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Silent Signs Your House Has a Major Plumbing Problem


Plumbing problems can be difficult to detect, often hiding behind the walls and under floors, and left unchecked these issues can cause costly damage to your home. While many of the signs that there is an issue may be subtle, if you know what to look for you may be able to save yourself money and stress. To help you identify potential plumbing issues before they become serious, we will explain some silent signs of a major plumbing problem such as persistent clogs, water pressure issues, and slow drainage.

Plumbing problems can be frustrating and expensive to fix, but recognizing the silent signs of a major plumbing problem can help you identify it before it becomes serious. The most common plumbing issues are persistent clogs, water pressure issues, and slow drainage, but are these actually indicators of a larger plumbing issue? Turns out, they can be! So how do you know when it’s time to call a plumber? Dignity Plumbing can help you figure that out!


A clog usually happens when objects like food particles or other debris get caught in the pipes, blocking water flow. Most clogs will happen in sinks, showers, and toilets and are usually not very deep in the pipe. These types of clogs are usually minor and can often be dealt with by yourself if you have a plunger or a drain snake at home. However, clogs caused by larger items, or items that aren’t supposed to be disposed of down the drain (like grease or diapers) can cause more serious issues. If you’ve tried removing the clog by using a plunger or a drain snake and your pipes are still not cleared, it may be time to call a plumber. Clogs can cause a buildup of pressure in the system, leading to leaks and other damage, so it is important to address them as quickly as possible once you know there is a problem. A professional plumber will be able to clean your pipes using a Hydro-Jet to break up whatever is blocking your pipes in a safe and natural way.

Slow Drainage:

Slow drainage is another common problem often caused by a buildup of grease or small objects in the pipes that slow down water flow. It’s often a gradual process due to sediment building up in the pipes over time and can take a while to notice. While similar to (and often caused by) clogs, slow drainage doesn’t necessarily mean your pipes are blocked, but is a good indicator of another issue. People often deal with slow water drainage in their showers and kitchen sinks, areas where things like food or grease and hair can collect. In cases like those the issue can often be fixed by you with a plunger, drain snake, or drain cleaner. (DO NOT pour drain cleaner in your toilet!) However, if you’re finding that your water is draining slowly throughout your home, or you are having to deal with slow drainage frequently, then you might have a more serious issue. This could be anything from a blockage deeper in your pipes to a break underground causing your pipes to fill with sediment, and will require a professional plumber to diagnose the issue.

Water Pressure Problems:

Problems with water pressure are often overlooked, but they can be a sign of something serious going on in your home. Pressure issues usually occur when the water supply isn’t balanced properly throughout the house, which causes some areas to have low pressure while others have too much. If you’re noticing a sudden onset of water pressure problems throughout your home, that may be a cause for concern. A pressure spike could mean that your Pressure Regulator Valve is starting to malfunction, which could be bad for the overall health of your pipes and cause cracks and breaks. A decrease in water pressure is often a sign of a leak, usually in a water main if the whole home is affected. Both issues can be very costly if left untreated!


Another sign of a potential plumbing issue is gurgling sounds coming from your drains. While sometimes hard to hear or easy to ignore, these gurgling noises could indicate that there’s a blockage or air bubble somewhere in your pipes that’s preventing normal flow. Having air in your pipes can cause issues with your water pressure and is usually a sign of a crack or leak in your plumbing. Gurgling pipes can also happen if your ventilation pipes (pipes used to let sewer gasses escape your plumbing system) are blocked, which can cause those dangerous gasses to come out of drains and faucets in your home instead.

Water Stains or Wet Spots:

If you are noticing water stains or wet spots on the walls, ceilings, or floors of your home, you may have an urgent issue. While some spots and staining could be from leaks in the construction of your home’s roof, they are most often from cracked and leaking pipes, especially if they are in the walls or the ceilings on the lower floors of multi-story buildings. Water stains and wet spots could indicate that damage has been done to the drywall or framing of the home due to the time it can take to soak these materials enough to create a visible stain.

Foul Odors:

Foul odors coming from your plumbing are not something to be taken lightly. This could be a sign of a significant plumbing issue, which can lead to costly repairs if not addressed quickly. If you smell sewage, rotten food, or something else unpleasant in the vicinity of your sinks, toilets, or drains – it's important to act without delay. The cause of these odors could range from blocked vents and pipes to an aging septic system that hasn't been serviced for quite some time. A professional plumber will be able to inspect and diagnose your system, pinpointing the source of the problem and coming up with a plan for fixing it.

Hissing or Banging Pipes:

If you hear hissing or banging noises coming from your plumbing, it could indicate there's a problem and you should get it checked out as soon as possible. It's likely that air has been trapped within the pipes and is making noises as it moves through. In extreme cases, this can cause pipes to break or burst, which can lead to greater damage and expensive repair bills. It's also possible that an object could be moving around in the pipes, such as washed down items like toys. Whatever the cause of the noise, it's important to have it looked at by a qualified professional as soon as possible so that more complications don't arise.

Discolored Water:

If you start to notice discolored water coming from the pipes in your home, it can mean a few different things. The most common cause of discolored water is when rust particles enter the water supply due to degraded pipes. Other causes can include minerals that have been flushed into the municipal water systems or backed-up sewer systems and drains. In order to determine the root cause, it’s important to consult with a professional who can inspect your plumbing system and conduct necessary tests. Furthermore, they will be able to advise if a repair or replacement needs to take place in order to ensure safe drinking water for your family’s consumption.


Thankfully, if you know the silent signs of plumbing issues, it’s easy to catch small problems early on before they become larger and more costly. For example, if you frequently check your water pressure or keep an eye out for pooling water by fixtures like sinks and toilets, you can avoid major inconveniences. Additionally, if you hear banging pipes or low water pressure, you should call a plumber right away.

Of course, calling a professional isn’t always the most affordable option – but avoiding calls could cost even more in the long run. It’s worth noting that regular inspection and maintenance are the best way to prevent plumbing related disasters. That being said, don’t be afraid to call a professional if you need help dealing with your plumbing system. Dignity Plumbings expert technicians have years of experience diagnosing complex plumbing problems and performing maintenance tasks from clearing pipe clogs to installing new fixtures. If you think you might have a plumbing issue but aren't sure what the cause might be, we can do a Plumbing Inspection to figure it out! 

In conclusion, although sometimes difficult to detect early on, there are key indicators of most plumbing related issues. Making sure to update old components like pipe insulation and check for wet spots in the walls or ceilings can save time for both homeowners and professionals. So if you think you might have a plumbing problem - don't hesitate to call the experts at Dignity Plumbing!

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