Plumbing is essential to any home, but it can confuse the uninitiated. A little knowledge can save you time and money. Bathrooms contain many plumbing fixtures and drains, which all bring in water, take out waste, and vent the resulting discharge. This can make the job more complex, and knowing how your bathroom plumbing works is important before any repairs are done.
1. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains can be a serious issue and are often an indication that there is a larger plumbing problem in need of repair. When a drain gets clogged, water doesn’t flow easily or quickly, and the bathroom plumbing system can’t function as it should.
Clogs can occur in a home’s plumbing system, particularly in toilets, shower drains, and kitchen sinks. These areas are more prone to clogs due to frequent use. Clogs develop gradually over time as items build up and block the pipes. The blockage becomes large enough to hinder water flow, leading to issues like backed-up drains and foul odors. To prevent clogs, practice good cleaning habits. Limit the amount of soap, hair, food waste, and debris that goes down your bathroom drain.
Another common cause of clogs is the presence of grease, fat, and oil in your sink or bathtub drain. These substances solidify in your pipes and become difficult to break down and clear once they form, enabling them to trap other debris and easily clog your drain. If your home uses hard water, minerals can also build up in your pipes, preventing them from functioning as they should. This can lead to a limescale buildup, forming a sticky coating that catches other items and clogs your drain.
A plumber’s snake is one of the most common bathroom plumbing tools for removing a clog. The tool is much longer and can reach farther than a plunger, making it easier to dislodge clogs. Once the snake reaches the clog, you can turn it to push it further down the drain. During this process, the process breaks up parts of the clog and pushes them further down the drain, allowing the buildup to flush through and remove the clog.
2. Dripping Faucets
Dripping faucets are not only a common and frustrating bathroom plumbing issue, but they can also be costly, compromising the comfort of your home and leading to a significant increase in water bills over time.
A leaking faucet can also be a sign of other more serious plumbing problems, such as cracked or rusted pipes and improper fittings. This is why it’s best to call professional plumbing services to help fix these problems. Changing rubber or neoprene seals, washers, and O-rings can fix most dripping faucets. However, this repair requires knowledge and the proper tools to carry out.
Another common reason a faucet might leak is a broken or corroded valve seat. This area connects the faucet and the spout, so it’s important to clean the valve seat regularly to avoid water sediments from causing leaks. The most effective way to fix a dripping faucet is by removing the parts causing the leak and replacing them with new ones. Depending on the type of faucet, you may need to take it apart and put it back together again. You can do this yourself with the right supplies, but it’s best to call a professional plumber for help if you need the right tools. The experts will be able to remove and install the faulty parts correctly.
A dripping faucet can be annoying and expensive, so fixing it as soon as possible is best. Not only can it lead to higher water bills, but it can also create health hazards in your home and contaminate the surrounding environment. It’s better to catch a leak before it gets worse, as this can prevent mold and mildew from growing.
3. Sewer Gas Smell
If you smell sewer gas in your bathroom, immediate fixing is important. Sewer gas is toxic and can cause serious health problems when inhaled. It’s a mixture of chemicals released from wastewater draining into the sewer. It can also indicate more serious issues like a leaky sewer line requiring a plumber’s attention. While some sewage smells are easy to fix, others need extensive work. If you experience a sewer smell, air out your home and call a plumber for an inspection. Check your P-trap, a U-shaped pipe that traps water under sinks or drains, preventing sewer gases from entering. If the bathroom is infrequently used, the water in the P-trap may evaporate over time, allowing sewer gas to enter.
Another common issue is a missing cleanout plug in your floor drain. This plug prevents sewer gas from bypassing the trap and causing a sewer odor in your shower room. It’s best to replace this plug if it’s missing. Once you do, your sewer smell should go away.
Lastly, if a roof vent pipe is clogged or dried out, your sewer smell can go into the house. Depending on your roof type, accessing these pipes and the debris inside them can be difficult. However, this may be an easy fix if you can safely climb to the top of your roof.
4. Running Toilet
When a toilet runs continually, it can cause serious water waste and raise your utility bills. It can also be a sign that more serious problems in your bathroom plumbing system are waiting to be discovered. A running toilet is usually the result of a leaky flapper or float. Leaks can damage your floors, carpet, and tiles if left unchecked.
There are a few ways to fix your running toilet, and these fixes can save you a ton of money on your water bill and help prevent expensive repairs.
The first thing to do is check the fill valve to ensure it functions correctly. The valve controls the water flow from your main water supply into the tank. If the fill valve is faulty, it won’t close all the way and will allow water to keep flowing into the tank even after it has reached its set level. This common cause of running toilets is a cheap and easy fix.
Another reason your toilet may be running continuously is because the float is too high. To lower the float, loosen or tighten the screw until it reaches its lowest position.
The float is a rubber or plastic device on top of the toilet tank that determines when it’s time to flush. It’s also responsible for preventing the toilet from overflowing. Water will pour into the toilet bowl via the overflow tube when it’s too high, and your toilet will run constantly. This is one of the most common causes of running toilets and can be easily fixed with simple tools and DIY skills.
5. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure can cause slow showers and extended filling times. You can check for this issue before contacting plumber services. A partially closed valve in your plumbing system often leads to low water pressure after a repair or water shutdown. Locate the shutoff valves on the main water supply line to determine if this is the cause. Operate each valve to check if it’s fully open. To test for leaks, shut off all faucets and monitor your water meter. An increase in usage indicates a leak.
Without a water meter, look for slow drips or dribbles from plumbing fixtures. These could indicate small leaks from loose connections or larger leaks from cracked pipes or broken parts. It’s advisable to have professionals inspect your pipes and address any issues to prevent major problems. They can also identify and replace old parts that contribute to low water pressure.