Home Plumbing Problems and Repairs

If you’re like many busy homeowners on a budget, your plumbing always gets fixed as soon as it becomes an emergency. How many seemingly minor plumbing repairs are needed around your home at this very moment? Call PlatoPlumbing now–before your inconvenient little plumbing problem turns into an expensive, life-disrupting emergency. Take a mental tour of your home right now. Do you have any of these plumbing disasters in the making? Here are some of the most delayed and ignored common plumbing repairs and problems.

Common plumbing repairs that are wasting money and harming your property right now could include:

A checklist of other common plumbing topics in the home such as running toilets, dripping faucets, garbage disposal, and a maintenance plan.

Garbage Disposals

Signs your garbage disposal is broken or jammed:

  • Motor hums but disposal doesn’t grind
  • Disposal’s grinding is much noisier than usual
  • Disposal runs but stops before you’ve turned it off
  • You notice leaks below the disposal
  • You have standing water in the sink

How to maintain garbage disposal to prevent clogs or breakdowns:

  • DO NOT dispose of potato peels, eggshells or coffee grounds in garbage disposal. These foods turn into sticky sludge, creating a pipe clog.
  • DO maintain and freshen your disposal by grinding pieces of lemon peel and ice cubes.
  • DO treat your disposal monthly with vinegar and baking soda to remove buildup and bacteria. Pour in ½ cup each and let the mixture sit in the disposal’s hopper chamber with the unit turned off. Once foaming subsides, rinse disposal and drain with running water.

Hydronic Heating

Hydronic heating uses flexible plastic tubing to circulate hot water or other liquid beneath your home’s flooring. The tubes are integrated into the concrete slab under your house or between the floor joists. In this system, heat radiates uniformly under the floor, heating the surface and/or supplying baseboard heaters or radiators to heat the rooms of the house.

Liquid for your radiant system is heated in an energy efficient boiler and flows into a plumbing manifold connected to a thermostat. Liquid heated to the proper temperature is pumped and circulated into a closed loop system and directed to the heating zones of your home. As liquid cools, it is reheated in the boiler and recirculated.

Major benefits of hydronic heating:

  • Energy efficient for long-term cost savings on monthly utility bills.
  • Added comfort of walking across a pre-warmed floor.
  • Consistent level of heating throughout the home.
  • Zone control included in hydronic systems enables the flexibility to heat specific rooms to desired temperatures.
  • The boiler also fills the home’s hot water needs.
  • Installation costs may be cheaper than other heating systems, eliminating the need for multiple heat sources, exhausts, electrical hookups and fuel supplies.
  • Eliminates the need for a bulky duct system, which can accumulate dust and mold.
  • However, you might need ducts for a central A/C system, unless you use a ductless mini-split cooling system.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Clean heating with less distribution of airborne contaminants and dust than forced air.
  • Can combine different heat emitters like floor, radiator and baseboard in the same home.

Possible issues you might experience with hydronic heating:

  • Pump or boiler: Malfunctions possible if not properly maintained.
  • Boil-over: This can occur if the system runs low on water or controls fail.
  • Pipe leaks: Leaks can be avoided with proper professional maintenance.
  • Pipe freeze: If you lose power, freeze-up is a possibility. Depending upon climate considerations, anti-freeze may be used as a preventive measure.
  • Neglect of maintenance: Regular inspection and maintenance are crucial for a healthy hydronic system, including boiler, pumps and controls, to maintain performance and avoid breakdowns.

Well and Sump Pumps

Sump pumps re-route water away from your home to protect your basement and crawl space, sending the water to someplace where it won’t cause damage. Your main sump pump is often hardwired into your residential electrical system or plugged into a wall outlet. Ideally, sump pumps are equipped with a battery backup to make sure the pump works when it is most needed, like during a severe rain storm when the power goes out, to keep pumping water away from your house. The battery backup also kicks in to work alongside the main sump pump. For example, if the main pump’s sump pit overflows or can’t keep up with the water flow, the batter helps the pump work.

Types of Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are available in pedestal or submersible models. A pedestal sump pump is mounted above the sump pit, providing convenient access for service and periodic testing. A submersible sump pump sits in a sump pit (or well) and is basically out of sight. The well and sump pump and sump pit together serve as the collection basin and water eliminator. The plastic well is installed inside the sump pit, which is dug into the basement floor at the lowest point. The sump pit typically extends to a depth of about two feet or more and acts as a catch basin for the excess water prior to pumping.

Sump Pumps in Action

  • During a rainstorm, ground water from around your home’s foundation is guided into a bordering drain system. The water flow is directed into perforated pipes and diverted into the sump pit, well and sump pumps.
  • The sump pump(s) is/are triggered by a float switch when the water reaches a pre-set level. The sump pump then removes the water by pumping it to a nearby storm drain, dry well or other outdoor area.
  • Most sump pumps are equipped with battery powered water level alarms to warn you of potential flooding if the pump is malfunctioning or overwhelmed.
  • Test your sump pump regularly to make sure it’s ready for the next downpour. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit and make sure it removes the water and shuts off. The sump pump should be cleaned and inspected annually.

Diagram illustrating a sump pump battery


Your home’s combustion appliances include furnaces, fireplaces, stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters, boilers and more. These appliances can produce harmful PICs (Products of Incomplete Combustion) like carbon monoxide. To protect your home against explosions or fire and to protect the occupants from CO poisoning, adequate ventilation is a necessity. Exhaust fans are additional examples of necessary venting that should be used in the shower area, cooking area and garage. Exhaust fans help clear the air of moisture and fumes, keeping down the humidity level in your home to increase your comfort. Fans also improve indoor air quality, dissipate odors and help prevent mold growth.

Modern Ventilation Standards

Natural air convection venting is common but flawed. Natural venting uses a standard Type B vent to draw air from inside the house for combustion. Gases created during combustion naturally rise up through the flue because they are hot. Air exits through the vertical vent pipe expelling the combustion air through the roof. The danger: back-drafting. With natural vent pipes, indoor air can easily pull toxic combustion gases back indoors.

Direct venting is safer. It uses two pipes of different sizes, one within the other. The outer pipe draws in air for combustion. The smaller, inner pipe vents exhaust fumes to the outdoors. Pipes can be set horizontally to vent through a sidewall or vertical piping can be installed to allow venting through the roof. A chimney is not needed for either horizontal or vertical configurations. Direct vents also decrease environmental pollution and help preserve healthy indoor air quality.

Signs your ventilation system might be experiencing a problem:

  • Odors: Cooking or moldy bathroom odors may linger due to inadequate exhaust fan ventilation.
  • Mold growth: Visible mold and mildew signal excess moisture in the home. Humidity: Moist indoor air may mean your home is not properly ventilated.
  • Headaches, fatigue or allergy symptoms: Can indicate poor indoor air quality.
  • High energy bills: Improperly vented appliances can’t operate efficiently, wasting energy. Poor attic ventilation makes your home harder to keep cool in summer.

Let PlatoPlumbing Plumbing Worry About It

Call on your local PlatoPlumbing professional to eliminate these worrisome, nagging plumbing problems. We’re easy on your budget and we respect your schedule. We’ll set up an appointment to do our work based on your availability. Our plumbing experts arrive on time and fix it right the first time. Our plumbers are skilled, courteous and friendly—and they clean up after themselves. PlatoPlumbing believes that plumbing repairs shouldn’t interrupt your life! Give us a call and let PlatoPlumbing give you peace of mind, knowing that your plumbing problem will soon be history.

Avoid Future Plumbing Emergencies with our Advantage Plan®

Ask your PlatoPlumbing technician about our Advantage Plan. This plan can help you avoid the emergency and inconvenience that comes with neglected plumbing. We’ll inspect your plumbing without charge and help to catch any impending problems. As a preferred customer, you’ll get special Advantage Plan pricing, well below our normal plumbing repair charges. You’ll also get priority scheduling and save even more with special sales during the year.

With all this talk of emergencies, we know they can’t always be avoided. We want to assure you that Mr. Rooter is your go-to plumber in any emergency. We’re ready to speed to your property anytime, 24-7. We never charge for overtime, even on weekends and holidays. So call us with your plumbing fix-it (and inspect it) list. PlatoPlumbing will be right over for all those common plumbing repairs. Call us now!