Plumbing appliances and fixtures are an integral part of a home's infrastructure. From faucets to toilets and everything in between, they’re used daily and essential to everybody’s daily lives. They can be kept in the storage space of your house.
Do keep in mind that plumbing appliances and fixtures can break down like any other equipment and need repairs every now and then.
Sadly, they’re often overlooked until they stop working properly, which causes inconvenience and frustration to homeowners. It's important to understand that regular maintenance and repairs can prevent costly damage and ensure the longevity of these essential home components.
With the proper knowledge and skills, you can identify and repair common plumbing issues, allowing you to take charge of your home's maintenance and avoid expensive professional assistance.
Here are some of the most common plumbing appliances and fixtures that often need repair and how to fix them:
Your water heater is an essential plumbing appliance in your home that provides hot water for showers, washing dishes, and doing laundry. Nevertheless, water heater common problems that require repairs over time include:
No Hot Water
One of the most common problems with water heaters is a lack of hot water. Various factors, including a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken heating element, or a faulty gas valve, can cause this issue.
If you're experiencing the ‘no hot water issue’ with your water heater, the thermostat must be checked first. Ensure that it’s set to the desired temperature and is functioning correctly. If the thermostat is working perfectly, you may need to check the heating element or gas valve next to pinpoint where the issue is.
Water heaters that utilize tanks are a standard fixture in many homes but are prone to leaks too. These systems contain a significant amount of water and are subject to constant temperature changes, which can result in decaying seals.
It's essential to perform regular checks to prevent leaks and prolong the life of your water heater. Inspect the tank and connections for any signs of corrosion or wear, such as rust or water stains.
Check the pressure relief and drain valves to ensure they function correctly.
Additionally, consider installing a drip pan under the tank to catch any leaks and prevent water damage to your home.
If you hear strange noises from your water heater, such as popping or rumbling sounds, it could be a sign of sediment buildup in the tank. Sediment buildup can cause the tank's heating element to overheat and make these noises. To fix this issue, first, turn off the power source and the water supply to the water heater. Next, to effectively eliminate any possible buildup of sediment in the tank, drain it and flush out its contents. If the problem persists, you may need to replace the tank's heating element.
If you notice a foul smell coming from your hot water, it may be caused by bacteria buildup in the tank. This problem can be fixed by flushing the tank and adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the water. Yet if the smell persists, you may need to replace your water heater.
High Energy Bills
If your energy bills have suddenly increased, your water heater could be the culprit. A faulty thermostat, a buildup of sediment in the tank, or a leaky tank can cause this problem.
To fix the issue, check the thermostat settings and adjust them if necessary. Then, drain and flush the tank out to remove any traces of sediment. If the tank is leaking, it’ll need to be replaced.
Regular maintenance and prompt repairs can extend the life of your water heater, saving you money on costly replacements and repairs. By addressing these common water heater problems, homeowners can ensure that their hot water supply remains reliable and efficient.
Always turn off the power source and the water supply to the water heater before attempting repairs, and don't hesitate to call a plumber for assistance if necessary. Also, this is one of the ways to increase your home’s value.
Faucets are one of the most common plumbing fixtures in any home. They’re used for everything from washing dishes to brushing teeth and are essential to any functioning kitchen or bathroom.
Yet homeowners often face the frustrating issue of leaking and dripping faucets. These problems are annoying and can waste significant amounts of water and increase utility bills. Regularly checking the seals, shutoff valves, and pipes is crucial to prevent such issues. It can help detect any problems early on and avoid significant damage.
If you notice a leak, repair it immediately. Even insignificant amounts of water leak can lead to costly damage, including mold growth and structural damage over time. You can attempt to fix the leak by replacing the washer or O-ring, tightening the connections, or calling a plumber if the issue persists. Remember that promptly dealing with a leaking faucet can save money and prevent further problems.
Low water pressure is another common issue with faucets. This problem can be caused by sediment buildup in the faucet's aerator. To fix this, remove the aerator and clean it thoroughly. If this doesn't solve the problem, the issue may be with your home's water supply, and you should contact a plumber for further assistance.
Toilet problems, ranging from clogs to leaks to faulty parts, are a frequent source of trouble for property owners. One effective strategy for avoiding such issues is to inspect your toilet regularly. Doing so lets you catch potential problems early and perform preventative maintenance to ensure proper functionality. For example, if you notice a damaged flush valve or incorrect fill levels, promptly addressing these issues can prevent more severe problems.
In addition to conducting regular inspections, it's important to be vigilant and be on the lookout for signs of damaged parts or leaks. Even a small leak can quickly become a significant headache if left unchecked, potentially causing water damage or mold growth. Some common signs of toilet leaks include the sound of running water, water stains on the floor around the toilet's base, or the smell of sewage. If you notice any warning signs, you must immediately call a plumber for assistance.
Finally, it's worth noting that some toilet problems are more complex and may require the expertise of a professional plumber. If you're experiencing ongoing issues with your toilet, such as frequent clogs or persistent leaks, don't hesitate to ask for help. A qualified plumber can diagnose the root cause of the problem and recommend the best course of action, whether it be repairing or replacing the toilet or addressing underlying issues with your plumbing system.
Washing machines are another essential plumbing appliance that can develop various problems over time.
The most common issues include leaking hoses, clogged drains, and malfunctioning valves.
Check the hoses for cracks or leaks if you notice water leaking from your washing machine. If the hoses appear damaged, replace them with new ones.
If the hoses aren't the problem, the issue may be with the machine's inlet valve or drain pump, which will require a plumber's assistance.
Clogged drains are a common issue that can occur in washing machines. The buildup of lint and debris in the washing machine's drainage system can cause water to back up, preventing proper draining. To prevent clogs, it's crucial to clean your washing machine's lint trap regularly and use a drain snake to clear any blockages.
If you're experiencing problems with your washing machine not filling with water or not draining correctly, the issue may be with the machine's valves. Malfunctioning valves can cause various issues, from low water pressure to no water. Replacing the faulty valve or contacting a plumber for assistance in fixing the problem is essential.
Garbage disposals are a popular and convenient appliance in many homes, allowing for quick and easy food waste disposal. Nevertheless, they can develop problems that can lead to unpleasant odors, damage to your plumbing system, and even potential health hazards.
If you encounter clogged garbage disposal, avoid using your hands to clear the blockage. Instead, turn off the power supply to the unit and use a plunger or plumbing snake to clear the clog. If the blockage persists, it's best to seek the help of a professional plumber.
Worn-out gaskets or loose connections often cause leaky garbage disposals. You can replace these parts or tighten the connections to fix the issue. But if the problem still persists, it's best to call a plumber to avoid further damage to your plumbing system. Similarly, malfunctioning motors may require a unit replacement or a plumber's assistance to repair the issue.
Sump pumps are an essential plumbing fixture for homes located to flood or with high water tables.
These devices collect excess water that accumulates in the basement and redirects it away from the house, helping to prevent costly water damage.
Yet like any mechanical device, sump pumps can be like any automatic device. That's why performing routine checks is crucial to ensure the pump operates efficiently and correctly.
These checks should include inspecting the switch, impeller, and basin for any damage or signs of wear and tear.
Regularly removing debris from the sump pump basin is critical in maintaining the pump's functionality too. Over time, debris such as dirt, leaves, and small rocks can accumulate in the basin, potentially causing a blockage or reducing the pump's efficiency. Clearing out this debris periodically ensures that the pump operates at its best and extends its lifespan. Neglecting to perform these maintenance tasks can lead to a malfunctioning sump pump, resulting in significant water damage to your basement and home.
Plumbing appliances and fixtures like ceiling light fixtures are crucial components of any home's infrastructure, and they require regular maintenance and repair to ensure they function correctly. From faucets to water heaters and drains, each fixture can develop problems over time that can lead to significant water damage if left unchecked.
By understanding the common issues listed above and taking preventative measures, homeowners can save time, money, and the like in the long run. Whether it's fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a faulty water heater, it's essential to address plumbing issues promptly and enlist the help of a professional plumber when needed.
Image credit: Plumbwell Plumbing Services
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the wooden crafts and 3D product design space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.