Plumbing trouble isn’t always obvious, but it can cause severe damage to your Sarasota, Florida, home if it’s not spotted and fixed immediately. Even a small leak or drip can cause damage to walls, flooring, and paint. Plumbing problems can also lead to rot and mold growth, which can lower your indoor air quality and cause asthma attacks, skin irritation, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and even lung damage. Look for these signs so that you can have plumbing problems repaired before they spread to the rest of your home.
A Dripping Faucet
This common problem is annoying, but it seems minor. Many people live with drips for months or even years before having them repaired. However, a dripping faucet can drive up your water bill and waste hundreds of gallons of water per year. Water is under pressure as it moves through your pipes, and rubber or silicone-based washers form seals that prevent leaks when you turn off your taps.
Over time, these washers can become stiff, tear, or dislodge, causing drips and leaks. If the leak goes on long enough, the valve seat, the part of the faucet that stops water from flowing, may become worn or corroded, and you might have to replace the fixture. Very high water pressure can also cause a dripping faucet.
A Slow or Clogged Drain
In many cases, you can use a plunger to fix a slow or clogged drain. You may notice a bad smell from rotting food or other debris. Use a flashlight to try to spot stubborn problems, and then try removing the clog with pliers. If your drain or toilet keeps clogging, try a commercial drain cleaner or clog remover. However, these chemicals can damage some pipe materials when used too frequently and it’s most likely time to call a plumber to have those pipes cleaned with a snake.
If the toilet backs up often and you keep having to use a plunger, you may need to have your septic tank emptied, or tree roots could have grown into your pipes. If you don’t dislodge whatever’s slowing or clogging your sink, tub, or toilet, then water will eventually overflow and damage your floors. Install drain screens to prevent clogs and slow drains.
Low Water Pressure
When you turn on the water and it only trickles from the tap, you have low water pressure. Residue can build up in older pipes and cause low water pressure, especially if you have hard water. Try removing your faucet aerator or shower head, cleaning off any debris or deposits, and then screwing it back into place. If you still have low water pressure, contact a professional immediately. It can come from clogged pipes, a serious leak somewhere else in your plumbing, or pipes that are too small. A problem with your municipal water supply could also lower water pressure temporarily.
A Running Toilet
A running toilet is annoying, and it increases your water bills. If you’re sick of jiggling the handle after you flush, it’s probably time to replace your toilet’s inner workings. Toilets usually run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl doesn’t fit properly, the float isn’t balanced, or the fill tube comes loose. Sediment in the toilet can also keep it from flushing and filling correctly.
Stains and Smells
A stain on a wall, ceiling, or floor accompanied by a musty or earthy smell is a sign of a water leak. If the stain is dark, it comes from mold growth, and the leak has probably been there for a while. If the stain is on your ceiling, then the leak could come from your roof and not your plumbing. You could also have plumbing trouble in a second floor bathroom. Since pipes run throughout your home, you may notice water damage first in the hallway near the bathroom or kitchen instead. Cracked, mildewed grout or caulk could also signal a leak. Repair or replace damaged materials as soon as possible to keep harmful mold, mildew, and rot from spreading.
Aqua Plumbing & Air has over 40 years of experience in heating and air conditioning, plumbing, water treatment, and electrical services. If you notice a sign of plumbing trouble, call us anytime at 941-306-3715.
Image provided by Shutterstock