Imagine this. You wake up in the middle of the night because you hear water running. You get out of bed and head to each of your home’s bathrooms. Nothing. You rush to the kitchen. Nope. You check out your laundry room. All’s well. You follow the sounds and realize your worst nightmare. Your pipes have burst and the running water is in the walls. This is just one of many common plumbing issues homeowners face every day. Here are four more.
Another thing that awakens people in the middle of the night is a dripping bathroom sink or shower faucet, but thankfully, this is more of an annoyance than anything else. Drips can become problematic, however, for many reasons. First, they waste water, and this can increase your monthly bill significantly. If you live in an area where water is a concern, such as the desert, you can’t afford to lose water. Secondly, the longer the faucet, hose bib, or other plumbing fixture drips, the more damage to the fixture, which makes it costlier to replace.
Leaks and household plumbing issues go hand in hand. Any portion of the plumbing system can leak, including your septic or sewer system, and if these begin to leak, you may have an environmental cleanup issue on top of a plumbing issue. If your toilet runs sporadically 24/7, its flapper is leaking and allowing water through. If your pipes are leaking, you risk water damage inside and/or outside of your home. If your fixtures leak, such as the tub, sink, or toilet bowls, you have a real problem that needs immediate attention. Don’t put repairs off.
Plumbing can also be damaged. One of the most common ways water and sewer/septic lines are broken, clogged, or cracked is because of tree-root encroachment. If any portion of your plumbing system is underground, which it likely is, the roots push into it as the trees grow. Other causes of damage include age, abuse, ice/cold weather, and forces of nature or geologic events. An earthquake, for example, can destroy a plumbing system not only in the ground but also in the home. The shaking itself can dislodge pipes, break seals, and damage other crucial components.
Finally, if your plumbing system is old, it’s time to consider replacing it. This includes the water heater. In fact, age is the most common problem for water heaters. Depending on what you have, tank or tankless, the heater does not hold a lifespan of much longer than 10 to 20 years. Nothing is worse than looking forward to a warm and relaxing shower only to be blasted by ice-cold H20. Age also affects your other plumbing fixtures. Old-fashioned copper pipes may last a long time, but they rust, which is dangerous. New PVC piping has a limited lifespan and will eventually need replacement.
These four plumbing issues haunt homeowners day and night. Plumbing is a convenience nearly all Americans enjoy but when the systems go awry more could come into play other than a cold shower or a clogged toilet. Because plumbing handles hazardous waste, the home’s system must be in top working order at all times.