31 Jan

5 Most Common Plumbing Issues

Unexpected problems with your plumbing can be a catastrophe. Your sink and toilet may not drain away, but your energy and money certainly will. 

Unfortunately, plumbing issues can appear suddenly and without warning, leaving you without running water, hot water or basic facilities. When this happens, your options are to either call a professional or tackle the problem yourself. If you choose the latter, you must make sure to use suitable equipment and follow the recommended safety guidelines.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the most common plumbing issues, including what causes them and how to fix them.

Most common plumbing issue

Leaking tap

A leaking tap may not seem like too much of an issue, but each seemingly insignificant drop can waste hundreds of litres of water per year. Ignoring the problem can end up costing you a small fortune from the water company, so it’s best to get it checked out right away. 

Leaking taps are a common occurrence from regular use. A fix is usually as simple as changing the washer or tightening the tap. You can try to prevent this issue by avoiding placing excessive pressure on the handles.

Blocked toilet

There’s nothing worse than flushing your toilet only to find that the water won’t drain away. In some cases it may be as simple as using a plunger, but often a blocked toilet will be a much bigger issue. 

If left unaddressed, a severely clogged toilet can have catastrophic consequences, including sewage backing up into your home. We recommend contacting a professional plumber to fix a clogged toilet, but it is possible to tackle the problem yourself. Make sure to wear gloves and protective clothing in case there is any backsplash. Sometimes a toilet will require dismantling to properly fix the issue. In some cases, a sewer snake may be required to loosen up the blockage.

Slow-draining sink

A slow-draining sink can easily be ignored until it stops draining altogether. You should take action as soon as you notice that your sink is beginning to drain slowly or else the problem will get worse. 

A slow-draining sink will be caused by some sort of blockage. A kitchen sink may be blocked by remnants of food or congealed fat. Bathroom sinks may be clogged by hair. 

There are various methods of unclogging a sink drain depending on the severity and depth of the clog. Some solutions include:

  • Using a plunger
  • Pouring down a mixture of baking soda and vinegar
  • Using a sewer snake

No hot water

No hot water in the throes of winter is nothing short of a nightmare. 

If your shower is heating fine but your radiators are struggling to catch up, you may need to bleed them. Make sure you turn the heating off when you do this and use protective gloves. 

If neither your shower nor your radiators are heating, you most likely have a fault with your boiler. Boiler breakdowns are usually because there’s no water in the system, which can be easily corrected via a tap on the boiler. A gas-safe engineer will be able to identify the problem and recommend a fix. In some cases, you may need to get your boiler replaced altogether.

Low water pressure

A symptom of low water pressure is the water from your taps trickling out instead of gushing. This can be very annoying, especially in the shower, and could be an indicator of a larger, more pressing issue.

Low water pressure may be caused by pipes that have become broken, worn or corroded over time.

If water pressure in your shower is the problem, the most likely cause is a buildup of sediment and mineral deposits on the aerator. You can clean the aerator with vinegar to remove these deposits.

If your neighbours are also suffering from low water pressure, then the source of the issue will most likely be a water main break. A great way to test whether the problem is isolated to a pipe within your home is to turn off your water, check your water meter and wait a few hours. If the meter has increased, it means you have a leak.

Hitchcock & King are London’s leading builders merchants. We provide domestic and commercial customers with everything they need for a job well done. So if you’re suffering from a plumbing issue and need some tools for the job, we can help. Check out our plumber’s desk to find all the tools you need. Choose same-day or next-day delivery, or pick up your items from your local branch. Lovely jubbly.

Contact our team to find out more about our products and services.