Avoid catastrophic damage and costly cleanup when your home’s plumbing fails. Recognizing when your home’s plumbing is compromised will help prevent plumbing problems from developing into significant water and structural devastation.
alpharettawaterdamageremoval.com gathered information about recognizing when your home’s plumbing is failing and potentially threatening leaks, overflows, and pipe failures and what to do about them.
1. Dirty Water
If your home’s water is coming out of your faucets clouded or colored, it indicates something is going on. Consider the following:
- Cloudy water typically indicates air in the pipes
- Yellow or brown water indicates rust
- A green tint may be caused by extensive corrosion in copper pipes
Water discoloration is a sign to immediately inspect the entire water system; pipes in that state of degradation begin to leak outside the system quickly.
Note: Discolored (yellow or brown) water may reach your home when there is a disruption in older municipal systems, like when the fire department flushes a community’s hydrants or water service is restored after a shutdown.
SOLUTION: Have your water system thoroughly inspected and repaired (if needed).
2. Low Water Pressure
A weak stream or low water pressure indicates a distribution problem. If this only occurs in one faucet, it is likely a clogged faucet aerator and easily fixed.
If you have low water pressure in multiple locations, you are dealing with a much more significant problem which may include the following:
- Clogged or disconnected water main
- Your hot water heater is malfunctioning
- There is an active leak in the supply line
SOLUTION: If the low pressure is caused by the supply line, contact your city’s water department and report the issue. If you suspect the problem is your water main or hot water heater, hire a professional plumbing service to determine the cause and make necessary repairs.
3. Sewer Gas Odor
Traps, drains, and vents are designed to channel sewer gas away from your home. The vents move sewer gas odor to the roof, while drain traps create a “water plug,” creating a barrier to prevent sewer odors from rising through a fixture’s drain. If you can smell sewer gas in your home, that signifies:
- A trap has run dry
- A vent line has cracked
SOLUTION: A dry trap can be fixed by refilling it with water. If this is ineffective, you may need to search the pipes for a leak and repair it. Finding a cracked sewer vent may be more challenging. Vent pipes are typically enclosed in a home’s walls and require drywall removal to find the issue and repair it.
4. Slow Drain
Cleaning out an isolated clog is an easy fix. However, slow drains throughout a home indicate a more significant issue in the main sewer line, like tree roots or a residue buildup.
SOLUTION: Try clearing an isolated clog with a plunger. If plunging the drain fails, snake it from the fixture or the pipes directly below it (these clogs are typically within 5 to 6 feet of the drain). If you determine the clog is in the main sewer line, you can either rent a professional snake from your local home supply or hardware center or contract a plumber to professionally remove the obstruction and repair any damaged portions of the sewer line.
5. Out-of-Control Water Bills
A sudden increase in your water bill is a sign something has gone wrong in your plumbing system. The most common sources of a water bill increase include:
- A running toilet
- A leaky faucet
- An open external spigot
- Filling a pool or jacuzzi
- Irrigation system malfunctions
- Pipe burst
- Water-based appliance malfunctions
Note: One running toilet can quietly waste hundreds of dollars of water. Read more about fixing toilet leaks at alpharettawaterdamageremoval.com/fixing-water-leaks-from-bottom-of-toilet/
SOLUTION: Identify something you may have done to cause the spike in your water bill and monitor the usage during the next billing cycle. Inspect and test your water-based appliances (repair or replace faulty ones). If you cannot locate any obvious reasons for the sudden increase, contact a professional plumber to thoroughly inspect your plumbing and repair the issue.
6. Bubbling or Peeling Paint or Wallpaper
If the paint or wallpaper on a wall or ceiling begins to bubble or peel, it’s a sign there is a leak in your roofing or plumbing system. Once you see paint or wallpaper being water-damaged or brown spots appearing on a ceiling or wall, you must immediately find out what’s wrong.
SOLUTION: You may need your plumber to rule out any leaking pipes or appliances, and if you cannot identify any problems in your plumbing, contact your roofer to investigate the roofing system.
7. Pipe Burst (Frozen Pipes)
If water pressure suddenly drops in the winter, there’s a possibility your pipes have frozen. This is a significant concern and needs to be dealt with immediately (frozen pipes may exceed their pressure limits and crack). The more alarming issue occurs when a cracked pipe thaws and water begins flowing uninhibited, potentially flooding your home.
This problem is more prevalent in homes where supply lines are routed through an attic, garage, crawlspace, or other unheated (or uninsulated) space.
SOLUTION: If you suspect your pipes are frozen or have burst, immediately take the following steps to correct the situation:
- Turn off your water main
- Schedule your plumber for a thorough pipe inspection
- Fix all fissures or cracks
- Insulate all exposed pipes
- Slowly turn on your water main
Tip: You can prevent pipe bursts and freezing by insulating all exposed plumbing and allowing a faucet or two to drip when outside temperatures drop below 32°F.
In this article, you discovered information and solutions to aid in detecting and solving potentially catastrophic plumbing malfunctions.
Identifying plumbing issues early will help you correct them before developing into severe flooding or structural damage.
Failure to recognize and fix plumbing failures can lead to costly cleanup and repair services.