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Did you know the average home’s plumbing leaks account for 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year? What’s more, ten percent of households have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more each day. (Yikes.) It turns out that leaky faucet in the kitchen isn’t just annoying — it’s environmentally damaging.
Of course, leaks are not the only plumbing problems plaguing the average home. Here is a look at five common plumbing issues every homeowner should look out for:
1. A Running Toilet
Does it seem like your toilet never stops running? If you’re unsure whether the toilet needs fixing, your water bill will be the first to let you know. Not only is a running toilet costly, but it prevents you from flushing (which is a total nuisance).
There are a few possible reasons you’re forced to listen to the constant running. Your toilet’s flush valve chain could be the wrong length, there’s an issue with the refill tube, the flapper is leaking, or the float height needs to be adjusted.
2. Leaking Faucets
As mentioned previously, a leaky faucet is frustrating and costly. A dripping faucet head or leaking around the spout is enough to drive anyone insane — what’s causing it?
In many cases, the faucet’s O-ring is the culprit. If you’re noticing water oozing out around the spout, the O-ring likely needs tightening or replacing. Other potential suspects include a loosened washer and a corroded valve seat.
If you can’t seem to pinpoint the problem, a professional plumber should take a look to determine the cause.
3. Low Water Pressure
Do you ever feel truly clean after a low-pressure shower? Water pressure problems can be irritating. What causes it, exactly? Two of the most common causes of low water pressure are debris or corrosion in the piping system.
If debris buildup is the culprit, flushing the pipes on your own is an option. On the other hand, pipe corrosion is a sign it’s time for a replacement, which a local plumber can take care of. The good news? Your piping system typically lasts around 20 years, so replacing it isn’t needed very often.
Another cause of low water pressure is leaking pipes since the proper amount of water isn’t flowing to the right place. If this is the case, plumbing repair is needed.
4. Clogged Drains
If you’re standing in ankle-deep water in the shower or your sink is taking forever to drain, you’re likely dealing with clogging issues. A number of blockages can clog your drains, including hair, grease, oil, feminine hygiene products, dirt, and too much toilet paper.
To combat a clog, try pouring a small pot of boiling water down the drain, or use a drain cleaner. Routine plumbing maintenance is essential to preventing clogs, and if they become too difficult to take care of yourself, a professional will check them out and determine the best solution.
5. No Hot Water
Wondering where all the hot water went? If you have a large number of people fighting for the shower, your water heater might not be able to keep up. Other issues include a leak in the gas line, a thermostat that needs adjusting, sediment buildup in the water heater tank, or a problem with the shower mixing valve.
Worst case scenario, you may need to replace your water heater; however, many can last up to 12 years, so it’s important to check every other potential cause first. (Plumbing services can help with that.)
Tackle Plumbing Problems and More
Plumbing problems are definitely a nuisance, but the solutions are often less complicated than you think. Now that you’re aware of the most common issues, you can figure out the best ways to solve them and determine when to call a plumber.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our lifestyle section!