Many plumbing troubles, like clogged toilets and leaky fixtures, are easy and inexpensive to fix. Significant leaks or sewer backups tend to be more harmful, as they can quickly cause water and structural damage. No matter your plumbing issue, you should call an Orange County, CA, plumbing professional for help with troubleshooting and repairs. Prevention is the best way to minimize your risk of plumbing concerns and keep your home’s pipes in good condition. Check out these 10 common plumbing problems and their root causes.

1. Clogged Toilet

When you flush a toilet, it should immediately drain away waste and then fill it up with clean water. If the bowl’s water level rises instead, you’ve likely got a clogging issue. These fixtures are only designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. Flushing feminine hygiene products, wrappers, medications, or cotton balls can create a blockage in the pipes. Using too much toilet paper or wet wipes may also lead to an obstruction. Fortunately, you can easily break up small clogs with a plunger or toilet-safe auger. A professional will need to help with larger clogs.

2. Dripping Faucet

You should regularly check your faucets and spouts for irregular dripping. While this may not seem like a large concern, the constant water waste will negatively impact your bills. A single dripping faucet could throw away hundreds of gallons of water a year. Most dripping fixtures struggle with a faulty internal washer. This is the component responsible for creating a seal and reducing faucet pressure. Over time, the washer can wear down, shift, crack, or become too stiff. If the rest of the faucet is in good condition, your plumber will only have to replace the broken component.

3. Compromised Water Heater

A malfunctioning water heater may begin to emit odd noises or be unable to produce enough hot water. You may also spot pooling moisture around the base or changes in your water’s quality. It’s safest to leave all your water heater concerns to a trained plumbing professional. They can determine if there’s an issue with the pilot light or excessive sediment buildup in the tank. If your system is older than 10 to 15 years, they may recommend a full replacement.

4. Malfunctioning Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals can easily chop through various food debris, but they may still occasionally jam up or stop working. You may be putting your disposal at risk if you’re running it without water or allowing silverware to get inside. Additionally, these fixtures aren’t intended to grind hard meat bones, potato peels, eggshells, or fibrous foods. When you first notice your disposal isn’t working, you should press the reset button, which is typically on the base of the unit. If that doesn’t work, you may need a plumber to look at your disposal.

5. Leaking Pipes

Leaky pipes can be harmful to your furniture, walls, carpets, and structural stability. They waste water, draw pests into your home, and create an opportunity for mold growth. Leaks are most likely to happen at pipe joints, where the line is susceptible to loose connections and faulty gaskets. While you may want to patch the hole with tape or compound, this isn’t a long-lasting solution. Replacing the pipe section and fittings protects your home from future leaks and damage. If you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures, pipe insulation can also help prevent pipe strain and bursting.

6. Fluctuating Water Pressure

Low water pressure can change your faucet’s regular flow into an ineffective trickle. This issue will make it difficult to efficiently wash your dishes or bathe. High water pressure, on the other hand, will prematurely wear down your fixtures and appliances. Changes in your water pressure can stem from corroded pipes or compromised aerators. You may need to soak your shower heads or faucets in vinegar to break up debris. Don’t hesitate to ask your plumber about a whole-home pressure regulator to protect your property’s plumbing infrastructure.

7. Slow Sink Drainage

A blockage in your pipes can quickly slow down your sinks and bathtubs. A kitchen sink, for example, must handle a lot of food remnants and hot grease. Oils and fats are particularly dangerous because they harden as they cool. The resulting sludge will collect other debris, slowly increasing the size of the clog. In your bathroom, your sink is more likely to grapple with built-up soap scum and hair. You can clear these blockages with a plunger or a septic-safe vinegar and baking soda mixture. It’s not safe to use chemical drain cleaners, as they can weaken your pipes over time.

8. Water Softener Issues

A whole-home water softener is the most effective solution to tackling excessively hard water. These innovative systems limit mineral buildup on your fixtures and provide better-tasting water. Your softener’s tank can occasionally run into snags like salt bridges and broken timers. You may also spot changes in the system’s efficiency and ability to soften your water. These problems often originate from not maintaining a safe salt level or neglecting to schedule professional maintenance.

9. Constantly Running Toilet

Running toilets will continuously allow water to push through the flush valve even when not in use. Like a leaky faucet, this issue can waste a significant amount of water and increase your utility costs. The problem could link back to a faulty handle or an unbalanced float. Other common causes include a leaking fill valve or a compromised flapper chain. In rare cases, a bad gasket could be letting the tank silently leak into your bowl without flushing.

10. Sewer System Blockage

When your sewer system backs up, you may notice unpleasant odors in your home and sludge in your tubs. Many of your drains and toilets will be unable to function efficiently, further disrupting your family’s comfort and convenience. Sewer obstructions typically come from poor septic habits, such as flushing inappropriate objects or forgetting to schedule regular cleanings. Any blockage located on your property is your responsibility to repair.

Depending on the extent of the problem, your plumber may consider using hydrojetting to break up the clog. This process uses a high-pressure stream of water to promote a clear pathway for water. To correct leaks and prevent future septic mishaps, you should also consider trenchless pipe service. This non-invasive procedure minimizes your need for yard excavation by using a polyethylene, cured-in-place pipe lining.

Your Trusted Local Plumbing Services

Bill Metzger Plumbing is a family-owned plumbing company with more than 60 years of experience. We’re dedicated to providing families and businesses in San Clemente with exceptional customer service and expertise. Furthermore, we’re proud to be a BBB-accredited business that guarantees your complete satisfaction and peace of mind. Rely on our team to fix your burst pipe or check your home for slab leaks. We offer gas line, fixture, and appliance installations, as well as routine drain cleanings. Be sure to keep our team in mind when you need bathroom or kitchen help or reliable water filtration. Call Bill Metzger Plumbing today to schedule your plumbing appointment in San Clemente.

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