How do I Know if my Plumbing is Bad?

Faucet Leak

Indoor plumbing is one of the most amazing developments of the modern age. Where would we be without a working plumbing system? Unfortunately, sometimes plumbing can develop serious issues. Read on for a dozen tell-tale signs of bad plumbing.


  • You notice standing water. If you see water puddling anywhere in your home, you’ll need to determine the source of the water and have the problem fixed as quickly as possible. Then, too, it’s important to get into the habit of watching for water under your sinks, around the base of your toilets, under the water heater, and under outdoor spigots. Catching leaks in these areas early can prevent extensive damage and costly repairs.
  • The faucets leak. If your faucet is dripping, you may be able to fix that yourself with simple tools and a few plumbing parts. If you leave it unrepaired, though, you’ll waste a lot of water and spend a lot of money on your water bill.
  • The water pressure is low. If one of your faucets has low water pressure and the others are fine, it’s generally a problem with the faucet aerator. However, if your whole house has low water pressure, this is a much bigger deal than not enjoying a strong shower. It could mean clogs or leaks in your system, which could lead to a bigger problem down the line if you don’t get it fixed.
  • Your pipes are noisy. Your pipes should be silent, so if they’re rattling, whining, or making any other noise beyond the sound of water running through them when you turn on the tap, you probably have a problem. Either there’s a leak or your bleed-off system isn’t functioning correctly: either way, you need to call a professional.
  • Your drains are slow. A slow drain is typically due to a clog. If the clog is near the drain, it’s an easy DIY fix. If it’s further down the line, or the problem is tree roots or some other major issue in the pipes, you’ll probably need professional help.
  • Your pipes are discolored. Take a look at your pipes. If you notice discoloration, particularly around a joint, that indicates moisture and could mean you have a leak.
  • There’s a bad smell. Your plumbing involves a system of traps, drains, and vents designed to keep sewer gas out of your house. If you smell sewer odor inside your house, there could be a problem with a trap or a sewer vent, both of which require prompt attention.
  • Your lawn has a patch that’s too green. If there’s one part of your yard that’s much greener than the rest of the lawn, you may have a sewer leak. Whether you’re on city sewer or septic, this warrants a call to the professionals.
  • Your pipes freeze in winter. If it’s winter and your water pressure drops suddenly or the water completely stops flowing, you may have a frozen pipe. This is a serious problem, because frozen pipes can burst and flood your home. To prevent this, make sure all of your pipes have adequate insulation.
  • You notice bubbling paint on the walls or ceiling. Bubbling paint or brown spots indicate moisture, which could be from a leaky roof or a plumbing problem.
  • Your water looks disgusting. If your water isn’t clear, there’s a problem. Cloudy water can mean air in your pipes, yellow or brown means rust, and a green or blue tinge in your water means you’ve got corroded copper pipes.
  • Your water bill goes up dramatically. A sudden spike in your water bill is probably a good indication that you have a leak somewhere.
  • The toilet wobbles. This could just be an issue of a loose seat or bolts that need tightening. If neither of these is the problem, the wax seal around the toilet may have failed and your toilet may need to be reseated or replaced.

No matter what plumbing problem you’re facing, you can count on Mike Counsil Plumbing and Rooter to provide stellar plumbing services with a smile. Since 1994, we’ve served San Jose, California, and the South Bay Area, building a reputation on excellent service and a 100 percent satisfaction rate. Our family-owned and -operated company is committed to exceeding our clients’ expectations, and our staff is kept up to date on all the latest advances in the industry. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we’re available to take care of plumbing issues that can’t wait. Call 408.705.4820 or contact us through our website to learn more.

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As a Family owned and operated company we service all plumbing needs in San Jose, California and the South Bay.