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How to Spot Common Plumbing Problems

Plumbing September 9th, 2020 Back to Plumbing Blog

When you own a home or rental property, you will inevitably experience some plumbing problems. From leaky faucets to toilets that won’t flush, plumbing is probably one of the most frequent issues for homeowners. Fortunately, plumbing issues are easy to spot and, sometimes, easy to fix! These are some common plumbing problems and how you can identify them.

  1. Spots on your ceiling
    Have you looked at the ceilings of your home in a while? Have you noticed any brown spots? Perhaps you’ve seen the paint on your walls have started to peel or bubble. Spots and peeling are tell-tale signs that there’s moisture present. If left untreated, moisture could lead to mold growth or worse — your walls or ceiling caving in. Before you patch the wall and repaint, make sure nothing is going on behind the walls or ceiling, like a leaking roof or piping.
  2. Low water pressure
    If you’ve noticed the water coming out of your sinks or showerheads has decreased in force, you may have something clogging your pipes and reducing your overall water pressure. A similar problem could present itself in another way — slow drainage in your tub or sinks. If you notice your sinks are slow to drain, something could be clogging your sewer line.
  3. A high water bill
    As a homeowner, you know what your water bill typically costs. If you start to notice your water bill’s total is more than usual, a plumbing issue could be the cause. From leaking pipes to a slow drip, there are a number of plumbing issues that could cause this increase.
  4. A constant clog in your toilet
    Clogged toilets are part of being a homeowner, but if you feel like you frequently have to unclog yours, there could be a more significant issue at play. From broken pipes under the surface to backups caused by curious kids, a clogged toilet is never good.
  5. A lack of hot water
    If you notice it takes your faucets a long time to draw on hot water, there could be an issue with your hot water heater. It could be a simple fix, but if your hot water heater is more than ten years old, you might want to look into having it replaced with a newer model.
  6. Discolored pipes
    We recommend performing an occasional inspection of the exposed pipes in your basement or under any sinks. If there is any signs of discoloration, it is a strong indicator that there’s moisture present. Typically the result of dripping from a sink or drain line, it might be something more serious, such as a leak in the supply line. If it is a supply line, be sure to address the issue ASAP, as they are pressurized and have the potential to burst.
  7. Sewer odor
    Every drain needs a water trap and every trap needs a vent, this is basic building science.  Water traps prevent sewer gas from seeping up through your drains by creating a water plug in the pipe, whereas the vents channel this gas upward to the roof.  Therefore, if you are smelling sewer gas, one of these systems may be failing, either the water plug has run dry or a vent line has a leak.
  8. Slow drain
    If you are noticing a specific drain is slow, it is likely that the issue is local due to some hair or other buildup, and some quick DIY snaking may resolve the issue and remove any obstructions. However, if you are noticing that slow draining is more of a global issue throughout your house, that may be a indicator of a more serious problem, such as tree roots in your sewer line. If that is the case, professional intervention is needed.
  9. Green patch in the yard
    Not all signs of a plumbing problem are present inside your home. If you notice a small area of your yard that is much greener than the areas around it, this may be a sign of a leaking sewer pipe supplying extra water and nutrients; especially if the area is between your house and the street, which is the most common path for a city sewer line.
  10. Wobbly toilet
    Next time you have a seat, pay attention to see if there is any wobble in the toilet.  Wobbling could be as simple as a loose seat, however,  if the bowl itself is wobbly, first make sure the bolts are tight to the floor. If they are and you are still seeing a wobble, this may be a sign that the wax seal around your toilet drain is failing and letting water rot out your subfloor.
  11. Water discoloration
    This seems obvious, but if the water coming out of your pipes isn’t clear, something may be going on. While cloudy water is usually caused by air getting in the pipes, brown or yellow water is a sign of rust and a green tint is the result of copper pipes corroding.
  12. No water in the winter
    If you live in a region that drops before freezing and you notice a sudden decrease or complete cessation of water pressure during the cold months, it may be that one or more of your pipes have frozen and potentially burst.  As frozen pipes hold the most danger when they eventually thaw, releasing all of the water held back by the ice plug, you will want to get the problem addressed as soon as possible.

Knowing how to spot plumbing problems is half the battle. If you can spot an issue before it becomes a problem, you’ll have less of a headache to deal with when it comes to fixing it.

If you notice something that could be a plumbing problem or if you have a plumbing issue, our plumbing professionals can handle any of your plumbing needs big or small. Let us show you why we have been voted the area’s BEST. Call 215.799.2019 or fill out the contact form on the bottom of this page.

If you have a plumbing emergency right now, call 215.799.2019 or click here to contact our emergency services team and we’ll get one of our plumbers out right away. 

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