Worrying when something in your house stops working correctly is normal, and plumbing issues make some homeowners panic. One problem can be due to one of a few different reasons, and you won’t know which is causing your situation, and not knowing can be frustrating. Also, you need to know what’s wrong with the plumbing system to understand how much the repair will cost. It could be a simple, inexpensive fix or a serious issue that can cost a fortune to repair.
Many people will attempt a DIY repair so they don’t have to pay a plumber. They’ll google the plumbing problem and watch a YouTube video to learn how to repair the problem, even though they aren’t 100 percent certain if they’re fixing the right thing.
A licensed plumber will have undergone years of training to learn their craft, and if you don’t have the necessary training, you could cause further damage by making a DIY repair.
If your plumbing system experiences any of the following problems, it’s best to hire a licensed professional to diagnose and fix the problem.
#1 You Have No Water
A lack of water is an obvious sign that you should hire a plumber. You need running water all day, so you should make the call quickly, but you should call the water company first. You want to be sure your service hasn’t been terminated and rule out an outage to avoid an unnecessary service call. If the lack of water isn’t due to an issue with the water company, it’s time to hire a licensed professional. A few problems can prevent water from entering your home, including:
- The main shutoff valve isn’t functioning correctly and won’t open all the way.
- The water meter valve isn’t open all the way.
- A significant clog in the waterline.
- A significant plumbing leak
- Corroded plumbing
- Frozen pipes
With so many possible causes, you’ll need a licensed plumber to inspect the plumbing system to determine the cause so the problem can be resolved and the water will be restored.
#2 Reduced Water Pressure
Adequate water pressure is essential, and when it’s suddenly reduced, it will cause problems in your home. Poor water pressure makes simple tasks like washing your hair and the dishes take longer than necessary, and your water-based appliances won’t function at peak performance, so it’s best to hire a plumber to fix the problem.
The problem is with the water heater if the hot water pressure is poor. Over time, sediment will build up in the tank, and when the hot water breaks it down, the sediment can clog the unit’s waterline, affecting the water temperature. A licensed plumber can clear the waterline, but the unit must be replaced if they can’t flush the sediment from the tank. If you continue running the unit, the waterline will clog again, and the plumbing bills will add up.
The issue is with the plumbing system if the hot and cold water pressure is poor. A few plumbing issues can affect the water pressure, including:
- The main shutoff valve is open only some of the way.
- The pressure regulator is failing.
- A significant clog in the waterline that prevents water from passing.
- Corroded pipes
- A substantial leak in the plumbing system.
A licensed plumber will inspect the plumbing system to determine which of the reasons above is slowing the water flow so they can repair it. When the job is complete, your water pressure will be restored, and life in your home will go back to normal.
#3 Brown or Rust-Colored Water
When you turn on the water in your home, it should be clean and clear. If the water is brown or rust-colored, it indicates contamination, and you should hire a plumber. You can’t use contaminated water because it can make your skin and cause problems with your skin and hair, so it’s best to make the call immediately.
If just the hot water is contaminated, the issue is with your water heater. When large amounts of sediment build up in the tank, the hot water will cause it to break down and contaminate the water. A plumber can try to flush the sediment, but you’ll need to replace the unit if they can’t. If the unit is over ten years old, the inside of the tank could be breaking down. This can cause sediment, minerals, and tiny shards of glass to contaminate the water. This issue cannot be fixed, and the unit should be replaced immediately.
If the hot and cold water is discolored, there’s likely a rusty, corroded pipe contaminating the water. It can be challenging to know which lines are corroded, and you’ll need a licensed professional to find the pipes and replace them so your water will be safe to use.
You should avoid using the water until the problem is resolved, and if you must use it, you should build the water first to eliminate any harmful contaminants.
#4 Drain Issues
You expect the water to flow quickly down the drain every time you turn on the water. If it doesn’t, there’s an issue with the drain that will require a call to a licensed plumber.
- Slow drains: If the water drains slowly, it indicates a small clog in the drain. Slow drains are frustrating because you cannot let the water run long to avoid an overflow, so you must change how you perform daily tasks. Many people believe a liquid drain cleaner is the best way to eliminate a minor clog, but it can do more damage. These products contain harsh chemicals designed to break up a clog and can damage your pipes, and your plumbing bill will be much higher than if you had a professional eliminate the clog. A plumber has the necessary equipment to eliminate the clog before it escalates to a complete clog.
- Clogged drain: A complete clog will prevent water from draining, resulting in standing water in the sink or tub. When a drain clogs entirely, it indicates a significant clog that should be cleared quickly. Bacteria can form in standing water, which is a health hazard, and the clog can damage the interior of the pipe, and if not addressed quickly, water contamination or a plumbing leak can occur. A plumber can safely remove the entire clog and eliminate any gunk buildup inside the pipes that will eventually clog the drain.
- Multiple slow drains: When the water drains slowly or not at all in more than one fixture in your home, it isn’t a coincidence and indicates a clog in the sewer line. This is a serious problem because the clog will continue to escalate if it isn’t addressed quickly. Eventually, the water and waste will have nowhere to go and will back up into the house. This is the last thing you want to happen because you’ll have a nasty, smelly, potentially toxic mess that you must clean up, so it’s best to hire a plumber immediately. They will remove the entire clog, eliminating the risk of a backup, and the water will flow freely down every drain in your home.
Drain issues can make simple daily tasks challenging or impossible, so it’s best to hire a licensed professional when you notice the problem.
#5 Toilet Clog
Everyone has dealt with a clogged toilet at one time or another. Clogs happen when too much water and waste are flushed or you flush something that isn’t designed to go down the toilet, such as feminine products, baby wipes, paper towels, and a child’s toy.
Most toilet clogs aren’t a big deal because a plunger usually breaks up the clog enough that you can flush the toilet without overflowing. However, the plunger may not affect a clog that’s too large, solid, or too far down the drain pipe, and you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber. Toilet clogs can be frustrating because you can’t use the toilet until the clog is gone, and they can make your life very inconvenient if you only have one bathroom.
A licensed professional will use a drain auger to force the clog through the pipes so that you can flush without an overflow. If the clog is too far down the drainpipe for the auger to have an effect, the plumbing tech can remove the toilet to access the clog easily.
#6 Plumbing Leak
Plumbing leaks are a standard call that plumbing services receive and can cause significant water damage and mold growth if it’s not addressed immediately. Your pipes can leak if they’re old and corroded, a joint is loose or disconnected, or the sealant fails.
It’s easy to tell if a pipe under the sink begins to leak because you’ll see a puddle of water when you open the kitchen cabinet or bathroom vanity. The same is true if a pipe behind the wall starts to leak because you’ll see water spots on the wall. It’s possible for a pipe under your house to leak, and unfortunately, these leaks can be more challenging to detect, so you should know what to look for. Some signs can be seen in the basement, including:
- A warm area on the floor
- A crack in the wall or floor
- A musty smell
Some signs can only be seen outside, including:
- A large puddle near the house, and it hasn’t rained.
- An area of the lawn is greener and lusher than the rest.
Some issues will show no visible signs, and you’ll see a significant drop in water pressure, splashing sounds, rust-colored water, and a considerable increase in your water bills.
If you think there’s a leaky pipe in your home, it’s best to hire a plumber immediately. If the problem isn’t addressed immediately, the water damage and mold growth will continue to worsen, and fixing the damage can be expensive.
The plumber will find the leak and replace it if necessary. If the pipe isn’t the cause, they’ll tighten the joint or replace the sealant. If they have trouble finding the leak, they’ll use leak detection equipment to locate it so the problem can be resolved quickly.
#7 Frozen Pipes
When the temperature outside drops below freezing, there’s a good chance your pipes will freeze, and frozen pipes are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. When the pipes freeze, the water inside will freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst. If this happens, the water will flood your home, causing significant damage.
If you turn on the faucet on a freezing day and nothing comes out, the pipes have likely frozen, and you should call a plumber immediately. They will thaw the pipes as quickly as possible before the pipes burst. They will also recommend letting the water drip when there’s a cold snap in the forecast, and they can install heated tape on the lines so they won’t freeze as easily.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth Can Help
If something goes wrong with your plumbing system and you need to hire a licensed plumber, look no further than Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth. We’re a family-owned and operated full-service plumbing company and have provided superior service to our customers since 1998.
Our plumbing techs have undergone years of professional training and apprenticeship, and their knowledge and skill have allowed them to successfully complete some of the most challenging jobs in the plumbing industry,
If you have a plumbing issue that must be addressed immediately and we aren’t in the office, don’t panic. We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ll send a plumber to your house as quickly as possible to resolve the problem, regardless of the day or time.
If you need to schedule an appointment for plumbing service, call us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth or book online.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.