It may seem easier to put off repairs when a plumbing issue is minor, such as a dripping faucet or slow drain. Unfortunately, what may be a small and inexpensive repair now can turn into a major expense if it's ignored. Here are some plumbing issues you should watch out for.
1. Wasted Water
A dripping faucet or running toilet may seem like a nuisance at worst, but in actuality, increased water bills can lead to major expenses. A single dripping faucet can waste several gallons of water a day, depending on the severity. Running toilets can waste even more water. This adds up over time, and you end up paying for it on your water bill.
2. Appliance Failure
Your plumbing system also consists of appliances, such as your water heater, dishwasher, and the ice maker in your fridge. Hard water buildup is one of the most common plumbing issues that cause failure — especially in water heaters. Water pressure issues, such as a failed regulator, can also cause problems in your appliances. If your appliances are performing poorly or making odd noises, you need to schedule a repair before irreversible damage occurs.
3. Water Damage
Water damage can become quite severe before you even notice it. Leaks in the walls or underneath cabinets are the common culprits. If your drains are emptying slowly or if there is a major drop in water pressure, a hidden leak could be the root cause so you don't want to ignore it. Odd stains on walls and ceilings, as well as musty odors, are other warning signs of a leak.
4. Sewer Backups
A sewer backup is more than an inconvenience — it can cause severe damage to your home and pose a health hazard. There are usually warning signs that a backup is imminent. These include slow drains, foul odors around the drains, minor backups in sinks and toilets, and gurgling noises from the drain pipe. Ignore these at your own peril. A backup is easy to avoid with a drain cleaning but much harder to repair once it occurs.
5. Burst Pipes
Burst pipes in the wall or yard are usually caused by either age or a blockage. You can avoid burst sewer pipes by having the drains cleaned and the pipes inspected occasionally for age-related wear. Water lines are most often blocked by mineral deposits, so installing a water softener can help prevent problems.
Contact a plumber in your area if you are experiencing a plumbing issue, no matter how minor.