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Plumbing Problems 101: The 10 Most Common Issues and How to Fix Them


The 10 Most Common Issues and How to Fix Them

Water is essential to life. We drink it, cook with it, clean with it, bathe in it, and use it for all manners of things; it’s so ingrained in our daily lives, we hardly even notice we’re using it. But what happens when you can’t? Suddenly, your faucets are dripping, your sinks are clogged, and your showers are cold. Your daily life is disrupted, and you’re looking for a solution. That’s where we come in. Large-scale plumbing problems can cause significant damage to your property –and even pose health risks– which is what we at Black Lake Plumbing are here to help with. However, some common problems are small enough that they can be easy for you to fix right in your own home. In this article, we’ve put together a list of the most common plumbing issues and how to fix them. Let’s dive in. 

Dripping Faucets

A dripping faucet is more than just a nuisance. It can lead to significant water waste, impacting both your water bill and the environment. Over a year, a single dripping faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water. That’s enough to fill a small swimming pool!

The Solution

Fixing a dripping faucet can be as simple as replacing the O-rings. These small, rubber parts can wear out over time, causing your faucet to drip. However, if the problem persists, it could be due to a corroded valve seat, worn-out seals, or even an improper installation of your faucet or pipes. In such cases, it’s best to call a professional.

Running Toilets

A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, making it a more severe issue than a dripping faucet. This is often caused by a problem with the flapper valve that controls the water that passes from the tank to the bowl.

The Solution

If jiggling the handle doesn’t solve the problem, you might need to replace the flapper or the fill valve. Both are relatively easy fixes that you can do yourself. However, if the problem persists, it’s time to call a plumber. The issue could be as simple as a leaking flapper or as complex as a problem with the fill valve.

Clogged Toilets

A clogged toilet can lead to overflow, unpleasant odors, and even damage to your septic system. This is often caused by flushing items that don’t dissolve or break apart in water, such as baby wipes, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products.

The Solution

Most clogs can be cleared with a few vigorous plunges. If that doesn’t work, you can try a toilet snake or closet auger. However, if the problem persists, it’s time to call a professional.

Slow or Clogged Drains

Slow or clogged drains are common plumbing problems that can be caused by a variety of issues, from hair and soap scum buildup to more serious problems like sewer line blockages.

The Solution

For minor clogs, a plunger can often do the trick. You can also try a hand auger or a drain snake. For more stubborn clogs, a chemical drain cleaner may be effective. However, these should be used as a last resort as they can damage your pipes if used repeatedly. If your drains are consistently slow or frequently clogged, we advise you to call a professional.

Water Heater Issues

Water heater issues can range from insufficient hot water to leaks and strange noises. These problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including faulty heating elements, sediment buildup in the tank, or a broken thermostat.

The Solution

If your water heater isn’t performing as it should, it’s best you call a professional. They can diagnose the problem and provide the necessary repairs or replacements. Regular maintenance, including flushing the tank to remove sediment, can also help prevent issues.

Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes can cause significant water waste and damage to your home. They can lead to water damage, mold growth, and even structural damage if left untreated.

The Solution

If you notice a leak, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. This might involve replacing a section of pipe or simply tightening a loose connection. In any case, it’s usually best to call a professional to ensure the job is done right.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can make simple tasks like showering or washing dishes frustrating. It can be caused by a variety of issues, from clogged pipes to problems with your local water supply.

The Solution

If you’re experiencing low water pressure throughout your home, it’s best to call a professional. We can diagnose the problem and provide effective solutions, such as cleaning or replacing your pipes, or installing a water pressure booster.

Main Water Line Break or Leak

A break or leak in your main water line is a serious issue that requires immediate attention. It can lead to significant water loss, property damage, and even health risks if contaminated water enters your home.

The Solution

If you suspect a problem with your main water line, call a professional immediately. We have the expertise and equipment to handle even the most serious plumbing emergencies.

Sewer Line Issues

Sewer line issues can range from simple clogs to major breaks. These problems can lead to unpleasant odors, slow drains, and even sewage backups in your home.

The Solution

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s time to call a professional. We can clear the clog, repair or replace damaged pipes, and even reroute your sewer line if necessary.

Expensive Water Bill

An unexpectedly high water bill can be a sign of hidden leaks, a running toilet, or other plumbing issues.

The Solution

If your water bill has suddenly increased without a corresponding increase in water usage, it’s time to call a professional. We can help you identify and fix the problem, helping you save money and conserve water.


Understanding common plumbing problems and how to fix them can save you time, money, and stress. Whether it’s a dripping faucet, a running toilet, or a major water line break, it’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and expense.

Black Lake Plumbing: Your Local Plumbing Experts

At Black Lake Plumbing, we’re committed to providing top-quality service to the Olympia area. We’re here to meet all your plumbing needs in a way that lasts. We believe in getting it right the first time, and we’re always ready to share our knowledge and expertise. To schedule a service, don’t hesitate to contact us. To learn more, you can visit our About Us page.