You wield your wrench like a household superhero, taking great satisfaction in your ability to handle plumbing problems with ease. But there comes a time when even the best DIYers in Sacramento need to swallow their pride, put down the wrench, and call in the professionals.
Your Drains Won’t Drain
The Drano didn’t work. So you plunged it, snaked it—you even busted out your special brew of baking soda and vinegar. But still, that stubborn sink, bathtub or shower refuses to drain. So what’s the bottleneck? Soap or grease buildup is a common culprit, or it could be a foreign item lodged somewhere in the pipes. A professional plumber is best suited to clear your pipes of all three. They will also be able to determine if you have one of the following larger issues:
- Invasive roots. Tree and plant roots are attracted to water, nutrients, and oxygen flowing through you pipes, and if the pipes aren’t watertight they can make their way inside.
- Offset pipes. Over time, the ground your house was built on settles and shifts. Old concrete and clay pipes move with it, and if they are forced upwards, gravity won’t take the water down as intended.
Your Faucets Keep Dripping
It’s the drip that drives you nuts—and it’s also costing you money (a slow faucet drip can add up to about $20 per year on your water bill while a faster-dripping faucet can run you upwards of $200).
Consider yourself lucky if your leak is caused by nothing more than a torn or corroded washer. This is a simple fix, but it won’t work for all faucets. You may have attempted further DIY fixes to your compression, ball, or cartridge faucets, and if that still hasn’t fixed the leak, it’s time to bring in a professional plumber.
One more reason to be sure you get that leak properly fixed by a licensed plumber: it’s extremely wasteful. While the Sacramento drought may be over, the city still encourages you to cut back on water usage.
To see how your leak could be contributing to California’s water crisis, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has created an eye-opening Water Science Drip Calculator that can show you how many liters or gallons you’re wasting each day or every year.
Your Toilet Won’t Flush
A common bathroom plumbing problem that can be a really big problem if you only have one toilet in the home is the bowl that just won’t budge. After attempting a thorough plunge, most DIYers will check these common causes:
- The flapper. A bent, warped, or cracked flush valve, or flapper, can stop it from sealing the water intake hole. Replacement is easy and inexpensive.
- The chain. A disconnected or broken chain can’t lift the flapper which causes the toilet to flush. Reattach, readjust, or replace the chain.
- The tube. A loose or cracked overflow tube allows water inside, preventing the tank from filling properly and flushing.
If you’ve tried all these fast fixes without success, what next? “It’s probably time to call in a pro,” says Bob Villa. “There are plenty of small issues a plumber can solve without much fuss or financial strain.”
Your Pipes Keep Leaking
You’ve wrapped that leaky pipe with flex tape; you’ve applied a repair clamp, joint fillers and fitting compounds; still, the leak persists. That’s when you know it’s time to call an expert to stop that leak once and for all.
While the solution—most likely involving replacing a length of pipe or its fittings—may seem like the perfect DIY project, it can be a messy one. Mess aside, you want to be sure it’s done properly. Leaks can cause dampness and moisture, creating a breeding ground for mold. The longer that mold grows, the more damage it can cause. According to the California Department of Public Health, mold can cause allergic reactions, respiratory and fungal infections, and even trigger asthma attacks. This is especially dangerous for infants, children, seniors, and those with weakened immune systems.
Sometimes the toughest jobs and the biggest plumbing problems are best left to the professionals. Botched bathroom jobs and DIY kitchen catastrophes can wind up costing you more in the long-run, so if you think you may be getting in over your head, think about letting the experts at Express Sewer & Drain go to work for you.