Acting Before It's Too Late: 6 Warning Signs You May Need a Plumber

When something is going on with your plumbing and you’re not sure whether or not it is a DIY kind of repair or not, this checklist will come in handy. Signs that there are some issues plaguing your plumbing are usually pretty easy to spot: there’s mold, dripping sounds, wet drywall or water gushing everywhere. Some are more subtle than others, so let's look at six warning signs that may require a plumber.

1. Stubborn, Long-term Clogs
A clog that just doesn’t want to give way could be a sign that there is a blockage pretty far down the pipeline or that the clog is composed of the material that is not movable by a plunger. Although store-bought drain cleaners seem like a cheap fix, repeated use (sometimes even a single use) can erode the pipes and cause more of a problem, because these products contain harsh chemicals that are often unsafe for a stubborn clog.

2. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure could mean cracked or broken pipes, or it could just be a clog. It is often associated with frozen pipes. Left unattended, it can result in a total pipe rupture, which will be a more costly repair than taking care of a cracked pipe.

3. Mold
When you start to see mold popping up around your home, know that it is an indicator of moisture. When mold in and around your shower or tub (or anywhere else in your home) appears faster than you seem to be able to clean it, there is likely something going on behind the scenes. The usual reason for recurrent, pesky mold is leaking/stagnant water.

4. Foul Smelling Water
If you’re smelling something awful every time you turn on the faucets, there is definitely something going on in the pipes. Stinky water is often a symptom of blockages, old pipes in need of replacement or a broken vent. Broken vents and sewer pipes can damage your foundation and adversely affect the environment. You definitely want to consult a plumber here.

5. Gurgling
The toilet sounds like the water is struggling or bubbling, gurgling. The gurgling is a sign of a severely clogged pipe or a compromised drain. It can mean that a backup is imminent. If you hear a gurgling sound when your toilet is not in use, it is looking for air and a backup is likely headed your way. If you hear gurgling when running the shower, dishwasher or washing machine, discontinue use unless you want the system to backup into the house.

6. A High Water Bill
When you notice that your water bill is steadily climbing, even when you’re not taking longer showers or having large parties requiring multiple dishwasher loads be suspicious of your plumbing. It may signal a leak or running water. Isolating the problem can save you money in the long run. Realtor.com suggests checking your water meter to see if it’s spinning while not in use.

Of course, no one wants to need a plumber, but it’s great to have a plumber when you need one. Knowing when you need to call a professional is important to effectively maintain your home and saving money in the long run. There are plenty of DIY projects, but there’s nothing wrong with hiring a seasoned professional when you really need to.

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