June 19, 2024

5 Common Bathroom Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them

Discover how to solve common bathroom plumbing problems like a toilet running, shower drain clogged, and low water pressure. Expert tips and solutions inside!

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Is your bathroom causing you headaches with constant plumbing issues? You're not alone, we are wasting 460 million litres of water a year in the UK.  Dripping taps, clogged drains, and running toilets can turn your bathroom into a source of daily frustration.

Dealing with these common plumbing problems can disrupt your routine and even lead to costly repairs if not addressed promptly. Fixing these issues can save you time, money, and stress. Being prepared is vital, whether it's a simple fix or knowing when to call a professional.

Addressing plumbing problems early can prevent minor issues from becoming big headaches. Plus, knowing how to maintain your plumbing can extend the life of your fixtures and save on utility bills.

Ready to take control of your bathroom plumbing problems? Continue reading to discover the most common issues and how to handle them effectively.

Identifying and Fixing 5 Common Plumbing Problems 

Tackling plumbing problems can seem daunting. But with some knowledge, you can manage many issues yourself. Here are five common plumbing problems and how to fix them.

1. Dripping Faucets

A dripping tap can waste a lot of water. Often, the problem is a worn-out washer. Replacing it can stop the leak. If this doesn’t work, the tap might need to be replaced.

2. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can signal bigger issues in your plumbing system. Check the valves and the tap aerators for blockages. Sometimes, sediment buildup can reduce pressure. Cleaning these parts can restore normal flow.

3. Clogged Toilets

A clogged toilet can disrupt your day. Avoid flushing non-flushable items down the toilet. Using a plunger can usually fix a clogged toilet. If that doesn’t work, a plumbing snake might be needed.

4. Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes can corrode and cause problems over time. Look for damp spots under sinks or on ceilings. Tightening the joints or using pipe tape can fix minor leaks. For serious issues, you may need to replace the pipe.

5. Water Heater Issues

If your water heater isn't providing hot water, it could indicate a problem. Check the thermostat and heating elements. Sometimes, sediment buildup can cause problems. Regular flushing of the water heater can extend its life.

Solutions for a Toilet Running Constantly 

A constantly running toilet is not only annoying, but it can also significantly increase your water bill and cost.

Understanding how to fix this common plumbing issue can save money and prevent further damage.

Adjust the Float

The float controls the tank's water level. If it’s set too high, the tank will overflow. Adjusting the float to the proper level can stop the toilet from running.

Inspect the Fill Valve

If it’s not working correctly, it can cause the toilet to run. Replacing or repairing the fill valve can fix the issue.

Examine the Chain

The chain connecting the flapper to the flush handle can also cause problems. If it’s too short or tangled, it can prevent the flapper from sealing correctly. Adjusting or replacing the chain can help.

Turn Off the Water Supply

If you need a more extensive toilet repair, turn off the water supply first. This prevents any further damage and makes the repair process more manageable. Knowing how to turn off the water supply is essential for any plumbing repair.

Check for Leaks

Sometimes, a running toilet can be caused by leaks in other parts of the bathroom. Inspect the base and other connections for leaks. Fixing these can prevent further damage and reduce your utility bill.

How to Clear a Shower Drain That Is Clogged 

A clogged shower drain can be frustrating and inconvenient. Water backing up in your shower can cause minor flooding and potential damage to your home.

Here are some simple plumbing tips to help you effectively clear a clogged shower drain.

Use a Plunger

One of the most common methods of clearing a clog is using a plunger. Place the plunger over the drain and pump it several times. This can create enough suction to dislodge the clog and get the water running smoothly again.

Remove Debris Manually

Sometimes, hair and soap scum are the common causes of clogs in your bath or shower. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a bent wire hanger to pull out the debris. Regularly removing buildup can prevent clogs from forming.

Use a Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake can reach deeper clogs than a plunger can. Insert the snake into the drain and turn the handle to break the clog. This method is effective for more stubborn blockages and can prevent plumbing emergencies.

Try a Chemical Drain Cleaner

If manual methods don’t work, a chemical drain cleaner may be able to dissolve the clog. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid damage to your pipes. Be aware that overuse can cause more common plumbing problems in old houses.

Regular Maintenance

To avoid future clogs, perform regular maintenance on your shower drain. Pour hot water down the drain weekly to help dissolve minor buildup. This simple step can prevent issues from worsening and save you gallons of water.

Promptly dealing with a clogged shower drain can prevent more significant plumbing woes. Using these methods, you can maintain clear drains throughout your home and avoid a sudden increase in your utility bill due to water backup. Regular upkeep is key to preventing damage to your home and keeping your plumbing system in good condition.

Understanding and Fixing Low Water Pressure Issues

Experiencing low water pressure can be frustrating. It can make simple tasks like showering and washing dishes take longer than necessary. Here are some steps to identify and fix low water pressure issues in your home.

Check the Water Main

One common cause of low pressure is an issue with the water main. Ensure the main valve is fully open. If the problem persists, an issue with the municipal supply might need professional attention.

Inspect for Leaks

Check for leaks in your home plumbing. Look for damp spots or areas allowing small amounts of water to escape. Fixing these leaks can help restore normal pressure and prevent further problems.

Check the Pressure Regulator

A faulty pressure regulator can cause low pressure. Test the pressure using a gauge attached to an outdoor tap. If it's below the recommended level, you may need to replace or adjust the regulator to fix the problem.

Address Whole-House Issues

If the low pressure affects the entire house, it could be due to old or corroded pipes. This requires a more extensive plumbing repair. Replacing outdated pipes can fix a plumbing issue and improve the overall water flow in your home.

DIY or Professional Services: What Should You Use?

Choosing whether to tackle plumbing problems yourself or call a professional can be tricky. Some issues are simple enough for DIY solutions, while others require expert attention.

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best approach for various plumbing problems.

1. Leaky Tap

Fixing a leaky tap is often a straightforward DIY task. Replacing a worn washer or tightening connections can solve the problem. However, if the tap continues to leak, it may be time to call a professional plumber.

2. Clogged Kitchen Sink

Using a plunger or plumbing snake, you may clear a clogged kitchen sink. If these methods don’t work, chemical drain cleaners can help. Persistent clogs or recurring issues, however, may require professional plumbing services.

3. Running Toilet

A running toilet is one of the most common plumbing problems. Replacing a faulty flapper valve or adjusting the float can usually fix it. If the problem persists, a professional plumber can diagnose and repair more complex toilet plumbing problems.

4. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can result from simple issues like clogged aerators, which you can clean yourself. However, if the problem affects the entire house, it could be due to old pipes or a pressure regulator issue, necessitating a call to a professional plumber.

5. Water Heater Issues

Many water heater issues, such as pilot light problems or minor sediment buildup, can be addressed with DIY methods. However, professional plumbing services should handle significant issues with the water heater’s functionality or safety concerns.

6. Replacing Fixtures

Replacing fixtures like a bathroom sink or kitchen tap can often be done with essential tools and some know-how. Hiring a professional can ensure the best plumbing outcome if the installation involves complex plumbing changes or you need clarification.

7. Major Plumbing Repairs

DIY plumbing methods are not recommended for significant plumbing problems like burst pipes, major leaks, or extensive damage. These situations require the expertise of a professional plumber to avoid further damage and ensure the repair is done correctly.

Get Your Plumbing Fixed Right—Trust Expert Services from TaskHer

When plumbing problems come, they can disrupt your entire day. Whether it's a leaky tap wasting 400 litres of water or a running toilet causing a sudden increase in your water bill, these issues need immediate attention. Fixing simple plumbing problems yourself can sometimes be a quick fix, but it's best to call a professional for more complex issues.

TaskHer is your go-to platform for connecting with top-notch professional tradeswomen to address any plumbing problem, big or small. Our network of experienced tradeswomen can handle everything from minor repairs to central installations, ensuring your home runs smoothly and efficiently.

Book a skilled, trusted tradeswoman online now and get an immediate quote. TaskHer puts you in control, offering a quick, simple process that fits your schedule.

Don’t let plumbing issues disrupt your life—call a plumber. Contact TaskHer today to connect with expert tradeswomen and find reliable solutions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a leaky tap?

A leaky tap can be more than just an annoyance. It can waste a significant amount of water and lead to higher bills. Here are the things that could indicate a leak:

  • Constant dripping sound
  • Water stains or corrosion around the tap
  • Increased utility bill
  • Visible leaks from the tap base or handle

How can I tell if my toilet has a running issue?

A running toilet is one of the five common plumbing problems that can waste hundreds of litres of water. Signs include:

  • The constant sound of running water
  • Higher than usual utility bill
  • Water moving in the toilet bowl between flushes
  • Frequent need to jiggle the flush handle to stop the water

What should I do if my shower drain is clogged?

A clogged shower drain can be a significant hassle, but there are several steps you can take to clear it. These include:

  • Using a plunger to dislodge the blockage
  • Manually removing hair and debris
  • Using a plumbing snake for deeper clogs
  • Applying a chemical drain cleaner if necessary
  • Regular maintenance to prevent future clogs

Why is my bathroom experiencing low water pressure?

Low water pressure in the bathroom can be caused by various issues, some of which could indicate a more serious plumbing problem. Possible causes include:

  • Clogged aerators on taps
  • Leaks in the pipes allow small amounts of water to escape
  • Issues with the home’s water main
  • Old or corroded pipes reducing water flow
  • Problems with the pressure regulator

What can cause my water heater to malfunction?

Many plumbing issues can cause your water heater to malfunction, leading to a lack of hot water. Common causes include:

  • Sediment buildup in the tank
  • Faulty thermostat or heating element
  • Pilot light issues (for gas heaters)
  • Corrosion or rust inside the tank
  • Issues with the water supply to the heater

What causes my sink to drain slowly, and how can I fix it?

A slow-draining sink is a frequent issue often caused by a buildup of hair, soap scum, and debris in the drain. You can start by removing and cleaning the drain stopper to address this. Next, use a plumbing snake to clear any blockages further down the pipe. Regularly flushing the drain with baking soda and vinegar, followed by hot water, can help keep the pipes clear and prevent future clogs.

How do I fix a leaky shower head?

A leaky shower head can be annoying and waste a lot of water. First, check if the leak comes from the connection between the shower head and the pipe. If so, remove the shower head, apply the plumber's tape to the threads, and reattach it. If the leak persists, inspect the shower head for damaged or worn parts, such as the rubber washer or O-ring, and replace them as necessary. Regular maintenance can keep your shower head functioning correctly.

What should I do if I notice mould or mildew in my bathroom?

Mould and mildew can thrive in damp bathrooms, often due to poor ventilation or persistent leaks. To address this, clean the affected areas with bleach and water. Ensure your bathroom is well-ventilated by using an exhaust fan or opening a window during and after showers. Fix any leaks promptly to reduce moisture levels, and consider using a dehumidifier if necessary to keep the air dry and mould-free.

Why does my toilet make a gurgling sound, and how can I fix it?

A gurgling toilet can indicate a blockage in the drain line or a problem with the system. To fix this, start by plunging the toilet to try and clear any obstructions. If plunging doesn't resolve the issue, you may need a plumbing snake to reach deeper clogs. If the problem persists, it could indicate a more severe issue with the venting system or sewer line. In this case, you should call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.

What should I do if I suspect a leak in my bathroom but can't find the source?

Hidden leaks can cause significant damage over time if not addressed promptly. If you suspect a leak but can't find the source, check common problem areas such as under sinks, around the toilet base, and near the shower or bathtub. Look for signs of moisture, such as stains, mould, or a musty smell. If you still can't locate the leak, it may be necessary to call a professional plumber who can use specialised tools to detect hidden leaks and prevent further damage.

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