Predicting the Future: Spotting Plumbing Issues Before They Become Major Problems

A key to preventing the major financial burden of a full-scale plumbing replacement is recognizing when there is a problem. Fortunately, our pipes often provide early warning signs that help identify a water or sewer line problem. Paying attention to those signs could save you thousands of dollars and the hassle of a large-scale repair. Here are three common signs of a plumbing problem and what they mean:

The pipes that are visible in your home have frost on the outside

Making sure that pipes inside of your home are properly insulated is key to preventing a leak. During cold weather months, visible frost on the outside of your interior pipes may provide a warning that your pipes are frozen, even before turning on a faucet. Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are located on outside walls, under sinks that are on outside walls, and in unheated crawl spaces. If your pipes become frozen, you may try to turn up the heat in your home and wait or to thaw the pipes yourself; however, we recommend that you contact a local licensed plumber to do this for you to prevent a rupture. Using a local plumber also prevents accidents like the ones seen in Hamilton, Ontario, recently.

All of your drains are running very slowly or are not draining at all

When more than one drain in your home has started to work improperly, this is likely a sign there is a problem with the external line that connects to the street. There are many possible causes for a backup or blockage. Tree roots may have found their way into the line or a foreign object has blocked the line or, the worst-case scenario, your sewer line has broken completely and is no longer flowing as it should. No matter which of these issues is occurring, you should contact a plumber immediately. If it is something as simple as a root intrusion or a foreign object, the plumber may be able to remove them or complete a small spot repair before the problem gets worse. This could potentially save you the thousands of dollars it will cost to have the line replaced completely.

Higher-than-normal water bill

Most people use about the same amount of water every month. If you notice a sizable increase in your bill and you haven’t modified your usage – filling a pool or increasing your outdoor watering – this could signal you have a problem. One of the first things to do is examine all of your fixtures. Dripping faucets and leaking toilets can waste a lot of water over the period of a month. Though you can visibly see a faucet dripping, the leaking toilet may be a little harder to detect. Dye testing your toilet is an effective way of checking for leaks. Once you locate the source of your problem, you can address it directly and avoid any further increased water bills.

If all of your fixtures seem to be in good working order after the visual and dye testing, and there are no other visible signs of water leakage in your house, such as mold spots, water dripping down walls or between floors, or warped drywall/ceilings, then it is time to contact your water company. You may be experiencing a leak on your external water line. The water company will typically send someone out to test your line and verify if there is a leak.

Are you interested in learning how we can help you avoid costly expenses if these problems arise? Please visit www.slwofc.ca to find out more!

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