3 Signs You Have a Problem With Your Plumbing

Plumbing systems are complex networks of pipes, lines, drains, tanks and valves. If one thing goes wrong, it can cause a chain reaction throughout your home. The best way homeowners can protect themselves from serious and expensive plumbing problems is by recognizing the earliest signs that something is amiss. Scheduling regular inspections by a team of professional plumbers can help you stay on top of plumbing problems. Use the following signs of plumbing issues to schedule repairs – before your floors flood.

1. If You Flush the Toilet and the Bathtub Drain Gurgles, You Need Plumbing Repairs

If you flush the toilet and the water comes up through your bathtub, it’s a sign you have plumbing issues. You might have a pipe obstruction somewhere along the way. This particular plumbing problem can mean your line is about to back up and create a giant mess – usually in the basement, where a puddle might already be forming around the floor drain.

Most people don’t notice a basement drain backup until the HVAC unit pulls a sewer smell from the return air and circulates it through the home. At this point, however, the damage has already been done. Sewer lines used to be much longer than the three to four feet they are now. Every joint is a weak area where the line is vulnerable. If you have older pipes, a dangerous obstruction is more likely since there’s more pipeline exposed to risks.

A special camera inspection can search for the cause of the obstruction without needing to break ground to access your pipes. Common causes of this plumbing problem include tree root pipe penetration, flushed baby wipes or other materials that don’t break down easily, something that wasn’t supposed to go down the garbage disposal, or a Barbie doll’s head lodged somewhere. Hire a professional to inspect your pipes as soon as you notice gurgling in your bathtub. Waiting could lead to more significant problems, such as a burst pipe or sewage backup.

2. If You Have a Ghost Flushing Your Toilet, You Need Plumbing Repairs

The “ghost flush” is a common sign you have plumbing issues going on below the surface. If you can hear the toilet running when no one is in the bathroom, it means your fill valve or flapper is failing and the toilet is constantly filling. In other words, the tank is losing enough water to cause it to refill itself over and over again – a significant waste of water and a potential flood risk.

If the fill valve breaks and the flapper is still in place, the toilet will continue running and collecting water until the tank overflows. This is a plumbing problem that commonly causes homes to flood. An overflowing toilet can cause property damage such as wood rot, mold growth, and the need to replace flooring materials if not caught in time. Catching signs you have plumbing issues before flooding happens is imperative to protect your home.

Don’t ignore the phantom flush. It’s a sign of a serious plumbing problem that can waste gallons of water and damage your property. As soon as you notice your toilet running when it’s not supposed to, schedule repairs to get it fixed. Otherwise, you could come home from work only to find that your overflowing toilet has been flooding your home all day. Prompt plumbing repairs are critical for preventing more serious maintenance issues.

3. If You Turn on a Fixture and Pipes All Over the House Rattle, You Need Plumbing Repairs

Bathtubs and washing machines pull many gallons of water a minute, taxing pipes with a ton of volume. If you turn on a fixture, such as your kitchen tap, and pipes all over your home rattle loudly, it’s a sign you have plumbing issues that may be connected to your water-using appliances. Most likely, the washer on the stem of the fixture is bad and needs replacement. This can be a relatively simple fix, but if ignored can cause problems that are anything but easy to repair.

The horrible racket you hear is your pipes vibrating. If they rattle hard enough, the pipes could burst and flood your home from within the walls. Loud, rattling pipes require immediate professional plumbing attention. Otherwise, the vibration can break pipes at vulnerable connection areas. Older pipes are especially vulnerable, since they are longer and have more joints that could break from rattling motions. The sooner you call in a professional plumbing company to find and fix the source of the rattling, the lower your chances of serious property damage.

Don’t Wait – Call United Plumbing Today

A professional residential plumber can handle many plumbing problems before they cause any water damage to your home – if you know what to look for and when to call for help. If you notice any of these three signs of a plumbing issue, give us a call right away. You could have a serious issue on your hands. If you find yourself in the midst of a plumbing emergency that demands a plumber fast, we offer 24/7 plumbing emergency services in Kansas City and Phoenix metropolitan areas. Whether we’re troubleshooting or coming to the rescue, United’s plumbers are always on call: any time, day or night.

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