A few plumbing issues the typical homeowner can address on their own, such as replacing a washer on a faucet. More serious issues require a domestic plumber, also referred to as a residential plumber. Examples of things that a homeowner should not attempt on their own include addressing backflow or burst pipes. Let’s consider why you need to call a professional plumber when serious plumbing issues arise and what those situations entail.
Backflow refers to just what it sounds like it does – backward flow of the toilets in the home. It occurs when the sewer or septic tank becomes backed up and overflows. You need to hire a domestic plumber to address this situation because they will need to find and address the source of the leak, rupture, or backup.
Professional plumbers own the tools needed for this type of job, plus they have the skills. The other reason you must hire a licensed professional plumber in this scenario and the other discussed herein relates to building code requirements and permitting. In some cases, a city or state building code requires a licensed plumber to obtain a permit to complete the work and they inspect it thereafter.
Repairing a sewer line depends on the area of the clog. Each city owns its municipal sewage lines. Each homeowner owns a short run of pipe that connects their home to the sewer lines. If the plumber determines the clog occurs on the homeowners’ end, they address the repair, but if the clog appears on the municipal side of the lines, the plumber must report it to the city, which dispatches its own plumbing crew to repair or replace the sewage line.
When a sink or tub drains slowly, a homeowner might try a bottle of drain opener before phoning a domestic plumber. As an occasional remedy this won’t harm anything, but if the lines require a monthly or weekly drain opener to open them so they will drain, using the product will not only damage the home’s pipes, it won’t remedy the problem. Constantly slow-draining pipes indicate a larger issue, such as eroded piping or tree roots blocking a pipe’s flow.
Plumbers typically use a small digital camera attached to the end of a pipe snake to determine the location of the problem. Once spotted, the clog may be removed by rooting the lines or removing roots from a tree in the yard. In some extreme cases, it requires the removal of an entire tree and its stump.
If the slow draining line problem refers to a floor drain, especially in the basement, the plumbing fix may require a pump install job. That means the basement of your home might require a sump pump to help clear the water quickly. Another area of the home where such drain issues might occur – the laundry room – may also need a pump installed.
Low Water Pressure
When you turn on your faucet to wash your hands or step into the shower for a quick rinse off, you might discover your home suddenly experiences low water pressure. Before you phone a domestic plumber, check for the usual culprits that cause low pressure in the water lines. These include someone operating the washing machine, washing dishes, the car, the dog, or something else. Most homes can’t handle the drain on the hot water heater of operating two large water uses at one time.
If you live alone though and did not operate the dishwasher or washing machine while you bathed, you probably need to call a residential plumber about your faulty water heater. It may have developed a leak or experienced another issue, such as a part wearing out. Only a licensed plumber can legally install a new water heater in most localities, so prepare yourself for the expense of materials and labor. If it turns out that your water heater only needs a new part, you will feel grateful for the much lower bill.
Gurgling water when you turn on the sink proves normal. Gurgling water after you turn off the tap indicates an emergency need for a domestic plumber. Plumbing lines should provide an efficient response when turning on and off a spigot.
Consider calling one of the 24 hr plumbing companies in your area. The gurgling sound signals a large leak somewhere in your lines. Find your home’s main water valve and shut off the water. An emergency domestic plumber typically responds within a few hours of your call, so you should not have to go without water for long.
As long as you paid your water bill and the city isn’t conducting water line maintenance this should not happen. When you try your tap and find no response, try the other taps in the house and ask your neighbors if they have water before phoning a domestic plumber. If they all have working water service, your lines probably have one of three problems:
- Frozen pipes
- Plumbing leaks
- Rusted pipes.
Phone a plumber if only your home has no water service.
No Hot Water
Perhaps your water turns on just fine, but no hot water comes out of the appropriate tap. Similar to the low water pressure problem, before you call a domestic plumber check for appliances using hot water or someone in the shower. Typically, two people using hot water at the same time explains the issue.
The solution for this issue proves much simpler than the septic pumping required of backflow. You either need a larger water heater, a tankless water heater, or the pilot light went out on your current water heater. Follow the instructions on the water heater to re-light the pilot if that proves to be the issue. If it will not remain lit, you need to call a licensed plumber because you may need a new water heater.
Burst pipes require the services of a domestic plumber and a slew of other home repair personnel. A burst pipe typically results in some water damage to the sink base and/or floor. If the pipe burst when no one was at home, it likely flooded at least one room, potentially causing mildew or mold to develop. Each problem requires its own professional.
You would need to hire a plumber to repair the pipe burst and to dry out the flooded area. A drywaller would tear out the damaged wallboard, flooring, or sink base, and replace them with new drywall. A mold abatement service would examine the flooded area for signs of mold development and remediate any damaged area. Keep the bathroom drain clean to ensure the situation does not repeat itself.
Yep, you need a domestic plumber to install appliances that require water lines. If you purchase a new washer and dryer, most hardware stores and home improvement stores include installation in the price. If yours doesn’t, pay the small fee for it, so you can quickly get up and running.
Some items, such as a new HVAC system and ducts, may require both plumbing and heating contractors. It depends on the type of system you choose. In these cases, ask questions of your local HVAC installer to find out which personnel your chosen system will require and if their firm employs them all. You may need to hire more than one company to accomplish the work.
Toilet Always Running
Sure, you have probably tried jiggling the toilet handle to fix this. Maybe the chain inside the toilet basin came loose or perhaps it broke completely. A domestic plumber can fix this problem for you quickly.
Contact a local plumbing company to have a licensed plumber examine the toilet. More than one type of problem can cause a constantly running toilet. The interior of the basin contains many small parts and if any one of them breaks it can cause the toilet to gurgle and run constantly because it cannot fill up the tank with water. Most issues such as these take only a few minutes and a locally available part to repair.
Your soggy basement blues may require both a plumber and a sewage cleaning service. It depends on whether a rising water flood caused the soggy basement, a sewer pipe leak/burst, or a plumbing line issue. The licensed plumber handles the unstopping of water lines and the home’s sewer line hookups, but not the sewer lines of the municipality.
Plumbers do not address the mess that sewage in your basement causes. A sewer cleaning company does that. If this problem occurs at your home, you may need to involve more than one type of professional home repair contractor.
When you decide to update your home excitement runs high. You might purchase all manner of materials and tools intending to do it all yourself! Forget about doing the plumbing yourself because you may violate local and state laws in the process. You also could void every product warranty of every appliance or material you purchased.
Read the warranty on your new toilet, shower head, sink faucets, and bidet. Each very likely stipulates that warranty coverage depends on “proper installation by a licensed professional.” Some warranties use the language “licensed plumber.” These manufacturers know that amateurs probably won’t know the right way to install something, so rather than having to pay when their materials don’t work because of faulty installation, they require that a plumber install them for the warranty to be valid.
How a Residential Plumber Helps You
Enjoy the empowering feeling of changing your own faucet washer, but leave the bigger plumbing issues to a licensed professional contractor. Some municipalities allow the homeowner to conduct some work on their home’s plumbing, but it still requires a permit and must pass inspection. Rather than spend your time trying to fix it, call a plumber right away. This usually results in less damage and a quicker fix.
How the heck do homeowners pay for all of these plumbing issues? Not all of these things typically happen to the same homeowner in the same house. That’s because calling a licensed professional to address the problem results in early identification of other, growing problems. The plumber not only explains what it will take to fix the problem that prompted calling them but also provides a list of identified problems and how to fix them.
Calling a plumber about slow drains, for example, can apprise you of many other issues, and you get pictures of them, so you know the plumber isn’t concocting future work. When you obtain one of these quotes, use it in conjunction with your homeowners insurance to stave off huge problems down the line.
A residential or plumber can offer valuable advice on maintenance tasks that you can do yourself to ensure that the same problems do not repeat themselves. Following this advice, including limiting the use of drain cleaners, can help rectify your home’s major plumbing problems. Some of these tasks include monthly maintenance, while others you only need to do once per year, such as hot water maintenance.
When a major plumbing issue, like the ones written about here, occurs, call the plumber and your insurance company back-to-back. The insurance company will typically want more than one repair quote, typically. Ask if you need to have a claims adjuster visit before having the work completed.
You can skip the call to the insurance company if you also purchased a home warranty plan. These plans cover smaller items that insurance doesn’t cover. For example, home insurance would not cover appliance installation, but a home warranty plan may.
Call a Plumbing Pro for Help with Big Plumbing Problems
When your home experiences a major plumbing glitch, skip spending hours or days trying to make your own repairs. Phone a local plumber for quick, professional repairs. Ask for advice on how to avoid the problem repeating itself. These were just a few common signs that there’s an issue. Be sure to work with your local plumber for more information.