Let’s face it; everyone loves indoor plumbing. It is perhaps one of the most significant advancements of the modern age. We no longer have to fetch water from a stream or well. Using the bathroom doesn’t require leaving our house. And of course, we have heated water in which to take a bath or shower.
Of course, even the greatest of inventions don’t always work the way we want them to. The internet is offline. The electricity goes out. Water starts backing up or leaking into your home.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can follow to troubleshoot plumbing problems before they get out of hand. Some of these issues are easy to handle, but others will require the attention of a professional.
Not every problem is going to be overly evident before it becomes a more significant issue. When troubleshooting plumbing problems, it’s important to be observant of the small things. Is your water bill higher than usual? Do you hear dripping coming from the faucet after you shut it off? These might sound like simple steps, but they can make the difference between discovering a small problem early, or paying for a big problem in the future.
Determine where the problem exists. Is it originating in the basement or from a pipe under the sink? Find the source of the issue, and then you can begin to assess the problem. At this point, you should be able to decide whether you can handle the problem yourself, or if you’ll need the assistance of a professional.
Those pesky toilets are a little intimidating to most people, but with a bit of attention, they can be efficiently managed. When flushing, make sure you’re hearing listening for the usual sounds of water running. If it doesn’t, drains slowly, or begins to back up, you know you’ve got a problem.
Learn to read your water meter system, and know what the information provided means. Be aware of the amount of water your household is consuming, but also understand that small leaks are not going to make a substantial difference in your water meter reading.
Slow tub or sink drains can cause a fast headache. No one wants to deal with the mess created when water overflows as a result of a gradual drain. Sometimes these problems can be easily fixed by cleaning out the sink trap, which causes a slow flow. Anytime you notice water not draining as quickly as it should, begin troubleshooting immediately.
Outdoor water leaks can cause indoor problems. If an outdoor connection is broken or cracked, you may see damage to the side of your house. Often if these leaks are not addressed by a professional, it can lead to problems with water inside the home as well.
No one wants to deal with a sewer line backing up, but sometimes this is a reality. Most often, a sewer line backup occurs when toilet water comes up through the drain in the tub or shower. It’s possible some roots or an abundance of rain are the culprits. Contact a qualified professional to come out and troubleshoot plumbing problems of this nature.
The most common source of low water pressure is mineral buildup in the faucet aerator. While this type of plumbing problem is an easy fix, look for more significant issues if this doesn’t fix it. It’s possible a pipe may have burst, or a leak is occurring somewhere else in the house. You may also have a blocked pipe. Of course, if you suspect any of these may be the source of the problem, reach out to your local professional plumber immediately.
Some of the issues stated you can manage and address yourself (it’s always good to atleast have a look – we are always learning!), while others are going to require the attention of a professional. Troubleshoot plumbing problems to ensure that you are making the appropriate assessment. Small plumbing issues can turn into a huge hassle in the future if not dealt with swiftly and appropriately. If you’re not sure, contact your local licensed plumber to come out and take a look.