Plumbing problems can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They can cause significant inconvenience, damage, and even pose health risks if not addressed promptly.

In Ottawa, Ontario, plumbing-related issues have been a significant concern for homeowners. A 2018 survey reported that over 70% of homeowners had experienced at least one plumbing problem in the past year. Furthermore, approximately 35% of these incidents led to significant water damage, costing an average of $3000 in repair and restoration costs. More alarmingly, at least 5% of these instances were associated with health risks, often due to untreated sewage overflow or mold growth from unresolved water leaks. These statistics underscore the importance of addressing plumbing issues promptly to prevent potential damages and health hazards.

This guide will explore some of the most common plumbing issues you might encounter in your home.

Common Plumbing Issues in Ottawa Homes

1. Dripping Faucets

Dripping faucets are not just annoying; they also waste water and can increase your utility bills. The usual culprit is a worn-out washer. A worn-out washer often causes a dripping faucet because it forms a seal in the tap. Over time, this washer may corrode, disintegrate, or simply not sit properly, resulting in small water leaks – those annoying drips. This problem can usually be fixed by replacing the washer. However, it’s important to note that some modern faucets may have ceramic plates instead of traditional washers. In this case, they may require a different type of repair or even faucet replacement. Regardless, if this issue isn’t addressed in a timely manner, the constant dripping can lead to a considerable amount of water waste, leading to an increase in your water bill.


2.Slow or Clogged Drains

This problem is often caused by a blockage that restricts water flow. In kitchen sinks, the blockage usually involves food remnants or congealed fat. Bathroom sinks, on the other hand, are typically blocked by knotted hair and soap.

It’s important to address this issue immediately to prevent further plumbing complications. However, while online tutorials and “do-it-yourself” guides might seem tempting, they can often lead to more harm than good if not executed properly. It’s recommended to seek professional assistance to effectively and safely clear the clog. To find a reliable plumbing service, you can conduct an internet search using keywords such as “plumbing services in Ottawa“, “plumbing services near me”, “drain cleaning”, “clogged drain repair”. This will provide you with a list of potential services in your area, which you can then research and evaluate based on reviews, ratings, and services offered.


3. Clogged Bath or Shower Drain

Similar to slow-draining or clogged sinks, showers and baths often suffer from hair and soap build-up. This accumulation over time can restrict the water flow and lead to a clogged drain. A clear sign of a clogged bath or shower drain is standing water that takes a while to drain out completely.

Clogged bath or shower drains are typically caused by a buildup of several different materials over time. The most common culprit is hair. Hair can easily get caught in the drain and begin to collect other particles that come down, such as bits of soap and dead skin cells, forming a dense mat that water can’t easily pass through.

Another common cause is the accumulation of soap scum. Over time, soap mixed with hard water forms a hard residue known as soap scum. Soap scum can adhere to the walls of the pipes, decreasing their diameter and making it easier for other substances to cling and form a blockage.

In other cases, foreign objects or debris like small toys, tissues, or even mineral build up from hard water can contribute to blockages. It is important to be mindful of what goes down the drain to prevent such issues. Regular maintenance and cleaning can also go a long way in avoiding these problems. Letting it linger can result in worse plumbing issues, such as a complete blockage or even damage to the pipes.


4.Clogged Toilet

Toilets are designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper alone. However, many people tend to misuse their toilets as a general waste bin, which leads to unnecessary clogs and possible damage. Here are five things that people commonly throw in the toilet but absolutely shouldn’t:

  1. Baby Wipes: Despite some being labeled as ‘flushable’, most baby wipes do not disintegrate quickly enough to avoid causing a blockage in your pipes.
  2. Cooking Grease: It might seem liquid when hot, but cooking grease solidifies when it cools, causing significant blockages in your plumbing.
  3. Cotton Balls & Swabs: These items do not break down in water and tend to gather together in your pipes, leading to a blockage.
  4. Medication: Flushing old medicine might seem a secure disposal method, but it can have a severe impact on the water supply and the environment.
  5. Dental Floss: It’s not biodegradable and can wrap around other objects in the pipes, causing clogs.

Disposing of the above items properly can save you from unwanted plumbing issues and protect the environment.


5. Running Toilet

In a study conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, it was found that 20% of all toilets in Canadian homes have leaks, with running toilets being a prevalent issue. This not only has significant implications for water conservation efforts but also translates to unnecessarily high water bills for homeowners.

A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. This issue often occurs when the flapper valve no longer fits correctly, the float is imbalanced, or the fill tube is loosened.

Knowing about these common plumbing issues can help you identify them early and take prompt action. While some minor problems can be handled with DIY solutions, many require professional attention. Always remember that preventive maintenance is key to keeping your home’s plumbing in optimal condition. Regular inspections can help identify potential problems before they escalate, saving you time, money, and stress.