A father and son cleaning the bathroom sink.

Sooner or later, everyone runs into plumbing issues. Regular checkups and constant maintenance can do a lot to alleviate problems and prolong the life of your home’s pipework. However, breakdowns will happen over time, and when they do, you should call a professional to repair them. This article will cover the five most common plumbing problems people try to fix, but they shouldn’t. People indeed learn from mistakes, but perhaps you could learn from someone else’s errors this time.

1. Clogged drains

Clogged drains may seem like a trivial issue that you can handle yourself. Most people make this mistake thinking they are up to the task and head to their local store. They end up pouring store-bought chemicals down the drain, hoping for the best. However, acids and soda-based chemicals can not only damage the tiles or the sink around your drain, but they can also cause wear and corrosion on the protective lining of the pipes.

Most importantly, applying chemicals yourself can lead to serious injury if you don’t handle them with care. You could spill some on your skin or inhale the toxic fumes. Even other alternatives, such as utilizing a plumbing snake yourself, can damage your pipes. Although plumbers use some of these techniques, they are trained in a whole range of drain cleaning methods, including airburst and hydro jetting. They also have the right tools for the job.

2. Low water pressure

Water pressure issues are often symptoms of more serious complications. Multiple things could affect your water pressure. Fiddling around without knowing what you are doing is just asking for trouble. This is one of the more common plumbing problems people try to fix, but they shouldn’t because they can cause a whole slew of problems. It could even turn out that the problem doesn’t stem from your home but is an issue with municipal water. Therefore, you shouldn’t try to fix or replace something yourself; just go ahead and call a plumber to find the root cause.

It will take a skilled plumber to find and diagnose the cause of the low water pressure. Usually, the guilty party is a cracked pipe, eroded water line, or a hidden leak. All of these causes are beyond the ability of a layman to accurately spot and repair.

Pipes often rust from leaks, so there could be more underlying issues.

3. Replacing pipes

Replacing even a few rusty pipes can quickly turn out to be a complex task and be more than you bargained for. You’ll need to shut down water to your home, and if done improperly, it can leave you without water for a prolonged time. Worst of all, you could cause a leak or burst, which can cause your entire home to be in a state of disarray. It’s best to store your possessions away before starting up a project like that. And it is all the more important if you have a collection of fragile items you don’t want to lose in the battle with your plumbing. So, pack these delicate pieces correctly and ensure safe transportation for breakables and get them to storage. Sometimes the entire plumbing system of a house needs to be replaced. Call a plumbing service and get their estimate on how long the project will take. Unfortunately, if you have pipes that need replacing, it’s often more than just one pipe that is faulty.

4. Broken toilet

Broken toilets are probably the number one plumbing problem people try to fix, but they shouldn’t. The mere thought of having to wait before they can use their toilet is enough to encourage people to look up various DIY solutions online. However, without the proper knowledge of how toilets are designed, you could easily make a mistake and improperly install a new one. 

Toilets use a siphon and rely on a water seal.

To ensure functional flushing, you will need a good connection to the pipework of your home. Water flow needs to be strong enough to get the job done, yet it needs to create a seal, isolating the toilet from the rest of the pipe network. A botched installation can cause water damage to your entire bathroom, and worst of all, you might not initially notice the problems. Keep in mind that if your toilet is frequently clogging, it might be preventable if you take the proper precautions. 

5. Frozen pipes

We’ve seen too many situations of people thinking they can defrost their frozen pipes with enough heat. Sadly, it’s not so easy, and we’ve replaced pipes whose owners damaged them with blowtorches or other improvised tools. The intense heat will cause your pipes to leak or break, and there have even been instances of frozen pipes bursting when they are heated too quickly. Honestly, if you want to do something about your frozen pipes, the best course of action you can take is preventing the pipes from freezing in the first place. Pipe thawing is a complex process that requires specialized gear.

Don’t try to thaw your frozen pipes by yourself.

The best time for plumbing work

Any seasoned professional will tell you that it’s best if you do a complete plumbing overhaul before you move in. The house will be empty, meaning that the work will be done faster and without any distractions or obstacles. Contractors may even give you a better rate if you aren’t on the property while they are performing the work. Additionally, it will be easier for you as well. You can then focus on the move, get several moving estimates, and plan all the costs with ease. When you move in, the works will be over, and the house cleaned up and looking fresh. What’s best is that you won’t have to worry about any plumbing problems for a long time. Everything was done by professionals well before you moved in, and you can rest with ease and enjoy your new home.

In summary

Be very careful before attempting any improvised DIY solutions you looked up online. Having a professional plumber on call will be the fastest and most reliable way to take care of any issues with the pipes and drains in your home. Be mindful of these five common plumbing problems people try to fix, but they shouldn’t, and avoid making those mistakes yourself. It’s usually cheaper and more efficient to leave the work to the professionals.

Meta description: Think twice before you do any DIY plumbing. Here are five common plumbing problems people try to fix, but they shouldn’t since that can only lead to trouble.

Guest Contributor: Sophia Perry


Like everything else in your life, you need to maintain your plumbing drains. It’s recommended that you are constantly checking drains for clogs, back ups, broken pipes, anything that could lead to a back up in your pipes. We recommend if you have plumbing work done such as rodding your clean out, have it rodded yearly around the same time each year to prevent back ups from occurring. It’s always best to prevent a back-up than having a back-up and it turns into an emergency.

Although we suggest calling us back out again to take care of your potential stressful situation, there are a few different ways you can maintain your plumbing at home by yourself.

1. Watch What You Flush

Realistically, nothing is supposed to go down your toilet drain other than toilet paper and your own waste. You should never flush things down your drain that aren’t meant to be put down there. Over time, flushing things down your drain is going to cause build up and eventually lead to a clogged sewer line which is a stressful situation. Things like feminine hygiene products, Q-tips, plastic, wrappers, “flushable” wipes, baby wipes, food/grease, can all cause a back up and eventually they will cause one, whether it’s sooner or later, it’s not going to be good. Avoid having to call a plumber to rod your toilet by refraining from dumping things in the toilet and instead putting a trash can in the bathroom for all garbage you might have.

2. You Can Check With Food Coloring

If you’re worried your toilet is leaking, you can try to test it out with food coloring. Take red or blue food coloring and put it in the tank of the toilet. If it leaks into the bowl after about an hour, you know you have a leak. If after an hour it didn’t leak into the toilet you’re all set. The food color leaking suggests you replace the tank ball to prevent it from leaking. Changing out this tank ball can also save you money by lowering your water bill. A leaking toilet is definitely going to rack up your water bill, and you don’t always hear it running.

3. Clean Your Shower heads

All plumbing fixtures can be clogged with mineral deposits, your shower head included. These mineral deposits can cause your shower head to be so clogged it doesn’t work, or it won’t be as effective as it should be. To clean your shower heads, you should unscrew them and soak them in vinegar for 24 hours. Make sure the whole shower head is soaked in the vinegar to get the deposit off. Once the time is up you should be good to go to screw it back on, however, if the mineral buildup is too thick or the shower head isn’t in the best condition and it’s effectiveness isn’t as good as it used to be, you should consider getting a new shower head.

4. Mesh Covers

There are so many different types of covers out there to purchase that can protect your drains from getting clogged. You can find these almost anywhere in stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Menard’s, even online on Amazon. These mesh drain covers protect your drains from hair and soap, the number one thing that leaks to a clogged drain. Using these mesh drain covers allows the things that are too big to get stuck in the mesh which then after every use you can throw away and save your pipes from a blockage and needed to be snaked.

5. Make it a Habit to Inspect Your Plumbing

Like it was mentioned before, your pipes need maintenance. Although they’re not high maintenance usually, you should always be on the look out for any potential problems and address and fix the problem correctly before it escalates. Repairing plumbing before it turns into an emergency is going to cost you less money in the long run and you’ll be glad you fixed it sooner rather than later. If you notice any type of rust or corroded pipes, you should immediately call a plumber to discuss what options you have.

Don’t forget, we’re always here for you! Give us a call if you need any plumbing work done. 708-845-7922.