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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Unusual Plumbing Issues and What Causes Them


Your home’s plumbing system is complex with lots of pipes, connections, and fixtures that must work harmoniously to keep your home supplied with water. With such a complicated system, sometimes you’ll find yourself scratching your head and wondering what has caused a weird plumbing problem.

Sometimes you’ll have no hot water in the shower but hot water everywhere else. Or maybe your pipes make a loud banging or thumping noise after you turn a tap off. Let’s go over some unusual plumbing issues you may encounter.

Water Hammer

Water hammer is when the water in a pipe system suddenly changes direction. This can cause a loud banging noise as the pipes resonate, expand, and contract. Also known as hydraulic shock, a water hammer is caused by shockwaves that result from the sudden stopping of water moving through the pipes. When a tap shuts off anywhere along your plumbing system, it cuts off the flow of water, creating this shockwave.

You don’t typically hear it because your plumbing system is designed to have air cushions in it that absorb the force. When water hammer happens, it means something is preventing the air cushions from forming. The air chambers have possibly become water-logged and they need to be restored.

Water hammer needs to be addressed ASAP. The constant expansion and contraction, as well as banging against walls and other pipes, has the potential to damage components in your plumbing system. Ultimately, it could result in a leak or ruptured pipe. 

Dry P-Trap

Have you ever detected sewer smells in your home? It could be an issue with a p-trap. The p-trap is the bent section of the drainpipe right below the drain that’s visible when you open the cabinets under the sink. It acts as a barrier between the sink drain and the rest of the wastewater system of the house. The water in the p-trap prevents sewer gas from entering your home. 

However, sometimes the water in the p-trap can evaporate in sinks that aren’t used frequently such as a sink in the garage or utility room. When the p-trap dries up, sewer odors will start to escape. Luckily, the solution is an easy one if this is the problem. Just run water down the drain for a minute to restore the water in the trap.

No Hot Water in the Shower

This is quite a perplexing problem. Your water is hot everywhere except where you want it to be hot the most: to take a hot bath or shower. There are a few potential causes of this but the most likely one is a broken mixing valve.

The mixing valve is a control valve that creates the balance in the flow of water from the hot water line and the cold water line and blends the two together to make the perfect water temperature for a shower. Over time, it can wear down or break. This is an easy fix for one of our plumbing technicians.

Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air has served Orange County since 1981. Schedule plumbing service with our technicians today.

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