What Are the Most Common Plumbing Services, and Are These DIY Fixes?

August 14, 2020

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It’s not unusual for homeowners to put off needed plumbing services, often because they assume certain jobs are too small for a plumbing company near them to handle, or because they assume they can manage such work themselves. However, sometimes even the smallest plumbing issue is best left to plumbing companies near you, to ensure a thorough job and safe repairs.

The most common plumbing services needing the attention of a plumber include:

  • Leaking faucets
  • Clogged sinks and drains
  • Clogged toilets
  • Running toilet
  • Broken water heater
  • Low water pressure

While a homeowner might try some quick fixes for some of these issues, it’s vital to know what to avoid with DIY repairs and when to call a plumbing pro. It’s also helpful to note some added plumbing problems around the home and why they are sometimes overlooked by homeowners!

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Remember, too, that it’s recommended homeowners call a plumbing professional for any repairs, big or small, if they aren’t sure where to start to how to manage the work safely and effectively! Improper, amateur DIY repairs often make matters worse, causing more damage than before. To ensure you’re doing everything needed to keep your home in good condition, consider some tips on common plumbing services and how to manage needed fixes around your house.

Common Residential Plumbing Services and Their Causes

Check out some important details about common plumbing services needed around most homes, their causes, and how they’re addressed. You can then discuss any such issues with a plumbing company near you, as needed.

  • Worn washers typically allow faucets to leak or drip. These washers are small metallic pieces located in the valve or tap itself; shutting off a faucet too forcefully, as an example, tends to strip the washer so it can’t stop water flow through the tap. Changing those washers is relatively simple and often stops that drip or leak.
  • Water pressure is controlled through the home’s water heater. If the pressure is overly high, this might force water through those taps even when the valve is shut off. Adjusting that pressure is best left to a plumbing company near you, to ensure you don’t make it overly forceful or too low to flush toilets in the home or enjoy a shower.
  • Traps are U-shaped pipes underneath sinks that purposely slow down water flow, as water pushes solid matter through plumbing pipes and fixtures. If water flows too quickly, this causes clogs.
  • Kitchen sinks often suffer clogs because of food debris caught in that trap under the sink. Most traps can be removed with a pair of everyday pliers, and that clog cleared quickly and easily.
  • Hair buildup often causes clogged shower drains; a homeowner might unscrew the trap or covering over the drain and dig out any hair and other residues.
  • If removing a trap or trying to clear hair doesn’t get a sink or tub draining again, it’s time to call a plumber! This often signals a clog deep in the home’s plumbing pipes, out of the reach of household tools, and best addressed by a trained and skilled plumber.
  • Very often, a simple plunger addresses a clogged toilet quickly and effectively! However, severe or repeated clogs might indicate issues with plumbing pipes outside the home, or solidified solids in pipes far away from the toilet. Rather than trying homemade fixes or wasting time, call a plumber if a simple plunger cannot unclog a home’s toilet.
  • Inside a toilet tank is a valve that opens and pushes fresh water into the bowl when you engage the flush handle. If that valve doesn’t seal properly, it allows water to leak into the bowl; as the water level in the tank depletes, the toilet will then eventually run, to keep the tank full. As there are a number of parts that might lead to a leak and running, it’s best to let a plumber address this issue in your home.
  • Rust, solidified minerals from hard water, a damaged heating coil, and a damaged thermostat can all mean a broken water heater! Don’t replace it the moment you realize your home isn’t getting the hot water it needs but call a plumber, as water heater repairs are often cheaper than a new installation.
  • Water leaks often cause low pressure; water leaking through a damaged pipe or connector before it reaches your home’s taps or showerheads won’t have much pressure left! Improper settings on your water heater also affect pressure, as said. These fixes are also out of the area of expertise of most homeowners and should be left to a plumbing pro.

Don’t Overlook These Signs of Needed Plumbing Repairs Around the Home!

While it’s obvious that a homeowner needs plumbing services when there is no water pressure in the home or a sink is so clogged that simple fixes don’t help, consider some other signs of needed plumbing fixes. You can then know when to call a plumbing company near you and ensure your home is always in good repair and safe from potential water damage, mold growth, and other such costly issues.

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  • Never overlook persistent toilet, sink, and bathtub drain clogs! Even if you can address a clog with a plunger or thick dish soap, repeated clogs often indicate a buildup of solid matter in plumbing pipes. A thorough cleanout ensures water runs freely and helps avoid backups and clogs as well as other potential damage.
  • Excess humidity often leads to mold growth behind walls and in attics, but so do plumbing leaks! A leaking pipe or damaged connector allows moisture buildup that encourages mold growth. If you notice mold growing along drywall or ceiling tiles, don’t simply clean it and forget it but have the home checked for potential plumbing leaks.
  • Homeowners might tend to overlook sounds behind walls or overhead, assuming it’s just the home shifting and settling. However, if you hear rushing water, drips, and other such noises, this might indicate a water leak, the sound of which is being amplified in empty spaces behind walls! Call a plumbing company near you to have those sounds checked as needed.
  • Leaks often mean a sudden increase in your water costs. If your area hasn’t experienced a rate hike or you cannot explain those increased costs, consider having a plumber check the home for water leaks.
  • Rusty water, bad-smelling water, and discolored water often indicate a leaking pipe or other such damage in the home’s plumbing system. Cracked pipes allow in sediment that discolors the water or creates foul smells, as well as air that leads to corrosion and rust.

Quick Tips for Keeping Plumbing in Good Repair

Every home will need plumbing services sooner or later no matter the quality of materials and installation. However, how you maintain your home over the years will affect how often it needs plumbing services and repairs! Consider some quick tips for keeping plumbing in good repair and avoiding otherwise unnecessary fixes.

The first consideration is not using toilets and drains as garbage disposals, or putting anything in the garbage disposal that doesn’t belong there! Never flush cigarette butts, hair, dental floss, etc., down the toilet as these items don’t dissolve and tend to get stuck in plumbing pipes, creating clogs, backups, and other damage.

It’s also vital that homeowners avoid putting grease, cooking oil, fats, and such foodstuffs in the kitchen garbage disposal or down the kitchen sink; these materials tend to solidify once cool and also create clogs. Regular pipe cleanout by a plumbing company near you keeps those pipes clean and helps prevent those clogs from forming in the first place.

A homeowner might also consider carefully any plumbing repairs they assume they can manage on their own. Mixing certain metal parts, as an example, can encourage corrosion and rust, and resultant leaks. Improper installation techniques such as over-tightening some parts can mean stripping them, also resulting in leaks and other such damage.

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Depending on your area and city water supply, you might also consider a water softener or filtration system. Hard water full of minerals can cause added wear and tear on plumbing pipes and other parts, as well as your home’s water heater. Filtering or neutralizing those materials often means less wear on the home’s plumbing system and fewer repairs over the years.

Related Questions

How do you choose a plumbing company for needed repairs?

To ensure you choose the best plumbing company when your home needs repairs or maintenance, choose one that specializes in plumbing work rather than a general contractor. This ensures they have the experience and equipment needed for a thorough job. It’s also recommended that you find a company with excellent online reviews, so you know how well they’ve managed repairs for previous customers.

When is it time for new plumbing in a home?

Quality plumbing services can keep pipes and other fixtures in good working order for years if not decades. However, neglecting regular maintenance, putting things in drains and toilets that cause unnecessary clogs, etc., can mean the need for new pipes within just a few years. Your plumbing contractor can note the condition of existing pipes and if you should consider replacement anytime soon.


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