The Most Common Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them

fixing common plumbing problemsSometimes plumbing problems are pretty severe and require professional help to resolve, but that’s not always the case. In fact, there are some plumbing problems that you’re almost certain to encounter at some point in your life, and many of them are easily fixable.

It’s important to be aware of some of the most common plumbing problems, what causes them, and what you can do to fix them. It’s also important to know when to call a professional if a problem is too severe for a simple fix.

Dripping Faucet

Faucets can leak for lots of different reasons, slowly dripping money into your sink and down the drain. In fact, a slowly dripping faucet can cost you as much as $20 each year, and that cost grows exponentially when you factor in the amount of water—an increasingly scarce resource—you’re wasting.

If your faucet is leaking, there are a number of small problems you can check for. A faucet that’s dripping near the handle may have a bad O ring, while a leak around the spout could indicate corrosion of the valve seat. You should also check to make sure the washer is installed properly and not worn out. Other culprits include parts that have loosened or seals that have become worn out.

Clogged Drain

This is definitely one of the most common plumbing problems. Sometimes it’s as simple as removing a hairball from the trap, and other times it’s something a bit more difficult. Before you go pouring chemical-laden drain cleaners down the drain, check the pipes directly below your sink. Hair, grease, and soap can build up over time, creating a clog that must be removed by hand.

In some cases, a clogged or slow drain may be the result of tree roots growing into the pipe.

Running Toilet

Have you ever walked by the bathroom five minutes after using it, only to notice the toilet is still running? This is a super common issue, and a very simple fix in most cases. Toilets have many parts in the tank, including the flush valve, flapper, water control, and trip lever. All of these parts work together to make sure the toilet flushes and refills the tank without overflowing.

Unfortunately, a small problem with one of these parts often causes problems. Find a YouTube video that explains how the parts in a toilet work and make sure yours are functioning properly.

Pipe Leaks

For most people, there’s no bigger plumbing fear than a leaky pipe. If you’re lucky, you’ll notice a leak when it’s still small and fixing it won’t be a problem. Leaking pipes can be caused by excessive water pressure, clogs in the pipes, corrosion of the pipes, and movement of the surrounding earth.

If you have somebody out to fix your leaky pipes, make sure you ask them about extra steps they can take to prevent a plumbing leak in the future.

Water Heater Failure

Water heaters have many different parts which can fail over time. Scale can build up on the elements, the anode can dissolve, the thermostat can go bad, pipes and valves can leak, and the hot water tank itself can leak. This should be taken care of as soon as possible—you need hot water and the combination of electricity and leaking water can be dangerous.

Many common plumbing problems can be fixed with a bit of elbow grease, but sometimes you’ll run into some that are too severe. If you can’t find the root of your plumbing problem or aren’t comfortable taking on the work, call a professional as soon as possible to avoid additional repairs in the future.



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