Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Port St Lucie?
- 2 How Does the Water in Port St Lucie Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Port St Lucie?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Port St Lucie?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Port St Lucie vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Port St Lucie?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Port St Lucie?
Plumbing problems are a fact of life, whether you live in Peoria or Port St Lucie. Faucets drip, toilets back up (eew), and pipes leak. But homeowners here in sunny PSL don’t have to deal with frozen and burst pipes in the dead of winter, so there is that. The tradeoff? Clogged sewer lines, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Drip, Drip, Drip
Faucets drip. And drip. It’s annoying at first when you can squeeze the faucet a bit tighter, and the drip stops (not really, but as soon as you leave the room, you think it does), but sooner rather than later, it’s a constant issue. At this point, it’s not only annoying. It’s expensive because your water usage goes up, and your fixtures start to wear from continuous use. The extremely hard water in the area contributes to leaking faucets because the minerals suspended in the water deteriorate aerators, o-rings, and gaskets more rapidly than soft water.
We can tell you not to put stuff down your drains, but it’s just so easy to flush a baby wipe or peel a potato in the sink – and once isn’t going to hurt, right? Once might not, but putting foreign objects down a drain is like eating potato chips – no one can do it just once. And alas, if everybody in the house does it once, that adds up.
About tissues – they are not the same as toilet tissue. These days, they’re treated with aloe and lotion and all kinds of softening agents to keep your nose happy, but all those chemicals eventually build up and stick in your pipes.
To make matters worse, the hard water in Port St. Lucie leaves mineral deposits inside your pipes. Over time, these can build up to the point where they cause slow drains and even total blockages. The deposits also catch hair and soap scum more easily, furthering the clogging issue in the city.
You can avoid clogged drains with a few easy DIY steps. Peel your veggies on the counter and either compost them or toss them in the trash. Put a drain sieve over the drains in your shower and tubs. Pour a 4:1 combo of baking soda and vinegar down the drains every month or so – that will dissolve any soap scum that’s building up in the pipes. Basic drain maintenance does two things – keeps your drains clear, and eliminates the odors that can waft up from a blocked drain during the hot summers in South Florida. Finally, have our experts install a water softener to keep those mineral deposits to a minimum.
Port St Lucie was developed in the late 1950s, so some homes here still have their original septic systems, which means tanks in the backyard. The city is encouraging residents to convert to the city sewer system, as there are fewer ways to ruin a gorgeous Florida day like the aroma of sewage baking right over the kid’s playset. Newer residents to the city may not realize that they need to have the tank cleaned out every couple of years to avoid this particular aroma. We can complete the conversion for you safely and include all necessary permits.
Back-Ups in the Sewer Lines
Did you know that the Port St Lucie population almost doubled in the past 10 years? Yes, it did – from 88,000 to over 165,000. The sewer lines weren’t prepared for such an explosion and are quite honestly stressed to keep up with waste demand. Nobody wants to deal with a backed-up toilet, so it is kind of a big deal to do your part and only flush what’s necessary.
How Does the Water in Port St Lucie Affect Your Plumbing?
The water that flows through your pipes is wet. But did you know that it’s also considered “hard”? You’ve probably heard of hard water, and if you’re a resident of South Florida, you’ve got it. The US Geological Survey (USGS) designates water that’s more than 120 parts per million (PPM) minerals as hard. The water in Port St Lucie has a hardness of 197, but in West Palm, it’s a whopping 319 – practically a solid.
Why Is South Florida Water so Hard?
Look to your east, and then to your west. While you’re at it, look south. See all that ocean (the Gulf isn’t technically an ocean, but it’s still saltwater with many sea creatures. That marine life dies off in its natural lifecycle, leaving behind the calcium shells and skeletons. All that calcium means that seawater is loaded with limestone, which works its way into the groundwater, and eventually to the sources that provide water to the city, the Surficial and Upper Florida Aquifers.
The limestone and other minerals dissolved in water; still, the limestone just melts almost on contact (remember that experiment your third-grade teacher did with a piece of chalk and a glass of water? How the chalk just disappeared in about a minute? Same thing). However, the calcium will settle in your pipes and water heaters, causing a build-up that will narrow the diameter of the pipes, making them less efficient. When it settles in the bottom of a water heater, it not only uses more energy to heat water, it corrodes the tank so that it will rust out in spots and leak.
The minerals in hard water are also hard on your clothes, skin, and hair. It makes your hair dry and sticky at the same time, dries out your skin, and your clothes get dingier and dingier when they come out of the laundry. And those white spots on your glassware? Hard water spots – the same for the scale in your shower and around your bathroom fixtures.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Port St Lucie?
Plumbing costs are impossible to estimate without a service call, but our plumbers waive the call cost if you hire them to do the project. These are the factors that our plumbers consider when they’re writing up your estimates.
Cost Factor: Timing
Time is always the primary factor. A quick tap replacement is easier across the board than removing a toilet to find a clog. Some plumbers charge a flat rate for basic stuff and separate more complicated jobs into labor and parts. Time of day is also relevant, as is the day of the week. A backed-up toilet on a Tuesday afternoon is a lot cheaper to repair than if it happens at 10 pm on Christmas Eve.
Cost Factor: Location
The location of the repair is the second factor. If it’s inside the house, chances are pretty good that pipes aren’t involved. Outside, the problem is definitely in the pipes, which are underground or under the house, which means trenching or tunneling to get to the affected area. Outside repairs may also mean replacing landscaping, so keep that in mind.
Cost Factor: Quality of Materials
The quality of the materials is the final factor. There is a huge selection of pipe and fixtures, but smart consumers rely on our plumber’s advice in choosing things like pipe materials – a high-quality pipe will last longer and cause fewer problems.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Port St Lucie?
As we said earlier, many of the PSL homes still have original plumbing and fixtures. You can save money by upgrading both.
A new, energy-efficient toilet, for example, reduces water usage from about 6 gallons per flush to a paltry 1.28 for the most efficient models. That’s thousands of gallons you’ll save every year in water costs and conservation. These new toilets work better, too.
Any new, energy-efficient appliances will save you money in Port St Lucie.
Replace your old pipes when you see the following signs of failure in your household plumbing.
If your water pressure is so low that you can only use one fixture at a time, the pipes are likely so clogged with minerals from the hard water in the city that you’re fighting a losing battle. Also, if your shower scaled you when someone else in the house flushes a toilet – the pipes aren’t distributing water as they should. If you’ve got our plumber on speed dial, it’s time to replace the pipes.
Whole House Water Softening System
A water softening system is expensive but will pay for itself sooner than later. You’ll use less water, have to unclog pipes less, and your clothes will last longer. If you have sensitive skin, a water softening system may cut down on trips to the dermatologist, too. As a final bonus, you can drink the tap water and eliminate the bottles – a win for the environment.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Port St Lucie vs Hire a Plumber?
Like any city, Port St Lucie maintains the water lines up to the connection point at your home and will install lines for new construction. PSL Utility Services (PSLUS) guarantees the pipes and plumbing one year from the installation date. The city continues to maintain the mainline, the service line, and the meter. Anything past the meter is your responsibility. If you suspect a leak, you can call PSLUS to come over and figure out if the leak is in your section of the line or theirs. If it’s yours, you need to call our professional, licensed plumbers to fix the problem.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Port St Lucie?
You need a plumbing permit in PSL anytime you are adding or moving pipes. It’s obvious that you’ll need a permit if you’re putting in a pool, but most homeowners don’t realize that something like moving a bathroom sink also requires a permit. Our plumbers – licensed and registered in Florida – have to apply for the permit on your behalf. They can apply online, and the permits are issued over the counter.