Plumbing issues are something that we all inevitably face at one point or another in our lives, but many of us don’t have the first idea of what to do; it’s not something we think about until it actually happens. Most plumbing problems can be taken care of without any assistance if you learn a few simple tricks and techniques. In fact, in many cases prevention is the best form of defence, and as long as you are mindful of what goes down your drains and through your plumbing, you can avoid most issues before they even arise.

Clogged drains and damaged pipes account for most plumber callouts to residential properties, but these issues can be avoided. When they start to crop up, they can often be solved as long as they are dealt with quickly. Allowing problems to develop and get worse can lead to damage to your plumbing that you could have easily avoided. Once things reach that point, fixing the damage will be costly.

Below are four of the most common household plumbing problems and what you can do about them. If in doubt, you should always consult with a professional plumber to avoid causing accidental damage to the infrastructure in your home.

Burst Pipes

The one advantage of a burst pipe is that it is easy to spot. For this problem, you will need the services of a plumber. It is a good idea to have the contact details of plumbers and similar services in your location should you ever need one in an emergency. For example; If you live in Bristol, then it will help you to know where the nearest plumbers in Bristol are. Check reviews online to ensure you choose a reputable firm, such as who have a handful of testimonials on their site to help you make an informed decision.   

If you have a burst pipe, then the first thing you need to do, before even calling the plumber, is to try and stop the flow of water. You will have an emergency shut off valve somewhere in your home, which can stop the flow of water instantly. You should then run your cold taps for a short time in order to drain any water that remains trapped in the pipes. Once you have the situation under control, call in a plumber.

Frozen Pipes

In the cold winter months, pipes can freeze. When water freezes it expands, while metal contracts. Together, these effects can combine to cause a rupture in the pipe. If a pipe has frozen, flow will be reduced or stopped completely. If you notice that flow is impaired and conditions are right for a frozen pipe you can take steps to remedy the problem before it gets worse. Hot water bottles are an effective way of warming a pipe up and melting the frozen water within. If you attempt to thaw your pipes, you should always do so as gently as possible. Never use a naked flame or intense heat as the rapid change in temperature can cause metal to crack.

To prevent frozen pipes from occurring, you should try to keep them insulated during the winter months. Hot water bottles are effective at this and, if you have enough space, you can add further insulations such as blankets around the side in order to keep them warm for longer. Hot water bottles don’t need replacing often and the cost of heating water to put in them is minimal, especially compared to the cost of dealing with a broken pipe.

Leaky Plumbing Fixtures

Leaking pipes and faucets aren’t just annoying, they are constantly wasting water and over the course of a year this can add up to a significant amount. Not only this, but where the water falls it splashes and, if it keeps landing on metal or wood outside the sink, it can encourage rust or mould to grow.

Usually the problem is caused by soap scum, hair, and other debris clogging the fixture and preventing mechanisms from opening and closing fully. If you are unsure how to clean your pipes, you should consult with a professional plumber to ensure that you don’t inadvertently damage your pipes.


Blockages are caused by soap scum and other debris that washes down sinks and plugs congealing together and obstructing water flow. If you notice sinks or drains draining slower than usual, this can often indicate that a blockage is forming. If you notice impaired drainage, you should take a plunger to it and try to dislodge whatever is inside. If a pipe becomes fully blocked, drainage will stop completely and this can cause overflows. In the case of sinks and plugs, this can cause extensive water damage, and if a toilet ends up blocked it can form a health hazard.

Anything that you can’t deal with using a plunger, you should refer to a professional plumber unless you are already comfortable with dismantling pipes.

Learning how to solve common household plumbing problems will save you considerable time and money as well as stress. Plumbing issues are inevitable if you live in a property long enough, so it is worth knowing how to respond to them properly.


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