As a homeowner, it’s important to keep an eye out for possible leaks and other plumbing issues. If you are attentive, you’ll notice early warning signs and have time to correct problems without much damage or inconvenience. There are other times when plumbing fails rapidly and without warning. In these situations, you’ll have to call for emergency plumbing repair. In order to stay on top of potential issues, here are five home plumbing problems you should not ignore.

1. Low Water Pressure Can Indicate Plumbing Problems

If your faucet suddenly has low water pressure, this could mean a burst or leaking pipe. A DIY way to check for a leak is to find the main water shut off in your yard, driveway, or street. Write down where the needle is. Then shut the water off to your house for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, note if the needle has moved.

If the needle moved and you were not using any water, you have a leak and it’s time to call a professional. If the reading was the same, the low pressure is caused by other issues. Perhaps a water filter is clogged or you might need to clean or replace your showerhead.

2. A Larger Than Usual Utility Bill

Home plumbing problems are sometimes easy to spot. If you get hit with a larger than average water bill, it is likely due to a leak. Check and see if any outside faucets are running and perform the leak test described above. It is best to call for service sooner rather than later to avoid another large bill next month.

3. Strange Odors

A funny smell wafting from a drain could be a cleaning issue or a sign of more significant home plumbing problems. One drain that often produces bad odors is the one beneath the garbage disposal. Try chopping up a few lemon peels, running them through the disposal, and seeing if that kills the odor. If the smell is coming from another drain, it could be debris trapped in the pipes or a sewer line problem.

4. Slow Drains

A common home plumbing problem is slow or clogged drains. Often, there is hair, food, and other particles blocking the pipe. You might be able to dislodge the clog yourself with boiling water or a drain snake. A snake is a heavy wire that is forced into the plumbing and pushes through or grabs clogs. A plumber can come out, snake the drain, and let you know if there is a more significant problem.

5. Darkening or Stained Walls are Signs of Plumbing Problems

If a bathroom or kitchen wall starts to show dark circles, these may be signs of mold. Mold needs moisture to grow, so there could be a slow leak hidden within the wall. Rippled drywall is another sign of water damage and should be investigated. Stains on the ceiling may be an indication of a failing roof or a plumbing matter. Check the attic to see if you can detect what is causing the stains and contact a professional to make repairs.

Master Home Inspections offers home inspection services in Southwest Virginia. If you have had plumbing issues and water damage, contact us to test your home for mold. Click here to schedule an appointment.