Spot These Common Plumbing Issues

Pipe Bursting with Water
crawfordmech September 29, 2023

Have you ever wondered how much water your household might waste due to a seemingly minor leak? The answer might astonish you. On average, a leak can squander a staggering 9,400 gallons of water annually. That’s not only a considerable waste of a precious resource — it’s a drain on your finances.

And then there’s the dreadful scenario of turning on the shower, eagerly anticipating the embrace of warm water, only to encounter an icy shock. Plumbing difficulties always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times, leaving you in a cold and uncomfortable situation.

The challenge with plumbing issues is that they often remain hidden until they reach a breaking point. You finally notice when water starts seeping through ceilings or your kitchen sink becomes a water park. Unfortunately, the damage has already happened, and now you face a hefty repair bill.

But here’s the good news — you don’t have to be a helpless victim of plumbing woes. You can take charge of your home’s health by educating yourself about common plumbing problems, their telltale signs and preventive measures.

Clogged Drains

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve likely encountered the frustration of a clogged drain at some point. It’s an issue that strikes when you least expect it, often leading to inconveniences and potential damage to your plumbing system. 

Here are some common culprits of clogged drains.

  • Hair: Over time, strands of hair can accumulate in your drains, especially in the bathroom. It can create a stubborn blockage when combined with soap scum and other debris.
  • Soap and shampoo residue: Soap and shampoo may seem harmless, but the residue they leave behind can build up inside your pipes, narrowing the passage for water to flow through.
  • Food particles: Food particles and grease are significant contributors to clogged drains in the kitchen. These substances can solidify over time, creating a barrier that stops water from draining fully.
  • Mineral buildup: In regions with hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate in your pipes. These deposits, often made of calcium and magnesium, can gradually reduce pipes’ diameter, restricting water flow.
  • Foreign objects: Sometimes, items like jewelry, small toys or even sanitary products can accidentally find their way into drains, causing blockages.

Why Clogged Drains Are a Serious Issue

Now that we’ve identified the usual suspects, let’s discuss why clogged drains are more than a minor inconvenience.

  • Slow draining: The most apparent consequence of a clogged drain is that it slows down water drainage. This sluggish drainage can turn simple tasks like washing your hands or showering into time-consuming ordeals.
  • Foul odors: Clogs can trap debris and organic matter, leading to foul odors from your drains.
  • Water damage: If left unaddressed, clogs can cause water to back up into sinks, tubs or even toilets. This problem can result in water damage to your home’s infrastructure, leading to costly repairs.
  • Health hazards: Stagnant water in clogged drains can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, making it a potential health hazard for your family.

Running Toilet

A running toilet may not seem like a significant common plumbing problem, but it can quickly become a homeowner’s nightmare. The following are common issues that can cause a bathroom to run continuously.

  • Worn-out flapper: Over time, the flapper can deteriorate, allowing water to leak from the tank into the bowl. This continuous trickle triggers the fill valve to keep running, attempting to maintain the tank’s water level.
  • Faulty fill valve: The fill valve may fail to shut off, leading to a constant water flow into the tank. This problem often happens due to a defective valve or sediment buildup.
  • Float problems: An improperly adjusted or damaged float might not rise and fall with the water level, causing the fill valve to run continuously.
  • Mineral deposits: In areas with hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate in the fill valve or on the flapper, preventing them from functioning correctly.

Leaking Pipes

Builders conceal pipes behind walls or beneath floors, making it hard to detect leaks early. In this section, we’ll delve into what causes leaky pipes and why it’s vital to promptly address this issue.

  • Corrosion: Over time, pipes can corrode due to the chemical reactions between water and the piping materials. Corrosion can eat away at the pipe’s surface, leading to tiny holes or cracks that allow water to escape.
  • High water pressure: Excessively high water pressure can stress your plumbing system, causing pipes to develop weak spots or even burst. 
  • Temperature fluctuations: Extreme temperature variations can make pipes expand and contract. Over time, this stress can weaken the pipes and create opportunities for leaks.
  • Pipe joints and fittings: The connections between pipes and fittings are vulnerable. When these joints deteriorate, they can become sources of leakage.
  • Tree roots: In outdoor plumbing systems, tree roots can infiltrate pipes for water and nutrients. As roots grow, they can pressure pipes, leading to cracks and leaks.

Weak Water Pressure

Low water pressure is a plumbing problem that can turn everyday tasks like showering, dish-washing and even hand-washing into frustrating experiences. Here are the common causes of weak water pressure.

  • Mineral buildup: Over time, minerals like calcium and magnesium can accumulate inside your pipes, narrowing the water pathways. This buildup, called “scale,” restricts water flow and reduces pressure at your faucets and fixtures.
  • Old or deteriorating pipes: If your home has aging pipes, they may naturally degrade over time, causing restrictions in water flow. Materials like galvanized steel and iron pipes are particularly prone to this issue.
  • Municipal supply issues: Occasionally, weak water pressure may stem from problems with your local water supply. Municipal maintenance or issues with the supply infrastructure can temporarily affect water pressure.

Why Weak Water Pressure Is a Concern

While weak water pressure might seem like a minor inconvenience, it can have significant repercussions for your household.

  • Ineffective cleaning: We rely on water pressure for effective cleaning, from scrubbing dishes to rinsing shampoo from our hair. Weak water pressure can make these tasks less efficient and more time-consuming.
  • Undetected leaks: In some cases, weak water pressure may indicate hidden leaks in your plumbing system.
  • Appliance performance: Appliances like washing machines and dishwashers rely on adequate water pressure to function effectively. 

Slow-Draining Sink/Tub

Slow-draining sinks and tubs are a typical plumbing concern that can irritate and potentially damage your home. 

  • Clogs: Accumulated debris such as hair, soap scum, food particles and mineral deposits can form blockages within your plumbing pipes. 
  • Faulty or partially closed drain stopper: A slow-draining sink or tub is sometimes due to a defective or partially closed drain stopper. This mechanical issue impedes water from exiting the fixture efficiently.
  • Pipe obstructions: Within your plumbing system, pipes may develop blockages due to the accumulation of sediment, rust or foreign objects. These obstructions create bottlenecks that slow down water drainage.

Contact Crawford Mechanical Services for All Your Serious Plumbing Issues

Crawford Mechanical Services offers a comprehensive range of services, including kitchen, basement and bathroom plumbing and commercial plumbing services. Regardless of the scale or complexity of the issue, our highly trained team possesses the expertise and knowledge needed to resolve any plumbing problem efficiently.

For residential plumbing replacement and repair services in Columbus and Central Ohio, you can count on Crawford Mechanical Services. We understand plumbing emergencies can happen anytime, so we offer 24-hour customer service support to ensure you receive fast and efficient assistance when needed.

Don’t let plumbing issues disrupt your comfort and safety. Contact Crawford Mechanical Services today, and let our expert plumbers care for all your residential and commercial plumbing needs. 

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