How do you know when there’s a problem with your home plumbing system? Some surefire signs of an issue include dripping faucets, regularly clogged drains, and pipes that are noisy, drip, or spray water. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to take action as soon as possible before your plumbing problem turns into a full-blown plumbing disaster.
You may be able to fix a clogged drain or dripping faucet without having to call a plumber. For clogged drains, you can use common household items, including baking soda, boiling water, lemon juice, and vinegar. For leaky faucets and pipes, you’ll need a suitable pipe wrench or the assistance of a professional plumber.
Knocking/banging pipes are commonly caused by pressure changes in your plumbing system. Over time, this force can damage your pipes. You may be able to fix loud pipes by installing a water hammer arrester. Unless you have the knowhow to diagnose the problem and install a water hammer arrester, you’ll need to call a plumber.
One potential plumbing problem whose warning signs may be a little harder to detect is susceptibility to frozen pipes resulting from cold weather. If you wait until it’s too late, frozen pipes can cause extensive damage by bursting. Homeowners who live in inclement climates should check their pipes when temperatures are low to make sure they are not too cold. If you have sections of pipe that you think may be vulnerable to freezing (such as pipes in your basement or crawlspace), run hot water often and think about installing pipe insulation or using a space heater to warm those sections.
* * *
Pipe Gripes is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling
(Photo via kplawver)