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5 Common Plumbing Problems (5 DIY Solutions!)

There is a range of common plumbing problems to keep your eye on. And with a little bit of knowledge, you can solve it with a bit of DIY!

We don’t give it much thought, but that’s because it’s our invisible friend. We’re talking about plumbing. And while perhaps not sexy, plumbing IS almost magic. Flick on a tap, and convenient, clean water at the desired temperature comes freely flowing at the perfect water pressure. It keeps us pure and relaxed. It gets rid of waste and keeps us healthy. But all of that is only possible if your plumbing is working correctly. So, what if you experience a plumbing problem?

Common Plumbing Problems Solutions

Like all other man-made things and systems, plumbing can go wrong. It needs to be maintained regularly, checked and fixed when an issue arises. In most cases, you’ll need help from a local plumber. But there are common plumbing problems to keep your eye on, too — and with some knowledge, you might even think about solving them yourself with some DIY!

Plumbing isn’t like pest control services, painting or even electrical work; it’s a messy, tedious task designed for highly-trained professionals.

Here are five common plumbing problems to watch out for (and 5 DIY solutions!):

1. Blocked drain

We’ve all experienced clogged drains, and what do you do when that water doesn’t go down the drain efficiently (or at all!)? Blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing problems. A significant number of calls we receive are for unblocking drains in Sydney. Some signs of a blocked or obstructed pipeline are flies or a bad smell.

The solutions!

Sewer: Has yours overflowed? Look outside for your overflow relief gully and outdoor drain; if it has flooded, call a plumber. Slow or clogged gutters may be rooted in your sewer lines.

Object: Ask the kids if they’ve tried to flush a showdown in the toilet. Try a plunger if something else blocks the drain and limits the water flow. And just before giving up and calling a plumber, try to mix some bi-carb and vinegar and hope it breaks down the blockage. Salt is also another DIY method to unblock drains.

Blocked Drain Repairs

2. Leaky tap

Almost as common as a backed-up drain is a leaking tap. The constant dripping faucets are enough to get on anyone’s nerves, but you’d be surprised how much water you can save by quickly fixing a leaking tap.

The solutions!

Tap washer: The good news is that a leaky faucet will probably be fixed with a tap washer replacement. And the even better information is that you don’t need to call a local plumber for your tap washer replacement problems in Australia.

Tap cartridge: The only way to fix a mixer tap might be to replace the cartridge — and with some luck, yours will be under warranty.

Broken tap: If your faucets are getting old, it might make more sense to replace them altogether. But for this, you’ll need to call your plumber.

Leaking Tap Repairs

3. No water from the tap

Aren’t taps great? Not when you turn them on, the tap spindle keeps turning, and nothing comes out!

The solutions!

Other tips: First, check if the other taps in the house are also not working. It could be mineral deposits and other debris clogging your faucet. If it’s just one, you’ve isolated the problem. If there is no water coming from taps all over your house, it’s probably the water supply or the meter itself — and a call to a plumber or even your water supplier will be needed.

No hot water: After a long day at work, turning on the hot bath or shower tap and getting no hot water can be more frustrating. It could be a faulty water heater, a hot water tap leaking, or your hot water system. If your water heater is running on gas, check the pilot light or the gas supply, and if it’s an electric unit, you could have a tank leak, a relief valve failure, or the fuse may have tripped. Hot water system repairs are a professional job, so don’t attempt DIY beyond investigating the problem of a water heater.

Water Taps Emergency Plumbing Issues

4. Leaking pipe

Leaky pipes could be a drip affecting your water pressure or go BAM! and be a 4 am nightmare. But as you call that plumber, you can do things to help with this plumbing emergency.

The solutions!

Find the leak: That won’t be hard if it’s a burst pipe. But sometimes, tracking down is more challenging, especially if the lines are inside walls or under concrete (specialised leak detection services are available). Place a bucket or container under the leaking pipe to prevent water damage. For more severe burst pipes, turn off the water to the house at the main water meter. The leak will continue until all the water in the pipes is gone, so you can turn on other taps to drain the pipes and prevent more damage.

Leaking Copper Pipe Home

5. Leaking toilet

A lot of water (and money on that water bill) is wasted yearly by leaking or running toilets.

The solutions!

Run a test: You can do a DIY test to check if yours leaks. Take the lid off the cistern and pour a few drops of food colouring or some coloured laundry liquid. Wait ten minutes, and if there is blue in your bowl, you have a leak, and a call for toilet repairs might be an excellent idea. You may need to replace your toilet if it is old or damaged.

A clogged toilet is another story. But clogged toilets also need immediate attention from your reliable plumber.

BONUS TIP: Here’s what to do if your toilet won’t flush.

Leaking Toilet Emergency Plumbing

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Plumbing Problem Prevention Tips

You can help prevent some common plumbing problems around your home through regular maintenance:

  • Inspect the heating element and anode rod in your water heater tank annually. Replace them as needed to prevent corrosion.
  • Replace the fill valve and flapper in toilet tanks every few years. This prevents leaks and ensures proper water flow.
  • Never flush toilet paper, wipes, paper towels, or other debris that can get stuck and clog drains.
  • Lubricate faucet O-rings and washers when replacing cartridges. This maintains a watertight seal and prevents new leaks.
  • Install hair traps and screens in sinks and tubs. They catch strands before going down drains and causing clogs.
  • Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down kitchen sinks. Over time they solidify and block pipes.
  • Run rubbish disposals with plenty of cool water flow to thoroughly flush food particles.
  • Regular plumbing inspections and part replacements keep things running smoothly!

Call your plumber!

You can detect and even fix some of these plumbing problems at home. But when more complex plumbing problems hit you like faulty water heaters, sump pump failure, sewer line problems, cracked pipes, blocked garbage disposal, or low water pressure, there are hard-working, honest, high-quality and affordable Sydney professional plumbers like Fixed Today, why take a risk with your magical plumbing? Professional plumbers have the proper tools to perform and work on your plumbing repairs and plumbing disasters. Call today.

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