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Watch Out for These 13 Plumbing Problems

June 23, 2022

Keeping an eye on your utilities is a great way to limit the impact of potential problems. Your plumbing system is no different, and it helps to be informed of the most common problems. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to perform DIY plumbing repair by yourself. Let’s review 13 of the most common plumbing services and what it might take to address them.

Common Faucet Problems

Your home has many faucets in rooms including 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 leaking out from the faucet.

Faucet Spout Is Leaking

What causes this problem? Faucets with two handles are referred to as cartridge-style faucets. These cartridges are valves that regulate water flowing into the spout. When a cartridge is damaged, it can cause a leak. It may also be a corroded valve seat, which joins the faucet and spot together.

How do I fix it? Locating the damaged or worn-down part and swapping it should deal with the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component might 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 near the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn out. Without a firm seal, water can push through the stem and start leaking.

How do I fix it? Sometimes the problem can be fixed with a thorough cleaning of the seal and O-ring. If not, the component will have to be swapped out.

Estimated repair cost: A single O-ring costs about $2. It might be a good idea to buy a pack of several so that you can swiftly take care of this plumbing repair job again the next time a leak is found.

Faucet Is Leaking Under the Sink

What causes this problem? An insecure connection is the most probable culprit. This may be where the sink’s pipes connect to the main water supply as well as by the drain or P-trap connection. Particularly old faucets might be corroded to the point where they can’t sustain stable connections.

How do I fix it? Finding the source of your leak is needed since this leak might not be instantly visible. If tightening the connections doesn’t resolve things, you’ll want to inspect the faucet itself.

Estimated repair cost: The cost to resolve things can differ depending on where the leak is coming from, especially if water damage is encountered.

Common Toilet Problems

We count on our toilets to operate cleanly and efficiently. If your toilet is dealing with a problem, you’ll want to check these places first.

Toilet Is Clogged

What causes this problem? Even a partial clog can slow the drainage of your toilet. For most clogs, a trustworthy plunger will be your first line of defense.

How do I fix it? Lift the flapper valve to observe how the toilet is draining. Slow or no drainage is a common sign there’s a clog. You should use a plunger to try to remove 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 could be further in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to hire local plumbing services in Anchorage.

Toilet Is Running

What causes this problem? Toilets replenish their water supply from the tank after every flush. When surplus water comes from the tank, it makes your toilet run constantly. Replacing 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 lead to a running toilet. You can observe the flushing/refilling cycle to pinpoint where the issue is.

Estimated repair cost: These components range in cost between $13 and $70. There’s a chance the toilet is running simply because something has slipped out of place. In this case, it could be free to take care of your problem!

Toilet Is Leaking from the Tank

What causes this problem? Toilet tanks are made from materials such as porcelain. Barring damage to the tank itself, the leak is probably coming from a worn-down rubber seal secured to places like the bolts, the spud washer or the refill valve.

How do I fix it? Check the water level inside of the tank, as you may be able to narrow down the leak’s location. You’ll then want to drain the tank and detach it from the toilet bowl. You will remove the fill valve and the connection bolts first, inspecting the spud washer when the tank is free. 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 broken, however, a replacement might cost upward of $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 could 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? Securing the bolts is easy, as is replacing them. If the issue is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be mindful not to break the toilet bowl. Some homeowners favor having professional plumbing services in Anchorage 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

Bad water pressure can make all kinds of household chores more tedious and time-consuming. It’s especially annoying when it affects 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 could 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 soak in vinegar for a long time. This should remove sediment or other clogs. Adjusting the pressure valve might also help. If the pressure is still too low, swapping to another showerhead might fix things.

Estimated repair cost: Cleaning the showerhead is free, and it’s recommended you try this first just in case. When swapping to a different make and model, the cost will fluctuate depending on what you go with.

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 near 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 may 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 supposed to carry water out of your home, problems revolve around being unable to do so.

Drain Is Clogged

What causes this problem? Large objects, mineral buildup and other materials can collect in the drain, stopping it up. This can happen steadily or all at once depending on the nature of the clog.

How do I fix it? There are many options for unblocking drain clogs. Some chemicals can help move clogs into the rest of the plumbing while a drain snake reaches in and pulls solid material out. Deep clogs may need professional help.

Estimated repair cost: The cost for these materials is relatively low, between $8 and $30. If you can’t remove the clog, local plumbing services in Anchorage 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 clear this with chemicals or a snake. In some cases it may solve itself, but you don’t want to risk it turning into a complete clog.

Estimated repair cost: Materials will probably cost between $8 and $30 depending on brand choices. The unique nature of the clog might make one or the other more useful.

Common Burst Pipe Problems

A burst pipe is a serious issue that can affect 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 appear first.

Burst Pipe That’s Frozen

What causes this problem? Expanding ice or trying to twist a frozen pipe free can result in this problem. Most homes are warm enough to prevent 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 turned off while the section of pipe is replaced. If water damage has occurred, you might need further plumbing repair.

Estimated repair cost: Costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage. Larger sections of piping are more expensive, particularly 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 result in a broken pipe in your home. With the added hassle of the piping being hidden away behind a wall, this may be a task more appropriate for local plumbing companies in Anchorage.

How do I fix it? Fixing 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 might be more suitable for professionals. Expert plumbing repair can locate burst pipes behind walls and resolve the problem. Average costs can vary considerably, usually around $150.