It’s not unusual for a homeowner to experience plumbing troubles. Some plumbing problems in the home are quick DIY fixes and others may require expensive repairs. It’s important to address any issues as early as possible to prevent additional damage to the home. Know the signs of plumbing problems so you can make repairs in a timely manner.

Low Water Pressure is One of the Signs of Plumbing Problems

Water pressure is generally steady as it enters the house from the municipal water supply. When there is a decrease in pressure, this is usually due to a leak or an obstruction in a supply line. Even a pinhole in a supply line can affect pressure by allowing air to escape.

In your home, determine where the pressure has decreased. Is it one fixture, such as a bathroom sink? If so, the fixture itself may be the problem. In areas of hard water, mineral deposits may accumulate and affect the water pressure. Disconnecting the fixture and cleaning the faucet diverter may be all that is necessary to improve water pressure.

If the pressure loss is more widespread, the problem is further back in the plumbing system. To troubleshoot the issue, trace the pipes as much as possible, looking for wet spots or other signs of water leaks. To try and determine the location of the problem, listen for a hissing sound while water is running. Call a professional to help you deal with low water pressure.

Foul Odors Are a Sign of a Problem

All drains for toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers have a water trap installed under the drain. The purpose of the trap is to ensure that an amount of water is always present in the drain to act as a block for sewer gases. These gases are not only foul smelling but are also combustible.

A drain will produce a foul odor occasionally. A continuous smell could indicate a blockage in the drain line. While inspecting the drains, look for water underneath to determine if the drain itself is leaking or if the problem is elsewhere. An accumulation of sewer gas is dangerous, so call a plumber to make repairs as soon as possible.

Water Spots as Signs of Plumbing Problems

A newly discovered water spot on a floor, ceiling, or wall is a sure sign of plumbing problems in the home. If possible, look for access behind the damp area, whether through the attic, basement, or closet. Determine the source of the problem and have repairs made before walls or ceilings are fixed. If not, the problem will merely recur.

Not all spots are caused by a plumbing problem. The cause of the moisture damage could be something as simple as a spill or as major as needing a new roof.

Plumbing Problems Lead to Increased Utility Costs

Pay attention to the monthly water bill. If you’re trying to conserve water at home but notice a suddenly high bill, this could indicate a busted pipe. If the increase in usage can’t be otherwise explained by something such as filling a swimming pool, begin checking for leaks. In some cases, the leak may be in an inaccessible area like the water main. If necessary, contact the municipal water company to check the main.

Checkpoint Home Inspections provides home inspection services to the Northwest Oregon coast. We offer thermal imaging with our home inspections and can detect moisture intrusion issues.  Contact us to request an appointment.