Common Plumbing Issues in Homes

Buying a home? Curious if your house is going to spontaneously self-destruct and start flooding? That’s normal. Not the potentially self-destructing house, but the fear of what could go wrong. 

The best prevention of plumbing issues is regular inspection of your plumbing, looking for signs of trouble, and knowing when to call a plumber.

Here’s our round-up of the top 15 most common plumbing issues in homes:

Slow Draining Sinks

Is your sink draining slowly? In the case of your kitchen, food waste could be building up in the drain and restricting the flow of water. Your bathroom or laundry room sink may be clogged with hair, soap, lint, and other materials. 

You can usually tackle this issue with a plunger or plumbers snake, although professional drain cleaning services might be preferable to using a plunger in your kitchen sink. To extend the longevity of your pipes, you should avoid using chemical clog removers on your pipes. Otherwise, they can corrode your pipes and lead to worse issues. 

Dripping Faucets

Leaky or dripping faucets are one of the most common issues homeowners encounter. While it seems like a minor annoyance, dripping faucets can waste gallons of water each year.

Most dripping faucets are caused by an internal washer that has worn down or dislodged. Luckily, it usually only takes a quick trip to the hardware store and some elbow grease to fix. 

Clogged Toilets

It’s mortifying if a clogged toilet happens at someone else’s house and it’s frustrating when it happens at your own. When the toilet bowl fills with water but the water level doesn’t go back down, you likely have a clogged toilet. You can usually solve this problem with a handy plunger or a drain snake in worse cases.

Clogged Drains

When only one drain is clogged around your home, it’s likely due to food deposits, hair, soap scum, and other things that were washed down that drain.

However, if several of your drains are clogged, you likely have a sewer line issue. You’ll probably notice the clogged drains in the lowest sinks in your home first. If you have several clogged drains, you should call a plumber ASAP to prevent a sewer back-up. 

Water Heater Issues

It’s hard to imagine a typical day without hot water, so a faulty water heater can be quite the crisis! Water heater problems are often caused by corrosion, sediment build-up, failed heating elements, or bad electrical connections. They can also be the result of poor installation or installing the wrong type or size of a water heater. There are quite a few new home-owners who are unaware that water heaters do require maintenance, and it’s possible the folks who previously owned the home had let it go for quite some time.

Low Water Pressure

There are few things more frustrating than low water pressure when all you want to do is enjoy a nice shower. To make matters even worse, low water pressure often indicates a far worse problem. This can include a drain or sewer clog, blocked sewer lines, pipe corrosion, or water leaks. 

If you can’t track down the source of low water pressure by other issues in the house, call a plumber right away.

Running Toilet

Is your toilet running? Better catch it! 

Really. A running toilet can leak a gallon of water every hour on average and those costs rack up by the hour. This is usually caused by a faulty flapper valve, a fill height that needs readjusting, or a refill tube that should be shortened.

Jammed Garbage Disposal

Sometimes your garbage disposal gets jammed. Usually, this is a quick fix by pressing the overload button.

If your garbage disposal is still jammed after pressing the overload button, you can try to rotate the blades with an Allen wrench or garbage disposal wrench. If this doesn’t work, call a plumber.

Just don’t stick your hands into the garbage disposal. 

Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes are frighteningly common. Pipes don’t last forever and there are several problems that cause pipes to leak. Some of these can include pipe corrosion, seals and pipes cracking, intense water pressure, and even large clogs. Additionally, if the pipes were installed improperly, your pipes will be more apt to leak later on. If you’ve found older pipes in your house, such as galvanized pipes, it may be worthwhile to do a full on pipe replacement.

Leaky pipes can severely damage your plumbing and your home, so it’s important to get your pipes repaired as soon as possible.

The Sewer System Is Backed Up

Back-ups in your sewer system might not just ruin your day. They can easily ruin your entire week or month. Back-ups smell disgusting, dump nasty waste in your home and yard, and can set you back a ton of money to fix if it happens on your property.

Yearly inspections of your septic system and sewer lines can help prevent a sewer system back up. If a sewer system back-up happens, call both your water company and your trusted plumber. If it’s the water company’s fault, they will cover the costs in most cases.

Clogs In  The Sewer Line

Your sewer lines can get clogged over time. As soon as you suspect a clog, it’s important to get it unclogged as soon as possible. But don’t reach for the chemical drain cleaner. You should immediately reach out to your trusted plumber.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a plumber can save you thousands of dollars of repairs by using a camera to accurately locate a clog and remove it. 

Installation Issues

Many of the problems on this list and even uncommon issues with your plumbing may be caused by errors during installation. Cutting corners, not using high-quality materials, not accounting for the weather, and other mistakes can create major problems for homeowners later.

Catch these issues by getting a plumbing inspection during the construction.

No Hot Water

Imagine waking up and being so excited to start your day with a warm shower. And then you get hit with ice cold water instead. Well, now you’re awake and probably a little frustrated.

A sudden loss of hot water can be caused by your water heater failing. Yet, it can also be caused by an issue with the water company, a tripped breaker, a burst pipe, and other factors. To rule out your water heater, you can check that there isn’t water pooling around your water heater, the breaker connected to the water heater is turned on, and the pilot light is working.

If a few hours go by and your hot water still doesn’t work, call your water company. If it isn’t a problem on their end, call a trusted plumber.

Sump Pump Failure

Your sump pump keeps your home from flooding but can break down. A sump pump failure can be caused by stuck switches or clogged pipes. It can also break down with age, as they usually last about 10 years. An unusually heavy amount of rain can also wreak havoc on your sump pump.

Mildew/Moldy Smell

For all of these issues, there are certain signs you’ll notice throughout your home. These may include the water turning strange colors, water not draining adequately, and even smell. If you smell mold or mildew in your home, it can be a sign that a pipe is leaking and causing mold to grow. If you catch it early enough, you can save money on expensive repairs and your lungs from mold exposure.

535 Plumbing

Are you concerned about any of these plumbing issues in your home? Call 535 Plumbing today! We are a family-run business with the knowledge and resources to tackle jobs of any size. Call us at (808) 300-0535 to get started.