Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Auburn?
- 2 How Does the Water in Auburn Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Auburn?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Auburn?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Auburn Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Auburn?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Auburn?
Auburn, AL is a well-known university town. Its university and football team attract residents from all over the country who come to the area to learn, teach, and research. The city, with a population of approximately 64,000, offers both culture and nature. Not far away is Chewacla State Park, which offers picnic trails, walking grounds, and playgrounds. If you’re more in the mood for arts and culture, you can visit the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.
Of course, despite this attractive setting, Auburn homeowners and business owners are not immune to many of the same plumbing issues that affect buildings all over the States. Most commonly reported problems include:
- Backed-up or slow drains
- Leaking toilets, faucets, and other fixtures
- Issues with water pressure
Some historic areas in Auburn date back as far as 1846. As a result, these areas, which include the Auburn University Historic District, are more likely to have older plumbing which can be more prone to leaks and other problems. And of course, as a city in Alabama, Auburn experiences its share of tornadoes and occasional hurricanes, which can contribute to certain plumbing issues as well. Common plumbing projects to deal with the aftermath of severe storms or hurricanes include:
- Repair of pipes leaking due to flooding
- Repair of water heaters that have malfunctioned due to flooding
- Unclogging of sewer lines impacted by flooding
How Does the Water in Auburn Affect Your Plumbing?
Auburn’s municipal water is supplied primarily from Lake Ogletree, a 300-acre compound in the southeast of the city. Water from Lake Ogletree is treated at the James Estes Water Treatment Plant, which can process up to 8 million gallons per day (MGD). The lake is fed primarily from Chewacla Creek. This creek, along with its major tributaries of Nash Creek and Robinson Creek, originates near Opelika, AL, and flows southwest to Lake Ogletree.
To supplement seasonal high demand, the Water Works Board of the City of Auburn also purchases drinking water from Opelika Utilities. Opelika receives its water from Saugahatchee Lake and the Halawakee Creek Embayment on Lake Harding. 20% of Auburn’s drinking water came from Opelika Utilities in 2020.
About water “hardness”
The hardness level of a city’s water is determined by the amount of calcium and magnesium deposits that it is found to contain. Auburn’s water qualifies as soft. Water that is considered soft contains a low level of dissolved calcium and/or magnesium. Auburn city water has an average hardness of 28.6 ppm, which qualifies as soft.
The soft water in Auburn may have no immediate effect on your plumbing. But over time, you may begin to notice its effects. Although soft water does not cause the mineral buildup in pipes often associated with hard water, it can create other problems. For example, because soft water lacks certain minerals, it can cause pinhole leaks in pipes. This is due to the fact that it will attract minerals such as copper as it passes through pipes, weakening them through corrosion.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Auburn?
People often put off a call to our plumbers because they are worried about what service might cost. This procrastination can backfire, however, if one lets a problem continue to grow. In such cases, expenses can easily rise if problems are not dealt with when they are small. Of course, it’s impossible to predict with any certainty what your plumbing services might cost in Auburn because so much depends on the services that you need. Nevertheless, it is possible to get a general idea of a range of plumbing charges that Auburn residents could expect to incur. The average cost of a plumbing project in Lee County, AL is $333, ranging between $150 and $875 in most cases. As mentioned above, though, several factors go into determining how much you ultimately pay for your plumbing service. These factors may include:
Cost Factor: Type of Service
Plumbing service can range from simple repairs, such as unclogging a toilet or sink, to more involved endeavors, such as installing a water heater or even locating an underground leak. Expenses will of course rise along with the complexity and length of the project. Unclogging a toilet or sink will be less expensive than a project that requires digging up the earth, for example. And should you have an emergency, you can expect costs to rise even more. Off-hours or rush service come with premium price tags in most cases. Finally, there’s always the unexpected to contend with. In doing one project, our plumber may discover unknown, hidden damage to pipes, perhaps caused by soft water, flooding, or simply age. These surprises can lead costs to rise even more.
Cost Factor: Permits
As mentioned above, the amount of work that must go into a plumbing job will vary greatly by the nature of the project. What can also vary are the additional expenses of any possible permits required for the project. Should a permit be required for your work, that will of course end up coming out of your pocket, even if our plumber is the person who files for the permit. As discussed further below, Auburn requires permits for certain types of plumbing work, which adds to the overall cost.
Cost Factor: Cost of Materials and Supplies
Costs of materials are becoming harder and harder to predict these days, thanks to fluctuations in price resulting from supply chain challenges. This is true as much in plumbing as in any other industry. Thus, you will need to be prepared that any research you do on pricing for your project today may no longer apply should you decide to wait another few months or even weeks before asking our plumber to undertake the work.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Auburn?
Whether you’re new to Auburn or are a lifelong Alabama resident, you’re sure to be aware of how critical it is to conserve water. In addition to being good for planet Earth, though, the benefits of conserving water also extend to our wallets. Read on for some ways in which making a few adjustments now can continue to save you money over the long run.
Here’s a statistic that may surprise you: American households can waste up to 10,000 gallons per year as a result of water leaks. Just imagine what else you could do with the extra money you’re spending on your water bills. Even the smallest leaks should be repaired because they can create water damage to flooring, ceilings, and other fixtures over time.
To save on water costs, you will want to make sure that your fixtures are updated. This will involve replacing older faucets and toilets with newer, low-flow models, among other necessary tasks. Low-flow fixtures aren’t expensive, and they often more than pay for themselves over their lifetime.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Auburn Vs Hire a Plumber?
Most minor plumbing problems are appropriate for our professional plumbers. Fixture installations, minor leaks, and problems of that nature don’t require the big guns. There are times, though, when it is likely a better idea to reach out to a utility company such as the Water Works Board. Read on for some examples of situations where it is better to choose one or the other.
Water Leaks Outside the Home
If you see a suddenly soggy patch of ground in your yard, or your driveway is beginning to mysteriously crumble, or your water bill is shooting up for no apparent reason, you may begin to suspect that you have a water line break somewhere outside your home. But if this is the case, who do you call? The answer depends in large part on whether the leak is in a water line on your property or in a line owned by the utility company. If the leak is in a line owned by the company, you’re in luck: the Water Works Board will need to perform the repair at their own cost. If it is in a line on your property, however, you may be in for a significant plumbing bill. If you’re not sure where the leak might be occurring, you will likely want to call us so we can locate the problem point before proceeding further.
Water Supply Issues
If your water pressure drops suddenly, or you have no water at all coming into your home, it’s time for some investigation. Start by checking with your neighbors: are they experiencing similar issues? If so, your best bet will be to contact the Water Works Board. They can send a service professional to inspect the line and identify any issues.
If yours is the only household on the block experiencing a lack of water, however, you’re probably going to want to call our experienced plumbers. You most likely have a leak somewhere on your property. Before calling us, make sure to check whether you have any partially closed valves that could explain the problem. If not, our plumbers would be your best choice for identifying the problem and rectifying it. The problem may stem from clogged or corroded pipes, clogged aerators, or even something like tree roots invading your pipes.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Auburn?
While obtaining a permit for your plumbing project may seem like a hassle, construction-related permits are some of the main ways in which local governments can ensure that structures remain safe for their residents. They exist to make sure that contractors follow all applicable building codes. Common plumbing projects for which a permit must be obtained in Auburn include:
- Adding or replacing fixtures that involve piping alterations
- Water heaters
- Sewer projects
Permits are not required for fixture repair or replacement that do not involve piping alterations.
An advantage of hiring our knowledgeable plumbing professionals is that they will be familiar with the municipal permit requirements, saving you the time and effort of sorting through the bureaucracy.