Typical plumbing problems in our home and how to solve them. When we talk about recurring problems in our homes, it is impossible to forget those related to plumbing. Plumbing is a complex system that we shouldn’t neglect and that many times we can fix by ourselves without needing the experience of a professional plumber.
It’s necessary to make a maintenance plan for good housekeeping. Yet in reality, almost nobody does. We end up reacting only when it’s too late and complicated to act on our own, and instead must resort to the services of an expert.
First, we must schedule a periodic check to make sure that everything is working as planned, especially in old houses and apartments. Once a month is adequate, so if small repairs are necessary, we can save money and do them ourselves. Nevertheless, sometimes the lack of proper tools or our indisposition (although there is a tutorial for almost any job on YouTube) leaves us no choice but to turn to a trusted plumber.
Some of the most common plumbing problems include:
Dripping or failing faucets
We need to save our money from going down the drain. Aside from the fact that a dripping faucet can drive us to the brink of insanity, it also takes a toll on the water bill. This is by far one of the most common plumbing problems.
The good news is that most of the time, this type of repair can be done without calling a professional plumber. In fact, it’s one of the most typical do-it-yourself projects.
The drip is probably due to a stiff, broken, or dislodged washer that lets a small flow of water through to create that annoying drip. This, like most problems, can get worse over time if not dealt with in a timely manner. If the leak has lasted long enough, other parts can also wear out or corrode.
Low water pressure
If the water pressure becomes reduced and we are not getting the amount and pressure of water we want from our pipes, this might either be a small problem or something much more complex.
A common cause of low water pressure is the buildup of deposits or sediment. The water passing through the pipes carries dissolved materials that can adhere to metal surfaces. A home remedy for this situation, at least for the shower head, is to place a plastic bag filled with vinegar over it overnight and see if that removes the buildup of so-called saltpeter.
If the water pressure is still low after trying this, it could be a more complex problem, such as a leak in the pipes. If this is the case, the foundation of our home could be damaged and the water bill can increase dramatically, so it’s time to call a professional.
Noisy toilets and no flushing power
If our toilet won’t stop running after a flush, it’s time to replace the tank hardware, a task we may be able to do on our own with a repair kit.
This could also be the result of the accumulation of sediment or problems with the pipes leading to the toilet, causing inefficient flushing.
Noisy toilets are a common problem in areas with “heavy” water or a high concentration of salts. Maintenance with different solutions, such as hydrochloric acid, can easily solve this problem.
Leaks can range from a minor inconvenience to a costly nuisance. It’s best to be made aware of these types of problems during monthly maintenance checks. Leaks often occur at joints, which can be temporarily repaired through the use of joint fillers.
If water is draining slowly in your sinks, tubs, or toilets, or not at all, you’ll want to address this as soon as you can.
You can fix clogged drains by using a plunger or buying a drain cleaner or clog remover. However, it’s not recommended to use these products for too long, as they can damage the pipes.
If the problem is recurring, it’s time to call in a professional.
Once the blockage has been removed, it’s a good idea to install a new drain grate. This will help avoid problems in the future.
How to Detect Water Leaks
The easiest way to confirm the presence of water leaks is through the water meter. The first thing you need to do is to locate your meter, however, before looking at it you need to turn off all the faucets and make sure that no water is being used in your home.
Once you are sure of this, look at the needle of the meter. If it’s moving it means that the water is coming out at some point in the piping. If it barely moves it means that the water leak is very small.
In this situation, the best thing to do is to wait between 1 and 2 hours to check if there was any change in the numbers shown on the meter. During this period continue to not use water. If the needle continues to move, it’s time to seek the services of an expert.
The most common pipe damages and how to fix them
The pipes of a house and their condition impact the quality of life of the home’s occupants. That is why it’s necessary to monitor your pipes and prevent possible damage. Below, we explain the most common breakdowns and how to solve them.
Blocked or clogged pipes
Clogged pipes can be caused by several factors. The most common ones have to do with the accumulation of grease or materials that then solidify.
In this case, the first recommendation is to unscrew or remove the drain covers (or grates). That way we can remove obstructions from the area. It’s also recommended to pour hot water in combination with baking soda and vinegar or purchase chemical products sold for this purpose.
However, the most important thing is to not pour waste or oil down any drains. It’s advisable to keep a grate in the shower drain to prevent hair buildup. As for the toilet pipes, it’s essential to put toilet paper and towels in the wastebasket if your piping is fragile.
Pipes with low pressure
This may be a sign of blockages, blockages, leaks, or simply a decrease in flow from the supplier.
In the latter case, simply open the stopcock a little more.
Check for possible clogging if the problem is not solved. Take into account the recommendations given in the first point.
If you cannot find the source of this problem, the best thing to do is to call a specialist.
Bad smelling pipes
If the pipes are in good condition and still bad smells persist, generally the problem comes from the dishwasher and can be prevented. Be careful not to throw waste down the drain. If waste is already in the pipes, it’s recommended to pour household or commercial substances to promote their breakdown and removal.
If the bad smell comes from the bathroom pipes and there are no obvious causes, consult an expert.
Pipes with dirty water
It’s a common inconvenience, but perhaps the easiest to solve.
Generally, it’s due to the fact that the faucets have not been open for a long time.
It’s solved by letting the liquid flow for a few seconds.
However, if the water is still dirty, it’s an indication of a deterioration of the pipe due to its age. Consulting an expert on the subject is also recommended in this case.
When there are leaks, visible or not, the help of a plumbing expert is required. Usually, parts or fittings need to be replaced. There are temporary solutions in case the leak is visible, such as insulating tape. If we are talking about a gas pipe leak, that is a completely different situation. Immediately shut off the gas at its source and call a gas expert.