There are some things in life that we don’t fully appreciate until they are no longer functioning as we need them to. Take for instance your plumbing; when is the last time you actually thought about what actually happens when you flush the toilet. In all honesty, I never think about the toilet flushing or any of the other plumbing systems in my home until of course, they no longer function as I expect them to. Below are the most common issues experienced with plumbing systems, what to watch for, and how to avoid bigger problems from occurring later on.
Clogged or Slow Draining Drains
Most of the time there are telltale signs that the drains in your home are not functioning as they should. Homeowners often report noticing gurgling and slower drains before their drains stop functioning all together. One day you may hear a glurp in the toilet as you shower, the next you may notice the kitchen sink isn’t going down as fast as it should, and if you are paying close enough attention this should tip you off that you need your drains cleaned.
Blocked or slow drains occur because something is either completely or partially covering in the way which does not allow the natural flow of things to occur. We often see hair in drains, grease build up, wipes, or other small objects that are accidentally put down the drain that make it impossible for the drain to function properly. Another cause we see is issues with roots from where older clay sewer lines are being infiltrated by root masses.
These are two very different issues within your drain systems. For hair, grease, or objects that are stuck plumbers can cable the system and break the source of the blockage up or remove it completely. When larger issues exist such as tree roots or continual backup’s plumbers will assess the current condition of the drain lines using video camera technology to see inside the lines. From there, plumbers can diagnosis the issue and develop a plan that often involves replacing older clay sewer lines with modern plastic lines that are harder for root systems to penetrate.
It is important to avoid clogs in your drain systems. One way this is achieved is to watch what you put down your drains. Avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper; do not flush “flushable” wipes. Use a hair catcher in sink and tub drains to avoid hair clogs and do not use your drains as disposals for grease. Do not use drain cleaners even when they say they are sewer safe. These chemicals can damage your pipes over time. Instead, call in a local plumber such as those at Horton Plumbing and Remodeling to clear your drain. Plumbers have a variety of tools and tricks depending on the type of drain, if it is slow or completely stopped and a variety of other factors that can safely unclog your drain lines.
Leaking Faucets and Pipes
Faucets that drip are more of an annoyance then anything however, over time can really add to the water bill. It is estimated that a leak dripping one drip per second will use up to 3,000 gallons of water. This is the equivalent of 180 showers. Leaking faucets are much easier to spot then leaks coming from the pipes. Often leaks in piping aren’t found until there is visual damage to the ceiling or walls.
Dripping faucets usually occur because of damage to the washers that create the seal. Overtime washers fail as part of the normal wear and tear process. If the seal is not replaced the amount of water that is dripping will continue to increase and overtime this could lead to larger issues with the faucet or corrosion. Leaks in pipes often occur at the joints because of age or high water pressure. It is important to inspect areas where pipes connect on a regular basis to catch issues before they become problems.
Plumbers can quickly assess and fix leaks coming from faucets and pipes by replacing worn out washers and resealing joints that connect pipes. Although some homeowners replace the seal on faucets as a DIY project it is important to know your limits. Replacing washers and plumbing seals is not as easy as it looks and can often turn into a bigger job then necessary. Call in the plumbing experts if in doubt because the last thing anyone wants is a simple inexpensive repair to turn into something more.
Problems with your home’s water heater are easy to spot for the most part. Usually you go to take a nice hot shower but instead are met with the sting of ice cold water, even after letting it “warm up”. Another tell-tale sign is water puddling under the water heater. Water heater repair and installation is best left to the professionals as these systems are complex and work off of gas.
There are two common causes for water heater issues leaks and excess mineral deposits. Mineral deposits reduce the water heaters efficiency and decrease the amount of hot water there is to use throughout the house. Leaks, well that is a little more obvious. Another few common issues plumber’s see is a bad thermocouple and pilot light issues. If you are having issues with getting enough hot water, first check to verify the pilot light is lit and if all is well and there are no obvious leaks a plumber will need to investigate to diagnosis the problem.
Maintaining your water heater is fairly simple and can help it run more efficiently and prevent future issues. Regularly check the pressure valve, flush the tank to remove sediment and keep a log on the tanks condition checking for leaks and drips that could indicate bigger issues. If you do notice any type of water puddling the best course of action is to:
- Shut off the power to the water heater. For electric water heaters make sure you have turned off the breaker and for gas the shut off valve.
- Turn off the water to prevent additional leaking.
- Move all items from around the water heater to a different location.
From low water pressure to running toilets and everything in between the plumbers at Horton Plumbing and Remodeling can help. Our master and licensed plumbers are available most days for same day appointments and are always available 24/7 for emergency plumbing repair needs. You can reach us day or night at 734.455.3332.