If you own a home and haven’t yet had to deal with a significant plumbing problem, odds are likely that, sooner or later, your time will come. And when it does, you’ll be left with a leak, broken pipe, sinks that don’t drain, toilets that don’t flush, or some other frustrating issue.
While nobody wants to spend their time (and money) dealing with a problem like this, it’s important to understand that plumbing issues cannot be ignored in hopes that they’ll get better on their own. The truth is that they aren’t ever going to get better on their own. In fact, they’ll likely get much, much worse and cause expensive and serious damage for you to contend with.
We’ve put together a guide to help you understand the cause of common household leaks as well as what potential problems they could cause if left neglected for too long. Read on to learn more.
Often, a leaking pipe can conceal itself fairly well. You may not even know about the problem until it’s too late and the leak has already caused water spots or damage inside your cabinetry under a sink, or even unsightly destruction to your ceilings, walls, or floors (depending on where the leak may be).
You may be wondering about the cause of the leaking pipe. After all, you take care of your showers, sinks, tub, toilet, etc. and make sure that you never wash or flush anything down the drains that you aren’t supposed to. That said, though, a leaky pipe could be caused by a number of factors, including corrosion/rust, high water pressure, wear and tear from normal use, or even not taking care of repair work when necessary. Regardless of the cause, get it fixed ASAP by a professional plumber before the problem gets worse.
Unfortunately, a leaking toilet is a plumbing issue that doesn’t make itself very well-known until the problem has already been happening for a while. If you notice any of the following warning signs of a leaking toilet, it’s time to call in a plumber: the bathroom floor feels damp or soggy; moisture can be seen around the base of the toilet; sewer gas odors are emanating from the toilet bowl; or tiles around the toilet may have become loosened or misaligned.
So, what causes a leaking toilet? Most often, this common household issue is caused by a loosened wax ring seal around the base of the toilet. It could also be the result of loosened or corroded/rusted bolts securing the toilet to the floor, or you may even have a problem with the pipes and valves connecting your toilet to wastewater lines leading away from your bathroom. Regardless of what may be causing this issue, it’s one that needs to be addressed immediately by an experienced plumber.
Nothing’s better than getting free time to catch up on a good book, or to even get some Zzzs. But when this time is interrupted by a drip-drip-drip from your faucet, your peace and quiet is gone. Now you have a leaking faucet to deal with. This is another problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. Even if the drip doesn’t seem like it’s that serious, the amount of water lost in a day, week, or month adds up. And you’ll witness this firsthand when you get your monthly water bill.
Leaking bathroom and kitchen faucets are often caused by problems with the O ring (the disc attached to the stem screw that helps to secure your faucet). This common plumbing issue may also be the result of an improperly installed or worn-out washer against the valve seat. A plumbing pro will be able to quickly take care of your leaking faucet issue before you lose any more water.
If you have a tub in your home, you may enjoy taking long, warm, soothing baths. But it’s not so “soothing” when you find out that your beloved tub is leaking. Many homeowners are unaware that even a hairline crack in their tub could result in serious water damage to their floors and ceilings. This may require expensive and extensive repair work.
To check for a tub leak, fill your bathtub with water and monitor it for a few minutes to see if the amount of water decreases. Additionally, be on the lookout for any areas of rust in your tub, since these cracks will likely develop corrosion along them after even a short amount of time.
Another common tub issue is with the overflow pipe drain. Many times, this is installed at the back of the tub. Even if you don’t fill your tub to this level, water can still get inside it when people get into/out of the water, when kids splash, or when the shower is used. Water running down from the showerhead can also get into the overflow pipe. Usually, these things aren’t an issue. However, if you have a leaky, worn-out gasket in the pipe drain, you may have an issue. Water spots or damage may make itself visible on the ceiling beneath your tub if there’s a room beneath it.
Again, it’s best to get plumbing issues resolved quickly — before even more damage is done.
One more thing…
If you fail to take care of these common plumbing issues in your home, it won’t just cause damage to your walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets, etc. These leaks may eventually lead to the development of dangerous mold. Mold is a fungus that needs three things to grow — moisture, humidity, and organic materials to feed on (e.g., drywall damaged by water).
Mold isn’t just unsightly, but its growth could also cause a variety of health problems for your loved ones, especially for anyone who may have respiratory issues or allergies. This is yet another reason why it’s crucial that you get your plumbing problems taken care of immediately by a professional plumber when you notice an issue!