When you become a homeowner, your new status brings a blend of pros and cons.
On the one hand, you are now the proud possessor of your very own bricks and mortar. It will not only provide you with a roof over your head but can also serve as a potential form of investment for the future.
On the other hand, you are now responsible for a substantial construction, complete with potentially quirky wiring and plumbing systems – particularly if you own a more ‘mature’ home, at least several decades old. While you may have had every aspect of your property surveyed before you bought it, even the most robust plumbing system will eventually go wrong, even if on a very minor level.
Now, while many plumbing issues aren’t much to be concerned about and can be quickly and relatively cheaply repaired, it’s always best to be prepared and monitor your home for any potentially worrying signs. Knowing what to look out for can help you spot problems in good time and hopefully get them sorted out before they can become more damaging and expensive to repair.
To help you stay on top of your plumbing requirements, here are some of the most commonly occurring household plumbing problems and some top tips for how to deal with them.
Drip, Drip, Drip
A slowly but steadily dripping tap – it’s a simple, seemingly innocent sound, but one that can strike a chill through any homeowner’s heart. Not only does a leaking faucet mean wasted water (and money), but it can also spell trouble for your pipework and your fixtures, not to mention the area surrounding the faucet.
This is because leaking water can cause patches of rust to form on your pipes, which can weaken them over time. If you have any wood around your sink, rather than a tiled splashback, the pooling water can also cause this wood to rot, which means you will need to spend more money having it replaced. Damp surfaces are also liable to become breeding grounds for mould, which comes with its own health hazards. If any of your taps have begun to leak, it’s important that you fix them or have them replaced as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage – and to stop wasting vital water.
A Haunted Toilet
Do you have a toilet that has begun flushing by itself? If so, don’t worry, there’s no need to worry about potential poltergeist activity – but you do need to call out a plumber as soon as possible. Constantly flushing toilets can waste a significant amount of water, with a small toilet capable of going through anywhere between 20 and 30 gallons and a larger toilet wasting even more.
The good news is that a running toilet is normally caused by a very simple problem, such as a time-worn stopper. A plumber can easily replace this for you; however, you may want to consider replacing the entire cistern if yours is on the old side to prevent any further mishaps. If you’re wondering, ‘How do I find experienced and reliable plumbers near me to fix my haunted toilet?’, the answer is simple. MyBuilder can provide you with a range of free quotes from highly rated plumbers in your local area. All you need to do is choose the best person for the job, and your haunted toilet will soon be a thing of the past.
Poor Water Pressure
There are few things as frustrating as having a shower with low water pressure, particularly when you’ve had a long tiring day at work and you’re desperate for a restorative wash. Unfortunately, determining the root cause of your shower’s poor pressure may not be a straightforward task, as the issue could lie elsewhere in your home and could potentially even involve one of the major pipes.
The first thing you need to do is try and locate the source of the poor water pressure. It may be as simple as running too many appliances at once - or you could have a blockage, which can pose a much more serious problem.
However, if this doesn’t make any difference to the pressure, your next step should be to go around your home and test all of the faucets to see if any others have pressure problems too, as the issue could be more widespread. If you do discover that a certain area of your home has problems with pressure, then you need to call in a professional to help you diagnose the full extent of the problem and determine what can be done about it.
A Clogged Drain
Blocked drains – particularly below the bathroom or kitchen sinks – are one of the most frequent plumbing problems many homeowners encounter. Fortunately, they can usually be easily treated by using some powerful drain clearing chemicals, and by investing in plug filters, which prevent anything besides liquids from getting into your pipes and potentially blocking them up over time.
However, if you have used a drain cleaner on your blocked drain and it still isn’t clearing, it’s important that you call in a professional plumber to take a look, particularly if the drain in question is rather tricky to reach. Even if it requires a little bit of excavation, an experienced plumber will be able to access the drain and repair it for you.
A Blocked Toilet
Blocked toilets are undoubtedly one of the most unpleasant plumbing issues we face. They can be caused by a simple mistake, such as using too much toilet paper and can be cleared with some brisk plunging. However, in other cases, the problem can be more serious. For example, if the toilet in question is overflowing, and other areas in the home are also experiencing backed-up sewage and water, then you will need to call in reinforcements right away – not least because water damage can be incredibly costly.
An experienced plumber will be able to sort out the blockage for you and can also give you advice on how to avoid this problem in the future.
Of course, if you use a septic tank system for your plumbing needs, then the problem may be related to your tank and not to your toilet at all. An overfull septic tank can cause backed-up sewage and water in your home and needs to be emptied immediately.
Mould Or Mildew In Your Loft
Many of us rarely ever venture up into our lofts, and this can potentially prove to be a costly oversight, as our lofts can reveal important clues about the state of our homes which could help us prevent serious problems from occurring.
For example, if you go into your loft and find any signs of water damage or infiltration – such as mildew or, worse, mould – this can indicate a plumbing issue such as a leaking pipe, an overflowing gutter, or even a faulty downspout that needs fixing right away.
By simply going up into your attic or loft from time to time, you can make sure that there are no issues in your roof or pipework that have gone unnoticed.
By looking out for these common but potentially catastrophic symptoms of plumbing problems, you can quickly act to avert a household disaster, and restore your home’s plumbing to its former health with the help of an experienced plumber.