XP Plumber hard at work

About Us Latest News

Five common plumbing problems, and how to avoid them

Five common plumbing problems, and how to avoid them

Plumbing problems - just like plumbers - come in all shapes and sizes!

This week we’re talking about five of the most common plumbing problems our customers encounter at home, and sharing tips on how to resolve them - or better yet, prevent them from happening in the first place!

Blocked toilet

A blocked toilet is probably one of the least pleasant plumbing problems you can have at home. The best way of avoiding a serious blockage is by being careful about what you put down there!

Seems obvious, but it’s surprising how carless people can be about what goes down the loo. Don’t dispose of sanitary products, paper towels, nappies, or wet wipes by trying to flush them down your toilet. In our experience, this is a very common cause of a blocked toilet, and among the most challenging to unblock!

Likewise, be mindful that those toilet freshener widgets, while pleasant, can cause all sorts of trouble if dislodged into the bowl and then accidentally flushed.

And even if you manage to flush these kinds of items without causing a blockage in your plumbing, they have a really serious cumulative effect on the wider sewerage system. We’ve all seen the recent news reports about London’s ‘fatberg’, right…?

There’s more info in our article on avoiding clogs and blockages at home.

Dripping or leaky taps

One of the most common plumbing issues in the home, that leaky tap may not be the worst thing that could go wrong, but can certainly be annoying - not least in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep!

It’s also very wasteful. According to research, a tap in your home leaking at a pretty leisurely ten drips per minute (one every 6 seconds), will be sending three litres of wasted water down your drains every day, and well over 1000 litres a year!

And if you’re on a water meter, that equates to hundreds of pounds a year literally going straight down your drain.

For more information, read our article on dripping and leaky taps. It might make you decide to get that dripping tap sorted after all!

Low water pressure

You get home and turn on your kitchen tap or shower to discover nothing but a sorry dribble, or worse, no water at all. Nightmare!

Lots of things can create low water pressure in your home. Some relate to your home’s internal plumbing itself, some to outside factors like a problem from the mains supply.

If a sudden case of low water pressure is getting you down, you might find our four simple tests useful.

They’ll help you establish where the cause of your low water pressure is likely to be coming from, and who you need to call to get it sorted.

Slow draining or blocked drains and plugholes

As with blocked loos, when it comes to healthy drainage for your kitchen sink, bathroom shower and other plugholes, prevention is the best medicine. Avoid the hassle of clogged, blocked, or slow-draining plugholes by being mindful of what you put down them.

In particular, avoid pouring cooking fats, oils and other food grease down your kitchen sink if possible. Although runny while hot, they cool quickly, turning solid and congealing somewhere in your drains, causing a blockage.

Or go one better by fitting strainers to your sink and shower plugholes. They’ll help catch a lot of the soap, hair, food debris and other gunk that would otherwise accumulate in your drains and cause blockages.

For more, read our article on avoiding clogs and blockages at home.

Discoloured water from your taps

Turned on the tap and got a nasty surprise? Not the pleasant, crystal-clear flow you’re used to, but something altogether less inviting?

Another very common plumbing issue, discoloured water can arrive in many different varieties. Cloudy or ‘milky’ water, orange or brown water, or blue/green water, are the most common, and have very different causes.

Most of the time, if your water is coming out of your tap discoloured, it’s only a temporary issue and will resolve itself quickly. Running the tap until the discoloured or cloudy water clears is often enough.

If it doesn’t clear, you may need to call your water company, or a plumber like XP Plumbing and Heating, to help fix the problem.

To help identify the cause of your discoloured water, check out our article exploring the causes of, and fixes for, discoloured water at home.

Got a problem with your plumbing? Or worried about any other aspect of your home electrics, gas or heating?

Our fleet of qualified engineers and vehicles provides our customers with a 24/7 response. And from our base in Sidcup, we have great coverage across the local area - including Eltham, Bexleyheath, Bromley, Chislehurst and Greenwich, as well as most of London and north Kent.

Get in touch to find out how XP Plumbing and Heating can help you today.

Contact us.