Plumbing is one of the most important systems you have in your home, and knowing how to identify warning signs before you encounter major repairs is important. Many plumbing problems can be avoided, but it’s important to know when you’re going to need a plumber. While you may be able to handle toilet clogs and simple leaks, there are many more issues that will require a professional plumbing service. Here are five signs to watch out for that tell you when it’s time to call a professional plumber.
1. Low Water Pressure
A decrease in your water pressure can really disrupt your day. Are your showers taking twice as long because of the lack of pressure in your shower head? Maybe you’re unable to do the dishes in a timely manner due to your slow, low-pressure faucets. If your bathroom and kitchen faucets are steadily dropping in water pressure, you may have a clogged aerator.
The faucet aerator helps to add air to your faucets while reducing the amount of water flow. A properly working aerator reduces your water output while maintaining the pressure level. Sediment and waste can build up in your faucet’s aerator over time. To clear this, start off by cutting the water supply to your sink. Once you’ve turned the hot and cold water lines off, you can then remove the aerator from the end of your faucet and clean it.
If this isn’t the problem, you may have a water leak or a broken pipe somewhere within your plumbing system. Start contacting plumbing companies immediately to have a licensed professional identify the problem.
2. Septic Odor
The plumbing system inside your home consists of a network of pipes, traps and vents. Plumbing fixtures like your sink and shower all connect to this system of pipes that carries wastewater to the public sewer system. It then removes the waste for treatment, and provides a vital barrier that prevents bacteria and sewer gases from entering the home.
Should the trap or vent not be working properly, it can lead to low or high pressure in the drains. High pressure in the drains can force sewer gas to escape through toilets, causing a pungent odor that’s an unpleasant mixture of bacteria and sewer gas. Low pressure leads to siphoning in the traps whenever you drain your plumbing fixtures. If the traps become dry, sewer gas will leak directly into the house. If you smell sewer gas in your home, you’ll need the help of a plumber to disconnect the vent pipes and clean them.
3. Gas Odor
Your home may use natural gas to power heat and various home appliances. Natural gas has no naturally occurring smell, thus a leak can go undetected and cause significant harm. That’s why mercaptan gas is added to natural gas, making it detectable due to the sulphur smell, or rotten egg smell, that results.
Gas leaks can cause dizziness, nausea, fatigue and throat irritation in both humans and animals. Other signs of a gas leak are:
- Hissing or whistling sounds near a gas line
- A visibly damaged gas line
- Bubbles in standing water
If you feel any symptoms, notice the above signs or smell rotten eggs, evacuate your home immediately. Avoid turning on any electrical appliances or turning off those in use, including your phone. Leave doors open for ventilation on your way out, and contact your local fire department to report the leak once safely outside. Be sure to contact a plumbing specialist to have your gas-burning appliances and pipeline valves inspected.
4. Slow Drainage
Is your bathtub taking forever to empty out after each bubble bath? Perhaps you’re continuously dealing with water backup when you do the dishes every night and it’s getting in the way of your chores. When you notice your drains failing to keep up with your water consumption, it’s time to take a closer look at your drain pipes.
Slow draining could be as simple as a clog that needs to be removed, but the problem could be much more severe. If only one appliance is continually backing up, it’s most likely an isolated problem that won’t affect the rest of your plumbing. If multiple fixtures aren’t emptying out as quickly as they need to, you’ll need to start searching “plumbers near me.” Minor plumbing inconveniences that go unchecked can become large expenses that were completely avoidable.
Chemical drain cleaners may seem like a convenient solution, but they don’t always get the job done. You may end up causing corrosion and further damages to your drains instead of getting rid of the blockages. Investing in professional plumbers can help you understand exactly where the problem is coming from so you can eliminate it quickly.
5. Running Water Sounds
If you hear running water in your home even when you aren’t using any water, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. The sound could be from a fractured or broken pipe that’s steadily leaking water, which will hurt your home and your wallet. Call a professional plumber immediately to help you detect your leak quickly and repair it.
When this sound comes from your toilet, it can usually be fixed by replacing the worn-out flapper, which you can do yourself with parts from the home improvement store.
Not all leaks are contained in the toilet for an easy fix. Keep an eye out for big changes in your water bill despite no change in your habits to spot hidden leaks early. Additionally, look for signs of standing water around your home, including water stains on the ceiling and floor. Paying attention to the little things can save you big in the future.