Plumbing Problem Warning Signs Around Your Home

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When homeowners imagine costly plumbing disasters, they often imagine burst pipes and flooded basements, but there are many other potential problems that aren't so easily detected.

There are critical warning signs a homeowner should be on the lookout for when evaluating the plumbing around the house in order to avoid larger problems and extreme repairs.



Pipe discoloration, particularly where pipes connect, is a red flag that there could be a larger issue at play. The color variation may be a result of a leak somewhere (most likely at a joint), a dripping sink or a slow leak near the water supply.

Water that is discolored, murky or has debris floating in it is also a cause for concern. There could be air or rust in the pipes, neither of which are good for your water supply. There could also be issues with your water filtration system that need to be addressed.

If discoloration of pipes or water occurs, it may be time to reach out to a plumber to track down the source of this change in color and to make sure all pipes are in working order.


Drain taps are designed to prevent any sewage odors from lingering within a home, so bad smells are a good warning sign of trouble with your plumbing. If you notice any changes in scent or unpleasant odors coming from drains or faucets, it could indicate some sort of blockage in your draining system. Examples include having a dry P-Trap (designed to keep sewage gases from creeping into your home), bacteria in your water heater or an improperly installed vent pipe.

Check your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room to see if you can identify the source of the smell or at least eliminate drains that aren't the source of the smell.

It's important to act on a new, weird smell as quickly as possible because sewage gases such as methane can cause headaches and other ailments for members of your household.


If you notice low water pressure in one or more locations around your home, there could be problems with the local water supply and municipal sewer system. It is also possible that there could an issue with how the water is being distributed to the multiple sink and shower faucets, toilets, dishwasher etc. around your home. One of the most common causes of low water flow is the buildup of sediment and other deposits disrupting the flow within the pipes themselves.


Much like low water pressure, clogged or slow drains should set off alarms as well. Chemical drain cleaners should be used sparingly (if at all) as they will erode your pipes over time. If frequent clogging or draining issues continue, it's time to call in a professional to assess the larger issues at hand.


Water bills that have shot up abruptly compared to previous months are a big red flag. If you're a long-time homeowner, you can compare this month's water bill to the same month in previous years for a more accurate comparison or to get an average amount for that time of year. If the number is significantly higher and there have been no major changes to the numbers in your household, you may have a leak somewhere that you don't know about.

Running toilets are also the number one cause of increased water bills, so make sure none of the toilets around your home are constantly running and causing your bill to leap.


Be aware of any changes to paint on walls or ceilings, particularly bubbling of paint, warping of any kind or discoloration and stains. This could be an indication of moisture being present from a leak (roof or exterior) or a dripping pipe.


Discrepancies on your lawn such as sunken-in sections or patchy areas are something to take note of also. If your lawn has a random green patch (surrounded by grass that is more dried out and not as vibrant) between the house and the street, which is the direction most sewer lines run, there could be degradation of the lines or an issue in regard to your external plumbing lines.


All of these are possible indicators of larger plumbing problems, but if you remain vigilant and take action right away, expensive property damage can be avoided. Be sure to use your eyes as well as your nose when examining the state of your plumbing and always be on the lookout for any changes to your home and its surroundings, even if they seem minor.

If you're feeling out of your depth, Vito Services is here to help. Our Washington D.C.-area plumbers have experience dealing with all kinds of plumbing issues and repairing everything from tankless water heaters to leaky pipes and toilets.

In the event of an emergency, call our 24/7 emergency line at (866) 211 8536 to receive immediate assistance. For non-emergencies, call us at 301-822-9325 ( 301-315-6100 ) or schedule an appointment online to choose a time that works for you.

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