Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In Huntsville?
- 2 How Does The Water In Huntsville Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Huntsville?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Huntsville?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Huntsville Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Huntsville?
What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In Huntsville?
Huntsville is known as the Rocket City, home to Marshall Space Flight Center and the Saturn V rocket. Located in the northern Appalachian region of Alabama, the terrain can be mountainous, especially in the east toward Monte Sano Mountain. There are many rivers, creeks, springs, and streams throughout the area, with the most notable body of water being Big Spring in downtown Huntsville.
While the city is home to a host of interesting sights, there are also many common plumbing issues in Huntsville.
Huntsville experiences mild winters with little to no snow and hot summers along with more precipitation on average than most of the United States. Floods are common in certain parts of Huntsville, with the Aldridge Creek and the floodplains being a major concern.
In these areas, proper drainage and a working sump pump can be a necessity for keeping your home dry. A slow drain or a broken sump pump can be a major plumbing problem in Huntsville during the wet spring season.
Old Leaky Pipes
Huntsville is home to some of the oldest structures in Alabama. Poplar Grove was built in 1814 and the Joel Eddins House in 1808. There are also many other structures from the 19th century throughout Huntsville.
Old homes typically have old plumbing systems that can cause plumbing issues in Huntsville. Cast iron and galvanized iron or steel pipes were commonly used up until the 1960s when copper and PVC pipes became preferred for home construction. These pipes are long-lasting but can corrode after decades of use, causing leaks and weak seams that burst under high water pressures.
If your home has an old plumbing system, it is important to have the pipes inspected regularly. Our plumbers in Huntsville respond to many calls regarding leaky or burst pipes.
Invasive Tree Roots
When a tree has spent decades growing in the proximity of your home, it can eventually cause problems with your plumbing. The roots of trees planted within 10 feet of the home can enter the foundation, plumbing, and sewage lines searching for water.
After the root finds a way to enter your plumbing, the problems begin. The sewage line can become backed up, causing backflow if the root starts to block the line. It can also cause pipe leaks and sewage leaks, making for costly cleanup. Tree roots are a common cause of blockage and leaks when residents call our plumbers in Huntsville.
Hard Water Scaling
The water in Huntsville is safe for cooking, washing, and drinking, but it tends to be hard. Hard water can cause scaling in appliances like coffee makers, tea kettles, and most importantly, your water heater.
Scaling is an effect of high concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water. It can leave a white residue on any surface that hot water touches and reduce the efficiency of your water heater and appliances.
Scaling can also occur on water pipes and around plumbing fixtures. Our plumbers in Huntsville can eliminate scaling with a water softener installation and maintain water heaters and pipes that may have a scaly build-up.
How Does The Water In Huntsville Affect Your Plumbing?
We already mentioned the effect of hard water in Huntsville on your appliances and plumbing, but what is hard water, and why does it cause plumbing issues in Huntsville?
Water hardness is measured in parts per million and gauges the calcium and magnesium particles in the water. Less than 60 parts per million is generally acceptable, above 60 is moderately hard, 120 and up is hard, and 180 or more is very hard.
The water from Huntsville Utilities has a hardness ranging from 62 to 69 parts per million. This is considered moderately hard and, if left untreated, it can make your appliances run less efficiently. This includes the water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher. It can also be unpleasant and make your water filters require more frequent maintenance.
Over many years, the inner diameter of scaly pipes can narrow as scaling builds up. It can reduce the flow of water through the pipes if untreated, but is more likely to happen in areas with very hard water. Our plumbers in Huntsville can ensure that your appliances and pipes are well maintained and reduce the hardness of your water with a water softener.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Huntsville?
Wondering how much your plumbing will cost in Huntsville? The average cost for services is around $450, but the total can fluctuate quite a bit. While we try to keep our services affordable, three primary factors influence the cost of plumbing repairs in Huntsville.
Urgency can have a major impact on the cost of your plumbing repair. A plumbing repair that can wait at least a day, such as a minor leak or a scaly water heater, can be repaired during regular business hours. We understand that not every plumbing repair can wait. When you have a plumbing emergency, we can send a plumber right away!
Our emergency service is 24/7 and we respond to calls immediately. If you have an urgent repair, such as a burst pipe or a broken water heater, our licensed plumbers in Huntsville will be sure to get there as soon as possible. For an additional fee, we will rearrange our schedules and arrive on the scene at any time to make sure your home has safe plumbing.
When plumbing fixtures and pipes are installed or repaired, the material is vital to a seamless plumbing system. If your home’s plumbing is made of PVC, repairs should also be made with PVC materials. Fortunately, PVC is inexpensive. If your home uses PEX or copper pipes, a repair can be more expensive.
Outdated materials, like pipes containing lead, can also be expensive to repair because the replacement of the entire plumbing system may be necessary. Lead is hazardous and may be present in plumbing systems installed before 1986.
Type of Work
The type of plumbing work is a decisive factor in the cost of plumbing. Maintenance, inspection, or small repairs are generally the most affordable. Major repairs, replacements, and installations can be significantly higher in price.
For instance, if you want a water heater installed, the price will include installing any new pipe, labor, other supplies, and the water heater itself along with transportation. A preventative maintenance call to inspect and remove scaling from a water heater will be much more affordable, especially if the water heater is well maintained.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Huntsville?
Better plumbing can be a considerable investment, but it can save you money in the long run. Investing in your plumbing can often offset the cost of the initial repair, upgrade, or installation. Water from Huntsville Utilities costs $1.33 per 1,000 gallons for the first 3,000 gallons and increases up to $3.01 per 1,000 gallons for a household using over 12,000 gallons. This means any water savings can be a money-saving opportunity.
While your old plumbing fixtures might work well enough, upgrading to eco-friendly WaterSense fixtures can save on your water bill with a regulated flow. Products with WaterSense on the label are approved by the EPA to provide 20% more water efficiency than conventional plumbing fixtures.
Maintaining your plumbing lines will help prevent corrosion, leaks, and other issues. Regular maintenance of your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, and other plumbing appliances can also help you save. Hard water can cause scaling that affects appliances’ water and energy efficiency. A well-maintained appliance is more likely to provide years of service without costly repairs. Installing a water softener can also prevent hard water from causing scaling on your plumbing and appliances.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Huntsville Vs Hire a Plumber?
When you have a plumbing problem, it helps to be certain if you should call the water utility company or our plumbers in Huntsville for speedy assistance. The following scenarios will help you determine who you should call first when a plumbing issue arises.
Water Utility Company
Huntsville Utilities delivers safe drinking water to 95,000 residential customers. If you live in Huntsville, Huntsville Utilities is likely reading your meter. The meter looks similar to a speedometer and if your water is running, the needle will move to indicate flow.
If you want to start, stop, or temporarily suspend your water service, the utility company can help you. They can also help if your meter isn’t working right, resulting in incorrect billing and household water pressure fluctuations.
The water utility company will also install the water meter if your home doesn’t have one yet. They are in charge of all the pipes leading to your meter, so report any water main breaks to the water utility company.
Our friendly plumbers in Huntsville would be happy to help you with almost any plumbing issue not listed above. Call our affordable plumbing service in Huntsville for any repairs, installations, replacements, maintenance, and inspections for your plumbing system.
Our most popular services include:
- Unclogging drains
- Repairing leaks
- Water heater flushing
- Broken fixture replacements
- Water quality issues (discoloration, taste, odor)
- Install new fixtures or water heaters
We provide a wide array of plumbing services in Huntsville. Our plumbers are licensed to provide the highest quality plumbing services.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Huntsville?
Most plumbing work in Huntsville will require a permit and inspection. Any work on a residential building costing $1,000 or more will require an inspection from a Madison County building inspector. This also includes any modification, construction, or addition to the plumbing drainage system, regardless of the cost.
A permit from Madison County is also required for any plumbing work except for stopping a leak, clearing blockages, and repairing fixtures or valves. Repairs where the water closet is removed and reinstalled are also exempt from a plumbing work permit. A permit is required if the fixture is deemed defective and requires replacement. A leaky pipe that requires repiping or valve replacement also requires a permit. The homeowner can apply for the permit or authorize our licensed plumbers in Huntsville to apply on their behalf.