Half the battle when you’re a homeowner is knowing which problems you need to look out for around your home. When it comes to your plumbing system, however, sometimes it seems like there are endless possibilities for problems. As long as you know about the plumbing issues that most commonly affect Portland, OR, homeowners, you can get the help you need to minimize plumbing problems in your home. Here are some of the most common reasons people call plumbers, and tips for preventing these common problems.
During the winter, burst pipes are one of the most common issues in Oregon. Burst pipes occur when temperatures drop below freezing, at which point the water inside pipes can freeze, expand and burst the pipe. When that frozen water thaws out again, you’re left with a massive amount of water pouring out of the pipe and into your crawl space or wall.
If you notice a burst pipe in your home, you should call an emergency plumber and shut off your water if you know where your main shutoff valve is. Burst pipes spew a lot of water, which can lead to a ton of water damage and a massive water bill. Shutting your water off in time can save you a fortune.
As far as preventing burst pipes goes, it’s all about preventing frozen pipes. The first step is identifying any pipes which may be at risk, which mostly includes pipes that are located in exterior walls. Next, these pipes need to be insulated to protect against freezing temps. You might want to have a professional install heat tape to manually heat the pipe to prevent freezing during the winter.
Chances are you’ve dealt with a drain clog or two, so you might not think they’re a big deal. While it’s true that drain clogs aren’t always a huge problem, they won’t go away on their own. Plus, there are lots of little things you can do to prevent drain clogs in your home.
For starters, educate yourself about what you’re putting down your drains. Any good plumber will tell you that things like flushable wipes, cotton swabs and makeup removal pads are not meant to be flushed down the toilet. As far as your kitchen sink goes, you should try to throw as much solid waste in the garbage as possible, even if you have a garbage disposal.
You can prevent drain clogs by not putting solid waste down drains and using a liquid drain cleaner to remove small clogs. If you do use a liquid drain cleaner, make sure it’s an enzyme-based cleaner that won’t cause damage to pipes. If you can’t remove a clog with a liquid drain cleaner alone, you can use a plunger to create a vacuum to help force the clog out. If this still doesn’t work, it’s time to call a plumber.
Believe it or not, a dripping faucet can actually cost you a significant amount on your monthly water bill. Leaks don’t fix themselves, so you should always call a plumber if your faucet is dripping. The tricky part about dripping faucets is the fact that they aren’t easy to prevent. Dripping faucets can be caused by a worn-out fixture, bad cartridges or a number of other problems. If you notice a faucet in your Portland, OR, home dripping throughout the day, call a plumber to take a look at it.
While it might not seem like a major problem, a running toilet is one of the most expensive problems you can deal with. Running toilets waste nearly a thousand gallons of water each month, leading to a big increase on your water bill. The best way to prevent a running toilet is to replace your fixtures every once in a while. For toilets, that means investing in a replacement about once every 25 years. The good news is, a plumber can usually fix a running toilet by replacing one of the small, inexpensive parts inside the toilet tank.
Low Water Pressure
You need water pressure for just about everything you use water for. Low water pressure makes it difficult to wash dishes, take a shower and get your hands clean. If this pressure is only affecting one fixture, you probably need to replace or clean that fixture. If you have low water pressure throughout your home, that means there’s a bigger problem affecting your plumbing system.
The best way to prevent low water pressure in individual fixtures is to replace or clean aerators regularly. However, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent the slow-developing issues that eventually cause low water pressure throughout your house.
No Hot Water
Hot water is an essential part of your daily routine, so you can’t afford to go without it. No hot water is a sign that you have a water heater problem, whether that’s a bad heating element, thermostat or tank. Heating elements and thermostats are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace, but those are generally the only serviceable parts on a water heater. If you’re not getting any hot water in your home at all, chances are you’re going to need a plumber to replace your water heater. You can prevent water heater problems by having your water heater flushed once a year and setting the temperature properly.
Knowing how to spot and prevent plumbing problems is one thing, but you still need experts to help you fix those problems. If you have a plumbing problem in your home, Pilot Plumbing is always here to help. From minor leaks to burst pipes and major clogs, we can take care of any problem you may run into. Whenever you need a professional plumber, call Pilot Plumbing and Drain at (360) 549-5848.