Owning your first home is an exciting and new adventure, with years of improvements you can make to put your mark on your new property. When you first move into your house, you should inspect all the drains and faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms to ensure you don’t have any major problems. If you find issues with your piping systems, such as a clogged drain or a lack of hot water, reach out to a professional plumber.
An expert technician can answer your questions about common plumbing issues and help you take care of your new living space. Check out these plumbing tips for homeowners to determine when you should contact a local plumber to fix the drain issues in your house.
1. Leaky Faucets
A dripping faucet can be irritating, but it can also cost you money if you ignore it. If it leaks one drop per second, you could waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year. You may have a leaky faucet in your house because of the following reasons:
Broken washer: If your faucet drips water after you shut it off, you may have a damaged washer. This part forms the seal on the tap, but it can get loose after repeatedly using the faucet. As a result, it allows a few drops of water out of the spout.
Corroded or worn-out valve seat: The valve seat is the component at the bottom of your faucet’s handle holding the valve so that the water can turn on and off. Older brass seats can become corroded, and you would need to have them recoated. A plastic one is resistant to corrosion, but you have to replace it if it’s not working anymore.
Leaking disc cartridge faucets: The inlet and outlet seals from a disc cartridge faucet can get worn out over time. Sediment from hard water can accumulate on the seals and make it difficult for them to move. You should clean these seals so that your faucet can function correctly.
Loose or damaged O-ring: An O-ring is a small rubber component that wraps around the valve system. As you use your faucet, this part could become damaged or loose, and you’ll need to replace it if there’s a leak beneath the handle. If the problem persists after changing out the O-ring, you may need to replace your faucet.
If you’re a new homeowner, an expert plumber can answer all your questions and provide tips about how to care for your faucets and drains. They can also replace any worn-out components of your plumbing to stop the annoying drip and help you save money on your water bill.
2. Slow or Clogged Drains
As you take a shower or wash the dishes, you may notice water struggling to go down the drain. You can fix minor clogs by pulling out the food or hair stuck in your sink or tub, but if you have recurring or multiple clogs, you should consult a professional. To avoid severe drain issues in the future, only flush waste and toilet paper down the toilet, and install a hair catcher in your shower.
Your drains could be slow or clogged because of:
An obstruction in the drain: Clogged drains develop when a blockage, such as hair or a small toy, gets stuck inside and prevents water flow. Every time you try to run water in the sink, it comes back up because it has nowhere to go.
Blocked drain pipes: The home features a connection of drain pipes that lead to the main sewer line. The blockages that can cause single drain clogs can also travel into the drain pipes and affect the other sinks and showers in your house. Drain pipes can also become corroded with sediment that slows the movement of water.
Congested vent pipes: The vent pipes in your sewage system control the air pressure, bringing in fresh air from the outside and sending it through the system to keep water and other elements moving. Heavy snowfall and bird nests can get in the way of vent pipes and disrupt the airflow necessary for healthy movement.
A clogged main sewer line: If multiple drains throughout your house are clogged, you may have sewer line problems. Issues with your sewer line could cause a backup, especially if the clog starts in the lowest areas of the house.
Contact a professional to inspect your drains if you have multiple or repeating clogs because your piping could have more severe issues than what’s on the surface. You should also trust an expert to help you if you can’t remove the obstruction. Experienced plumbers have the tools needed to clean your drains and assess any damaged components that need replacement.
3. Low Water Pressure
This issue can either be gradual or sudden, but you’ll notice low pressure if water trickles out of the faucet while you’re taking a shower or rinsing your dishes. You can try to maintain the water pressure in your home by installing a filtration system to keep minerals out of your pipes that could obstruct the flow of water. This change in your water supply can be the result of any of the following problems:
Drain or sewer clogs: If blockages disrupt the flow of water through your pipes, your water pressure will decrease. You can clean out your drains to try to fix the issue.
The build-up of minerals: Another possible cause of low water pressure is the pile of sediment or minerals in the faucet aerators, showerheads or pipes. When minerals are in the way, it slows the strength and flow of your water supply.
Broken or clogged fixtures: Faucets and showerheads can develop clogs or wear and tear after excessive use. You can try cleaning the faucet, but if that doesn’t work, you would have to replace it.
Pipe corrosion: If your home was from the 1960s or earlier, you might have galvanized piping containing cast iron coated with a layer of zinc. Over time, these old pipes develop rust that could obstruct the flow of water. You would need to replace galvanized piping to repair your water pressure issue.
Broken pipe in your home: Shut off the valves, check the water meter, and wait a few hours before rechecking it. If the number on the water meter is higher than before, you have a broken pipe somewhere.
Water main break: Your water supply connects to the other lines in your neighborhood. Find out if the people next door are having trouble with their water pressure to determine whether the main water line broke. In that case, you would need to contact your water company to have them fix it.
You should call an expert plumber if you experience a sudden decrease in water pressure, or you can’t figure out the source of the problem. A plumber can repair or replace your damaged pipes and bring your water pressure back to normal.
4. Water Heater Issues
You would know if you had problems with your heater if the water in your shower or sink isn’t your desired temperature. Dripping or discolored water, puddles and noises coming from the water heater unit could also be signs that this system isn’t working. You can prevent water heater problems by regularly maintaining it and scheduling routine appointments with your plumber.
Here are some of the reasons why you may be having trouble with your water heater:
Leaks: Puddles or water dripping around the bottom of your tank could mean there is an internal failure somewhere in the unit. Call a professional immediately and let them handle this situation before it gets worse. A leaking water heater could result in flooding that could damage your surrounding property.
Mineral deposits: Sediment can reduce the efficiency and supply of the water heater. This buildup can also produce strange noises when it heats and bursts against the heating components.
Heating element failures: Your water heater contains various components that can break down from wear and tear. Call a professional to inspect your water heater to assess which parts they would need to replace or fix.
Faulty thermostat: Check the thermostat to make sure your heater is at the right temperature. Try adjusting it several times and pay attention to whether the water turns hot or cold. If it doesn’t work, you may have to get your thermostat or heating elements replaced.
Loose or broken electrical connections: If you have an electric water heater that continually trips the circuit, the unit may be taking more energy than it needs. Contact a professional to address the issue because it could be from faulty electronic components.
The wrong system for your house: Your water heater needs to be the right size for your household to provide enough hot water for the various fixtures throughout your living space at any given time. If your water heater is too small, you should upgrade to a larger size.
You should call a professional to repair your water heater before the issue worsens. This appliance can be dangerous to try to fix on your own, and an expert plumber has the experience and resources to restore your hot water to your showers and sinks.
5. Running Toilets
Your toilet might continuously run or start bubbling at random points throughout the day. The system may still work, but it’s wasting water and disturbing the quiet in your house. Though this issue is often inevitable, you can try to prevent it by regularly inspecting the components.
Here are some of the reasons why your toilet is running:
Broken chain or flapper: The flapper is the rubber or plastic cap that keeps water from leaving the tank. Over time, it can harden and lose its seal and cause the tank to hold or refill water.
Improper water level: The overflow tube prevents your tank from overfilling so that you don’t have any floods. If the float cup is too high, some water will go into the bowl from the overflow tube and turn the valve on to fill your tank.
Water-logged float: If this component gets water trapped inside, it’ll sit in the water at a lower level than you want, and the float valve will remain open. Unscrew the float and replace it if you shake it and hear water sloshing around inside.
Broken or worn-out fill valve: The fill valve controls the water flowing into your tank, but if it breaks, it won’t be able to shut off the water supply consistently. You can have a professional replace this part of your toilet instead of trying to fix it yourself.
Leak: Put a drop of food coloring in your toilet tank to find out if it’s leaking. If the color travels to the toilet bowl, there is a leak.
Your toilet contains many parts that can become worn-out or broken over time. Call a plumber to replace these elements to save water and have a peaceful quiet in your home again.
6. Leaky Pipes
You would know if your pipes are leaking if you find a puddle below the pipes or you hear dripping in the walls or under the sink. If your piping hasn’t started to leak, you can prevent it from happening by scheduling an inspection with a professional plumber. They can check your pipes for weak spots or damage and make repairs as necessary.
Pipes may leak because of the following reasons:
Recurring clogs: Blockages in your drains can cause back-ups that increase the pressure in your pipes. If the clogs cause a leak, you should avoid using commercial cleaners to fix it, because the acidic chemicals could further corrode your pipes. Instead, you should schedule an appointment with a plumber to clean your drains and assess why your pipes are clogged.
Natural shifting of the home: Houses move to accommodate the natural adjustment of the earth beneath it. The foundation and walls may force your pipes to shift or separate. Your piping system could leak and even rupture if the separation is severe enough. Call a professional plumber to readjust your pipes if you believe this shifting is the reason for the leak.
High water pressure: Most pipes have a recommended pressure maximum, but your water supplier may send it out at a higher pressure. If the water pressure is too extreme, your pipes could burst and leak.
Pipe corrosion: Metal pipes can corrode because the minerals in hard water scrape away at their insides. Call a professional plumber to fix the corrosion as soon as possible so that they don’t suffer from severe destruction.
Leaky pipes could result in floods throughout your house. Call a local plumber immediately to inspect and repair the leaks so you can prevent further damage.
Dick Ray Master Plumber Will Fix Your Drain Issues
If you’re a new homeowner in the Kansas City area, we’d like to welcome you to the neighborhood. If you have any plumbing problems like water backing up or running toilets, we offer complete plumbing services to help you clean and repair your new drains. Schedule an appointment online or call 913-888-0550 for more information.