Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Littleton?
- 2 How Does the Water in Littleton Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Littleton?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Littleton?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Littleton vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Littleton?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Littleton?
Having some type of plumbing problem is universal. But some plumbing issues are specific to certain areas. In Littleton, we deal with our elevation of 5,351 feet, and cold, below-freezing temperatures, each of which can affect your plumbing. Of course, we also experience some plumbing problems common in almost any household. Let’s look at a few.
Low Water Pressure, High Water Pressure
Because we are at a higher elevation than our water source, you can expect your Littleton water pressure to be a bit lower. To compensate, the Southwest Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District recommends the average Littleton home have the water pressure set at about 75 psi (pounds per square inch). In some locations, this could be a little high, and you should discuss it with our local plumbers to ensure that your pressure is safe for you piping.
Beyond that, there are various other reasons your water pressure could be lower than usual. When you first experience low pressure at one faucet, check to make sure all other sources of water are off before you panic. If the problem is only at that one site, the answer is with the faucet or individual line. It could be as simple as the aerator for the faucet or showerhead needs to be cleaned out. This is something you can do yourself by unscrewing the unit and rinsing it out. Then replace it and be sure to screw it on tight.
If the pressure includes more than one water site, check with your neighbors. If they are experiencing a similar problem, contact the water district as it could be a water main.
The problem could also be on your property only. The most obvious reason would be that you have a leak somewhere. If it persists for more than a few hours, call our plumbers. A leak can quickly develop into a full-blown break.
If your water all of a sudden comes out stronger than usual, this is due to high water pressure. It could be that your pressure-reducing valve is failing. This is generally where the water service line enters your home. If you experience the onset of higher water pressure, call our plumbers. If left too high, water pressure can cause damage to the pipes.
When water freezes, it expands. That expansion can put extreme pressure on a pipe sometimes causing it to break. This is a common problem when Littleton temperatures dip below freezing. Pipes that are more likely to freeze during the winter include:
- Outdoor pipes including sprinkler lines and hose bibs,
- Water lines that lead to unheated areas of the home such as crawl spaces, basements, attics, and garages,
- Pipes that run inside exterior walls with no or little insulation.
According to the American Red Cross, some ways to prevent pipes from freezing include letting cold water drip from a faucet, wrapping exposed pipes, keeping your thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees even when you are not home, and keeping the garage door closed if you have water supply lines inside.
If the water only trickles out from a faucet during or after our freezing weather, you most likely have a frozen pipe. Leave that faucet open allowing melting water to flow out. That water flow will help to loosen the rest of the frozen area inside the pipe.
If you suspect a frozen pipe and no water will flow, it is time to call us. Don’t hesitate. If you wait, the pipe could burst which could lead to an even larger problem.
At some point in time, a clogged drain will happen in any household. A bathroom shower or sink drain can become clogged due to hair and other foreign objects attempting to go down the drain. Be wary of chemical drain cleaners. Their fumes can be toxic to people and pets, as well as the chemicals being harmful to the skin, and to your plumbing pipes.
Clogged drains in Littleton are common because of the moderately hard water in the area. It can leave mineral deposits inside your pipes, which restrict flow and contribute to clogs and slow drains.
Try a plunger first. If that does not clear a clog, call our plumbers. We will use a plumber’s snake to clear the line for you. If the plunger works, but the clog returns, that is another reason to call our plumbers. The issue may be more complicated than simply foreign matter in the drain.
How Does the Water in Littleton Affect Your Plumbing?
Most Colorado water originates as snowfall in the Rockies. To reach the cities to the east, such as Littleton and Denver, water is transported through the Colorado Big Thompson Project and the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. In general, most of Colorado’s water including in Littleton is soft to moderately hard, which has little effect on plumbing pipes or fixtures. One way to see if you have hardness issues is if the water leaves deposits in your sinks or tubs, or on dishes after running them through the dishwater. Those deposits are caused by hard water. While very hard water can be hard on plumbing, for most of Littleton this is not a major issue. However, it can happen from time to time when groundwater contributes to minerals building up in your system.
In recent years there has been a lead advisory to some Littleton homes. In 2020, letters were sent out to more than 750 residents of houses built between 1983-87. A discovery found the use of lead solder between copper pipes of those houses leading to possible lead contamination. If you would like to have your water tested, the Tri-County Health Department suggests you contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Laboratory Services Division which will test private water samples.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Littleton?
Our plumbers typically charge by the hour for their work. The total typically falls between $100 and $800 depending upon the complexity of the work involved. When you call regarding a repair, you may receive an estimate with an initial call fee for the plumber to come and check out a problem. That fee may include a straightforward repair such as the replacement of a toilet flapper or a showerhead to which the material cost will be added. There can be additional costs for more time-consuming, complex issues including labor, equipment, and materials, as well as the urgency of the call.
Cost Factor: Labor Time
As one would expect, the longer a plumbing job takes to accomplish, the more expensive it will be. Additionally, some jobs can require more than one of our plumbers to complete. You can expect additional labor charges for the added person.
Cost Factor: Equipment and Materials
Some plumbing repairs require little more than a wrench and a replacement part such as a toilet flapper, a P-trap located under the sink, or even a new faucet. You will have to pay for the new part plus tax, and the time involved, which may be only an hour or so, but other plumbing repairs are much more extensive. A broken pipe in a wall or underground takes time and equipment to remove the wall or dig up the ground to gain access to the pipeline. And then the wall will have to be repaired, or the ground trench refilled. This may call for special equipment which will also increase your cost.
Cost Factor: Urgency of the Call
When a pipe bursts or the sewer is backed up, you need our plumbers right away, day or night, on a weekday or weekend. Emergency calls just cost more. That’s a fact in almost any circumstance. While a dripping faucet or one slow drain can wait until the next available appointment on a routine workday, an urgent plumbing problem needs immediate attention.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Littleton?
Better plumbing will always save you money in the long run. Whether you are replacing pipes, fixtures, or the water heater you will experience the upfront bill from our plumbers, but you will soon see a decrease in your water bill. Upgrading to better plumbing also increases the value of your home.
Furthermore, you may receive rebates through the Conservation Rebate Incentive Program aimed at Southwest Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District customers. Choosing WaterSense low-flow toilets and some water-conserving irrigation systems can qualify for the program. Some rebates are time-sensitive. Call the water district office for more information.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Littleton vs Hire a Plumber?
For most plumbing repairs, you should call our plumbers. But there are times when you should contact the Southwest Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District directly instead. One of those times is if you are experiencing low or no water pressure. You can check to see if the district is performing maintenance near your home on its website. If so, no contact is necessary. But, if that isn’t the case and your neighbors are experiencing a similar water pressure issue, you should call the district. Most likely there is a problem with the water district lines.
Another way to check is to turn off all faucets and water taps inside and outside the home. Check your water meter and record the registered usage. Check back a half-hour later. If that number has increased, you likely have a water leak on your property and you should call us. But if the meter has not changed, then the water pressure issue is likely that of the water district. Call the district office at 303-979-2333.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Littleton?
Normally when you call our plumbers, you do not need to call the city for a permit. Routine plumbing fixes do not require one. However, if you are remodeling your home, adding on, or a repair such as replacing a water heater, involves a conversion to your home or an accessory structure, a permit is required. Our plumbers are aware of when a permit is needed and can apply for them for you.