Keeping an eye on your utilities is a good way to limit the impact of potential problems. Your plumbing system is no different, and it helps to be aware of the most common problems. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, you may be able to perform DIY plumbing repair by yourself. Let’s examine 13 of the most common plumbing services and what it might take to address them.
Common Faucet Problems
Your home has various faucets in rooms including the bathroom and kitchen. Because faucets bring water from your plumbing, common problems can decrease or cut off water flow. In some cases you’re dealing with the opposite problem, which is too much water leaking out of the faucet.
Faucet Spout Is Leaking
What causes this problem? Faucets with two handles are known as cartridge-style faucets. These cartridges are valves that regulate water flowing into the spout. When a cartridge is broken, it can cause a leak. It might also be a corroded valve seat, which connects the faucet and spot together.
How do I fix it? Finding the damaged or worn-down part and swapping it should solve the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component might be damaged.
Estimated repair cost: Replacement parts for the cartridges or valve seat can run around just a few dollars to around $80 depending on the make and model.
Faucet Base Is Leaking
What causes this problem? A Majority of the time, a leak at the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn down. Without a secure seal, water can push through the stem and start leaking.
How do I fix it? Sometimes the problem can be resolved with a thorough cleaning of the seal and O-ring. If not, the component will have to be replaced.
Estimated repair cost: An individual O-ring costs around $2. It could be a good idea to purchase a pack of several so that you can quickly take care of this plumbing repair job again the next time a leak shows up.
Faucet Is Leaking Underneath the Sink
What causes this problem? An insecure connection is the most likely culprit. This may be where the sink’s pipes hook up to the main water supply as well as by the drain or P-trap connection. Particularly old faucets could be corroded to the point where they can’t maintain firm connections.
How do I fix it? Discovering the source of your leak is important since this leak may not be immediately apparent. If securing the connections doesn’t fix things, you’ll want to check the faucet itself.
Estimated repair cost: The cost to resolve things can vary depending on where the leak is coming from, particularly if water damage is discovered.
Common Toilet Problems
We rely on our toilets to work cleanly and efficiently. If your toilet is dealing with a problem, you’ll want to check these places first.
Toilet Is Clogged
What causes this problem? Even a partial clog can impede the drainage of your toilet. For many clogs, a trusty plunger will be your first line of defense.
How do I fix it? Lift the flapper valve to observe how the toilet is draining. Slow or no drainage is a common sign there’s a clog. You should use a plunger to try to clear the clog, or a toilet snake if that doesn’t work.
Estimated repair cost: In many cases, eliminating a clog from your toilet won’t cost you a thing. When the plunger doesn’t work, the clog may be deeper in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to employ local plumbing services in Sandpoint.
Toilet Is Running
What causes this problem? Toilets replenish their water supply from the tank after each flush. When surplus water comes from the tank, it makes your toilet run constantly. Exchanging one or several parts should resolve things.
How do I fix it? It may be the float arm, the flapper or the refill tube since a problem with any of these parts can result in a running toilet. You can observe the flushing/refilling cycle to learn where the issue is.
Estimated repair cost: These components range in cost between $13 and $70. There’s a chance the toilet is running simply because something has slipped out of place. In this case, it could be free to take care of your problem!
Toilet Is Leaking from the Tank
What causes this problem? Toilet tanks are manufactured from materials like porcelain. With the exception of damage to the tank itself, the leak is probably coming from a worn-down rubber seal attached to places like the bolts, the spud washer or the refill valve.
How do I fix it? Check the water level inside of the tank, as you might be able to narrow down the leak’s location. You’ll then want to drain the tank and detach it from the toilet bowl. You will remove the fill valve and the connection bolts first, examining the spud washer when the tank is free. Look for damaged rubber or signs of corrosion.
Estimated repair cost: These rubber seals are usually only a few dollars. If the tank itself is broken, however, a replacement might cost more than $200. This may be best left to professional plumbing companies who handle the process quickly and efficiently.
Toilet Is Loose
What causes this problem? If your toilet appears wobbly or loose, it could be a worn out bolt or the wax seal ring running around the base. It can also be the toilet flange, which joins the bowl to your home’s drainage system.
How do I fix it? Tightening the bolts is easy, as is replacing them. If the issue is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be wary not to damage the toilet bowl. Some homeowners prefer having professional plumbing services in Sandpoint when the toilet has to be disconnected.
Estimated repair cost: Replacement bolts are inexpensive, with replacement flanges averaging $20 or so.
Common Low Water Pressure Problems
Weak water pressure can make all kinds of household duties more challenging and time-consuming. It’s especially discouraging when it is affecting key fixtures like the showerhead or the kitchen sink.
Low Water Pressure in the Shower
What causes this problem? If your shower’s water pressure is too low, it can be a problem with a valve or mineral buildup inside the showerhead. A dirty shower can be cleaned, but damage to the showerhead may make replacing it the most cost-effective solution.
How do I fix it? Let the shower head soak in vinegar for a long time. This should remove sediment or other clogs. Adjusting the pressure valve might also help. If the pressure is still too low, swapping to another showerhead might resolve things.
Estimated repair cost: Cleaning the showerhead is free, and it’s suggested you attempt this first just in case. When swapping to a different make and model, the cost will fluctuate depending on what you choose.
Low Water Pressure in the Kitchen Sink
What causes this problem? Two common causes of bad water pressure in your kitchen faucet are a clogged aerator or a clogged cartridge. The aerator is right near the spout, adding air into the water as it passes by. Cartridges regulate the flow of hot vs. cold water.
How do I fix it? Cleaning the aerator may address your water pressure problem. Replacing the faucet’s cartridges could also handle things.
Estimated repair cost: Replacing the aerator could cost between $5 and $25 depending on which model you choose. Cartridges often average $45 to $60.
Common Drain Problems
A problem with your drain can slow cooking and cleaning down. And if it’s completely clogged, you’ll have to clear it before you can use the sink or tub again. Since drains are only configured to carry water out of your home, problems center around being unable to do so.
Drain Is Clogged
What causes this problem? Large objects, mineral buildup and other materials can accumulate in the drain, stopping it up. This can happen steadily or all at once depending on the nature of the clog.
How do I fix it? There are lots of options for clearing out drain clogs. Some chemicals can help force clogs into the rest of the plumbing while a drain snake reaches in and drags solid material out. Deep clogs might need professional help.
Estimated repair cost: The cost for these materials is relatively low, between $8 and $30. If you can’t remove the clog, local plumbing services in Sandpoint can help.
Drain Is Slow
What causes this problem? This is most likely a clog in progress. It hasn’t completely blocked the drain yet, but an obstruction has formed.
How do I fix it? You can likely clear this with chemicals or a snake. In some cases it may resolve itself, but you don’t want to risk it turning into a complete clog.
Estimated repair cost: Materials will likely cost between $8 and $30 based on brand choices. The specific nature of the clog could make one or the other more useful.
Common Burst Pipe Problems
A burst pipe is a serious issue that can damage not just your plumbing but parts of your home around it. Ultimately any burst pipe problem will be traced back to the damaged piping. In some cases other problems like water damage or low water pressure will present themselves first.
Burst Pipe That’s Frozen
What causes this problem? Expanding ice or trying to wrench a frozen pipe free can result in this problem. Most homes are warm enough to stop the pipes from freezing, but severe cold and low use can result in freezing.
How do I fix it? You’ll want to wait until the pipe is thawed out before you can begin repairs. The water supply will be turned off while the section of pipe is replaced. If water damage has occurred, you might need extra plumbing repair.
Estimated repair cost: Costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage. Large sections of piping are more expensive, particularly if they are made from a high-quality material. You might pay anywhere from $30 to more than $150
Burst Pipe That’s Behind a Wall
What causes this problem? Damage, corrosion and even pests can lead to a ruptured pipe in your home. With the added hassle of the piping being tucked away behind a wall, this could be a task more appropriate for local plumbing companies in Sandpoint.
How do I fix it? Replacing a broken pipe requires getting to the piping itself. This can be more difficult when the pipe is behind a wall. You may have to clear a large enough piece away where work can be managed comfortably.
Estimated repair cost: This problem might need special tools and experience thanks to confined working conditions and corroded piping. If you don’t have this equipment already, the job may be more appropriate for professionals. Expert plumbing repair can find burst pipes behind walls and resolve the problem. Average costs can vary significantly, usually around $150.