A List of Major Plumbing Problems


A dripping faucet here or a clogged toilet there are common plumbing problems that many homeowners have to deal with from time to time. These minor holdups are nothing to lose sleep over. But the plumbing in a house has the ability to wreak havoc if a major plumbing problem rears its ugly head. Certain potential issues arise with plumbing that can require professional attention and dramatic disruption in your home life.

Septic Tank Replacement

  • Homeowners who have houses hooked up to a septic tank can be in for a major expense if the septic tank fails. Tank replacements can run anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, as of March 2011, and it is an extremely disruptive process that involves backhoes digging up your property and potentially damaging landscaping in a messy operation. Often septic tanks fail because of the accumulation of solids in the drain field. These solids are often the result of human waste, grease, washing machine lint and the use of excessive water in a short period. Not having the tank pumped regularly can also cause this problem.

Main Drain Line Clog

  • If all of the drains in the home are backing up with wastewater, you know the problem is not merely a plugged drain or toilet. A failing septic tank can cause this problem too, but before you jump to that worse-case scenario conclusion, you should assume the problem is in the main drain line. A clog in this main pipe running to the sewer or septic system will stop all wastewater from leaving the plumbing and will eventually begin to fill back into the tubs, sinks and toilets. This type of problem can typically be fixed by hiring a professional plumber to snake the main drain line through a cleanout opening.

Pipe Replacement

  • If your home is old and the pipes have worn out or have began rusting, you may be faced with total pipe replacement. Depending on how the plumbing was originally installed, this may not be a terribly difficult job, but it is a considerable one that will cost significant amounts of money. Replacing pipes means shutting down the water supply, tearing out all the existing pipes and installing new ones. If the house's pipes are very difficult to get to, the job could require some demolition and rebuilding.

In-wall Leaks

  • If the pipes inside your walls spring a leak, a major repair may need to be performed quickly. The water will have to be immediately shut down until the repair is finished. Often the surrounding materials, including drywall or other architectural materials, may have to be ripped out to gain access to the pipes. In addition to the expense of the plumbing services, new materials will have to be brought to repair the home back to its original form.

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