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Troubleshooting common plumbing issues in the house

Before calling in a professional to take care of the plumbing issues in your home, you can probably attempt to troubleshoot them yourself, especially if you can fix the issue with ease. Here are some steps that would enable you to locate and troubleshoot some of the most common plumbing problems that arise in every household from time to time.


Locating the Problem

The first thing you would need to do is determine if there is actually a plumbing issue causing a leak somewhere. You can do this in many ways, including listening for dripping sounds. You may not notice it at first, but if you listen hard enough, you would be able to hear water dripping somewhere in the home. Try to catch this sound early in the morning or late at night when the house is quiet. This would easily lead you to the leak.

Check Plumbing Fixtures

Check the baseboard or wall to which the plumbing fixtures are attached. If they appear corroded, or have cracks, chances are they may be dripping water. Leaking fixtures also have loose fittings, and would contain mold, mildew and darkened surfaces. On the other hand, a warm pipe sweating due to the passage of cold water through it can also be mistaken for a leak. So examine the fixtures carefully.

Check Cabinets

You should also check the cabinets and vanities under the kitchen and bathroom sinks respectively for leakages. Using a flashlight, check for water droplets on the exposed pipes or a puddle of water on the ground beneath the pipes. If possible, run your fingers along the pipes to check for wetness.

Check for Running Water in Commodes

If the flush valve of the toilet commode is stuck, it can cause the tank to keep on draining even after the toilet has been flushed. Leaks in the water closet can also cause the tank to drain very slowly, thereby making it difficult for you to find the leak. Check the commode to see visible signs of water flowing continuously down the toilet. If you see mold and mildew in these areas, chances are the tank is leaking.


Check for Clogs in Drains

How do you know if your drain is clogged up? Simple, check for a few evident signs like water backing up the drain or another sink, which has a common pipe, water draining slowly, wet areas near pipes in adjacent rooms or walls and bubbling sounds when the water drains.

Your next step would be to isolate the problem to either a single fixture and pipe or a group of fixtures connected by the same pipe. In any case, once you have located the problem, you can perform this simple step.

Cover the drain with the stopper and fill the blocked sink/tub with very hot water. Now remove the stopper. The water would drain into the pipe and remove any blockages in it. You can also attempt to use a chemical cleaning product designated for drains.


You can detect and troubleshoot common plumbing problems in your home in different ways. Attempt to fix the problem only if you feel you can do so. If you feel it is too complicated, feel safer to call a professional to handle the issue.


Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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