7 Most Common Residential Plumbing Problems

Plumber Repairing Outdoor Pipe Leak


Avoiding residential plumbing problems is crucial for the comfort and safety of any home. Many homeowners encounter a variety of common issues that can disrupt daily life and even lead to significant water damage if not addressed promptly. 

Understanding these frequent residential plumbing problems can help in early detection and quick resolution, saving time, money, and stress. From dripping faucets to clogged drains, each issue requires specific knowledge and handling techniques. 

This article will explore the seven most common residential plumbing problems, providing insights on their causes, how to identify them, and effective solutions.


1. The Annoyance and Expense of Dripping Faucets: A Guide to Stopping the Drip

That persistent drip, drip, drip from your faucet can be more than just annoying. It can also be costing you money. Let’s explore what causes faucets to drip and how to address the issue.


Why Does My Faucet Drip?

The most common culprit behind a dripping faucet is worn-out washers or O-rings. These are the small seals that create a watertight fit within the faucet. Over time, due to constant friction and exposure to water, these washers and O-rings can deteriorate, allowing tiny leaks to develop.

Here’s a breakdown of the common causes:


How Much Money Does a Dripping Faucet Waste?

Even a small drip can waste a surprising amount of water. A faucet dripping at a rate of one drip per second can waste gallons of water per day! This translates to higher water bills.

Here’s a quick calculation to illustrate the potential impact:

This is just an example, and the actual amount of water wasted will depend on the severity of the drip. However, it highlights how even a minor drip can add up over time.


Fixing the Drip: DIY or Call a Pro?

For some handy homeowners, fixing a dripping faucet is a straightforward task. If you’re comfortable with basic plumbing tasks, you can usually purchase a faucet repair kit from your local hardware store. The kit will include replacement washers or O-rings, and likely instructions specific to your faucet type.

However, if you’re not comfortable tackling the job yourself, or if the leak seems more complex, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose the problem and fix the leak quickly and efficiently.

Here’s a guideline to help you decide:

By addressing a dripping faucet can save money on your water bill and prevent further damage to your plumbing system.


Plumber Working Under Kitchen Sink Fixing Leaking Water, Broken Kitchen Drain


2. Don’t Let Your Home Spring a Leak: Identifying and Addressing Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes – those pesky drips and trickles – can be more than just an annoyance. Left unaddressed, they can lead to wasted water, mold growth, and even structural damage. This blog post will equip you to identify the culprits behind leaky pipes, the telltale signs of trouble, and the best course of action.


Behind the Drip: Common Causes of Leaky Pipes

Several factors can contribute to a leaky pipe:


Residential Plumbing Problems: How to Identify Leaky Pipes

Early detection is key to preventing major damage. Here’s what to watch out for:


Temporary Fixes vs. Professional Repairs

While there are temporary DIY solutions for minor leaks, like using a pipe clamp or patching compound (found at most hardware stores), these are just stopgap measures. For a permanent solution, calling a professional plumber is crucial.Here’s why:


Don’t Wait for a Tiny Drip to Become a Major Headache

By understanding the causes of leaky pipes, being vigilant for signs of trouble, and calling a PDM professional for repairs, you can keep your home safe and sound. For more information on common water leak causes, you can visit this helpful resource: Water Leak Causes.

Toilet with parts identified


3. Don’t Let Your Money Run Down the Drain: How to Fix a Running Toilet

EPA studies have shown 40 percent of toilets leak. Have you ever heard a faint trickle or hiss coming from your toilet even when it hasn’t been flushed? But many leaks are silent. Both are sounds of money literally going down the drain! A running toilet is a common plumbing problem that can waste a significant amount of water, leading to higher water bills and placing a strain on our precious resources.


Why is My Toilet Running?

There are three main culprits behind a running toilet:


DIY Fixes for a Running Toilet

Before you call a plumber, there are a few DIY fixes you can try to tackle a running toilet. Remember, always turn off the water supply valve to your toilet before attempting any repairs.


Flapper Valve:

  1. Remove the flapper: Lift the lid of the toilet tank and locate the flapper at the bottom. Simply unhook it from the flush valve assembly.
  2. Inspect the flapper: Look for cracks, warping, or mineral buildup. If the flapper is damaged, it’s best to replace it entirely.
  3. Replace the flapper: Purchase a flapper that’s compatible with your toilet model. Installation is usually straightforward – just hook the new flapper onto the flush valve assembly.

Float Height:

  1. Locate the float: The float is typically a plastic ball or cylinder connected to the fill valve arm.
  2. Adjust the height: Most floats have an adjustment mechanism, like a screw or clip. Carefully adjust the height to the level recommended by your toilet manufacturer (this information may be printed inside the tank).

Remember: If you’re uncomfortable with DIY repairs, or if the problem persists, it’s always best to call a PDM professional plumber.

By addressing a running toilet promptly, you can save money on your water bill and conserve this valuable resource. So next time you hear that telltale trickle, don’t hesitate to tackle the problem and keep your plumbing running smoothly!

Call a smiling PDM plumber at 815-390-7095.


Plumber Holding Unhealthy Rusty Pipes


4. Don’t Let Your Water Pressure Go Down the Drain!

Ever turn on the faucet and get a trickle instead of a refreshing stream? Low water pressure can be a real drag, making everything from showering to washing dishes a chore. But before you call a plumber, there are a few things you can try to diagnose and fix the problem yourself.


What’s Stealing Your Water Pressure?

Several culprits can cause low water pressure in your home:


Diagnosing Residential Plumbing Problem:


DIY Fixes Before Calling a Pro:

If these easy fixes don’t solve the problem, it’s time to call a licensed plumber. They can diagnose more complex issues like clogged pipes or a faulty PRV and get your water pressure flowing smoothly again.

By understanding the causes of low water pressure and taking some initial steps yourself, you can save time and money in the long run. But remember, when in doubt, consult a professional to ensure your plumbing woes don’t become a major headache!

Call a friendly PDM plumber at 815-390-7095.


Slow Sink Drain Water Running


5. Clogged Drains and Toilets: Taking Back Control of Your Plumbing

Clogged drains and toilets are a common household woe, but don’t despair! Understanding what causes clogs and how to tackle them can save you time, money, and a whole lot of frustration.


The Usual Culprits: What Clogs Your Pipes?


DIY Drain Defense: Plungers and Homemade Solutions

Before you reach for the chemical drain cleaner, consider these natural, wallet-friendly methods:


Chemical Drain Cleaners: A Last Resort

Chemical drain cleaners can be effective for tough clogs, but use them with caution:


When to Call in the Pros

If your DIY efforts fail to banish the clog, or if you’re dealing with a frequently clogged drain, it’s time to call a professional plumber. They have the tools and expertise to tackle stubborn clogs and ensure your plumbing is in tip-top shape.

By understanding what clogs your drains and knowing how to address them, you can keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly. Call an experienced PDM plumber at 815-390-7095.

PDM plumber repairing a water heater


6. Taming the Tank: Troubleshooting Common Water Heater Issues

Our trusty water heaters work tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring a steady stream of hot water for everything from showers to laundry. But like any appliance, they can encounter problems from time to time. Let’s tackle some typical water heater woes and explore ways to get your hot water flowing smoothly again.

Common Water Heater Issues:


Basic Troubleshooting Tips:

Before calling in a professional, there are a few DIY checks you can perform:


Safety First:

Water heaters involve electricity and gas, so safety is paramount:


When to Replace Your Water Heater:

While some water heater problems are fixable, others might signal the end of its lifespan. Here are some signs it’s time for a replacement:

For more information on water heaters and finding a qualified plumber, visit PDM Water Heaters.

By understanding common water heater issues and taking these troubleshooting steps, you can keep your hot water flowing and avoid major problems. But remember, safety always comes first. If you’re unsure about tackling a repair yourself, don’t hesitate to call in a PDM professional at 815-390-7095.


Sump Pump In A Basement Pit


7. Don’t Let the Rains Ruin Your Day: Why Sump Pump Maintenance is Crucial

For many homeowners, a basement is a valuable additional living space. But basements are susceptible to flooding,especially during heavy rain seasons. That’s where sump pumps come in – these unsung heroes silently work behind the scenes to keep your basement dry and prevent costly water damage.


Why Sump Pumps Matter

A sump pump is a submersible pump installed in a basement’s lowest point, often within a sump pit. It collects groundwater that seeps in through the foundation walls and flooring. The pump then discharges this water away from your house, preventing flooding and protecting your basement from moisture-related problems like mold and mildew.


Common Culprits of Sump Pump Failure

Even the most reliable sump pump can malfunction. Here are some common issues to watch out for:


Keeping Your Basement Safe: Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your sump pump functions flawlessly during rainy seasons:

For professional assistance with sump pump repair or replacement, visit our service page: Sump Pump Repair and Replacement

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can ensure your sump pump is in top shape to tackle any downpour and keep your basement dry and safe. Remember, a functioning sump pump is an investment in peace of mind, saving you from potential water damage and costly repairs down the line.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q; How Do You Diagnose Your Plumbing Problems? 

Diagnosing plumbing problems can involve some detective work! Here’s a breakdown of how to approach it:

  1. Identify the Symptoms: Start by pinpointing the exact issue. Is it a clogged drain, a running toilet, or a leak? The specific symptoms will help narrow down the source of the problem.

  2. Visible Inspection: Look for any telltale signs like dripping faucets, damp spots on walls or floors, or low water pressure. This can help determine if the issue is localized or more widespread.

  3. Process of Elimination: For some problems, try isolating the issue. For example, if you suspect a clogged drain,see if it’s affecting just one sink or multiple fixtures.

If you’re not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, consider these options:


Q: What Is The Most Common Problem With The House Sewer Drain?

The most common problem with the house sewer drain is clogs. These can be caused by a buildup of grease, hair, wipes,or other debris that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. Symptoms of a clogged sewer drain include slow drains throughout the house, gurgling sounds in the pipes, or even sewage backing up into drains.


Q: How Many Years Does Plumbing Last In A House?

The lifespan of plumbing in a house can vary depending on several factors, including the material of the pipes, water quality, and how well the system is maintained.

Regular maintenance, like drain cleaning and addressing leaks promptly, can extend the lifespan of your plumbing drain system. If you notice any signs of trouble, it’s best to address them quickly to avoid more serious problems down the road.


Contact PDM for Proven, Trusted Service

We have a great team of award winning experts who has solutions for commercial and residential plumbing problems. We care and will get you back to normal fast. Phone 815-390-7095 or contact us online.

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