3 Biggest Signs Your Home's Pipes Need Repairs Or Replacements

It's easy to take a home's plumbing for granted. Turn the faucet and hot or cold water flows freely from the tap. Push the lever and — whoosh — the toilet flushes easily. That is... until it doesn't. Aside from a skyrocketing water bill or a flooded room, we might not even notice when something is going wrong. The problem might grow slowly in severity over a period of time so that we become accustomed to it. But there are a few telltale signs that a call to the plumber is necessary.

One of the most notable issues is reduced water pressure. Some reasons, as noted by Greeley Plumbing, include a leak, clogged pipes, a faulty pressure regulator, shut-off valve issues, or corrosion (which happens to all pipes over time). The actual cause of the reduced water pressure could be something minor, but because it may also lead to a major repair, it's best to have a professional assess the plumbing issue as soon as it becomes noticeable.

Keep things moving

Clogged and slow moving drains are another common indicator that something more serious might be going on with pipes. According to L.E. Isley & Sons, there are three main culprits to clogged pipes: hair, toilet paper, and food particles. Brace yourself, because here comes the ick factor. Every time we shower, we shed skin, hair, and oil from our glands that eventually clump together and gunk up our pipes. We also tend to use more toilet paper than necessary and flush thicker materials like feminine hygiene products and wipes (even the ones that claim to be flushable) that can cause damage to plumbing.

In the kitchen sink, food debris and solidified grease are the usual suspects for clogs and slowdowns. Mister Sewer, Plumbing and HVAC recommends composting food scraps or throwing them in the trash rather than dumping them down the garbage disposal. Grease, in particular, is problematic and should be properly disposed of at a designated disposal site or placed in a sealed can before putting in the trash.

How to handle smelly drains

Stinky odors emanating from drains in the home are a third sign that something is awry with the plumbing. Out of This World Plumbing says there are generally two culprits to consider when funky smells waft up from a drain. Most likely, there is either a problem with the sewer gas trap or there could be an excess of organic material somewhere in the line. This could be the result of grease and food waste from the kitchen or things like hair and residual soap scum in the bathroom.

If checking those potential issues doesn't solve the stink, then there could be mold or even a broken sewer line, although these are far less likely. The problem is usually related to a leak in the sewer gas trap. Sometimes, especially if a house is particularly old, the plumbing may not even have traps. Also, if a sink or shower isn't used for a while, the water in the drain can evaporate and lead to strong, offending odors. A quick way to tell if that's the problem is to run water down the drain and wait to see if the smell goes away. If the problem persists, a proper diagnosis by a licensed plumber is the way to go.