Every home and business has a plumbing system that sees a lot of action every day. Whether it's a long, hot shower or it's just the constant strain of toilet-flushing throughout the day, modern plumbing is under a lot of stress. In order to keep it functioning, regular maintenance is required to ensure that minor problems don't become bigger problems.
Even with routine maintenance and proper care, there are certain warning signs to look out for that could indicate you need plumbing services. Here are the 7 signs to watch for that could mean you need to have your system serviced.
#1. You've Got Lower Water Pressure
When you turn on the water for a warm bath, you should get a strong, steady stream of water. If you don't get any water, that's a big warning sign! Most of the time, what you'll see is a stream of water that has less pressure and strength than you'd normally see. Sometimes this is caused by scale build-up that is reducing the flow of the faucet, which is pretty common in areas that have had water issues.
There are a number of issues that can also cause this problem that could quickly become a plumbing emergency. A damaged water heater, a broken pipe in the floor or walls, or even just a simple blockage that has formed within the pipe because of mineral scale are all problems that can cause lower water pressure. If you've cleaned your affected faucet or if you experience lower water pressure throughout the home, then calling for plumbing services is a good idea.
#2. You've Got Slow Drains
The classic plumbing problem is a slow drain. It's caused by a blockage that occurs somewhere within the plumbing system. Many slow drains can be resolved by an over-the-counter anti-clogging product you can find at many stores, but that's not always the case. If you've got a slow drain that wasn't resolved by the caustic liquids or gels you normally use, you could be brave and remove the drain trap on the slow drain. Make sure you've got a bucket underneath it before you do! Then you can manually remove the clog if one is there.
If you don't see the clog, then it is likely further down in your plumbing system. You'll want to call for plumbing services that can help to snake your system clean with specialized equipment so that your drain can flow freely once again.
#3. You've Got Higher Water Pressure
Just because you've got a running toilet doesn't mean that you've got higher water pressure than normal. A running toilet is usually caused by a faulty seal within the tank. Leaking faucets usually have a similar problem. If your seals keep getting busted out even after being fixed, however, then you've likely got a high pressure problem. That pressure needs to go somewhere, so it's forcing water out of your plumbing system.
This is a problem that needs to be fixed right away if you suspect it. High pressure levels can cause water heaters to fail, fittings and pipes to break, and basements to flood. A professional plumber can inspect your system and install equipment, such as a pressure reduction valve.
#4. You've Got Water That Isn't Clear
Any time you have water that suddenly isn't clear, you've got the potential of having a problem with your plumbing system. If you've got water that is suddenly cloudy after being clear, then there's likely some air in your plumbing system somewhere. Water that turns to a different color, like brown, can mean there is rust in the system or just be a natural variation from a well or a problem from the water mains. The most immediate issue, however, is if you see water that is green or blue. This means you've got corrosion in your pipes and you'll want a plumber's help right away.
#5. You've Got Water That Smells Bad
Smells are often a water source problem more than a plumbing system problem, but not always. The classic smell that you'll have is that of rotting eggs, which means you've got a sulfur issue coming from somewhere. If your water smells like bleach, it is because there are high levels of chlorine being used to remove dangerous bacteria at the treatment source and this is normal. Water that smells like fish usually has barium in the water, which could mean a filter failure in your plumbing system. If the source is reportedly clean, then talk to a plumber about your odor concerns. You might have vent piping problems.
#6. You've Got Less Warm Water
If you've got a hot water heater, then your plumbing system has a maximum capacity. If you've taken a long shower, you're not going to have hot water for a while because the system needs to recharge. If however, you've got hot water that suddenly goes cold with no usage, then you've got a problem. This usually means the element in the hot water heater needs to be replaced, but you could have leaks in your hot water plumbing.
#7. You've Got Strange Noises
It's the classic children's story. There are things that go bump in the night, the noises scare the child, and in the end it is the plumbing. Good plumbing doesn't make loud noises, however, when it isn't being used. If your plumbing goes bump in the night, then it's time to call for a plumbing inspection. There are a number of problems you could be facing, from loose fittings to leaks in the water supply. A plumbing professional can inspect your system for you, track down the cause of the noise, and determine if a repair is needed.
Your plumbing system could be telling you everything you need to know about its health right now. Keep these 7 signs in mind every day and you'll be able to proactively prevent many major problems that can develop!
A big thank you to both Emily Ford and Jonathan the Plumbing King for sharing their expertise on the topic. Please connect with Emily on google plus and feel free to add any thoughts in the comment section.
ER Plumbing loves to partner with home improvement experts like Emily and Jonathan in Australia.
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Quick question & answer: Are there any signs that I need plumbing services?
Yes, the following are seven signs that you need plumbing services.
- You have lower water pressure
- You have slow drains
- You have higher water pressure
- You have water that isn’t clear
- You have water that smells bad
- You have less warm water
- You’ve got strange noises