A little bit of preventative maintenance should help you avoid most plumbing problems, but your fixtures, faucets, and pipes aren’t completely impervious to damage. Homeowners who ignore leaks and unusual smells could end up dealing with expensive repairs down the road. That is why you should keep an eye out for these six signs that it might be time to contact a local plumber to have your system inspected and repaired.
1. Your Water Looks or Tastes Unusual
Even though modern residential pipes are designed to last for decades, the materials will eventually degrade. When that takes place, you might begin to notice issues such as silt or dust particles in your water. If replacing your water filter doesn’t solve the problem, then you must schedule an appointment with a plumber. Depending on your local water source, you might need to have multiple water filters installed.
2. Multiple Sinks Won’t Drain
A single slow drain is generally caused by a clog much higher up in the pipes. Those clogs can almost always be taken care of with a drain opener or drain cleaner. Multiple sinks will become backed up at the same time when there is a clog much deeper in the system near the sewage line. Your plumber will most likely need to use specialty tools to break apart clogs in your main sewage pipe.
3. High Water Bills
Your water bills should never fluctuate too much unless your family has made changes to their daily habits. A small leak might not seem like a major problem, but a few drips a minute can waste quite a bit of water every year. Homeowners who can’t find those leaks must speak with a plumber to have their pipes and faucets thoroughly inspected. You can check to see if you have a leak by turning off all of your faucets and appliances before taking a look at your water meter. If the meter continues to move, then you most likely have a leak.
4. Unusual Smells Near the Sinks
Most odors coming from your sink can be taken care of with a few household items including white vinegar and baking soda. Those who are dealing with lingering odors might have a clog deep in the system or a cracked sewage line. Both of these problems can only be fixed with specialized plumbing tools. You should also be wary of any unusual smells in your basement or near the foundation of your home. Unpleasant odors in those areas are often the result of cracked sewage lines as well.
5. Damp Spots on Walls or Floors
Every few weeks, you should spend an hour or two inspecting your home for any signs of water damage on your walls, floorboards, and ceilings. Slow leaks typically discolor nearby building materials, and the structure of your home might be permanently damaged if you aren’t careful. Homeowners can also place small moisture detectors around their property to catch standing water as quickly as possible.
6. Water Temperature Fluctuations
Your water heater should be able to keep your home’s supply of water at a relatively consistent temperature. If your water heater can’t keep up with your family’s needs, then you most likely need to upgrade the unit. Tankless water heaters are a popular new option, and they only heat up water when your family is using it. They can be installed throughout your home, and many families save hundreds of dollars a year with these devices.