Top 6 Common Plumbing Issues in Philadelphia for 2024 & How to Spot Them

Key Takeaways

  • Overview of the most frequent plumbing problems in Philadelphia homes.
  • Tips on how to identify these issues early.
  • Guidance on when to call a professional plumber.

Common Philadelphia Plumbing Problems

Philadelphia, with its rich history and diverse architecture, also brings unique challenges in home maintenance, particularly in plumbing. From historic homes with aging pipes to new constructions facing modern plumbing dilemmas, Philly homeowners often encounter a range of plumbing issues. Understanding these common problems can help in quick identification and resolution, preventing minor issues from escalating into major headaches.

In this guide we will walk you through the top 6 most common plumbing issues faced by Philly homeowners and how you can prevent bigger issues by identifying them early.

1. Leaky Faucets and Pipes

Leaky faucets and pipes are not just annoying but can lead to significant water waste and damage over time. Identifying a leak is often as simple as hearing a drip or seeing water accumulate where it shouldn’t. Sometimes, you might notice a higher water bill without increased usage, which is a clear sign of hidden leaks.

Look out for:

  • Visual signs:puddles under pipes, wet cabinets, or stains on ceilings.
  • Auditory signs: constant dripping sounds

If you notice any of the signs above it’s a good indication that you are experiencing leaky pipes or faucets. Make sure to speak to a local plumberfor help or read EPA’s Guide on Fixing Leaks for some DIY solutions.

2. Clogged Drains and Toilets

Clogs are a common issue that can often be prevented with regular maintenance. Signs of a clogged drain include water backing up out of a drain or toilet, gurgling sounds from drains, or the unpleasant presence of slow draining water.

It’s important to address clogs early to prevent overflows and potential water damage.

How to spot clogging issues:

  1. Check if the water drains slowly after flushing or running faucets.
  2. Listen for gurgling sounds from drains—it indicates blockage.
  3. Notice any bad odors coming from the drain; this could mean trapped organic material that is decomposing.

If you are experiencing issues with clogged drains or toilets visit our dedicated page at help.

3. Frozen Pipes

In Philadelphia’s cold winters, frozen pipes are a real risk, particularly in poorly insulated areas. Preventing this involves insulating pipes and possibly using heat tape. Signs of frozen pipes include no water coming out of faucets, visible frost on pipes, and very cold temperatures around plumbing.

Prevention tips:

  • Insulate pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Let faucets drip slightly on colder nights.

Signs of freezing:

  • No water flow
  • Frost on exterior
  • Unusually cold surface temperature.

If you have noticed any of the above signs or want to make sure your plumbing is prepped for next winter visit our page for Frozen Pipe Thawing.

4. Overworked Water Heaters

During the colder months, water heaters work harder to provide hot water, which can lead to wear and tear. Signs that your water heater is overworked include inconsistent water temperatures, strange noises from the heater, and leaks around the base of the heater.

SignPossible CauseSolution
Inconsistent water temperaturesSediment buildupFlush the tank annually
Noises from the tankBoiling water due to overheatingCheck thermostat settings
Water around heaterLeak in the tankMay require professional repair

5. Hard Water

Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, can lead to scale buildup in your plumbing systems and appliances. This can affect everything from your water heater to your shower heads. Signs of hard water include filmy residue on dishes, reduced soap lather, and a buildup on faucets.

  • Signs of hard water: Spotty dishes, stiff laundry, reduced water pressure.
  • Solutions: Installing a water softener, using vinegar to clean faucets and showerheads.

Services like Aquasana can help you solve hard water issues in your home.

6. Sewer Smells

Sewer odours in your home can be alarming and may indicate a dry trap, which is supposed to block sewer gas from entering the house, or a breach in your sewer line.

This is probably the easiest issue to spot on the list as the smell of sewage is hard to ignore.

Some quick checks you can do, if you notice sewage smells in or around your home, are to ensure that all drains have water in their traps and that vent pipes are not blocked. See this great guide from MrRooter for some additional steps you can take.

If the issue seems to stem from the sewer lines, contact us for help with Sewer Line Inspection and Repair.

Knowing When to Call a Professional Plumber

Complex Issues and Safety Concerns

While many minor plumbing issues can be handled with DIY methods, certain situations require the expertise of a professional plumber. It’s important to recognize when a problem is beyond your skill level or could pose safety risks if not handled correctly.

Signs You Need Professional Help

If you encounter any of the following scenarios, it’s time to call a professional:

  • Persistent leaks that recur despite attempts at repair.
  • Significant water pressure issues or sudden drops in pressure.
  • Visible signs of water damage to walls, ceilings, or floors.
  • Any plumbing work that involves gas lines or main water lines.
  • Installation of new pipes, sinks, tubs, or toilets.
  • Major blockages or backups that home remedies can’t clear.
  • Renovations or installations that require permits or specialized knowledge.
  • Suspected leaks behind walls or under the foundation.

Don’t let a minor issue turn into a major problem! For reliable and expert plumbing services in Philadelphia, contact Best Plumber Philly. Our team of experienced professionals is equipped to handle all your plumbing needs, ensuring everything is done right the first time. Call us now.


What is the most common plumbing issue in Philadelphia homes?

Leaky faucets and clogged drains are at the top of the list due to frequent use and lack of regular maintenance.

How often should I check my plumbing for potential issues?

It’s recommended to do a basic home plumbing check at least twice a year. Seasonal checks can help catch issues like freezing pipes before they cause damage.

Can I fix any plumbing issues myself or should I always call a professional?

Some minor issues like replacing washers on leaky faucets or unclogging minor drain blockages can be DIY projects. However, for major repairs or installations, it’s best to contact a professional plumber.

Plumbing issues are common but knowing how to spot them early can save you from costly repairs and inconvenience. This list of the top plumbing problems in Philadelphia for 2024 should help you keep your home’s plumbing in top shape. Remember, while some fixes can be done yourself, never hesitate to call a professionalfor complex problems to ensure everything is handled safely and effectively.


  • AdamH

    Adam brings years of digital marketing expertise, traditionally helping local businesses enhance their online visibility. Through his professional journey, Adam identified a persistent challenge: many people struggle to find reliable plumbing services tailored to their specific needs. To address this gap, he founded Best Plumber Philly, a dedicated resource designed to connect Philadelphia residents with top-tier plumbing professionals. At Best Plumber Philly, Adam leverages his deepening understanding of Philadelphia’s unique plumbing challenges. His goal is to share this valuable knowledge with those seeking information on plumbing issues, ensuring they receive the best possible advice and service solutions. Adam’s insights are grounded in direct experience and tailored to meet the needs of both homeowners and plumbing professionals in the Philadelphia area.