Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Chattanooga?
- 2 How Does the Water in Chattanooga Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Chattanooga?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Chattanooga?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Chattanooga Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Chattanooga?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Chattanooga?
Anyone who has lived here long enough has surely noticed plenty of historic buildings and older homes that are often still outfitted with outdated plumbing. Old fixtures and pipes can lead to the three most common issues we see in the area, including low water pressure, root problems, and clogged drains.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure may seem like a benign problem, and it is sometimes nothing more than a small annoyance. It can make showering much more of an ordeal, as low water pressure makes it hard to get shampoo or conditioner out of your hair and soap off your body, and it prevents your appliances from running as efficiently as they otherwise should. This problem is common to older plumbing systems and it’s often caused by mineral buildup in pipes from hard water that causes a gradual loss of pressure. If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, however, that can be indicative of a leak. Be sure to check around the house and the yard to look for leaks, and contact us right away if you experience a quick change in water pressure.
Because Chattanooga is such an outdoorsy city, the residents here value all the benefits that trees and greenery provide. Unfortunately, trees can wreak havoc on our plumbing systems when roots infiltrate underground pipes and cause cracks or clogs. In many cases, we can replace the pipes and remove the roots without harming the tree, though this can be a costly problem if left unattended for a long time. Root problems often lead to drains that frequently clog. When roots get into main pipes under your lawn, they can even cause backups in multiple drains at once.
Clogged drains are also a common plumbing annoyance in Chattanooga, but they can turn from an inconvenience to a nasty health hazard when not dealt with promptly. Bacteria and fungi live in your drains, and they love nothing more than standing water in a warm environment that will allow them to grow and spread. Clogged drains are often the result of hair, food, soap, and other substances forming a blockage that doesn’t allow water to drain properly, though chronic clogs may indicate that you have a larger plumbing issue at hand, like root issues. Either way, it’s best not to delay getting help with a clogged drain, as the problem can go from bad to worse in a matter of minutes.
How Does the Water in Chattanooga Affect Your Plumbing?
We, in Chattanooga, are lucky to not have super hard water like many other parts of the country, especially some regions in the Midwest. Although our water is often considered soft, the levels of hard water minerals in our supply can fluctuate throughout the year. Generally, however, our city water has reasonable concentrations of hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium, which gives our plumbing a bit of a break.
If you get your water supply from groundwater wells or other comparable sources, you may have higher concentrations of hard water minerals in your supply. Calcium and magnesium often leach into groundwater supplies from rocks and soil, but these minerals do not cause or pose a hazard when present in drinking, cooking, or bathing water. They can affect the taste and clarity of your water, though, so many people opt to get a water filter installed to remedy it. Hard water can also lead to dry skin and hair, foggy dishes, stained laundry, mineral buildup on fixtures, and reduced water pressure within pipes.
The easiest way to fix a hard water issue is by getting a water softener installed in your home, if you don’t have one already. They soften hard water by exchanging calcium and magnesium with softer minerals like sodium or potassium. If you already have a water softening system but still notice the hard water issues mentioned above, you may need a system repair or replacement.
Water softeners tend to last for about ten years, so if your current system is over a decade old, it may be time to upgrade to a new one. Today’s water softeners are much more efficient and environmentally friendly than past versions, so the upgrade will be well worth it for many households.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Chattanooga?
The average cost for a plumber, like us, in Chattanooga is around $390, though your final bill can be much higher or much lower depending upon numerous factors. Some of us charge an hourly rate, though others charge a flat fee based on the type of job you need to be done. Either way, it’s helpful to ask us for a free or low-cost estimate before we start working, so that you know what kind of charges you can expect ahead of time.
Size of Job
Some jobs are small, simple, and quick, and it will cost much less for us to remedy the situation. If your plumbing project is a large undertaking like replacing an entire failed sewage system or rearranging your pipes for a home remodel, you can expect a much larger bill due to more materials needed and more labor hours spent on your project. The larger the job, the larger the bill.
Many common plumbing issues can be fixed with little more than the tools in our toolboxes, such as snakes, wrenches, and saws, though some jobs may require more equipment to complete. If, for example, we need access to underground pipes, we may have to bring in heavy-duty equipment and more team members to unearth the pipes that need repair or replacement.
If you live within Chattanooga or very close to it, you may see a lower final plumbing bill, thanks to reduced travel time and costs. If, on the other hand, you live out in the country and are a long drive from the city, we will have to factor in a higher cost to cover travel expenses and time. The cost of living also factors into plumbing rates. The cost of living in Chattanooga tends to be lower than in other parts of the country, which fortunately makes plumbing costs cheaper here than they would be in New York City or Los Angeles.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Chattanooga?
Better plumbing can save you money no matter where you live, and everyone likes to save money. Although getting new pipes and fixtures installed throughout your home can feel like an unnecessary expense, better plumbing often pays for itself in a matter of a few years. Having new fixtures made of stronger materials allows your home to use water more efficiently, which can cut your monthly water bill significantly. Better plumbing can also reduce the number of leaks and clogs you experience, reducing your need for regular plumbing services that can add up quickly.
Plus, getting new plumbing systems installed in your home can increase its value and make the home much more appealing for potential homebuyers.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Chattanooga Vs Hire a Plumber?
Most water and plumbing issues should be handled by us, especially if the issue takes place somewhere in your home or on your property. The only times you will call the water utility company instead of hiring us are when you have questions about your water bill, you need to start or stop service, or you notice a problem or emergency with the city water system. If, for example, you see sewage backing up into the street or a burst pipe in a city park, you would want to call the water utility company or fill out an online emergency report.
In most other cases, it will be up to you to hire us to take a look at your home’s water issues. If we discover that the root of your home’s plumbing issue does stem from a city water main, we can contact the right agency for you to get the problem resolved. Otherwise, we should be able to fix the problem you are experiencing on the spot or within a few days.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Chattanooga?
When getting basic clogs or leaks fixed throughout your home, chances are, you won’t need a plumbing permit. If you are getting new fixtures installed or are having your entire plumbing system rearranged for a remodel, you will probably need a permit from the City of Chattanooga. It can be hard to keep up with local ordinances and state laws, but we can help you determine which projects require a permit and which ones don’t.
We get it; nobody likes filling out paperwork, having inspections done, and paying fees. However, undergoing this simple process is important for you and your family’s safety, as well as that of your neighbors and surrounding community. It may not seem like it at first, but paying these fees can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. For example, if disaster strikes your home due to unpermitted work, your insurance company may not have to accept your claim and pay you for the damages. Because you decided not to go the permitted route, you’ll be the one footing the entire bill.
Furthermore, it can be impossible to sell your home in the future, and it may cost even more to have the unpermitted work brought up to code before any buyers will be interested in your property.