Home Improvement

5 Silent Signs Your House has a Major Plumbing Problem

Story Highlights
  • #1 - There is a Terrible Smell
  • #2 - Slow Drains
  • #3 - Water in the Backyard
  • #4 - No Water in the Winter
  • #5 - Your Water Bills Have Increased

Plumbing is something that we rarely like to think about. It is hidden from sight, and usually, it works the way it should.

When there is a problem, however, you need to take care of it right away.

Without loud sounds of gurgling, or water rushing and spurting, it isn’t always obvious what the plumbing problem is. 

Here are 5 silent signs to look for. 

#1 – There is a Terrible Smell

(1) If you can smell sewage, or other foul odors coming from your pipes, it could be a sign that you have a major clog in the drain line.

Dumping grease down the drain, and years of buildup of hair, food particles, and other objects can create a clog, and when it starts to rot it makes a not-so-nice smell.

(2) If it smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, this is a sign that sewer gas is seeping in through the pipes. It is usually a sign of a problem with a trap, or a crack in the vent line.

Sewer gas can be harmful to your health if you breathe it in for an extended length of time.

(3) Another cause of the smell could be that a rodent has become trapped in your pipes and needs to be removed.

In any case, if you smell something foul coming from your pipes, you need to have the problem taken care of right away by a professional plumber.

#2 – Slow Drains

(1) If you notice one sink draining slowly, it could be a sign there is a clog close to the drain.

If you start to notice that all your drains are running slow, or not at all, it can be a sign of a clog in the main drain line that needs snaking or clearing.

(2) If you notice more than one drain in your house is draining slowly, it could also be a sign of a clog in the sewer line or a problem with tree roots.

Tree roots can grow into underground pipes over time. To take care of the problem you need to have your pipes thoroughly cleaned, and checked.

#3 – Water in the Backyard

If you notice an especially green patch on your lawn, or have a puddle or sunken spot in your yard and rain wasn’t in the forecast, it could be a sign of a major plumbing problem.

These puddles are usually a sign that the sewer pipe has partially, or completely collapsed, and will need to be replaced as soon as possible. 

#4 – No Water in the Winter

If you try to turn on the water tap in winter, and nothing comes out, it could be a sign that your water pipes have frozen. This often happens to pipes that run along uninsulated exterior walls, or through cold attic spaces.

The dangerous part is when the pipes thaw, as the ice acts like a plug for the pipe when it is frozen. As the ice melts, be prepared for leaks and cracks in the pipes that will need to be repaired right away. 

#5 – Your Water Bills Have Increased

If you notice that your water bills have increased significantly and you haven’t recently added a swimming pool or giant water feature, it could be an indication that there is a leak in your system.

Often, it can be as simple as a running toilet, which can waste hundreds of dollars in water, if not dealt with quickly.

The best way to prevent a major plumbing problem is to know the signs and take care of the problem as soon as possible. Knowing these five signs will help you head off major problems before they start. 


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