How to fix plumbing problems at home

How to fix plumbing problems at your own home

Plumbing is often misinterpreted as messy, complicated, and difficult work. Most people turn to a plumber as soon as they spot a small leak.

But as we have seen in this article, some plumbing issues are extremely easy to fix. And the rule of thumb is to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

1 Smelly tap water

There are three main types of odors you can smell in tap water. The first type is the smell of sewage or rotten eggs. This odor is usually caused by the presence of food particles and other organic waste in your drain.

The bacteria digest food particles and other organic waste in the drain, then release hydrogen sulfide.

Gas can fill the drain near the sink and when the faucet is turned on, it is forced up and out of the faucet, releasing the odor into the air. Sometimes this smell only occurs when you turn on the hot water.

In such a case, the odor is likely coming from bacteria growing in your hot water tank. A metallic smell is usually caused by the corrosion of copper used for plumbing in the house.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

  • If you haven’t used the sink for a while, prepare a mixture of baking soda and water (the ratio should be 1: 1) and pour it into the drain. Wait 20 minutes, then rinse it by pouring water into the sink.
  • When tap water smells of rotten eggs, check that the water heater temperature is at the recommended levels (115-125 degrees) and if not, adjust it accordingly.
  • When tap water smells of bleach, it is usually the result of a high concentration of chlorine. Running the water for a minute or two should wash away the smell.
  • When tap water has a metallic smell – running the tap for one minute will eliminate the smell.

2 Home smells

Odors in your home almost always indicate a plumbing problem. A common cause of home odors is your basement drain drying out, allowing sewer or septic gas to escape into your home. Another common cause of odor in the home is a frozen or damaged vent.

The vent maintains and equalizes the pressure in the pipes as wastewater flows through them. If the vent stops working, the toilets and faucets in your home will start gurgling and smelling.

The sump pump can also cause household odors, especially if the ejector sump pump basket cover is not properly sealed.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

  • Regularly fill your floor drain with water to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Also inspect the clean-out access plug in the drain to make sure it is not loose, as sewer gas could escape through.
  • Inspect your vent to make sure it is in good working order. If it’s frozen from the cold, just wait for a hot day and it will thaw. But if you’re in winter and a hot day isn’t coming anytime soon, use a sprinkler to thaw the vent.
  • If you have a septic tank, treat the root cause of septic odor using biological treatment. Bio-Sol’s solutions work great because they are made from bacteria and enzymes and will treat odors at the source.

3 The dishwasher is leaking

As with the washing machine, the dishwasher leak can have several origins. If the unit leaks when stopped, the problem is probably with the solenoid valve. The joints of the water inlet hose or the hose itself can also be involved.

Is the leak taking place while the dishwasher is in operation? The drain hose may be incorrectly positioned or defective. Or else, the pipe is blocked.

The drain pump, hose, hydraulic block, non-return valve, and door are sometimes the source of dishwasher leaks.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

You will first have to locate the origin of the leak. All the parts mentioned above can be changed.

4 leaky piping issues

Leaky pipes are very annoying! This can cause problems in your home as well as in your garden. In addition, it can cause serious material damage – especially if it is not repaired in time.

Visible leaks usually lead to flooding while hidden leaks can lead to deterioration over time. Leaking hoses are usually caused by normal wear and tear or other physical damage that can cause hoses to rupture.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

It’s a good idea to hire a licensed plumber to fix leaky pipes. Most likely the plumber will have to dig to get to the problematic pipe. Replacing faulty pipes is a tricky process, as it could interfere with your neighbors’ water supply.

is one more reason why you should leave this task to a qualified plumber who knows how to fix the plumbing problem with minimal interference with the water supply. If you have not identified the right cause, it is useful to call on a professional from Knoxville Plumbing.

5 Overpressure or low pressure

When you take your shower, only a trickle of water flows? The lack of pressure can be caused by a clogged showerhead, corroded pipes, or in the worst case, a water leak in your plumbing system

Too high water pressure leads to overconsumption, wasted water, and premature wear of your devices. The normal pressure of 3 bars delivers 17 liters of water per minute.

If you notice premature wear on your taps, it may be due to an overpressure problem. The plumber will then measure the pressure in your pipes.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

You can start by removing the limescale deposited on your shower head and the aerators of your faucets. Use anti-lime products or a very effective grandmother’s remedy: bicarbonate + white vinegar. Do not hesitate to change the entire pommel if it is unrecoverable.

If the problem persists, contact a plumber. Only he will be able to determine the cause (corrosion or leakage) and remedy it.

The price of a piping change will depend on the material to be used and the length of the piping to be changed.

During the measurement, the pressure is higher than 4 bar? You will then need to install a pressure reducer. This device is placed on the water inlet, after the meter and the non-return valve.

The water pressure will be reduced, but the flow will remain intact. Depending on the model (fixed or adjustable pressure reducer), the price varies between 70 and 250 $.

6 Frozen piping problem

Frozen pipes usually occur during the winter. Water expands by freezing and this can put unbearable pressure on the water pipes. Sometimes frozen water can even cause pipes to burst.

The pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to the cold, e.g. pool lines, sprinkler lines, and lines outside the house.

Pipes that are in any unheated segment of your home like the basement, garage, and attic can also freeze in the winter.

It is a good idea to remove and drain all the pipes used outside the house just before winter.

Also, open the outside faucets to allow all the water to drain out and keep the outside valve open to allow the ice water to expand without bursting the hoses.

You can also install insulation materials on an exposed pipe to make sure it is frost-free in the winter.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

Use a hairdryer to thaw the frozen water by blowing hot air over the house. Locate where the pipe enters the house and use the hairdryer there. Do not try to use a blowtorch, as this will cause the water in the pipes to boil, which could also break them.

7. Constantly running toilet

Toilets haven’t changed too much over the years – regardless of your model, they work the same way. When the toilet is flushed, the water fills the tank and this is what raises a float which stops the water as soon as it reaches a certain level.

There is a lever that usually opens a valve to allow flushing and it pops back into place whenever the water level drops. This operating mechanism can fail, making the toilet flush too weak or a problem with a constantly functioning toilet.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

Before trying to repair your toilet, make sure the water is turned off at the base of the toilet, then flush the toilet to make sure the toilet tank is empty. This should give you a dry working environment to check the various components as described below.

  • Start by checking the valve seat to make sure there is no corrosion and clean it if necessary. Make sure the guidewire is not misaligned.
  • A faulty flapper or flush valves are the most common reasons a toilet is constantly running. The valve is made of rubber and it can deteriorate over time as it is still underwater. If you gently rub the valve and have streaks on your finger, your valve is worn out and needs to be replaced. Take the worn valve to a hardware store to make sure you get the same one, then replace it.
  • Every toilet tank has an overflow tube and sometimes the leak can occur from there. Usually, this means that the float arm is not screwed properly in place. Screw it on tight and that should fix it. f you have not identified the right cause, it is useful to call on a professional who offers this type of service, such as .

8 Noisy pipes

Firstly if any mounting straps are loose. When the hoses are not held firmly in place, the flowing water can cause them to shake. The second reason for noisy pipes is high water pressure.

When the water pressure is higher than normal, it can cause the pipes to vibrate, making noise. The third reason is described as the “water hammer”.

That’s when a rush of water in a narrow pipe suddenly hits a closed valve. The fourth and final reason that pipes can be noisy is insufficient damping. Water pipes can shake when water passes through them, causing noise.

How to fix this plumbing problem:

  • Check all hoses to make sure they are in place and replace or tighten any loose ones. This should take care of all the clicking noises. If you are dealing with old pipes, anchoring them can be a problem and you may need to seek the help of a plumber.
  • Normal water pressure should be between 30 and 55 psi. The problem of high water pressure plumbing can easily be solved by reducing the pressure entering your home on the water pressure regulator or valve. If you don’t have a regulator installed in your home, you may want to have a plumber install one for you.
  • A functioning inner tube can help prevent a “water hammer”. The inner tube will act as a shock absorber when a jet of water arrives at the end of a pipe. If you are experiencing a “water hammer” in your home, it means that you do not have an inner tube installed and you should consult a plumber to install it for you.
  • Adding insulation around water lines can help reduce clicking noises. Use foam or safe insulating rubber, but do not over wrap the pipes. You must leave space for the expansion and contraction of the pipes.


The longer you delay fixing plumbing problems, the worse it gets. For example, fixing a leak as soon as you notice it will be easier than waiting a few months before fixing it.

However, if you are trying to fix your plumbing and encounter unforeseen problems, speak to a qualified plumber immediately to avoid making the problem worse than it already is.