Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fort Smith?
- 2 How Does the Water in Fort Smith Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fort Smith?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fort Smith?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fort Smith Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fort Smith?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fort Smith?
Most plumbing issues in Fort Smith are caused by the normal wear and tear of daily life, but we also deal with extra headaches from being so close to the Arkansas River. Older homes in Fort Smith are much more likely to have serious issues, especially if their plumbing systems haven’t been updated in a while. Here are some of the common problems that we solve in Fort Smith every day.
Sump Pump Installation and Repairs
Recurrent floods are a major issue throughout Fort Smith, as they are for many regions in Western Arkansas. That makes a fully functioning sump pump truly indispensable for houses with a basement or crawl space foundation. This hard-working appliance is your home’s first line of defense against the hazards and expenses of serious water damage.
The bad news is that sump pumps malfunction and it can sometimes happen when you need them the most. We get many calls to inspect pumps to make sure they’re in good working order and make any necessary repairs. Sump pumps have an average lifespan of between five and eight years, but this can be shorter if they’re regularly working overtime. Cleaning your sump pump once per season is a great way to help it last longer and also prevent any foul odors. It’s especially important to remove gravel and other hard debris that may have gotten stuck inside.
Low water pressure and high water bills are two signs that you’re dealing with this common issue, especially if you live in an older home. Pipes are made of very strong materials, but they do get corroded over time. This can cause them to spring a leak (or even several) and waste a great deal of water every month. Leaky pipes can even potentially damage the structural integrity of your home if the leaked water is pooling under your foundation and soaking into the concrete. Isolated leaks are relatively simple to manage, but extreme cases may require the replacement of large sections of piping.
Clogs & Slow-Running Drains
Drains are one of those very small things that will have a huge impact on your day when they’re not working well. Most bathroom clogs are caused by hair strands, which can glob together with soap residue to become pretty much impenetrable. Food remains are the main culprit for blocking kitchen drains, but oils are a huge problem as well since they do solidify in water.
If you’re dealing with a slow-running drain or even a full sink or tub, it’s time to call in the professionals. The clog removers available in stores will often not work, and they can even potentially damage your pipes if they’re not used correctly. At Mr Blue Plumbing, we’ve never seen a clog we couldn’t handle quickly and safely. Of course, if you’re dealing with this problem regularly, then it’s important to focus on prevention. Adding a stainless steel hair catcher over your shower drain can make a huge difference.
How Does the Water in Fort Smith Affect Your Plumbing?
Tap water in Fort Smith is mostly sourced from the Frog Bayou Watershed, with a smaller amount coming from Lake Fort Smith. Arkansas has some of the softest water in the country, and Fort Smith is no different. Our water measures at around 28 parts per million or ppm, which means it doesn’t have much calcium carbonate or magnesium. This is very good news for plumbing systems in Fort Smith since we don’t have to deal with many of the hard water issues that plague homeowners around the country. The presence of those hard minerals is known to affect the performance and longevity of certain appliances, especially water heaters. Fort Smith’s soft water can extend the life of your plumbing and it also lathers very well, which leaves clothes and dishes much cleaner.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fort Smith?
The cost of hiring a certified plumber in Fort Smith will vary quite a bit depending on the type of project, how long it takes us to complete it, what materials are involved, and other factors. Homeowners can expect to pay an average of around $350, but we would be happy to give you a more precise quote if you call to let us know about your situation. Here are the main factors that will go into your plumbing estimate.
Complexity of the Job
Plumbing jobs can range from very straightforward to much more specialized, and they sometimes require advanced tools or skills. Simple issues like a clogged drain or a leaky faucet are on the low end of the pay scale, while installing a new sump pump or replacing a water heater would be somewhere on the higher end. In general, the cost of our services will depend on how complicated the problem will be to resolve.
Length of the Job
It’s common for plumbers to charge a flat rate for certain straightforward services, but there are also many situations where it makes more sense for us to charge by the hour. For example, low water pressure is a problem that has many potential causes, and some of them are much more time-consuming than others.
Regular Maintenance Vs Emergency Repair
Major plumbing problems, like a burst pipe or a backed-up sewer, are extra stressful and also potentially extra expensive. Urgent repairs are always going to cost more than a scheduled plumbing service, especially if they happen after regular business hours, when we have to scramble to send an experienced plumber to your door. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to handle all the basic upkeep needed to keep plumbing systems in good working order.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fort Smith?
If you haven’t recently upgraded your plumbing, then the answer is almost definitely yes. That’s because better plumbing is also likely to be more efficient plumbing, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. Choosing the right plumbing appliances and fixtures will help you substantially lower your water and energy bills every month. The EPA’s WaterSense program is a great place to start thinking about potential upgrades that would be worth the investment. Replacing an older water heater with an Energy Star model is one of the best ways to make a big impact on your bottom line. New water heaters are safer and much more efficient than the appliances available on the market a decade ago. Low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads are another great option for curbing water usage.
Better plumbing can also save you money when it comes to preventative maintenance that keeps your plumbing in tip-top shape. This is especially true if you’re dealing with the same problems again and again, such as recurrent water leaks. Hiring plumbers to make piecemeal repairs doesn’t always make economic sense. Leaky pipes are also draining your wallet by wasting water month after month and year after year. Depending on your plumbing system’s age and overall condition, the best solution might be to invest in some durable new pipes.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fort Smith Vs Hire a Plumber?
Most of the plumbing problems in Fort Smith would require calling a plumber, but there are exceptions. It all depends on whether the issue is happening within your home’s plumbing system or if it’s coming from the city’s side.
Fort Smith’s Utility Department only maintains the municipal water and sewer lines that provide services to each neighborhood. That means each homeowner is responsible for all plumbing on their side of the meter, which means right up to the point of connection with the main lines operated by the city. Most plumbing issues you might experience, like low water pressure or a spike in your water bill, would usually be caused by a water leak within your system. You should call Mr. Blue Plumbing and we’d be happy to get to the bottom of it.
The scenarios that would require a call to Fort Smith’s Utility Department would all have to do with the city-owned plumbing infrastructure. If you notice water leaking down your street, there might potentially be a water main break in the area. This is a leak in one of the central arteries of our water distribution system, which is a pretty big deal, and you should call the water utility company right away. You should also call them if you’ve completely lost water at every tap on your property. This is typically a sign of a water outage, especially if your neighbors report the same problem. Any problems with the municipal water line in your neighborhood are handled by Fort Smith’s Utility Department, and they will send their team to investigate.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fort Smith?
Homeowners in Fort Smith don’t need a permit for superficial plumbing issues like unclogging a drain or installing a new showerhead. Once we get to more structural plumbing changes, like installing a water heater, changing your septic tank connections, or repairing a water line, then the city needs to approve the project.
Every plumbing system in Fort Smith and throughout the state of Arkansas has to comply with the Arkansas Plumbing Code. That means homeowners need to use an Arkansas-licensed certified plumber, and they also have to request a permit for major plumbing work. These rules are designed to make sure that all highly technical plumbing work is handled by a skilled plumber that has the knowledge to do the job safely. Also, every home in Fort Smith is connected to the city’s main water supply. The permitting process ensures that any changes to your plumbing system won’t harm your neighbors or the city’s plumbing infrastructure.