plumbing-heartWith flu season on the way, you may be thinking about your health and the health of your family more than usual. But what about the health of your plumbing?

You use your kitchen and bathroom sinks and shower every day without thinking too much about it. However, the type of pipes used in your home, as well as their age and the types of repairs that have been performed on them in the past all contribute to the safety of your water and the health of your family.

How do I know if I have unhealthy plumbing?

Signs of plumbing-gone-bad are many and varied. Some red flags to watch out for include:

1. Brown or discolored water

If you see grimy-looking water pouring out of your faucets, your water heater may be reaching its sunset years and need replacing. If the water is red, your pipes may be what need to be replaced. Red-tinted water indicates the leeching of iron from rusted galvanized pipes, common in homes built before 1980. Repeat: don’t drink; call your plumber.

2. Slow drain

A drain that empties slowly indicates a blocked pipe. While commercial drain cleaners will correct the problem temporarily, consistent use of Drain-o and other chemicals can have the opposite effect, damaging the pipes and promoting return clogs within weeks. Your best practice is to use a plumber’s snake to break up and dislodge any pipe blockages. Don’t have a snake? Call Meticulous to get the job done in minutes.

3. Gurgling drains

No, there isn’t a sea monster rumbling around in your drain (at least we hope not!). Strange sounds in your plumbing can indicate a blockage deep inside the pipe that is trapping air. The sound should stop once the blockage is removed, so use your plumbing snake to dislodge the clog or call your plumber for assistance.

4. Your toilet frequently backs up

This is worst-nightmare territory! However, overflowing toilet syndrome can be corrected by emptying your septic tank or removing pipe obstructions, such as tree roots. Warning: don’t DIY. Call in professionals to get these down-and-dirty tasks done right.

5. Your faucets are screeching

If your faucet makes a racket when you turn it on, your pipes could be full of air. If your pipes’ “bleed-off” system is not working properly, it can produce a high pitch sound. Plumbing experts can work to eliminate this issue.

6. Low water pressure

Shower pressure not what it used to be? Clogged pipes, hidden leaks, or incorrectly-sized pipes that cannot provide sufficient water pressure are all fixable causes of this frustrating – and common – plumbing problem.

Plumbing issues that make your water unusable and promote an odorous kitchen or bathroom can create health concerns for you and your family if not treated immediately. Call Meticulous if any of these signs and symptoms arise. You’ll be glad you did!

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