Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Norwalk?
- 2 How Does the Water in Norwalk Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Norwalk?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Norwalk?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Norwalk Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Norwalk?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Norwalk?
Many of the common plumbing issues that impact homeowners in Norwalk are similar to those in other urban Northeast areas. They include:
Norwalk enjoys warm summers, but temperatures in the winter months can dip below freezing, with average lows in December, January, February, and March all under 32°F. Without proper preparation, these chilling temperatures can cause water in your pipes to freeze and expand, creating pressure on the pipes that cause cracks, breaks, and leaks. If you suspect a pipe has sustained any damage from freezing, it’s time to call our plumbers, as small cracks can often be repaired more easily than a burst pipe.
Many homes in Norwalk have basements or slab foundations that make plumbing repairs more challenging. If you notice water puddles or wet spots on your basement or first floor, you may have a serious plumbing leak. You might also smell a musty, moldy, or mildew odor, receive higher than normal water bills, or notice your water heater running constantly. These issues can result from improper installation, defective fittings, or soil shifts that move pipes when moisture content in the ground fluctuates during heavy rainfall in the area, but leaks can damage your foundation and affect the structural integrity of your entire house.
Low Water Pressure
Often, the loss of water pressure is slow. Especially when in just one plumbing fixture, trickling water can indicate a partially blocked pipe or a clogged aerator. But in larger, established municipal areas like Norwalk, a sudden loss of water pressure can mean a serious leak or broken pipe. Alternatively, the loss of water pressure could mean corrosion or mineral buildup in a pipe due to the city’s hard water. Any drop in water pressure is a serious reason for calling our plumbers.
If your tap produces dirty, rusty, or cloudy water, it can be a sign of an impending problem with your pipes. That’s because many older pipes accumulate mineral buildup and corrosion over time, especially in Norwalk where the water is hard. Any disturbance to the pipe can knock loose some of this sediment. Most of the time, this is not a health concern, but discolored water usually does not taste good. It can also be a problem when washing clothing.
How Does the Water in Norwalk Affect Your Plumbing?
City taxing districts in Norwalk manage the water utilities for city residents. The First Taxing District Water Department (FDWD) controls water for the First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Districts, while the South Norwalk Electric and Water (SNEW) serves the Second, part of the Fifth, and Sixth Districts.
Water for FDWD customers comes from the Silvermine River basin and is stored in several smaller reservoirs, including the Scotts, Browns, Milne, and Grupes Reservoirs, which are all interconnected. The SNEW gets its water from the City Lake, Rock Lake, and Popes Pond Reservoirs in nearby Wilton and the New Canaan Reservoir in New Canaan. Both systems test their purity regularly, including checks (as required by Connecticut state law) for levels of a group of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Municipal water in Norwalk and throughout most of Connecticut tends to be hard. That means there is a higher level of dissolved minerals in the water, which can be beneficial to humans but takes its toll on water pipes, washing machines, and faucet aerators. Areas with hard water often have more mineral buildup inside of pipes which can lead to slow water flow over time. Our plumbers can help you decide if a whole-home water softening system makes sense for your needs.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Norwalk?
A simple service call for our plumbers in the Norwalk area starts at about $125 and averages a little over $500 for most common problems. Unclogging a drain will be at the lower end of the spectrum, while fixing broken pipes can be closer to the average. Plumbing costs max out at around $900 unless extensive repairs or replacements are required. Our plumber will be able to give you an estimate before starting work.
Type of Repair
If you have a plumbing emergency like a burst pipe, expect to pay more than you would for a scheduled call, such as one for a slow drain. Cost estimates can differ depending on whether you need repairs to water or sewer lines, or if you have a well. You might also expect to pay more if our plumber has challenges accessing the repair.
Because many Norwalk homes have slab foundations or basements, your plumber may have more trouble accessing a leaking pipe. Soil movement or shifting is the most common reason why pipes under slabs begin to leak, and repairs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Tunneling under the slab requires additional equipment and time. If your terrain is more uneven or rocky, the cost can also rise.
Older homes built before the 1970s in Norwalk may have galvanized steel pipes. These pipes are estimated to last for about 50 years, so they may be coming to, or past, the end of their lifespan and require more costly replacement rather than simple repairs. Galvanized pipes are more difficult to cut and attach fittings to than more modern copper, CPVC, or PEX water lines. They can corrode from the inside and/or build up mineral deposits, leading to everything from low water pressure to discolored water. If your home still has galvanized pipes, our plumber may recommend completely replacing some or all of the pipes to prevent costly ongoing leaks and damage.
The City of Norwalk requires trade permits for some plumbing repairs. Simple repairs won’t need a permit, but for most work that involves replacing pipes or installing fixtures, we must get a permit. Most permits in Norwalk are handled electronically and don’t take much time to approve. City permits run up to $100 and add to the cost of your project.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Norwalk?
Our qualified and knowledgeable plumbers can definitely save most Norwalk residents money. Improper repairs or poor-quality materials by inexperienced contractors lead to a shorter lifespan for the work completed. This means you must pay again for new repairs to be made. Leaks can be more than an inconvenience; water damage can impact the structural integrity of your floors, walls, and even foundation.
For a homeowner, it can be tempting to try and tackle a plumbing issue yourself. However, most do-it-yourselfers lack the knowledge of Norwalk plumbing codes and risk making a mistake that results in an improper repair. Furthermore, any damage that results from a DIY attempt at fixing your plumbing may not be covered by your homeowners insurance.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Norwalk Vs Hire a Plumber?
Homeowners are responsible for plumbing repairs between the water main and their residence as well as all the pipes in and around their houses. You can often tell if a leak is impacting your property by checking the water meter after you have turned off the water to your home. A leak that is on your property but not related to normal water usage will make the meter spin, sometimes rapidly if the leak is large enough. You should call us to investigate, advise, and complete any emergency plumbing repairs. If you don’t take care of a leak on your property, even if it seems to be close to the street, you may still be responsible for a large water bill and any damage that occurs to your home or your neighbors’ houses.
The water utility company should be called if you see signs of a water main leak like pools of water, sinkholes, or rust and dirt in your water supply but your water meter isn’t moving after you shut off water to your home. You can also contact the water utility if you receive an abnormally large water bill, but the officials there will often advise you to contact one of us. Once a leak is repaired, many municipalities will waive excess water fees, so it may be worthwhile to call and ask about the reduction of a large bill.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Norwalk?
Permits are not required for work in Norfolk that involves stopping leaks in water or sewer pipes, or clearing blockages in pipes, valves, and fixtures for water and sewer systems. Our plumbers in Connecticut can also install faucets and toilets without the need for a permit. Most other work, including pipe replacement and water heater installation, requires a plumbing permit. In most cases, emergency work can be completed and a permit obtained after work is finished.
Plumbing work in Connecticut can only be performed by a licensed plumber like Mr. Blue Plumbing or by a person who owns and occupies the residence. No one else except for a building contractor acting on behalf of the homeowner can legally obtain a permit for plumbing work. We know when permits are needed and will either get the permit for you or assist you with doing so.
Connecticut state law puts the burden of having the correct permit on the homeowner, so you may wish to discuss with us which permit is needed and its validity. You can also contact the Norwalk Building & Code Enforcement Office with any questions you have about the permit process.