The plumbing system in your home is designed to operate continuously. Still, it will need regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation. While scheduled servicing reduces the chances of problems, you can never tell when the system can break down.
A hidden leak can be occurring for weeks and you may not know it. You may experience low water pressure, clogged or slow drains, dripping faucets, pipe corrosion, or some other types of plumbing issues. Having the ability to detect a plumbing problem early on can mean a lot of savings in terms of time, money, and peace of mind.
So, how do you detect plumbing problems? The following points should help you stay prepared for timely action.
Detecting Plumbing Leaks
Leaks are among the most common plumbing issues. Based on their location and severity, some leaks can be detected immediately. Others like slab leaks are not visible and are often detected when the water bills rise significantly.
Some of the visible signs of water leaks include:
- Wet spots on the ceiling
- Stains on walls, ceilings, and floors
- Cracks in the foundation
- Mold and mildew outside bathtubs and showers
- Wet drywall
Discoloration, warping, standing water, and moldy odors are also signs of water leakage.
Signs of Plumbing Issues
If you notice the following signs, they can indicate a plumbing issue:
1. Unexplained Increase in Water Bill
If you notice a sudden and unexplained rise in your water bills, it could mean there is a plumbing problem in your home. Some of the common causes include:
- Leaking pipes
- Dripping faucets
- Leaking toilets
2. Dripping Faucets
It is not normal for faucets to be dripping water when turned tightly. If you have one or more dripping faucets, it can mean that they need a washer replacement. Timely repair should prevent further damage to the faucet and your property.
3. Slow Drains
Sometimes, a fixture may have slow drainage. If the problem is limited to a single fixture, it may have been caused by pipe rusting or build-up inside the pipe. If drainage is slow across multiple fixtures, it means you have a more serious plumbing issue.
4. Gurgling Noise
If you notice a gurgling sound when the water is draining, it can be a sign of blocked drains. The problem is typically hidden behind walls, floors, and ceilings. If you hear a whistling sound, it can be a sign that certain plumbing components have worn out.
5. Water Damage
If you notice wet floors, walls, or ceilings, they may be signs of corroded or damaged pipes. It is recommended to begin by looking for signs of corrosion or rust on pipes in the bathroom or near the kitchen cabinets.
Plumbing Issues that Require Camera Inspection
While many plumbing issues can be detected with visual signs, others require specialized equipment. Some of the problems that require camera inspection include:
- Pipe Bellies: Pipe bellies are bends in pipes and are a result of soil settlement or movement.
- Tree Root Intrusion: Tree root intrusions can go unnoticed for a long time. A camera inspection can help detect the problem and its location to make it easier for plumbers to fix it.
- Pipe Cracks: Sometimes, water pressure can damage pipes at points it is weak. Incorrect installation can also increase the risk of pipe cracks.
So, the above-mentioned methods can help you detect plumbing issues in time. It is recommended to seek the help of licensed and insured plumbers in most of these scenarios. Timely detection can help you in saving both time and money by preventing significant damage.