5 Indicators of Hidden Plumbing Issues in Your Home
Hidden plumbing issues are a hassle that can cause inconvenient messes and throbbing headaches. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that the combined leaks from households across the nation can result in the waste of almost 10,000 gallons of water each year.
In a world where the liquid is a scarce resource, this is less than ideal, especially when you factor in that that loss can hit your finances hard. While there are obvious signs that should put you on alert that something is wrong with your plumbing — a giant puddle of water flowing out from your sink, for instance — some leaks are more difficult to detect and can remain hidden, exacerbating a small problem until it becomes a major one.
1. A Drastic Hike in Your Water Bill
If you are not using additional water and have not recently taken in guests also partaking of your home’s liquid resources and notice your water bill climbing, you may have a problem. While slight fluctuations in the amount are not unreasonable, a constant rise or sudden spike without any explanation probably means that water is leaking somewhere in your home.
2. Strange Noises
Pipes generally don’t produce much noise outside the normal rushing water sounds. If you hear rattling or gurgling, though, there might be an issue such as a bad clog, poorly secured pipe, or broken sewer line. Screeching might mean your pressure is set too high. Screeching may indicate a need to replace parts.
3. A Random Outbreak of Clogged Toilet Incidents
The occasional stopped-up toilet is an annoying fact of life. A rash of them in a short period may be a sign of something more serious. It might mean you have a full, backed-up septic system or sewer rather than just a toilet problem. If other connected objects in your home, such as sinks, start developing inexplicable clogs, the likelihood of this being the case rises.
4. Stains on the Walls or Ceilings
A leaking pipe where you can’t see it can cause water stains. It can also cause paint to flake or peel off of walls and ceilings.
5. A Nasty, Inexplicable Odor
If you detect a less-than-pleasant scent coming from your drains, it may also indicate a break or blockage in the sewer line. It may also signify that there are bacteria or out-of-sight mold or mildew inhabiting your home. If you find that the new smell originates from mold, this does not mean you have identified the actual root of the problem. While mold loves dark, wet spaces and may naturally grow around damp areas, its presence on walls, cabinets, and other locations may also signal that something like a leaky pipe is producing moisture that is providing the perfect environment for its propagation.
Other potential indicators of hidden plumbing issues include gurgling toilets, low water pressure, and slow drainage. It is important to keep an eye out for possible problems since the longer they go on, the more complications they can cause (water damage, excessive utility bills, etc.).