Owning a home can be both exciting and exhausting. While it can be your space to decorate and make your own, it can also come with a lot of unforeseen problems that need fixing. One of the most common areas of home issues is the plumbing system. Your home’s plumbing system is most likely being used every single day, more than once a day. Whether you’re using the bathroom, taking a shower, running the dishwasher, or watering the lawn, the pipes in your home are constantly working.
Some of the most common plumbing problems to be aware of are as follows:
- Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are a common occurrence in the home. This is especially true if there are people in the home who have longer hair, as strands that have fallen out are often the cause of a clogged drain. Other items that may cause a blockage include smaller objects such as earrings, dead skin, finger or toenails, and for kitchen sinks, food debris that couldn’t be broken down by the garbage disposal. Sometimes clogged drains can be fixed relatively quickly in a DIY process using a clothing hanger, a drain snake, or a drain-clearing solution like Drain-O. However repeated DIY solutions, especially the chemical clearing solution, can actually damage your drain more than you think. For a drain that suffers from recurring clogs, it is best to call a plumber.
- Leaking Faucets
Leaky faucets, aside from generating a drip-drop noise that can drive you insane, are a major money suck. From an environmental standpoint, leaking faucets can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which equates to more than 180 showers. Fiscally, your leaking faucet can nearly triple your yearly water bill. If you notice that you have a showerhead or a sink that won’t stop dripping, check the faucet head. Sometimes leaky faucets can be fixed simply by tightening the faucet as they are known to loosen over time. However, if this quick fix isn’t successful it is best to call plumbers. Picking and pulling at the faucet may just lead to more damage than was originally there.
- Running Toilet
Running toilets are similar to leaky faucets, in that they both include a waste of water that can be stopped. However, because toilets use more water than a faucet does, running toilets can waste 20-30 gallons of extra water per day, and that’s for a small standard toilet. Medium-sized toilets will waste far more than that. Similar to the leaking faucet, running toilets can often be fixed at home by tightening the pipes that may be causing the leaks. However, toilets can be more delicate than faucets and can lead to many more problems. Too much force can damage the toilet pipes which can make for an out-of-commission bathroom and a big, big mess.
- Low Water Pressure
Aside from being enjoyable, low water pressure can actually be a marker for something more serious. Low pressure can be caused by something as minor as calcium build-up in the showerhead, or something as big as cracked, corroded, or blocked sewer pipes. For the lighter problem of calcium blockage, hang a ziplock bag of vinegar and baking soda around the showerhead. Leave it there for a few hours and let the chemical reaction dissolve the build-up. However, if the root of the problem exists in the pipes, it would be best to call a professional plumber to diagnose the issue and decide how to move forward in fixing it.
- Water Heater Troubles
Sudden temperature changes in your water, from hot to cold, can be indicative of more than just running out of your home’s supply of hot water. Water heaters can develop problems over time that make for an uncomfortable surprise when showering or washing your hands. Common issues within water heaters include the pilot light going out, a buildup of sediment in the tank, or a faulty thermostat. While some of these problems, like the pilot light, have a simple fix, others are more complicated. Similar to other home plumbing problems, DIY work can only go so far. Too much do-it-yourself work and you could find yourself with some much larger, more stressful issues.
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Plumbing issues can be a hassle and left unattended, they can cause some costly problems. The best way to avoid major plumbing problems is to be aware of the common ones that many homeowners face. Knowing what to look for, and how to fix them, can save you some money in the long run. However, while DIY work can be cheap and effective, for more complicated issues, it is usually best to call a professional plumber. These trained workers can help you diagnose and fix an issue without all the extra hassle and cost that comes with doing it on your own.