When it comes to keeping your home in tip-top shape, you may be tempted to prioritize jobs that add visual appeal to your home. We rarely give thought to components such as electricity and plumbing that form the lifeblood of your home. These elements don’t last forever, and the longer you put off repairing that leaky faucet, the more likely that you’ll incur significant damage that can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Do you need new plumbing fixtures in your home? Discover some telltale signs as you discover possible clues that your plumbing system and fixtures may be failing you.

Old and Malfunctioning Fixtures

Make a sweep of your home and do some serious inspection of your tub and faucet handles, sink fixtures, and showerhead. If calcification or rust stains are present that will not budge even with vigorous cleaning, it may be time to replace this part of your home’s plumbing system.

Leaks, Drips, and Water Damage

Issues with draining, pooling, and constant leaks from showers and taps are not just mere inconveniences. They are clear signs that you have deficiencies somewhere in your system and fixtures that require replacement in order to prevent significant water damage over time.

Clogs and Slow Pipes

Pooling or standing water in your tubs, showers, and sinks may not be easily handled with chemical drain cleaners and a drain snake. Not knowing how to use these DIY tools can actually cause more damage to your system in the long run. Call in an experienced plumbing professional to diagnose the exact location of the clog that is stopping up your system, and allow them to remove it with specialized tools and methods that preserve the integrity of your plumbing system.

Visible Water Damage

A cracked or broken pipe is not always visible as most plumbing is hidden in walls and flooring. Rest assured that if you do have a compromised pipe you will see the effects of it over time as stains and wet spots begin seeping through onto your drywall and flooring. These wet spots can easily grow into mildew and mold if not properly dealt with, which is a dangerous situation.

Decreased Water Pressure

As your plumbing ages, your pipes will slowly accumulate calcified material and sludge that reduces the diameter of your pipes. This translates to a gradual loss in water pressure; if it’s taking longer than usual to refill the toilet, tub, or sink, it may be time to replace your plumbing fixtures.

Disclored, Foul-smelling Water

Water that has a slightly reddish hue and smells foul can indicate that your hot water heater may be failing. Steel rods called anodes will corrode because of the presence of bacteria and other debris in your water tank. As they begin to disintegrate, your water heater will give you signals that it’s time to budget in a repair or replacement. Call a plumbing professional to replace your tank and get you up and running in no time.

Presence of Mold

Visible mold spores on the walls and ceiling of your bathroom indicate that water is present and flowing in a manner that it shouldn’t. Be on the lookout for crumbling drywall, damp spots, and dark spots near or around the location of plumbing pipes. Any signs of mold should be dealt with promptly as the growth of mold and mildew in your home could have potentially harmful effects on your health.

Lead Pipes

Older homes sometimes contain lead pipes, and those constructed before 1978 are most certainly bound to have some percentage of lead flowing through them. Lead is a potentially poisonous substance, and repeated exposure can have toxic effects, particularly for children and older adults. The safest course of action after detecting lead pipes is to remove and replace them with upgraded plumbing that is up to safety codes.

Gurgling Fixtures

Good plumbing should be seen and not heard. Rattling or gurgling pipes could indicate a leak or air bubbles inside your lines, which could have significant repair costs attached to them. If your walls are singing, it may be time to call in a professional to repair and replace fixtures and sections of piping that no longer work as they should.

Discolored Pipes, Walls, and Cabinetry

If you happen to be in your basement or under the kitchen sink, look your pipes over to see if there are signs of discoloration present, particularly around a union of two sections. If you see signs of discoloration, this indicates that moisture is slowly leaking out of your system. Slow leaks lead to high repair and utility bills; rather than attempt to marry those sections together yourself, have a professional take a look at whether they can be repaired or if they should be replaced.

Strong Sewer Odors

Traps and vents in your plumbing system are designed to prevent toxic sewer gas from entering your home. Vents should efficiently channel odors up to your roof while drain traps function as a barrier to stop odors from coming up through your appliances and drains. If you smell gas in your home, that indicates that either a trap has run dry or vent lines have been damaged. Sewer gas is toxic when breathed in large amounts; it’s best to have a professional take a look at the cause of the odor and make recommendations for how to best contain it with new fixtures and piping.

Frozen Lines

If you experience a sudden loss of flow in the coldest winter months, you may have frozen pipes, a significant plumbing emergency that must be dealt with immediately. Common areas where frozen pipes are found include attics, crawlspaces, and outside walls where they are subjected to cold winter winds and temperatures. Should you be lucky enough that your frozen pipes don’t burst, ask your plumber for recommendations on insulating these areas of your home to keep heat trapped and water flowing freely. Burst pipes require the experienced knowledge of a plumbing professional, who can go to work immediately to repair and replace broken sections of pipe and fixtures that are affected.

High Water Bills

You are likely to see an indication of inefficient plumbing and fixtures on your utility bill. Water bills spike when plumbing is leaking or inefficient as your whole system has to work harder to deliver water to appliances in and around your home. If you notice a difference in your monthly balance, it’s time to call in a professional to assess your system function.

Call Our Professionals for All Your Plumbing Needs

At Southport Home Services, we are committed to providing you with plumbing and repair solutions that keep you flowing smoothly year round. Providing expert heating, cooling, and plumbing services for Wausau and the surrounding areas, we guarantee that we can get you up and running with our quality, repair, and installation of all types of home appliances and fixtures. Contact us today for an assessment of your plumbing fixtures, and look forward to free-flowing efficiency and comfort.

Meet the Author
Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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