Keeping an eye on your utilities is a good way to reduce the impact of potential issues. Your plumbing system is no different, and it helps to be aware of the most common problems. Depending on the degree 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 numerous faucets in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. Because faucets bring water from your plumbing, common problems can reduce or block water flow. In some cases you’re dealing with the opposite problem, which is too much water dripping 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 flowing into the spout. When a cartridge is broken, it can result in a leak. It might also be a deteriorated valve seat, which links the faucet and spot together.
How do I fix it? Locating the damaged or worn-down part and exchanging it should take care of the leak. If it doesn’t, more than one component could 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? A Majority of the time, a leak near the base is because the seal or O-ring has worn out. Without a strong seal, water can squeeze through the stem and start leaking.
How do I fix it? Sometimes the problem can be fixed 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 may 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 is found.
Faucet Is Leaking Under the Sink
What causes this problem? An insecure connection is the most likely 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. Extremely old faucets may be corroded to the point where they can’t maintain stable connections.
How do I fix it? Locating the source of your leak is needed 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, particularly if water damage is uncovered.
Common Toilet Problems
We depend on our toilets to operate cleanly and efficiently. If your toilet is experiencing a problem, you’ll want to check out these places first.
Toilet Is Clogged
What causes this problem? Even a partial clog can impede 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 observe 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 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 may be further in the pipes. At this point it may be a good idea to contact local plumbing services in Los Angeles.
Toilet Is Running
What causes this problem? Toilets refresh 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 may be the float arm, the flapper or the refill tube as a problem with any of these components can result in a running toilet. You can observe the flushing/refilling cycle to narrow down where the issue is.
Estimated repair cost: These components vary in cost between $13 and $70. There’s a chance the toilet is running simply because something has fallen 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 manufactured from materials like porcelain. With the exception of damage to the tank itself, the leak is probably coming from a worn-down rubber seal mounted to places like the bolts, the spud washer or the refill valve.
How do I fix it? Test the water level inside of the tank, as you might 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 damaged rubber or evidence of corrosion.
Estimated repair cost: These rubber seals are usually only a few dollars. If the tank itself is broken, however, a replacement can cost upward of $200. This may be best left to 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 could be a damaged bolt or the wax seal ring running around the base. It can also be the toilet flange, which joins the bowl to your home’s drainage system.
How do I fix it? Tightening the bolts is simple, as is replacing them. If the problem is the wax seal or the flange, you’ll want to be wary not to break the toilet bowl. Some homeowners favor having professional plumbing services in Los Angeles 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
Weak water pressure can make all sorts of household tasks more tedious and time-consuming. It’s especially annoying when it is affecting 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 can 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 option.
How do I fix it? Let the shower head sit in vinegar for a long time. This should clear away sediment or other clogs. Adjusting 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 recommended you attempt this first just in case. When swapping to a different make and model, the cost will vary depending on what you decide on.
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 up against the spout, putting air into the water as it passes through. Cartridges control 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 get. 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 backed up, you’ll have to clear it before you can use the sink or tub again. Since drains are only supposed 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 accumulate in the drain, stopping it up. This can happen gradually or all at once depending on the nature of the clog.
How do I fix it? There are lots of options for unblocking drain clogs. Some chemicals can help force clogs into the rest of the plumbing while a drain snake reaches in and drags solid material out. Deep clogs may need special attention.
Estimated repair cost: The cost for these materials is relatively low, between $8 and $30. If you can’t clear the clog, local plumbing services in Los Angeles can help.
Drain Is Slow
What causes this problem? This is most likely a clog in progress. It hasn’t completely 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 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 damage not just your plumbing but parts of your home around it. Ultimately any burst pipe problem will be traced back to the damaged piping. In some cases other issues like water damage or low water pressure will present themselves first.
Burst Pipe That’s Frozen
What causes this problem? Expanding ice or trying to twist a frozen pipe free can cause this problem. Most homes are warm enough to keep 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 start repairs. The water supply will be shut off while the section of pipe is replaced. If water damage has happened, you may need extra 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 might 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 lead to a burst pipe in your home. With the added difficulty of the piping being hidden away behind a wall, this could be a task more suitable for local plumbing companies in Los Angeles.
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 may have to clear a large enough piece away where work can be managed comfortably.
Estimated repair cost: This problem may need specialized tools and experience thanks to cramped 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.