Plumbing Problems

Plumbing Problems
Discover the causes of residential plumbing problems

Many plumbing problems are preventable. Some of the most commons causes of a home plumbing emergency are things like leaks, broken pipes, frozen pipes and clogs. Another common and very distressing plumbing issue is water backing up into sinks, bathtubs, washing machines or basements, or worse yet, sewage backing up. Water backing up is usually a symptom of a serious clog in a main line that may require professional help to fix. But many other smaller residential plumbing problems can be handled by something as simple and inexpensive as a plunger.

Broken Plumbing

Broking plumbing issues require professional help, unless you have experience working with plumbing or know someone who can offer expert plumbing help. Broken plumbing results in leaks and can cause water damage, flooding and high water bills. Generally, any break or leak that’s between the water meter and your taps is your responsibility, even if it’s in the underground pipe running from the meter. Any breaks or problems on the other side of the meter are your local authorities’ responsibility.

Most broken plumbing stems from things like corroded and rusted pipes, pipe fittings that have worn out and frozen pipes that have burst. Corroded pipes must be replaced, but pipe fitting can often just be repaired or improved. Threaded pipes might just need thread tape or pipe dope to make a better seal in the threads and prevent leaks. Copper pipes that are very old can come apart at the seams and require new soldering.  Pipes that suddenly have low pressure or barely any have probably either become obstructed with rust or mineral deposits, or frozen.

The Most Common Plumbing Issue

The most common plumbing problem people experience is clogged drains. Fortunately, this is usually a much less expensive and easier to fix problem than something like clogged water supply pipes. Covering the sink hole in a double sink (or covering the overflow securely in a bathroom sink or bathtub) and using a plunger will often break the clog loose. If that doesn’t work, a pipe snake can be pushed into the drain pipe beneath the sink, or down the overflow drain in a bathtub, to break through the clog.