10 Common Plumbing Issues
Although chronic plumbing issues can point to a deeper problem, there are many common plumbing issues that really aren’t all that difficult to remedy. Even if you are not able to fix them yourself, these common plumbing problems can be repaired by one of our experienced plumbing professionals in no time at all, freeing up your home or business for your use as needed.
Here are the 10 most common plumbing issues, what you can do, and when to call us for assistance.
Most often dripping faucets are simply caused by a worn out internal washer. A plumbing fixture can require many such minor repairs before needing to be replaced, but sometimes you’ll need to get a new faucet installed.
Dripping faucets don’t seem like a big deal, but they are more than mildly annoying. Every drip adds up, hiking your water bills and increasing your fresh water usage, so don’t ignore it for long. With the right tools you can check and change the washer, and some savvy homeowners may be able to replace the fixture altogether.
Even though resolving a dripping faucet is pretty simple most of the time, there are still some good reasons to call us. If you keep getting drips or leaking around your faucet, it could be a sign of a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. Contact us for evaluation and plumbing repair.
Slow draining sink
Usually when a sink drains slowly there is a blockage in the drain choking off the path from sink to sewer. Just because your sink drains somewhat doesn’t mean that it isn’t clogged. But it is easier to resolve than a full sink clog.
You can try to remove the blocked drain with chemical drain cleaners. You can easily find recipes online for safe and effective drain cleaners made from all-natural ingredients found in most kitchens. More experienced or brave individuals might attempt to clear the drain by renting a plumber’s snake.
If drain cleaners haven’t worked, you don’t have a plunger or snake, or you are unable to clear the drain on your own despite several attempts, contact us for professional drain cleaning before the drain becomes completely blocked.
Clogged bath or shower drain
Clogged bath and shower drains are most often caused by hair. Regardless of age, race, or gender, everyone sheds hair every day. When that hair forms a blob with conditioner or shampoo, it flushes to the drain and clogs there.
The best thing you can do for a clogged shower drain is prevent it from happening in the future. You should clean the tub drain at least once a month. If you keep up with this chore and address any slow drains immediately, you can often avoid expensive repairs. Once a clog occurs, you can use the same methods discussed above for sink drains to attempt clearing the blockage.
If you forget to clean your shower drain for several months, you should call us for a professional drain cleaning service. Call us if you are unable to resolve the clog yourself as well.
No one is surprised to see a clogged toilet on a list of the most common plumbing issues. Most homes have a plunger in the tool cabinet, ready for frequent use. Facilities managers of commercial buildings are very familiar with plunging toilets and can usually resolve the issue in a matter of minutes.
If you aren’t able to fix a clogged toilet by plunging it, you might need to try a plumbing snake or plumber’s auger. If either of those methods don’t work, or if you can’t get your hands on the appropriate tools for the job, contact your local Midlands plumber for assistance.
A running toilet is actually much more of a concern than a clogged toilet. Clogged toilets can almost always be resolved without costly repairs, but a running toilet can be one of the most costly of all plumbing issues. The more your toilet runs, the more fresh water you waste, and the higher your water bills.
A running toilet isn’t always easy to detect. Most people leave the restroom before the toilet has finished refilling, and you may not hear the water running from other rooms. Once it is detected, don’t ignore it. The cheapest and most common repair is replacement of the flapper valve, which most people can manage on their own.
If replacing the flapper valve or using a toilet repair kit doesn’t fix the problem, there could be sediment causing the issue. This will need to be addressed by one of our professional plumbers.
Faulty water heater
Most water heaters only last about ten years, so if you recently purchased a home or commercial building there is a chance you might need to replace that system. The most common water heater problem is a faulty or extinguished pilot light, with the second most common cause being sediment.
When you notice that your gas water heater isn’t working, check the pilot light first. If you light the pilot and it continues to go out, there could be another issue that needs to be repaired. As a general rule, other than lighting the pilot you should leave all inspections and repairs to the professionals.
Low water pressure
You’ll have noticed we’ve already mentioned sediment more than once in this post. There is a certain amount of calcium and minerals in the water going through your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Over time it can build up and cause a number of plumbing problems, and it is very common in older homes. When you have low water pressure, it is usually caused by this buildup restricting water flow through the pipes or fixtures.
If your shower pressure seems low, try cleaning your shower head in vinegar to remove the sediment. You can use this same method for any plumbing fixture. If that doesn’t improve your water pressure, you need to contact us for a full plumbing evaluation to determine if repair or replacement is the best course of action.
Jammed garbage disposal
Garbage disposals are one of the most convenient kitchen contraptions ever invented. Ridding yourself of food refuse without stinking up the trash has a lot of advantages. But most people don’t realize that you can’t put all food down a garbage disposal, and when you make a mistake it can lead to costly repairs.
The first thing to do when your garbage disposal jams is turn it off, unplug it, and turn off power to the kitchen at your breaker box. Only after you are certain there is no electricity going to the unit, reach down into the disposal to see if there is a small object, such as a piece of silverware or solid food waste, caught in the blades.
You can also use a drain cleaner to remedy any clogged blades from gummy waste put down the garbage disposal. Some people try to pry the blades free with a broom handle or wrench, but this can break the unit and is not recommended. You should never attempt to free the blades with bare hands. If you aren’t able to get cut resistant gloves, leave the repair to a professional with the right personal protective equipment.
If you can’t clear the disposal easily, contact a plumber. Working with sharp blades can be dangerous, and our plumbers have industry knowledge into the inner workings of disposals and how to repair them. We can also replace your disposal if necessary.
Leaky pipes are more than a nuisance, they cause serious cosmetic or structural water damage to your property when left unchecked. They are most often caused by faulty joints in the plumbing, but can also be caused by burst pipes. Even though South Carolina is fairly temperate, it can still get cold enough for pipes to freeze when located in attics and crawl spaces.
The best way to avoid expensive repairs for leaky pipes is by signing on for one of our plumbing maintenance agreements so that weak links can be identified before water actually escapes. You can prevent frozen pipes by insulating them with materials for the purpose from your hardware store, or by leaving faucets on a slow drip overnight.
You can repair most joints temporarily with plumber’s tape, compounds, or fillers that can be purchased from your local hardware store. This will at least prevent further water damage while you are waiting on one of our plumbers to repair the leak, usually by replacing that section of pipe and the associated fittings. If you have a burst pipe call our 24 hour emergency plumbing service immediately before serious water damage occurs.
Sewer system backup
Sewer system backups are the worst of all plumbing problems. They are usually caused by a normal (but large) clog, but sewer lines can also be broken or ripped from tree roots and other underground hazards. If you have multiple clogged drains and a disgusting smell taking over your home, you probably have a sewer issue.
That doesn’t mean you have to pay for expensive repairs. Depending on the location of the problem, the utility may need to be contacted.
There are no self-remedies or temporary fixes for a sewer backup. You have to call a plumber immediately for assistance. We can come to your property, find the location of the clog or break in the sewer, determine responsibility, and make repairs as required.
Contact us today for South Carolina plumbing repair
Not only can we help you repair all plumbing issues, we can also replace your plumbing, including fixtures, pipes and fittings. Everyone in the Midlands will need a reliable and professional plumbing repair service at some point. Be prepared by enrolling in our maintenance agreement or scheduling a plumbing inspection.