Plumbing problems are one of the most irritating parts of owning a property. Some plumbing problems pop up out of nowhere, while others make their presence known over time as the facilities are used and the property ages. The most common plumbing problems are water leaks and blocked drains.
Here are 5 signs that you have a plumbing problem and what you can do to identify the cause early so a solution can be applied, quickly.
1. Every waste pipe gurgles or takes forever to drain away
When water takes forever to drain down a fixture, you can guarantee your property has a blocked drain.
Blocked drains can be caused by many factors including tree roots, too much toilet paper, wrong items being flushed down the waste, oils and fats that have congealed in the waste pipe, and foreign objects that have blocked the path of flow to the sewer main.
The moment you notice the water doesn’t drain away as quickly as it usually does, you most likely have a blockage. Call your local plumber who will have an electric eel or jet rodding machine that can clear away the blockage. Then a camera can help the plumber locate the exact location of the blockage. It can even show what is causing the blockage in the first place. Once the culprit item is identified, the plumber can advise how to avoid getting the same blockage again.
If it’s a case of a foreign object (like toys and used sanitary products), these can be prevented from being flushed down the line. Educate members of the household on what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet. Provide a bin for used sanitary items to be disposed of. If the camera finds the blockage is caused by tree roots, a different solution will be required.
Tree roots are a common cause of blockages. To prevent the blockage from happening again, the owner of the property faces three possible solutions:
- excavate and fix the broken sewer pipe to prevent the tree roots from penetrating again
- reline the sewer pipe without excavation to prevent the roots from causing another blockage
- calling your local plumber every 6 -12 months to cut the roots to prevent future blockages.
An experienced plumber like the team at Yarrow Plumbing can give you a quote on the first two options if you want to prevent the blockage happening again in the future.
2. The adjacent walls and floors next to the shower are moist
When moisture is found in walls and on floors, it can be tricky to identify the root cause. Most of the time, the moisture is caused by a leaking shower. The only way for the plumber to know for sure if the water is definitely coming from the shower pipes is to test the pipes in the walls by putting a gauge on the shower or bath outlet any leaks will be visible due to the drop on the gauge, If the water pipes are intact, the leak could be caused from a leaking shower tray. There is no easy fix for this type of problem. The plumber will seal the shower waste and fill the tray with water to see if the water runs from the tray. This will determine if the tray is leaking. Fixing a leaking shower tray will require a new shower to be installed, with a new waterproof membrane added to the base of the shower before the tiles are laid. This type of problem happens in bathrooms that are old, or new bathrooms where the waterproof membrane has not been installed properly or at all. It’s an expensive exercise to fix, but it’s crucial to fix straight away to prevent termites and further water damage.
3. The hot water is luke warm or cold
The loss of hot water can mean a problem with your hot water unit. If the hot water is isolated to one fixture, it may be the washer in the hot tap that may need to be replaced. If the hot water is lukewarm or cold to all hot taps in the house, the issue is with the hot water unit.
Check to see if the hot water tank is hot or cold. If it is cold an electrician is required to check the element and thermostat
If it is hot a plumber will need to be called to check the tempering valve to see if it is faulty. The hot water relief valve may also need replacing if it is leaking. If the hot water unit is old, it might be worth considering replacing the unit with a new hot water unit. Your plumber will be able to advise the best unit for your property and needs.
4. Only a trickle of water comes through the taps
Taps that don’t offer a flow of water could require their washers to be changed or the aerator to be cleaned. Sometimes grit can rush through the water line and get trapped in the aerator. This can prevent the flow of water through the tap spout. If the aerator is clean, the tap washers may need to be replaced. Your local plumber will be able to replace the tap washers to ensure the flow gets moving again.
5. Leaking taps
When the tap spout won’t stop the trickling of water when the tap handles are off, the tap washers may need to be replaced. Again, this is a job for your local plumber who can reseat the taps and ensure the new washers sit flush on the tap seat. Many home owners will go about replacing their own tap washers, only to find the tap still runs after the new washers have been installed. A plumber has a special tool that can be attached to their drill which will clean the tap seat to ensure the washers sit flat when the spindles are pushed against them.
Leaking taps can also occur with ceramic disc spindles. To fix the leak, the ceramic discs will need to be replaced.
These are the 5 most common plumbing issues on a property – but you may be experiencing something different at your home. If you have any plumbing concerns, why not call Yarrow Plumbing? Yarrow Plumbing offer camera services and use electric high-pressure water jet rodders for blocked drains. They have over 30 years’ plumbing experience in Brisbane which means you can be assured they have the solution to your plumbing problem. Contact the team online or on 07 3277 5742.
Need help or advice about plumbing problems? Contact the expert team at Yarrow Plumbing today.