No one wants to wake up to a leak around the basin or jump in the shower to find no hot water. Not only does it mean that your day’s schedule goes out the window, but you’re also sitting trying to work out the host of repair fees that you’ll now be faced with. While there are some common plumbing problems which can be resolved through DIY methods, there are others that will require the assistance of a professional. To ensure that you are prepared to tackle every potential issue, we have put together a full guide to answer the question ‘do I need a plumber?’

Do I Need A Plumber? 9 Signs You Should Call The Professionals

Whether you need to enlist in the help of experts is based on the severity of your plumbing issue and in many cases, attempting to fix the problem independently will cause more damage than good. Having many years of experience providing plumbing in Milton Keynes, we cannot stress enough the importance of remaining up-to-date with how to deal with issues in your water system. Failing to spot signs can result in irreparable damage to the structure and foundations of your property. With this in mind, below, we have put together the most common signs that you need to contact a plumber.

Plumber Fitting Bathroom

1. Slow Draining

One of the most significant telltale signs that there is a problem with your plumbing system is the length that it takes for water to drain. In many cases, it becomes inevitable that drains will become blocked, particularly those in the kitchen, which become trapped with leftover food, oils and grease from cooking. Baths and bathroom sink drains are also culprits for becoming blocked down to fallen hair and often, beauty products.

Although blocked drains are incredibly common, there are a few tricks that you can try in an attempt to clear blockages before contacting a professional. For example, instant drain unblocker can be used to clear slight blockages through the use of gas. As opposed to conventional drain unblockers that use strong chemicals, instant alternatives are filled with a gas which will begin to expand when in contact with water. This then creates strong turbulence that breaks up anything that is clogging the system. For a more traditional method, you could always try using a plunger and a little extra pressure to shift anything that is blocking the drain. Before attempting this technique, we suggest taking a look The Spruce’s helpful guide.

If neither of these DIY techniques are successful or they do work, but you continue to experience regular blockages, then it is most definitely time to contact a plumber. It may mean that the blockages are caused by an internal issue in the plumbing system, such as a broken pipe or a pool of water in the main drain. In this instance, your plumber will spend time assessing the condition of the system before determining the most effective route.

Water Running Down drain

2. Boiler Kettling

As the boiler uses a heat exchanger to produce hot water, it means that, over time, the heat exchanger itself can become vulnerable to limescale, particularly if you live in a hard water area. You can find out whether you live in a hard water area by searching your postcode on the Kinetico website.

When this occurs, it becomes more difficult for the water to flow correctly and means that there will be a higher calcium salt level in the end product. As a result, when the water heats up, these minerals cannot melt into the water, so they sink to the bottom. This constricts the heat exchanger from functioning, eventually overheating, causing the water to boil and steam to be produced. Together, these create a popping or rumbling noise from your boiler, similar to if you were to boil your kettle – hence, the term boiler kettling.

While the above is the most common cause of boiler kettling, it can also be a result of an amateur installation, meaning that, should you notice any unfamiliar noises, you should always enlist a professional. Although it will not cause your boiler to explode, it can cause severe, often irreparable damage.

Modern Boiler

3. Low Water Pressure

When turning on your shower, you should always have a steady stream of water, and you should never be standing for half an hour trying to wash your hair under a trickling shower head. However, if you do notice that your water is no longer flowing forcefully, then it is a key indication that there is a problem in the internal system.

To determine as to whether you need to contact a plumber, it is vital to check all of the water outlets in your property. In some cases, it may just be one faucet with a low water pressure, which is likely to be caused by a clogged aerator. In this case, you are saved from expensive repair fees as the problem shouldn’t take any more than soaking the aerator in vinegar to shift. If this method proves unsuccessful or if you spot that every water source has low pressure, then you are likely to have a more significant problem hidden underneath. This will require the expertise of a plumber to resolve, and in many cases, the cause of low water pressure is damaged pipes underneath your home’s foundations.

Shower Head

4. Coloured Water

No one wants to turn on the taps to see anything but crystal clear water and to anyone, would trigger immediate alarm bells. However, before contacting the experts, consider whether you live in a hard water area. If you do, as mentioned previously, your water will be filled with more minerals which means that it may seem slightly cloudier than usual. To resolve this, we recommend investing in a water softener, which will help to remove any magnesium and calcium from your supply. For more information on the benefits of installing a water softener, take a look at our previous article.

For those who do not live in a hard water area, on the other hand, there should never be any discolouration in your water. If you do notice a hint of colour in your supply, then it is likely that your pipework has started to rust. The severity of the rust can be determined by the colour that you can see in your water. If the pipework had just begun to erode, then the water will look green, but if it is blue, then it is likely that the entire pipework has corroded.

Discoloured Tap Water

5. Burst Pipes

Particularly in the colder months, it isn’t uncommon for pipes to burst. The constant flow of water in the pipes paired with the freezing temperatures will inevitably cause the water to freeze. As the water continues to freeze and melt, it will expand; therefore causing extreme pressure on the pipes. Eventually, due to undergoing constant stress, the pipes will crack and burst.

There are many different signs that you are experiencing a burst pipe, and they are not always as visible as a leak. Unpredictable water pressure, along with a foul odour and strange noises are all common signs of a burst pipe. You can find more information on this topic on Servicemaster Restore.

Should you suspect a burst pipe or can clearly see that there is a problem brewing, then its time to contact a plumber. Finding which pipe has burst isn’t always a straightforward task. However, a plumber will have all of the appropriate equipment to determine whether the issue is hidden behind walls or underneath the foundations of your home.

Burst Pipe

6. No Water

There is nothing more frustrating than going to run a bath or fill up the kettle to spot that you have no water. Unless you have failed to pay your water bills, then it is more than likely that there is a severe problem with your water system which again, will need the knowledge of a professional to resolve. As most of your plumbing system is hidden behind walls, it will mean that diagnostic tools only available with a plumber will need to be used to track down the source of the problem.

A host of different causes can be behind your lack of water, including undetected blockages that have been left to accumulate and a serious leak. If either of these is left to worsen, then it will begin to impact the foundations of your home, causing structural damage which risks the safety of your property.

In other cases, you may have a supply of water but no hot water, which can also be somewhat annoying. Although this isn’t as serious as having no water at all, it does mean that there’s likely to be a growing issue with your system. A plumber will help to troubleshoot this then provide recommendations on what your next steps should be. You may need to replace your water tank with a larger alternative or your pilot light keeps going out, which could be caused by a constant drip.

Hand Under Tap

7. Sweating Water Heater

A sweating water heater is one of the most prominent signs that there is too much condensation building up in your system. If your water heater is stored in a poorly ventilated location, then as the cold water enters, it will hit against the warm water causing condensation. It is common for the early stages of condensation to be mistaken for a leak as when you walk towards the heater, the ground will feel a little damp. However, if left unresolved, it can develop into a leak, which will mean that you’ll have no choice but to replace the water heater altogether. Common danger signs to look out for include rust and corrosion on the heater, along with a pool of water in the drip pan.

Plumber Fixing Water Heater

8. Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet is something that we have all experienced, especially if you are guilty of flushing items that you know you probably shouldn’t. If you have flushed things like face wipes or cotton pads down the toilet, then you’ll be able to spot a visible blockage. Most of the time, this is super easy to resolve with the help of a plunger and a little elbow grease. However, if after a few plunges, there are no signs that the clog is budging, then we suggest stopping and contacting a plumber. Continuing to apply pressure with a plunger can begin to damage the piping, resulting in expensive repair fees. Should you notice that the toilet or any other fixtures begin to overflow on their own and not just after flushing then do not attempt to resolve the issues without professional help.

Using Plunger

9. Installing New Appliances

Not only is it vital to enlist the professionals when faced with an issue, but also if you want to make any changes to your water system. Whether you’re remodelling your kitchen or revamping your bathroom, if you’re going to install any new appliances, you will need to contact a plumber to help with the project. For example, Oliver James Design & Build is a company that specialises in kitchen extensions in Milton Keynes which means that, as part of the project, they will enlist a plumber to fit new pipework before they can continue the construction process.

Even if you are replacing your washing machine, dishwasher or sink, it is always strongly recommended to call a plumber to help with the project. This is because water systems are considerably more complicated than you’d think, which means that altering just one component can impact the water supply for your entire property.

Plumber Fitting Kitchen

Keeping Your Property Safe From Water Damage

If you can relate to any of the above signs that you need to enlist the professionals, then please do not hesitate to contact our plumbers in Milton Keynes. With many years of experience in the industry and extensive training, you can have peace of mind that your property couldn’t be in safer hands!

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