10 Signs Your Home Has a Hidden Plumbing Problem

10 Signs Your Home Has a Hidden Plumbing Problem

Call a professional to prevent extensive water damage
Read Time: 4 minutes
Jul 11, 2022

Some plumbing problems are accompanied by an obvious leak so it’s immediately clear that you need a professional plumber. Not all plumbing issues are visible, however. There are a lot of pipes within the walls and floors of your home that could have a leak without you being aware of it. Fortunately, there are some signs you can look out for to determine whether or not you have a hidden plumbing problem.

Sign #1

There’s a Bad Odor in Your Home

Your plumbing isn’t supposed to smell bad. If you can smell sewage or rust within your home, even if it’s just near pipes, the toilet, sinks, the bathtub, or any other part of your plumbing system, that’s a sign of a hidden problem. Check the visible pipes and plumbing fixtures for rust. If you can’t find any, call a professional in for an inspection.

Sign #2

There’s Damage to the Walls

water damage on the ceiling and walls of a home

Because much of the plumbing system is hidden away within the walls, one sign that you may have of an active leak is damage to your walls. This could be in the form of discoloration, bubbling, or mold and mildew. All of these are signs of moisture on the other side of the wall and could indicate a leak.

Sign #3

Your Pipes Are Discolored

Discoloration is typically a sign of moisture buildup and is particularly problematic if it occurs at a fitting between two pipes. Even if you think the leak might be small, pipes can be pressurized, which could turn a small problem into a big one very quickly.

Sign #4

The Water Pressure Is Low

a shower head spraying with low water pressure

Low water pressure is a sign of a problem, but how serious it is depends on how many locations are affected. If only one place has low water pressure, then it’s most likely caused by a clog in the faucet’s aerator, which you can typically fix on your own. If the problem is more widespread, then your plumbing system could have bigger problems in the hot water heater, the water main, or even a supply line leak.

Sign #5

Clogs Occur Frequently

If your sinks, bathtub, and shower are draining slowly, that’s a sign of a clog. Some clogs are located close to the drain itself and are easy to resolve. Other clogs are stuck further within the plumbing and will require a long snake to fix. If clogs occur often, then you could have tree roots in your sewer line that are preventing the free flow of water and waste into the sewage system.

Sign #6

Your Water Bills Are Higher Than Normal

If your water bills are higher than usual but you haven’t increased your water usage, that’s a sign of a leak within your plumbing system. Water may be leaking out in large enough quantities to be noticeable on your water bill. This should be investigated right away to prevent expensive water dammage from occurring within your home.

Sign #7

You Find Puddles Within Your House

a small puddle of water on a linoleum floor inside a house

If you find water inside your house but don’t know where it came from, it may be leaking from the ceiling or the walls. Check for water damage around where the puddle was. The puddles could be a result of a leak hidden within the interior part of your plumbing.

Sign #8

The Water Is Discolored

If you notice discoloration or other quality problems with the water, this could mean that the water is contaminated. Contamination can occur from damaged fittings that are supposed to keep water or gas from the sewage system from entering the plumbing system. It could also be due to a leak or rusting on the interior of the pipes. This could be dangerous for the health of your home’s inhabitants.

Sign #9

Your Toilet Wobbles

Most of the time, a wobbly toilet just means that the seat needs to be tightened or that you need to check the bolts holding the toilet to the floor. If you’ve already looked at those, then there could be a leak caused by a failure of the wax seal around the toilet’s drain. This could eat away at the subfloor underneath where the toilet sits. If this problem isn’t addressed, the toilet could potentially fall through, damaging the floor further.

Sign #10

There’s a Greener Patch of Grass

If you can see that there’s a patch of grass on your front or side lawn that’s greener than the surrounding grass, that could indicate a leak. The pipes that connect your home to the city’s sewer line go underneath your lawn and a leak there could both make the grass greener as well as compact the dirt to create a sunken area.

Call a Professional Plumber

If you notice any of the above signs, it’s important to address the problem right away. Water damage can be very expensive to repair. Some hidden plumbing problems are beyond the typical homeowner’s ability to repair themselves. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to call in a professional

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