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Common Signs you have Serious Plumbing Problems in your Home

Plumbing problems in your bathroom, kitchen or toilet are not always obvious, but they could cost you a lot of money in long-term damage to your home if not spotted on time. For example, that little drip below a sink could lead to a mold or rot problem.

Look for these general signs that you might have a plumbing problem.

  • Faucets make a screeching sound when turned on. This happens when there is air in the pipes, which could possibly indicate that the air “bleed-off” system is not working correctly.
  • The water heater should be inspected for any signs of rust or corrosion on the tank or the pipes.
  • When the faucets are turned on, they leak water. This generally indicates that the O-rings or washers need to be replaced. If the faucets drip when not turned on, they may have a mineral build-up or need to be replaced altogether.
  • A drain that is slow is generally a sign of a blockage in the pipe. You might be able to remedy this by using a commercially available drain cleaning solution to dissolve the blockage, or you can try using a plumber’s “snake” tool to break up and dislodge the blockage.
  • Poke your head under the sinks . Look for wet spots either along the pipes or underneath them.
  • If your drains gurgle, this is a sign that there is a blockage in the pipe that is trapping air. Once the blockage is removed, the gurgling should stop.


  • If a sink has not been used for a while, you may notice the drain smells bad. The P-trap (the portion of the pipes under the sink that prevents smells from coming back up the drain) may have dried up. Simply run the sink for a minute to refill the P-trap with water and see if that eliminates the smell.


  • If the toilet frequently backs up and you need to plunge it, this may be a sign that the septic tank needs to be emptied or that tree roots have grown into the pipes and are causing a blockage.

Then call a professional plumber if you think you need some help fixing them.


About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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