Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Wilmington?
- 2 How Does the Water in Wilmington Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Wilmington?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Wilmington?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Wilmington vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Wilmington?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Wilmington?
The types of plumbing issues common in a city vary due to factors such as the local climate and weather and the average age of homes in the area. In Wilmington, the winter temperatures can get cold enough to put pipes at risk of freezing. Frozen or burst pipes can require expensive repairs, so it’s important to prevent this issue by paying attention to pipes running along the exterior-facing walls of your home in particular. Pipes located in these areas are at the highest risk of freezing.
If the temperatures get below freezing, or if you know you’re going to leave your home for a while, it’s a good idea to leave faucets dripping a little. It’s important to notice frozen pipes before they burst, causing expensive water damage. If you notice the water isn’t flowing well from your faucets, it can be a sign that your pipes are freezing, and you need to call a plumber fast.
Another issue unique to Wilmington is dealing with plumbing in historic and older buildings. Wilmington has several historic districts and neighborhoods with older homes. These areas deal with the usual plumbing issues that buildings more than 20 years old can experience. The older a home is, the more plumbing repairs have been made over the years, usually by several plumbers. It’s impossible to know what condition your pipes are in unless you have them inspected by an experienced plumber like Mr. Blue Plumbing.
Some older homes, particularly those built before the 1960s, have galvanized piping. This kind of pipe erodes over time, releasing discolored iron-filled water through your faucets. It also can decrease water pressure. Older fixtures can also corrode over time and start causing problems. It’s also possible for older pipes to shift in older homes, affecting the way water is removed. It’s always a good idea to have the plumbing in older homes inspected, even if you’re not currently experiencing any problems.
Finally, clogs and slow drains can be common in Wilmington because the hard water in the area leaves mineral deposits behind that can reduce the flow of water and other material through your plumbing system.
How Does the Water in Wilmington Affect Your Plumbing?
The water in Wilmington comes from Brandywine Creek. The city checks the water for over 100 possible contaminants and each year performs around 70,000 water analyses on over 30,000 water samples taken from the city’s water treatment plants. Our city has relatively hard water, at 127 PPM. The primary source of this hardness is due to calcium, which is abundant in Delaware’s water.
Hard water is not ideal for plumbing. It leaves a white, powdery buildup on fixtures and can stain the inside of tubs, showers, and sinks. It can also build up along the insides of pipes. In many instances, a clogged pipe is caused by these scale deposits.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Wilmington?
Plumbing costs can vary greatly depending on the type of work you need to be done, as well as several other factors. Our plumbers typically charge between $100 and $850 for jobs in the area. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect plumbing costs in Wilmington.
Type of Work Needed to be Done
The first thing our plumber will consider when determining the cost of work to be done is what the task is. Smaller jobs that can be completed quickly will always cost less than major installations or difficult repair jobs. Lots of people in Wilmington have minor plumbing issues come up, but there are many variables to consider.
Repairs needed in the kitchen tend to cost less than bathroom issues, and the smaller the broken component, the smaller the price. For example, issues with a showerhead, toilet handle, or faucet will all cost you less than replacing a shower or sink. Replacing water heaters can be particularly pricey, although a new water heater can save you money in the long run.
If you have an emergency, like a burst pipe, you need the help of our plumbers as soon as possible, and this will cost you. We offer 24-hour plumbing services in Wilmington; however, emergency plumbing repair services, in general, can cost as much as three times the regular rate. This price isn’t including the materials you might need to complete the repair. In the best-case scenario, you can schedule any required plumbing repairs during regular business hours, but emergencies can happen at any time. After-hour issues or problems on holidays or weekends will cost you extra.
Cost of Materials
With plumbing issues, you’re not only paying for the labor but also considering the cost of any replacement parts that will be necessary. Some jobs, like replacing an old water heater or laying new pipes, can be very costly. If you live in an older home, you might have antique or unusual fixtures that need to be sourced carefully. Of course, if you already have the materials you need on hand, you can reduce the cost of the work. However, in situations such as remodels, there will be many items you need to purchase to complete the work you require.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Wilmington?
There are many ways that plumbing upgrades can save you money. For example, switching to a low-flow toilet, which has a smaller tank than traditional toilets, can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of its use. Low-flow showerheads are also available and can save between 25% to 60% water. Showerheads and faucets made before 1992 use more than two times the amount of water as newer ones. Besides switching to low-flow fixtures, making even minor repairs can result in significant cost savings over time. A leaky faucet may not seem like a big issue, but fixing it can save you hundreds of gallons of lost water and lower your water bill.
One of the more costly plumbing jobs is replacing your water heater. However, several types of water heating systems are available that can save a lot of energy and money in the long term. Solar water heaters come in active and passive varieties, with both types providing an excellent return on your investment.
Another plumbing service that can save you money in Wilmington is getting your water heaters cleaned yearly. Regularly cleaning water heaters increases their lifespan and allows them to heat water more efficiently, lowering your water heating bills. City’s with hard water like Wilmington have water heaters with a lot of built-up mineral deposits. As time goes on, if these deposits aren’t removed, they can cause the water heater to fail. Our plumbers can handle this issue for you each year and can save you the cost of having to replace your entire system.
Finally, preventative maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in the long run by preventing serious issues. For example, having our experts inspect your sewer line can save you a significant amount of money if a problem is detected in its early stages. Similarly, getting your drains and pipes professionally cleaned can prevent costly backups that require special equipment to fix.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Wilmington vs Hire a Plumber?
In general, water utility companies cover plumbing issues related to the exterior of your homes, such as the exterior sewer or septic line and exterior water service line. Issues inside your home are typically your responsibility, and you should call us when experiencing them. For most people, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover the cost of exterior water service line issues; even they occur on your property.
If you’re experiencing a problem like this, you should contact your water utility company or the Wilmington City Public Works Department. You can also contact this department if you would like to schedule a water quality test for your home. For serious problems such as sewer line backups in Wilmington, it’s a good idea to contact our plumbers as soon as possible.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Wilmington?
According to Wilmington’s Code of Ordinances in chapter 4 subchapter 4, section 4-131, a permit isn’t required for repairs that involve only the working parts of a faucet or a valve. Any other work requires a permit, including making new piping additions to an existing system or adding fixtures. Permits expire 90 days after issuance if the authorized work hasn’t begun yet. They also expire if work stops for 45 days or more in the middle of the project. In both of these instances, a new permit will have to be obtained.
After the work is completed, our plumber is responsible for requesting the final inspection and other required inspections. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $500. The permit application can be submitted through email or printed and mailed to the City of Wilmington’s Plumbing Inspector’s Office. Additionally, if you have work that doesn’t require a permit, it still has to be performed according to the plumbing code of standards and is subject to inspections.