Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Tuscaloosa?
- 2 How Does the Water in Tuscaloosa Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Tuscaloosa?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Tuscaloosa?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Tuscaloosa Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Tuscaloosa?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Tuscaloosa?
One of the most common household problems faced today is clogged drains. This is the primary complaint when it comes to plumbing problems in Tuscaloosa. If you notice that your sink, shower, or other appliance drains slowly, this is the first step towards a possible total blockage of your drain. If left long enough, you could risk having a total sewage backup.
Low Water Pressure
According to the USGS water hardness scale, our water here in Tuscaloosa is hard. Hard water means that there is an excess of minerals that can get deposited in the pipes over time. As minerals build up in pipes, this reduces the flow of water.
Hard water not only causes mineral buildup in pipes, but also in appliances. Sediment may accumulate in water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines, causing them to work harder, be inefficient, malfunction, and eventually break.
If you experience any of these issues, contact us to diagnose the problem. We can help you avoid more serious problems in the future.
How Does the Water in Tuscaloosa Affect Your Plumbing?
About 90% of homes in Alabama have hard water which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Over time, these minerals can cause scaling and buildup that can clog water lines and cause problems for the plumbing in your home. Over time, the scaling that occurs in your pipes may end up growing bacteria which can ultimately be a risk to you and your family’s health. The only way to truly remedy the situation is to install a salt-based water softener.
Another problem we often see in Tuscaloosa is clogged drains. To prevent clogged drains from turning into a full-blown sewage backup, have your drains cleaned regularly. The average home will need its drains cleaned every 18 to 22 months to avoid potential sewage backups. Regular drain cleanings promote effortless water flow.
Always look out for signs of drain clogging including:
- Drains that are slow
- Standing water in sinks, showers, or tubs
- Sewage smells coming from drains (if continually left, these could potentially pose a serious health risk down the road)
- Unusual gurgling or bubbling that comes from drains (indicating a blockage further down the sewage line)
- Overflowing toilets
Furthermore, hard water will interact more with the soaps in your home. It can’t clean as well as soft water. Soft water is about 12 times more effective than hard water at washing dishes. If you use a soft water filter, your soaps will not only be more effective, but you will also use less water.
Long-term use of hard water can allow your pipes to harbor bacteria which can also have a negative, long-term effect on your health. Using this kind of water to wash your fruits and vegetables could then be deposited onto your food and ingested. This can be detrimental to you and your family’s health. Inhaling this same bacteria can also have health consequences like possibly causing Legionnaire’s disease which comes from bacteria called Legionella.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Tuscaloosa?
The cost of plumbing will depend on several factors. However, emergency plumbing services are usually more expensive than routine maintenance plumbing. The average cost of a plumbing job in Tuscaloosa is between $92.00 and $663.00, which takes into account the following:
- Labor cost
- The average cost for materials and equipment for emergency plumbing
- All project costs
You will also be responsible for paying the following costs that are usually not included in the general base price of a plumbing job:
- Permits that are required by the city
- Inspection and/or building fees
- Material & supply sales taxes according to the City of Tuscaloosa and the state of Alabama
In conclusion, the cost of the job will depend on what the exact problem is and what needs to be done to fix it. You don’t just need to fix the problem at hand, but you need a permanent solution so that the problem doesn’t reoccur.
When you need a job done, the timetable can help determine how much you pay. If you need a plumbing job done at 3:30 am on a Saturday, it will cost more than something that needs to be fixed within the next couple of days, when an appointment is available. The more urgent the nature of the job is, the more it will likely cost to have it done on short notice.
The more labor that a job requires, the more it will cost to have it completed. The average cost of labor runs between $45 and $200. The average labor cost is about $120/hour. This means that if you have a project that takes us 3 hours to complete, you will pay far less than a job that takes an 8-hour workday to complete.
Parts and Equipment
The parts and equipment that have to be purchased will increase the cost of the job. Given, the more parts and equipment needed to complete the job, the more the job will cost. This will be shouldered by you.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Tuscaloosa?
When it comes to quality plumbing in Tuscaloosa, you want to look for pipes that are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC pipes are made of plastic, so they do not corrode over time as copper pipes will. PVC is both affordable and versatile, and it can be applied in both warm and cold weather.
Another key to saving money on your plumbing in Tuscaloosa and one of the biggest ways to do so is to use a water softener. Using a water softener will allow you to remove many of the minerals and calcium that build up in the pipes over time. Removing calcium and minerals from hard water can help you save money on pipe and water line repairs in the future by keeping your pipes and water lines from clogging.
Getting your pipes cleaned once every 18 to 22 months, as is recommended for the average homeowner, will cost less money than having to pay for constant pipe and water line cleaning due to hard water clogs.
Furthermore, using a water softener can help protect your family’s health, which you can’t put a price on. It will make it harder for bacteria to grow in your home’s plumbing. Avoiding the growth of bacteria can help ensure your family’s health.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Tuscaloosa Vs Hire a Plumber?
Calling the water utility company becomes necessary when the problem is an issue that we cannot solve. Calling the water company or the City of Tuscaloosa becomes necessary in several situations, including the following:
- You are concerned with the quality of water you receive in your home such as sewage or contaminants in your water supply.
- You need assistance with the water lines themselves and not the plumbing in your home.
- You need water turned on or off when you move to a new residence.
- You have a water main break or leak that is causing immediate damage to your surrounding property.
- You have an issue with your water bill or what you are being charged for service.
These are reasons to reach out directly to your water company. We are equipped to take care of basic issues that you have with your plumbing, but are generally not equipped to handle concerns with the safety of your water or billing for the utility services you receive. In these cases, contacting your utility company is the best way to solve your problem.
In the case of a safety concern with your water supply, you should contact your water company immediately to ensure that you are not risking your health.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Tuscaloosa?
Individuals are free to practice plumbing on their personal property, residence, or business without either being licensed by the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board or without needing a business license from Tuscaloosa.
Whether or not permits are required for residential alterations and additions varies from city to city. To find out if the work or service you need in Tuscaloosa requires a permit, you can refer to the website to see our adopted codes. Should you need to get in touch with the Building and Inspections Department, you can find all pertinent info here.
Failure to follow any of the plumbing service codes in Tuscaloosa will result in a misdemeanor charge. The penalty for a misdemeanor set forth by Alabama law shall not exceed $500.00 in fines and/or confinement in the city jail or a sentence of six (6) months of hard labor for the City of Tuscaloosa. These are the penalties outlined in Section 1-8 for General Penalties (Continuing Violations).
If you need assistance, give us a call. Our team is more than willing to help.