As Clear As Mud | 3 Signs Of Serious Plumbing Problems

Posted on: 26 February 2015

The health of your home's plumbing may not frequently cross your mind since most of the components sit hidden behind drywall and beneath flooring materials. Waiting until the issues cause serious repercussions could end up costly you an enormous amount of money in repair costs, however. Fortunately, you can watch for the subtle signs of a problem to preemptively solve impending issues. Here are three issues that act as a suitable red flag for plumbing problems.

Odd Sounds Coming From Below

In theory, plumbing pipes should not make a racket while in use or after operation. In practice, however, pipes may create some sounds that raise your suspicious. A problem only arises when these sounds continue for an extended period of time or drastically increase in volume.

For example, occasional gurgling coming from the drain may just indicate a slight blockage that will go away on its own. Constant gurgling, on the other hand, frequently points to a nearly complete obstruction in that pipe. If the sound continues for more than a few minutes, consult with a plumber. Other noises that indicate a problem are squealing and banging coming from the fixtures or pipes. Both of these noises often require replacement of worn pipes or components to fix. Since banging and squealing happen due to pressure in the lines, ignoring this problem could result in a serious leak.

Rotten Egg Smell Reeking Up The Place

The smell of rotten eggs definitely indicates a problem within your home. You must investigate the source of this smell immediately to stay safe. Since one of the main signs of a gas leak is the smell of rotten eggs, you should have your utility company clear the area before assuming the scent originates at the drains.

Even if the smell is coming from sewer gas in your plumbing pipes, it is smart to have it sourced and eliminated by a professional before it worsens. Exposure to sewer gas can cause headaches, eye irritation, breathing difficulties and dizziness due to its high levels of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. Plumbers can frequently solve this issue by making sure the p-traps contain water in the bends and checking the gaskets, seals and wax rings used to seal up your fixtures, like the toilet.

Water Shooting Out Of Roof Vents

Water shooting out of the roof vents indicates a tough clog in the return pipes coming from the kitchen or laundry room. As pressure builds up in the system, the liquid running through the pipes is pushed through to the relief vents. Passive clogs, such as caused by a slow draining tub or sink, will not cause this issue. Instead, it happens when there is external pressure from the garbage disposal or washing machine.

As these devices push water into the pipes, it will come spraying back out of the vent at full force. If the vent pipe clogs as well, your return pipes could burst at the seams. To solve this issue, a professional plumber will use a camera to find the clog location and snake it out with a high-powered drain auger.

Hiring A Plumbing Professional

Unless you have the right tools on hand, including a scope and snake, you may benefit from leaving plumbing services to the professionals. Inadequately pushing clogs through the pipes or replacing damaged components could actually worsen the problem rather than solve it.

Furthermore, a plumber can help you identify additional issues that are also hidden or difficult to recognize without appropriate industry knowledge. Plumbers can even help you understand key actions that will help keep your plumbing pipes and components in good shape over the years. For example, keeping grease and fibrous foods out of the drains can dramatically reduce the chance of clogs developing. 

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Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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