6 Plumbing problems to watch out for

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Your home’s plumbing can stop functioning for any number of reasons – and many of which I’d never considered until I bought my first house! Here are a few things to watch out for to prevent bigger problems…Sometimes things can go wrong in your home due to ‘human’ error’ or DIY mishaps, but often a problem with the drainage can have nothing to do with your involvement. Some common problems are harder to spot than others, and you’ll have to check regularly to avoid drain clogging etc, so I thought I’d share a list of 6 things to watch out for in order to keep your system running smoothly…


You may not know but the trees growing around your home have to potential to penetrate through almost anything underground, and drainage pipes are no exception. Plant and tree roots will look for water sources, and can actually grow inside the pipes, hence blocking the passage. With the help of a machine called rooter, you can clear the roots away but this might be a task that’s best left to the professionals. If you’re able to make changes to your garden you can prevent this problem occurring in the first place.


Cooking often results in greasy fluids that end up in the kitchen sink and grease doesn’t necessarily wash away with the flowing water. Instead, it has a tendency to stick on the inner walls of the duct pipe making it harder for the debris to pass. This is an easy fix – simply unscrew the duct pipe at the back of the sink (with a bucket beneath it to catch any water) and wash it out. If the plastic has deteriorated, you can easily replace it with a new section of pipe.



If you have leftover food – such as saucy dishes or gravy etc – you should never try draining it down the sink or toilet. Dumping it down the pipe will definitely creating more problems with your plumbing, so pop it in the bin or dispose of it outside instead.


You may not know but old water heaters can also cause issues. Make sure that you replace or repair your aging water heaters so that they always function properly without affecting the drainage pipes. Inspect them periodically to avoid any hassle.


This is perhaps the most common issue that can completely block the flow of water inside the pipe. Blocked drains can even lead to flooding on floors, which is unhygienic, smelly, and toxic for you and your family. It’s therefore a good idea to fix clogged drains as quickly as possible. If you’ve got a kind of sewer smell in basement this can be a sign that there’s something wrong with the drainage system and you may need to get the drains rodded.


The house should have valves installed for shutting off the water supply in emergencies. But if these valves are defective, you should make sure to get them repaired or changed as quickly as possible to avoid water leakage. Changing a valve can be either simple or complicated depending upon its position in the whole drainage system in your house so it might be a job for a pro.

I hope this has given you some ideas for what to watch out for when inspecting your plumbing system. Checking regularly can help to determine issues with drainage early on so that any chances of clogging can be avoided as soon as possible. Let me know if you have any other tips to share about household plumbing by leaving me a comment below.

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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