Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Champaign?
- 2 How Does the Water in Champaign Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Champaign?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Champaign?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Champaign vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Champaign?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Champaign?
Champaign is a bustling, modern city where our residents have experienced just about every kind of plumbing problem we could’ve imagined over the years, but there are certainly some issues that are more common than others here. Some of the most frequent problems we see are:
Clogged or Slow Running Drains
People often do not take clogged or slow-running drains seriously right away. Sometimes they hope that a little poke here and there on the drain would somehow make the problem disappear. Clogged drains prevent your tub or sink from draining properly, resulting in standing water, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. If the water stagnates too long, it often escalates to an unpleasant odor imposing serious health hazards. Soap, hair, and food matters are the common culprits for the blockage. When you see signs of a clogged drain, don’t delay in contacting us.
Low Water Pressure
Leaks and cracking pipes can cause your house’s water pressure to drop noticeably. Gradual water pressure changes are often caused by hard water buildup, which narrows your pipes over time. Water in Champaign is considered very hard at 258 PPM, making low water pressure from mineral buildup a frequent issue. Contact us right away at the onset of the water pressure drop, and don’t wait for the problem to worsen.
Champaign was founded in 1855 and chartered in 1860. This city is full of history and old homes with all types of plumbing issues. The city’s plumbing fixtures are weaker and highly susceptible to pinholes, leaks, breaks, and worst, sewer backup. To prevent experiencing plumbing emergencies, contact us for a preventive checkup to advise if you should replace your deteriorating fixtures already. This will solve so much of your plumbing problems and save you a lot in the long run.
How Does the Water in Champaign Affect Your Plumbing?
Our water here in Champaign comes from the groundwater in the Mahomet Aquifer. While this natural wealth of water provides more than enough high-quality, clean water for the entire Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area, its rich mineral content does pose some serious challenges to plumbing systems.
The high mineral content gives our water a hardness rating of, on average, 260 ppm. Most cities in Illinois commonly have very hard water due to the proximity of the Great Lakes, but Champaign’s water is exceptionally hard, even for the area. Hard water isn’t harmful to people consuming it, but the minerals can slowly accumulate in your plumbing. This can lead to clogs over time and scale buildup in your pipes. As pipes become more restricted, water pressure in your fixtures can be reduced. This can lead to a pressure buildup in your system that may eventually cause your water to escape at weak points in the form of leaks.
Hard water can also wreak havoc on your fixtures. The same scale that builds up in your pipes will accumulate on fixtures, which can cause them to look dilapidated and eventually interfere with the functionality of valves and spigots. Hard water can also cause detergents and soaps not to break down correctly, further contributing to clogs within your plumbing.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Champaign?
Champaign is an affordable place to get plumbing work done, with plumbing services tending to charge well below the national average for simple jobs. A homeowner, on average, pays $405 for plumbing repairs. It can go low as $98 to as much as $713.
Age of Building
We often tend to find some surprises for older buildings once we get in and get our hands dirty in plumbing systems. Buildings with long-neglected plumbing may have issues that don’t become apparent until repairs are made on a connected pipe or fixture. Aging plumbing that’s breaking down can pose a serious risk of failure that could result in flooding, and corroded pipes have the potential to contaminate your water with lead. Some especially old homes may even be hiding pipes actually made of lead or using lead solder as a connective material.
A certified plumber, like us, can’t ignore these potentially disastrous violations of code, and they’ll have to be repaired once found. While repairs to these issues may be worth it in gains to your health and by preventing future leaks and flooding, unexpected expansions to the plumbing work will also inevitably raise costs.
Complexity and Scale of Job
Of course, a bigger job means more cost, but not only for the reasons that most people may think. Plumbing systems are not simple. Every component and individual piece of a plumbing system relies on the stability of every other piece for continued efficiency and operation. Large plumbing jobs like full rebuilds and home remodels will require extreme planning to make sure each change is accounted for. Solutions to one part of your plumbing can’t cause problems elsewhere, and planning out repairs is an essential step in ensuring the job gets done right the first time.
Typically, we will bill for materials used along with labor on your invoice at the end of repairs. Even though this is pretty standard procedure for us, the materials needed will still increase the cost of your plumbing service. Luckily, here in Champaign, we’re able to get extremely affordable plumbing components and materials easily. As a city equidistant from three nearby manufacturing and shipping hubs in Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, the price of materials stays quite low because of the convenience of shipments. Materials shouldn’t drastically increase the price of your plumbing service here, but if specialty and customized parts are needed for your plumbing system, they will likely still increase the cost more than common components.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Champaign?
Better plumbing will save you money just about anywhere. Safeguarding the integrity and reliability of your plumbing systems with upgrades and improved solutions will reduce the cost of maintenance over time and decrease the likelihood of problems that may lead to costly leaks and even flooding. Here in Champaign, there are a couple of reliable ways that we see people making investments in their plumbing to save money in the long term.
Water Softening Systems
Champaign has incredibly hard water compared to most other cities. The water of the Mahomet Aquifer has rich mineral content and, though Illinois American Water thoroughly treats our water to remove any contaminants, trace minerals that are harmless for human consumption can be tough to remove. At the high level of mineral content that we see here in Champaign, minerals will build up in your pipes over time, eventually restricting the flow leading to clogs and leaks and the inevitable costs that come with repairs. Hard water also decreases the lifespan of your fixtures as minerals will build up scale on them, reducing their beauty and eventually limiting their functionality.
Water softening systems process your home’s supply of water to remove these trace minerals. While no solution can remove 100% of all mineral content, an investment in a water softening system will greatly prolong the life of every aspect of your plumbing system and save you a lot of money in the long term.
Updating older fixtures can be a huge opportunity to save money. Newer fixtures like water heaters, faucets, showers, and toilets will function more reliably for longer and prevent increased maintenance costs as they age and tend to function much more efficiently than older models. More reliable fixtures mean less risk of emergencies such as that old water heater failure during the cold Illinois winter. New technology with more efficient designs means updating these fixtures could save you consistently each month on your utility bills, quickly making them worthwhile investments.
Replacing Ageing Plumbing
In an area with as much history as Champaign, many residents here live in older buildings with plumbing that has been neglected for far too long. Plumbing isn’t designed to last forever, and in fact, most plumbing has a life span of 3-5 decades tops, depending on the material it’s made of. Older pipes in your plumbing system can get less reliable as they can give way to corrosion after their protective coating breaks down over time. Weak points in your plumbing system created by corrosion can create a huge risk of pressurized water wearing them down, resulting in leaks and potential flooding.
Corroded pipes can also release harmful particles of toxic materials like rust and lead into your water, which can have terrible ramifications for the health of everyone in your household. Particularly in old houses, replacing old components of your plumbing system can save you from the potential costs of future repairs and emergencies, as well as save you from potentially devastating health consequences.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Champaign vs Hire a Plumber?
When you have plumbing problems, it’s important to get help as soon as possible before simple issues can escalate into more costly problems that can damage your plumbing systems or potentially result in serious issues like flooding. The water utility company is typically fairly limited in how much help they can provide for you since they manage plumbing systems on the Champaign water grid, but can’t assist with any problems on your side of the connection to the water main.
If you suddenly have no water throughout your entire home or dramatically reduced flow, checking with Illinois American Water to see if there’s a known problem with the water supply could help narrow down your problem. They could tell you if there’s an issue affecting the water grid and, if so, when it will likely be fixed. However, the most they can do beyond that is test your pressure to ensure that you are being supplied with water. If the problem isn’t affecting anything outside your home, you’ll need to call us to help with the problem.
If you notice leaks or flooding on your property, call us immediately rather than go through the utility company. Small leaks can balloon out of control quickly under the pressure of constant water, and flooding resulting from unaddressed leaks can do massive damage to your home and possessions.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Champaign?
The City of Champaign has adopted the 2014 Illinois Plumbing Code as a standard for plumbing regulations and permits. This means that while permits won’t be required for small issues like leak repairs and fixes to clogs, anything that adds, removes, or replaces materials or components in your plumbing system will require a plumbing permit from the city.
Permit applications can be accessed on the city’s site or filed through their online system. The process is easy and convenient and more than worth staying compliant with regulations and building codes.