Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fort Collins?
- 2 How Does the Water in Fort Collins Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fort Collins?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fort Collins?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fort Collins vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fort Collins?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fort Collins?
Most homes in Fort Collins have the same problems as those registered in most cities. However, the severity and frequency of plumbing problems often come down to usage, quality of plumbing, and its age. Buildings in Fort Collins historic districts – Old Town, Sheerly Drive, and Whitcomb Street – face an additional threat. Old plumbing systems are susceptible to damage and tend to break down frequently. Property owners might incur higher expenses in repairs, upgrades, and replacements.
Since Fort Collins has Seismic Design Category B classification, earthquakes and ground shaking pose a moderate threat to your plumbing system. Some areas have poor soils, which might lead to considerable ground shifting. The lack of additional threats reduces the number of plumbing problems in the region. Common plumbing problems in Fort Collins include:
- Clogged and backed drains.
- Cracked sewers and water mains.
- Leaking pipes.
- Failing water heaters.
- Septic tank problems.
The hot semi-arid weather in the region also poses a unique threat to the pipes buried in the ground. Water mains and sewer lines crack during the dry season when the soil dries up. Pinhole leaks often cause tree roots to invade a sewer, leading to huge cracks and eventual blockage.
How Does the Water in Fort Collins Affect Your Plumbing?
Most of Fort Collins drinking water comes from the Upper Cache la Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir. The region’s watershed consists of large swathes of land that drain rainfall water and snowmelt into the rivers and reservoirs. The water in Fort Collins is moderately hard – it contains 111 milligrams per liter or 6 grains per gallon.
Hard water poses a significant threat to your plumbing system because it clogs pipes and aerators with mineral build-ups. It also damages appliances such as home heaters that primarily work with soft water.
Scale build-up in water heaters lowers the unit’s efficiency and often leads to a blowout. Snowmelt contains a lot because it sits on the soils and rocks for a longer time than surface runoff. While hard water is safe for human consumption, it takes a huge toll on your plumbing system.
Water hardness refers to the quantity of dissolved minerals, particularly magnesium and calcium, in your water. Groundwater is the hardest water available because it has the highest amount of dissolved minerals. This water absorbs a lot of minerals as it seeps through the soil and rocks into underground reservoirs. While cold hard water forms deposits in regular pipes, the negative impacts are magnified when heated.
When heated, hard water forms solid deposits of calcium carbonate in the water heater. The limescale shortens the unit’s lifespan, lowers heating efficiency, raises the cost of heating, and clogs your hot water pipes.
Water hardness is expressed in many different units by grains per gallon, and milligrams per liter (mg/L) are the most common. The mg/L classifies hard water into four categories:
- Soft water – 0 to 60 mg/L
- Moderately hard – 61 to 120 mg/L
- Hard -121 to 180 mg/L
- Very hard more than 180 mg/L
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fort Collins?
You’ll be happy to learn that not all plumbing jobs will saddle you with a hefty bill. The typical plumbing jobs cost between $100 and $821, with most homeowners paying $410. Naturally, there are numerous factors at play when pricing a plumbing job, and they might increase or lower the final cost. Some of the most influential factors include:
Cost Factor: The Range and Scope of Work
Plumbing jobs range from simple tasks such as unclogging drain and aerators to complex jobs such as installing sewer lines, toilets, and water heaters. Low-priced jobs are simple and straightforward, and our skilled plumbers get them done quickly and efficiently. Installations, upgrades, and some repair jobs are complex undertakings that often come with high-cost implications.
Since most of your plumbing system is buried underground and hidden behind walls, our plumbers need to examine the pipes when issuing a quote. Camera technology allows us to establish the scope of service quickly and issue accurate quotes.
Cost Factor: Labor and Expenses
The cost of a plumbing job will depend on the job itself since some tasks are more laborious than others. For instance, installing a bathtub will cost more than installing a toilet. That’s because a bathtub may require extensive modifications to your plumbing and heating systems. Commercial plumbing jobs carry a higher price because the systems are more complex and extensive. Some plumbing jobs are charged per hour while others have a flat fee, which affects the final cost.
Cost Factor: Material and Supplies
The cost of plumbing supplies depends on the materials they are made of, with metallic pipes and fitting being the most expensive of the bunch. PVC, CPVC, and PEX pipes are made of plastic and are more affordable. CPVC pipes have the additional advantage of being easy to install, which leads to lower labor charges.
Demand and supply also influence the cost of plumbing jobs, and prices tend to spike between September and December. Most homeowners are out to fortify their homes against the coming cold seasons. The cost of labor increases during this period, too, as our plumbers are pretty busy.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fort Collins?
Keeping your plumbing system in excellent shape conserves water and saves you a great deal of money. Failure to service and maintain your home’s piping system amounts to flushing money down the drain. An inefficient plumbing system wastes up to 13,000 gallons of water annually. That’s the equivalent of flushing away $130. There are numerous cost-saving benefits of caring for your plumbing system.
Fixing Water Leaks
No water leak in the home is too tiny to pad your water bills and burn a hole in your wallet. A fast leaking faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons in a year, while a slow dripping showerhead wastes 500 gallons. The numbers add up quickly when working with multiple units. A damaged in-ground irrigation system fitted with a 1/32-inch pipe can waste about 6,000 gallons of water each month. Broken water mains using a 4-inch pipe can waste up to 3.400 gallons a minute, leading to flooding, water damage, and mold infestation.
Install Water-Efficient Fixtures and Appliances
Retrofitting your home with water-efficient fixtures can significantly lower your water bills without compromising your creature comforts. Low-flow faucets can reduce water usage by up to 60%. Low-flow toilets consume 1.5 gallons per flush instead of the standard 6 gallons. Combined, low-flow faucets and toilets can save you up to 20,000 gallons of water yearly.
You can drum up the cost-saving by switching out older water-hungry appliances with the more efficient models. Energy Star labeled washing machines, and dishwashers consume 50% less water and electricity. Fort Collins rebate program helps residents switch to water-efficient appliances.
Plumbing systems handle a considerable workload each day, all day. They move fresh water to your taps and appliances and drain the wastewater. Considering daily punishments these systems endure, they’re prone to severe wear and tear. Regular inspection and maintenance from our experts help to roll back the effects of heavy usage and increase the lifespan.
Like the heating and air-con systems, you should have an annual maintenance inspection for your plumbing. Our thorough yearly inspections keep your plumbing system safe and secure. We ensure that your entire system functions seamlessly and won’t break down on you.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fort Collins vs Hire a Plumber?
If you’re having a problem with the water supply, whom should you call? When do you call Fort Collins Utilities, and when do you call us? Both parties can help fix your problem, but they play different roles. The utility company deals with issues that are outside your property lines. If the problem is within your property lines, our technician can help resolve the issue.
Sudden drops in water pressure and inconsistent water supply are highly inconveniencing. They often result when there’s a break in your area or a leak in your piping system. First, check your property for unexplained wet spots, then the house for damp floors and walls. If you spot moist areas, your system has sprung a leak and is in need of immediate repair. Alternatively, turn off all the faucets in the house and take the water meter reading. Check after ten minutes if the reading has changed. If the reading is different, your system is leaking.
Fluctuating Water Supply
A consistent supply of water whenever you need it is one of the best features of indoor plumbing. If you’re grappling with water supply interruptions or sudden drops in water pressure, there’s a big problem. It could mean that there’s a problem with the water supply or there’s a leaky pipe on your property. A little sleuthing can help you unearth the problem.
Check with your neighbors if they have the same issues. If they do, that’s an indication of a street-level problem. You would do well to call Fort Collins Utilities and have them fix the problem. If you’re the only one with a water supply and pressure problem, your plumbing system needs a thorough inspection from our professionals.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fort Collins?
Since plumbing systems integrate directly with the structure of a building, they affect its safety and integrity. Therefore, the State of Colorado requires residents to obtain a permit when undertaking most plumbing jobs. You’re required to pull a permit when installing new appliances, upgrading, or repairing your plumbing system.
The permits, alongside the inspections, ensure that plumbers adhere to Colorado’s zoning, construction, and plumbing codes. These building codes are vital in ensuring that a building is fit for human occupancy.
Some of the plumbing projects that require a permit include:
- Installing or replacing a sewer line
- Installing or replacing a water line
- Installing or replacing a gas line
Fort Collins ordinances require property owners to sign an affidavit and obtain a permit before each plumbing project. The permit includes your property details, address, the scope of work, and the contracting company. You’ll need a remodel permit if you plan to modify more than the plumbing system.
Failing to obtain a plumbing permit might lead to legal troubles down the road. The city might saddle you with hefty fines and penalties if you’re lucky. If not, the city inspectors might insist on inspecting the plumbing. That might entail digging up your yard to reveal the newly installed sewer line or water mains.