Home improvement

Common Plumbing Problems 

We often take our plumbing for granted until something goes wrong. Problems like leaking faucets, musty smells, rocking toilets, or high water bills can put a real damper on your daily life and your budget. 

Knowing what can cause issues with your plumbing can help you prevent them from happening. Here are some of the most common problems and how to avoid them: 

Clogged Drains 

Nobody likes the idea of clogged drains, which can lead to unpleasant odors, slow drainage, and insufficient water pressure. The best way to prevent these issues is by being cognizant of what can and cannot go down the drains, training household members to do the same, and instituting a regular schedule of drain cleaning. 

Grease, oils, and scraps are a plumbing system’s worst enemy, as they can quickly solidify into severe clogs. In addition, people who live in areas with hard water may experience mineral build-up that reduces flow and creates blockages. Identifying these early warning signs of a clogged drain, such as gurgling sounds or a smelly, slow-draining sink, can save homeowners a lot of headaches. Using a water softener or regularly removing sediment can also help. Issues like blocked drains in Melbourne may need to be addressed by a professional plumber. 

Frozen Pipes 

The sudden occurrence of freezing cold days followed by extremely hot ones causes metal pipes to expand and contract, resulting in cracks, leaks, or even bursts. Water that’s leaking from these clogged pipes will leave mildew or mold behind and create damp spots in walls. 

The most common cause of frozen pipes is extreme cold temperatures. Pipes located in unheated interior spaces, such as attics and crawl spaces, are particularly susceptible to freezing. Lack of insulation also plays a role, as do cracks in the exterior walls that let cold air into your home. 

The first sign of frozen pipes is limited water flow from faucets. If you turn on a faucet and only get a trickle, you should shut off your water main as soon as possible. Opening the affected faucet will relieve pressure and allow melted water to flow through as it thaws. 

Foul Smells 

Oftentimes, if you are smelling foul odors it is because of a clogged drain pipe. This is usually a result of hair products, food, or other debris getting trapped in the clog. A plunger can sometimes fix this, but if it doesn’t you will need a professional to remove the clog. 

Your sinks, tubs and toilets drain into a network of vent pipes that allow sewer gas and odor to escape while cycling in fresh air. But, if these pipes are obstructed by bird nests, leaves or snow and ice, the “p-trap” that holds water may dry out, allowing smelly sewer gases to enter your home.

This is also the case if rarely-used sinks aren’t cycled regularly to keep the water level in the p-trap. 


Sewage backups are not only gross, but they can also cause a lot of damage and health hazards for you and your family. If your toilets are creating sewage backups, this is an emergency that requires prompt professional attention. 

Several factors can lead to sewer line problems, including age and bad weather. Older homes often have clay and cast iron pipes that can crack or break. Heavy rains and flooding can also overload municipal sewer systems, leading to a backup in your home. 

You can help reduce your risk of a sewer backup by never flushing paper products like towels and “flushable” personal wipes down the toilet. Additionally, you should avoid washing grease down drain lines or the toilets because it will solidify and clog your pipes over time. 

Air in the Pipes 

Air trapped in your water pipes can cause a variety of issues, from low water pressure and noise to water leaks and rust. It can also lead to the need for expensive plumbing repairs. Air can get into your pipes through a faulty water filter or softener, from sudden demand for water, and when pipe lines aren’t pressurized properly. 

The tell-tale sign of this is a banging sound called “water hammer.” As water moves through the pipe, it hits pockets of air and creates vibrations and turbulence. These disturbances can wear away at the piping and may even cause corrosion and loosen 

fittings. Although this is typically a job for the pros, you can take some quick steps to flush or “burp” your pipes and eliminate trapped air on your own.


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