Keeping an eye on your utilities is a great way to reduce the impact of potential problems. Your plumbing system is no different, and it helps to be aware of the most common problems. Depending on the degree of the problem, you may be able to perform DIY plumbing repair on your own. Let’s review 13 of the most common plumbing services and what it might take to address them.
Common Faucet Problems
Your home has various faucets in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. Because faucets bring water from your plumbing, common problems can restrict or block water flow. In some cases you’re dealing with the opposite problem, which is too much water dripping out from the faucet.
Faucet Spout Is Leaking
What creates this problem? Faucets with two handles are referred to as cartridge-style faucets. These cartridges are valves that control water flowing into the spout. When a cartridge is broken, it can lead to a leak. It could also be a deteriorated valve seat, which links the faucet and spot together.
How do I fix it? Locating the broken or worn-down part and swapping it should deal with the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component could be damaged.
Estimated repair cost: Replacement parts for the cartridges or valve seat can run around 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 at the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn out. Without a secure seal, water can push through the stem and start leaking.
How do I fix it? Sometimes the problem can be resolved with a thorough cleaning of the seal and O-ring. If not, the component will have to be swapped out.
Estimated repair cost: An individual O-ring costs about $2. It may be a good idea to purchase a pack of several so that you can quickly manage this plumbing repair job again the next time a leak shows up.
Faucet Is Leaking Below the Sink
What causes this problem? An insecure connection is the most probable culprit. This may be where the sink’s pipes hook up to the main water supply as well as by the drain or P-trap connection. Especially old faucets can be corroded to the point where they can’t sustain secure connections.
How do I fix it? Discovering the source of your leak is important since this leak might not be instantly noticeable. If tightening the connections doesn’t solve things, you’ll want to examine the faucet itself.
Estimated repair cost: The cost to resolve things can differ depending on where the leak is coming from, particularly if water damage is discovered.
Common Toilet Problems
We rely on our toilets to function 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 many clogs, a trustworthy plunger will be your first line of defense.
How do I fix it? Lift the flapper valve to see 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, clearing away a clog from your toilet won’t cost you a thing. When the plunger doesn’t work, the clog might be further in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to hire local plumbing services in Greater Richmond.
Toilet Is Running
What causes this problem? Toilets refresh their water supply from the tank after each flush. When too much water comes from the tank, it makes your toilet run constantly. Exchanging one or several parts should take care of things.
How do I fix it? It could be the float arm, the flapper or the refill tube since a problem with any of these parts can result in a running toilet. You can watch the flushing/refilling cycle to narrow down where the issue is.
Estimated repair cost: These components range in cost between $13 and $70. There’s a possibility the toilet is running simply because something has fallen 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. Barring damage to the tank itself, the leak is probably coming from a worn-down rubber seal attached to places like the bolts, the spud washer or the refill valve.
How do I fix it? Check the water level within 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, examining the spud washer when the tank is detached. Look for defective rubber or signs of corrosion.
Estimated repair cost: These rubber seals are usually only a few dollars. If the tank itself is damaged, however, a replacement can cost more than $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 seems wobbly or loose, it may be a damaged 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 problem is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be wary not to damage the toilet bowl. Some homeowners prefer having professional plumbing services in Greater Richmond 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
Weak water pressure can make all kinds of household tasks more tedious and time-consuming. It’s particularly aggravating 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 may be a problem with a valve or mineral buildup within the showerhead. A dirty shower can be cleaned, but damage to the showerhead could make replacing it the most cost-effective solution.
How do I fix it? Let the shower head sit in vinegar for a long time. This should remove sediment or other clogs. Readjusting the pressure valve might 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 suggested you attempt this first just in case. When swapping to a different make and model, the cost will vary depending on what you decide on.
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 up against the spout, putting air into the water as it passes through. Cartridges manage the flow of hot vs. cold water.
How do I fix it? Cleaning the aerator may address your water pressure problem. Replacing the faucet’s cartridges could also handle things.
Estimated repair cost: Replacing the aerator can cost around $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 clogged, 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 center around being unable to do so.
Drain Is Clogged
What causes this problem? Large objects, mineral buildup and other materials can accumulate in the drain, stopping it up. This can happen slowly 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 push clogs into the rest of the plumbing while a drain snake reaches in and drags solid material out. Deeper clogs may 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 Greater Richmond 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 handle this with chemicals or a snake. In a few cases it may fix itself, but you don’t want to risk it developing into a complete clog.
Estimated repair cost: Materials will probably cost between $8 and $30 based on brand choices. The particular 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 damage 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 present themselves first.
Burst Pipe That’s Frozen
What causes this problem? Expanding ice or trying to wrench a frozen pipe free can result in this problem. Most homes are warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing, but severe cold and low use can lead to 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 may need additional plumbing repair.
Estimated repair cost: Costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage. Larger sections of piping are more expensive, especially 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 hassle of the piping being tucked away behind a wall, this could be a task more suitable for local plumbing companies in Greater Richmond.
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 might 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 cramped working conditions and corroded piping. If you don’t have this equipment already, the job may be more appropriate for professionals. Expert plumbing repair can find burst pipes behind walls and resolve the problem. Average costs can vary considerably, usually around $150.