7 Plumbing Problems Solved

A stainless steel sink with water running down the drain.

The average home owner will come across a plumbing problem at least once in a three-year span. Although some plumbing problems are serious and require professional help, there are many issues that can be solved without breaking your budget. From leaky faucets to running toilets and water heater woes, here are seven home plumbing problems and how to fix them.

1. Leaky FaucetA leaky faucet.

A dripping faucet isn’t only annoying—it can also cost you a lot of money in the long run. Before you start the repair, turn off the water and plug the drain. Depending on the type of faucet, most leaks are caused by worn-out seat washers. If your faucet has a neoprene or O-ring seal, these will need to be replaced to stop the leak. If the original faucet is inexpensive, replacing it with a new model might be a better option than taking it apart and replacing the seal.

2. Sink Draining Issues

A slow-draining sink is a very common plumbing issue. Fortunately, problematic sinks are usually caused by blockages right below the plug. The pop-up in the drainage pipe is susceptible to collecting debris and hair. Unplugging the pop-up is as easy as removing it and cleaning it out. The pop-up is typically attached to the drain via a nut underneath the sink. This nut can be removed by hand and is usually the only thing holding the device in place.

3. Running Toilet

Someone fixing a running toilet.

Just about every homeowner has confronted a running toilet in their life. Running toilets should be fixed as soon as possible because they can increase your water bill. Although there are many causes behind a running toilet, it's relatively easy to fix. The first step is to determine why the toilet is not flushing properly. The common causes of a running toilet include a bad fill valve, a broken flapper, or a leaky flush valve. Once you determine the cause, replacing the part should fix the problem.

4. Low Water Pressure

Troubleshooting low water pressure is a little trickier than other common household plumbing problems. The first step is to check the hot and cold water and see if they both have low pressure. If they do, then there is likely a buildup of calcium in the faucet aerator. Simply remove the aerator and clean out any debris before re-installing. If this does not fix the problem, you may have a water leak elsewhere in the home or you might have pipes that have become corroded.

5. No Hot Water

A faucet aerator.

There are few things worse than waking up to a cold shower. There are several culprits behind a loss of hot water, including a broken down hot water heater, a plumbing leak or an electrical problem. The first thing to check is the circuit breaker. If there are no trips in the breaker, then you will need to inspect the water heater. The solution could be as simple as changing the thermostat, though you might be dealing with a broken heating element.

6. Leaking Pipes

Leaky pipes can do a lot of damage to walls, floors and personal belongings. Pipes tend to leak around joints or areas where rust has eroded through the wall of the pipe. Unfortunately, fixing leaking pipes generally requires replacing problem areas. You can prevent leaking pipes in the first place by occasionally checking them for rust or lime deposits, which can be signs of a potential leak.

7. Burst Pipes

A burst pipe.

Burst pipes are a common plumbing problem when the cold weather sets in. Pipes burst when water freezes and expands. You can tell your pipes are frozen if you turn on a faucet and nothing happens. If this happens, turn off the main supply of water and call a plumber. You can avoid freezing pipes by keeping a trickle of hot water flowing when the temperature drops below freezing.