Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Longmont?
- 2 How Does the Water in Longmont Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Longmont?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Longmont?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Longmont vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Longmont?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Longmont?
Longmont, CO is home to nearly 100,000 residents, and it is known for its arts and culture, natural beauty, and abundant breweries. Tucked in the mountains and close to major cities like Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, Longmont is also a popular tourist destination. Those that have lived in Longmont long enough have likely experienced at least one of the three plumbing issues we see most often: a running toilet, low water pressure, and clogged drains.
A common plumbing joke goes, “Is your toilet running? Better go catch it!” The idea of a toilet literally running may be hilarious, but a toilet that allows constant water flow is not quite as funny. Running toilets, for starters, can be noisy and the constant sound of running water alone is enough of a reason to get it fixed. Other running toilets can be more difficult to detect, as they may run silently or randomly throughout the day and night.
The most serious aspect of running toilets, however, is the huge volume of water that is wasted. A running toilet can waste over a gallon of water every hour, which can add up to several hundred gallons of wasted water per month. Each year, thousands of gallons of water are wasted due to running toilets, and it is estimated that about 20% of toilets leak regularly! This not only has major environmental impacts, but it can also substantially raise your water bill in no time.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is another plumbing issue common to the region, and it’s largely caused by mineral or sediment buildup within your pipes that restricts water flow. Low water pressure can also be caused by a leak within your home’s plumbing system, or from an inadequate water supply from your main water source.
No matter what causes low water pressure, it’s an annoyance that makes showers much less pleasant and appliances less effective at washing dishes or clothes. If mineral buildup is the cause, the fix is usually relatively easy with the installation of a water softener or routine maintenance on your existing unit, though getting leaks fixed can also remedy the problem.
Clogged drains can be another plumbing nuisance that may seem relatively benign on the surface, but can actually pose a legitimate health hazard if left unattended for too long. When hair, soap, and other debris accumulate inside your drain, it can lead to clogs that make water slower to drain, or water may not drain at all. Some homeowners and renters notice clogs that take place throughout their home, not just in one sink or bathtub. This can be indicative of an even larger issue, and it should not be ignored.
Clogged drains may also be caused by tree roots that grow and push on the plumbing underneath your yard. Some tree roots can even work their way into the pipes and completely stop the flow of water.
How Does the Water in Longmont Affect Your Plumbing?
Residents of Longmont and other nearby provinces are treated to great-tasting and fresh surface water that comes from nearby creeks, rivers, and reservoirs that are supplied by melting snow and rainfall. Longmont residents are also fortunate that their city’s water is not typically considered hard water, thanks to a lower concentration of hard water minerals than other regions in the country. When a water source contains higher ratios of calcium and magnesium, it can lead to corrosion of plastic, rubber, and metal parts, mineral buildup, reduced efficiency of appliances, dry skin and hair, and staining on dishes or laundry.
The water in Longmont tends to be slightly harder in winter, but it’s still less hard than many other areas. Even still, if you notice any of the above issues, you may benefit from the installation of a water softener, which exchanges hard ions with softer ones to reduce or eliminate the hard water issue. This is especially true for people who get their water from groundwater wells instead of city water, as groundwater tends to be exposed to more hard minerals from rocks and soil.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Longmont?
The average cost for a plumber in Longmont, CO is about $440, though your final bill can be much higher or much lower depending upon your unique set of circumstances. Many plumbers charge an hourly rate, usually between $50-$150 an hour, though some charge a flat fee for designated jobs, which factors in how much time will be needed to complete the job. The three largest factors that come into play when determining costs include the size of the job, which types of equipment are needed, and whether it’s an emergency service.
Size of the Job
If you have a small leak, clogged sink, or running toilet, your final bill will likely not be very high. Smaller jobs tend to need very little specialized equipment and take very little time, so your plumber should be able to fix the problem quickly and easily, which will be reflected in your final costs. Unfortunately, some jobs appear small and easy to fix, but their root problem may be more underlying and unexpected, leading to a much bigger job than previously thought.
Sometimes a tiny leak is actually indicative of pipe corrosion, which will require pipes to be completely replaced in many instances. Or perhaps the frequent clogs you experience in your shower drain are actually due to a shoddy plumbing job the previous owners of your home did, and now your plumber will have to go back and fix it. Larger jobs typically include pipe replacement or installation, home remodels, and the installation of new appliances like water heaters or water softeners.
Can your plumber fix the issue with the tools readily available in his or her toolbox, or will it be necessary to rent out larger equipment to complete the job? Straightforward fixes of running toilets or draining issues usually don’t require much more than what your plumber already has, but getting to the plumbing underneath your lawn to fix sewage backups can’t be done without more heavy-duty equipment. When your plumber has to rent specialized tools, those expenses will be passed onto you in your final bill.
Plumbing issues are never convenient, but they are an especially large headache when they occur outside of normal business hours. Major issues like burst pipes will likely require emergency plumbing services, even if your pipe bursts at three in the morning, which will cost you extra. Some plumbing issues truly can wait until morning or after the weekend, but contacting an emergency plumber to fix major issues, or those that are likely to get worse without attention, can actually save you money in the long run by preventing significant property damage from floods.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Longmont?
No matter where you live, getting an updated and better plumbing system can save you money, and many residents of Longmont have seen a noticeable difference in their home’s plumbing after upgrading to a new system. Older pipes are usually lined with zinc, which is known to corrode over time. This corrosion can lead to reduced water efficiency, poor water pressure, leaks, and overall more plumbing repairs. That can be incredibly costly over time.
Some homeowners may be tempted to opt-out of getting a new plumbing system installed due to initial costs, but it can actually save you money in the long run by making your home’s water usage more efficient and reducing the need to hire a plumber to fix ongoing issues. Plus, your water bill will be reduced and your home’s value increases with new plumbing systems.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Longmont vs Hire a Plumber?
For the most part, plumbing issues will be handled by a plumber that you hire, especially when the issues at hand take place on your property. The only times you will call the water utility company is if you need to start or stop service, you have a question about your bill, or if you notice an issue with city water or water that affects public property. For example, if you see the sewer backing up into the street, a leaky fire hydrant, or flooding, it’s best to use Service Works to submit a request during regular business hours, or you can call Longmont Public Safety Dispatch for emergencies after hours.
In most other instances, you will be responsible for hiring a plumber to come to your home and take a look at your plumbing issue. If your plumber determines the issue stems from a city water problem, they can contact the right people for you to get the problem resolved in no time.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Longmont?
Plumbing permits are not required for plumbing projects that fix common plumbing issues, like leaks, clogs, or burst pipes. Usually, plumbing permits are only needed when you are constructing a new home or building, you are adding on to your property, or you are remodeling your home or business. The City of Longmont allows some permits to cover multiple types of construction work under one permit, including gas, mechanical, plumbing, and electric services. This can be completed with just one visit by an inspector, but each situation will vary.
To check whether a certain project will require a permit, you can contact the Building Inspection Division at (303) 651-8332. Failure to secure a permit before conducting plumbing, mechanical, gas, or electrical work on your home may result in hefty fees, and your home’s insurance may become invalidated in case of a fire or other disaster. Plus, prospective buyers of your home or commercial building can check to see whether the building has proper permits, and they are allowed to ask that the unpermitted projects get fixed and receive a proper permit.
Your plumber will be aware of local regulations, and they can also help you determine whether you will need a permit from the city before they begin their work.