Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

How to spot a plumbing problem


A plumbing issue can result in costly repair. Don't let problems with this component of a home interfere with a home sale, or daily life. If there are any possible concerns, a home inspection can figure out exactly where it is and what can be done to fix it.

Before something arises, homeowners and real estate professionals should watch out for several areas where potential red flags may occur.

Stop a problem early on
It may seem difficult to spot an issue with the plumbing, since most of the system is located deep within the walls. Despite this, there are ways to figure out if something has, or is about to, go wrong in the pipes.

The first place many people want to look is the plumbing itself, but every homeowner should keep an eye on their bills during the month, according to moving guide My Move. Sometimes the first sign of any imminent trouble is a spike in the water bill. If the numbers are fluctuating, or the recent tab is oddly higher than it has been over the past several months, that could signal an issue. Catching this early will not only reduce that bill, but it could save a lot of money in future repairs

Leaky faucets are a headache, but a leak deeper in the system might mean serious damage to the home. A property inspection can help identify any problems that might not be obvious, and explain concerns deeper than what is apparent to the average homeowner.

Another early sign of trouble is a weird smell or noise. Therefore, stay attentive when walking around a house. A bizarre, strong odor shouldn't be chalked up to old food - it may mean that there is something wrong in the plumbing, according to the source. It may sound cliche, but follow the nose. The stronger the smell, the closer to the problem. The same goes for odd noises, and the sound of running water in the walls or where no faucets are on is a bad sign. Look into the cause immediately, before things get worse.

Check the usual suspects
Many plumbing problems start in the kitchen or bathroom. Less common are issues forming in the pipes within the walls and floors, although those do occur. First, look at the areas that are used the most. Every home has a toilet, and the most frequent trouble starts with a clog. Step one is to identify whether or not it is isolated to the toilet, and not the plumbing as a whole. Try the sinks, and if they drain well the toilet is the culprit, according to ARS. Plunging is the simplest solution to the typical issues.

Moreover, a leaky faucet is not only annoying but a water waster. These problems usually arise because of faulty washers and seals, which tend to wear out with use over time. An ignored leak can lead to rusty fixtures, which will add to the cost of repairs.

Pipes are harder to watch, but there are a few good ways to ensure they remain in working order. Learn what type of material they are made out of, since this affects maintenance and repairs. Homes built pre-1970 tend to have galvanized iron pipes, which corrode and leak easier than newer versions. A drop in water pressure or a brown hue appearing in the water signal pipe problems, according to ARS. 

Regular home inspections are a great way to stay up to date with the plumbing. It helps to know where every pipe is and where it leads. Therefore, more frequent checks will lead to smaller repairs, and the big expenses can be avoided.