You have water on the floor in front of your dishwasher. There’s a big wet patch growing on the dining room ceiling. The drywall in your basement is stained and moldy. Surely, these issues have been caused by a plumbing problem, right? Well, the answer is a big, fat…maybe.
Is It Really a Plumbing Problem?
It’s natural to assume that if the water is involved in a problem, that your plumbing is the culprit. However, there are times that calling your local plumber is not going to solve your problem.
There are several appliances in a home that fall out of a plumber’s expertise. Dishwashers, ice makers, and washing machines are the biggest culprits here. The first thing to check when you find water around any of these appliances is if the leak is coming from the appliance itself. If the leak originates from the appliance, you will need to call an appliance repair service. However, if you find the water is coming from a water line that feeds the appliance, or from a drainage line, then a plumber should be your first call. If you aren’t sure, it is a good idea to start with an appliance service to rule that out first. We recommend the Appliance Medic!
But what if you see a big water stain on your ceiling just beneath a bathroom shower? Surely, that is a plumbing problem? It actually might not be! If you have tile in your bathtub or shower, it may actually be a grout problem. Unless you have an active leak, where water is pouring through a fixture, or dripping through the ceiling call a plumber. Otherwise, take a moment to inspect your shower. Examine the grout for any cracks or pits that may be allowing water through. If you don’t find any, it’s a good indication that you have a plumbing problem.
We suggest calling a plumber to rule out any issues to be on the safe side in these cases. A professional plumber will be able to examine your plumbing to determine if you have an actual leak or faulty grout. If it is your grout, you will need to have your tile repaired.
Basement Water Woes
Water in your basement can be caused by a number of issues. The first, of course, is your plumbing. If you see water on your basement floor, or you have wet walls, start by checking for nearby water lines that may be leaking. Basements usually house your water heater, the plumbing for your outside hose bibbs, and the main water supply for your home. Look for signs of drips or leaks along any exposed water lines. If you are unable to source the cause, you may have a groundwater problem or an issue with the drain lines beneath the slab. While a plumber can help in the case of underground drain and water lines, there are a number of options that can assist with groundwater.
When and Where Are the Why
If you live in an area that gets large amounts of rain or snow, you might experience rising water tables during certain seasons. When the ground is saturated with water, it tries to take the path of least resistance. That might lead it right into your basement. Landscaping that slopes away from your home, keeping window-wells cleared, and repairing any cracks in your home’s foundations can go a long way toward keeping your basement dry.
One way a plumber can help in a case like this is with the installation of a sump pump. A pump can extract water that would otherwise enter your basement, and divert it away from your home. We recommend this option if you experience frequent flooding, live in a low-lying area, or have a finished basement.
When in Doubt
If you aren’t sure if you have a plumbing problem or one of the issues discussed above, you can never go wrong by calling in a professional to give you peace of mind and advice. They may even be able to give you recommendations on who to call if it turns out you do not have a plumbing problem after all.