Bathrooms should be havens of peace and tranquility where you can relax and get away from the stresses of the day. Unfortunately, bathrooms are susceptible to a host of problems, ranging from minor and irritating to serious and costly to fix. In many cases, bathroom-related problems are due to a lack of maintenance or poor design.
Don’t let these common issues affect your enjoyment of a tranquil space. Below, you will learn about the five most common bathroom problems homeowners experience, their causes, and how to fix them. The sooner you address these issues, the better, as even smaller problems can escalate into the unthinkable.
Silent Leaks That Cause Water Damage
Burst pipes don’t always announce themselves with flooding. In many instances, pipes can crack and cause continuous leakage, leading to severe water damage that can affect your home’s structural integrity. Not only that, but silent leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water per year, leading to massive water bills.
Pipes can start leaking for any number of reasons. The most common reason is age, as the older the pipe, the more likely it is to suffer from corrosion. Older pipes are brittle and can crack at the slightest hint of pressure.
In other instances, high water pressure or clogs can exceed the tolerance level of pipes, causing them to burst. Even a minor clog can put increased pressure on your pipes, leading to increased wear and possible leaks.
Silent leaks are often difficult to detect. One of the first hints that you have a silent leak is a higher water bill, especially if you haven’t dramatically changed your usage. You can also spot mold growth on walls, floors, and ceilings, predominantly in the bathroom and around the rest of the house.
Finding a silent leak often requires the expertise of a plumber. They can find the leak and offer you several ways to address it. In some cases, you may need to replace part of the pipe, while in others it may be better to replace all of your aging plumbing.
An alternative method that’s significantly less invasive is trenchless pipe replacement. This method allows the plumber to replace pipes without having to dig into your walls and flooring. This technique is significantly quicker, which makes it more affordable as well.
Slowly draining water is usually the first indicator of a clogged drain. Even if you’re serious about what you flush down the toilet and avoid letting hair into the shower drain, clogs are a natural consequence of bathroom use.
However, it’s always better to address a clogged drain before it becomes a serious problem. Small clogs are relatively easy to remove. If you ignore them, they’ll catch any other debris in your wastewater, leading to a larger and more serious clog. Eventually, the clog will become almost solid and will prevent any water from draining. At this point, you risk massive damage to your pipes and also run the risk of a drain overflow.
Clogs are due to any number of unwanted items finding their way into your plumbing. Some of the most common culprits include hair, excess toilet paper, wet wipes, and grease from the kitchen.
Most clogs start very small and are generally washed away during the normal course of bathroom use. However, sometimes these clogs can catch on something, like an uneven pipe, and start interfering with your wastewater flow.
Small clogs act like traps that catch any other debris in your plumbing. Soon, they grow and solidify due to the increased pressure. What started as an easily solvable problem has become something serious that will affect your pipes and overall plumbing quality.
Some people try addressing drain clogs on their own by using harsh chemical drain cleaners that often don’t work very well. Traditional drain cleaners are very corrosive, can damage your pipes, and may still fail to show good results. Most clogs are dense, and the chemical treatment can’t penetrate to break them up completely.
If you have constant drain issues, you need a reliable solution that doesn’t rely on having the plumber around every couple of weeks.
The DrainShroom is a drain snake that penetrates deeply into your plumbing to remove any nasty clogs before they cause further issues. All you need to do is attach it to your power drill and watch as it removes any clog-causing hairballs within a 3-foot radius of the drain opening.
Because hair is the most common reason for drain issues, it’s vital to catch it before it becomes a problem. The Shroom range of products, including TubShroom, SinkShroom, and ShowerShroom, is designed to catch any unwanted waste before it enters your drain. By preventing waste from entering your drains in the first place, you’ll experience fewer clogs and have significantly fewer issues with your plumbing. Best of all, Shroom products fit into almost every sink, shower, or drain, making them perfect for all households.
Low Water Pressure or Poor Water Supply
Weak pressure is the bane of everyone who loves a good, long shower. If your showerhead is delivering a light spring rain when you want Niagara Falls on your head, you may have an issue with your water pressure.
Low pressure doesn’t just affect you when you shower. It also results in increased water usage as you wait for droplets to come out of the faucet and showerhead, and may even affect the life of your washing machine and fixtures.
There are several different causes of low pressure, and half the challenge of fixing the problem is identifying the issue.
Water pressure is usually due to an issue with limescale buildup on your faucet and showerhead. Your faucet has an aerator that decreases water usage without affecting pressure. As limescale builds up, it can block the airflow of the aerator, resulting in a slower dribble of water out of your showerheads and faucets.
Another likely culprit is a clogged pipe. Small clogs will cause a buildup of pressure behind the blockage and lower the water pressure in front of it.
If you’ve recently had a plumber come in to do some work, your valve opening may not be correctly set. A valve opening that is too open or closed can lead to differences in pressure and may even cause further bathroom issues like leaking or burst pipes and high water bills.
In some cases, low pressure isn’t due to any issues with your plumbing but is instead a problem with the supplier or your city. Some cities have issued regulations lowering overall citywide pressure that water suppliers need to enforce. Sometimes suppliers run into issues themselves with intermittent water supply.
Your first step should be to call your supplier and get information on any problems with your water supply. If there are no external factors, you’ll need to do some investigating to find the root cause of the problem.
If you’ve also been having issues with slow-draining water, you may have a clog. Use a drain snake like the DrainShroom to break up any clogs and see whether it fixes your problem.
If you can see limescale buildup on your showerhead or faucet, use a descaling solution or replace your faucets and showerheads. Limescale buildup is a constant concern for households with hard water, and it may be worth your while to get a plumber to install a soft water system in your home.
Constantly Running Toilet
A constantly running toilet can be incredibly irritating, as well as expensive. Toilets are surprisingly complex pieces of machinery, and when one part of the flush mechanism fails, it can be tricky to identify and resolve the issue. But, before you call a plumber, you may find that fixing your toilet is easier than you’d expect.
All you need is a bit of willingness, some DIY information, and a handful of tools from your local hardware store.
There are three main reasons why toilets keep running after you’ve flushed:
- Wrong float height
- A leaking flapper
- The refill tube is too long
In many cases, you can get toilet replacement parts from your local hardware store and fix the issue yourself. You’ll also need some tools like a multi-bit screwdriver and cutting pliers. In the event of a more complex cause, you may need to call the experts to do the repairs for you.
Lower the Float
If you have too much water in the toilet tank, it can leak into the toilet bowl via the overflow tube. Luckily, you can adjust the water level in the tank by adjusting the float height. If your toilet has a lift arm, just adjust the screw until the float arm lowers to your desired level. If you have a column float, loosen the clip and push the float down to your desired level.
Replace the Flapper
Another common issue is an old flapper that doesn’t seal correctly and allows water to run from the tank to the toilet bowl. Replacing the flapper and chain is relatively simple once you have the replacement part.
To make your job easier, first, drain the water from the tank by shutting off the supply and flushing the toilet. Then, remove the old flapper by detaching the chain and removing the pins on the side of the overflow tube. Some flappers may have a nut that you’ll need to unscrew before taking it out. Reverse the process to attach the new one in place.
Make sure to check whether the flapper chain is short enough. If it’s too long, it will keep interfering with the flapper seal, resulting in a running toilet.
Shorten the Refill Tube
If the refill tube is too long, it may keep continuously pumping water into the bowl. The refill valve creates suction, so if it’s too long, it will keep pulling water from the tank instead of the overflow.
All you need to do is remove the refill tube from the overflow, measure it, and cut off the excess. You can also clip the tube to the side of the overflow to ensure that it remains in place.
If none of these solutions fix your problem, you may want the opinion of an expert. DIY and home tools will only take you so far, and you’ll need a plumber’s recommendation.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows on organic matter. It needs warmth and humidity to thrive and tends to love bathrooms and kitchens as its ideal habitats. It’s one of the most common bathroom problems that people keep encountering due to mold’s pervasive nature.
There are hundreds of species of mold that can grow in your bathroom. Some are just ugly, while others may cause serious health concerns, such as asthma, allergies, and even toxic mold poisoning.
Mold loves humidity and warm spaces, both of which the bathroom provides in plenty. Good ventilation can help slow down the growth and spread of mold, but spores are everywhere and will typically latch on to bathroom fixtures, faucets, and grout. While mold likes organic surfaces like wood, many species have evolved to grow on cement, grout, and other bathroom staples.
Mold is also a common sign of leaks, especially in well-ventilated areas.
Your first step to avoiding mold is to install some form of ventilation in your bathroom. Doing so will decrease the humidity in the space and discourage mold from growing.
If you start seeing black spots in your shower, sink, or toilet, use a specific mold remover to get rid of the problem. Most commercial mold removers will have fungicides that stop the reoccurrence of mold.
In some instances, mold can be incredibly stubborn. It may be worthwhile to consider hiring a person experienced in mold removal who can make tailored recommendations regarding what to change to prevent mold growth.
Stop Avoiding Common Bathroom Problems
Most bathroom issues are small enough that people tend to ignore them at first. However, none of these problems will resolve themselves without human intervention. Drains won’t magically unclog themselves, your faucet won’t stop dripping, and the wax ring in the toilet won’t suddenly start working.
Ignoring these small issues is a sure way to make them bigger. Slow-draining drains will start to overflow, water damage will affect your home’s structural integrity, and you’ll waste a lot of water waiting for the faucet to stop leaking.
Basic preventative maintenance can help keep most of these issues from occurring in the first place. If you have an older bathroom, a simple change to modern fixtures can save you a lot of hassle in the future.
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