Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Jacksonville?
- 2 How Does the Water in Jacksonville Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Jacksonville?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Jacksonville?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Jacksonville vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Jacksonville?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Jacksonville?
There’s not much better than the sightseeing in Jacksonville, between thriving markets and centers, the access to incredible islands and various gardens, zoos (better yet the Jacksonville Zoo and Garden), and museums (the Cummer Museum and MOSH, in particular). There’s literally something for everyone in our city, but that’s mostly because our communities are centered around the area’s history.
With history comes older buildings and establishments that are vulnerable to bad plumbing particularly our real estate around the area. Depending on where you’re at in Jacksonville, real estate can be either luxurious and expensive or modern and affordable. Either way, many of our Jacksonville homes were built in the 80s and 90s, with a good amount still hanging around from before the 40s as well.
With that being said, plumbing issues are inevitable and even common in our area. More specifically, we see the following in most cases.
It’s common practice for homeowners to overlook the importance of identifying and taking care of common leaks around the home. Because they’re often small and even unnoticeable (depending on the extent and location of the leak), they can go months or more without being seen or addressed. This can become a bigger issue in Jacksonville as small costs can lead to expensive repairs and replacements in these cases.
According to WaterSense, the most common leaks to look out for in Jacksonville are toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. They’re easily corrected but can lead to bigger problems if left unresolved for a long period of time. This includes 90 or more gallons of water wasted a day per home (10% of the home population).
Clogs are another plumbing issue many Jacksonville homeowners have to deal with. This is because it can seem like just an ordinary leak (typically in pipes), but if a clog is the real problem behind the leak, it can lead to irreparable cracks and pipeline bursts. These clogs can come from mineral buildup, food waste, personal items, and more especially if kids sneak by and stuff items from around the house in drains, toilets, etc.
If you’re unsure whether you have a clog or leak, consider the following signs:
- Slower water flow
- Slow drainage
- Bubbling noises in the sink, toilet, shower, etc.
- Unexplained water puddles
- Bad odors
Low water pressure
Low water pressure is common and can be a problem that is either your own or the city’s. In some cases, it can be as simple as the city changing its regulations or experiencing an issue (so it should go back to normal soon), or it can be your problem and sometimes much more serious.
If the problem is yours alone, it can result from your shutoff valve or water meter valve not being open all the way, a failing pressure regulator, clogged or corroded pipes, and/or faulty fixtures. No matter the cause of the problem, it is essential that it gets addressed by our experts right away. When it comes to having low water pressure, your daily lives can be interrupted by the hassle (showering, laundry, dishes, etc.), and your water bill can even skyrocket.
How Does the Water in Jacksonville Affect Your Plumbing?
While Jacksonville’s water quality is generally safe for consumption, it isn’t always as friendly to your plumbing. According to the City of Jacksonville EWG Water Quality report, there were at least 32 contaminants (11 of which exceeded EWG health guidelines) found in our water supply as recently as 2019. It should be noted that while this number sounds intimidating or worrisome, your water utility company did pass compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards (it’s just impossible to remove all contaminants from supply sources).
With that being said, these contaminants and other minerals are common causes of plumbing deterioration and buildup in your pipes. If not properly maintained and/or discovered, these mineral build-ups can lead to clogging, leading to pipe leaks, cracks, and bursts. Fortunately, it is not a common occurrence as long as homeowners keep an eye on their plumbing.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Jacksonville?
It’s hard to give an exact number on plumbing costs for Jacksonville residents, especially since there are so many cost factors that go into a given service. The average plumbing costs in Jacksonville are about $358, with the minimum typically hitting around $85 for smaller repairs, and getting up to around $631 for more extensive repairs.
However, the cost can get much higher or a little lower depending on the project at hand, how the work is charged, and whether or not you need an inspection to identify the plumbing problem you’re dealing with. Here’s what you need to keep in mind moving forward.
Cost Factor: Hourly Rate
Hourly rates are often reserved for larger plumbing jobs for which it’s hard for our experts to estimate a timeline. To help you get an idea of hourly pay rates, however, our average is $68.17 an hour, with common ranges between $60 and $75. Flat rates are better options for smaller jobs with fewer uncertainties.
Cost Factor: The Service You Require
It’s also important that homeowners in Jacksonville consider the plumbing service they will need when putting together budgets and potential costs. While small faucet and fixture repairs can cost you as little as $50 in some cases, big replacements or installation (like bathtubs, septic tanks, or even repiping) can cost thousands of dollars.
Cost Factor: Inspections
Another cost factor that often gets forgotten or can even be frustrating when not expected is inspection costs. It’s not always obvious what your plumbing problem is. When this happens, more time and tools have to be dedicated to locating the source of the problem and determining the best course of action following that information.
With that being said, inspection costs can either be cheap or expensive, depending on your service. For instance, a drain line video inspection may be a few hundred more dollars on your bill, but a minor leak inspection can stay under $100 (given there are no signs of a bigger problem).
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Jacksonville?
Better plumbing will always save you more money in Jacksonville. This is because those short-term saves often lead to long-term damage and expenses. For instance, common plumbing leaks may seem like they just need to be tightened (and that is sometimes the case), but there are many cases where there is a bigger, underlying problem that the leak is simply a sign of clogs and buildups that can lead to pipeline replacements (thousands of dollars ‘down the drain’ in these cases).
To give you a better idea of the savings you can expect with better plumbing, here are at least three areas where you’ll make a significant difference in the long run:
- Prevention — prevent water damages, mold, mildew, etc., when you identify and take care of plumbing problems like leaking and running toilets. These seemingly small problems can lead to more than $5,000 in water damage if they go unchecked and resolved for a long period of time. Not to mention the health problems associated with mold and mildew buildup that isn’t noticed right away.
- Utility Bills — believe it or not, water bills can get crazy (and add up to be A LOT over time) if your toilet is constantly running and leaks are regularly dripping. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says that Jacksonville residents can save as much as 10% on their water bills by resolving leaks. This is significant since at least 10% of homes have leaks, and these homes contribute to a whopping 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year.
- Bigger problems — it can’t be stressed enough just how often homeowners overlook small plumbing problems until they become so big that their finances are hit with expenses beyond belief. You can actually save thousands of dollars in damages, repair, and replacements that will need to be addressed in the future by addressing minor plumbing problems that might cost you $20 — $50 right now.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Jacksonville vs Hire a Plumber?
It can be a challenge determining when to call your water utility company in Jacksonville and when you should hire our plumbers to inspect your problem. A great rule of thumb to follow in these cases is if the problem is common in your area (you’re not the only neighbor experiencing that problem or a similar one), then you should contact your water company.
If the problem is exclusive to your home and plumbing, then calling our plumbers is likely your answer. Our experts will also be able to direct you to your water company if they think it’s necessary.
JEA also notes the importance of water waste measures in Jacksonville, including the Florida requirement for homeowners to have a residential backflow prevention device that must be tested every two years. This service can only be serviced via JEA and their certified experts (not just any plumber).
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Jacksonville?
According to the City of Jacksonville, a permit is required for repairs and/or replacements of water heaters or other plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems, air conditioning units, and more. However, they also state that a permit is not required if “replacement of plumbing fixtures after the stop excluding water heaters” and clearing drain stoppage as long as it doesn’t involve any replacements, or rearrangements of valves, pipes, or fixtures.
The permit is required to be posted on the property where it can easily be seen on the street, and the consequences of not obtaining a permit before your service can lead to a $250 fine.