Plumbing problems can run the gamut from very minor and fixable to major and costly, and at times it can be tough to tell the difference. Sometimes you may not even know there's a problem in the first place. Here are 10 hidden signs that you may have a plumbing problem.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure can take the joy out of what should be a refreshing shower, but it turns out that it can be more than an annoyance. Low pressure may be an indication that there's something clogging up your pipes. If the water pressure in your house takes a sudden dip, call in a plumber to find out what's up with the plumbing.
At some point, every sink or shower is subject to slow drainage caused by built-up debris like hair or soap scum, but when pipes all throughout the house become slow to drain, you could have a clog in the main sewer line. This is considered a plumbing emergency, so if you suspect a clogged sewer line, call a plumber immediately to come to take a look. Brown Spots on the Ceiling are more than just unsightly; they may be a sign that water's leaking directly above. Before you repair the ceiling, be sure to find the source of the leak and fix it first.
Aside from the sound of rushing water, your pipes should be fairly quiet. But if you hear a rattling sound in your pipes, particularly right after you shut off a valve, it could be what’s called “water hammer.” This occurs when the flow of water abruptly stops or changes direction, creating a shock wave that can lead to banging noises and make loose pipes rattle. Possible causes include high water pressure or, in older houses, flooded air chambers in your plumbing system. Rattling noises can also be caused by poorly secured pipes.
Foul Smells from the Drain
Let’s face it, there are a lot of bacteria hanging out in kitchens and bathrooms, and they can lead to some interesting smells. But a persistent foul smell emanating the drains could be a sign of a block or a break in the sewer line.
Higher Water Bills
Unless you can account for additional water usage, a climbing water bill is usually a clear-cut sign that there is some major leaking going on in your plumbing system. If you notice a sudden, unexplained increase in your water bill, call a plumber to investigate for leaks.
Peeling Paint or Wallpaper in the Bathroom
Have you recently noticed peeling, cracked, or blistering paint or wallpaper in a bathroom? This could be evidence of a leak. Before you start patching it up, have a plumber come to look for a leak and, if found, eliminate it.
A Gurgling Toilet
Unless you've just flushed it your toilet should be pretty quiet, so if you start to hear a gurgling noise, the fixture may be trying to tell you that there’s an underlying issue. Potential causes of a gurgling toilet include a blocked vent stack or even a blocked sewer line.
Mold Growth on Cabinets or Walls
Mold growing in your home is never a good sign, but if you see mold sprouting on the cabinets or walls of a bathroom, you should start looking for a leaky pipe. Mold grows only in wet environments, and if there's excess moisture in the room, you need to find the source as quickly as possible.
Consistently Clogged Toilets
Everyone has to deal with a clogged toilet every once in a while, but if it seems like you’re constantly breaking out the plunger, there could be a deeper problem—especially if other fixtures are starting to back up. This could potentially be a sign that you have a clogged sewer or backed-up septic system.