When it comes to owning a home, plumbing problems can be a real headache. The sudden leaks, that persistent drip, or the dreaded blocked drain can all significantly disrupt your daily routine and drain your wallet. The good news is that many plumbing issues can be prevented with some basic knowledge and general maintenance.
We explore the top five most common plumbing problems and what you can do to avoid them, and continue enjoying a hassle-free home.
Blocked drains are an incredibly common problem that most homeowners will have to deal with at some point. However, with a few preventative measures, you can keep your pipes flowing freely.
Clogged drains generally occur when an obstruction partially or entirely blocks the flow of water. For bathroom sinks and showers, hair is a frequent offender, however other objects like shampoo caps or small toys can inadvertently find their way into the drain, causing a blockage.
For toilets, issues often arise when non-dissolvable materials are flushed, preventing them from passing through the pipe. These solid objects become stuck, effectively hindering or even preventing water from passing the blockage and continuing down the drainage system.
Use drain screens: these inexpensive mesh screens fit over the drain openings and are great for catching hair, soap scum, and other miscellaneous debris before they can make it into the pipes.
Avoid flushing non-flushables: When it comes to your toilet, if it isn't toilet paper, don't flush it. This means flushable wipes, cotton balls, or any other sanitary items should be thrown in the bin, not flushed down the toilet.
Clean your drains: There are a number of ways you can safely clean your drains if you are worried about a potential build up.
Hot water system problems are fairly easy to spot. Picture it: you eagerly step into the shower, anticipating the warm water, only to be met with an unexpected icy blast. Similarly, you might also notice leaks, water discolouration, or unusual noises emanating from the water heater.
Water heater issues can often be attributed to leaks and mineral deposits. Leaks can lead to an insufficient hot water supply, resulting in reduced hot water availability throughout your household. While sediment buildup can significantly impact your hot water systems ability to sustain a stable water temperature.
Flushing your hot water system: Over time, sediment can accumulate in your water heater, reducing its efficiency. Having the tank drained and flushed at least once a year can help to keep it running smoothly for longer.
Check the pressure valve: It is common for the pressure relief valve to become jammed due to sediment buildup. If the valve does get stuck it can lead to an unsafe buildup of pressure inside your tank.
Toilets are essential plumbing in every home, but they can be a major source of frustration when they continually run.
A running toilet usually indicates a sign of malfunctioning internal components. Generally, when a flapper valve no longer fits correctly due to damage or age, it may allow water to continuously run. Other common culprits include leaks, loose components, or an imbalanced float.
There are not many ways to avoid a leak in your toilet, however you can ensure you are checking the different components in your toilet often to ensure they are not falling victim to wear and tear.
Leaking taps, fixtures and pipes are not only annoying but can also lead to water wastage and higher water bills.
A dripping tap is often the result of damage to the washer responsible for sealing the tap. Such damage can manifest as tearing, displacement, or stiffening of the washer. When this occurs, the washer no longer forms a tight seal, leading to minor water drips from your fixture.
Additionally, these leaks can be caused by various factors, including wear and tear, shifting, elevated water pressure, or other forms of damage.
Regularly inspect fixtures: checking taps, showerheads, and exposed pipes for signs of damage or corrosion can help with the early detection of any possible issues.
Avoid unnecessary pressure: The components in taps will deteriorate over time, however you can slow this process by ensuring you are not putting unnecessary pressure on the fixtures. This means you should be turning taps on and off slowly and avoid over-tightening when turning them off.
While it might feel rewarding to tackle these plumbing problems yourself, DIY jobs can leave you worse off than you started.
It is essential to avoid these common DIY pitfalls:
Use the right tools: Ensure you have the correct tools for the job, and if you're unsure, seek advice from a professional.
Don't over-tighten or under-tighten: Over-tightening can damage important components, while under-tightening can lead to unwanted leaks.
In any case, when it comes to your plumbing a professional should always be involved.
Jetset Plumbing have a team of specialised plumbers to help with all of your plumbing needs. Be it a blocked drain, a broken hot water system, or a leaking tap, we've got you covered.