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10 Common Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them

Plumber fixing common plumbing problem.

Plumbing issues are part of home ownership. From minor inconveniences to significant disruptions, these problems can arise unexpectedly, causing stress and potential damage to your property.

Understanding plumbing problems and knowing how to address them can save you time, money, and frustration. Here are the common plumbing problems and how to fix them.

1. Dripping Faucets

Problem: Dripping faucets are more than just an annoyance. They can lead to significant water wastage, increasing your utility bills.

Fix: Most often, a dripping faucet is caused by a worn-out washer, O-ring, or valve seat. To fix it, turn off the water supply, disassemble the faucet, replace the faulty component, and reassemble the faucet. If the issue persists, you might need an entire faucet replacement.

2. Leaky Pipes

Problem: Leaky pipes can cause water damage to your home, leading to mold growth and structural issues.

Fix: Find the source of the leak. Tighten any loose joints using a pipe wrench. For small leaks, use the plumber’s tape or epoxy putty for a temporary fix. Larger leaks might require replacing a section of the pipe or calling a professional plumber.

3. Running Toilets

Problem: A running toilet can waste a tremendous amount of water, adding to your water bill.

Fix: The most common cause is a faulty flapper valve. Turn off the water supply to the toilet, remove the tank lid, and replace the flapper valve. If the problem persists, check the fill valve and the float to ensure they are working correctly.

4. Low Water Pressure

Problem: Low water pressure can make your daily tasks, like showering and washing dishes, frustrating.

Fix: First, check if the issue is isolated to one fixture or the whole house. If it’s a single fixture, clean the aerator or showerhead to remove any mineral buildup. If it’s a house-wide issue, inspect the main water valve to ensure it’s fully open. Persistent problems might mean a leak or need a professional inspection.

5. Clogged Drains

Problem: Clogged drains can lead to slow draining water and unpleasant odors.

Fix: Use a plunger to try to dislodge the clog. If that doesn’t work, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can help break down the blockage. For tougher clogs, use a drain snake or chemical drain cleaner. Regularly using a drain guard can prevent future clogs by catching debris.

6. Water Heater Issues

Problem: Problems with your water heater can lead to inconsistent water temperature or no hot water at all.

Fix: Check the thermostat settings to ensure they are correct. For gas heaters, ensure the pilot light is lit. Sediment buildup can also be a problem; draining the tank can help. If these fixes don’t work, it might be time to call a professional for a thorough inspection.

7. Sump Pump Failure

Problem: A failed sump pump can lead to basement flooding during heavy rain.

Fix: Regular maintenance is crucial. Check the sump pump periodically to ensure it’s standing upright and the discharge pipe is clear. Test the pump by pouring water into the pit. If it doesn’t activate, check the power source and the float switch. Persistent issues might require professional repair or replacement.

8. Garbage Disposal Jams

Problem: A jammed garbage disposal can lead to sink blockages and unpleasant odors.

Fix: Turn off the power to the disposal. Use a hex key to manually turn the motor from the bottom and dislodge the jam. You can use tongs or pliers to remove any visible blockages. Don’t use your hands to clear a jam. If these steps don’t work, the disposal might need professional attention.

9. Leaky Hose Bibbs Plumbing Problems

Problem: Leaky hose bibbs can cause water wastage and damage to your home’s exterior.

Fix: Turn off the water supply to the hose bibb. Use a wrench to remove the old bibb and replace it with a new one. Wrap the threads with the plumber’s tape before installation to ensure a secure fit. If the bibb is leaking from the valve stem, replacing the packing washer might solve the problem.

10. Sewer System Backup

Problem: A sewer system backup can cause multiple drains to clog simultaneously and unpleasant odors.

Fix: This problem often requires professional intervention. Regular maintenance, such as inspecting and cleaning your sewer line, can prevent backups. Installing a backwater valve can also help prevent sewage from backing up into your home.

Why Choose Louw Bros for Your Plumbing Needs?

When it comes to plumbing problems, having a trusted professional on your side can make all the difference. Louw Bros is a reliable name in the industry, offering comprehensive services, including leak detection and drainage solutions. Their team of certified experts provides high-quality service and is committed to customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re dealing with a minor issue or a major plumbing emergency, Louw Bros has the experience and expertise to get the job done right. Contact them today for all your plumbing needs and experience the peace of mind that comes with working with true professionals. Visit our website or call (066)126 8306 in Cape Town or (064) 602 679 in Plettenberg to schedule your appointment.

Louw Bros Plumbing: Your Trusted Partner for Comprehensive Plumbing Solutions

With branches in Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, and Knysna, Louw Bros Plumbing offers a wide range of expert services, from leak detection and geyser installation to drainage maintenance and emergency repairs, ensuring the highest quality and customer satisfaction across South Africa.