Keeping an eye on your utilities is a good way to minimize the impact of potential issues. Your plumbing system is no different, and it helps to be informed of the most common problems. Depending on the severity of the problem, you might be able to perform DIY plumbing repair yourself. Let’s examine 13 of the most common plumbing services and what it might take to address them.
Common Faucet Problems
Your home has many faucets in rooms including the bathroom and kitchen. Because faucets bring water from your plumbing, common problems can reduce or block water flow. In some cases you’re dealing with the opposite problem, which is too much water dripping out of the faucet.
Faucet Spout Is Leaking
What causes this problem? Faucets with two handles are known as cartridge-style faucets. These cartridges are valves that regulate water flowing into the spout. When a cartridge is broken, it can result in a leak. It might also be a deteriorated valve seat, which connects the faucet and spot together.
How do I fix it? Locating the damaged or worn-down part and replacing it should resolve the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component might be damaged.
Estimated repair cost: Replacement parts for the cartridges or valve seat can run between just a few dollars to around $80 depending on the make and model.
Faucet Base Is Leaking
What causes this problem? Most of the time, a leak near the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn down. Without a strong seal, water can squeeze through the stem and start leaking.
How do I fix it? Sometimes the leak can be fixed with a good cleaning of the seal and O-ring. If not, the component will have to be replaced.
Estimated repair cost: An individual O-ring costs about $2. It might be a good idea to purchase a pack of several so that you can swiftly take care of this plumbing repair job again the next time a leak appears.
Faucet Is Leaking Underneath the Sink
What causes this problem? A loose connection is the most common culprit. This could be where the sink’s pipes hook up to the main water supply as well as by the drain or P-trap connection. Particularly old faucets can be corroded to the point where they can’t maintain firm connections.
How do I fix it? Locating the source of your leak is needed since this leak may not be instantly visible. If securing the connections doesn’t fix things, you’ll want to examine the faucet itself.
Estimated repair cost: The cost to resolve things can vary depending on where the leak is coming from, particularly if water damage is encountered.
Common Toilet Problems
We rely on our toilets to operate cleanly and efficiently. If your toilet is dealing with a problem, you’ll want to check out these places first.
Toilet Is Clogged
What causes this problem? Even a limited clog can slow the drainage of your toilet. For most clogs, a trustworthy plunger will be your first line of defense.
How do I fix it? Lift the flapper valve to observe how the toilet is draining. Slow or no drainage is a good sign there’s a clog. You should use a plunger to try to clear the clog, or a toilet snake if that doesn’t work.
Estimated repair cost: In many cases, removing a clog from your toilet won’t cost you a thing. When the plunger doesn’t work, the clog may be further in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to contact local plumbing services in Marshalltown.
Toilet Is Running
What causes this problem? Toilets replenish their water supply from the tank after every flush. When excess water comes from the tank, it makes your toilet run constantly. Exchanging one or several parts should resolve things.
How do I fix it? It may be the float arm, the flapper or the refill tube as a problem with any of these components can result in a running toilet. You can monitor the flushing/refilling cycle to pinpoint where the issue is.
Estimated repair cost: These components vary in cost between $13 and $70. There’s a chance the toilet is running simply because something has slipped out of place. In this case, it may be free to take care of your problem!
Toilet Is Leaking from the Tank
What causes this problem? Toilet tanks are manufactured from materials such as porcelain. With the exception of damage to the tank itself, the leak is most likely coming from a worn-down rubber seal secured to places like the bolts, the spud washer or the refill valve.
How do I fix it? Check the water level inside the tank, as you might be able to narrow down the leak’s location. You’ll then want to empty the tank and detach it from the toilet bowl. You will remove the fill valve and the connection bolts first, inspecting the spud washer when the tank is detached. Look for ruined rubber or evidence of corrosion.
Estimated repair cost: These rubber seals are typically only a few dollars. If the tank itself is broken, however, a replacement may cost upward of $200. This may be a job for professional plumbing companies who handle the process quickly and efficiently.
Toilet Is Loose
What causes this problem? If your toilet appears wobbly or loose, it could be a worn out bolt or the wax seal ring running around the base. It can also be the toilet flange, which connects the bowl to your home’s drainage system.
How do I fix it? Tightening the bolts is easy, as is replacing them. If the issue is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be mindful not to damage the toilet bowl. Some homeowners prefer having professional plumbing services in Marshalltown when the toilet has to be disconnected.
Estimated repair cost: Replacement bolts are inexpensive, with replacement flanges averaging $20 or so.
Common Low Water Pressure Problems
Inferior water pressure can make all sorts of household tasks more challenging and time-consuming. It’s particularly irritating when it is affecting key fixtures like the showerhead or the kitchen sink.
Low Water Pressure in the Shower
What causes this problem? If your shower’s water pressure is too low, it could be a problem with a valve or mineral buildup within the showerhead. A dirty shower can be cleaned, but damage to the showerhead can make replacing it the most cost-effective solution.
How do I fix it? Let the shower head soak in vinegar for a long time. This should remove sediment or other clogs. Adjusting the pressure valve may also help. If the pressure is still too low, swapping to another showerhead might resolve things.
Estimated repair cost: Cleaning the showerhead is free, and it’s recommended you attempt this first just in case. When swapping to another make and model, the cost will fluctuate depending on what you choose.
Low Water Pressure in the Kitchen Sink
What causes this problem? Two common causes of bad water pressure in your kitchen faucet are a clogged aerator or a clogged cartridge. The aerator is right near the spout, depositing air into the water as it passes by. Cartridges control the flow of hot vs. cold water.
How do I fix it? Cleaning the aerator may resolve your water pressure problem. Exchanging the faucet’s cartridges could also handle things.
Estimated repair cost: Replacing the aerator can cost between $5 and $25 depending on which model you prefer. Cartridges often average $45 to $60.
Common Drain Problems
A problem with your drain can slow cooking and cleaning down. And if it’s completely backed up, you’ll have to clear it before you can use the sink or tub again. Since drains are only configured to carry water out of your home, problems revolve around being unable to do so.
Drain Is Clogged
What causes this problem? Big objects, mineral buildup and other materials can accumulate in the drain, stopping it up. This can happen steadily or all at once depending on the nature of the clog.
How do I fix it? There are lots of options for clearing out drain clogs. Some chemicals can help move clogs into the rest of the plumbing while a drain snake reaches in and drags solid material out. Deep clogs might need professional help.
Estimated repair cost: The cost for these materials is relatively low, between $8 and $30. If you can’t clear the clog, local plumbing services in Marshalltown can help.
Drain Is Slow
What causes this problem? This is most likely a clog in progress. It hasn’t entirely blocked the drain yet, but an obstruction has formed.
How do I fix it? You can likely clear this with chemicals or a snake. In certain cases it may resolve itself, but you don’t want to risk it developing into a complete clog.
Estimated repair cost: Materials will likely cost between $8 and $30 based on brand choices. The specific nature of the clog could make one or the other more useful.
Common Burst Pipe Problems
A burst pipe is a severe issue that can affect not just your plumbing but areas of your home around it. Ultimately any burst pipe problem will be traced back to the damaged piping. In certain cases other issues like water damage or low water pressure will appear first.
Burst Pipe That’s Frozen
What causes this problem? Expanding ice or trying to twist a frozen pipe free can cause this problem. Most homes are warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing, but severe cold and low use can result in freezing.
How do I fix it? You’ll want to wait until the pipe is thawed out before you can begin repairs. The water supply will be shut off while the section of pipe is replaced. If water damage has happened, you might need further plumbing repair.
Estimated repair cost: Costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage. Large sections of piping are more expensive, particularly if they are made from a high-quality material. You may pay anywhere from $30 to more than $150
Burst Pipe That’s Behind a Wall
What causes this problem? Damage, corrosion and even pests can lead to a ruptured pipe in your home. With the added trouble of the piping being hidden away behind a wall, this could be a task more appropriate for local plumbing companies in Marshalltown.
How do I fix it? Replacing a broken pipe requires getting to the piping itself. This can be more challenging when the pipe is behind a wall. You may have to clear a large enough section away where work can be managed comfortably.
Estimated repair cost: This problem might need special tools and experience thanks to confined working conditions and corroded piping. If you don’t have this equipment already, the job may be more suitable for professionals. Expert plumbing repair can locate burst pipes behind walls and resolve the problem. Average costs can vary considerably, usually around $150.