If ignored, even the simplest of plumbing issues, like leaks and overflows, can quickly lead to major structural damage. In order to avoid breaking the bank, it’s important to pay attention to signs that it’s time to replace old plumbing. With that in mind, here are five of the biggest warning signs that it’s time to call your local plumber.
Your Water Pressure is Low
If your shower water doesn’t come out forcefully or your toilets are taking too long to flush, you probably have problems with your water pressure. Low water pressure is typically caused by a clog, leak, or an incorrectly sized pipe.
If you suspect your water pressure is low, a professional plumber will be able to quickly diagnose and solve your problems before they turn into something more serious (and expensive). In addition, your plumber may suggest installing a water pressure booster at the water meter to avoid future issues related to low water pressure.
Your Pipes are Frozen
Residents of regions that regularly experience below-freezing temperatures are familiar with problems that stem from frozen pipes. Frozen pipes often lead to a lack of running water. A lack of running water interferes with your ability to perform simple tasks around the house, like washing dishes or taking a shower. Frozen pipes should be fixed as soon as possible, as they have the potential to burst due to pressure build-up between the closed faucet and the blockage.
Pipes in climates that rarely experience below-freezing temperatures are especially vulnerable to freezing because they lack insulation. Water pipes along exterior walls and in attics or basements also have greater tendencies to freeze.
Plumbers can easily fix frozen pipes before they turn into worse problems that require complete pipe replacement. If you’re unsure whether or not your pipes are frozen, check for common signs including visible frost on exposed pipes and clanking noises.
Your Faucets are Dripping
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a leak that makes one drip per second can waste as much as 3,000 gallons of usable water each year. Not only are leaking faucets expensive and wasteful, but they can also cause a significant increase in your water bill. Dripping faucets typically occur when interior parts of the faucet are worn out. Call your local plumber to replace the worn out parts before the charges make your water bill soar.
Your Drains are Clogged
Drains that tend to drain slowly are likely clogged. The best way to fix a clogged or slow drain is by calling a professional. Although it may tempting to take the easy route and use chemical drain cleaners, they often do more harm than good. Chemical drain cleaners corrode and damage to pipes, which often end up costing more to fix in the long run than a basic drain cleaning.
Your local plumber will be able to quickly fix your clogged drain using specialized plumbing tools. If you have these tools on hand, you can try to unclog the drain yourself. For sinks, tubs, and toilets, try using a plunger. If the clog is further down the pipe, use a plumber’s snake.
Your Water is Unclear
Unclear water — especially water that’s blue or green — is a warning sign of corroding copper pipes in your home. On the other hand, brown water usually signifies iron in water or water heater-related issues. If the water running out of your faucet or shower isn’t completely clear, there’s likely an underlying problem.
While it’s tempting to ignore common plumbing issues and hope they go away, doing so will often cost you significantly more in the long-run. If your home is experiencing any of the aforementioned issues, pick up the phone and call a reliable plumber to replace your old plumbing.