Are you a homeowner in Georgia, or South Carolina, dealing with plumbing problems?
You’ve probably tried to fix a few things yourself over the years. Do you know how to tell when a plumbing issue should be handed over to a professional plumber?
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), household leaks waste almost a trillion gallons of water annually! What’s more, the EPA points out that the water wasted could have otherwise served around 11 million homes. By ensuring that your home’s plumbing system is in good shape, you can save money on your water bills all year round.
If you want to avoid sending money down the drain and risking damage to your property, you need to know the warning signs of plumbing problems.
We’re going to explain all about low pressure, slow drainage, leaks, jams, and blockages. Read on!
One of the most common plumbing issues involves weak flow coming out of your taps or showerhead.
Whether the showerhead or faucet is affected, you’ll want to try unscrewing the aerator to remove any residue build-up. If mold is present, make sure to wear personal protective equipment before cleaning, including gloves and a mask. Remove any mineral deposits and soak the showerhead in vinegar if required until a good flow is re-established.
You’ll want to note whether the low pressure is limited to one faucet or if the problem is systemic. A weak pressure present in all faucets could indicate a pipe leak, especially in a home that’s getting older. We’ll delve into leaks next.
There are several hot and cold water piping materials used within homes. Newer homes tend to favor PEX (polyethylene) piping, which is flexible to temperature change and less susceptible to long-term corrosion. In an older home, copper pipes are more likely to be installed, and these can crack if water freezes and expands inside them during winter.
Consider keeping your home heated a little at night, and leave cupboards under the sink open to ensure the pipes get some warmth.
Hire a plumber at the first sign that you may have a pipe leak since water damage will become exponentially more expensive if you put it off. As well as destroying the contents and structure of your home, leaks can lead to mold and pests. If you can locate the leak, a temporary fix might lessen the damage, but you must call a plumber and have the pipe permanently repaired.
One of the most common and annoying plumbing problems is the incessant-dripping of a tap.
The EPA points out that in a year, a shower producing 10-drips-per-minute wastes 500 gallons of water. Even worse, a single bathtub drip every second can account for as much as 3,000 gallons of water waste annually!
If you feel ready and able to repair it, buy a replacement faucet washer and gasket from a hardware store. Ensure you have all the tools you need before you shut off the water supply and get started.
Of all the home plumbing problems that are the least fun to deal with, the toilet is right up there.
If your toilet seems to be perpetually flushing, you’re going to be facing much larger water bills. If you carefully look inside the tank, the problem may be as simple as a twisted chain that isn’t letting the flapper valve form a seal. Repair kits are quite inexpensive, though it can be a filthy job if the toilet is getting on in years.
A blocked toilet is often exacerbated by abundant use of toilet paper. If a plunger and elbow-grease are not enough to break through, you could use an auger. Take great care to follow directions-for-use, so you don’t jam the auger back on itself inside your toilet.
If you’ve got a garbage disposal unit, plumbing problems can arise if you put lots of grease down the drain.
Ensure that you use the unit sparingly, and put food in it slowly, so big chunks don’t contribute to blockages. By taking care not to overload it, you’ll be less likely to have to deal with jams.
If your garbage disposal unit is jammed, refer to the instruction manual and see if you have an unjamming key.
If your finding that within a few minutes of showering you’re standing in several inches of water, you’ve probably got an obstruction in the drain hole or pipe. If you don’t already have one, install a drain guard to prevent small debris from building up inside your pipes.
Try using an inexpensive drain cleaning tool to pull out as much hair as you can. These are long and flexible plastic strips with angled teeth to unclog sink, shower, and bathtub drains. For an obstruction that may have carried further down the pipe, look to see if there is an accessible drain catch in your basement.
It is not advisable to pour chemicals down the drain because they can corrode pipes. Baking soda and vinegar are sometimes used with success, as a less toxic alternative.
If the above steps don’t sort the problem, consider hiring a plumber.
Multiple slow draining sinks could be indicative of a backed-up sewer. If you have a noxious-smell coming out of the pipes, this could also point to the same. Be careful what you flush down the toilet, especially non-flushable wipes.
Call your water company to check if there is a blockage that’s not on your property. If it’s your responsibility, this is an unpleasant job that you shouldn’t attempt to undertake.
If you need an emergency plumber to inspect your main sewer drains, reach out to us.
We’ve shown that some plumbing problems can be tackled on your own, but others require a professional. Don’t let a problem with your plumbing escalate and cause costly damage to your property.
If you’re a homeowner in Augusta, GA, or Aiken, SC, we can help you. We are a friendly and knowledgeable plumbing service, with emergency plumbers available 24/7. Our services include repiping, installing water line replacements, heating, filtration, and softening systems.
Contact us today to request a free estimate or schedule service.