When and When Not to Call a Plumbing Professional
Many residential plumbing problems can be easy enough to fix yourself. Usually, the average homeowner is well acquainted with a plunger and a bottle of drain cleaner. However, for most, this commonly tends to be the breadth of their plumbing knowledge.
Often times, handy homeowners are capable of handling minor plumbing emergencies with just a little elbow grease. However, larger plumbing jobs should be left to the professionals. After all, they are experienced and well-trained to handle even the biggest, smelliest plumbing catastrophes.
Identifying the warning signs of a potential plumbing disaster is the key to avoiding water damage and costly repairs. Be proactive. If your plumbing is signaling you to call in the pros, do so—ASAP. Letting major plumbing problems go or attempting to fix them yourself could land you in serious debt.
Read on to find out whether or not you’re plumbing problem is worthy of calling in a professional.
Clogged or Slow Drain
If water won’t drain from your bathtub, sink, or toilet or does so very slowly, it’s likely you have a clog. Often, your average household plunger will do the trick in these situations. A plunger will free the clog by using air pressure to dislodge whatever is blocking the drain. However, this does not completely remove it. Be sure to only utilize drain cleaner occasionally. Frequent usage may cause corrosion to pipes. If you’re noticing routine clogs, it may be time for a drain cleaning. In that case, call a plumber.
Another telltale sign of a clogged drain is gurgling. If you notice a gurgling sound while running the laundry, dishwasher, shower, or toilet, shut off the water to avoid back up into your home. After you’ve shut off your water, make sure to call a plumber to diagnose the problem.
Hard to Find Leaks
Do you hear water running in your home when no one is using it? Listen carefully because that can be a sign of a leak. The leaks you cannot see are the most troublesome for homeowners as they can hide behind the walls, underneath bathtubs and toilets and behind sinks. Just because you cannot see a leak doesn’t mean you don’t have one. In these situations, make sure to always contact a plumbing professional.
The aggravating noise and the gallons of water wasted that drive your water bill even higher only begin to describe the frustration that comes along with a dripping faucet. Silicone or rubber washers on the interior of your faucet hold in water when the tap is off. With time and usage, these washers can become worn out, stiff, and dislocated. This will cause water to push its way through the pipes and into the sink causing that troublesome drip. Without specialized tools, replacing these washers yourself could likely damage the fixture’s finish. It’s often best to avoid preforming these repairs on your own by simply calling in the experts.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is an inconvenience among other things, but sometimes low water pressure can indicate bigger problems within your plumbing’s overall health. Low water pressure at the kitchen sink can be as simple as a calcium buildup or the indication of a fractured pipe that is leaking behind the wall. Before you call a plumber, twist off your faucet’s aerator and wipe the residue from the aerator. If that doesn’t seem to fix the problem, it might be time to call a plumber. Besides a fractured pipe, this can also indicate erosion of your plumbing system.
Water Heater Temperatures are Down
No one wants to wake up to notice ice cold water running through their showerhead. Before you panic and call your local plumber, check the thermostat in the room in which your water heater is to see if it has been turned to a cold setting by accident. It should always reside in the “energy saver” setting. Also, be sure to check the pilot light. If it’s out, your water heater is pretty much useless. If these simple fixes didn’t prompt warm water, call in a plumber. They have the knowledge to indicate whether your problem is a water heater failure, tank corrosion, or an electrical malfunction.
Bottom Line, Go with Your Gut…Not Your Wallet
In the end, always weigh the risks and cost advantages of any plumbing project. While it’s a nice alternative to save a buck over higher priced professionals, by doing so, you can run the risk of creating an even worse, more costly plumbing problem in your home.