Keeping an eye on your utilities is a great way to minimize 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 severity of the problem, you might be able to perform DIY plumbing repair 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 various faucets in rooms including the bathroom and kitchen. Because faucets draw water from your plumbing, common problems can decrease or block water flow. In some cases you’re dealing with the opposite problem, which is too much water leaking out of 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 control water running into the spout. When a cartridge is broken, it can lead to a leak. It could also be a corroded valve seat, which joins the faucet and spot together.
How do I fix it? Finding the broken or worn-down part and swapping it should take care of the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component may be damaged.
Estimated repair cost: Replacement parts for the cartridges or valve seat can run between just a few dollars to around $80 depending on the make and model.
Faucet Base Is Leaking
What causes this problem? A Majority of the time, a leak near the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn down. Without a secure seal, water can squeeze through the stem and start leaking.
How do I fix it? Sometimes the leak can be resolved with a good cleaning of the seal and O-ring. If not, the component will have to be changed out.
Estimated repair cost: An individual O-ring costs about $2. It might 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 appears.
Faucet Is Leaking Below the Sink
What causes this problem? An insecure connection is the most probable culprit. This could 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 may be corroded to the point where they can’t keep firm connections.
How do I fix it? Discovering the source of your leak is important since this leak may not be immediately noticeable. If tightening the connections doesn’t solve things, you’ll want to inspect the faucet itself.
Estimated repair cost: The cost to resolve things can vary depending on where the leak is coming from, especially if water damage is uncovered.
Common Toilet Problems
We rely 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 limited 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 up 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, removing a clog from your toilet won’t cost you a thing. When the plunger doesn’t work, the clog may be further in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to contact local plumbing services in Libertyville.
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. Replacing one or several parts should take care of things.
How do I fix it? It might be the float arm, the flapper or the refill tube as a problem with any of these parts can result in 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 possibility the toilet is running simply because something has fallen out of place. In this case, it might 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. With the exception of 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 inside the tank, as you may be able to narrow down the leak’s location. You’ll then want to drain the tank and separate 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 ruined rubber or signs of corrosion.
Estimated repair cost: These rubber seals are typically only a few dollars. If the tank itself is broken, however, a replacement may 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 appears wobbly or loose, it may be a worn out bolt or the wax seal ring running around the base. It could also be the toilet flange, which connects the bowl to your home’s drainage system.
How do I fix it? Tightening the bolts is simple, as is replacing them. If the issue is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be mindful not to damage the toilet bowl. Some homeowners favor having professional plumbing services in Libertyville 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
Inferior water pressure can make all kinds of household duties more tedious and time-consuming. It’s particularly discouraging 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 may be a problem with a valve or mineral buildup inside the showerhead. A dirty shower can be cleaned, but damage to the showerhead can make replacing it the most cost-effective option.
How do I fix it? Let the shower head soak in vinegar for a long time. This should clear away sediment or other clogs. Readjusting the pressure valve may 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 suggested 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, adding air into the water as it passes by. Cartridges regulate the flow of hot vs. cold water.
How do I fix it? Cleaning the aerator may resolve your water pressure problem. Exchanging 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 configured to carry water outside 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 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 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. Deep clogs may need professional help.
Estimated repair cost: The cost for these materials is comparatively low, between $8 and $30. If you can’t remove the clog, local plumbing services in Libertyville 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 certain cases it may resolve 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 based on brand choices. The specific nature of the clog could make one or the other more useful.
Common Burst Pipe Problems
A burst pipe is a serious issue that can harm 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 some cases other problems like water damage or low water pressure will appear 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 stop the pipes from freezing, but severe cold and low use can result in freezing.
How do I fix it? You’ll want to wait until the pipe is thawed out before you can initiate repairs. The water supply will be shut off while the section of pipe is replaced. If water damage has happened, you might need additional plumbing repair.
Estimated repair cost: Costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage. Large 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 result in a broken pipe in your home. With the added challenge of the piping being hidden away behind a wall, this may be a task more suitable for local plumbing companies in Libertyville.
How do I fix it? Replacing a broken pipe requires getting to the piping itself. This can be more problematic 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 confined working conditions and corroded piping. If you don’t have this equipment on hand, the job may be more appropriate for professionals. Expert plumbing repair can locate burst pipes behind walls and resolve the problem. Average costs can vary significantly, usually around $150.