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Small Plumbing Problems That Lead To Disasters

man holding an umbrella in his kitchen due to water leak

These are usually a warning sign of much bigger problems.

Drip. Drip. Drip. Leaking faucets can be everything from annoying to sleep-depriving. So, maybe you try to crank the faucet handle a little further or simply close the bathroom door so that you won’t hear it. We’re all so busy, after all, and in the context of a full life and COVID and everything else going on in the world, this hardly seems significant.

But did you know that a plumbing problem that seems like a minor annoyance can actually be a warning of much bigger problems? If so, any delay in fixing the issue will only add to mounting repair costs that can also involve renovations to your building structure. Here are some common “little” plumbing issues to watch for:

A Leaky Faucet. Over time, a little leak can end up wasting thousands of gallons of water and add dollars to your water bill. Plus, the continuous pressure can weaken your fixture and piping. Although the repair might be as simple as cleaning a clogged aerator in the faucet, the leak could be a sign of a cracked or leaking pipe which could eventually burst and flood your home or office. Or it could mean that there is a clog in the pipes anywhere from under the sink to the main water line.

An Increasing Water Bill. If your water bill seems high, call your water company to see if your usage went up or your rate increased. If your usage went up and there is no explanation for it, you could have a leak somewhere in your system. This mystery leak can cause you to lose hundreds of gallons of water each day. The cause could be anything from a constantly running toilet to a break in your water line. Line leak detection equipment can be used to locate the problem before it becomes disaster.

A Slow Drain. A slow drain or frequently clogged toilet is a nuisance. You may be able to fix the problem at hand with some drain cleaner or a plunger. It may be limited to a single drain or you may notice slow drainage throughout your home or office. Either way, you should contact a plumber to evaluate the situation. There could be an object, debris, or even a tree root causing the problem. If a blockage in the main sewer line goes untreated, serious damage or a sewer backup can occur.

Air in the Water Line. Does your faucet screech or sputter when you turn it on? There may be air in your water line. This can be the harbinger of a serious problem since your water line is a closed system, meaning air should not be present. This can be caused by a malfunctioning air-bleed system or a crack in a pipe that can lead to a break in your water line if not repaired. This is yet another example of when you should call a plumber to investigate and make necessary repairs.

What’s That Smell? If you detect a foul odor indoors, it could be coming from your sewer line. There is an intricate, behind-the-scenes system of plumbing wonders that keeps sewer gases from traveling into your interior space. A foul odor could signal failure somewhere in this system. Addressing this problem quickly is critical to avoiding a major problem. A plumber may need to ventilate and unclog your sewer line and check for leaks at the same time.

Don’t Delay. Generally speaking, the longer you delay the greater the chance that a small problem will become a plumbing disaster. If so, you’ll be looking at potential repairs to drywall, flooring, and framing in addition to remedial efforts that extend to carpeting, painting, and more. And if the problem exists over a long period of time, mold can become not only costly to remove but also a threat to your health. Contact an experienced plumbing professional if you are experiencing any of these problems and you can avoid a plumbing disaster.