If you’re an Arlington, TX homeowner who wants to make sure their plumbing is in its best state all the time, there are some signs you should always look out for that mean it’s time to call a plumber. They can show you whether something needs to be fixed urgently. And if you take urgent action, you can avoid serious damage to your plumbing system, which can lead to costs piling up.
Here are seven of the most common ones and what you should look out for to avoid them.
1. Low-Pressure Water
Water coming out with low pressure can be frustrating because it makes it hard to wash, cook, or do other domestic chores as quickly as you’d like. The same applies to when it’s in the shower, which can be really frustrating when you’re trying to get ready for work.
Low pressure might be the result of a partially blocked drain. You must call a plumber immediately to fix this since the drain will only get more blocked with time. A full blockage can mean there’s no water at all coming from your taps.
If you notice this issue, there’s no time to wait.
2. Discolored Water
If your water is anything other than colorless, you should be concerned. Drinking it or using it to wash dishes is dangerous since there’s no telling what substances could be causing it to be discolored. Using it for laundry and other domestic purposes is inadvisable as well since it can lead to permanent staining of clothes. Likewise, there can also be extensive damage to washing machines and dishwashers.
Your water might be discolored because of pipes rusting, leading to flakes getting inside the water. The cause might also be food residue and other dissolvable materials scraping particles off and causing them to go into the water.
3. Slow Drainage
If your water is draining out of sinks too slowly, the entire plumbing system might be close to its breaking point. That’s why the hesitation to call an Arlington, TX plumber is highly risky, and you should just get in touch with one as soon as possible.
The cause is most likely food residue and oily liquids stuck in the pipes. If this issue is combined with constant dripping, which we’ll cover next, you may wake up to a flooded sink — and indeed, a flooded room.
4. Loose Taps
A tap that’s offering no resistance as you turn it may be close to breaking. At any point in the near future, it may not close while water is coming out at high pressure. Or the tap may break off completely, which obviously leaves you with no easy solution to stem the flooding.
Since you can’t reasonably tell when this may happen, you’re best off stopping all usage of that sink until an Arlington, TX plumber has come to take a close look at and repair it.
5. Constant Dripping
Constant dripping in this case refers to the tap continually releasing drops of water even if you’ve closed it as tightly as you can. This usually means the tap has loosened and in most cases, the surest fix is to get a new one.
While this seems fairly easy in theory, it’s not something to attempt by yourself. Without professional tools and training, most Arlington, TX homeowners just end up installing the tap, leading to yet more dripping.
Not only does this fail to fix the problem, but it can also exacerbate it and lead.
Dripping can unexpectedly lead to water overflowing and flooding a room, so be sure to call a plumber as soon as possible.
6. Sewer Odor
Another of the clear signs that there’s a big issue with your plumbing system is persistent sewer odors. These can occur from time to time and using some supermarket chemicals can get rid of them. That just means there wasn’t much of a problem to begin with. But if they continue for a long time: say, more than a few weeks, you can be sure you have quite a significant plumbing issue on your hands.
The reason is that taps and drains are designed to keep odors out of your homes, so such a problem only starts when there’s a severe problem with how they are meant to work.
If you’re dealing with a cracked sewer vent, however, that can be a lot more difficult to track, especially since some of the infrastructure is inside the wall.
But that, again, is why it’s so important to call a plumber as soon as you can.
Accumulations of water under exposed pipes and sinks show that there’s a disconnection somewhere in the system. At worst, there could be a cracked pipe. If the latter’s the case, the pipe will only increase with increased usage and, sometime soon, it will burst.
Besides that, puddles give unwanted insects and critters somewhere to breed, feed, and thrive. So you might end up with an infestation on your hands.
The best move is to call a plumber in Arlington, TX as soon as you can.
5 Actions to Take While You Wait for a Plumber
Ideally, you should call an Arlington, TX plumber who lives nearby so they can get there fast and take care of your plumbing before it’s a much bigger issue. Even in the best case, there will still be at least several minutes before they get there. So here are some things you can do while you wait to ensure a more solid fix and minimal damage to your property.
- Place Buckets and Containers Where There’s Flooding
If there’s a tap you can’t close or a broken one that’s gushing water out, try placing a bucket underneath it. And if the water’s coming out at a low point like somewhere near the floor, place a rug or big sponge there so it gets soaked up.
Lots of water can make the area harder to access, and that can make it more difficult for a plumber to complete the job. In the meantime, the whole system will be taking damage and getting more expensive to fix.
Your floor and walls might also get damaged. That’s why this is a crucial and potentially money-saving step to take.
- Move Electronics Out of the Room
Plumbing issues in rooms where there’s a lot of water flow don’t normally cause a lot of problems. That’s different for other rooms such as the kitchen or bedrooms, where appliances that aren’t water-resistant can incur damage, leading to replacement costs. That’s in addition to the costs of plumbing repair and replacing any extensively damaged parts, so the total bill will likely be pretty steep.
- Keep Kids and Pets Outside
When there’s a plumbing problem, it’s best to keep the area completely empty until the plumber arrives. That means you shouldn’t attempt any DIY, especially considering how badly it can make the original plumbing problem much worse.
One effective way to ensure the issue doesn’t get worse is to keep kids and pets out of the room. Ask them to play elsewhere and take out items that pets like to play with inside the room in question.
Leaving it free ensures that plumbers can get in easily when they arrive and they’ll be more able to solve the issue in a far shorter time.
- Turn Off the Mains Water Supply
This is mostly relevant if you’re waiting for an emergency plumber. To do this, you’ll need to locate the inside stop valve. The access point isn’t always obvious.
If you don’t have an inside stop valve or you just can’t find it, you’re best off going to the outside stop valve. It’s usually found at the boundary of the property, and it’s also usually inside the same pit as other parts such as your water meter. It’s important to remember while doing this that some homes, especially older ones, don’t have outside valves. So don’t stress too much if you can’t locate one.
Once you’ve found the mains, make sure to turn it clockwise very gently.
- Take Pictures and Videos
If you plan to take out an insurance claim to help you pay for repairs and replacements, pictures and videos can help you build out a case that’s more convincing than mere word of mouth.
That’s why you should take a few before plumbers arrive and start fixing things.
If possible, ask your plumbers to weigh in on the extent of the damage, the work they had to do, some replacements they made, and the cost of it all. This makes your claim much stronger and can, thankfully, mean you end up paying much less or nothing at all to get your plumbing in order again.
- Turn Off the Electricity
It’s equally important to turn off the electricity, especially since it can result in electrocution or damage to appliances that would have otherwise been fine without running current.
How to Preserve Your Plumbing Going Forward
Having to call an Arlington, TX plumber to deal with your plumbing regularly can become a major annoyance and it can get very expensive. That’s why you ought to follow some habits that make it less likely for you to experience other plumbing issues going forward.
Here are a few that can be very effective.
1. Avoid DIY Quick Fixes
It can seem like some problems are minor and you can just get a wrench out to fix them, but that’s never the right approach. Even if something doesn’t look like a huge problem, a trained eye might be able to see that the damage is more expensive.
And, temporary DIY workarounds may seem to work for a short while, but they can make more professional fixes harder. This can lead to you having to replace your entire plumbing system when repairs would have done the job — and been cheaper.
2. Don’t Pour Leftovers Into the Sink
One of the biggest causes of plumbing problems is the presence of thick materials inside the system. Leftover food is on top of the list. Why? Because when leftover food goes into the sink, it contains oils that attach to the exterior of the pipes and causes them to be much less efficient at letting water flow past. Besides that, the solid food itself acts as an impediment to water flowing to the plumbing system fast.
3. Cleaning Faucets, Showerheads, and Fixtures
While DIY is a bad idea when there’s a problem, a few owner-led initiatives before that are perfectly fine. That includes cleaning your faucets, showerheads, spigots, and tub spouts.
Specifically, look for accumulated sediment, which can reduce the flow of water quite significantly after it has been given the chance to build up. In most cases, it’s possible to remove the sediment by cleaning the faucet screen very gently and wiping down the showerhead.
In more extreme cases, however, you’ll need to update the fixtures with new and more efficient models that are better able to withstand sediment build-up without getting blocked.
4. Schedule Regular Professional Inspections
Calling professional plumbers only when the issue is severe is a sure way to end up paying through the nose each time. Instead, you’re better off making sure professional plumbers inspect your house every few months.
For total confidence, make sure you invite them over at least four times a year. So, at the very least, invite plumbers to your house every three months. They have the professional equipment required to look deep within your pipes and determine what might be wrong. That means they can identify issues while they’re in the making, and they can fix the problems before they turn into monstrous expenses for you.
For any of your plumbing needs give Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth a call today!