The average American home wastes 10,000 gallons of water every year due to simple plumbing problems.
If you don’t know what to look for, some of those easy-to-fix problems could be happening inside your house right now.
We’ve put together a quick guide to some of the most common plumbing problems to help you stay aware of what’s happening down in your pipes.
Let’s dive in!
1. Clogged or Slow Drains
Clogs form when debris gets caught inside the drains of your bathtubs, showers, or sinks. These clogs can be caused by a buildup of things like food, dirt, hair, soap, and anything else you wash down your drain.
A slow draining sink or shower could be the start of a full-on clog.
If water has trouble draining from your sinks or shower, there’s something inside the pipes blocking its way. That blockage can continue to grow and develop into a bigger clog that prevents any water from getting passed at all.
So, in most cases, when you notice water draining slower, you’ve got a clog coming your way.
2. Dripping Faucets
Your faucet has a seal of rubber washers that keep water from getting through when you turn off the tap. Over time, these washers can wear down, tear, or fall out of place.
If this happens, your faucet can’t form a watertight seal. As a result, water can drizzle through the small gap and drip into your sink.
This common problem is annoying for several reasons.
First of all, it causes stress and can get in the way of a restful night’s sleep.
But a dripping faucet can also waste a lot of your money. Even a slow drip can go through up to 10 gallons of water a day. This means you’re going through 3,600 gallons of extra water a year if you don’t fix the problem.
A single dripping faucet can make your water bill go way up.
3. Pipe Leaks
Pipe leaks can be even more expensive and devastating than a drippy faucet.
If you don’t spend a lot of time under your sinks, you might not notice a leak right away. This can lead to other problems, such as dampness and water damage, which can end up costing a lot of money to repair.
While leaky pipes are a common issue for homeowners, they aren’t difficult to fix. They can be messy, though.
Make sure you let a trained professional handle this type of repair.
4. Low Water Pressure
The water that flows through your pipes carries dissolved minerals along with it. These minerals can build up along the inside of the pipes and restrict the water.
If this happens, the water won’t be able to get through the pipes as fast, resulting in low water pressure. Low water pressure might also be the result of a broken or corroded pipe.
Many modern homes won’t experience this problem. But if you live in an older home, water pressure could become an issue.
5. Running Toilet
After you flush your toilet, water will fill back into the tank, lifting a float that’ll shut off the water when it reaches a certain level.
But sometimes, the water never stops.
This is called a running toilet, and it can waste hundreds of gallons of water every day.
The cause of a running toilet usually stems from a broken flapper valve. In some cases, it may also be due to a buildup of sediment. You might also have a hidden leak.
6. Clogged Toilet
On the other side of the coin, your toilet might stop flushing altogether. This means you have a clog.
A toilet clog is caused by toilet paper and human waste that gets stuck somewhere in the pipe. You can usually take care of this problem on your own with a plunger.
However, some clogs are more serious. If a plunger doesn’t work, you may want to call a professional plumber to clear out the pipe instead.
7. No Hot Water
If you’re home suddenly doesn’t have any warm water, there’s something wrong with your water heater.
There are a number of reasons your water heater could fail, some of which are much more serious than others.
For example, you may simply need to relight the pilot light. The thermostat might have given out. Or the problem could be caused by a buildup of sediment inside the tank.
You should always let a professional examine your water heater if you’re having trouble with hot water. They’ll better understand how to maintain it and what to look for.
8. Jammed Garbage Disposal
When you wash the wrong foods down your garbage disposal (like fruit pits, egg shells, bones, etc.), you can make it jam. Even smaller things, such as running the garbage disposal without running water, can start to cause problems.
Sometimes, hitting the reset button is all you need to do to get your garbage disposal working again.
But sometimes the jam is more serious. Garbage disposals can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, so make sure you leave the major repairs to the professionals.
Common Plumbing Problems Homeowners Need to Be Aware of
When you buy your first (or fourth) house, you’re also buying a lot of potential plumbing problems. Understanding what causes these problems will help you recognize them and know when to call a professional plumber to the scene.
Do you need some plumbing help right now?
Don’t hesitate to give us a call!