10 Most Common Plumbing Issues

Plumbing issues in your home come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from the relatively minor and inexpensive -- like a dripping faucet or running toilet, all the way up to a major sewer system backup.

Below are the 10 most common problems, what causes them, and how they can be fixed.

  • Clogged bath or shower drain
  • Dripping faucets
  • Slow draining sink
  • Running toilet
  • Clogged toilet
  • Leaky pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Jammed garbage disposal
  • Faulty water heater
  • Sewer system backup
most common plumbing issues
1.  CLOGGED BATH OR SHOWER DRAIN

Slow draining bathtubs and shower drains generally get blocked by clogs of hair and soap scum that build up on the walls of the drain. The problem will generally get worse over time, if it’s not dealt with properly. The problem can be prevented or minimized by buying a drain guard to catch hair and other items.

DIY ways to help you with a clogged drain:
 - Which Plunger Should I Use?
 - How to Unclog a Slow Drain
 - All Natural Ways to Clear That Clog!

The average homeowner can tackle this, but it requires the correct tools.
common plumbing issue - dripping faucet
2.  DRIPPING FAUCETS

Dripping faucets are very common and it's rare to find someone who hasn't experienced this issue. It's not just a source of irritation; the waste of water increases your water bill and costs you money. A single faucet can drip away hundreds of gallons over the course of a year.

The cause of dripping faucets in most cases is an internal washer that has become worn, torn, stiff, or dislodged over time. Fixing the problem is often achievable by the average homeowner, but it requires the correct tools.

common plumbing issue - dripping faucet
3.  SLOW DRAINING SINK

This problem is normally caused by a blockage that is restricting water flow. Your kitchen sink drain may contain things like congealed fat and food remnants. In a bathroom sink, the blockage is more likely to be caused by knotted hair and soap scum.

Here are some things to try to help fix a slow drain:
 - Which Plunger Should I Use?
 - How to Unclog a Slow Drain
 - All Natural Ways to Clear That Clog!

If the problem isn't tackled, then it will likely worsen over time, and eventually, the drain can become completely blocked.

Note: Chemicals can cause damage to your drainage pipes, so we recommend not resorting to this method to help clear out drains in your home. Shower drains are prone to getting clogged by hair and soap scum. The problem can be especially acute if the users have longer hair which causes large knots. There are drain strainers you can get that can help to prevent problems from developing by catching the hair before it goes down the drain.

common plumbing issue - slow draining sink
4.  RUNNING TOILET

A running toilet can lose up to 200 gallons of water each day. The most common culprit is a faulty flapper valve that controls the water that passes from the tank to the bowl. This is a fairly straightforward fix with a toilet repair kit available at any hardware store. If the flapper isn’t the issue, it may be the toilet fill valve that needs to be replaced.

Check out these DIY ways to fix a running toilet:
 - Replace Toilet Flapper
 - Replace Toilet Fill Valve

common plumbing issue - running toilet
5.  CLOGGED TOILET

When the toilet bowl fills up and doesn't drain away, you've got a clog. Assuming that a toy or foreign object wasn’t flushed down the toilet, the blockage is normally caused by a mixture of paper and human waste. Clogged toilets can normally be fixed with a plunger. If that doesn't work then a sewer snake or drain auger can be used to loosen up the blockage.

common plumbing issue - clogged toilet
6.  LEAKY PIPES

Leaky pipes can be more than just a nuisance, they can cause damage to your floors, walls, and furniture, and the dampness can encourage mold to grow as well as attracts bugs. Leaks almost always happen at the pipe joints. Tape, compounds, and fillers can often provide a temporary fix, but for something more permanent replace a piece of pipe or the related fittings.

Leaks are more common in the winter when water can freeze, expand, and cause pipes to burst. Here are some other common areas where you can find leaks in your home.

common plumbing issue - leaky pipe
7.  LOW WATER PRESSURE

If your water trickles out of the tap this may be a result of low water pressure. This is often a problem in older homes. Low water pressure can be caused by leaking pipes that have become broken, worn, or corroded over time. More often than not, it's caused by a build-up of sediment and mineral deposits on aerators. You can soak the aerator in vinegar to clean it. If it's the shower that's the problem, then you need to either soak the showerhead in vinegar or simply replace it. (video)

If the low water pressure seems to be throughout the whole house, that is usually due to a bad pressure regulating valve (PRV) that may need to be replaced or adjusted with the help of a licensed plumber.

common plumbing issues - low water pressure
8.  JAMMED GARBAGE DISPOSAL

Garbage disposals are very useful appliances, but they do get jammed. Running them without water, disposing of certain food substances such as potato peels or corn husks, or allowing silverware to get inside can all cause problems. It’s best to throw away as much as you can into the garbage and not put things down the garbage disposal and only use it for the things that couldn’t be thrown away.

If you flip the switch on your disposal and aren’t hearing it turn on, try hitting the reset button on the bottom of the unit under your sink. If you hear it turn on and it is buzzing, but nothing is moving, then you can try and use the key that comes with the garbage disposal, or a 1/4 inch Allen wrench to move it back and forth to free the motor of debris or items that are jammed in it.

common plumbing issue - jammed garbage disposal
9.  FAULTY WATER HEATER

You may not discover a problem with your water heater until you are in the shower and the water suddenly goes cold. There are multiple issues that can cause a water heater to fail. The pilot light may go out, the build-up of sediment in the tank can also cause problems. Sometimes the water heater is old and not functioning well or has a leak.  PODCAST LINK - video and audio

common plumbing issue - faulty water heater
10.  SEWER SYSTEM BACKUP

Sewer system backups are, frankly, a nightmare. They are smelly, nasty, inconvenient, and can be expensive to fix. If you have multiple drains and toilets not working and a bad odor of human waste, this is likely your problem.

Responsibility for fixing the issue really depends on the location of the blockage. If it is on your property, then it's your problem. If it's out on the public road, then your local utility company should fix it. Unfortunately, you may have to pay for a plumber just to locate the blockage, though it's often worth calling your utility company first, as they won't charge you if it's their issue.

There are three common causes for a sewer system backup. You can have root intrusion, pipe belly, or pipe misalignment.

common plumbing issue - sewer system backup


We’ve listed the 10 most common issues that occur in your home and can result in the need for plumbing work. You can prevent or minimize problems from occurring if you know the types of things that most often go wrong with the plumbing in your home.

Some issues may require the help of a professional plumber. If you feel you are in over your head with a plumbing problem or have tried to fix something and it didn’t take care of the issue,  don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be happy to help!


Other helpful articles:

    🛠️ DIY videos from Any Hour Services
    🎙️  Listen to Our Podcast  - In the House
    
🎥 Watch our VLOG - Along For The Ride


 
Author: Tammy Nelson
Copyright © 2021 by Any Hour Services

 

Mar 30th 2021

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