Do you know any local plumber near you? Is it time to visit or call them? This article will help me in making that important decision.
Whether you’re taking a bath, defecating, or cleaning your dishes in the kitchen, producing waste is a part of human lives.
That said, you probably don’t want water flooding your kitchen and right into your living room. Or worse case scenario, feces finding its way into your bathroom.
Let’s face it, these types of issues can turn into a nightmare quickly. Because your house may start to stink and become uncomfortable while you accumulate money on your water bill due to wasted water.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the water consumption in the U.S. in 2015 was estimated to be 322 billion gallons per day. A lot of this water is wasted. It happened that the West and Southwest have the biggest problem, with regards to renewable supply due to water wastage.
The Problem with “Do It Yourself”
So what do you do when you notice a plumbing problem? You want to take action and stop the issue right away. Of course, you can find many “Do it yourself (DIY)” guides on how to do anything in your house -- including building your house from scratch and installing plumbing systems.
But some of these guides may cause more problems rather than solve the ones you have. In cases like these, the best action you can take is to call an expert. This would cost you money, definitely but a local plumber will save you more with a better solution.
So when do you have to get on your phone and call your local plumber? Many events require it. But especially when you see these 13 signs:
- Clogged Pipe
Nobody wants to have clogs in their pipes. With clogs in your pipe, water is unable to flow freely. When you notice that the water in your sink takes too long to drain or water in your bathtub is not flowing as it should, it could be as a result of a clogged pipe.
This could lead to your sink or bathtub getting dirtier as some of the dirt ends up on their surface rather than in the pipe.
This is a frustrating situation that may require that you wash your sinks and bathtubs more than necessary due to the retained dirt. What are the possible causes of clogged pipes? There are many causes of clogged pipes.
Some of the causes of clogs in the kitchen are fat, oil and grease from food substances. These are substances that flow easily when they're hot but solidify as they get cold. When this happens, they begin to clog your pipe as they accumulate over time.
Another cause of clogs in your pipe is food particles. If you have a sink in your kitchen, it's inevitable that food particles like vegetable sticks and others will enter into your pipe. This can end up clogging your pipe over time.
In your bathroom, you may not have oily substances, but there are still enough causes of a clogged pipe in your bathroom. One of them is strands of hair. While taking your bath, it's only natural that some strands of your hair fall off.
These strands accumulate over time to clog your pipe and block water flow. Another culprit for a clogged pipe is greasy soap. This type of soap form residues that can stick to the interior of pipes and cause a blockage. In some cases, these could also lead to the corrosion of your pipes.
When you notice a slow flow of water or liquid waste in your kitchen, bathroom, or any part of your house, it's important to call a plumber to investigate the problem further and provide the necessary fix to allow an easy flow of waste out of your home.
- Low Water Pressure
If you notice your faucets taking a long time before you can fill your sink or bathtub, or your shower head is failing to give the strong spray while taking your bath, there’s a problem. This could be a low water pressure problem in your home.
If this is only applicable to a single fitting in your house, there could be easy solutions. But you may not be the right person to implement these solutions. When you see water pressure drop for your home, there are usually some common causes.
One of the reason could be the water meter valve. When the water meter valve that transports water to your home is not fully opened, it may result in a low water pressure for your home. This could be as a result of recent plumbing work in your house where the valve had to be shut.
Another cause for low water pressure could be a faulty pressure regulator. Your pressure regulator helps to keep your water pressure at the right level. Not too low or too high.
If the regulator becomes faulty, you may have either a high or low water pressure. When this happens, you’ll have to buy another pressure regulator as a replacement. A plumber can come in and check all the important valves in your house if this is the cause.
Likewise, they can recommend the right pressure regulator, get it for you and help to fit it in your home. In some other cases, it could just be that your overall plumbing system needs to be replaced due to many years of usage.
Your local plumber can come in and troubleshoot to find the possible causes of your low water pressure and fix them.
- Leaky Pipes or Dripping Faucet
Leaky pipes could cause a bad smell in your house if the pipes transporting waste is involved. Even if clean water is dripping from leaky pipes, you could see a rise in your water bill at the end of the month.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average family wastes 180 gallons per week or 9,400 gallons of water annually, from household leaks. This results into 1 trillion gallons of water that’s equal to annual household water use of about 11 million homes.
No matter what is leaking, leaky pipes are never wanted. If you’re facing this problem in your house, there are many possible causes.
One of the most common causes is broken seals. Over time, the seal connecting the joints of pipes become weak and break causing leaky pipes. Another reason closely related is damaged pipe joints. When the joint between two pipes gets destroyed, it begins to leak waste or whatever fluid it transports.
High water pressure can be a source of stress for your pipes and this could cause the pipes to leak. In the event of extreme temperature changes, the rapid expansion or contraction of pipes can lead to leaks. You could also start to see leaks when there’s corrosion of your pipes.
Dripping faucets are a waste of money. Even though the water is rarely useful to you, you’ll pay for it at the end of the month.
There are many causes of a leaky faucet. Due to regular use, the O ring may become loose or wear out which would cause the faucet to drip close to its handle. Another possible cause is a corroded valve seat. Over time, water sediments can accumulate in the valve seat to cause corrosion and consequently leakage in the spout area.
A dripping faucet can also be caused by the improper installation of the washer or using the wrong size for your installation. In some other cases, a dripping faucet could be a result of a worn-out washer.
When you notice these faults, you should call your problem to investigate the possible causes and provide solutions to them.
- Running Toilet
One way to rack up your water bill is a running toilet. With a running toilet, it’s possible for you to waste gallons of water which will be paid for at the end of the month.
A running toilet occurs when your toilet tank can’t keep water away from your toilet bowl. Even when you have not pulled the plunger.
The EPA estimates that toilets account for 30% of an average home’s indoor consumption. A running toilet will only increase this.
There are many reasons you could encounter a running toilet in your home. One reason for this is a faulty flapper seal or flush valve. The flapper seal is supposed to close off the water supply from your toilet tank when you flush the toilet after usage.
The flush valve contains the flapper seal, overflow valve, and the flushing mechanism without the chain. When this mechanism fails to shut off water flow after flushing the toilet, water will continue flowing into the toilet bowl even while it’s not in use.
One way to know if you have a running toilet is to apply dye in your toilet tank. Wait for a few minutes without using the toilet. With a good flapper seal, then the water in your toilet bowl should remain colorless as it was. However, if you see the dye in your toilet bowl, that’s one evidence that the flapper seal is not functioning properly.
A flapper chain that is too long or short may also prevent the flapper seal from doing its work properly.
Another issue that could cause a running toilet is a leaky fill valve. This valve is supposed to stop water flow into your toilet tank after usage but if it’s unable to do this, water will flow into the valve and it can cause a leak.
One other possible issue to face is an old or corroded toilet handle. When you notice that after flushing the toilet, the toilet handle stays down for a period of time and is too slow in coming back to its former position, this could be because the handle is stiff, old, or corroded. This stiff handle can make the toilet run for longer than necessary.
With these issues in your toilet, it’s important to get an expert to your home to check it for you.
- Faulty Water Heater
Having a functional water heater is a part of healthy living in your home especially during winter. Having an issue with your water heater can be a big issue when you need hot water to take your bath.
Like other machines, your water heater requires regular maintenance and can get faulty. Sometimes, these faults come without any warning. This is why you must be vigilant to some changes you may see before your water heater stops working.
One of the ways to know that something is wrong is when your shower starts to produce cold water instead of hot water. Over time as you use your water heater, water sediments begin to settle at the bottom of your water storage tank.
This can create a barrier between the burner and the water. With a barrier like this, less heat is transferred from the burner to the water. This means a colder water supply. If this continues for too long, your water heater can start leaking leading to a waste of water and a possible failure of your heater.
Sometimes, you could experience a noise as your water heater is working. This could be as a result of hard water from the supply or a fault with your machine.
Likewise, if your water supply is cloudy rather than colorless, or has a metallic scent and taste, it could be as a result of mineral deposits traveling from your water tank to the supply. In some other cases, it could be that your burner and other parts of your water heater are rusty and need to be changed.
When you see these, a plumber can come in to help you flush your water heater of dirt or recommend and install another water heater if there’s a need for it.
- Installing a new toilet
A new toilet may be an extra expense for you but it could actually save you money in the long run.
There are many reasons you might want to install a new toilet. If you have an old toilet, it might be susceptible to various issues due to the long period of usage. Likewise, you could have an issue with your toilet tank that requires you to change it.
Or it could be an accident that breaks your toilet. Whatever reason you're installing a new toilet, it's important to get an expert in to take the specifications of your space and recommend the right size and design of the toilet for your home.
Buying and installing the wrong toilet can lead to extra monthly charges in your utility bills.
It means you’ll pay for this mistake for all the years that you use this toilet. In other words, your toilet is probably one of the most important installations in your house.
When you bring in a local plumber for your installation, they have to consider some factors before picking the right toilet for you.
One of the considerations to be made is the bowl shape. Will it be the oval or round shape? Although the oval shape is the most popular, you’ll also need to consider the space in your bathroom.
The physical space in your bathroom will usually determine the size of your toilet to allow free movement in the bathroom.
One other consideration to be made is the height of your toilet bowl. Even though the most common heights for toilet bowls is about 14.5 inches, a plumber will have to consider the height of the people who’ll use it or if there's a disabled person to pick a height that’ll be comfortable for everyone.
One other important consideration is the flushing efficiency of your toilet. Are you going to use a gravity-fed or a pressure toilet?
To pick a type, you’ll also have to consider its cost on your utility bills. You don't want to have a toilet that uses 5 gallons of water for a single flush.
Regarding this consideration, it might make more sense to have an installation that is costlier but will save you much more on utility bills over the coming years. A plumber will advise you on all these factors, help you to get the right toilet and install it.
- Weak and incomplete toilet flush
If you have to flush the toilet more than once before the waste disappears or you see the waste coming back after a single flush, there’s an issue with your toilet that needs to be solved.
Most times when you notice this, there are many causes responsible for it. One of the common reasons for this is a low water level in your tank.
When the water level is low in the tank, there’s insufficient water to flush the waste in the tank. In a case like this, adjusting the float of the tank to allow more water into the tank would solve this issue.
Another possible cause could be that the flapper closes too quickly. The flapper opens to allow water from the tank to flush the waste in your toilet bowl.
When the flapper closes too quickly, only an insufficient amount of water would have gone through to the bowl and this would cause a weak and incomplete flush.
In a case like this, the length of the flapper chain could be the cause and adjusting it could be a remedy to the problem.
When there’s a clog in the trap, sewer pipe, or the vent pipe, it could prevent a proper flush. You’ll need a plumber to check this out for you to determine the cause and provide the solution.
A common issue with water supply is mineral buildup. Over time, mineral build up could cause blockage in your toilet and cause an incomplete flush. It’s important to get this solved quickly as you spend more money on your water bill the longer the problem continues.
When most people think of flooding, they think of flooding from external sources. Rain, an overflowing river, and other external sources. But what of flooding from pipes or fittings in your home?
Now, you don’t want to come to your house and see a pool of water. But if it happens, the next thing is not to beat yourself up about a pipe that failed or too high water pressure. The next thing to look out for is how to get this under control.
Even though flooding will raise your utility bill for that month, what is more dangerous is that it can be life-threatening if you have kids in the house, especially those who are still crawling.
It’s easy to fall as there’s a reduced friction on the floor. Also, it could destroy some of your properties. It’s a situation that usually needs urgent attention.
There are many possible causes of flooding in your house. One of the most likely causes is a leaky or broken pipe. A pipe can break when it gets weak after years of usage. In some other cases, it could be as a result of an increase in pressure in the pipe. When this occurs, your home could be flooded in minutes.
Another possible cause is clogged pipes. A small case of clogged pipe would make water and sewer flow slow.
However, if the clog continues to accumulate, it could lead to a complete blockage of water or sewage movement. When water can’t move through the right channels, it could quickly overflow and flood the house.
If you have a washing machine in your house, one day, it could cause flooding rather than clean your clothes. When there’s a leak in your water intake hose, it could be a cause of indoor flooding.
One other cause could be your water heater. When there’s a leak in your water heater, it could lead to flooding.
When you notice flooding in your house, it’s important that you contact your plumber to embark on the cleanup process as soon as possible to reduce further damages to your properties.
- Damaged Pipes
No matter how durable they are, pipes are not made to last forever. There are situations when pipes in your house can break. There are many causes of damaged pipes in homes and these pipes will need to be replaced when this happens.
In many cases, a broken pipe can start with a leak which may go unnoticed. Over time, this space becomes bigger and if you don’t rectify the issue on time, it can lead to flooding.
One of the main causes of damaged pipes is that they’re simply too old. After many years of work, a pipe grows weak and continues that trend until it breaks.
Another cause could be high water pressure. When the water pressure regulator for your home becomes faulty, it can lead to a high water pressure which poses a risk to your pipes. This could especially break the joints of your pipes and cause other damages in the home.
One other cause is irregular maintenance. If you rarely maintain your pipes or fail to clean off clogs, this could accumulate to the detriment of the pipe. When water tries to force its way through the clogs, it could increase pressure in the pipe and break it.
Apart from these internal causes, you could also experience damage to your pipes from an external source, tree roots. There are pipes that transport water into your house. If tree roots grow around these pipes, it can apply too much external pressure to the pipe until it breaks.
When you notice a damaged pipe, the next step is to install new pipes. It’s time to call your local plumber and let them do what they know how to do best.
- Pipe Installation
For any plumbing system, pipes are an integral part. Your pipes are responsible for transporting water into your house through the water supply system, out of your house through the drainage system, and through your home appliances.
The truth is that if you use your pipe for long enough, then it's inevitable that you’ll change them.
It's always better to change old pipes before they break and cause more damage than you want.
However, in some cases, pipe installation may be forced on you when a pipe breaks and you need to change it immediately. Installing new pipes to replace old or broken ones is a specialist job. It's better if you get a specialist to do it. Why?
Because there are many considerations that go into installing a pipe. One of the main factors is where the pipe will be used.
Pipes to be used to supply water into your house will be different from one that supplies water into your appliances. This will also determine the size and strength of the pipes to be used.
One other factor a plumber will consider is the quality of materials to be bought. A plumber could decide to use any type of material ranging from PVC to PEX to copper depending on the application. The durability of the material will be compared to the functions it would perform.
Another factor that will be considered in the choice of pipes is the water pressure the pipe will be subjected to. Likewise, the weather of the particular area. Is it more cold than hot? Will the pipes be exposed to the sun for a long period of time? For instance, the quality of plastic pipes can deteriorate as a result of UV rays from the sun.
A plumber can study your home layout and see where your pipes are supposed to be. One other thing that comes with the knowledge of being a plumber is that they know how to get authorization for the work you’re doing.
This helps to ensure that you’re doing nothing illegal and all your fittings are according to the recommended standards for your area.
Having your plumber over for your pipe installation is a no-brainer really. In fact, the next thing you should do after thinking of pipe installation is to call your plumber because they can help you navigate through this process.
- Frozen pipes
During the winter season, water gets cold which affects its density and expansion.
The normal behavior of a liquid is that it should contract as its temperature drops until it gets to its freezing point where the liquid will become solid. But due to the anomalous expansion of water, there's a twist to this rule.
Water contracts as its temperature reduce. That is until it gets to 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit).
When it gets to this temperature, it begins to expand until it gets to 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) when it will freeze. Consider water flowing through your pipes and the temperature begins to drop during winter.
When the water gets to this temperature, it starts to expand. This increases the pressure in the pipe and can break the pipe. Even if the pipe manages to stay intact, the water inside the pipe will freeze few degrees lower.
This denies the whole house usage of water. What are the signs to look out for to know when you're dealing with a case of frozen pipe?
The ambient temperature is one of the first determinants. There's no way your pipe is going to get frozen during summer.
But when the temperature is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, then this is a possible temperature for this to happen.
It's also more likely that this will affect a pipe outside the house as they lack the insulation that a pipe enjoys inside the house.
Another thing that could be a sign is that you see frost on the pipe. This is an indication that the water in the pipe is either frozen or close. Another indication is that there's a slow or no flow of water when you turn on the faucets.
When you notice this, it's necessary that you thaw the pipe as soon as possible before it breaks. Get a plumber to thaw it so that you can prevent possible damage.
- Overflowing Toilet
How would you like feces from your toilet bowl to mess up your bathroom floor? I know you wouldn't. But it’s a real possibility.
There are many possible causes of this. One of them is a clogged toilet bowl. If you flush diapers, sanitary pads, or too much toilet paper down your toilet bowl, it could clog your toilet bowl and this could cause an overflow in your toilet bowl.
Another possible cause is a clogged drain. This can prevent a free flow of waste. An overflow could also be a sign of a full septic tank.
When you notice this, it's necessary to get in touch with your plumber to see what's happening.
So you want to revamp your kitchen or your bathroom. You want to make it look better and have even more functions than it currently has.
You’ll need an expert to help you with the plumbing and to check if your concept is good enough.
Your plumbing system is one of the most important aspects of your house. Because without water, life becomes miserable. Probably impossible!
And without being able to move waste out of your house, it becomes impossible to live conveniently in your house.
One other sign to watch out for is your water bill. When you notice a sudden spike and you don’t know why -- let a plumber check your plumbing system to detect all possible cases of leakage and fix them.