Do you know about 10% of American homes have leak problems? These leaks cause enormous water wastage of around 10,000 gallons of water a year. They might also cause severe water damage if not fixed on time.
You need to identify plumbing problems early to prevent these ramifications.
But how do you tell if you have a plumbing problem in your home? Here are fifteen telltale signs your new home might have a plumbing issue.
1. Leaky Faucet
Have you been struggling with a dripping faucet in your home? Unfortunately, leaky faucets can happen in any house regardless of how recently the faucet was installed.
Such faucets can become a severe plumbing issue if not fixed on time. In addition, they can waste a lot of water, causing a spike in your utility bills.
If a single faucet leaks once per second, it’ll make 86,400 drips throughout the day. Think about how many of these faucets you have in your house. If they leak at the same rate, you’ll have a lot of water going right down the drain.
In addition to spiking water bills, leaky faucets can damage your property. They can cause mold, rot, or water stains on the surrounding surfaces. This damages your home’s curb appeal and decreases its value.
If your faucets continue dripping for a while, they can cause much stress on your plumbing system. Hence, this leads to overflows and drain clogs that might cause a plumbing emergency.
No matter how trivial a dripping faucet might appear, don’t overlook the problem. Instead, contact your plumber to nip the issue in the bud before it causes severe damage. Otherwise, the leaky faucet will wreak havoc in your house, making you incur huge losses.
2. Running Toilet
Does your toilet keep running even after the normal flush cycle? Don’t ignore the problem and assume it’s not a big deal. It can escalate into a more significant issue that might cost you big bucks.
Running toilets wastes more water than the dripping faucets. Are you wondering how bad their water wastage can be?
If you have a small toilet that’s constantly running, it can waste over 20 gallons of water a day. A medium-sized one wastes twice as much, and a bidet wastes tons of water per day. So, running toilets can skyrocket water bills that can drain you financially.
Such toilets can also increase the risks of basement flooding. The excess water might cause flooding in the septic tank leading to failure of your drain field.
Also, they increase the odds of your bathroom’s pipes blocking waste. Your toilet bowl doesn’t fill, so it causes weak flushes that don’t send enough water down the pipes.
Call a plumber to fix the problem on time to avoid running toilet issues. The plumber will inspect your toilet to identify the root cause of the problem.
Some of the common causes of a running toilet include;
- broken flush valve
- faulty overflows valve
- broken flapper chain
- leaky fill valve
- cracked flapper seal
- disconnected toilet handle
Once the plumber identifies these issues, they’ll fix them and keep the annoyance at bay.
3. Slow or Clogged Drains
Slow or clogged drains are a common problem faced by many homeowners. They start as minor issues, but they escalate into severe problems if not corrected. Clogged drains can cause flooding, sewage backup, corrosion, and costly repairs.
Blockages can also result in a toxic build-up that can be detrimental to you and your family. These toxins might poison your water supply and other drainage areas in your house. Hence, it’s crucial fixing the drainage issues as soon as possible.
To know whether your drain is clogged, turn on your sink’s faucet and observe it. If the water takes time to drain or doesn’t drain at all, your drainage system has an issue.
If you discover it’s only a single drain that has a problem, don’t fret. Instead, use a plunger or a drain cleaner to unclog the drain and solve the issue.
But if multiple drains in your home are slow or clogged, you’ll need to get a plumbing service. This could signal a more severe plumbing issue that might require immediate attention.
Before unclogging your drain, a good plumber will check the cause of the issue. Many things cause clogged drains in your home. They include;
• dirt and debris build-up
• hair and soap scum
• grease build-up
• food waste
• toilet paper build-up
• tree roots
After finding what’s clogging your drains, the plumber will zero in on the problem. Then, they’ll use the right cleaners that don’t damage the pipes or drains to unclog them.
4. Faulty Water Heater
A water heater is a very important appliance in every home. It supplies hot water for your shower, dishwasher, and washing machine. So, if it stops working, it can interrupt your domestic chores and cause a nuisance.
Hence, water heater problems are vital issues to look out for in your new home. But without experience, it can be challenging to diagnose these problems.
You should get a plumber to inspect your heater and see whether it’s in good condition. If they realize it’s malfunctioning, they’ll diagnose the problem.
Water heater issues might occur due to;
- faulty internal thermostat
- sediment build-up
- loose or damaged in-line and pressure relief valves
- corrosion or rust affecting water circulation
- bacteria making water have an odor smell
Regardless of the cause, never disregard a water heater problem. A faulty water heater can have serious ramifications.
Such heaters cause erratic and sudden changes in water temperatures. Hence, they might produce scalding water that can cause injuries and even death.
Also, defective water heaters can cause backdrafting. This is because they don’t vent out harmful gases they emit, so they get back into your home’s atmosphere. Since detecting these gases can be difficult, they might affect everyone in your home.
If your water heater’s pressure relief valve is defective, it can cause explosions. That’s because it might not prevent pressure from building up in the heater’s tank. Faulty water heaters can also contaminate your water, making it unsafe for use.
Ensure your water heater is repaired on time to avoid these negative consequences. And if the damage is beyond repair, your plumber will advise you to replace your water heater.
5. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is troublesome and can cause adverse effects on your daily life. It makes faucets slow down to a dribble making it difficult to enjoy a refreshing shower.
Low pressure reduces your washing machine’s and the dishwasher’s performance. Hence, you waste a lot of time washing clothes and dishes, which can be annoying.
So, before getting into a new home, ensure stable water pressure throughout the house. Run each showerhead and faucet to find out if there are any low-pressure issues.
There’s nothing to worry about if you discover it’s only a single faucet with low pressure. That can be due to a faulty fixture that needs a simple repair.
But if the whole house has low-pressure issues, that can signify a major plumbing problem. So get a plumber to conduct a thorough plumbing inspection and diagnose and fix the issue. By doing so, you’ll avoid further issues down the road and enjoy peace of mind.
Some of the problems that can cause low water pressure in your home include;
- damaged pressure regulator
- clogged water pipes
- a closed water meter valve
- a closed primary shutoff valve
- interior pipe deterioration
- pipe leaks
- sediment blockages
When a plumber detects these causes, they fix them to get the water pressure back. They tackle these problems by;
- replacing the pressure regulator
- fixing leaks
- opening water valves
- eliminating clogs
These measures improve your water pressure and enable the free flow of water.
6. Skyrocketing Water Bills
It’s usual for water bills to increase if you fill up a pool or water your lawn. But, if you detect a climbing water bill without extra water usage, it can signal leaks in your plumbing. Start troubleshooting to find out if you’ve got an active leak in your home.
You can run a water meter test to detect any leaks in your system. Shut off your water supply and note the water meter readings. Wait for at least half an hour without turning on your faucets or shower.
After that, re-read your water meter and note the numbers you see. If you detect an increase in the readings, it means there’s a leak in your plumbing.
Since a running toilet can also cause a water bill jump, do a toilet test to detect any leak. For example, pour coloring drops into the toilet tank and wait for a few minutes before flushing.
Afterward, check the water in the tank to see if the coloring has changed or not. You’ve got a toilet leak that wastes a lot of water if it has. You’ll have to repair the leak to reduce your water bills back to normal.
But if it hasn’t, your toilet is in good condition and has no leaks. You need to call a plumbing service to perform leak detection in your system. If they detect a leak, they’ll take the best corrective measure to stop it and lower your utility bills.
7. Wobbly Toilet
If your toilet wobbles when you sit on it, it indicates that something is in a mess. Toilets wobble when they’re loosely attached to the floor. So, if you ignore the problem, your toilet might start to leak, causing more extensive issues.
In most cases, wobbling occurs when toilet nuts are loose. However, a flange that’s broken, rusted, or set too high can also cause the problem.
If the floor around the flange opening is leaking, it can make your toilet wobble. This is because the leakage causes it to become soft or spongy, making it weak to support the toilet.
If you have a wobbling toilet, seek professional help and fix the issue straight away. A plumber will inspect to determine the wobbling cause and provide a solution.
If the toilet nuts are loose, they’ll tighten them with a wrench. And if the subfloor is damaged, they’ll repair rotted floor joists and replace them.
Also, your plumber will shim your toilet with wooden shims if the flange is set too high. They’ll repair the broken or corroded flange to prevent a rocking toilet.
If your toilet has severe damage, the plumber might advise you to get a new one. When replacing the toilet, get a water-efficient one to minimize water usage and save on costs. Also, consider smart toilets as they’ve got advanced features that are more attractive.
8. Rusty Water
Your water might discolor a bit when the utility company performs routine maintenance. If this happens, run your faucet for some time and get your water back to its usual look.
However, if your tap water looks rusty every day, it indicates corrosion in your water system. You need to get a plumber to inspect them and determine the cause of the rusty water. To find out the cause, the plumber will examine your home’s cold and hot water.
If your cold and hot water look rusty, the main water supply is the cause of the contamination. You need to contact your water company and alert them about the problem. Also, find out if there has been any recent maintenance or repair within your area.
And if your hot water is brown and the cold water is clear, your water heater is the cause. It signals corrosion or sediment build-up in the water heater tank.
You need to drain and flush the water heater tank to get rid of the sediment build-up. This will remedy your problem and prevent further damage like leaks. If flushing doesn’t solve your problem, call your plumber to advise you on the next best course of action.
If you only notice rusty water with a few faucets, it shows that there’s corrosion in their supply pipes. So, you’ll have to replace the pipes in question before they corrode further.
9. Sewage Backup
Sewer backup is one of the things you should make an effort to prevent in your home. Besides polluting your home’s atmosphere, sewer backups can cause serious consequences.
If you have a sewer backup in your home, it can pose health risks to everyone living under that roof. Sewage contains contaminants that can spread illnesses to your pets and loved ones. Also, it’s full of toxic substances such as fungi that can also endanger human lives.
Sewage backup can also damage your property, decreasing its value. It damages your home’s walls and flooring materials, ruining its curb appeal. In addition, it causes mold and bacteria growth if it stays unfixed for a long time.
Fire hazards are another risk that’s involved with sewage backups. If the sewage water rises to the height of electrical outlets or plugs, it can cause a fire. Sewage backup can also increase electrocution risks, so you should get out of the building.
Call a reputable plumbing service if you notice sewer backup in your home. They’ll find out the root cause of the problem and provide a permanent solution.
Sometimes if you’re not keen, you might miss the early signs of a sewer backup. Hence, the problem might worsen and become even more complicated to solve.
Look out for the following signs to detect sewage backup in its early stages.
- slow or clogged drains throughout your home
- waste backups into another pipe when you flush the toilet
- toilet overflows and clogging
If you detect these problems, don’t hesitate to alert your plumber. They’ll help fix the problem before it grows into a more severe issue.
10. Basement Flooding
Many homeowners dread basement flooding as it causes severe property damage. It weakens your home’s foundation and saturates the walls, causing permanent damage.
Basement flooding causes mold growth and electrical damage and ruins your house’s insulation. Also, it causes severe health and safety hazards and damages your belongings.
So, you should keep inspecting your basement to catch the flooding issues early. Some problem signs of basement flooding you can detect during inspection include;
- mold growth on the walls or floors
- wall or floor leaks
- standing water
- high exterior water levels
If you detect these signs, contact your plumbing service to come and assess your basement. They’ll fix the problem and prevent severe basement flooding. This protects you from footing water damages that your insurer might not cover.
You can install an effective basement waterproofing system to prevent future flooding.
11. Bubbling Ceiling or Wall Paint
Have you noticed bubbling on your new home’s ceiling or wall paint? Ceilings and wall paint form bubbles when there’s the presence of moisture.
When water saturates the paint or ceiling, it makes them detach from the surface, causing ugly bubbling that can change an attractive house into an eyesore.
So, when you notice this bubbling, know there’s a leak in your roof or plumbing system. Even if the leaks are small, don’t ignore them. They can grow into more significant leaks without warning and cause severe damage.
Start an investigative process to determine where the leaks are coming from. Then, you can call a reputable plumber to help you with the investigation. They’ll identify the problem within the shortest time possible and fix it.
12. Leaky Pipes
Leaking pipes are also a common problem that many homeowners call their plumbers. If ignored, leaky pipes can wreak havoc on your home, causing a plumbing emergency.
Like dripping faucets, leaky pipes cause enormous water wastage and damage your home. In addition, they cause invasive black mold and warped and stained walls. This can lower your home’s value, costing you in the future if you plan to sell it.
Leaky pipes can also burst, causing a deluge of water to spread in your home, resulting in severe water damage that can be costly to fix. Also, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause serious health problems.
If you suspect you have leaking pipes in your home, get an experienced plumber. They have the right tools and knowledge to inspect your pipes and identify active leaks. After identifying a leak, they’ll replace the pipes if they’re severely damaged.
13. Clogged Toilets
Clogged toilets can be more than bothersome. They overflow and cause a foul smell in your home. In addition, such toilets can get waste spread all over the floor and increase the risks of getting illnesses.
Clogged toilets occur when there’s a blockage in the sewer line or the septic tank. Also, clogged pipes and drains can lead to toilet blockage.
If you have a clogged toilet, call a plumber to clear the clogs. Since they’ve got the right tools for work, the task will take them a short time. Also, avoid flushing stuff that shouldn’t flush to avoid struggling with a clogged toilet.
14. Overflowing Gutters
Your gutters overflow when they’re clogged. So, it’s good to clean them out if you realize they’re overflowing.
If you ignore blocked gutters, they can be detrimental to other parts of your home. They cause excess water to collect around your home and damage the foundation. Blocked gutters can cause structural damage to your home, making it lose value.
Clogged gutters can also cause severe damage inside your home. The excess water in those gutters can house insects that cause diseases.
To avoid the effects of overflowing gutters, get them unclogged on time. Ensure they stay clear and debris-free always.
15. Gurgling Sounds
If you hear gurgling sounds in your plumbing systems, there could be a blockage in them. These blockages prevent water or air from flowing through your drains. As a result, gas or water bubbles form, producing the gurgling sound you hear.
So, don’t ignore a gurgling sound and think it’ll disappear on its own. Instead, get a plumber to inspect your system and determine what the problem is.
These Are Signs Your New Home Has Plumbing Problems
Plumbing problems might be frustrating, time-intensive, and expensive to tackle. So, it’s good to inspect your home and ensure it’s free from those issues before buying.
Above are the signs you should look for to determine if your new home has plumbing issues.
Are you planning to buy a new home in NY? At Dean Miller Real Estate, we are at your service. We can help you get your dream home and achieve your homeownership goals.
Contact us today for a free consultation.