New Homeowner Nightmare: What Those Insane Plumbing Problems Likely Mean And What To Do About Them

12 February 2018
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So you bought the home of your dreams, but the plumbing has turned into a nightmare? Unfortunately, such a scenario is not completely uncommon; however, this doesn't have to mean the end of your dreams with the beautiful home you just purchased. While it wasn't nice (or perhaps even legal) for the seller to dump plumbing problems on you, it's nothing you and a qualified plumber can't handle.

Batten down the hatches and prepare to engage the plumbing problems with everything you've got. The sooner you have all of this under control, the sooner you can get back to enjoying your new home.

1. Slow Or Clogged Drains

Drains that empty slowly or worse, not at all, not only drive you crazy, but can lead to major problems if left unresolved. While your slow motion draining may simply be attributed to the average "stuff" getting caught, such as grease and hair, if your store-bought solution doesn't resolve the problem at once, you're going to have to call in a plumber.

2. Strange Sounds When You Run Appliances

If the water traveling to your washing machine or dishwasher sounds unusually loud or otherwise strange, it's a good indication that something is amiss with the pipes. Likewise, loud sounds from the toilet, such as gurgling, may mean there's a backup somewhere in the system of pipes running through the home. The strange sounds are probably due to lack of air, which is a good sign of a clog.

This symptom of nightmare plumbing issues should prompt you to cease using any appliance that's not absolutely necessary and contact a plumber quickly.

3. Inefficient Hot Water Heater

A hot water heater that hasn't been properly maintained will quite literally leave you cold. If your hot water isn't warming up enough or it seems to run out too quickly, it might be in need of an annual flush. The anode rods, too, should be checked for rust. If these tasks are out of your realm of knowledge, as they are with most people, a professional will need to inspect the tank and all its components.

4. Insufficient Water Pressure

When you turn on the water and the stream is very weak, the problem is more likely due to something in the pipes, rather than the hot water heater. Low pressure may be telling you that there's a blockage somewhere in the pipes or that you have a more serious issue on your hands with your new home, such as broken or fractured pipes. The waterline, too, might be culpable, if it's deteriorated to the point that leaks abound. Unfortunately, problems like these can't be solved with an ordinary plunger and a dose of elbow grease. You should find a plumber to investigate low water pressure as soon as you're aware of it.

5. Running Toilets

If the home you've just purchased simply wasn't properly maintained, running toilets could be a simple solve: Check the flap inside the back of the toilet to see that it completely closes after flushing. If not, you've probably found the cause of the constant running. The small components located within the back of the toilet are relatively inexpensive and easy to figure out, so you might be able to handle this one on your own. If that rubber flap doesn't form a tight seal, it might need replacing or some other minor adjustment.

6. Freezing Pipes

When you turn the water on and nothing happens or you hear a clanking sound, you have a problem with freezing pipes. Don't bother trying the DIY route for this type of situation, unless you really know what you're doing. Simply locating the exact area of concern could be difficult to impossible, especially if the frozen pipes are located behind walls. Have a professional diagnose and resolve the issue and follow their recommendations regarding insulating the pipes to avoid encountering frozen pipes again. Freezing pipes can burst, leading to an even greater problem for the homeowner, so this is one nightmare you need to attend to quickly and effectively.

7. Odd Smells Around The Home

The stinking smell of sulfur around the house, after you've been using the water system and appliances regularly, likely tells you that a sewage pipe has a problem somewhere in the line. Also, you could have a vent that, for whatever reason, isn't doing its job of directing (foul-smelling) air out of the home. 

If the kitchen, bath or other room with a drain is offending your olfactory bulb, you're more likely to have a clogged (and, therefore, stinky) drain, rather than a sewer pipe or vent in need of fast repair. Clean the drain with a de-clogger or try rinsing with warm water and bleach. If the stench doesn't subside, you may have to face this battle with a plumber beside you, after all. Before doing so, however, make sure you've covered other bases in terms of what can make your house smell and the steps you can take to improve it. Especially since you're new to the dwelling, there could be many different issues going on that require your attention.

8. Drips, Drips, Drips

Drips will leave you with dark circles under your eyes, from all the sleepless and interrupted nights they cause. Additionally, they can crank your water bill up considerably. A drip may be caused by something within the faucet itself, such as a washer, or it could be a more ominous sign of severe pipe damage. Pipes that are about to break often spring leaks, so it's important that you know where your main water shut-off valve is and get in touch with someone to address the drips as early as possible.

As crazy as life may feel in your new home with one plumbing problem blowing up after another, the good news is that you should have everything under control in the near future. Thereafter, keep up with regular plumbing maintenance and definitely keep the number to that hero plumber handy, just in case. For more information, contact companies like Best Choice Plumbing, Inc.