Backed-up sinks. Discolored water. Leaks. These issues may sound scary, but the truth is they’re typical problems in many homes. In fact, many of them can be repaired with just a few painless steps.
With the correct tools and information, you can save yourself time—and money—by dealing with these issues yourself. Plus, learning more about how to resolve common problems will help you tell when the issue is more complicated and best solved by a professional.
So, don't let a clogged drain or a leaky faucet get you down—with the right know-how, it's easy to successfully repair straightforward plumbing problems all by yourself. We’ll take a look at a few frequent plumbing issues and how you can resolve them.
1. Why Won't My Sink Stop Gurgling?
If you’re concerned by a gurgling sound emanating from your sink, it may be a sign of air or water trapped in the pipes. This can take place if there is a blockage in the pipes, or if a plumbing vent has become blocked or disconnected.
Fortunately, this problem is simple to correct:
- First, try using a plunger to clear any blockages that may be generating the gurgling noise.
- If a plunger does not work, you can try using a drain snake to clean out particles from the pipe. Finally, if your plumbing vent is blocked or disconnected, make sure to reconnect it and check for any other objects in the way.
If you’re still having problems, it may be best to call an experienced plumber in Moline. They can help diagnose the root of the issue and provide you with skilled repair service.
2. Why Is My Sink Not Draining?
If a sink is not draining, in most cases that’s due to something blocking the drainpipe. However, it could also be an indicator of a more severe issue with your plumbing system.
Common reasons why the water in your sink won’t drain:
- Blocked or clogged pipes: Over time, hair, food scraps, grease, animal fats and other materials can accumulate in the pipes, causing a blockage that prevents the water from draining.
- Broken seals: If the sink’s rubber seals are cracked or damaged, they may not be making an effective seal around the drain to keep out air and allow the water to drain.
- Crud in the trap: The curved pipe at the bottom of the sink, called a P-trap, can become blocked with debris or develop leaks which stop it from draining properly.
- Blocked vent pipe: A clog in a vent pipe, which allows gas to exit your plumbing system, might keep your sink from draining. Vents can be blocked by debris where they come out of your house.
To clear a pipe, try using a plunger to move the clog through the line. If that doesn’t work, think about using a plumbing snake to retrieve and pull out hair or other debris and allow the water to run through. Other methods are to try baking soda and vinegar or a drain-cleaning product to disintegrate the clog.
Depending on your plumbing setup, you may have the ability to look for a blockage in the P-trap, which is a bend in the pipe below your sink. This is done by disassembling the pipe and clearing the line. To do this, first turn the faucet off and put a bucket under the bend. Then, take the pipe apart and retrieve any debris. Once it’s clean, put the pipe back together and rinse out with hot water.
If trying to clear the line and P-trap doesn’t work, look at where your drain vent comes out of your house to make sure it isn’t blocked by debris such as leaves, dirt or even a nest by an overly ambitious bird or another critter. If this also doesn’t work, you may have to contact a knowledgeable professional for plumbing repair in Moline to make sure there isn’t a significant problem with your plumbing.
3. Why Is the Water from My Sink So Cloudy?
Quite often, cloudy or white-looking water is a result of air bubbles in the water. This is normally benign and can often clear up on its own. It may be the result of a water company doing work on the lines, or a close-by construction project.
One way to determine if cloudy water is caused by air bubbles is to fill a glass of water and then leave it on the countertop. Chances are the air bubbles will go away and the water will eventually go back to being clear. If the water is still cloudy after 24 hours, you may have another issue and will want to consult a professional for assistance.
The discolored water also could be the result of high levels of minerals in the water in the plumbing system. Excessive minerals collect until they alter the water’s appearance and taste, in which case a water softener may help resolve the issue. It can stop hard-water buildup from harming your pipes and creating the distasteful cloudy water.
If cloudy water is a persistent problem, consider washing out the aerator, which is a screen at the end of your faucet. Use a water and vinegar mixture to eliminate any debris or blockages. If that doesn’t work either, you probably will want to seek advice from a certified plumber and let them diagnose the problem and find a solution.
4. Why Won't My Sink Stop Leaking?
The reason for a leak or water drip directly below a sink is frequently because a plumbing fixture has worn out or malfunctioned. At times, it’s caused by a clog obstructing the line.
Here are some of the more commonly seen causes of sink leaks and how you can resolve them:
- Loose Connections: One of the most likely causes of a leak underneath the sink is a result of loose connections between pipes, fixtures and hoses. If any component has not been correctly tightened, or if it was not sealed adequately in its fitting, water can quickly escape from these weak spots.
- Worn-Out Washers: Over time, the washer in a sink fixture can become worn out and fail to create an adequate seal. If you observe water seeping from the sides of the handle or base of the faucet, it’s possible that a new washer is required.
- Corroded Pipes: The pipes underneath a sink can wear out over time, leading to damage and cracks. Corrosion is especially common when working with older or discounted materials, so it's important to check for any signs of degradation in order to avoid a major leak.
- Blocked Drains: A clogged drain can force water to back up and start dripping from the seal. It's crucial to check for any evidence of blockage and to clear away any debris that may be inhibiting water flow.
5. Why Is My Sink Water Brown?
The most commonly encountered factor that leads to brown tap water is rust. Rust in most cases comes from elevated levels of iron in the water, which might be the result of corroded pipes or worn-out fixtures. Rust may also appear when sediment builds up. Buildup may form if the filtration system is faltering or there are significant levels of minerals like manganese.
In some instances, the water can be discolored from silt or clay particles that have been stirred up from service on the water line or your plumbing. If you get your water from a municipal utility company, get in touch with them to notify them about the discoloration. They will hopefully be able to tell you if there has been any recent work on the water lines.
An expert plumber in Moline can help you establish if the discoloration is from a rusting pipe that needs to be replaced, or if a filtration system may improve the unsightly problem.
6. Why Did My Sink's Drainage Slow Down?
The most widespread cause for a sink to drain slow is a partial clog in the pipes. Hair and soap scum are likely culprits for a clogged bathroom sink, while food residue and grease—along with soap scum—often are at fault for kitchen sink clogs.
Three ways you can fix a clogged sink include:
- Plunger: One option to help you remove a partial clog is using a plunger. If you don't see any standing water in the sink, turn on the faucet to put in enough water to cover the drain. Then, use the plunger to try to dislodge the clog.
- Plumbing snake/weasel: If a plunger doesn’t fix the problem, you may try using a plumbing snake—a long, thin chunk of plastic—to put down your pipe to attach to the clog so you can extract it manually. Sometimes, these are known as plumbing weasels.
- Chemical Clog Remover: Several chemical clog removers are available to break down blockages in sink pipes. Be sure to follow all directions, and that the remover won’t damage your home’s pipes or the basin in your sink.