Watch Out for These 13 Plumbing Problems

June 23, 2022

Keeping an eye on your utilities is a great way to reduce the impact of potential problems. Your plumbing system is no different, and it helps to be informed of the most common problems. Depending on the degree of the problem, you might be able to perform DIY plumbing repair yourself. Let’s go over 13 of the most common plumbing services and what it might take to address them.

Common Faucet Problems

Your home has various faucets in rooms including the bathroom and kitchen. Because faucets draw water from your plumbing, common problems can reduce or block water flow. In some cases you’re dealing with the opposite problem, which is too much water dripping out of the faucet.

Faucet Spout Is Leaking

What creates this problem? Faucets with two handles are known as cartridge-style faucets. These cartridges are valves that regulate water running into the spout. When a cartridge is defective, it can cause a leak. It could also be a deteriorated valve seat, which links the faucet and spot together.

How do I fix it? Finding the broken or worn-down part and replacing it should resolve the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component may be damaged.

Estimated repair cost: Replacement parts for the cartridges or valve seat can run between just a few dollars to around $80 depending on the make and model.

Faucet Base Is Leaking

What causes this problem? A Majority of the time, a leak near the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn out. Without a strong seal, water can push through the stem and start leaking.

How do I fix it? Sometimes the problem can be resolved with a good cleaning of the seal and O-ring. If not, the component will have to be replaced.

Estimated repair cost: An individual O-ring costs around $2. It may be a good idea to buy a pack of several so that you can swiftly take care of this plumbing repair job again the next time a leak shows up.

Faucet Is Leaking Underneath the Sink

What causes this problem? A loose connection is the most common culprit. This might be where the sink’s pipes connect to the main water supply as well as by the drain or P-trap connection. Especially old faucets may be corroded to the point where they can’t maintain secure connections.

How do I fix it? Locating the source of your leak is important since this leak may not be instantly visible. If tightening the connections doesn’t resolve things, you’ll want to inspect the faucet itself.

Estimated repair cost: The cost to resolve things can fluctuate depending on where the leak is coming from, especially if water damage is discovered.

Common Toilet Problems

We count on our toilets to function cleanly and efficiently. If your toilet is dealing with a problem, you’ll want to check these places first.

Toilet Is Clogged

What causes this problem? Even a limited clog can slow the drainage of your toilet. For many clogs, a trustworthy plunger will be your first line of defense.

How do I fix it? Lift the flapper valve to see how the toilet is draining. Slow or no drainage is a good sign there’s a clog. You should use a plunger to try to clear the clog, or a toilet snake if that doesn’t work.

Estimated repair cost: In many cases, clearing away a clog from your toilet won’t cost you a thing. When the plunger doesn’t work, the clog could be deeper in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to contact local plumbing services in Ellsworth.

Toilet Is Running

What causes this problem? Toilets replenish their water supply from the tank after each flush. When too much water comes from the tank, it makes your toilet run constantly. Exchanging one or several parts should resolve things.

How do I fix it? It could be the float arm, the flapper or the refill tube since a problem with any of these components can result in a running toilet. You can observe the flushing/refilling cycle to learn where the issue is.

Estimated repair cost: These components vary in cost between $13 and $70. There’s a chance the toilet is running simply because something has fallen out of place. In this case, it could be free to take care of your problem!

Toilet Is Leaking from the Tank

What causes this problem? Toilet tanks are manufactured from materials like porcelain. With the exception of damage to the tank itself, the leak is most likely coming from a worn-down rubber seal secured to places like the bolts, the spud washer or the refill valve.

How do I fix it? Check the water level inside the tank, as you might be able to narrow down the leak’s location. You’ll then want to empty the tank and detach it from the toilet bowl. You will remove the fill valve and the connection bolts first, examining the spud washer when the tank is detached. Look for ruined rubber or signs of corrosion.

Estimated repair cost: These rubber seals are normally only a few dollars. If the tank itself is cracked, however, a replacement could cost upward of $200. This may be a job for professional plumbing companies who handle the process quickly and efficiently.

Toilet Is Loose

What causes this problem? If your toilet appears wobbly or loose, it could be a worn out bolt or the wax seal ring running around the base. It can also be the toilet flange, which joins the bowl to your home’s drainage system.

How do I fix it? Securing the bolts is simple, as is replacing them. If the problem is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be mindful not to damage the toilet bowl. Some homeowners prefer having professional plumbing services in Ellsworth when the toilet has to be disconnected.

Estimated repair cost: Replacement bolts are inexpensive, with replacement flanges averaging $20 or so.

Common Low Water Pressure Problems

Inferior water pressure can make all kinds of household tasks more tedious and time-consuming. It’s especially discouraging when it affects key fixtures including the showerhead or the kitchen sink.

Low Water Pressure in the Shower

What causes this problem? If your shower’s water pressure is too low, it could be a problem with a valve or mineral buildup inside the showerhead. A dirty shower can be cleaned, but damage to the showerhead may make replacing it the most cost-effective option.

How do I fix it? Let the shower head soak in vinegar for a long time. This should remove sediment or other clogs. Adjusting the pressure valve might also help. If the pressure is still too low, swapping to another showerhead might fix things.

Estimated repair cost: Cleaning the showerhead is free, and it’s recommended you attempt this first just in case. When swapping to a different make and model, the cost will fluctuate depending on what you go with.

Low Water Pressure in the Kitchen Sink

What causes this problem? Two common causes of bad water pressure in your kitchen faucet are a clogged aerator or a clogged cartridge. The aerator is right up against the spout, depositing air into the water as it passes by. Cartridges regulate the flow of hot vs. cold water.

How do I fix it? Cleaning the aerator may solve your water pressure problem. Replacing the faucet’s cartridges may also handle things.

Estimated repair cost: Replacing the aerator could cost between $5 and $25 depending on which model you prefer. Cartridges often average $45 to $60.

Common Drain Problems

A problem with your drain can slow cooking and cleaning down. And if it’s completely backed up, you’ll have to clear it before you can use the sink or tub again. Since drains are only designed to carry water out of your home, problems center around being unable to do so.

Drain Is Clogged

What causes this problem? Large objects, mineral buildup and other materials can collect in the drain, stopping it up. This can happen gradually or all at once depending on the nature of the clog.

How do I fix it? There are lots of options for unblocking drain clogs. Some chemicals can help push clogs into the rest of the plumbing while a drain snake reaches in and drags solid material out. Deep clogs may need professional help.

Estimated repair cost: The cost for these materials is fairly low, between $8 and $30. If you can’t remove the clog, local plumbing services in Ellsworth can help.

Drain Is Slow

What causes this problem? This is most likely a clog in progress. It hasn’t completely blocked the drain yet, but an obstruction has formed.

How do I fix it? You can likely handle this with chemicals or a snake. In a few cases it may solve itself, but you don’t want to risk it developing into a complete clog.

Estimated repair cost: Materials will probably cost between $8 and $30 depending on brand choices. The unique nature of the clog could make one or the other more useful.

Common Burst Pipe Problems

A burst pipe is a severe issue that can damage not just your plumbing but parts of your home around it. Ultimately any burst pipe problem will be traced back to the damaged piping. In certain cases other problems like water damage or low water pressure will appear first.

Burst Pipe That’s Frozen

What causes this problem? Expanding ice or trying to wrench a frozen pipe free can result in this problem. Most homes are warm enough to stop the pipes from freezing, but severe cold and low use can lead to freezing.

How do I fix it? You’ll want to wait until the pipe is thawed out before you can begin repairs. The water supply will be turned off while the section of pipe is replaced. If water damage has happened, you might need additional plumbing repair.

Estimated repair cost: Costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage. Large sections of piping are more expensive, especially if they are made from a high-quality material. You might pay anywhere from $30 to more than $150

Burst Pipe That’s Behind a Wall

What causes this problem? Damage, corrosion and even pests can lead to a burst pipe in your home. With the added difficulty of the piping being tucked away behind a wall, this could be a task more suitable for local plumbing companies in Ellsworth.

How do I fix it? Replacing a broken pipe requires getting to the piping itself. This can be more challenging when the pipe is behind a wall. You might have to clear a large enough piece away where work can be managed comfortably.

Estimated repair cost: This problem may need special tools and experience thanks to cramped working conditions and corroded piping. If you don’t have this equipment on hand, the job may be more suitable for professionals. Expert plumbing repair can locate burst pipes behind walls and resolve the problem. Average costs can vary considerably, usually around $150.