Picture this: it’s a ripping hot day in late December, and you’re hosting a festive lunch for your extended family. Everything goes to plan: the ham is juicy, the prawns are perfect, and your in-laws are on their best behaviour.

Your guests leave. You stack the dishwasher. You’re ready to put your feet up for the afternoon.

But then – disaster strikes!

The sink starts gurgling, and instead of water draining, there’s water coming up! You try again, and again the cycle fails.

The sink isn’t draining and the dishwater is threatening to stop working. You’ve got a mountain of dirty dishes, a swampy dishwasher, and dwindling hopes of finding a residential plumber in Sydney to take your call.

Take a breath.

We’ve got this.

Residential plumbing issues can quickly turn from a minor annoyance to a major problem if left unresolved. As we approach the holidays, take a moment to consider whether proactive maintenance can prevent a plumbing disaster from derailing the festive spirit.


Common residential plumbing issues 

Dripping taps

Every drop from a leaky tap is money down the sink and a drain on our precious resources. Dripping taps can waste 2,000 litres of water a month, almost the same volume needed for two showers daily.

We’ve seen dripping taps caused by everything from worn-out washers to faulty cartridges. Some remedies are easy enough if you’re comfortable using hand tools, while others require a residential plumber to inspect everything, including the kitchen sink.


Reasons for dripping taps:

  • Worn or damaged washers are especially common in older taps with wear and tear.
  • Loose or damaged handles can prevent taps from shutting off properly.
  • A corroded valve seat can also prevent taps from closing properly.
  • High water pressure can strain internal components, causing leaks.
  • A damaged cartridge can cause mixer taps to leak.


DIY solutions:

  • Tighten loose components in the tap assembly, such as nuts or screws – just be careful not to overtighten anything.
  • Replace the washer by turning off the water supply, disassembling the tap and swapping out the old washer with a new one.
  • Clean the valve seat with vinegar or cleaning products to eliminate corrosion and restore the seal.


When to call a professional:

While some dripping tap issues are an easy DIY fix, it’s smart to call a residential plumbing services specialist when the leak persists or if the plumbing is particularly old or complex.

You should also call a professional plumber if you have any doubts about the cause of your tap troubles. They can get right to the root of the issue, saving you time, hassle and the cost of a misdiagnosed dripping tap.


Slow or blocked drains

A slow-draining sink or bathtub isn’t just frustrating. It’s a potential health hazard, as bacteria thrive in these environments.


Common causes of slow drains:

  • Food particles and excess oil are the most common culprits in congested kitchen drains – including that untimely blocked dishwasher.
  • Hair, soap residue and dirt are the usual suspects in bathroom blockages.
  • Toilet paper can cause drainage problems, but a blocked toilet typically points to a more serious issue in your sewer line.

Debris and dirt from the gutter will cause a drainage issue outside your home. That’s why we recommend cleaning your gutters before the rainy season.


DIY solutions:

  • Use a plunger or drain snake to clear the blockage.
  • Pour boiling water down the drain to dissolve solids.
  • Drop in drain strainers, an inexpensive way to prevent food and other solids from entering your plumbing.
  • Use a drain cleaner (as a last resort, and be careful as they contain harsh chemicals).


When to call a professional:

DIY drain cleaning only works for minor build-ups. Anything more serious requires a professional plumber with experience and specialist drain-cleaning equipment.

Discarded grease, oil, food and other solids can build up in your drainage system, causing a nasty situation known as a “fatberg”. Only a professional Sydney plumber with inspection cameras and specialist equipment can diagnose and clear fatbergs.


Running toilets

Running toilets are not-so-silent water wasters, steadily inflating your water bill and squandering nearly 45 litres per day.

Identifying and addressing the issue promptly is key to saving both water and money.


Common reasons for running toilets:

  • A faulty flush seal, the seal between the tank and bowl, can allow water to flow into the bowl continuously.
  • Float issues, such as a float stuck too high, may send water into the overflow tube, triggering a continuous refill.
  • A malfunctioning fill valve can lead to a running toilet by constantly refilling the tank.
  • Overflow tube problems can cause water to drain into the bowl.

When to call a professional:

Toilets can be tricky. If you can’t immediately spot the problem or suspect multiple issues might be at play, it’s time to call a professional.

The best residential plumbers in Sydney (like Bear Plumbing) have experience with complex modern cisterns, older plumbing and everything in between.


Low water pressure

Feeble pressure makes showering, washing dishes and doing laundry a frustrating experience. Low water pressure is especially tricky to diagnose as the source could be a build-up, blockage, valve issue or leaking pipe.


Common reasons for low water pressure:

  • Sediment build-up is common in aerators and showerheads, especially in areas with hard water.
  • Pipe corrosion in Sydney’s aging pipes can narrow the pipe diameter, impeding water flow.
  • Valves supplying water to a specific fixture can sometimes shut fully or partially, restricting the flow.


DIY solutions:

  • Clean aerators and showerheads by unscrewing the fixtures and removing any debris.
  • Flush the pipes by turning off the main water supply, opening all faucets, then turning the water back on. This trick can help clear accumulated debris.
  • Check for leaks by inspecting your walls, floors and plumbing system for spots where moisture is collecting.


When to call a professional:

If your water pressure remains low after cleaning accumulated sediment from aerators or showerheads, call a plumber to diagnose the problem.

That goes double for any leaking pipes; if you spot the signs of a leak, shut off the water supply and immediately call a Sydney residential plumber with leak detection expertise.

Moisture in the walls and floors does significant damage if left unaddressed, and you’ll need more than a plumber to solve that problem.


Preventative measures, plus how to choose the best residential plumbing service in Sydney

Vigilance and regular maintenance are the best strategies to prevent an untimely plumbing disaster. Don’t wait until you have a full dishwasher that won’t drain or bacteria brewing in your bathroom plumbing.

Keep an eye out for the early signs of trouble. And try these low-effort DIY ideas:

  • Install drain strainers to catch hair, soap scum and food particles.
  • Regularly check for leaks around pipes and fittings.
  • Clean or replace aerators regularly.
  • Tune up your water heater annually.
  • Contact a licensed residential plumber to inspect and flush your sewer lines yearly, especially before winter.

For peace of mind and a stress-free silly season, consider organising preventative maintenance by a Sydney plumbing service.

Choose a plumber who is professional, solution-oriented and trusted (always check reviews) to be sure your needs are met. A plumber like Bear Plumbing.

We believe our experience and qualifications speak for themselves. We’re committed to providing exceptional service without cutting corners, so there’s no chance of a plumbing problem disrupting your holiday cheer.

Get in touch to schedule a routine inspection or discuss your drainage issues with Sydney’s trusted residential plumbing partner.