How do you know if you have a plumbing issue? And how do you know when to call a plumber? Sometimes, it’s obvious. For example, if a pipe bursts and your house starts flooding, you’d rush to make the call.
In other situations, however, you might feel like you can wait to call for help. Even though the situation might not seem serious at first glance, you should call a plumber if you notice any of these nine signs.
1. Your Toilet Runs So Much It Should Be in the Olympic Games
If your toilet randomly runs — as in, you can hear water filling into the tank even though no one has used it — then you need to call a plumber. Many people will just accept a toilet that randomly runs and dismiss it as a design flaw. However, your noisy toilet could be running up your water bill.
In fact, running toilets are one of the leading causes of unusually high water bills. If your toilet is running, it means that the seal connecting the tank and the bowl is defective, causing water to leak into the bowl and thereby causing the tank to constantly need to refill. A plumber can fix this issue easily.
2. A Pipe Is Leaking
Many people just accept leaky pipes as minor annoyances, especially when the leak is small. After all, if it’s just a minor leak, it doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a cause for concern.
However, any leaky pipe poses a big risk to the home. Leaky pipes are prone to breaking or bursting, and these little leaks can really drive up the cost of your water bill over time. So if you find a leak, call a plumber to fix the problem right away.
3. Your Family Is Just Used to Taking Short Showers
Unless you knowingly purchased a very small or highly economical water heater, no single-family home should be a place where people have to race to be the first one to use the hot water. Any modern water heater should be able to provide a family with enough water for everyone to use comfortably. If your hot water isn’t doing its job, call a plumber. You might not need a new unit if the one you already have can be repaired.
4. Your Basement Is Always Damp
Excess water on floors and walls can lead to a whole host of problems, including mold — trust us, the last thing you want as a homeowner is to find out your house has mold. It can cost you a fortune and jeopardize your family’s health. A plumber can help you identify the source of the issue before it escalates.
Poor insulation can allow rainwater to flood into your home, causing your basement to be unusually damp. However, basement dampness can also be the result of leaky pipes. If you frequently see water collecting, but you can’t pinpoint where on earth it could be coming from, it’s a good idea to call a plumber.
5. Your Bathtub Takes a Long Time to Drain
If your bathtub or shower takes forever to drain, your instinct might be to clean out the top and pour some liquid drain clogging solutions inside. A bathtub or shower should drain out almost instantaneously. While this kind of DIY solution will occasionally work, most drain clogs that have accumulated over time require professional intervention. If the problem persists, it might be time to call a plumber.
6. Your Sink Won’t Stop Dripping
A dripping faucet may seem like a minor issue, but you’d be surprised — at a rate of one drip per second, your faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water in just one year.
You might be able to solve this problem yourself by replacing the faucet cartridge or stem. However, if your DIY fix doesn’t work, bring in a plumber. A consistently dripping sink could be a sign of a major problem that requires expert help.
7. Your House Smells Like Sewage
If you notice the smell of raw sewage or rotten eggs in the air, you need to call a professional ASAP. A foul odor could be coming from clogged drains, loose P-traps or broken vents or sewer pipes.
The smell might also impact your safety. Sewer gases can contain toxic chemicals such as ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, which can cause health issues after long-term exposure. Until your plumber arrives, open your windows and doors to get the air circulating and vent the gases out of your home.
8. You Hear Strange Gurgling Sounds
If using your toilet, shower, washing machine or dishwasher triggers a gurgling sound, you could have a serious issue on your hands — especially if the sound continues when you’re not using these applicants.
Plumbing systems need proper airflow to function. When your vent is clogged, air can’t get in, which causes the gurgling noise. This issue needs to be solved right away, as leaving it for too long can result in water backing up into your home.
9. Your Water Pressure Is Low or Inconsistent
If you’re only experiencing low water pressure in one fixture, it could just be a result of mineral buildup — this problem is fairly easy to solve. However, low or inconsistent water pressure throughout your house can indicate a more serious issue. The cause could be a leak, broken pipes or even an eroded waterline.
Don’t DIY this one. Call an expert who can diagnose and solve these issues before they can damage your home.
What to Do Before You Call a Plumber
Want to make your plumber’s visit quick and easy? There are several steps you can take when you call a plumber to prepare for their arrival:
- Check other areas: Inspect the plumbing throughout your house to see if you find any other issues and share your findings with your plumber when they arrive. This information can help your plumber diagnose the issue more accurately so they can fix the problem quicker. It could also reveal a totally unrelated issue you might not have noticed otherwise.
- Clear the area: If possible, clear the space around your toilet, shower or sink. Taking the time to clear the area gives your plumber easy access to your fixtures, enabling them to work more quickly.
- Move your pets: You could have the friendliest pets on the block, but letting your furry friends roam during a plumber visit can interfere with their work. It can also pose a risk to your pets if they get too close. Before your plumber arrives, make sure your pets are in a separate room with everything they need.
Call Tom Drexler Plumbing, Air & Electric Today
You shouldn’t have to suffer through these inconveniences when an experienced plumber can easily solve them. If you’re dealing with any of the above, it’s best to bring in the professionals as soon as possible.
If you’re in the Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana area and you need plumbing help, we’ve got your back. Schedule a service online or give us a call at (502) 456-5982.