Five Plumbing Problems that Signal Trouble

We’ve all been guilty of flushing too much down the toilet or flushing the wrong things down the toilet. Regardless of how the toilet came to be clogged, it can quickly become an incredibly frustrating problem. If there is a good side to a clogged toilet, it’s that they don’t just happen overnight. They are the result of buildup over time. Because most toilet clogs are gradually created, you can prevent a severe clog by refraining from certain activities or catching problems early. A clogged shower or toilet can wreak havoc on your septic and sewer system, so even if you remove the clog, your connected system could be in need of clearing and cleaning.

Is Your Plumbing Alerting You to Problems?

So, how do you know if a clogged toilet or shower drain is an isolated incident or part of a larger problem? Thankfully your plumbing system doesn’t usually fail without warning or reason. We’ve included 5 warning signs that typically indicate your system has further blockages.

  • Slow Drains: When you experience a slow draining pipe, it could be a problem with that one fixture or a large problem within the plumbing system. By the time a sluggish draining sink, tub, toilet, or shower becomes a noticeable problem, it’s often surprisingly a more advanced problem than homeowners expect because clogs and blockages form over time. So, your drain will become slower over a long period, and it’s easy for it to go unnoticed until there’s a serious problem.
  • Loud Operation: When you use your plumbing, it shouldn’t be noisy. Loud noises in your plumbing system are a sign of air pockets, which shouldn’t be present. Your plumbing vent stack is responsible for releasing the harmful gases that can build up in your sewer line. It also ensures the pressure balance in your line remains balanced so water can move freely through the pipes. A clogged or dirty vent stack can cause your sewer and water lines to move slowly.
  • Smelly Drains: Foul odors coming from your drain can be shocking and off-putting. Depending on which drain is emitting the offensive odor, the source of the smell could be anything from a dried-out P-trap to a blockage made of old food, grease, and oils. Cleaning out your drain is the only way to eliminate the smell.
  • Large Water Bill: If you notice your water bill is more than it’s ever been or significantly higher than a usual month, it’s a good sign that your system has issues. It could be water pressure or other issues, but if your bill is spiking, it’s a sign that you should have your system inspected. A licensed plumber can inspect your system from your home to its connection to the city line.
  • Old Slow Pipes: Older pipes are more likely to have problems than newer systems. Supply and drain lines are found in homes, and these pipes can be made of PVC, copper, or cast iron. Pipes can be made of a variety of materials, and when pipes are older, they can become slower and less effective. Some of these older pipes are made of materials that are harder to clean, so begin by asking your plumbing professional to inspect your line.

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