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How to Diagnose Common Plumbing Problems

How to Diagnose Common Plumbing Problems

An issue with your sink, toilet or shower may be cause for concern, but you’ll rarely need a professional to diagnose the issue. With a little investigation and knowledge, most common plumbing issues can be diagnosed entirely by yourself. In this article, we’ll be helping you understand what’s causing the plumbing issues in your various fixtures.

Common plumbing problems - leaking tap - Ebberns

  1. Drainage problem

    If you notice that your sink, bath or shower is struggling to drain properly, they may be suffering from a blockage. Symptoms include water being slow to drain, water backing up, or wet areas in the floors adjacent to the walls containing pipes.

    You can determine which pipe is at the root of the issue by testing your various fixtures. If it is only one sink or one bath that is showing signs of an issue, the blockage should only be localised to a neighbouring pipe and not a part of the main system. Further, you can judge the source of the blockage based on the nature of the fixture. If it’s your kitchen sink being problematic, remnants of food or congealed fat are the most likely culprits. Showers or baths will likely become clogged up by hair or soap. Once you’ve determined the extent and cause of the blockage, you can find the most suitable method for remedying the issue.

  2. Leaks

    A leak will be the result of an opening in a pipe. This must be the result of either degradation or damage to a pipe, creating an opening for water to escape from. The most likely explanations are either that your pipe has become corroded, it has developed loose fittings or it has started to crack because of freezing. If it’s been particularly cold lately, the latter will probably be the most likely option. Leaks may also result in low water pressure. You can gauge whether your water pressure is low from taps that trickle rather than gush.

  3. Dripping taps

    A dripping tap may not be the most alarming plumbing issue, but ignoring it can end up pushing up your water bill by a significant amount. A single year can see a single dripping tap waste hundreds of gallons of water. The most common cause of a dripping tap will be an issue with the internal washer. It will likely have become either stiff, worn, torn or dislodged, usually as a result of natural wear.

  4. Fluctuating shower temperatures

    If you’re taking a nice, warm shower and are suddenly jolted with ice cold water for a moment, your pressure-balancing valve will likely be at fault. A functional pressure-balancing valve keeps your shower at a constant temperature, even when pressure fluctuates throughout your pipe system. When the toilet is flushed, reducing the cold water pressure arriving at the shower valve, the pressure-balancer works to ensure that an extra burst of cold water doesn’t shoot out of your shower to make up for it. When the pressure-balancing valve is worn or damaged, this function is compromised, leading to unbalanced temperatures coming out of your shower to make up for uneven pressure across the hot or cold pipeline.


Here at Ebberns, we install bespoke bathrooms that are as beautiful as they are functional. Our team have a wealth of experience installing bespoke bathrooms. We supply and install immaculate wall and floor tiles, and we ensure your bathroom stays fully functional for the future with our meticulous plumbing installations. If you’d like to enquire further, give our team a call today. We serve customers in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.


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COVID-19 Update

Our Plumbing & Heating Trade Counter and Tile Centre Trade Counter are currently open as usual. The Tile Centre Showroom is available by appointment only, tel 01442 253878