Everyday in homes across North Carolina, we all rely on our bathrooms — a lot goes on in this room. We may not think much about the interconnected plumbing systems that are keeping things moving and flowing, but when a bathroom doesn’t work as it should, we notice right away. If you need to stop a running toilet, unclog a sink, or clear clogged drains, the time to address it is now, before things get worse. PlumbV professionals have the knowledge, skills, and resources to get your home back to normal.
Potential Bathroom Plumbing Problems
Typically, issues fall into one of four categories: (1) faulty parts, (2) old, degraded materials, (3) maintenance needs, or (4) a fixture that needs to be replaced. Knowing the issue at hand and what is at stake will help you to determine whether to call a professional.
Toilet. From correct pressure to a strong seal, proper maintenance is key. When things aren’t in balance, you can expect weak flushing, leaking, unusual sounds, vibrations, low water levels, running water, or outright clogging.
Leaking water is likely contaminated and unsanitary. And if pressure is too high or low it can stress the plumbing system. Slow, internal leaks will cost you in wasted water, while a clog could be a sign of deeper problems. Toilet issues are often time-consuming, messy, and stressful.
Sink. Small parts can fall and what seems like just a nuisance could point to bigger issues. Common sink problems include dripping faucets, slow drains, low pressure, incorrect water temperature, foul odor, and discolored water. Or you could need a sink to be unclogged.
If you’re experiencing any of the above, the fault could lie in old parts, foreign materials lodged in the drain, deposits or rust, a faulty water heater, or even backflow issues.
Bathtub. What goes wrong here can be a clue to more systemic problems. Many of the same issues that arise with sinks could manifest in your tub — dripping faucets, slow drains, poor pressure or temperature, discolored or foul-smelling water, or clogs. The assumption is that a clog is from hair and soap buildup, but sometimes it’s actually the result of debris collecting farther down in the drain.
Shower. Much like other bathroom fixtures, shower heads and valves can drip and leak. Water pressure might not be up to par, and temperature could be inconsistent.
Many problems that plague your shower head stem from the shower cartridge. Small but faulty parts can cause water to flow when the shower isn’t in use. And repair isn’t always easy, especially on older models that are out of production. One size definitely doesn’t fit all here, and sometimes replacing the entire fixture is your best option.
Water Lines and Drains. A slow-draining tub, sink, or toilet is common, and so are the basic fixes: plunges, chemicals, or DIY solutions. But there will sometimes be a clog that won’t clear, or a pipe that only clears halfway. Chronic slow drains could indicate bigger issues, like a broken water pipe or water pooled in the main drain. These bring risks like mold, insects, and more.
Another problem — “water hammer” — develops when excessively high water pressure builds up. When a valve or faucet is shut off, the energy has to be absorbed by the pipes, which in turn may flex and bang against wood or other structural components. If you’re hearing loud knocking when turning faucets or valves off, high pressure is putting undue stress on your plumbing system.
Discolored Water. Cloudy water could just be air in the pipes, which is harmless and common. But it could also point to very hard water, high levels of total suspended solids, or methane gas. Red, brown, or yellow water could indicate rusty pipes or a backflow issue, while greenish or even blue water could be a sign that copper pipes are extremely corroded. Black water could be the result of a concentration of certain minerals in the water source, but it could also signal harmful sources. Ordering a thorough test of your water is the best way to diagnose these concerns and know what you’re dealing with.
Foul Odors. If you catch a whiff of that tell-tale sewer smell, it could just be that unused drains have dried out, allowing gas to escape. Damaged drain pipes, a clogged drain, or an old, broken-down toilet seal could also be the culprits. You’ll find numerous DIY remedies to eliminate the odor, but it’s always best to get to the root of the issue.
Contributing Factors and Solutions
Pressure. If water doesn’t flow consistently but comes out in fits and starts, the solution could be as simple as giving faucet aerators a thorough cleaning to break down buildup. But the problem could even be the local water supply or an aging plumbing system. But more serious factors like a faulty water heater, broken pipes, backflow, or corrosion could be involved.
Very high pressure isn’t good either, causing stress and wear on your plumbing system. Ensuring that pipes are strapped down is important, but finding the root cause is vital. Water pressure that’s too high can eventually lead to leaks or cracks in the line. Resulting damage could be extensive and hard to get to.
Temperature. Water that’s either inconsistently warm or never reaches the desired temperature points to a problem with your water heater. Whether it’s older and just can’t keep up, has a leak, or is full of sediment and unable to carry enough hot water, replacing parts or flushing sediment could be the answer.
Leaky Pipes. Whether pipes were compromised by extreme temperatures, or are simply old and have begun to break down, leaking pipes spell property damage, low pressure and clogs. If your home is older, you could have inherited plumbing issues stemming from poorly done past repairs. Age also brings ground settling which can bend or even crack plumbing lines. Until you’re able to call a professional, you might be able to use leak tape and a compression clamp to keep water at bay.
Faulty Parts. A dripping, leaky faucet could mean that a deteriorated water needs to be replaced. But many faucets no longer use washers and instead rely on ceramic plates to create a tight seal. If you want to fix a running toilet, the solution could be a basic part replacement, but if the problem was left to worsen over time, the repair may not be so simple anymore. You could run into a silent leak or sedimentary buildup. Regardless of the part to be replaced, using correct tools will prevent further damage and frustration.
Clogs. Hair and soap build up over time and could take a drain from slow to non-functioning. DIY and retail options abound when you’re working out how to clear clogged drains, but using noxious chemicals can be risky to your health and plumbing system. And if you’re experiencing regular clogs, this is a sign of a deeper problem.
Blocked sewer. Backed up toilets and clogged drains paired with a strong sewer smell could be evidence of a sewer blockage. Whether the cause stems from broken pipes, tree roots, shifting soil, or flushed foreign materials, a backed up system is a messy, unsanitary, and complicated problem to solve. You could need help to evaluate your situation and whether it’s your responsibility to fix it.
Outdated materials. Trends in building materials come and go, and all products have a lifespan. Certain types of pipe aren’t used anymore and could be causing problems as they corrode and deteriorate. Past repairs by previous homeowners could have incorporated improper or low-quality materials into the plumbing system. Old fixtures can also cause leaks, odors, and water inefficiency.
Mineral buildup. The majority of U.S. homes have hard water. Minerals in the water can build up inside pipes, supply lines, and both on and inside fixtures and appliances. If you’re seeing a white, crusty coating, vinegar can break up obvious deposits that clog faucets and shower heads. But minerals can also build up internally. Opting for a thorough water assessment could show a softening or filtration system to be a solution.
DIY or Professional?
As a homeowner, you could feel confident in handling minor plumbing problems. But what seems to be a simple fix could turn out to be the symptom of a larger issue. Most plumbing projects require specific tools and professional expertise that many people just don’t have. Plumbing can be a dirty, messy, frustrating business. And besides being efficient and fast, a professional plumber knows what they’re up against and has the experience to handle stressful or emergency situations.
If you’re a property owner and you’re looking to build, think about adding a plumber to your construction team. Here at PlumbV, we only recommend and install high-quality, efficient plumbing parts and fixtures.
Trust Your Local Plumbing Experts
At PlumbV we know that some bathroom plumbing issues are just too dangerous or complex to tackle alone. And what starts as a simple problem can lead to more serious repairs. So it’s good to know that you have a local expert to turn to. We understand the causes and solutions for leaking pipes, a running toilet, and clogged drains, and can get yours in order.
We’re very conscious of how necessary a working bathroom is to the well-being of your family. We will do everything possible to quickly get things back to normal. We’ve built a strong reputation as the Triangle region’s go-to for all plumbing services, repairs, and installations––we’re ready to help! So if you are in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Cary areas and your bathroom is in need of some plumbing help, look no further. Give us a call at (919)932-8890 or send us a message and we’ll be happy to discuss your plumbing needs.