Part of being a homeowner is dealing with various problems and mishaps that can occur at home. Among the most common problems faced by homeowners are issues that relate to the house’s plumbing system. The home’s plumbing system can malfunction at any time and no household is exempted from such troubles. Plumbing issues can range from minor ones such as a leaky faucet or clogged toilet–which can be readily addressed with a DIY and does not necessarily require you to hire a professional plumber–to many severe cases of pipe leaks and sewer backups.
Unfortunately, many of us still tend to neglect to take proper care of our plumbing fixtures. We only realize and pay attention to the problem when a major catastrophe finally unfolds and it’s almost too late to repair the damages suffered by most of our property and belongings at home.
Significance of a Plumbing System
According to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg, one has to value the importance of plumbing and that people should not take the plumbing system for granted. If we must recall, the early human civilizations went through extreme discomfort and sickness resulting from the lack of a proper plumbing system. People back then were so ignorant about good hygiene and with the absence of plumbing systems, were in very poor sanitary conditions that they acquired serious infections and contagious diseases. However, thanks to the discovery of plumbing, households got to have proper water control as well as a clean and sustainable water supply.
Common Plumbing Problems to Watch Out For
Since plumbing maintenance is an integral part of homeownership, people in the household have to be aware of the common plumbing problems that they will encounter at home are and how they can fix or prevent them without having to call a licensed plumber. Here are the issues that most likely occur in the house and some plumbing work you can do to help fix them:
1. Dripping faucets
This is a normal malfunction that every homeowner may witness in the home, yet no matter how small the leak is, one needs to resolve a leaky faucet before the leak turns into a larger one. Admittedly, having a dripping faucet can be quite annoying. Besides the irritating tapping sounds that go with the constant dripping, this problem causes water wastage and thus increases your water bills. Good thing, dripping faucets are something you can fix with a DIY method as long as you have the tools and the basic knowledge on disassembling and reassembling the faucet and replacing the defective parts of the faucet that cause the leaks. WM. Henderson suggests the following basic steps to fix the problem:
a. Turning off the water supply to the faucet
b. Disassembling the handles of the dripping faucet
c. Removing the cartridge or valve stem
d. Checking parts like the O-rings, rubber washers, and seals for possible damages
e. Replacing the defective parts with new exact duplicates
f. Reassembling the faucet
2. Clogged bathroom drains
With constant bathing or showering in the bathroom, it can’t be helped that soap, hair, and other residues will get accumulated over time causing the bath and shower drains to get clogged. Fixing a blocked-up drain typically needs the use of a plunger or snake. Using the plunger to unclog the drain works well if you have to ensure that the water in the shower is enough to submerge the plunger.
3. Slow drains
Like clogged drains, a slow drain is a common minor issue but is something that has to be fixed right away to prevent the drain from being completely blocked. Usually, a slow draining sink is a sign that your drain has been clogged due to food residue and/or congealed fat or grease. According to Goodman (2022), one way to unclog the drain is by pouring chemicals down the drain to dissolve the clog. Be cautious though as chemicals may damage pipes if not properly applied. A DIY alternative is using baking soda and vinegar.
4. Leaky pipes
This particular plumbing issue is especially common during winter when your pipes get frozen leading them to burst. That is why it is best to constantly do an inspection of your piping system to spot possible damages such as corrosion, cracks, blockage, and excessive water pressure, which may cause the pipes to leak. To prevent burst pipes, which will eventually result in leaky pipes if left unfixed, Architecture Lab recommends preventive measures such as letting your taps slowly drip as the constant water flow will relieve the pressure in your pipes. Also, you have to set your thermostat and let warm air circulate around your home during the cold season to prevent your pipes from freezing. If you have leaky pipes and have no knowledge at all on how to fix the problem, the ideal thing to do would be to call a plumbing professional.
5. Low water pressure
Having low water pressure can be annoying as it can affect the functions of other plumbing fixtures at home. The usual reasons for low water pressure include sediment build-up in your faucet aerators, hidden leaks, and defects (i.e. clogs and leaks) in your sewer lines and/or pipelines. That is why one should not take this problem lightly. To loosen and remove mineral deposits and sediments from your aerators, as well as your shower heads, Talmich Heating & Plumbing suggests unscrewing the faucet aerators and soaking them in white vinegar overnight. If the problem continues despite cleaning your aerators and shower heads, then it’s time to ask help from a plumbing specialist to look deeper into underlying conditions in your plumbing.
Lessen Plumbing Expenses, Lighten Homeowner’s Problems
Being a homeowner can be quite of a handful sometimes. Before matters get worse and require expensive plumbing service, you can prevent these common household plumbing problems.
Look out for our next blog post as we will share the remaining 5 Common Plumbing Problems to guide you on how to control and lessen plumbing expenses.