Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Cedar Rapids?
- 2 How Does the Water in Cedar Rapids Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Cedar Rapids?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Cedar Rapids?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Cedar Rapids Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Cedar Rapids?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Cedar Rapids?
Cold Weather and Frozen Pipes
In sudden snap freezes that are common in Iowa, pipes inside and outside of your home freeze and crack. Long periods of below-freezing temperatures during the winter months can also lead to cracked pipes, snap freezes can catch homeowners off-guard. We recommend insulating exterior pipes to reduce the risk of damage. Our plumbers can find frozen pipes, excavate and thaw, or replace them. Frozen interior pipes may suffer from stress or cracks that lead to water damage, low water pressure, and other plumbing disasters. Depending on the severity of the freeze, your home’s pipes may be fully functional after proper thawing or may need to be replaced.
Older Pipes and Plumbing Systems
Cedar Rapids was incorporated in 1849, with the oldest still-standing home being built in 1868. The population of the city has grown ever since, with residents building new homes with the current plumbing technologies of the time. Today, Cedar Rapids has two historic districts: Second and Third Avenue Local Historic District and Redmond Park-Grande Avenue Historic District. Old homes can also be found in Bever Woods and other neighborhoods. Some of these homes can still have plumbing components made from lead alloys or other hazardous metals, and other homes have corroded pipes that have worn away over time. Older pipe systems present additional risks regarding water quality, reliability, and potential plumbing emergencies. It’s important to have these systems upgraded with modern plumbing materials that are up to code.
Regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your home or business’s plumbing systems in optimal condition. Without routine inspections and maintenance, small signs of wear and tear can turn into plumbing emergencies. Some of the most common maintenance issues that we can help with include:
- Drain cleaning: Residential drains can be clogged by build-up over time. This includes kitchen sinks and drainage, which can be blocked by fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Mineral buildup from the city’s hard water constricts the interior diameter of drain pipes over time, causing backups or complete clogs. We can inspect and clean drain systems. This also prevents corrosion and leaks from clogs.
- Worn washers and fixed valves: Over time, fixtures and valves can start to fail, especially given how corrosive the city’s hard water can be. Damaged fixtures can manifest as drips. Valves can also seize over time due to disuse, especially if the hard water causes mineral buildup.
Low Water Pressure
Cedar Rapids maintains simultaneous distribution systems and storage tanks of water to provide a consistent water pressure level across the city. However, individual factors can influence the water pressure in your home. This can include clogged supply lines with build-up or corrosion from the city’s hard water, inlet valves that are partially closed, or poorly performing plumbing fixtures. Our plumbers can assess the problem to find the underlying cause.
How Does the Water in Cedar Rapids Affect Your Plumbing?
The Cedar Rapids Water Division maintains municipal water resources and systems across Cedar Rapids. The city uses a multi-step water treatment process to clean and treat the water to make it safe, pleasant, and tasty. The water is softened by the addition of lime to prevent scale, mineral build-up, and the unpleasant taste or smell of hard water. This also ensures better performance in your home’s plumbing systems, so you don’t have to worry about excessive buildup in water heaters, boilers, and plumbing fixtures.
The water is also treated with chlorination and ammonia to disinfect it and eliminate the risk of microbial organisms. Residents can safely enjoy their home’s water without the need for additional filters and appliance modifications.
To ensure you have continual access to safe and clean water for your home, the Cedar Rapids Water Division has three distribution systems and reserve storage tanks. This ensures there is plenty of water during periods of excessive demand and helps maintain consistent water pressure levels across the city.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Cedar Rapids?
Plumbing project costs can vary from project to project depending on the complexity of the task, your schedule, and other factors that are unique to your project or repair needs. For example, a small plumbing fixture upgrade can be far simpler (and have a far more flexible timeline) than an emergency repiping job due to cracked and frozen pipes. Most jobs fall between $125 and $1,000. As you plan out the next steps for your plumbing project, consider these significant cost factors:
Cost Factor: How Quickly Do You Need the Plumbing Job Completed?
Emergency plumbing services and plumbing services at a specific scheduled time may cost more to complete. Plumbing disasters can happen any time, including outside of normal business hours. Residents should expect emergency service calls to cost more if they take place overnight, during the weekend, or on federal holidays.
Plumbing services can also cost more if the area is experiencing an unusually high demand for service calls. For example, if you need emergency plumbing services after a deep freeze, your neighbors may also need services. This increased demand can increase the cost of both the initial service appointment and subsequent repairs.
Cost Factor: How Complex Is Your Plumbing Project?
It’s difficult to accurately estimate the full cost of a plumbing repair or project, especially site unseen. This is because common signs of plumbing issues, such as leaking water or low water pressure, can be caused by any number of underlying issues. Seemingly simple upgrades or renovations can also lead to complex repiping projects if our plumber uncovers unsafe plumbing conditions or further signs of water damage. As your plumbing project grows in complexity and the number of tasks needed for completion, it will become more costly.
Cost Factor: What Additional Line Items Should You Consider?
Along with overall job complexity, it’s important to consider additional line item costs that can affect the total (and which are often outside of our plumbers’ control). This includes the costs of applying for a permit and paying the associated fees. If your home has an older plumbing system, its manufacturer may be out of business or the parts may be rare or out of production. Labor, parts, and administrative or city fees all factor into the total cost of plumbing.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Cedar Rapids?
Professional plumbing work done by our certified plumbers is a great way to improve your home and help you save money in the long term. Routine plumbing maintenance and repairs keep your home in good condition; this minimizes the risk of plumbing emergencies, leaks, and water damage due to corroded pipes and drainage clogs. Also, when our plumbers can address the underlying condition of a long-term problem, such as old corroded pipes rather than a single, localized issue, this results in long-term savings and protection for your home.
Better plumbing does more than help you save on the costs of emergency plumbing services and repairs for related water damage. If you fix small drips and leaks in your plumbing fixtures or upgrade your appliances to modern, efficient models, you can also significantly reduce water waste and consumption in your household. This will result in monthly savings in your water bill.
Staying on top of your home’s plumbing maintenance and upgrading your appliances and fixtures also makes your home more valuable on the market. If you plan on selling your home in the next few years, beginning to update the plumbing and replacing old fixtures and features can make your home more appealing and sellable at a higher asking price.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Cedar Rapids Vs Hire a Plumber?
When you see signs of a plumbing malfunction in or around your home, acting fast is often the best course of action to limit the damage. Knowing whether to contact your city or our plumbers about the problem is crucial. As a general rule, you should contact your city if it seems like the issue will affect more than just your residence. For example, broken water mains in your neighborhood are the responsibility of the city. Contacting the Cedar Rapids Water Division helps them identify and solve the issue before it can unduly affect your access to water. If you have a water outage, that may also be the responsibility of the city (especially if your neighbors are encountering the same issue).
However, plumbing issues that are occurring solely on your property generally warrant a call to our plumbers. If your home’s main water supply line is frozen, if you notice a change in your home’s water quality, or if there are clogs in your drains, contact us so we can identify the underlying cause. While it may ultimately be a city issue, individual plumbing problems are more common, and contacting our experts quickly helps you minimize any damage or costs.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Cedar Rapids?
Most plumbing projects that significantly modify your home’s plumbing systems will require a permit from Cedar Rapids’s Building & Trades department. This includes appliance replacements and repiping. Permits can only be issued to homeowners with homestead exemptions and plumbing professionals like us with a valid and current contractor’s license issued by the state of Iowa. Along with the permit application, projects must undergo an inspection by the city. Permits are generally processed within 24 to 48 hours.