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Common Plumbing Problems (UPDATED)

Common plumbing problems weigh on every homeowner’s mind. When should you deal with plumbing yourself? Is it time to call a plumber? The professionals at Douglas Cooling & Heating, located in Birmingham, Alabama, are here to help. Tell the difference between at-home fixes and common plumbing problems requiring a professional with our help.

Common Plumbing Problems Which Require a Professional

Professional help with plumbing is needed more often than you think. A number of different plumbing problems must be fixed with the expertise of a plumber. These are a few issues to seek help from a plumber to fix.

Clogged drains

Everyone gets a clog now and again. Homeowners often tackle the issue themselves first, but these efforts do not always restore proper drainage. If all your at-home methods—plungers or drain snakes—don’t fix the clog, call a professional. Additionally, if you experience clogs on a regular basis, the problem most likely stems from a complete clog far down in your drain. At-home methods can’t fix these clogs.

A plumber uses professional methods to safely remove blockages and restore proper drainage in your home. A drain auger or drain snake may be used to bust up tough clogs and remove them. Hydro jetting is a process that uses high-pressure water sent through your drainpipes to not only break up blockages, but to clear the interior of your pipes from debris buildup.

Sewer line clogs

The sewer line that allows waste to flow out of your home to the municipal sewer or your septic tank can experience problems. Clogs in the sewer line are more severe in terms of common plumbing problems. Unlike a clog in a drain line, they cause problems all over the home, not just in one room or fixture. The signs of a sewer line clog include backup from your drains, gurgling noises from drains, water backup in showers or bathtubs when toilets are flushed, and bubbling from toilet water or faucets.

Sewer line clogs can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • Flushing improper items
  • Tree root penetrations
  • Debris entering the line through a busted pipe

This is one of those major plumbing problems you need professional help to fix. A plumber uses camera inspection equipment to look into your home’s sewer line and find the source of the issue and determine the appropriate fix. A drain snake, auger, and/or hydro jetting may be used to break through tree roots to clear the line before a repair is made. This inspection also determines if your pipes have broken due to age and allowed outside materials to settle in the line and stop drainage – in this case, your sewer line needs to be replaced.

Leaky pipes

Similar to clogged drains, leaky pipes are temporarily fixed with at-home remedies; however, these fixes need a professional to be correctly treated. Your leaky pipe seems like an easy fix, but it points to larger issues. The cause may be old pipes and connections that have started to wear out, or an issue such as improper water pressure is potentially damaging your pipes.

Use leak tape before your plumber visits to keep leakage contained. Then, call a professional. They fix the underlying problem instead of the surface-level issue. Water damage causes expensive damage that you want to avoid – the average water damage insurance claim results in losses over $10,000!

Low water pressure

Though it’s one of the most general plumbing problems, many believe this issue doesn’t need attention. Too often, homeowners pass it off as a comfort issue and skip further investigation. Your comfort matters, and these issues need to be looked into by a professional not only to improve your satisfaction with your plumbing system, but to address the cause to avoid future issues.

Most of the time, low water pressure stems from build-up of minerals on faucets and shower heads. In homes supplied by wells, pressure tank malfunctions often result in low water pressure. Pressure problems tend to be apparent in the shower, where we notice them the most, but they potentially affect your entire home.

If a quick clean of faucets doesn’t remedy your water pressure, get in touch with a plumber. A deeper issue, like a pipe leak or breach, could be the culprit. In that case, call a plumber to assess the problem.


Even for DIY masters, plumbing installation requires professional help. Attempt to install plumbing on your own and face potential hazards later on. Improper plumbing installation puts your home at serious risk of leaks, which not only raise your water bill – they lead to expensive water damage.

Professionals are trained to install plumbing systems and fixtures, so call them when you want a new set of pipes, sink, or tub. Leave the job to a professional and ensure it is done right to protect your home and the integrity of your new fixtures.

Septic tank leaks

Finally, septic tank leaks need professional assistance. No one wants to tread through septic tanks, especially if you don’t know how to fix the problem. You need a professional for any septic tank problems you have. A backup of sewage into drains indoors, slow draining, the odor of rotten eggs, and lush spots on your lawn over your septic tanks are signs you need help.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

The best strategy to avoid emergency plumbing repairs employs regular visits from a professional. Here are some benefits to regular plumbing maintenance.

  • Always clean- First, your faucets and pipes benefit from regular cleaning. You clean your pipes externally, but plumbers go deeper. All parts, inside and out, must be cleaned for the best performance.
  • Proactive not reactive- Maintenance allows your plumber to come across small problems before they become big ones. Common plumbing problems are solved quickly, but large issues take time—and rack up expenses. Get professional help to alleviate the need for emergency calls to your plumber. Even a small  water leak can create big, expensive problems so it’s best to get those check-ups!
  • Ensured safety- Last, plumbers check potentially dangerous problems during annual checks. For example, water heaters need to be checked for problems because any damage leads to gas leaks, fires and possibly explosions.

While these are extreme examples, they are possible and should be taken seriously. Regular maintenance ensures your water heater runs smoothly.

Call Douglas Cooling & Heating to Solve Your General Plumbing Problems

At the end of the day, professional help from plumbers guarantees your water flows as it should. While at-home fixes temporarily fix your difficult plumbing problems, they do not treat underlying issues.

This is why you must call an expert. Luckily, Douglas Cooling & Heating is here to help the residents of Birmingham, Alabama. For professional, reliable service, call us today and schedule a maintenance visit.

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