We often take the water flowing into our homes for granted. Yet, when water issues occur, no matter how small, they can quickly drive up your bills, cost you a fortune to repair, and even compromise your family’s health.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be overflowing with professional knowledge to take care of water issues at home. This guide will explore the most common water problems and show you how to fix them.
If the water coming from your faucets is brown-orange in color, it most likely contains iron and manganese. The problem is most common in groundwater supplies, and it causes rust-colored stains on plumbing fixtures, cookware, toilet, and laundry.
The first step you should take is to have the well-water tested by a water treatment company. The experts will then recommend a treatment system capable of filtering the level of iron in your water.
Rotten Egg Smell
If your cold water smells like rotten eggs, the odor is being caused by high levels of hydrogen sulfide. If the smell only occurs in your hot water, then it may be due to chemical reactions inside your hot water heater and not your water supply.
Sulfide is extremely corrosive to metal pipes and, if left unchecked, can cause leaks. The best solution is to get an aeration system designed specifically for hydrogen sulfide removal.
Bad Taste and Smell
We expect the water in our homes to be tasteless, colorless, and odorless. If the water coming out of your faucets smells or tastes musty, moldy, or fishy, it could signify an issue with your water source or plumbing system.
It could be organic matter, sewage pollution, or chlorine bleach. Odors resulting from chlorine go away when the water is exposed to air for a few minutes. Call a plumber if you suspect sewage infiltration into your drinking water and invest in a water filter to remove unpleasant taste and contaminants.
Nothing is more frustrating than a faucet that drips constantly. Apart from the annoyance, the drip from a single faucet wastes several thousand gallons annually and increases your water bill by around $20 a month or $240 a year.
Most times, the problem with a dripping faucet is a worn-out washer or O ring. You can replace these parts or invest in a new faucet altogether.
A very frustrating issue to have, but one that most homeowners often ignore. A toilet that constantly leaks is an even more wasteful version of the dripping faucet. It can dump hundreds of gallons of water a day, leaving you with astronomical water bills.
One of the biggest culprits is the rubber flapper, the device that controls the water that flows from the toilet tank to the bowl. Replace the flapper and if the toilet doesn’t stop running, call a professional.
Hard water is water that has high mineral content, especially calcium and magnesium. The minerals can build up in your pipes, washing machines, dishwashers, and boilers, decreasing their efficiency and even causing permanent damage.
To tackle the issue, use a water softening system. It removes the extra minerals from the water using an ion-exchange process.
No Hot Water
After years of hard work, most water heaters will struggle to keep up with demand or even fail to deliver any hot water. The problem depends on the type of system you have. In some cases, sediment build-up or corrosion in the tank may be at fault.
Other times, the thermostat or faulty heating elements may be the issue. Water heater repairs are better left to a plumber, as an attempted DIY project could void your warranty and create worse problems in the long run.
Leaking pipes is a common water problem most prevalent in older homes or where plumbing installation wasn’t done professionally. The leaks waste water, can cause extensive water damage and jack up the water bill.
Call in a qualified plumber to check the underlying issue. If the problem keeps popping up in different places around your home, consider upgrading your piping to PEX pipes used in modern construction. These pipes are long-lasting and can withstand extreme temperatures.
Low Water Pressure
Your home relies on steady water pressure to ensure that showers, faucets, and tubs have a constant water flow. When the water pressure is low, it may signify pipe corrosion or a buildup of minerals.
To solve the issue, use a test gauge to rule out or confirm a citywide pressure problem. If that’s not the issue, use vinegar to clean the mineral deposits in your shower and faucets. In extreme cases, it may take the intervention of a seasoned plumber to solve the issue.
Slow-Draining Sink or Tub
The accumulation of soap, food particles, fat, and other debris often obstruct the flow of water as it drains out of a sink. In the bathtub, the issue could be a buildup of soap or knotted hair.
To solve the issue in your kitchen, pour one-half cup baking soda into the drain and an equal amount of white vinegar, cover with a stopper, then flush with hot water after 15 minutes. In the bathroom, you may require a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the hair clog.
Protect Your Home and Bank Balance
Water issues, whether small leaks, bad odors, low pressure, or clogs, can quickly turn into huge headaches, costly repairs, and even health problems. Thankfully, most of these issues can be dealt with easily if you act immediately.
Of course, if you’re unsure about what to do, you can always contact an expert who’ll investigate the root of the issue and provide a solution.