of a professional plumbing company.

2. Dripping Faucets

Dripping faucets are another common plumbing issue that will waste water and can drive you crazy with the constant dripping sounds.

Typically, your faucet may leak if there are worn-out washers or O-rings in your sink. These can be replaced on your own by disassembling the handles of your sink, pulling the old O-rings off your sink's valve, and slipping the replacement back in place.

3. Low Water Pressure

Normal water pressure is something that many people take for granted until they are missing it. While low water pressure may be the sign of a more severe leak or other plumbing problem, there are sometimes easy solutions to fix your water pressure.

If you notice low pressure in your sink or showerhead, it may be due to mineral deposits. These can be cleaned off with vinegar and water. This will dissolve the deposits that are blocking the water and will improve your water pressure immediately.

4. Garbage Disposal Jam

Jammed garbage disposals are a common plumbing issue, especially as homeowners dispose of a lot of food and other debris in their disposal.

If you notice clogged garbage disposal, it is easy to fix. Most garbage disposals come with a key; otherwise, you can use a 1/4-inch Allen wrench.

Simply turn the key to free up the garbage disposal motor, and you will clear the jammed disposal.

5. Clogged Toilet

Every homeowner has experienced the stress of a clogged toilet, especially as the toilet begins to overflow. These can be fixed on your own. First, try your luck with a plunger. If the seal isn't good enough, add petroleum jelly to the rim of the rubber.

If you cannot clear the blockage, you can use a sewer snake to help break up and clear the blockage.

6. Water Heater Problems

If you have water heater problems, you may be able to fix the issue yourself depending on the severity of the issue. For example, if the issue is with the pilot light, you can re-light it and have warm water again.

However, if you have more serious issues like damaged parts, improper installation, or sediment build-up in your water heater system, you will need the help of a water heater professional to take care of this.

7. Clogged Bath

Just as your sink can get clogged by hair and soap, your bath can also get clogged. If you can see a build-up of hair, you can use a metal hanger to try and remove this blockage.

Otherwise, you can use a plunger to help clear the drain. Simply fill your tub with water, make sure your plunger is submerged, and use the plunger until the blockage is gone.

Another helpful trick is to use baking soda and vinegar to dissolve the blockage. The reaction these ingredients cause can help dissolve the debris. Finally, you can prevent this problem from reoccurring by putting a cover over your drain to catch hair and other debris.

8. Running Toilets

Running toilets are a problem that will waste hundreds of gallons of water each day. Essentially, the valve that controls the water in your toilet is broken or faulty, meaning it will not stop filling up with water and flushing on its own.

To fix this issue on your own, you will need to replace the fill valve and the toilet flapper.

9. Sump Pump Failure

A sump pump is used to prevent flooding in your home. If it fails, it can lead to water damage and even structural damage. One common reason that sump pumps can fail is electrical power outages. If this is the case, simply use a generator or wait until your power is turned back on.

Otherwise, you may need to replace it. Simply turn off your power, disconnect the old sump pump, and remove it from its place. Then you will place your new sump pump, connect the discharge line, and plug it in.

10. Leaky Pipes

Fixing leaking pipes can be tricky, especially if you do not know the cause of the leak. If you have a leaky pipe, it can lead to water damage on your floor and furniture and may even lead to burst pipes in the winter when pipes can freeze.

Most often, pipes leak from corrosion, clogs, or cracked seals on your pipes. One easy way to fix your pipe is to pick up a pipe repair kit. Using this or pipe putty can seal a hole or crack in your leaking pipes and will protect your home from water damage.

Get Help With Your Home Plumbing Problems Today

Plumbing problems can be a nightmare for your home. Whether dealing with high water bills or leaking pipes, it is important to address these issues as quickly as possible. Luckily, many home plumbing problems can be fixed on your own if you have the right tools for plumbing.

If you do not have all the tools you need or don't want to deal with the headache of fixing your plumbing system, you can always call a residential plumbing service like Mr. Rooter Plumbing.

Contact our Austin plumbers today to learn more about our residential plumbing services and how we can help keep your plumbing functioning smoothly!