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4 Most Common Plumbing Problems

homeowner with leaky pipe under sink

4 Most Common Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems come in various forms, and as a result, the cost of their repairs range from inexpensive to very costly. The best solution to most potential problems is to catch them early. Plumbing issues can easily become exacerbated if left alone for too long. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most common plumbing problems and how to recognize them. Knowledge is power when it comes to household maintenance, and it always helps to know exactly which situations require a phone call to your plumber!

Leaks: one of the most common plumbing problems

It’s probably more uncommon that you’d find an adult that has never dealt with a leaky pipe or dripping faucet. As well as being a nuisance, leaky faucets waste water and drive up your water bill. According to the EPA, the average U.S. family’s household leaks waste 10,000+ gallons of water a year (enough for 270 loads of laundry!). When left unmaintained over time, leaking bath faucets can grow into a worse problem that is even more costly to repair. What started as a simple washer or gasket replacement can lead to gutting walls and tile for an unwanted bathroom remodel. To say the least, it is best to quickly fix any leaks as soon as you notice them.

There are a few simple tricks to check for leaks you can’t hear or see in your home. The EPA recommends an evaluation of your water usage in the colder months, such as January or February. If your family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, it’s likely that you may have a serious leak. Another method is to monitor your water meter over a two hour period. If your water meter changes at all when water has not been in use, that is also a telltale sign that there is a leak.

Slow, clogged drains

The second most common plumbing problem we see is slow or clogged drains. Often, when a home has one clogged drain, it is simply because foreign objects have become lodged inside the drain. Foreign objects may be things like hair and soap in your bathroom sink or tub drain, or food and fat particles in your kitchen sink. Fortunately, this is one of the common plumbing problems that isn’t too difficult to fix. Routine drain cleaning can take care of it in a cinch. However, if left unmaintained, clogged drains may worsen over time, leading to expensive repairs and potential water damage.

When your home has multiple clogged or slow drains, it may be a sign of a bigger sewage problem. Multiple clogs, bubbling toilets or drains, or sewage odors from your drain are all signs that your sewer is backed up. A backed up sewage line is a serious issue that necessitates a call to your plumber as soon as you notice this problem.

Running toilets

A running toilet is next on the list of common plumbing problems. This issue is usually caused by your toilet flapper valve, which may be old, damaged, or blocked by an obstruction. According to New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, a running toilet could be wasting anywhere from 30 to 4,000 gallons of water per day. They estimate your running toilet could be costing you $0.41 cents per day for a small leak or even up to $55 per day for a large leak. That being said, a running toilet is not something that should be overlooked. Contact your plumber so as not to waste more water or money on that running toilet!

Faulty hot water heater

Imagine this – you’re mid-shower, rinsing the shampoo from your hair, when suddenly the water turns freezing cold. As unfortunate as it sounds, this may be the only way you notice a problem with your hot water heater. A faulty water heater can be caused by a multitude of problems such as sediment buildup, thermostat issues, loose or broken electrical connections, or improper installation. Your water heater may not be the right type to support your growing family, or it could just be the pilot light failing to ignite. Fortunately, the pilot light is the easiest of these problems to fix, but for all the others, you may need to contact a professional.

The best way to avoid hot water heater issues is to have yours inspected and maintained on an annual basis by your plumber. Luckily, OSI Comfort Specialists provides full service plumbing with Insured, Licensed, and Certified Master Plumbers available for all of your plumbing needs. If you have been experiencing any of the common plumbing problems above or require annual maintenance, give us a call at 516-763-1400.