How do you know that you need a plumber?
Thankfully, not every problem is as dramatic as a burst pipe spraying water all over your home. But even simple-sounding problems like frozen pipes can result in gobsmacking repair bills if they aren’t sorted quickly.
While that’s a good thing in one sense, it also means that other problems tend to lurk in the background and get worse over time.
There are 8 main warning signs to look out for. If you spot these, you need a plumber right away. Often, the more time a problem has hung around, the harder it is to solve.
1. Gurgling Sounds
If the washing machine or toilet is making weird gurgling sounds, it could just be your house. Or it could be a sign of a blockage.
It almost definitely is a blockage if the pipes which are gurgling never used to do that.
You need a plumber to check out your pipes, especially if the noises are getting louder. Blocked pipes can lead to leaks. This happens if the blockage stops water flowing through, and the pressure builds up to the point it’s pushing out against your pipes with a lot of force.
The gurgling problem could even be a collapsed pipe in rare cases.
So it’s good to be sure what’s going on with your drains!
2. The Plunger Does Nothing
The toilet is completely clogged, and your plunger is having no effect whatsoever. It happens because plungers aren’t infallible, but it’s not nice.
There’s probably a blockage further down the pipe that your plunger is unable to shift.
You may need a plumber to use a toilet snake or other equipment to move the blockage on, and get your toilet running properly again.
3. Odd Smells – Sewage
If you can smell raw sewage, there could be a cracked sewage pipe on your street or under your house. Repairing sewage lines is a tricky job, and one that’s so gross, we don’t think you’ll want to try your hand at.
Sewage has a repulsive, sulfurous smell. It is sometimes confused with the smell of gas. But if you suspect that the smell is actually gas, you need to dial the emergency number straight away.
It’s 911 for gas emergencies, same as the rest.
You should also call the local utility company’s emergency number if you can find it. This is way more dangerous than a sewage leak!
4. Sinks and Baths Don’t Drain
If your sinks and bathtub aren’t draining at all, your first port of call should be the local store for an over-the-counter blockage remedy.
No dice? You need a plumber to check out the source of the problem.
Blockage removers are great at removing some materials, like build-ups of human hair, in drains. But they’re not so good at removing more solid objects. You never know what’s down there, so give us a call and we’ll find out.
It might not seem important, but you need to get it sorted fast. Standing water is not hygienic and provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. This is a serious cause for concern in some of the hotter states.
5. Your Drains Are Really Slow
If your bath is draining but it’s interminably slow, you should still get that checked out.
Again, you might like to try an over-the-counter chemical first. Fair enough.
However, if that doesn’t work, you need a plumber to find the source of the problem and a professional solution.
6. Drip. Drip. Drip
The dripping never stops. Drip.
Even when you close the tap really tight. Drip.
Did you know that all those drips could add up to more 3,000 gallons of wasted water a year? Drip.
That’s 180 showers. Drip.
You need a plumber to stop that nonsense at once. Especially if you’re on a water meter. Your money is quite literally going down the drain.
7. Visible Leaks
Water on the floor? Coming through the wall? We can confirm that isn’t normal. It sounds like a leak, which is best addressed before it causes more problems.
Let us take a look. We’ll find the source of the problem and put it right.
Before the leak becomes visible, you might notice a loss of pressure in the shower or from your taps.
It’s a good idea to call a plumber in at this point, rather than wait for the water to show itself. The longer you leave a leak, the more damage it’s going to cause.
In some situations, leaks will never become visible. If you experience a loss of pressure, it’s worth investigating further, in case there’s an invisible leak damaging your home.
Left untreated, this can lead to severe (and costly) problems like dry rot. Call in a professional sooner rather than later.
8. Frozen Pipes
Pipes are full of water. But when the water freezes, it expands and cracks the pipes.
Installing pipe insulation before it gets cold can really help, and you need a plumber to make sure the job is done right.
If it’s too late for preventative measures, call a plumber immediately to get the water moving again. Pipes damaged by freezing water are sometimes unrepairable.
In these cases, you’d need to have the whole pipe replaced. This is a very expensive job, which we know you’d rather not pay for.
Don’t be tempted to try a DIY thaw job to prevent cracking either. It’s very easy to get the dethawing process wrong. If the pipes warm up too fast, they’re just as liable to crack as when they were full of ice – if not more so.
You need a plumber to make sure it all gets done the right way.
Who You Gonna Call?
Alright, leak-busting isn’t quite as exciting as ghostbusting. But if your pipes are busted, do give us a call. Our northern Virginia plumbing services cover residential properties, sewer lines, and water heater repairs.