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4 Plumbing Warning Signs Homeowners Should Be Aware Of!

Even though the plumbing system is a huge aspect of home comfort, many homeowners avoid maintenance and don’t consider what’s going on with their utilities until something breaks down…and plumbing breakdowns can be rough! From overflowing toilets and flooded basements, to freezing water and thousands of dollars wasted on small leaks. Plumbing problems just plain suck! Fortunately, there are some plumbing warning signs that you can watch out for that might alert you to potential issues. In addition to being aware of visual signs or strange noises that can become problems down the line, you can also have a professional plumber maintain your plumbing system annually so you’ll be protected from disastrous breakdowns that leave you feeling stressed and scrambling to get a plumber in your home right away. Check out the 4 common warning signs of plumbing problems below!

1. Popcorn Sounds Coming From Your Water Heater

The sound of popcorn in your microwave is a welcome one when you’re in need of a salty snack, but what if you hear that same sound coming from your water heater tank? This particular noise is an early indication that your water heater has an excess of mineral deposits and sediment built up at the bottom of the tank. The heating element is located at the bottom of the tank, right where the sediment and mineral deposits settle and mix with the water. As the water heats to boiling, the bubbles escape from the layer of sediment, resulting in a popping noise. The solution is most often a water heater flush to rid the tank of corrosion and buildup.

2. Visible Corrosion On Fittings And Valves

If you notice corrosion and rust on your home’s pipe fittings and valves, there could be a number of factors that cause it. From low water pH levels which leave your pipes exposed to corrosion and leaks, to high oxygen levels that degrade the metal, to high-velocity water in your pipes. No matter which culprit you find is causing the issue, it must be remedied immediately. Corrosion is a sign that something is going wrong and corroded fittings and valves on your pipes can lead to leaks and flood damage. Even small drips can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year, depending on how many there are. 

3. Note The Age Or Your Plumbing Equipment 

One of the most common causes of breakdowns and system failure is the age of your equipment. Many homeowners move in without knowing when their major plumbing systems like water heaters and sump pumps were installed. Depending on the brand, type, and how well-maintained each system is, if it’s over a certain age, it could be headed for a host of repairs or even replacement. A properly maintained water heater can last anywhere between 6 and 13 years and on average, the home’s sump pump lasts about 10. Be aware of how old your equipment is and stay ahead of the curve by having professional maintenance annually. 

4. Listen For Loud Motors

There are two plumbing system motors that often break down in the home: the garbage disposal, and the sump pump. While they are completely different systems, used in different areas of the home for totally unique purposes, both are very important. Hearing a loud motor sound in your kitchen’s garbage disposal can often mean that something is wrong with the blades or there’s a jammed grinding chamber. There could also be issues with the grinding plate, ring, or motor assembly. For the sump pump a motor sound isn’t good! Best case scenario you can lubricate the motor, worst case, it needs to be replaced. 

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