Backed-up sinks. Discolored water. Leaks. These problems may sound scary, but the truth is they’re common problems in many homes. In fact, many of them can be solved with just a few painless steps.

With the correct tools and information, you can save yourself time—and money—by fixing these issues yourself. Plus, knowing how to resolve common problems will help you know when the issue is more involved and best solved by a professional.

So, don't let a clogged drain or a leaky faucet get you down—with the right know-how, it's easy to fix straightforward plumbing problems all by yourself. We’ll take a look at several frequent plumbing dilemmas and how you can address them.

1. Why Won't My Sink Stop Gurgling?

If you’re concerned by a gurgling sound emanating from your sink, it may be an indication of air or water trapped in the pipes. This can take place if there is a blockage in the pipes, or if a plumbing vent has become obstructed or disconnected.

Fortunately, this situation is not too difficult to fix:

  • First, try using a plunger to eliminate any blockages that may be creating the gurgling sound.
  • If a plunger doesn’t work, you can try using a drain snake to clean out particles from the pipe. Finally, if your plumbing vent is blocked or disconnected, make sure to reconnect it and check for any other obstructions.

If you’re still having problems, it may be best to phone a seasoned plumber in Narvon. They can help determine the reason you are having the issue and provide you with skilled repair service.

2. Why Is My Sink Clogged?

If a sink is not draining, in most cases that’s a result of something obstructing the drainpipe. However, it may also be a result of a bigger issue with your plumbing system.

Common reasons why the water in your sink won’t drain:

  • Blocked or clogged pipes: As time passes, hair, food scraps, grease, animal fats and other items can accumulate in the pipes, creating a blockage that prevents the water from draining.
  • Broken seals: If the sink’s rubber seals are cracked or damaged, they may not be making an effective seal around the drain to keep out air and permit the water to drain.
  • Crud in the trap: The curved pipe at the bottom of the sink, called a P-trap, can become blocked with debris or form leaks which prevent it from draining properly.
  • Blocked vent pipe: A clog in a vent pipe, which allows gas to leave your plumbing system, might prevent your sink from draining. Vents can be blocked by debris where they leave your house.

To clear a pipe, try using a plunger to move the clog through the line. If that doesn’t work, consider using a plumbing snake to retrieve and pull out hair or other debris and allow the water to move through. Other techniques are to use baking soda and vinegar or a drain-cleaning product to break down the clog.

Depending on your plumbing setup, you may also search for a blockage in the P-trap, which is a bend in the pipe under your sink. This is done by dismantling the pipe and clearing the line. To do this, first shut the faucet off and put a bucket underneath the bend. Then, disassemble the pipe and retrieve any debris. Once it’s clean, put the pipe back together and flush it with hot water.

If trying to clear the line and P-trap doesn’t work, inspect where your drain vent exits your house to make sure it isn’t blocked by debris such as leaves, dirt or even a nest by an misguided bird or other animal. If this also doesn’t work, you may have to get a hold of a skilled professional for plumbing repair in Narvon to make sure there isn’t a more substantial problem with your plumbing.

3. Why Is the Water from My Sink So Cloudy?

Quite often, cloudy or white-looking water is caused by air bubbles in the water. This is usually innocuous and can often go away on its own. It could be the result of a water company doing work on the lines, or a close-by construction project.

One way to determine if cloudy water is caused by air bubbles is to fill a glass of water and then leave it on the counter. Chances are the air bubbles will go away and the water will eventually become crystal clear. If the water is still cloudy after 24 hours, you may have another problem and will want to consult a professional for assistance.

The cloudy water also could be the result of high levels of minerals in the water in the plumbing system. Excessive minerals accumulate until they alter the water’s appearance and taste, in which case a water softener may be of assistance in fixing the problem. It can prevent hard-water buildup from ruining your pipes and creating the distasteful cloudy water.

If cloudy water ends up being a stubborn problem, consider cleaning off the aerator, which is a screen at the end of your faucet. Use a water and vinegar mixture to eliminate any debris or blockages. If that doesn’t work either, you might want to consult a certified plumber and let them find a solution.

4. Why Does My Sink Leak?

The reason for a leak or water drip beneath a sink is often because a plumbing fixture has worn out or malfunctioned. At times, it’s caused by a clog blocking the line.

Here are a few of the more commonly seen causes of sink leaks and how you can resolve them:

  • Loose Connections: One of the most likely causes of a puddle of water underneath the sink is due to loose connections between pipes, fixtures and hoses. If any part has not been correctly tightened, or if it was not sealed right in its fitting, water can quickly escape from these weak spots.
  • Worn-Out Washers: After a while, the washer in a sink fixture can become worn out and fail to create an adequate seal. If you see water seeping from the sides of the handle or base of the faucet, it’s very likely that a new washer is needed.
  • Corroded Pipes: The pipes underneath a sink can corrode over time, resulting in weakening and cracks. Corrosion is especially common when working with older or inexpensive materials, so it's important to look for any indications of degradation in order to avoid a major leak.
  • Blocked Drains: A clogged drain can force water to back up and start seeping from the seal. It's important to always check for any signs of blockage and to clear away any debris that may be inhibiting water flow.

5. Why Is My Sink Water Brown?

The most common factor that leads to brown tap water is rust. Rust usually comes from elevated levels of iron in the water, which may be the result of corroded pipes or worn-out fixtures. Rust may also develop when sediment builds up. Buildup may appear if the filtration system is declining or there are significant levels of minerals like manganese.

In some cases, the water can be stained from silt or clay particles that have been stirred up from work on the water line or your plumbing. If you get your water from a municipal utility company, reach out to them to let them know about the discoloration. They should be able to inform you if there has been any recent work on the water lines.

An expert plumber in Narvon can help you confirm if the discoloration is coming from a rusting pipe that needs to be replaced, or if a filtration system may improve the unsightly problem.

6. Why Is My Sink Draining Slow?

The most widespread reason for a sink to drain slow is a partial clog in the pipes. Hair and soap residue are likely reasons for a clogged bathroom sink, while food scraps and grease—along with soap scum—often are at fault for kitchen sink clogs.

Three ways you can fix a clogged sink include:

  • Plunger: One way to eliminate a partial clog is with a plunger. If there isn't any standing water in the sink, allow it to fill with enough water to cover the drain. Then, use the plunger to try to dislodge the clog.
  • Plumbing snake/weasel: If a plunger doesn’t work, you may have to use a plumbing snake—a long, thin chunk of plastic—to put down your pipe to attach to the clog so you can extract it manually. Sometimes, these are known as plumbing weasels.
  • Chemical Clog Remover: Many chemical clog removers are available to dissolve blockages in sink pipes. Be certain to follow all directions, and that any brand you buy won’t damage your home’s pipes or the basin in your sink.