As professional plumbers, we’ve seen a lot of emergency plumbing issues. Some of these are the result of older homes with inferior pipes and systems. The natural wear and tear on joints and valves can present challenges to home owners and apartment dwellers in these out-of-date properties.
However, most of the more common issues we encounter can happen in any home at any time… and most of these are avoidable, believe it or not. Here is a list of some of the most common plumbing problems we tackle on a daily basis with some quick pro tips on how to prevent or at least mitigate the problem.
Leaky Faucets and Pipes
At best, leaky faucets and pipes can be a nuisance with dripping noises and money going down the drain. At worst, if left unchecked, leaks can cause major damage to walls and floors. With regard to faucets, oftentimes parts such as washers can be worn out over time. Luckily, this is a fairly easy fix in most instances. Sometimes, this repair requires the replacement of a cartridge for the valve which can often be found either at the local hardware store or with the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty by ordering direct. Prevention from early onset of wear really comes from gently using the faucet and not applying too much force to turn on or off the water.
Pipes, however, can pose some other challenges and may require the expert hand of a plumbing professional. If you notice discoloration in your ceiling or buckling in your floors, contact a plumber right away!
Clogged Drains or Toilets
Panic seems to set in every time we’re doing the dishes and the sink fills with dirty water or the toilet is flushed but the water level in the bowl continues to rise. We’ve written a few helpful tips in the past about preventing clogs including what should and shouldn’t go down the drain. For instance, avoid dropping food leavings in the kitchen sink, especially without a disposal unit. Plus, only flush toilet paper and biological waste down the toilet – other things such as sanitary pads, garbage, and paper towels are certain to backup your toilet with a watery mess.
If you have a clog, using a toilet plunger – the kind with a flange – can be a real lifesaver!
Low Water Pressure
Many times low water pressure is the result of mineral buildup behind the aerator of faucets. The aerator is the screen held on by a fixture at the end of a faucet. This part can be unscrewed easily and inspected for buildup. If you find the screen is clogged, you can replace with a new aerator or you can clean your existing one.
However, another more formidable problem could be taking place. In older homes especially the water main may have sprung a leak or cracked. If you suspect this, getting professional help is necessary, and it may require the assistance of your city, village, or municipality.
Water Heater Problems
To maintain a good supply of hot water, you need a reliable water heater. The first line of defense is to check the age of your water tank. If it’s older than 15 years, replace it with the help of a plumber. If it’s not, check to make sure that your pilot light is working. Sometimes, mineral deposits can form in your hot water tank, so bleeding your water heater can help promote the health of the unit for reliable delivery of hot water when you need it.
Overflowing Sump Basins
Simply put, a well-functioning sump pump is a homeowner’s best friend. Your best preventative measures for flooding in the basement are to ensure that you have a sump pump that is less than 8-10 years old and that you have a battery back-up system.
If any of these things happen to you, don’t feel bad. These are much more common than you think. We hope with just a little knowledge here, you might be able to prevent problems or reduce the impact of them should you run into trouble.
We’re here for you 24/7 as your professional plumbing team. Use the button below to schedule a free consultation whether you have a nagging little leak or you have a major sewer backup.