10 Common Plumbing Issues And The Damage They Can Cause

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 18 September 2019 06:38

Image Credit: Unsplash

Everyday conveniences like running hot water and a working toilet are easy to take for granted, but when the plumbing goes wrong, households and businesses can face significant disruption. Some of the top signs of a bad plumbing job include odd signs from faucets, low water pressure, unpleasant smells from drains, sluggish drains, and stained and damaged walls and ceilings. 

Other signs to watch out for include unusually high water bills thanks to leaks, mold, and mildew. Given the potentially severe impacts of bad plumbing jobs, it’s vital for both homeowners and businesses to understand how to spot the signs and get in touch with an experienced plumber as soon as possible

Common plumbing issues and their risks

Staying alert to potential plumbing issues helps households and businesses act quickly to address plumbing problems before they escalate.

1. Wrong connections

Using an unsuitable or wrong connection can result in serious public health risks and potential injuries. For example, scalding water usually shouldn’t be directly supplied or available to all internal outlets as this can lead to burns. Instead, hot water systems need to be fitted with tempering valves to prevent this from occurring. 

2. Dripping taps

Dripping taps are common in households and other premises. While they don’t seem like a serious issue, over time dripping taps can bring about significant water wastage - possibly hundreds of liters of water wasted per year - and higher than necessary water bills. Sometimes the cause could be as simple as a worn or dislodged washer, or the taps might need to be replaced.

3. Leaking or burst pipes

Leaking pipes is one of the most common plumbing problems, and they can damage floors, cupboards, furniture, and walls, which eventually leads to mold, mildew, and rot. Most pipes tend to begin leaking near the joints. Look out for wet spots, dampness, or discoloration on flooring, walls, or ceiling. Other signs include poor water pressure, flaking paint, and hissing sounds from behind walls.

Along with leaking pipes, burst pipes can cause serious water damage in the home. They require urgent repairs by a licensed plumber, though it’s important to turn off the main valve or shut-off valve immediately, which could be a gate valve, ball valve, or some other type of valve. In severe cases, drywall or floors might need to be torn down for the repairs before reconstruction.

4. Running or leaking toilets

Like leaking taps, leaking toilets can lead to thousands of dollars in wasted water. Causes can include issues with the overflow valve, flush valve, flapper seal, fill valve, flapper chain, or damaged toilet handle.

5. Blocked toilet 

Block toilets and backed-up sewage could be caused by sanitary products, wet wipes, and other household items that have been flushed down the toilet. Signs can include gurgling sounds when flushing and rising water in the bowl. 

Left unresolved, this can lead to an overflowing toilet and damage to property flooring and interiors. A professional plumber can diagnose the cause of the blockage and resolve the clog to minimize the risk of the toilet eventually overflowing at some point.

6. Low water pressure 

Low water pressure can be frustrating in itself for householders and businesses, but it could also be a sign of more serious issues like hidden leaks or burst piping. In less serious cases, it could be caused by a dirty or faulty aerator on a tap.

7. Leaking hose bibb

Leaking hose bibbs could be more common after the winter months, during which an unprotected hose bibb can crack and leak due to frost. To reduce the risk of leaking hose bibbs, homeowners can invest in frost-proof models. 

8. Slow or clogged drains

Drains can become blocked from food waste, oil, soap, hair, toothpaste, and other household waste items. These can accumulate at some point in the piping, which can restrict water flow over time. Signs include unpleasant smells near the drain as well as slow-flowing water.

Drain cleaners could offer a quick fix but are a risk, as over-the-counter drain cleaners can contain harsh chemicals that could damage pipes. In the case of a slow or clogged drain, it’s best to contact a plumber for assistance to avoid damaging pipes.

9. Failing hot water system

Hot water systems can have mineral build-up, and over time this could clog valves and pipes whilst causing other damage like rust. These factors can lower the water heater efficiency, compromising the quality of hot water and affecting water pressure in water filters. The outcome could be expensive repairs or complete replacement. 

10. Gas leaks

A gas leak is one of the most serious plumbing issues and requires urgent repairs by a professional plumber. Risks include carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, and explosions. Signs include a persistent smell of gas and a hissing noise near appliances or lines.

Avoiding poor plumbing practices

When it comes to common plumbing issues, households, businesses, and other premises should act proactively to identify potential signs of plumbing issues. What appears to be a minor inconvenience can escalate quickly, given the accelerating nature of water and plumbing damage. 

Signs of a bad plumbing job can manifest slowly or quickly, with minor symptoms that become progressively worse and cost more to rectify. In the worst cases, the underlying matter could lead to serious injury and public health issues. By staying alert to these, quick action can be taken to address the underlying issue before repair costs escalate or before it’s too late.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Agent Resource

How to capture your next prospect - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.