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New and experienced homeowners alike can struggle with spotting some telltale signs that something within their plumbing isn’t quite as it should be. This is made an even more difficult affair by the fact that some warning signs are very on-the-surface and easy to see, while others tend to be a little more hidden, needing a trained plumber eye to single them out.
Whatever the plumbing problem that may be about to wreak havoc in your Arlington, TX, home is, it’s a great idea to learn some of the giveaways that can help you to know when it’s time to phone in a plumber. The issue can certainly be stopped from causing any problems if it’s caught out in good time and handled with some reliable expertise. The longer it takes for the issue to be dealt with, the longer the time it will take to fix it. More worryingly, the more costly it may become to have your plumbing repaired.
There are dozens of problems that may need you to call a plumber at any given point, so you won’t necessarily be able to pick out the signs for all of them. A good rule of thumb is simply to call a plumber whenever you start experiencing signs that something may be amiss. Otherwise, the following will prove a good guide.
1. Sudden Uptick in Water Bills
If your water bill goes up unexpectedly, with no reasonable pointers as to what may be causing that, such as increased laundry, installation of a pool or anything like that, there might be a plumbing problem you haven’t yet noticed. Common plumbing problems that tend to produce this effect include a leaking toilet, leaking pipes or a dripping faucet. Look into all of these first to make sure the issue is not something that has been staring you right up the nose.
It’s important not to get alarmed at any increase in water bills, though, as some of them are completely reasonable. In the summer, for example, many Arlington, TX, households report a slight increase in their bills, typically the result of homeowners getting a bit of gardening done with sprinklers or hose pipes to water their gardens. The Christmas period can show a similar sign, as most households will have regular visitors and guests coming in, meaning additional water is used up during showers, eating, drinking, flushing the toilet and other domestic uses.
If, however, the rise in bills doesn’t align with any reason for high water consumption, you ought to call a plumber to have it all checked out. The sooner you’re able to do this, the faster you can get rid of the plumbing problem, whatever it may be. Also, you’ll start saving on the excess charge you had been paying.
2. Strange Noises
Unusual noises from your drain or pipes are a clear sign that you have a problem underway. You’ll hear a range of odd sounds depending on the exact nature of your plumbing problem, but they all tend to fall under humming, banging, gurgling, whistling and rattling. The noise can certainly have an impact on your ability to simply relax in your Arlington, TX home, and calling a plumber is the surest way to reclaim some much-missed peace and quiet.
You’ll most likely hear banging noises when there’s a problem to do with water pressure. This is probably the result of trapped air bubbles or perhaps water hammers. You will be able to tell if it’s air bubbles if the sound starts immediately after you turn the faucet on. A water hammer, on the other hand, starts giving off noise just as you turn the faucet off.
Humming noises are almost always a sign that your water pressure is higher than what your system is able to deal with. As the water rushes through your pipes, it will cause them to vibrate, leading to the annoying humming noise you might be hearing. A high water pressure, left undealt with for too long, can start to cause even more structural damage to your plumbing system. Make sure you get a plumber to deal with this problem if you have been experiencing it.
Gurgling, while still a strange sound, is among the more usual sounds people tend to hear when it comes to issues with their plumbing. Most of the time, its simply due to a blocked pipe. There are a litany of products that may block your pipes, ranging from hair to soap. While it may be tempting to unblock the drain yourself, plenty can go wrong when you haven’t been trained for it. To ensure the best chance of undraining your block and keeping everything in one piece, get a plumber on the line.
You’ll hear rattling when the problem lies concealed behind walls, floors or ceilings. The reason is, in most cases, a fastener that secures pipes to the surface becoming loose or even falling off entirely.
A whistling noise occurs when the components become a little aged and worn out, impacting their ability to function efficiently.
3. Slow Drains
Blocked pipes are among the most common plumbing issues. They go beyond merely causing gurgling and, on top of that, make it much more difficult for water to effectively drain, after doing the dishes, for example. The blockage can be anything from a slight blockage to a partial to a complete one.
As with everything else on this list, DIY won’t cut it. A plunger can go some way in clearing the clog but it won’t do so completely. Getting a plumber to take care of it will ensure that the blockage is cleared completely while the structural integrity of your plumbing system is maintained.
This problem is easy to avoid altogether. Firstly, ensure that you have a sink strainer, as it keeps dirt, debris and hair from going down the pipe and causing a blockage when enough of it accumulates. Additionally, make sure not to pour oil into the sink after you’re done cooking.
4. Pipe Corrosion
Make sure to inspect your pipes, say, every few months or so. Better yet, simply have a plumber drop in from time to time to carry out maintenance checks and assess the state of your whole plumbing system. The most important things to look out for are signs of rusting on the outside surface of the pipes. Rust only occurs when there’s water getting to that part, which means you’re dealing with a water leak if you find any signs of it.
Immediately call a plumber after discovering signs of corrosion. It is, first of all, a danger to your health, as some of the corrosive elements can easily make it into the water you use for drinking and cooking. Secondly, the leaking water will cause long-term or even permanent damage to any surrounding surfaces.
A plumber will be best able to give you the specific reason why the corrosion has occurred. Oxygen in the water is a common factor in this case. It tends to lead to a build-up of impurities in the water, which leads to a blockage given enough time.
Another cause which tends to be just as prevalent is that the water being held in the pipes has consistently low pH. This problem is common in copper piping but, as you’d find with oxygen, the low pH slowly wears away the pipe’s protective layer, making way for the formation of rust.
5. Low Water Pressure
Having a low water pressure simply means that, instead of water steadily streaming out of your tap, droplets are trickling out. Before making a conclusion based on how water is coming out of one tap, it’s important that you check all the other taps in your home.
It’s also important that you carry out the test with both hot and cold water. If the problem seems more isolated to the hot water, the issue might be one with your water heater and not the pipework. Sometimes, when the low water pressure is visible in some parts of the house and not others, it’s a sign that you may be dealing with a clogged faucet.
6. Dripping Faucet
Apart from merely being an annoyance, dripping faucets can lead you to have a higher water bill than what you otherwise should be paying based on the water you actually use. This is, of course, an easy one to spot, and fixing it isn’t all that difficult either. The damage can also be minimized if you get a plumber to take a look at it as soon as you realize there’s an issue.
The problem is essentially one to do with a damaged washer, giving in to the onslaught of wear and tear. Washers are crucial in all taps, and their main function is essentially to stop water from being able to force itself out once the faucet has been turned off.
Since most washers are made of either rubber or silicone, as they age they become dislodged, stiff, or simply prone to tearing. Trickles of water begin to escape, resulting in a constant drip. The most assured way of getting this taken care of is to call a plumber.
7. Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes are some of the most costly plumbing issues you can face in your Arlington, TX, home. Bluntly put, you will need to replace the whole pipe. While some temporary measures exist, they really just put off the inevitable final solution of you needing to get a plumber to replace the pipework.
Avoiding this problem isn’t a very straightforward exercise since most of the causes, such as corrosion, excess water pressure and cracking, are only ever noticeable when a significant amount of damage has already been done. This is another example of the need to have a plumber carry out periodic checks on the state of your plumbing.
When the leak has already occurred, however, spotting it is as easy as simply checking for a puddle beneath the pipe. Winter is a notorious time for pipes leaking, since freezing temperatures cause the water to expand as it gets colder, building up pressure within the pipe. Eventually, the pressure builds up to a point that the pipe bursts. Thankfully, this can all be avoided by giving pipes proper insulation.
8. Mold on Walls
Mold occurs when you have a mixture of excess moisture and condensation. It’s also a sign that you have a plumbing leak on your hands. Apart from its unsightly appearance, with green and brown spots spread across the walls, mould is also potentially very damaging to your health.
Inhaling mold spores over a long stretch of time can have negative consequences on your health and it may start to inflame your airways. If you’re exposed to mold even for a short while, you will start to experience coughing, wheezing, throat irritation and tightness of the chest.
With long term exposure, however, you are likely to face far more serious complications. The mould will make it difficult for lungs to function effectively, leading to health problems such as asthma with time.
9. Running Toilet
The most obvious sign of a running toilet is a continuous trickle of water after you flush. Over time, a running toilet becomes as annoying as a dripping tap, and it also means you’ll find yourself needing to replace some components. The most common issue tends to be something to do with the flapper valve, and you will need a plumber looking further into it as soon as possible.
The flapper tank is what lets water pass from your water tank down to the toilet bowl. If it becomes imbalanced or loose, it loses its ability to stop water from flowing.
While there are many problems you may face in your home that you require you to call a plumber, the 10 above are the easiest to watch out for. If you make sure to keep an eye out for the signs, you’ll be able to get a plumber to curb the problem before it causes large scale damage. Call us at Benjamin Franklin if you’re experiencing plumbing problems within your home and we’ll be sure to fix them.