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The Ultimate Guide To Common Plumbing Problems


Plumbing issues can be a headache for homeowners and renters alike. From leaky faucets to clogged drains, plumbing problems can range from minor annoyances to major emergencies. However, with the right knowledge and tools, many common plumbing problems can be resolved quickly and easily. 

This guide is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the most common plumbing problems, from the simplest DIY fixes to more complex repairs that require the help of a professional. 

Clogged Drains and Toilets

One of the most common plumbing problems faced by homeowners and renters is clogged drains and toilets. Clogs can cause water to back up in the sink or bathtub, slowly draining, and even overflowing. Understanding the causes of clogs, as well as the available DIY solutions, can help you quickly resolve the issue and avoid more serious problems.

Causes of clogs

Clogged drains and toilets are caused by a variety of factors, including the buildup of hair and soap scum, grease buildup in kitchen sinks, and foreign objects that have been flushed down the toilet. Additionally, tree roots can grow into pipes and cause clogs, especially in older homes with cast iron or clay pipes.

DIY Solutions

For minor clogs, a plunger can be effective in dislodging the blockage. For more persistent clogs, a drain snake can be used to break up the blockage and remove it from the pipe. Baking soda and vinegar can also be used to clean and unclog drains. Simply pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes before flushing with hot water.

When to call a plumber

If the DIY solutions do not work, or if you encounter a repeated clog, it may be time to call a plumber. A plumber can use a hydro jet to clean the pipes and remove the blockage, or they can use a camera to inspect the pipes and determine the cause of the clog. Additionally, if you suspect that tree roots are causing the clog, a plumber can use a rooter machine to remove the roots and restore proper flow to the pipes.

Clog prevention

To prevent clogs, it is important to be mindful of what is being put down the drain or flushed down the toilet. Avoid flushing large items, such as wipes or feminine hygiene products, down the toilet, and dispose of grease and food scraps in the trash instead of pouring them down the drain. Additionally, using a drain strainer can help catch hair and other debris before it reaches the pipes.

Act quickly

If you are dealing with a clogged drain or toilet, it is important to act quickly to avoid water damage and the growth of harmful bacteria. Attempting to remove the clog with a chemical drain cleaner can be hazardous and may cause damage to pipes, so it is recommended to avoid these products and seek professional help instead.

Leaks and Water Damage

Leaks can cause serious water damage to your home and result in higher water bills. It is important to recognise the signs of leaks and understand the causes and types of leaks to prevent water damage and maintain a healthy and safe home.

Signs of leaks

Leaking pipes and fixtures can cause significant damage to your home and result in higher water bills. Recognising the signs of leaks early on can help you prevent water damage and maintain a healthy and safe home.

Here are some common signs of leaks:

  • Water stains on walls

  • Ceilings, and floors

  • Unexpected increases in water bills

  • Mould or mildew growth

  • Warm spots on the floor

  • The sound of running water when no taps are turned on

  • A musty odour

Causes of leaks

The causes of leaks can vary, but some of the most common include:

  • Over time, pipes, valves, and fixtures can become worn and damaged, resulting in leaks.

  • Improper installation or maintenance can cause leaks in pipes and fixtures.

  • Trees and other plants can grow roots into pipes, causing damage and leaks.

  • Ground movement can cause pipes to break or become damaged, resulting in leaks.

  • Pipes can become damaged and leak when they freeze and thaw repeatedly.

Types of leaks

There are several different types of leaks, each with its causes and solutions. Understanding the different types of leaks can help you identify the source of a leak in your home and find the right solution to repair it. Here are some common types of leaks:

Leaking taps

Leaking taps are a common problem in many homes. Taps can leak due to worn washers, corroded valves, or loose connections. Repairing a leaking tap typically involves replacing the washer or valve, tightening the connection, or replacing the entire fixture.

Pipe leaks

Pipe leaks can occur due to corrosion, damage from tree roots, or ground movement. Pipe leaks can result in significant water damage if not repaired promptly. Repairing pipe leaks typically involves fixing or replacing the damaged section of the pipe.

Appliance leaks

Leaks from appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators can occur due to faulty hoses, valves, or connections. Repairing appliance leaks typically involves fixing or replacing the faulty component.

Shower or tub leaks

Shower or tub leaks can occur due to damaged or worn seals, grout, or caulking. Repairing these kinds of leaks typically involves re-sealing or re-caulking the affected area, or replacing damaged or worn components such as the drain or showerhead.

Underground leaks

Underground leaks can be difficult to detect and can cause significant damage to your home's foundation and landscaping. Repairing underground leaks typically involves excavation to locate and repair the damaged pipe.

Whole house leaks

Whole house leaks can result from damaged or corroded pipes throughout your home. Repairing these leaks involves a comprehensive assessment of all pipes and fixtures in your home and fixing or replacing damaged components.

When to call a plumber

If you are unable to identify the source of a leak or are unsure of how to fix it, it is always best to call a professional plumber. Plumbers have the expertise and tools to accurately detect and repair leaks, and can also provide you with advice on how to prevent future leaks.

How to prevent leaks

Preventing leaks is crucial to saving water and avoiding costly water damage. Here are some simple tips to help you prevent leaks in your home:

  • Regularly inspect pipes, valves, and fixtures for signs of wear and tear or damage.

  • Replace old or worn pipes, valves, and fixtures.

  • Avoid planting trees or plants near pipes and fixtures to prevent root damage.

  • Insulate pipes to keep them from freezing during cold weather.

  • Keep appliances properly maintained to avoid leaks.

Environmental Impact

Did you know that leaks can have a significant impact on the environment? They waste water and can even contribute to water pollution. By fixing leaks as soon as you discover them and taking steps to prevent future leaks, you can help reduce your environmental impact and conserve water for future generations.

A smiling plumber with tools

Low water pressure

Low water pressure can be a frustrating issue, as it can make tasks such as showering or washing dishes difficult to complete. There are several possible causes of low water pressure, ranging from clogged pipes to problems with the water supply system. Here are some common causes of low water pressure and tips for resolving the issue.


  • Clogged pipes
    Buildup of mineral deposits or debris in pipes can reduce water flow and cause low water pressure.

  • Leaks
    This can reduce the amount of water available to your home and result in low water pressure.

  • Problems with the main water supply
    Issues with the main water supply, such as a malfunctioning pump or broken valves, can cause low water pressure throughout your home.

  • Water pressure regulator issues
    A damaged or malfunctioning water pressure regulator can cause low water pressure.

Signs of low water pressure

  • Reduced water flows
    If you notice that the water flow from your faucets, shower or toilet is weaker than normal, it could be a sign of low water pressure.

  • Inadequate water pressure for tasks
    If you struggle to complete tasks such as washing dishes or showering due to low water pressure, it is a clear sign of a problem.

  • Unusual noises
    If you hear unusual noises, such as whistling or banging, when you turn on the water, it may indicate a problem with the water pressure.

How to fix low water pressure 

The best solution for fixing low water pressure will depend on the cause of the issue. Here are some tips for resolving low water pressure:

Clean clogged pipes
Use a plunger, vinegar and baking soda, or a plumbing snake to remove debris from pipes and restore water flow.

Fix leaks
Locate and repair any leaks to restore water flow to your home.

Check the water pressure regulator
If the water pressure regulator is damaged or not functioning properly, it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Call a plumber
If you are unable to identify the cause of the low water pressure or are unsure of the best solution, it is important to call a professional plumber for assistance.

When to call a plumber

If you are unable to identify the cause of the low water pressure or are unsure of the best solution, it is important to call a professional plumber for assistance. A plumber will be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with the best solution for restoring adequate water pressure to your home.

Consequences of low water pressure  

Low water pressure can result in several consequences, including:

  • Difficulty completing daily tasks
    Low water pressure can make it difficult to complete tasks such as washing dishes or showering.

  • Waste of water
    If water flow is too low, it can result in a waste of water as it takes longer to complete tasks.

  • Increased utility bills
    Low water pressure can result in increased water usage and higher utility bills.

  • Water damage
    In some cases, low water pressure can result in water damage to your home, such as leaks or water buildup.

A plumber fixing an emergency sink issue with customer

Running Toilets 

A running toilet is a major plumbing issue that can be time-consuming and expensive to repair. It's also a problem that can cause water waste if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are some DIY solutions you can try as well as professional plumbing services you can enlist to get the problem fixed quickly. 


One of the most common causes of a running toilet is a faulty flapper. The flapper is part of the toilet tank that controls the water flow from the tank to the bowl. Another common cause is a worn-out flush valve. The flush valve controls the water flow into the bowl and helps prevent water from flowing into the toilet continuously. Other causes of a running toilet include a clogged flush valve, a broken float ball, and a broken fill valve.

Signs of a running toilet

A running toilet is one of the most common plumbing problems that homeowners encounter. It's easy to identify, as you'll hear a continuous sound of water flowing into the bowl. The sound can be constant or intermittent, but either way, it's a clear sign that something is not right with your toilet. Another sign that you have a running toilet is an increased water bill. If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill, it could be due to a running toilet, and it's worth checking it out.

How to fix a running toilet

If you're dealing with a running toilet, don't worry – it's a common issue that can be fixed easily. We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you diagnose and fix the problem. First, turn off the toilet's water supply by turning the valve located behind the toilet clockwise. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank. Remove the lid from the tank and inspect the problem. If the flapper is the issue, replace it with a new one. If the flush valve is clogged, use a plunger to clear it. If the flush valve is worn out, it will need to be replaced.If you're not comfortable doing the repairs yourself, it's best to call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the problem for you. 

When to Call a Plumber

We know that not everyone is comfortable doing plumbing repairs themselves, and that's okay. If you're unable to fix a running toilet or any other plumbing problem, it's best to reach out to a licensed plumber. They have the expertise and experience to diagnose the issue and repair it quickly and effectively.

Prevention is Key

Preventing running toilets is simple with regular maintenance. We recommend checking the flapper and flush valve regularly to ensure they are in good working condition. Additionally, avoid flushing foreign objects down the toilet, as they can lead to clogs and result in a running toilet. Taking these simple steps can help prevent future plumbing problems and keep your toilet running smoothly.

Dealing With Burst Pipes

Burst pipes can be a real headache for any homeowner, leading to significant damage and inconvenience. However, being aware of the causes, signs, and proper steps to take in an emergency can help you handle the situation with confidence.

Root Causes

Burst pipes can be a real headache for any homeowner, leading to significant damage and inconvenience. However, being aware of the causes, signs, and proper steps to take in an emergency can help you handle the situation with confidence.

Warning Signs

There are several signs to look out for that could indicate a burst pipe, including low water pressure, a sudden drop in water temperature, loud banging noises, water damage on walls or ceilings, and pools of water around your home. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's crucial to act quickly to minimise further damage.

What to do in a Burst Pipe Emergency

If you suspect a burst pipe in your home, follow these steps:

Turn off the water supply

Find the main water valve and turn it off to stop the flow of water and prevent further damage.

Call a professional plumber

A professional plumber will be able to diagnose the problem, provide a solution, and repair the burst pipe.

Minimize water damage

If possible, turn off appliances and sources of water in your home to minimise water damage while you wait for the plumber to arrive.

Don't try to repair it yourself

Attempting to repair a burst pipe on your own can be dangerous and may cause even more damage. Always leave it to the experts.

Expert Repair and Replacement

A professional plumber will assess the damage, provide a repair or replacement solution, and repair or replace the burst pipe. They will also offer recommendations to help prevent future pipe damage.

Keeping Your Pipes Healthy

Regular maintenance is the key to avoiding burst pipes. Regular inspections, pressure checks, and cleaning can help keep your pipes healthy and prevent any unexpected bursts. Additionally, it's important to be aware of any changes in water pressure or temperature and take action if you notice anything unusual. By taking care of your pipes, you can prevent the stress and damage of a burst pipe.

Hot Water Problems

We understand how frustrating hot water issues can be - especially when they happen unexpectedly, like in the middle of a relaxing shower. The truth is, hot water problems can come in many forms, such as a complete lack of hot water, or water that's not hot enough. But don't worry, we got you covered. In this section, we'll go through the different causes of hot water issues, so you know what to look out for. We’ll also guide you on the best ways to fix them, as well as give you tips on when it's time to call in the experts.

The Roots of Hot Water Issues

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems, and they can result in slow-draining water or an unpleasant odour from the sink or connected areas. There are several culprits behind clogged drains, such as hair, soap scum, grease buildup, and even foreign objects like small toys or waste that gets flushed down the drain. Hair in particular can cause a lot of headaches, as it builds up quickly and can be challenging to remove without professional help.

Corrosion and Rusty Pipes

As time goes by, the pipes that transport hot water can become corroded or rusty, which can cause leaks and other issues. This is particularly common in older homes, where the pipes may have been installed many years ago and are more vulnerable to damage from corrosion.

The Trouble with Sediment Buildup

Sediment buildup is another frequent cause of hot water issues. When hot water passes through the pipes, minerals can deposit on the inside of the pipes, reducing the flow of hot water and causing various problems. This can lead to low hot water pressure, reduced water flow, and water that's not hot enough.

Inadequate Size and Pressure

In some cases, hot water problems can be caused by the inadequate size and pressure of the hot water pipes and system. If the pipes are too small, they may not be able to carry enough hot water to meet the needs of the home, leading to low hot water pressure and other issues. Similarly, if the hot water pressure is too low, it may not be able to reach all the faucets and appliances in the home, causing low hot water pressure and other issues.

Recognising Hot Water Issues

When it comes to hot water issues, sometimes they are pretty obvious, or they can be subtle and creep up on you over time. Either way, it's important to know the signs of hot water problems so you can take action and resolve them quickly. Here are some of the most common signs of hot water issues:

  • Lack of hot water

  • Water that's too hot or not hot enough

  • Water with a strange odour or taste

  • Poor hot water pressure

  • Water that's discolored or murky

  • Hot water that's not heating evenly

  • Leaking hot water pipes or valves

If you notice any of these symptoms, it's important to take action to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Gas line repair and installation

How To Fix Common Hot Water Issues

Hot water issues can be extremely frustrating and disruptive to your daily routine. While some issues are easy to fix on your own, others require professional assistance. Here are some of the most common hot water issues and what you can do to fix them.

One of the most common issues is a lack of hot water. This could be due to a problem with the heating system or a broken hot water pipe. If you're experiencing a lack of hot water, make sure to check the heating system and hot water pipes to see if they're functioning properly. If the issue is caused by a broken pipe, it's important to call a plumber to fix it.

Another issue is water that's not hot enough. If the water temperature is too cold, this could be due to a problem with the thermostat or the heating system. Try adjusting the temperature on the thermostat and checking the heating system to see if it's working properly.Low hot water pressure is another common issue that can be caused by sediment buildup in the pipes, a clogged hot water valve, or a malfunctioning pump. To resolve this issue, try flushing the hot water tank, cleaning the valve, or checking the pump to see if it's working properly.

Discoloured or murky water can also be a problem. This could be due to corrosion in the pipes or sediment buildup. Try flushing the hot water tank or installing a water softener to resolve this issue.

When to Call a Plumber

If you notice any leaking hot water pipes or valves, strange noises coming from the hot water system, water that's too hot or not hot enough, lack of hot water, poor hot water pressure, or discoloured or murky water, it's important to call a plumber as soon as possible. A professional plumber has the knowledge and tools to accurately diagnose and fix the issue, ensuring that your hot water system is functioning properly.

Sewer Line Problems

Sewer line issues can be extremely frustrating for homeowners. From slow-draining sinks and toilets to backups and flooding, there are many different problems that can arise. Some of the common causes include tree roots infiltrating the pipes, corrosion, clogs, or even broken pipes. It's important to address these issues quickly to avoid further damage and costly repairs.


The causes of sewer line problems can range from blockages, tree roots, corrosion, and settling of the soil around the pipes. Blockages can be caused by a buildup of grease, hair, and other debris that accumulate in the pipes. Tree roots can grow into the pipes, causing cracks or breaks in the pipes. Corrosion can weaken the pipes over time, leading to leaks or complete failure of the pipes. Settling the soil around the pipes can cause damage to the pipes as well.

Signs of sewer line problems

The causes of sewer line problems can range from blockages, tree roots, corrosion, and settling of the soil around the pipes. Blockages can be caused by a buildup of grease, hair, and other debris that accumulate in the pipes. Tree roots can grow into the pipes, causing cracks or breaks in the pipes. Corrosion can weaken the pipes over time, leading to leaks or complete failure of the pipes. Settling the soil around the pipes can cause damage to the pipes as well.

A plumber north brisbane

What to do

If you suspect that you have a sewer line issue, take action as soon as possible. First, try to identify the problem. You can look for signs such as slow-moving drains, bad odours, or backups in the sinks or toilets. If you can see any visible signs of damage to your sewer line, such as cracks or leaks, you should take a picture or make a note of the location.

Repair and replacement

Once you have identified the problem, you should consider calling a plumber to assess the situation and provide a repair or replacement solution. If the problem is a simple clog, the plumber can use a drain snake or other tool to remove the blockage. If the problem is more serious, such as a broken pipe, the plumber may need to excavate the area to make repairs or replace the damaged portion of the sewer line.


To prevent sewer line problems, it's important to maintain your pipes and keep them free of debris. You can do this by avoiding flushing items that should not go down the toilet, such as feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and cooking oils. Regular cleaning of your drains with a drain cleaner can also help prevent blockages from forming.

Consequences of sewer line problems

Sewer line problems can cause serious damage to your property and can result in expensive repairs. If you neglect to address the problem, it can result in backups, overflowing toilets and sinks, and even structural damage to your home. Ignoring sewer line problems can also lead to serious health problems if the waste and bacteria from your sewer line make their way into your home. It's important to address sewer line problems as soon as they arise to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your home and family.

Sump Pump Failures

Sump pumps play a crucial role in the plumbing system of any home. They are responsible for removing excess water from the basement or crawl space to prevent water damage and flooding. But, like any other mechanical device, sump pumps can fail over time. In this section, we'll be discussing what causes sump pump failures, what signs to look out for, and what to do when you experience a sump pump failure.

Causes of Sump Pump Failures

There are several reasons why a sump pump may fail, including age and wear, power outages, overloading, and improper maintenance. Over time, sump pumps can wear out and the motor can fail or the impeller can become clogged. Power outages, which cause the pump to stop working can also lead to sump pump failure. Overworking the sump pump can damage the pump and eventually cause failure. Finally, avoiding cleaning and maintenance can lead to clogging and the pump will eventually fail. 

Signs That Your Sump Pump Has Failed

If you're experiencing some unusual sounds coming from your sump pump, like grinding or clicking noises, that could be a sign that something's not right. Another red flag to look out for is water backup in your basement or crawl space, as well as sump pit overflow. And if there has been a recent power outage, it's important to check your sump pump, as that can often lead to sump pump failure. If you notice any of these warning signs, it's a good idea to give a plumber a call. They’ll be able to quickly diagnose the issue and get your sump pump up and running again, so you can rest easy knowing your home is protected from water damage.


What to Do When Your Sump Pump Fails

If your sump pump stops working, you need to act fast to prevent water damage to your home. First, turn off the power supply to the pump and activate your backup sump pump if you have one. If you don't have a backup sump pump, use a temporary solution like a bucket or wet vacuum to remove water from the sump pit. Then, call a professional plumber to repair or replace the pump as soon as possible.

Repair or Replacement

Sump pumps can fail for a variety of reasons, such as power outages, clogged discharge lines, or mechanical issues. Depending on the cause of the problem, your sump pump may require a simple cleaning or a complete replacement. That's why it's important to have a skilled plumber assess the issue and recommend the best course of action for you.


Regular maintenance is key to preventing sump pump failures. This could involve cleaning the pump, checking the discharge lines, and ensuring that the power supply is working correctly. It's also a good idea to have a backup sump pump installed for added protection, and to test your pump regularly to ensure it's functioning correctly. If you notice any problems with your sump pump, don't hesitate to contact a plumber to repair it before it causes any water damage in your home.

Garbage Disposal Problems

Garbage disposals are an incredibly convenient appliance in any kitchen. However, like any other device, garbage disposals can develop problems that can cause blockages, leaks, and other issues. In this section, we will help you identify, resolve, and avoid common problems with your garbage disposal to keep your kitchen running smoothly.


Garbage disposal problems can occur due to a variety of factors. One of the main reasons is the introduction of foreign objects into the disposal. You should avoid putting objects such as grease, oil, or other large items down the disposal as this can cause damage to the blades and clog the drain.

Overloading the disposal with too much food at once can cause it to clog or burn out the motor. Age is also a contributing factor, as the disposal blades can become dull, and the motor can wear out over time, resulting in problems with the disposal. Additionally, a lack of maintenance can lead to clogs and other problems. It's essential to regularly clean and maintain your disposal to ensure it functions well. Neglecting to do so can lead to the buildup of food waste, resulting in clogs, leaks, and other issues.

A smiling worker on a phone call

Signs of A Garbage Disposal Issue

There are a few signs to look out for that indicate a garbage disposal problem:


If water is not draining properly or there is a bad odour coming from the disposal, it may be clogged.


If you notice water leaks coming from the disposal, it may be damaged or worn out.

Unusual Noises

If you hear grinding, humming, or other unusual noises coming from the disposal, it may be in need of repair or replacement.

What to do

If you experience any of the above signs of garbage disposal problems, there are a few steps you can take:

Turn off the Power

To prevent further damage, turn off the power to the disposal before attempting any repairs.

Check for Clogs

Check for any clogs in the disposal and remove them with a plunger or disposal cleaning tool.

Check for Leaks

Look for any water leaks around the disposal and tighten any loose connections.

Call a Plumber

If you are unable to resolve the problem on your own, it is best to call a plumber for assistance. A professional plumber will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best solution, whether it be a repair or replacement.

Dishwasher issues

Dishwashers are a real lifesaver when it comes to cleaning up after a meal. However, when they start to experience issues, it can turn into a major problem. The most common dishwasher problems are clogs, leaks, and ineffective cleaning. In this section, we will provide you with the insider knowledge on what causes dishwasher issues, the warning signs to be aware of, what to do when you encounter a problem, when it's time to call in a professional, preventive measures you can take, and the importance of regular maintenance.


From clogged spray arms to a damaged float switch, there are many things that can go wrong with this handy kitchen appliance. One of the most common causes of dishwasher troubles is a dirty or blocked filter, which can impact its cleaning performance. Other potential issues include a faulty heating element, a malfunctioning timer, and a damaged pump. And of course, sometimes an old and worn-out dishwasher just can't keep up with the demands of mealtime clean-up and may need to be replaced.

Signs of a dishwasher problem 

When it comes to dishwashers, there are several tell-tale signs that something is not right. If you notice your dishes aren't coming out as clean as they used to, that's a big red flag. Additionally, if you're seeing water leaks, hearing unusual noises, or your dishwasher isn't starting or stopping when it's supposed to, these are all clear indicators that you may be dealing with a problem.

checking dishwasher

What to do

If you are experiencing a dishwasher issue, there are some basic checks you can perform. Firstly, have a look at the spray arms, filter and hoses and see if there is any clogging happening. Clean it out, and if it doesn't resolve the issue, move on to the next step. Then, examine the float switch to make sure it's functioning correctly. If it's not, it may need a replacement. And if the problem still persists, it may be wise to reach out to a professional plumber for an accurate diagnosis and repair.

Call a plumber

We highly recommend calling a plumber as soon as you experience any issues with your dishwasher. They can quickly diagnose what's causing the problem and get your dishwasher back up and running. Sometimes the problem can be complex and requires a professional's touch, so don't hesitate to call your local plumber. They have the experience and knowledge to properly diagnose and repair any dishwasher issues.

Prevention tips

We always recommend regular maintenance and cleaning to keep your dishwasher in top condition. This means giving the filter a good clean, checking the float switch to make sure it's working properly, and ensuring that the spray arms are free of any clogs. Also, using the right detergents and cleaning agents is important to avoid causing any damage to your dishwasher. By taking these steps, you can help prevent dishwasher problems and keep it running smoothly for years to come.


Here at Charlie’s Plumbing, we always emphasise the importance of regular maintenance when it comes to keeping your dishwasher working at its best. This involves simple tasks such as cleaning the filter, checking the float switch, and making sure the spray arms are clear of any clogs. We also recommend having your dishwasher serviced by a professional every couple of years to ensure it's in tip-top shape and to catch any potential problems early on. By staying on top of maintenance, you can keep your dishwasher working seamlessly and effectively, and avoid any inconvenience or costly repairs in the future.

Issues With Your Washing Machine

Washing machines are an essential part of our daily lives. They make it a breeze to take care of our clothes, but just like any other appliance, they can sometimes experience issues. In this section, we will discuss the most common causes, signs, and solutions for washing machine problems.


Washing machines can experience a variety of problems, and many of them can be traced back to a few common causes. One of the primary culprits is overloading, which can strain the machine's internal components, leading to breakdowns or damage. Power surges can also wreak havoc on a washing machine's electronics, causing all sorts of malfunctions. Another potential issue is clogs in hoses or pumps, which can cause water overflow or improper draining. Finally, as your machine ages, its parts may wear out and break down, leading to problems like leaks, jams, or broken belts.

Signs of a washing machine problem

There are several signs that can indicate that your washing machine is having problems. If you hear strange noises during operation, like banging or rattling, it could be a sign of an issue with the drum or bearings. Another telltale sign is water leakage, which may be caused by a damaged pump or hose. If your machine isn't draining properly, a clogged drain hose or malfunctioning pump could be to blame. A drop in cleaning performance could indicate problems with the agitator or motor. Finally, if you notice a burning smell coming from your machine, it could be an electrical issue.If you detect any of these signs, it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage to your machine. We recommend calling a plumber as soon as possible to diagnose and repair the problem quickly and safely.

washing machine

What to do

If you suspect that your washing machine has a problem, the first step is to turn it off and unplug it for safety. Try to identify the source of the problem, such as any visible leaks or damaged hoses. If you're not sure what the issue is, it's best to call a professional plumber to help you.If overloading is the issue, you can try removing some items from the drum to alleviate the problem. Just be sure not to overload the machine in the future to avoid causing more damage.Remember that trying to fix a washing machine issue yourself can be dangerous and may cause more harm than good. For complex problems, it's always best to call a plumber to ensure that the issue is resolved safely and effectively.

Call a plumber

If you're experiencing issues with your washing machine, don't hesitate to call your local, trusted plumber. When calling for assistance, it's important to provide your plumber with a clear description of the problem and its symptoms. This will help diagnose the issue quickly and accurately, enabling your plumber to provide an effective solution. Plumbers have the skills and knowledge needed to identify and fix any issues with your washing machine. With years of experience in the industry, we have encountered a wide range of washing machine problems and can provide the necessary repairs quickly and efficiently.

Prevention tips

To prevent issues and ensure optimal performance, we recommend following these simple prevention tips for your washing machine:

Avoid overloading your washing machine, as this can strain the machine leading to damage and breakdowns.

Protect your washing machine against power surges that can damage its electronic components, leading to malfunctions.

Clean your washing machine regularly to prevent clogs from forming in the hoses, pumps, or drains.

Schedule regular maintenance to ensure that the moving parts in the washing machine are in good working order.

This will help prevent potential issues and extend the life of your washing machine.

By following these prevention tips, you can help keep your washing machine running smoothly and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Contact us today for more information on how we can help keep your washing machine in top condition.

Septic tank problems

Septic tanks are crucial for many households, especially those in rural areas with no access to city sewer systems. These tanks store household waste and use bacteria to break it down. However, septic tanks are prone to various issues that can lead to costly repairs and potential health risks.


Septic tank problems can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most common causes include:


Overloading the septic tank by flushing too much waste or pouring down too much water can result in the tank becoming full and overflowing.

Lack of maintenance

Septic tanks require regular pumping and cleaning to function properly. Neglecting to do so can cause clogs, backups, and other problems.

Tree roots

Tree roots can penetrate the septic tank, causing cracks and leaks.

Poor installation

Improper installation of the septic tank can result in problems such as leaks, clogs, and more.

Old age

Over time, septic tanks can deteriorate and become worn, leading to problems.

Signs of a septic tank problem

If you suspect that there may be a problem with your septic tank, it is important to look for the following signs:

Slow-draining sinks and toilets

This is a clear sign of a clog in the pipes leading from the septic tank.

Pooling water

Pooling water near the septic tank can indicate a leak or overflow.

Strong odours

A foul smell near the septic tank could be a sign of a problem with your tank or pipes.

Algae growth

Algae growth near the septic tank can indicate that wastewater is leaking into the soil, which contaminates the area.

What to do if you suspect a septic tank problem

If you think there may be an issue with your septic tank, it's crucial to act fast. Here's what you can do:

  • To avoid causing any further harm, use water as little as possible until you have a plumber inspect the issue.

  • Get in touch with a professional plumber: They will examine the problem and advise you on the best solution.

  • To keep the system from clogging, avoid flushing non-degradable items down the toilet, such as paper towels, sanitary napkins, and other items.

Why you should call a plumber for septic tank issue

If you experience any septic tank issues, don't hesitate to call a professional plumber. They have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix the problem. Additionally, they can maintain and pump your septic tank to ensure it keeps running efficiently.

Tips for preventing septic tank problems

To avoid issues with your septic tank, follow these tips:

  • Arrange routine septic tank cleaning and pumping to keep it running smoothly.

  • Limit your water use to stop the tank from overflowing.

  • To prevent blockages, don't flush non-degradable items down the toilet.

Maintenance tips for septic tank

Regular maintenance checks by a professional are critical to avoid septic tank issues. We suggest having your septic system checked at least once a year to identify any leaks, blockages, or other problems that could cause damage.

  • Have the septic tank pumped regularly, usually every 3 to 5 years, to remove the scum and sludge and keep the system working properly.

  • Regularly monitor your septic system to spot any changes in water levels, odours, or performance.

  • Use water efficiently since using too much water can overload the septic tank and cause issues.

  • Avoid using harmful chemicals that can damage the system, like solvents, pesticides, and cleaning products. Use eco-friendly products instead.

  • Don't flush non-degradable items, such as wet wipes, sanitary napkins, and cigarette butts, down the toilet since they can clog the system and cause problems.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your septic tank stays in good working condition and avoid costly repairs in the future.

Pipe Insulation For Energy Efficiency

Pipe insulation is a great way to increase energy efficiency and save money. By insulating pipes, you can keep hot water hot and cold water cold, which helps to reduce the amount of energy required to maintain the desired temperature. Proper insulation is important in achieving energy efficiency, as it regulates water temperature and lowers energy costs. It also reduces the risk of thermal shock or pipe damage.

Types of insulation

At Charlies' Plumbing, we recommend several types of insulation for pipes, including fiberglass, foam, and rubber. 

Fiberglass is the most commonly used insulation type, as it is affordable and offers good insulation. 

Foam insulation is another great option due to its durability, however it is more expensive than fiberglass. 

Rubber insulation is also a good choice due to its resistance to moisture, fire, and mould, but it is usually the most expensive option. 

Your local plumber can help advise you on the best type of insulation for your specific needs.

Significant energy savings with insulated pipes

Proper insulation saves energy by reducing heat loss from water in the pipes, enabling faster and more efficient heating. The energy savings from proper pipe insulation can be significant, reducing energy costs by up to 30%. While it's possible to install insulation on pipes yourself, we recommend leaving it to the professionals. Improper installation can lead to ineffective insulation or damage to pipes.

filling water

Pipe compatibility

It's important to ensure that the insulation is compatible with the type of pipes being used before installation. Some types of insulation may not be suitable for certain types of pipes, such as copper or PVC. 

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance is also essential to ensure that the insulation continues to provide maximum energy efficiency and protect pipes from damage. Regular checks for damage such as cracks or tears are important, and any necessary repairs or replacements should be carried out promptly.

Plumbing issues commonly found in aging homes

As homes age, it is common for plumbing issues to arise. As plumbing experts, we have identified the most frequent problems encountered in aging homes and recommended solutions to help homeowners prevent, repair, or replace damaged systems.

Galvanised Pipes

Galvanised pipes, also known as iron pipes, were a popular plumbing material from the 1940s to the 1960s. However, as these pipes age, the interior corrodes and becomes clogged, leading to low water pressure and leaks. To avoid or resolve this issue, we recommend replacing galvanised pipes with modern materials such as PVC, copper, or PEX.

Polybutylene Pipes

Polybutylene pipes were commonly used in the 1970s and 1980s due to their flexibility and affordability. However, they are prone to cracking and leaking, which can result in water damage. We suggest that homeowners consider replacing polybutylene pipes to avoid future plumbing issues.

Poor Repairs

When an inexperienced or unprofessional plumber attempts to repair an aging home, this can result in poor repairs that lead to future leaks, blockages, and water damage. To prevent such issues, we recommend having always getting a credible, professional plumber assess and replace or fix any damaged parts.

Worn Fixtures

Over time, fixtures in aging homes can become worn, making them more prone to leaks, clogs, and other plumbing issues. Replacing old fixtures with new ones can prevent water damage, improve water pressure, and keep the plumbing system running smoothly.

Common Plumbing Issues in Apartments

Apartment plumbing systems often differ from those in houses, leading to different problems. In addition to the usual clogged drains, leaky faucets, and backed-up toilets, apartments may experience a few other specific plumbing issues due to their unique infrastructure.

Flooding from Above or Below

Flooding is a common problem in apartments that can come from above, such as leaky ceilings, or below, such as clogged drains. To fix the problem, it is crucial to identify the source of the flooding. If the flooding is from above, contact the property manager or landlord for assistance. If it's from below, it could be due to clogged drains or overflowing toilets.

Poor Property Management

Inadequate property management can result in several plumbing issues in apartments, including clogged drains, leaky pipes, and broken fixtures. Communication with the property manager is essential to report issues promptly and avoid bigger problems.

Dirty Water

Dirty water is often a result of poor maintenance or a lack of proper filtration systems in apartments. Discoloured water or strange tastes and odours are signs of dirty water. In this case, it's important to report the problem to the property manager or landlord, who can arrange for a professional to inspect and fix the problem.

DIY Plumbing Repairs

Minor plumbing issues can be repaired by homeowners themselves, but it is crucial to know one's limits and when to call a professional plumber. In this section, we will discuss the most common DIY plumbing fixes and the tools, safety precautions, and instructions needed to complete them successfully.

Simple Repairs

Homeowners can fix leaky faucets, unclog drains, and replace toilet flappers themselves with simple repairs. These repairs only require a few basic tools such as a wrench, pliers, and a screwdriver.

Safety First

As plumbing experts, we understand the importance of safety when it comes to DIY plumbing repairs. Always remember to turn off the water supply and power if necessary before starting any repair work. Additionally, it's crucial to wear protective gloves and eye gear to avoid potential injuries.

Woman fixing leaking pipe

Essential Tools

When it comes to DIY plumbing repairs, having the right tools is key. As professionals, we recommend having pliers, adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, and plumbing snakes in your toolkit. These tools can be found at your local hardware store or online.

Follow Clear Instructions

To ensure a successful plumbing repair, it's important to have clear and accurate instructions. You can find step-by-step instructions for many common plumbing repairs online or in DIY manuals. However, if you're uncertain about the repair, we suggest consulting a professional plumber to avoid further damage or injury.

Know Your Limits

There are certain complex repairs that you should always leave to the professionals. Major leaks, clogged sewer lines, and damaged gas lines are examples of repairs that require professional attention to avoid further damage, injury, or even potential hazards such as fires or explosions.

Regular Maintenance

Prevent plumbing problems by performing regular maintenance on your plumbing systems. Checking for leaks, cleaning your drains, and inspecting your water heater and other appliances are all important tasks that can identify and fix small issues before they become bigger problems. Regular maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your plumbing systems and save you money in the long run.

Tips for Choosing a Professional Plumber

We know it can be overwhelming to find a trustworthy and professional plumber. Our advice is to do your research, read reviews, and ask for referrals. Look for a licensed and insured plumber who offers fair pricing and clear communication throughout the repair process.

The Advantages of Plumbing Maintenance

Regular plumbing maintenance is crucial to ensure that your plumbing system is functioning correctly and efficiently. Here are some benefits of plumbing maintenance.

Cost Savings

By regularly maintaining your plumbing system, you can avoid costly repairs in the future. Identifying small problems before they turn into significant and expensive ones can save you money in the long run.

Improved Efficiency

Proper maintenance can increase the efficiency of your plumbing system, leading to lower energy bills and better water pressure.

Extended Lifespan

Performing regular maintenance on your plumbing system can help to extend its lifespan, ensuring that you get the most out of your investment and avoid frequent replacements.

Improved Safety

Plumbing maintenance can improve the safety of your home. Identifying and fixing problems early on can help you avoid the risk of flooding, leaks, and other safety hazards.


Regular maintenance can prevent future problems and ensure that your plumbing system is functioning correctly. It can also help you avoid unexpected plumbing issues that can disrupt your daily life.


By maintaining your plumbing system, you can comply with local plumbing codes and regulations. This can help you avoid potential legal or financial liabilities.

Peace of Mind

Regular maintenance can give you peace of mind, knowing that your plumbing system is functioning correctly and efficiently. You can rest easy, knowing that your plumbing system is in good hands.


We hope that this guide has provided you with some helpful information on how to deal with a variety of plumbing issues that you may encounter in your home or apartment. 

Plumbing problems can be frustrating and sometimes even costly, but by being aware of the common issues and how to address them, you can save yourself time, money, and a lot of stress. Whether you're dealing with a clogged drain, a leak, or a more serious problem like burst pipes, this guide has you covered.

We've also provided some tips on how to choose a professional plumber and the importance of plumbing maintenance to help you prevent future problems. Remember, always prioritise your safety and seek professional help when necessary.