Plumbing issues can range from minor and inexpensive, such as a dripping faucet or running toilets, to more severe problems like a sewer system backup or burst pipe. Some minor problems can be repaired with a few basic supplies from the nearest hardware store. Identifying common plumbing issues means you’ll know when to fix the problem and when to call a plumber.
Common Plumbing Issues: Dripping Faucets
Dripping faucets are a common issue in a home, often caused by worn-out O-rings. A single faulty faucet can drip thousands of gallons and increase your water bill. Fortunately, dripping taps are one of the most manageable plumbing issues to fix by yourself.
Use these steps to repair a dripping faucet.
- Locate the isolation valve to the tap and turn it off.
- Plug the drain.
- Separate the decorative caps, usually marked “Hot” and “Cold’ on the handles. Use a screwdriver and gently pry them off.
- Replace the O-ring.
- Reassemble the faucet.
- Turn the isolation valve back on, and open the tap.
If dripping persists, call a professional plumber. There could be a more significant issue within the faucet.
Repairing a Running Toilet
Another common plumbing issue that many homeowners are familiar with is a running toilet. Like a dripping tap, a leaking toilet wastes water. A leaking toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. A running toilet is commonly caused by a faulty flapper valve that controls the water passing from your toilet’s tank to the bowl.
The fix for this problem is straightforward with a toilet repair kit. Replacing the flapper is an inexpensive and easy fix. Check for silent leaks by adding food coloring to the tank and observing. You have a leak if you notice the color seeping into the bowl.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure makes showers less enjoyable, and washing dishes becomes a hassle. There are several possible causes of low water pressure, and you may need to call a professional plumber.
Low pressure can happen when calcium deposits build up on the faucet aerator. If mineral deposits are the issue, soak the aerator in vinegar and clean it thoroughly. Low water pressure may correct itself when you install a new shower head or faucet. If the water pressure is low throughout the house or your neighbors are experiencing the same plumbing problem, the issue is most likely within the main water line. Call a plumber to troubleshoot and make repairs.