There are plenty of jobs around the house that a dedicated do-it-yourselfer can tackle independently, but plumbing is a trade that requires tremendous skill and knowledge. As with many maintenance tasks, diagnosing a plumbing problem can often require the most significant amount of time, effort, and experience. Making the wrong diagnosis can lead to expensive and unnecessary repairs.
When you’re facing an issue with your home’s plumbing, you might want to try to solve it yourself. Unfortunately, it’s easy to misunderstand the problem’s root cause or address a symptom without fixing the underlying fault. This article will outline three deceptive plumbing problems that a professional can quickly identify but that might leave you scratching your head.
1. Low Water Pressure
In most areas, the municipal water pressure is far higher than necessary to provide your home with a consistent and steady water supply for your fixtures and appliances. As a result, most homes have a pressure-reducing valve that steps the pressure down to a more acceptable level. This valve protects your pipes and devices and stops your faucets from feeling like fire hoses.
Since this valve is adjustable, many homeowners initially try to raise its set point when dealing with an apparent low-pressure situation. While this seems like a straightforward solution, it’s never a good idea to boost your home’s water pressure without understanding why the pressure is low in the first place. Not only can you potentially damage your pipes, but you may be papering over a more severe problem.
When you hire a professional to check your water pressure, they’ll do more than adjust your reducing valve. In addition to checking for problems with the municipal supply, they’ll look for leaks or other issues within your home that might be causing the drop. If it is necessary to turn up the dial, a professional will know how far to adjust it without causing significant future damage.
2. Copper Pipe Corrosion
One of the primary advantages of copper pipe over other metals is its high corrosion resistance. Unfortunately, certain conditions can cause copper piping to rot away from the inside, leading to leaks that range from relatively minor to catastrophic. Degrading copper pipe requires replacement, but corrosion is also usually a sign of something more insidious.
In general, copper pipe corrosion usually originates from three issues: acidic water, electrical grounding faults, or excessive water pressure. In some cases, the problem may be some combination of these factors. When your home is afflicted with copper pipe corrosion, you’ll usually find yourself dealing with one pinhole leak after another.
Any experienced plumber will understand that corrosion is more than just a localized problem and will work with you to address the underlying cause. If the issue is out of your control (such as low pH water from the city supply), it may be necessary to replace your copper with PVC or PEX. Your plumber will be able to thoroughly assess the situation to suggest the most cost-effective course of action.
3. Persistent Toilet Problems
Replacing individual parts of a toilet is relatively straightforward, but understanding why they fail can be much trickier. Toilet leaks, unsteady toilet seats, and constantly running water can all indicate problems that may not be particularly simple to solve. You can try replacing parts one at a time, but if you aren’t sure of the underlying cause, you’ll ultimately waste more of your time and money.
Since plumbers deal with so many failing toilets, they can quickly assess your situation and identify the failing part. The money you’ll spend hiring a plumber will save you from throwing a pile of new parts at the problem, replacing your toilet one bit at a time until you find the culprit. Your plumber will also identify and repair any other issues your toilet may have, even if they aren’t yet causing trouble.
If you’re ready to bring in some experienced hands to solve your plumbing problem on the first try, then Spartan Plumbing Inc. is here to help. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for any of your plumbing needs.