When do you need to call a plumber?
Whether you live in a new or older home, if you don't maintain your home plumbing system, major leaks can suddenly occur that lead to potentially thousands of dollars in damage. However, you can help prevent a plumbing disaster by taking note of the following signs:
Ongoing leaks, drips or reduced water flow
- A persistent drip from a faucet or fixture may indicate that it need replacing.
- If faucets suddenly don't deliver the usual pressure or force you need, you may have a clogged aerator.
- If water pressure in your shower has decreased, the shower head may be clogged and coated with film. If you're handy, with a simple adjustment you can replace a washer, or remove and clean the aerator or filter. However, it's often best to call a professional plumber to take care of any plumbing issues to prevent any unforeseen problems.
Staining and deposit build-up that you cannot see
Water type and quality varies depending on trace minerals and additives. Staining or a white, green or brown powder or crusty build-up on fixtures and faucets may indicate that the same build-up is affecting water flow in your pipes.
If you notice any of these problems, or if your metal faucets become pitted, it's smart to have a professional check the plumbing systems in your home that you cannot see. Installing either a whole-house purification system, or some "point of use" filters may help prevent these problems.
Rattling outdoor hose bibs
- Most buildings have at least one outdoor water spigot and many have more outdoor hose bibs for landscaping watering. All modern installations are "frost-free," with controls that eliminate the seasonal draining or winter "wrapping" requirements. Regardless, it is important to disconnect hoses before winter and freezing temperatures.
- During landscape watering seasons, check regularly for drips and loose fittings and have them repaired if required.
- Defective hose bibs, or pipes that rattle and wiggle could cause leaks inside the walls of your home, which is a serious problem.
- If you do notice any of these signs, it may be time to call a plumber.
Pipe and tubing maintenance or replacement
- Depending the age of your home, water lines might be made with copper or plastic and pipes from cast iron, galvanized steel or PVC. For the most part, these materials are durable but fittings can become defective, pipes can deteriorate, and outside influences can cause problems.
- Even a minor nick caused by a nail during any home construction or maintenance work will cause a pipe to burst months or years later. It could also cause a slow leak which has the potential to be just as devastating over time if not repaired.
- Something as simple as crimping an icemaker line accidentally by moving a fridge or performing DIY plumbing maintenance, can lead to a delayed water leak when you least expect it.
Do you have a main shutoff valve?
If you don't have one inside your home, consider installing one and be sure that everyone who lives at home knows where it is and how it operates.
By knowing how to shut your water off fast, you can prevent major home damage in case of an emergency and potentially thousands of dollars.
Lastly, the best tip for all homeowners, is to find a reliable plumber before you need one and always have their number somewhere quickly and easily accessible.