Ignoring plumbing problems does not mean they will miraculously fix themselves and go away. Rather, they tend to gradually become worse and cause more damage to your home. Eventually, the problems can become so bad that you end up having to call an emergency plumbing company in the middle of the night.
Before you let your plumbing problems get that bad, let’s review five of the more common plumbing problems people experience. Having them fixed by a professional plumber sooner can save you money in the long run
- Leaky Pipes/Fittings
A small, slow leak in between a poorly connected pipe fitting or a crack that develops in older plumbing lines can become a major headache and costly repair for homeowners. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more each day.”
Think about that for just a moment. If your home has water leaks, it could easily be leaking out up to 90 gallons of water each day. The water has to go somewhere as it leaks out of the pipes and fittings. It will get absorbed by insulation, soak into the wood, and eventually seep into drywall.
Over time, this can lead to even bigger problems for homeowners, such as:
- Rotting Wood: As the wood absorbs water, it will eventually start to rot and deteriorate and weaken. This can cause the wood to become soft and pliable. Eventually, the wood can bend and even break. This could result in sagging floors, ceilings, and other support structures of the home.
- Mold and Mildew: All that is required for mold and mildew to develop is a moist, wet, and damp environment. Certain types of mold and mildew prefer the darkness. It won’t be long before you start to notice black mold growing on the walls of your home, which is a serious health concern.
- Pests and Rodents: There will be many pests and rodents attracted to a home with leaky pipes and fittings. Rodents will attempt to get into the home because it is a constant source of fresh water. Once inside the home, they can damage insulation, chew through certain types of plumbing lines, chew through electric wiring, chew through brick and wood, and build nests.
Pests can range from “water bugs” to roaches and termites. Termites like wet, rotting wood and will join in along with the damage the water leak is doing, to create even more damages to the home.
The extent of damages to the home from leaky pipes and fittings could cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to fix and repair the home. Not only do you
have to get your local plumber to fix the leaky pipes and fittings, but also tear out anything damaged by the water and, essentially, renovate portions of the home.
- Leaky Faucets/Fixtures
That constant drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet, shower head, or other fixture can be rather annoying. What you might not know is that not getting it fixed has its consequences. While not as damaging as leaky pipes and fittings, these types of leaks waste water and can increase your water, electric, and gas bills.
According to the EPA, “annual household leaks waste 1 trillion gallons nationwide,” which is the equivalent of “water use in 11 million+ homes.” Many of the leaks are in areas of the home that are easy to fix, like faucets and fixtures. Often all that is required is new internal hardware, such as new washers or a new tank flapper inside a toilet.
Furthermore, the EPA has stated that “the average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year.” As a result, the leaky faucets and fixtures in your home could be wasting around 28 gallons or more of water per day!
Keep in mind, this amount is just average water waste, and your home could be wasting a much higher amount per day. As the water is going drip, drip, drip down the drain, your water bill is going up, up, up. If the drip is from the hot water line, the costs to heat hot water are also going up, up, up.
- Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure problems can seem more of an annoyance than an actual problem. However, low pressure can be caused by a variety of issues, including:
- Crimped Plumbing Lines
- Improperly Sized Pipes
- Leaky Water Pipes/Fixtures
- Scale Buildup from Hard Water
If you notice a reduction in water pressure, it is best to call a plumbing repair service to find out what is wrong before it turns into a major repair and problem.
- Drainage Problems
Slow draining water can indicate drainage problems you will want to get checked. All sorts of things can start to create clogs inside the sewage drain lines from your home. When drains back up, anything inside the pipes can also back up into the sink, shower, tub, or toilet. Most of the time this is not pleasant smelling.
Some of the more common causes of backed-up and clogged drains include:
- Hair: The human body sheds hair while we shower and bathe. Hair clogs are common when a screened drain is not used.
- Grease/Oil: Pouring grease and oil down drains can cause clogs. As it cools, it adheres to the insides of drain pipes and solidifies.
- Food: Forcing food particles down the drain, or putting things in a garbage disposal you shouldn’t, can cause drainage problems.
- Non-flushable Items: Paper towels, baby wipes, diapers, and other personal hygiene items are not meant to be flushed down the toilet.
- Full Septic Tank: In homes with septic tanks, they need to be emptied periodically by a septic and plumbing repair service. Otherwise, they will get full and cause raw sewage to back up into the home and/or overflow into the yard. Exposure to raw sewage is a health hazard.
- Tree Roots in Sewer Lines: Tree roots can grow into sewer drain lines or even break them. If this happens, it can create a blockage and force sewer water back up the drains and toilets inside the home.
While it might be tempting to pour chemical drain removers down your sinks, toilets, and drains, it may not be the best solution. Often they do not fully resolve drainage issues because they are not designed to fix all drain problems.
In addition, the chemicals in these products can kill the “useful” bacteria found in septic tanks. The best way to deal with drain problems is with a plunger or to call in a professional.
- Rusty, Dirty, Unpleasant-Smelling, Metallic-Tasting, and/or Hard Water
When you experience problems with the water flowing out of the faucets in your home, it can be a symptom of a more serious issue you will want to get resolved with help from local plumbers. Some of the reasons water for rusty, dirty, unpleasant-smelling, and metallic-tasting water include:
- Water Heater Failing: If you have a tank-type water heater, the insides can accumulate sediment in the bottom as well as start to rust from the inside out. Eventually, these things can cause hot water to look rusty colored, to smell, or to create metallic-tasting water.
- Corroding Plumbing Lines: If your home has older plumbing lines with galvanized steel or lead pipes, they will eventually start corroding and release rust into the water. They can also make water smell and taste bad—not to mention the health hazards of using lead plumbing in your home.
- Well Water Needs to Be Filtered: Sometimes the rusty, dirty, and metallic-tasting or smelly water is because these issues are coming from your well. There are various water filtration systems you can use to help treat the water, remove rust and dirt, and make the water pleasant tasting and odor-free.
Any home with well water normally has hard water. Hard water means there can be calcium and other minerals in the water. These things can leave a white residue and scale on various plumbing fixtures, inside pipes, and in hot water heaters.
Over time, the scale buildup can cause water flow issues and other problems that result in replacing fixtures more frequently. Additionally, hard water requires using more detergents, soaps, shampoos, and other cleaning products to achieve the desired results. The easiest way to solve issues related to hard water is to have your plumber install a whole-home water softener.
As you can see, these five plumbing problems do have financial impacts that can range from having to worry about increased water, electric, and gas bills to expensive home renovations. If you notice any of these symptoms or have other plumbing issues or concerns, please feel free to contact A+ Services at 360-464-2493 today! We serve the Olympia, Thurston, and Pierce County areas, as well as offer 24-hour emergency plumbing services.