“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Plumbing problems can mount up in unexpected ways and cost you a great deal of money, at least if they’re left unattended. Some issues are clear, but might seem mostly harmless. Some hide until the damage is extensive, leaving you with a major repair on your hands. Either way, plumbing that doesn’t work like it should needs attention.
If something seems like it’s not quite right, listen to your instincts. Here are five issues that seem small but could cost you dearly.
#1: That Expensive Little Drip
If you’ve dealt with the drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet, you know how frustrating it can be. Maybe you’ve attempted a bit of DIY repair, only to have the drip return just as you’re trying to drift off to sleep. If the drip is in the bathtub, the sound can be even louder. But what you might not realize, at least not yet, is how much a dripping faucet can cost.
According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, a single dripping faucet can add up to 34 gallons of wasted water per year. And that’s if it’s a slow drip. If the tap leaks around the base instead of a drip from the spout, it’s impossible for you to calculate how much water is lost every day. Did we mention that a leaking faucet can slowly erode porcelain or acrylic from a sink or tub?
#2: Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure takes all of the joy out of a long, hot shower. It makes filling up the washing machine and bathtub a bit of a challenge, too. And forget about washing the car or hosing off the walkway or front porch. But this problem might be more than a nuisance, and the issue could lie inside your home instead of with the city’s service.
Older water supply lines made of galvanized steel develop corrosion inside over time. That corrosion builds up where you can’t see it, which restricts the flow of water. If your home has galvanized supply lines, the problem can only worsen. Replacement with new lines will restore the water pressure and make your morning shower a lot nicer.
#3: Annoying Slow Drains
Nearly every home has a slow drain once in a while. But if your slow drains are more of a chronic problem, the culprit is probably more than a small blockage. Drain openers and plungers can only do so much to help if the problem is something bigger. And you should never use drain opener to help a slow toilet. You’ll end up with a cracked bowl for your trouble.
Tree roots can inch over and ultimately break then infiltrate the sanitary sewer lines buried in the ground. Another possible problem is a plumbing vent. All homes need vents, which help water flow through the lines effortlessly. But if your vents are inadequate or blocked from leaves or a bird’s nest, you could spend an inordinate amount of money and time trying to open a clogged drain that’s not really clogged.
#4: Small, Persistent Leaks
A small puddle of water under the kitchen sink or beneath the toilet tank means you need repair service. But some homeowners make do with an old towel to catch the drips. The problem with that approach is the towel stays wet. And where there’s water, there’s the potential of widespread damage.
A chronically wet floor won’t stay sound for long, especially around the base of a toilet. Moisture eventually seeps into the subfloor under the base of the toilet or through the opening for the water supply line. When that happens, warping and wood rot isn’t far behind. The same applies to a wet cabinet floor under the sink. And where there’s water, there’s also mold.
#5: Oddly High Water Bills
Are you paying more for water service lately? If you haven’t experienced a rate increase and your habits are the same as they’ve always been, you could have a significant problem lurking someplace in, under or around your home.
Hidden leaks can cause widespread damage and cost a fortune in water bills, plumbing service and even structural repair. By the time you see evidence of a leak, the damage might be done. A soggy spot in the yard is an indicator that a supply line has burst underground. Soft floors in the bathroom, mold along the base of the wall and yellowish spots on the ceiling are clues that you have a leak inside a wall, ceiling or floor, depending on where your supply lines run.
Plumbing doesn’t seem like a dangerous problem, so some homeowners deal with annoyances and high bills much longer than they should. After all, water won’t cause you physical injury if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, plumbing issues can multiply, sometimes unseen, until they’ve done considerable damage.
If you’ve noticed a leak or something seems not quite right, Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can make it right. Contact us today before your little annoyance becomes a major problem.