Most Common Plumbing Issues & How To Fix Them

Most Common Plumbing Issues & How To Fix Them

Posted on July 29, 2020 in Plumbing

homeowner attempting to fix plumbing issue with constantly running toilet

Common plumbing issues range from simple leaks and clogs to major backups and equipment problems. Many of these issues can be fixed by homeowners, while others require professional service from a plumber.

The most common plumbing issues include the following:

  • Dripping faucets
  • Slow or clogged drains
  • Running toilet
  • Clogged toilet
  • Leaking pipes
  • Leaking hose bib
  • Poor water pressure
  • Jammed garbage disposal
  • Sewage backup
  • Water heater problems

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Dripping Faucets

Dripping faucets are probably the most common plumbing issue, and they typically result from:

  • Damaged or dislodged washers or O rings
  • Corroded valve seat
  • Defective parts

Leaking faucets lead to gallons of wasted water, driving up utility costs if left unresolved. Fortunately, they can usually be fixed without a plumber’s help if you have the right tools and a basic understanding of how your home’s plumbing works. If DIY repairs don’t work, however, a professional from R.J. Tilley is needed.

Slow or Clogged Drains

A slow or clogged drain often happens due to debris buildup in the piping underneath. For kitchen sinks, food debris and grease are the main culprits, whereas hair and soap clog bathroom and shower drains. Clogs can be prevented by installing a drain guard and taking care of what you pour down the sink.

Running Toilet

In most cases, running toilets result from a faulty flapper valve, but they may also be caused by corroded toilet handles, sediment buildup, refill tube issues, or poorly sized flapper chains. Hardware stores carry replacement toilet parts that you can use to make the needed repairs, but if replacing a faulty part doesn’t work, you should give us a call at R.J. Tilley.

Left unattended, running toilets can waste hundreds of gallons of water each day, driving up water bill costs.

Clogged Toilet

Clumps of waste (both paper and natural) can clog a toilet. Fortunately, that can be easily fixed with a plunger in most cases, but a toilet snake may be needed for more stubborn clogs. If neither of those work, you will need to call the professionals at R.J. Tilley.

Clogged toilets are easily preventable. Be mindful not to use too much toilet paper, and don’t flush anything that isn’t meant to be flushed, such as paper towels, wipes, and feminine products.

Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes are major problems that can lead to water damage, mold growth, and wasted water when unrepaired. They often occur in the winter when water freezes in the pipes, but they can also result from corrosion, excess water pressure, blockages, or damage to joints and fittings.

You may be able to temporarily fix the issue with tapes or compounds, but replacing the leaking section of pipe or joint is the only permanent solution. In addition, you’ll want a professional from R.J. Tilley to take a look at your system to see what caused the leak in the first place and make any repairs needed to prevent future problems.

Leaking Hose Bib

The hose bib may crack during the winter months, leading to a leak that can cause damage to your home’s foundation over time. When that occurs, it will likely need to be replaced, which is best done by an R.J. Tilley professional.

To prevent future leaks from outdoor faucets, frost-proof hose bibs are recommended.

Poor Water Pressure

Low water pressure usually results from a clogged aerator ( the end of the faucet). Cleaning the aerator should resolve the issue, but if it doesn’t, it may be a symptom of problems within your home’s piping, such as a leak. In that case, you should call R.J. Tilley to resolve it since there may be a risk of water damage somewhere.

Jammed Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal may become clogged by certain substances, such as potato peelings or other tough substances that aren’t meant to go down the drain. Using the garbage disposal without running water can also lead to a blockage.

This is typically an easy fix, especially if you still have the key that came with the disposal unit. If you don’t, an Allen wrench should allow you to open it up and clear it out. If the unit has become damaged, then you may need to replace it.

Sewage Backup

Some plumbing problems, such as slow draining or clogs, may result from sewer system backup. If you have multiple slow drains and a foul odor in your home, it may be a sewage backup.

Sewer system backups may be due to clogs in the main sewer line, tree roots, or collapsed pipes. If the problem originates from your property, you’ll need to call the professionals at R.J. Tilley to fix it. If it’s located in an area outside your property line, it’s the responsibility of your city’s local water company to fix it.

In either case, you’ll want to repair the problem promptly since it could pose serious health risks over time.

Water Heater Problems

A malfunctioning water heater can occur for various reasons, such as:

  • Failed pilot light
  • Sediment buildup
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Corrosion
  • High water pressure
  • Leaking valves

If left unattended, these problems can lead to poor heating and may result in a total failure for the unit. Calling a professional at R.J. Tilley is necessary if you experience poor water heating or low hot water pressure.

Future water heater problems can be prevented by regular annual inspections and preventive maintenance.

Solving Household Plumbing Issues

Many common plumbing issues can be fixed without involving a professional. However, R.J. Tilley will provide a more complete and reliable solution, particularly for complex issues.

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