Plumbing Diagnostic: How Plumbers Figure Out Problems

Posted By The Eco Plumbers

11 Feb. 2015

When something goes wrong with your plumbing, your first reaction may be, "How big of a problem is this going to be?" That's where a plumbing diagnostic comes in. Before your plumber can fix a problem, he or she has to run diagnostics. Most companies will offer free in-home inspections and provide you with a quote before they begin working on the problem.

A plumbing diagnostic is also helpful if you've just moved into a new home or if you're planning on renovating. Plumbers use specialized diagnostic tools that may be able to detect problems in your plumbing that will need to be addressed to avoid future issues or having to redo your renovation work.

Here's what happens when a plumber starts running diagnostics on your plumbing:

  • Questions. A plumber should always ask specific questions to confirm what a home or business owner is experiencing before starting to work on diagnosis. There are key words and situations an individual may describe to give a plumber an idea about the potential problems.
  • Physical inspection. Depending on the reason for the call, a plumber might recognize the problem right away. Many of the issues that are addressed by plumbers are the same, and they have an understanding of symptoms that can be easily and quickly addressed without further diagnostic action.

If a plumber notices a blockage, he or she will run water in other areas of the house to determine if there are additional blockages. If there are, the symptom is an indication of an obstruction somewhere beyond the drain line of an individual fixture. He or she will continue to work near an isolated blockage to determine roughly where a blockage might exist.

Many companies will include a physical inspection of the rest of the access points in your home or office with each visit to ensure the overall system health.

  • Electronic diagnostic tools. In some cases, specialized tools will be necessary to narrow down a problem or determine the integrity of the overall system. Some of these include:

o Infrared thermometer guns. These determine the temperature of pipes if you are experiencing a problem with your water heater.

o Cameras. Plumbers can snake a line with a light and camera lens down into pipes to see the issues without having to take apart an item or go through a wall for a diagnosis. Many times a plumber will use a mechanical rod to open the line before using this tool. Cameras are very helpful for determining where a blockage is located, especially in cases where the blockage cannot be narrowed down to an area near blocked fixtures.

o Gas leak detectors. These tools can help determine if your water heater or any other gas line has been compromised.

  • Water evaluation. Reddish or rusty water may indicate corrosion somewhere down the line. Other water conditions can indicate problems with mineral deposit buildup in the pipes.

In a plumbing diagnostic, a plumber will use some or all of these indicators to help figure out exactly what the problem is and suggest a solution. Contact The Eco Plumbers for a diagnostic today.

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