Plumbing problems can be difficult to detect without professional equipment and experience. Most of the system is hidden from view, and the problems that typically afflict it are subtle to begin with. This is part of the reason why we recommend scheduling preventive maintenance at least once a year. However, you should familiarize yourself with the warning signs that your plumbing system is having some kind of issue. On the off chance that a problem does occur between maintenance appointments, you can detect it quickly and have it repaired. Be aware of the symptoms below, and what they mean.
Loss of Water Pressure
Dropping water pressure is never a good sign. It could mean a number of different things, depending on how severe the loss is and how quickly it drops. Typically, a loss of water pressure means that you have either a leak or a blockage somewhere in the system. Slow loss of pressure over time means a growing leak or blockage, like with lime scale. Sudden loss of pressure might mean that you have a pipe rupture, which would qualify as an emergency. Regardless, call a plumber as soon as you realize that you have a noticeable drop in water pressure.
Unusually High Water Bills
You should keep a close eye on your water bills from month to month, just in-case they start to rise unexpectedly. Water bills that seem to be rising beyond what is normal for the amount of water you use could mean that you have a leak somewhere in the system. If your monthly bills say you’re using substantially more water that you are, it’s a good idea to have your plumbing system checked.
Running Water Meter
One easy way to see if your plumbing system is leaking is to turn off all the plumbing appliances in your home, and then check your water meter. If the meter is still running, it means that water is probably still leaving your system somewhere. That means you have a leak. Call a plumber if you notice this happening.
Signs of Water Damage
Even if you’re hyper-vigilant about these kinds of things, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that a lot of plumbing issues only become noticeable once they’ve gotten far enough along to start inflicting damage. Pinhole leaks and the like are often found only after they’ve rotted out the surrounding area with water damage. If you notice any signs of water damage on your walls or ceiling, it’s a good idea to call a professional to check on it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the problem is likely to get.
As is always the case with these kinds of issues, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should call a professional as soon as you have reason to suspect that something is wrong with your plumbing system. The faster they can get to the issue and repair it, the better off the plumbing will be.