Five Common Plumbing Issues: Dial a Pro or DIY?

November 4, 2021

Sinks, toilets, showers and tubs are probably the most highly used areas of your home. So, when an issue arises, you want to know what to do, right? Every plumbing problem will be unique, but we can provide some general guidance regarding the potential cause and what might be your best plan of attack. Can you try to fix the issue or should you call a professional plumber?

If you’re at all unsure, contact us! We’re here 24/7.

Clogged Toilet

The dreaded clogged toilet. You can try using a high-quality flange plunger to unclog it. But if that doesn’t work, you likely have a much larger issue (e.g., a blocked sewer line) and we recommend you call a professional plumber. Do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) beware: we've been to several houses after someone snapped the porcelain of the toilet trying to fix the problem themselves with a hand auger.

Whatever you do, do NOT use a chemical drain-cleaning product. You’ll end up spending money on something that won’t fix the issue.

Low Pressure

We’ve all been there. A dribble of water comes out of the faucet as you go to wash your hands. Or the warm shower you’ve been dreaming of ends up being a warm trickle instead. The culprit of low water pressure? Unfortunately, it could be several issues (e.g., a city issue, a failed pressure reducing valve (PRV), an improperly set PRV, sediment in your supply water lines). And because of the expansive and differing potential causes, we don’t want to recommend any adjustments because you could do much worse damage by going the DIY route. Your best bet is to call in a professional.

No Hot Water

Cold shower anyone? Another homeowner woe that isn’t fun to deal with is no hot water. First, check to see if you have a tripped breaker. This applies to you if you have an electric or tankless water heater. If everything looks good there, you’re likely going to need to contact a plumber. Gas water heater owners: never, ever mess with the gas lines!

Clogged Sink 

What do you do when you have a sink that just won’t drain and you’re tired of having a small pool of gunky water after you brush your teeth every day? Invest in an inexpensive drain weasel from your local hardware store or Amazon. These thin, flexible tools are easy to use and can help quickly clear even the most stubborn stops to get your drain flowing freely.

If this doesn’t remedy the stopped-up drain and you feel confident in your DIY skills, you can try cleaning the drain trap below the sink. This is known as a P-trap. Be sure to have a bucket ready because some water will come out when disconnecting. If the P-trap isn’t clogged, then you have a major issue. Time for a professional!

And again, don’t use a chemical drain-cleaning product. It is not only potentially harmful if you breathe their fumes or splash your skin or eyes, but it can also do a real number on your home’s plumbing over time.

Water Leak on the Ceiling

Suddenly you look up and notice a water spot on your ceiling. Is there a plumbing fixture directly above the leak? If so, that could be your issue. If not, you may have a broken pipe.

Depending on what is leaking, it may be fixable without having to remove drywall. Sometimes the solution will require drywall removal and other times the leak is bad enough that the drywall falls off from water damage. So, always be careful when you stand below wet drywall; it can hold a lot of weight and can hurt you pretty badly if you’re not careful. Regardless, you can probably guess that this is not a quick homeowner fix. Seek the help of a plumber.

Our plumbers are some of the best in the business: reliable, friendly and knowledgeable. They have seen a wide range of issues from very common plumbing issues to the extreme and best of all, are available 24/7 to address any plumbing issue you are facing. So, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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