Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Athens?
- 2 How Does the Water in Athens Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Athens?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Athens?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Athens vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Athens?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Athens?
Property owners in Athens face similar plumbing problems as homeowners in other parts of Georgia. The leading causes of plumbing issues include general wear and tear, misuse of fixtures, fluctuating weather conditions, and impurities in water. We receive many calls from Athens homes and businesses to fix the following issues.
Leaking Water and Gas Pipes
Water leaks can cause tremendous damage to your property, especially walls and electrical installations. They can compromise the structural integrity of a building or make your home uninhabitable due to mold growth. On the other hand, gas leaks can cause a fire risk.
The most common reasons we have found to cause leaky pipes are:
- Incorrect laying
- Joint damage
- Bursting due to high fluid pressure
Both water and gas leaks increase your utility bills unjustifiably. They are predominant in older neighborhoods like Cobbham, Boulevard, Bloomfield, Dearing, Buena Vista Heights, and Castalia Avenue. Invite our plumbers to fix gas or water leaks to enhance safety and save money.
Dripping faucets are another plumbing problem that most homes experience at some point. They result from improper installation, corrosion, and wearing out of the O-ring. Our experienced plumbers can establish the cause of leaky faucets in your property and repair or replace them.
We have found the following to be the top reasons for running toilets in Athens, GA.
- Faulty refill tubes
- Worn-out flush valves and flapper seals
- Corroded handles
- Wrong flapper chains
Toilet leaks are some of the most expensive plumbing issues you can have. According to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, a running toilet wastes about 15 gallons of water per day. That’s about 450 gallons per month. Be sure to contact our plumbers in Athens to fix even the slightest toilet leak in your home.
Sump Pump Failure
One reason for a sump pump to fail is incorrect installation. It may also act up due to stuck switches, runoff water after a storm, and clogging of discharge pipes. Units older than 10 years are more problematic than newer ones. We recommend that you have our experts inspect your sump pump at least once a year.
Low Water Pressure
Insufficient water pressure can be infuriating. It can happen when your water supplier is experiencing an issue. If other parts of your home or your neighbors are enjoying normal water pressure, you may be having one of the following problems.
- Pipe corrosion or clogging
- Blocked sewer lines
- Drain clogs
- Shared pipeline
- Failing water pressure regulator
- A faulty water meter valve
These aren’t the only possible reasons for reduced water pressure. If your Athens property has low water pressure, invite our professionals to diagnose it.
Water Heater Problems
A heating system that can’t reach the desired water temperatures can be frustrating, especially during the colder months. From our experience dealing with water heaters in Athens, GA, we have found the following to be the top reasons for faults.
- The buildup of sediment or corrosion
- Wrong water heater choices
- Subpar heater installation
- Loose electrical connections
- Damaged heating element
- Leaking reservoirs
Apart from failing to heat water as required, a faulty electric water heater poses the risk of electrocution. If you have a gas water heater, gas leaks can cause a disastrous fire that can hurt someone and destroy your home. Water leaks can flood your house and cost you thousands of dollars in floor and wall repair. Therefore, you should contact our plumbers to fix your water heater when you notice a problem.
Earthquake-Related Plumbing Issues
Water and gas pipe networks are predominantly underground, making them highly vulnerable to breakage during earthquakes. Athens experiences mild quakes from time to time, which can cause issues in older, poorly maintained plumbing installations.
We advise our clients in Athens to call us to install automatic earthquake shutoff valves for gas lines. Also, don’t hesitate to call to repair damaged gas and water pipes and fixtures after an earthquake.
How Does the Water in Athens Affect Your Plumbing?
The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government supplies about 13 million gallons of drinking water to the community every day. The primary water sources are the Bear Creek Reservoir, Middle Oconee River, and North Oconee River. The JG Beacham Drinking Water Treatment Plant purifies the water before delivering it to homes and businesses for consumption.
The water treatment plant prides itself on supplying water that meets or surpasses the Safe Drinking Water Act standards. However, meeting the legal benchmark doesn’t mean that the water is entirely free of impurities. The EWG’s Tap Water Database reported 17 contaminants in the water supplied in Athens between 2016 and 2019.
The biggest plumbing concern emanating from water quality is water hardness. It refers to the mineral content dissolved in the water, mainly calcium carbonate and magnesium. The higher the amount of salt per gallon of water, the harder the water. According to a report by Online Athens, 90 percent of homes receive hard tap water.
Impact of Hard water on Plumbing Systems
Hard water leaves whitish salt deposits inside pipes, fixtures, ad appliances. Besides the unpleasant mess, the accumulation of minerals constricts water pipes, sometimes causing clogs. Over the years, you start noticing issues like reduced water pressure. The pipes might even block completely.
Furthermore, the minerals cover the heating element in water heaters making the systems less efficient. The reason is that the appliance has to heat the unwanted salt covering before the heat reaches the water. Consequently, the water heater consumes more energy than necessary and deteriorates quickly.
Overall, Athens water isn’t a significant cause of plumbing problems. However, our experienced plumbers can check your pipes and fixtures and remove any salt deposits or clogs that may be hampering water flow in your home.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Athens?
There isn’t a definitive way to estimate the cost of plumbing services in Athens or elsewhere. Homeowners in Georgia spend an average of $420 on plumbing repairs. However, several factors may vary the cost of your plumbing project. These include:
Cost Factor: Nature And Scale of the Project
The biggest problem with determining the price of plumbing services is that most issues aren’t apparent until our professionals inspect the water supply system. Simple services like replacing a faucet are less expensive than diagnosing and fixing a sewer line backup or a hidden water leak. Expect to pay more for emergency services than scheduled repairs.
Cost Factor: Cost of Materials
Another expense that varies with projects is the quantity and cost of the materials and supplies necessary to complete the job. Prices keep on fluctuating. For instance, the cost of materials will increase if intemperate weather affects logistics.
Cost Factor: Permits and Amount of Labor
Besides fixing minor leaks and unclogging drains, most plumbing work in Athens requires permits, which increases your bill. Also, the amount of work our plumber has to do influences the cost of services. More labor means higher expenses for the client.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Athens?
Better plumbing saves you water and money. According to the EPA, you can lose about 10,000 gallons of water to leaks in your home annually. That is a considerable amount of money paid to the utility company for unutilized water.
You can also prevent minor problems in your Athens home or business from developing into plumbing disasters through regular inspections and maintenance. For instance, we can conduct periodical sewer line inspections inexpensively to prevent a backup that would cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars to fix.
Finally, it’s in your best interest to revamp your plumbing system with modern, water-efficient fixtures. These include single-flush toilets that use at most 1.6 gallons per flush, water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators. These installations will save you lots of money in the long run.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Athens vs Hire a Plumber?
Some water-related issues require our plumbers, while others necessitate the intervention of your water utility company. If you reside in Athens, Georgia, call us to solve the following issues:
- Water leaks inside your property
- Slow or blocked drains
- High bills for unknown reasons
- Plumbing system upgrades
On the other hand, alert the Water Business Office (WBO) of Athens-Clarke County if:
- You want a new water connection or disconnection
- There’s a leak in a public area or street
- You notice a leak in a property whose owners are away
- Your entire property can’t receive water
- You disagree with your water bill
To reach the Athens-Clarke County WBO, call 706-613-3500 for water connection or disconnection, bill payment, and services. Contact the office via 706-613-3481 after business hours.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Athens?
Building permits provide a way for the government to ensure that buildings and other structures are safe for occupancy. You must get a permit for almost all plumbing work that necessitates replacing, installing, or rearranging pipes and fixtures. In Athens, GA, you need a permit if your project involves the erection, construction, alteration, enlargement, improvement, removal, repair, conversion, or demolition of a building or structure.
Examples of such plumbing projects include:
- Installing new water pipes and drains
- Bathtub or shower pan installation
- Garbage disposal installation or replacement
- Floor replacement under bathroom fixtures, toilets, and shower rooms
- Water heater installation or replacement
- New toilet installation or replacement
- Installing new gas pipes and valves
Conversely, plumbing permits are unnecessary when repairing leaks in drains and waste or vent pipes. However, if a concealed drainpipe, trap, vent pipe, or other component becomes defective and requires replacement, you’ll need a permit.
Additionally, you don’t need a plumbing permit to clear stoppages or repair leaks in pipes, fixtures, and pipes or to remove and reinstall water closets. The exemption holds if the repairs don’t involve the rearrangement or replacement of pipes or valves.
Performing DIY plumbing repairs and installations is not advisable as you might conflict with the building codes or have subpar results. Our master plumbers can offer unparalleled services within the law and even file for permits for you if needed.