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What Are the Most Common Plumbing Problems?

Copper pipes.
Drips are among common plumbing problems.
Cold weather may cause pipes to burst, and need to be replaced.
O rings may be used to seal connections.
A plunger is useful when unclogging a drain.
Drains can sometimes become clogged.
Some plumbing experts advise that sink parts may last longer if they are lubricated with petroleum jelly.
Using plumber's tape helps prevent leaks.
Leaky faucets are a common plumbing problem.
Plugged toilets can cause overflowing and also damage floors.
Article Details
  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2014
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The most common plumbing problems involve drips, leaks and plugs. Dripping faucets, leaking pipes and plugged toilets or sinks can occur in any home. It's a good idea to deal with common plumbing problems right away or they may easily get worse. If an emergency plumber is required, it can be expensive.

If a dripping faucet is left too long, water may start running out of the tap. If it's the hot water faucet, this can be expensive since it costs money to heat the water that's being wasted. If the dripping problem is fixed right away, it's usually quite simple to remedy. Usually it's just a matter of replacing a worn out washer inside the faucet with a new one. When the sink fittings called washers wear out, water gets through the worn edges and drips or leaks occur.

One of the most common plumbing problems is that until a leak or drip occurs, the homeowner may not know what type of washer to buy to replace the worn out one. Since there are many different types of sink washers, the best way to buy the right replacement is to remove the old one and bring it to a plumbing supply store to find a matching part. Common kinds of sink washers include the ball spring, modular and cartridge types as well as the stem/washer/seat combination.

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Aside from dripping from the faucet's spout, another common plumbing problem is leaks from the base of the handles. In this case, the faucet's metal nuts or its rubber o-ring may need replacing. Some plumbing experts advise that sink parts may last longer if they are lubricated with petroleum jelly. Leaks occurring in pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems. If the leaks are at the pipe's joints, tightening the pipes may help; otherwise, new sealant or a new gasket may be needed.

Plugged toilets are a common type of plumbing problem. It's a good idea to always have a plunger handy in case it happens because overflowing toilets can damage floors. If plunging doesn't release the clog and get the toilet working again, then a plumber may have to be called to fix the problem. Clogs in sinks and shower drains are common plumbing problems that are often caused by clumps of hair building up in the drain. The hair should be removed occasionally to prevent clogging.

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