Hearing a drip, drip, drip from under your sink? That could be one of the most expensive sounds you ever hear: water damage in the making. On average, it can cost about $3,300 to fix.
If there is a problem with your plumbing, your first thought might be to handle it yourself. A simple leak in the toilet’s flap is something most people can handle. Other cases, though, may be things that are way above your pay grade.
So, when do you call a plumber? Here are seven signs that it’s time to bring in a professional.
- Call a Plumber for Gas Leaks
If you’ve ever turned on a gas stove top, you know the smell of gas. It’s similar to rotten eggs. Natural gas has no scent naturally, so gas companies add a stench for safety reasons.
The smell of natural gas in your home should be an immediate, huge warning sign. It means there’s a chance the room has filled with gas. All it takes is a single spark for it to combust and explode.
Gas explosions are devastating. They can easily destroy your house and kill or injure you or your family.
If you smell gas, immediately shut off the gas line. Then call a plumber ASAP.
- For a Leaking Water Pipe
Many of the pipes in your home run through walls and ceilings. When they leak, they create a wet spot. This wet spot may grow to soak the entire drywall.
At first, it may seem like no big deal. A small wet spot will dry out, anyway. You might falsely assume that this broken water pipe is too minimal for your concern.
It’s important to replace cast iron pipes immediately once they leak. The spot you see may not be the only water damage. Leaking water could be going elsewhere, rotting wooden supports, or seeping into the foundation.
Hire a plumber as soon as you spot any evidence of water damage.
- For a Broken Sewer Pipe
Most homes connect to the sewer grid. Your waste flushes out through the pipes and is no longer your problem. Unless that is, that pipe breaks.
A broken sewer pipe will be immediately obvious. A foul, rotting stench will come out of your drains and toilets. It may even seep up from the ground around your home.
The problem won’t just be an unpleasant smell. This presents a serious health hazard. Raw sewage can make you sick and contaminate your drinking water.
Get in contact with your local plumber as soon as you smell sewage.
- For Frozen Pipes
It’s important to keep the water running in winter. Otherwise, the pipes will freeze over.
If the water pressure is low or you hear a clanking sound, switch off the water. This means the pipe has frozen. Leaving the valve open could cause a pipe to burst.
The problem isn’t just that the ice is blocking the flow. Water expands as it freezes, causing pipes to split. Once you’ve reached this point, get a plumber’s help.
- For Bad Clogs
Most clogs in the toilet or drain can be fixed with a plunger. Plungers force water in and out, usually clearing any blockage.
In some cases, though, the clog returns soon after. Or, no matter how hard you pump, it remains. Even pouring acid down the sink doesn’t seem to clear the blockage.
Your at-home tool kit simply is not able to remove these types of clogs. Further, you could damage the pipes if you tried to remove it yourself. That could end up exacerbating an otherwise easy-to-fix problem.
It’s best to call a plumber at this point. There could be a blockage deep in the pipes.
- For Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is hard to miss. Your washing machine fills up slowly, or your shower comes out in a trickle. Opening the water meter more doesn’t seem to change the problem.
This is one of the more complex problems to diagnose. It could be that there is a leaking pipe somewhere in the home. The main waterline might have eroded, too.
In some cases, you can diagnose this problem yourself. Take for example, low water pressure in a showerhead. Removing it and cleaning it out may be enough to fix the problem.
If nothing else works, hire a plumber. Otherwise, you may spend an eternity trying to diagnose the issue.
- For a Lack of Hot Water
You may have noticed that the hot water in your home runs out fast. Your shower goes cold within just a few minutes. Or, the water is tepid at best when leaving the tap.
You likely have a home with a water heater. Water heaters only last around 10 years. A number of problems can cause them to produce little or no hot water before they croak.
In some cases, it may be as simple as replacing the pilot light. In others, the entire unit is broken and needs to be swapped out.
Some homeowners may be able to fix very basic water heater problems. For example, replacing a busted element.
If you are not sure, just call a plumber. They can fix the problem faster and get you back to enjoying steaming hot showers.
Call a Plumber Today
There is no shame in having to call a plumber for serious plumbing issues. Some problems require a professional to diagnose and fix them. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get on with your life–and prevent potential serious damages.
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