Signs You Need To Call A Plumber For Your Kitchen, According To An Expert

When it comes to the life force of your home, among the most important features are the electrical, heating, and, of course, plumbing. A solid plumbing system ensures wastewater pumps out of your home properly, while clean, safe water flows in. From sinks and toilets to showers and tubs, the complicated network of pipes must remain in running condition to prevent any potential issues. After all, the last thing you want is for old pipes to burst, which could cost you some major dough, along with the time and hassle to fully fix everything, according to Forbes.

That's why it's crucial to spot the signs of possible plumbing problems before they become a major disaster. Knowing when to call a plumber, who knows the ins and outs of your home's pipes, can be the insurance you need to stop any issues big or small. Licensed plumbers are trained to troubleshoot, fix, and spot these situations. They also ensure the systems in your residence are running efficiently and at a level that conserves our planet's most precious resource. But how do you know when to reach out to a professional? In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Jake Romano, the manager of John the Plumber, filled us in on the sure signs your home needs a visit from a plumber.

You see signs of water damage or leaking under the sink

Water damage in your home may not always be the easiest thing to spot, especially if it's under a bathroom or kitchen sink where cleaning products and toiletries are stored. This deterioration from leaking sinks can "often go unnoticed due to all the contents in the cupboard," according to Romano, "As a result, we sometimes find leaks that have been leaking slowly for quite some time, causing water damage in the cabinetry, flooring, and elsewhere."

If you spot a small leak early, it could be due to a loosely connected sprayer, which is something homeowners may be able to take care of by gently tightening it. However, for more serious leaks or that have been allowed to go unattended, it could be time to call a professional.

While having a dripping faucet may seem like a minor inconvenience, it could be a sign of a faulty fixture. "A dripping faucet usually means that the cartridge needs to be replaced," Romano said. Although this can be a quick fix, it's best to leave it to a professional as they can make easy work of the problem. Romano also recommends selecting "faucet brands that are popular, as their replacement parts will be readily available. Uncommon brands can be a challenge to repair."

Slow, blocked, or gurgling drains

Slow or blocked drains are a common occurrence due to any number of things finding a home in places they shouldn't. "Due to the nature of what goes down our kitchen sink drains, this kind of blockage can be very difficult to clean without a professional," Romano explains. "Grease often finds its way into the drain — try to avoid this as much as possible — when it's a liquid. But as it cools down in your drainpipes, it begins to harden." This tough blockage can be dealt with by a professional who will have the tools necessary to rid your pipes of the clog. Some folks may want to use abrasive chemicals to loosen food waste, but this could erode your pipes, causing more harm than good.

Instead, a plumber should be able to use a drain snake to successfully loosen the blockage. This long cord-like apparatus can travel deep within your pipe system to rid the pathways of clogged food, hair, or other debris. Romano says a licensed plumber may also use a small hydro-jetter, which sends a blast of pressurized water into your pipes to clear the way for easy-flowing water, according to Mr. Rooter. In some cases, where the blockage is too severe and cannot be loosened, a plumber may have to replace the pipe altogether.

Unpleasant odors are coming from the sink

A surefire sign that something just isn't right in your kitchen sink is the presence of a strong unwanted smell or even little pests accumulating. "Unpleasant odors in your drain can indicate several things," Romano explains. "You might have a partial blockage that is decomposing or your P-trap is empty, which hints that you might have a venting issue." 

P-traps are curved pipes located just below the drainpipe of your sink that attempt to stop anything from traveling too deep into your plumbing system. Not addressing this issue may eventually cause a blockage, according to Ace Plumbing. Additionally, they prevent gasses from potentially traveling through sewer lines and winding up in your home. To fix this venting problem, it's in your best interest to contact a plumber, who can clear the stoppage and ensure everything is operating smoothly.

Moreover, if the material in your sink pipes decays for too long, it could attract some annoying fruit flies and other gnats. "If you have drain flies, that means there's matter stuck in your drains that the flies are using as resources, promoting their breeding," Romano notes. "There are some home remedies that might fix this, but a physical drain cleaning from a plumber is the best and safest route."

Water temperatures aren't consistent

There's nothing like a warm shower to rinse off the stresses of the day. But if you find the temperature of this relaxing ritual going from chilly to intense heat, then it's likely the right time to call in a professional. Not only do you and your family require hot water to bathe, but you also need it to run through your faucets or dishwasher to kill harmful bacteria. "If you're experiencing issues with water temperatures when washing the dishes, that could be a sign you need a plumber," Romano says. "It might be time to consider a water heater repair, replacement, or something else."

There are several issues at play that could explain why you're experiencing a wide range of temperatures with running water. Perhaps you have a small water heater that can't keep up with demand, small pipes that aren't capable of quickly transporting water throughout the home, a pressure-balancing valve that may be on the fritz, or problems with a tankless water heating unit, according to Frontier Plumbing. Additionally, as Romano explains, the "water temperature can vary if other people are using water in your home." It may sound a little like a sitcom situation, but if you're running hot water at the same time in multiple areas of your home, it could affect proper distribution.

You're replacing plumbing appliances or considering remodeling your kitchen

Renovating a kitchen or bathroom is a great way to modernize your home or make it more enticing in the competitive real estate market. After purchasing new appliances, technicians will come out to install and set up everything; however, they're hardly experts. "These installers are rarely plumbers, which is important to consider," Romano warns. [W]ater can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage from improper installations; I believe it's worth hiring an expert."

Thus, if you're planning a large renovation involving the kitchen, bathroom, or any relocation of plumbing, it's best to put away some money in case you need a plumber to complete the job. "Hiring professionals is a big investment, but I strongly recommend it," Romano says. "At the end of the day, a flooded basement can cost in the neighborhood of $50,000."

Of course, plumbers can also inspect your other appliances that may not be running at optimal performance. If your dishwasher isn't draining properly, it could be the perfect job for a plumber or an appliance technician. To know when to use the services of one or the other, Romano suggests the following: "If the sink is draining properly, then you need an appliance technician," he explains. "If the sink is not draining, you need a plumber."