What Are The Most Common Plumbing Problems?

Plumbing problems come to everyone from time to time. A lot of common plumbing problems are easy to fix with the correct tools and plumbing equipment. However, some larger or more complex issues will need a professional plumber.

We’ll talk through some of the most common plumbing problems which are easy to fix. If the problems persist after completing each of the steps mentioned, check that there is not something more serious going on. If this is the case, get in touch with a plumber to see what they can do.

1. Sink Not Draining Properly

Are you finding that your sink takes a lot longer than it should to drain? A sink not draining properly is a very common plumbing problem. In most cases, this is an easy fix. It is usually caused by blockages which stop the water from flowing as it should. In the bathroom, this tends to be a build up of hair and soap scum. Kitchen sinks are more likely to be bits of food blocking the drain. If you don’t unblock a drain properly, it’s likely the issue will keep building up.

How to Unblock a Drain

  • Start by cleaning out the drain. If you have a push-button or pop-up drain plug such as the one in the image below, this step is very important. With this type of plug, hairs and other residue can get tangled on it. Usually, you can unscrew the top (it might be a little stiff) and pull it out. However you may need to look under the sink for a release if it does not unscrew. Cleaning out the plug may be all you need to do in order to remove the blockage.
  • If the water is still not draining as it should, unscrew the U-Bend and check for blockages there. Again, this may solve your problem.
  • Use chemical drain un-blocker. Because they could damage the plumb work, only do this step if the above methods have not worked. You should also make sure not to mix chemicals and ware protective gloves and glasses while you work.

These 3 steps should resolve most plumbing problems of sinks not draining as they should. However, if the problem persists it sounds like there is a problem deeper than blockages. It may be time to give your local plumber a call and see what needs done.

2. Clogged Toilet

A blocked toilet can be a bit of a nightmare, and one you definitely want fixed quickly… A plunger will be your best bet . You can usually find these in stores which sell plumbing and heating supplies. If this does not clear the blockage, you might need to buy a drain auger or a sewer snake to clear any blockages. This is not going to be the most glamorous of jobs, so be sure to have rubber gloves, old clothes, and a bin bag to hand. You can also pour down some chemical toilet un-blocker to ensure the problem has cleared.

How to Unclog a Toilet plumbing problems

3. Low Water Pressure In The Shower

Have you noticed that recently the water pressure in your shower seems lower? If the water is coming out a lot slower than usual, it is generally down to 2 reasons.

Pipes have corroded or worn down over time so water is leaking from them.

If you have an older house or bathroom, the chances are you have some problems with the pipes. Check them out, and if they look damaged, you will need a plumber to replace them.

Sediment and minerals have built up on the aerators.

This second reason for lower water pressure in the shower is the most common reason, and is much easier to fix. Sediment and minerals from the water often begin building up on the aerators in the shower head, and as a result can restrict the flow of water. To fix this, you can try soaking your shower head in vinegar which should clear the aerators. But if this sounds a lot of work, you can always just purchase a new shower head. They don’t tend to be very expensive, and you can easily find them from somewhere that sells plumbing supplies online.

4. Dripping Taps

Dripping taps, or faucets, can be a pretty annoying issue. However, they are also one of the most common plumbing problems, and thankfully are easy to fix. The good news is you’ll usually be able to fix this without a professional.

How To Fix a Dripping Tap

Usually the problem is due to a washer which has either worn down or become stiff.

  1. Make sure the water is turned off
  2. Find the screw which holds the tap together, and take the tap apart.
  3. Slide off washer or O-Ring from the tap. Replace it with a new one.
  4. Put your tap back together.

If the tap is still dripping, try the same with replacing the ceramic disk in the tap. This will hopefully be your tap sorted, however there will be circumstances where a whole new tap is required.

Image from ultimate handyman

Other Common Plumbing Problems

While we have looked at a few of the common plumbing problems which should be quite easy to fix, there are also endless other issues you could encounter. Other plumbing problems which are easy to fix yourself include:

  • Jammed waste disposal unit
  • Faulty water heater
  • Running toilet
  • Leaking pipes

There are many resources online which should help you look closer at these problems. Let us know in the comments if we were able to help you with some plumbing problems!

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