As a homeowner, it’s important to understand how your home plumbing system works. While every homeowner should have some basic plumbing skills for emergencies, there are times when calling a professional is the best way to go. You wouldn’t want to do something wrong and wind up in a worse situation (and water doesn’t stop flowing – so it adds up quickly!).
Your Home Plumbing System
A home plumbing system is a network of pipes, valves, fixtures, and drainage channels that supply clean water and remove waste from your home. At its core, the system consists of two main parts: the water supply and drainage systems.
We all know the basics. The water supply system sources water from the city’s main line or a private well and distributes it throughout your home. Fixtures such as faucets, toilets, and showerheads are connected to the system and draw water when activated. The drainage system, on the other hand, removes wastewater from the fixtures and directs it to the sewer or septic tank to be treated.
Common Problems in Home Plumbing Systems
While the plumbing system is designed to withstand frequent use and wear, it is not immune to problems. Here are some of the most common plumbing problems that homeowners may encounter:
A leak is one of the most frustrating and urgent problems a homeowner can face. Worn-out pipes, faulty fixtures, or improper installation may cause leaks. Water stains on the ceiling or walls, damp floors, and dripping faucets are all signs of a leak.
Clogs are another frequently occurring problem that homeowners can face. Clogs in toilet bowls, sinks, and shower drains occur due to debris buildup, including hair, grease, and soap scum. Clogs can cause water to overflow or backups, leading to unpleasant odors and unsanitary conditions. Clogs are one of the most common home plumbing problems and often the easiest to remedy (and prevent).
Low Water Pressure
Poor water pressure is another common plumbing problem. It may be caused by sediment buildup in pipes or malfunctioning fixtures. Low water pressure can affect daily routines, such as taking a shower or washing dishes, and can frustrate homeowners.
Simple Solutions For Home Plumbing Problems
Not all plumbing problems will require professional services. Here are some simple solutions you can try at home to fix common issues:
You can try to tighten loose connections or replace worn-out washers for minor leaks. However, if the problem persists, it may be time to call a professional plumber. A plumber can inspect the pipes, fixtures, and connections, detect and diagnose the problem, and recommend the most appropriate action.
Plungers are effective for removing simple clogs. You can also use a drain snake, a long, flexible cable that can fit into pipes, to dislodge buildup. Chemical cleaners may be required for more challenging clogs, but be cautious when using these as they can damage pipes.
Low Water Pressure
For faucets with low water pressure, you can clean the aerator, the small screen at the end of the faucet. A buildup of debris can restrict the water flow. You can also check for faulty pressure regulators that may need replacement.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
While some problems can be fixed with DIY solutions, sometimes it’s best to call a professional plumber. If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, it may be time to call in the experts:
- Frozen pipes
- Burst pipes
- Sewage backups
- Water heater problems
- Major leaks that require pipe replacement
- New installations or upgrades
Professional plumbers have the expertise, tools, and experience necessary to handle complex plumbing issues safely and efficiently. They can also provide regular maintenance and inspection services to prevent future problems and ensure your plumbing system is in tip-top shape.
Understanding how your home plumbing system works and how to fix common problems is always helpful for homeowners. In addition, it is beneficial to know how some standard fixtures work and how to perform regular maintenance to keep them flowing. Need to learn more about the plumbing system in your new home? Give us a call.
image courtesy of amixstudio on Freepik