Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Sandy Springs?
- 2 How Does the Water in Sandy Springs Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Sandy Springs?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Sandy Springs?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Sandy Springs vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When and How to Contact the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management
- 7 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Sandy Springs?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Sandy Springs?
With a population of just over 100,000, Sandy Springs is the sixth-largest city in Georgia. We’re located conveniently close to Atlanta, but we also have an abundance of incredible parks and hiking trails to explore. Whether you’re kayaking at the Chattahoochee River Recreation Area or strolling under the rustling leaves at the John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve, Sandy Springs makes it easy to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
As lovely as it is here, though, we still see our fair share of plumbing problems. In Sandy Springs, these issues are most often related to the weather. Since temperatures here do not typically dip too low, frozen pipes aren’t usually a problem. However, we do have frequent heavy rains. This area gets nearly 50 inches of rainfall per year, which is significantly higher than the national average and can lead to plumbing issues if not properly prepared for.
As the soil around your home becomes saturated with water, it will grow heavy. This places extra pressure on your underground pipes and can even cause them to shift and crack. Cracked pipes may lead to leaks and increased water bills. They can also become clogged with dirt and debris, which may eventually cause water to seep into your basement. Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid this type of issue, as our plumber will be able to ensure that your piping system is functioning properly and not at risk of cracking under pressure.
In addition to problems related to heavy precipitation, we tend to see a few other issues in this area. These include:
- Occasional low water pressure, often caused by pinhole leaks in pipes from the city’s soft water
- Slow drains, often caused by a buildup of hair, grease, and soap scum
- Leaks, often caused by corrosion from the soft water in the area, which pulls minerals away from the pipes until they corrode through entirely
- Water with a strange taste and odor, regularly caused by contaminants from the rivers in the area
- Shortened water heater lifespan, as the city’s soft water corrodes the inside of the tank and makes it less efficient
How Does the Water in Sandy Springs Affect Your Plumbing?
The Atlanta Department of Watershed Management provides water to residents of Sandy Springs. This water is sourced from the Chattahoochee River and treated at either the Chattahoochee or Hemphill Water Treatment Plants. The biggest issue to note with the water in Sandy Springs is that it often exhibits a strange taste or smell. While this can be alarming, it is something that the water company is aware of. Low levels of Methylisoborneol and Geosmin within the Chattahoochee River is most likely the cause of this problem. Even if it has an odd smell or taste, water quality testing confirms that it is still safe to drink. The water company conducts over 50,000 tests per year and is continuing to enhance many of the water treatment processes to reduce the problem.
Typically, if water will have a negative effect on your plumbing system, it will be due to its hardness. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can build up in a plumbing system over time and cause clogged pipes. However, the water in Sandy Springs is classified as very soft, meaning you’re more likely to face pinhole leaks and corrosion than mineral build up.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Sandy Springs?
Plumbing costs in Sandy Springs can vary greatly, ranging anywhere from $90 to over $1,000. On average, homeowners in this area will pay approximately $400 for a plumbing visit. There are quite a few factors that can influence the cost of plumbing, including:
Cost Factor: Cost of Materials
Although it’s easy to overlook, the cost of materials plays a major role in the price of your plumbing visit. Jobs that require significant amounts of an expensive material will naturally have a higher price tag. For example, if you are repiping your home, our plumber may suggest opting for copper pipes. This material is very pricey, costing $2 to $5 per foot. However, copper is also an industry standard and will reduce the likelihood of you experiencing additional piping problems in the future.
Cost Factor: Urgency
No one wants to experience a plumbing emergency, but unfortunately, they do occur. Because your plumber must respond rapidly, often during off-hours, labor costs are likely to rise when you are resolving an urgent plumbing problem. Plumbing emergencies are also more likely to cause extensive damage — for example, a burst pipe will result in water damage and may cause mold or mildew. Our plumber will need to spend more time and materials to properly resolve the root cause of the problem and get your plumbing system working properly again.
Cost Factor: Installation vs. Standard Maintenance
Clogged pipes, leaky faucets, and running toilets are all problems that fall under the category of standard maintenance. They are typically quick to resolve, and they rarely require any type of permit. However, if you need to install a new plumbing fixture — for example, if you are replacing your water heater or upgrading your piping system — Sandy Springs will require that you apply for a permit and pay the necessary fees. These larger installations will also take more time and significantly greater material cost, thus creating a higher bill.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Sandy Springs?
All this talk of high plumbing costs may leave you wondering whether there are ways to save money on plumbing in Sandy Springs. Luckily, the answer is yes! Investing in better plumbing is a perfect way to save money over time, even if it may seem like an unnecessary expense at first. Hiring our experienced plumbers to perform preventative maintenance can help you save money in innumerable ways. You’ll be able to resolve unnoticed leaks, identify potential problems before they occur, and keep your drains and pipes clear so that you won’t need to deal with slow drains in the future. Our plumber may even be able to examine your appliances to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible.
Since we are located in Fulton County, residents of Sandy Springs are also eligible for a toilet rebate. First introduced back in 2008, the goal of the Metro Atlanta toilet rebate program is to incentivize homeowners to replace their inefficient toilets with certain approved low-flow options. So far, the program has led to the replacement of approximately 125,000 older toilets, resulting in an overall savings of almost 2.4 million gallons of water every day.
There are a few criteria you need to meet to be eligible for this rebate. You must:
- Own or rent a home built before 1993
- Purchase an approved WaterSense toilet
- Allow an inspector to verify that you have installed the new toilet
If you meet these requirements, you will be eligible for a $100 rebate. Your new low-flow toilet will also significantly lower your water bill, resulting in even more savings in the long run.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Sandy Springs vs Hire a Plumber?
Experiencing plumbing problems is stressful enough — the last thing you want to do is worry about who you’re supposed to call for assistance. Fortunately, this is typically a straightforward question to answer.
When and How to Contact the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management
Since the city of Atlanta provides water to Sandy Springs, they will be your point of contact for any large, systemic plumbing problems. If you spot a leak at a meter, hydrant, or water distribution line, you should contact the water utility company. Officials note that you may be able to identify the cause of a leak from its smell and appearance. If it is clear and smells like chlorine, it is likely to be a leak in the water system. If it is cloudy and has an unpleasant odor, it is more likely to leak in the sewer system.
You should also contact the water utility company if you experience a sudden drop in water pressure. While consistent low water pressure is more likely to be a plumbing problem within your system, a sudden drop could indicate a leak within a city water line. If you’re unsure whether the problem necessitates a call to the Department of Watershed Management, you can ask your neighbors if they’re experiencing similar problems. If they are, then you should report it to the water utility company right away.
A few other scenarios that may require you to contact the Department of Watershed Management include:
- Your water is brown, and the color is not going away even after you run cold water for 20 minutes
- You smell sewage
- You need to have your water meter checked
If you are experiencing any of the above problems, you can contact the Department of Watershed Management 24/7 at (404) 546-0311. For any other type of plumbing problem, you should reach out to our plumbers for assistance.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Sandy Springs?
According to regulations in Sandy Springs, you will require a permit for any type of major plumbing project. The only time a permit is not necessary is if you are receiving standard repairs, such as unclogging a drain or fixing a leaky faucet. For installations or other significant repairs, you will need to apply for a permit by filling out this form and bringing it to the Permits and Revenue Office in City Hall. You will also need to bring a photo ID and be willing to sign an affidavit to prove that you are responsible for the project.
In addition to submitting your permit application, you will also need to schedule a rough inspection and a final inspection. This enables the city of Sandy Springs to make sure that the project is correctly following all building codes and regulations. You can schedule your inspections online. If you have questions specific to your project, you can contact us for guidance or contact the city at (770) 730-5600.