We don’t give it a lot of thought, but that’s just 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 like liquid gold. It keeps us clean and relaxed. It gets rid of waste and keeps us healthy. But all of that is only possible if your plumbing is working properly. What if you have plumbing problems?
Like all other man-made things and systems, plumbing goes wrong. It all needs to be maintained, 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 a little bit of knowledge, you might even think about solving them yourself with a bit of DIY!
Here are 5 common plumbing problems to watch out for (and 5 DIY solutions!):
1. Blocked drain
We’ve all experienced it, and when that water just won’t go down the drain efficiently (or at all!) what do you do? Blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing problems. In fact a significant number of calls we receive are for unblocking drains in Sydney.
Sewer: Has yours overflowed? Look outside for your overflow relief gully, and if it has overflowed, you’ll need to call a plumber.
Object: Ask the kids if they’ve tried to flush a show down the toilet. If you suspect something else is blocking the drain, try a plunger. And just before giving up and calling a plumber, mix some bi-carb and vinegar together and hope that it breaks down the blockage.
2. Leaky tap
Almost as common as a backed up drain is a leaking tap. The constant drip, drip, drip is enough to get on anyone’s nerves, but you’d be surprised how much water you can save by fixing a leaking tap quickly.
Tap washer: The good news is that it’s probably going to be fixed with a tap washer replacement. And the even better news is that, in Australia, you don’t need to call a plumber for your tap washer replacement problems.
Tap cartridge: For a mixer tap, the only way to fix it might be to replace the cartridge – and with a bit of luck, yours will be under warranty.
Broken tap: If your taps are getting old, it might make more sense to replace them altogether. But for this, you’ll need to call your plumber.
3. No water from tap
Aren’t taps great? Not when you turn them on and the tap spindle keeps turning and nothing comes out!
Other taps: Firstly, see if the other taps in the house are also not working. If it’s just the one, at least 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 joy can be more than frustrating. It could be a hot water tap leaking, or it could be your hot water system. If you’re 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 is a job for the professionals, so don’t attempt DIY beyond investigating the problem.
4. Leaking pipe
It could be a drip, or it could go BAM! and be a 4 am nightmare. But as you call that plumber, there are things you can do to help.
Find the leak: If it’s a burst pipe, that won’t be hard to do. But sometimes it’s harder to track down, especially if the pipes are inside walls or under concrete (specialised leak detection services are available for this). To prevent water damage place a bucket or container under the leaking pipe. For more serious burst pipes turn off 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.
5. Leaking toilet
A huge amount of water (and money on that water bill) is wasted every year by leaking toilets.
Run a test: You can do a DIY test to check if yours is leaking or not. Take the lid off the cistern and pour in either 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 a very good idea.
BONUS TIP: Here’s what to do if your toilet won’t flush.
Call your plumber!
Some of these plumbing problems can be detected and even fixed by you at home. But when there are hard-working, honest, high quality and affordable Sydney plumbers like Fixed Today out there, why take a risk with your magical plumbing? Call today.