Our houses are filled with complex plumbing systems designed to work flawlessly and get water and waste to different areas of our home. Because these systems are so complex, things can often go wrong and that can cause a huge headache for homeowners. Rather than being in the dark about plumbing problems, you can find out what commonly causes issues in your pipes so you’re better equipped to recognise them and get them fixed as soon as possible.
We may want to tackle some plumbing issues ourselves, and some may be a quick fix. However, some plumbing problems will need the help of an expert, particularly if it deals with any gas aspects of your heating system.
Here are common bathroom plumbing problems and how to fix them.
Do you ever lie awake at night listening to the sound of a leaky tap? It’s amazing how frustrating a droplet of water can be. It is also going to end up costing you a lot of money if you don’t get it repaired. Over time, the amount of water you are wasting will add up and you’ll literally be throwing money down the drain. If each of the taps in your home is leaking, you’ll be wasting litres of water every year.
Not only this, but that excess water can cause patches of rust in pipes and other fixtures which will eventually lead to more leaks. In order to fix a leaky tap in your bathroom, you’ll need to determine where the leak is coming from. If it’s coming from the spout of the tap, you’ll need to replace the washer. If it’s coming from beneath the handle or beneath the spout, you’ll need to replace the O-ring.
In order to replace the washer, you’ll need to establish whether or not you have compression valve taps or ceramic disc valve taps. The washer on a compression valve sits at the base of the valve, whereas ceramic disc valve taps use ceramic discs instead of washers.
Low water pressure
Not getting enough pressure in your shower can cause an annoyance every time you go to take a shower. Low water pressure can also affect your other taps and appliances, so it’s worth learning what may be causing this. Often, low water pressure is caused by low water pressure from the utility or there may be problems within your home. In this case, you may be trying to do too much at once. Running both your shower and the kitchen tap could cause a lower pressure, so try and figure out if you always have low pressure or it’s just when there is too much being used at once. To determine this, check different locations one at a time.
Because low water pressure can be caused by a variety of things, you’ll need to take several steps to discover what may be causing it. Talk to your neighbours and see if they have the same problem. Next check your well pump, check for clogs and open your main water valve. It’s also worthwhile checking for leaks around your home. If you can’t seem to get to the bottom of your low water pressure, you may need to call a professional.
One of the most common issues faced in the bathroom is drain blockages. This can cause slow drainage or no drainage at all, which can cause a big problem in your bathroom. Drain blockages can be caused by a whole range of reasons. Your drains have to put up with a lot of abuse, dealing with hair, dirt, grime and other things that shouldn’t be put down the drain. However, these can be a bit more challenging to unblock compared to a toilet that just needs a few plunges.
Occasionally, you can use drain unblocker fluid or a drain snake to break down whatever is causing the clog, but if there is no drainage at all it may be a bigger issue. Often drains behind the plaster can get clogged, making them difficult to reach. This will require a bit of digging and because these pipes curve around structural components, you may need an expert for the job.
Expensive water bill
If you’re making efforts to take shorter showers but still find your water bill is through the roof, you may have a plumbing problem that needs repairing. Noticing a sudden increase in your water bill shouldn’t be ignored. This could mean dripping taps, leaking pipes or a faulty toilet. Rather than assuming you’re using more water than usual, try to find out what is really causing the increased water usage.
You may also want to consider whether this is caused by other things. For example, if the weather has been particularly warm, you may be watering the garden more or drinking more water. If you have extra guests staying for the weekend, this may increase your water bill. If you can’t find an explanation for the higher bills, you can always ask a professional to investigate the problem for you.
Sewer line issues
The thought of something going wrong with your sewer line is a frightful prospect. It can lead to disgusting consequences that are often caused by simple blockages. You can usually avoid these blockages by not putting anything down the toilet that shouldn’t go down. This includes sanitary products, wet wipes and cotton buds. Make sure everyone who lives in the house is aware of this as they could be putting things down the toilet without knowing.
While you can probably get away with flushing these things once or twice, if you do it regularly, it can lead to a severe blockage in your sewer system which may need the help of a professional plumber. To unblock a minor clog in your toilet, you’ll need a plunger, a bucket and a drain rod set. You can use the plunger to loosen the block and return the flow to normal.
Bad smelling drains
If you notice every time you use your sink or shower that there’s a bad smell coming from the drain. This could be caused by a number of factors. You need to clean your bath, shower and sink drain regularly to maintain a hygienic bathroom.
If you have a bad-smelling bathroom sink, check your P-trap and ensure it is doing its job. Your P-trap is a curved portion of pipe under the sink that creates a seal by holding water which prevents sewer gases from getting into the bathroom. You will also need a vent that gives back-flowing gases somewhere to go. If you believe your drain smell is caused by a blocked air vent, it’s best to call a professional plumbing company to sort out the issue.
If your shower or bath drain is smelling bad, there may be dirt or debris trapped that needs to be cleaned out. This can cause bacteria to build up, feeding off the dirt. It can also lead to mould which can cause a bad smell.
When to call an emergency plumber
Sometimes, it can be easy to ignore small issues in your plumbing, but if it becomes a bigger issue, you may have to call a plumbing company to fix the problem, rather than doing it yourself.
Here’s when you should call an emergency plumber:
- If you have no hot water
- If one of your pipes has burst
- If you drain is clogged and you can’t clear it yourself
- If you can smell gas
- If you have poor water pressure and you can’t work out why
Gastech Heating & Plumbing - Plumbing Repair Company in South Wales
Are you experiencing plumbing issues in your bathroom? Gastech Heating & Plumbing is here to help. Established in 1986, we have years of experience dealing with tricky bathroom plumbing. From clogged drains to low water pressure, we have the expertise needed to sort out your issue. We can also assist you with your bathroom refurbishment, giving you and your family your dream bathroom. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you.