Every year, plumbing issues cost households hundreds of dollars and no shortage of unnecessary stress. With a long winter ahead, the last thing you want is for your plumbing to break down.
That’s why it is important to know how to identify common plumbing issues before they can develop into emergency plumbing issues. Fortunately, this is a straightforward task. Read on to find out how you can spot the 10 most common plumbing issues before they become too serious.
The 10 Most Common Plumbing Issues
1. Leaking Pipes
One of the most common plumbing issues in apartment buildings and homes is leaky pipes. This is especially true for copper plumbing issues, as copper pipes are likely to rust and corrode over time. Leaking pipes can cause major damage, so must be addressed quickly.
2. Dripping Faucets
A dripping faucet is irritating, but it is also a sign that the plumbing is not working. Dripping faucets may be the result of wear-and-tear of the O-ring, which can easily and cheaply be replaced.
3. Toilet Won’t Flush
Nothing is worse than realizing your toilet just will not flush. This is one of the most common plumbing issues we deal with, and it is usually fixable with very little time or money involved. If your toilet takes effort to flush, you need to call a professional.
4. Toilet Keeps Running
Have you ever flushed a toilet only to see that the water won’t stop running? Not only is this frustrating, but it can also result in hugely expensive water bills. This is usually the result of worn-out flapper seals, which should be replaced by a qualified plumber.
5. Low Water Pressure
If you are trying to take a shower but can barely get any water pressure, the plumbing is most likely the issue. Low water pressure is often the result of a water leak somewhere in the plumbing system or a problem with the boiler.
6. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains can cause serious damage to your plumbing system and your home. If you have a clogged drain, you should try unclogging it yourself with a plunger. Only when this fails should you call a plumber.
7. Water Heater Problems
Nobody wants to take a cold shower in the dead of winter. If your water will not heat up, it may be the result of something simple and easy to fix, such as the pilot light going out. If not, then you should call in a specialist.
8. Sewage Overflow
It goes without saying that an overflow of sewage on your property is deeply unpleasant. This is why sewage problems are listed in most homeowners insurance plumbing issues lists and will nearly always be covered by your provider.
9. Leaking Hose Bibbs
After a frosty winter, warm spring and summer temperatures can cause frozen hose bibbs to thaw and crack, causing costly and potentially dangerous leaks. You may be able to simply replace your hose bibbs yourself, saving you time and money.
10. Corrosion and Rust
Corrosion and rust can occur anywhere in your plumbing system and usually happens when the components are very old. If you suspect corrosion or rust problems, you will need to call a plumber as fixing it yourself is complicated and can be dangerous.
Plumbing Components And Their Lifespans
Will your pipes will withstand another brutal winter season? Will your toilet ever be efficient with water? Will your water heater continue to provide hot water for every shower? The only way to know is to become more familiar with the life expectancy of your plumbing system components.
It’s wise to find out just how often your toilets, water heater, washing machine supply hoses, faucets, pipes, and drains should last, and the signs which may help you anticipate when they’re going to fail.
Here’s a list of the most common components and their average lifespans:
Parts of your toilet bear more wear and tear over time, unlike the actual toilet bowl itself. These parts within the toilet may need to be replaced often, depending on their usage:
- Handle: Lifespan is based on usage
- Flappers, trip levers, fill valves, fittings, and plumbing connections: 4-5 years
- Wax seals: 20-30 years
You should replace your toilet handle if any of the following happens:
- Need to jiggle it to stop the water from running
- Won’t fully flush unless you hold the handle down
- Water runs on its own without having flushed the toilet
On average, a conventional tank water heater should be replaced every 10-15 years. The newer, tankless water heaters will last double that time – for about 20 years. Both of these systems can last longer if they are well-maintained, but start shopping if you keep noticing:
- The pilot light in your conventional water heater flickering out
- The circuit breaker in your tankless water heater keeps tripping
- The burner or heating element failing or the thermostat breaking
- The water valve sticking
- Any minor leaks or rust around the water heater
WASHING MACHINE HOSES
The hoses that are supplying water to your washing machine can take a beating depending on how much laundry you do. On average, washing machine supply hoses should be replaced every 3 years.
To avoid a potential burst of your supply hose, look for the following signs:
- Seeing or feeling a bubble in your hose
- Cracks, unraveling, discoloration, crimps, or kinks in the hose
- Any signs of leaking or rusting around the hose
Faucets can usually be repaired and rejuvenated, meaning you’ll only need to replace them if they have to be fixed on a regular basis or if they simply stop functioning.
As a homeowner, it’s clear that updating faucets can add value to your kitchens and bathrooms. Choosing newer fixtures with the latest technology (washerless cartridges, touch operated, etc.) can ensure they will have a longer lifespan.
If supply pipes leak, they will do the most damage to your home. They are under constant pressure and if your home is on the older side, these pipes may be costly to replace, but better to be safe than sorry.
It’s suggested that you replace supply pipes according to these lifespans:
- Brass pipes: 80-100 years
- Copper pipes: 70-80 years
- Galvanized steel pipes: 80-100 years
Tree root growth or years of contraction and expansion of ground soil can impact drain lines, but they can also fail due to old age. Hoping that a natural disaster will not occur, the average lifespans can be:
- Cast iron pipes: 80-100 years
- PVC (plastic) pipes: 25-40 years
Keeping records is essential to tracking the age of your plumbing system’s components. If you’re not sure how to determine the age of these components or the severity of your plumbing issues, consult with your contractor or stop by our showroom to learn more from one of our experts.
Resolve Your Plumbing Issues Today
No matter your plumbing issues, we stand ready to help. Whether you have a faulty toilet or leaky pipes, Hanover Supply has the equipment and the personnel to fix your problem easily, affordably, and quickly. Make sure to give our professional and friendly team a call to find out how we can resolve your plumbing issues.