Plumbing issues come in a variety of ways. Some are simpler than others, but there are two characteristics that make them easier to deal with – they’re often connected and they have clear symptoms.

Because of the way pipes work, you can often pinpoint where a problem lies without much effort and deal with it right away. Likewise, a symptom showing in one place might indicate a bigger issue you can take care of before it gets worse. The downside is that it also varies in complexity: for example, a lot of problems can be solved with a plunger, which in most cases you can attempt yourself. But if it doesn’t work and you don’t call a professional, you might have to break a wall to fix a pipe later.

So to prevent that from happening, what are clear signs you should call a plumber to investigate your home? I’m sure some of these will sound pretty obvious, but we often wait for these things to solve themselves, and unfortunately when it comes to plumbing, they don’t.

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Low water pressure

low water pressure
Low water pressure is a sign to call a plumber.

Having low water pressure is one of the most common signs of plumbing issues. Luckily it often boils down to a simple solution – in most cases it’s only excess air in the pipes due to recent maintenance (like changing a faucet or shower).

Simply removing the excess air fixes the issue and a plumber can easily pinpoint the fastest way to do it.

Water takes a moment to show up

This could be connected to low water pressure as well, but it could be an entirely different problem like a clogged pipe, which is a bit more complicated. If you notice water is taking longer than usual to show up, try opening other faucets to see if the same thing happens in other areas – it will help you find the root of the problem.

Slow drainage

slow drainage
Usually down to a clogged pipe.

Slow drainage is often just a clogging issue, but it should always be investigated as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your pipes. After all, this is the kind of problem that never solves itself, it only gets worse with time. Keep in mind, slow drainage can be related to your septic tank.

Rattling pipes

This might happen due to a problem with water pressure or debris rattling inside the pipes. If it’s the latter, you'll want to deal with it as soon as possible, because debris will most likely lead to a clogged pipe somewhere down the line, which can be much harder to fix.

As for water pressure, it can go one of two ways: low water pressure will cause water flow to be noticeably lower, while higher than normal pressure can even burst a pipe.

Foul smell in the drain

foul smell in the drain
A foul smell could be a sign of septic tank issues.

A kitchen drain needs to be cleansed every now and then anyway, but depending on how often you notice this happening, it could be a sign that it’s not draining as well as it should or that you should be more careful with what residues fall in there.

A bathroom drain that smells bad, however, could indicate a problem with your septic tank.

Gurgling toilet or drain

This is a situation where you should call a plumber as soon as it happens for the first time, because it will only get worse. Once again, we could be talking about a clogged pipe, but it could also be a problem with your septic tank.

Dripping faucet

A dripping faucet is already a definitive sign something is wrong, but even worse, if not taken care of right away, it will impact your water bill dramatically by the end of the month.

Overflowing toilet

overflowing toilet
A overflowing toilet is common, but often easy to solve.

Few things are as unpleasant a an overflowing toilet. Having said that though, as far as plumbing issues go, this is definitely not one of the worst. Most overflowing toilets are just clogged and are usually easy to solve.

Toilet clogging

A clogged toilet might overflow as mentioned above, but it also might do the opposite and refuse to fill with water after flushing. In most cases a plunger does the trick, but be careful – too much pressure and you can burst a pipe.

Mold growth on cabinets or walls

mold growth on cabinets or walls
Mold growth is a sign something is very wrong.

If the moment comes where you notice mold, it means something has already been wrong for a while. The problem itself might not be major – could be just a leaky pipe – but should be taken care of immediately to prevent further damage to your walls and to prevent the mold from spreading. Regardless, you might have to break up a wall to fix it, so the less of an area is affected, the better.

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