Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In Chicago?
- 2 How Does The Water In Chicago Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Chicago?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Chicago?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Chicago Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Chicago?
What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In Chicago?
While there are hundreds of plumbing issues that may come up, we see a few issues come up again and again in the Chicago area. Flooded basements, faucet repairs, and clogged drains are extremely common in Chicago. We see these plumbing issues all the time, and we’re always ready to help you make repairs quickly without too much stress.
No one wants to come home from work to a flooded basement, but unfortunately, it’s one of the issues we see the most in Chicago. Many homes in the Chicago area have basements, so whenever we have a heavy rainfall, we quickly fill our schedule with calls about basement flooding. With an exceptionally wet 2020 and record rainfalls in May for the last three years, it doesn’t seem like this problem will be going away anytime soon.
Whenever we get a lot of rain in a short time, the main sewer lines for the city of Chicago quickly fill with water. The city’s beautiful old trees give Chicago a lot of charm, but those tree roots can also block sewer lines, making it more difficult for water to drain. In homes with low water pressure, these blockages can cause additional problems. Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough water pressure to get the water out of your home, causing waterlines to back up and flooding basements.
Power outages from frequent storms can cause sump pumps to fail, or they may wear out on their own over time. When this happens, water can quickly accumulate in basements. In the event of a basement flooding, call us right away. We can help you quickly and effectively find the problem, stop the flow of water, and remove water from your basement. This prevents the damage caused by waiting or trying to fix this serious issue yourself.
The steady drip of a leaking faucet isn’t as serious as a flooded basement, but if left too long it can dramatically increase your water bill. Even a slow drip can waste 347 gallons of water in a single year! Finding the source of the leak isn’t always easy, since there are several parts of a faucet that can malfunction. Usually, the rubber gaskets have either rotted or have buildup from lime and calcium, and several other parts can go bad. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to replace or repair a leaky faucet, so our plumbers can fix this quickly without much cost to the homeowner.
We carry several faucet parts from a variety of brands since each one is slightly different. To repair a faucet successfully, the replacement part must exactly match the original. By hiring our plumbers with those parts available on hand, you may save money by avoiding a faucet replacement. For an older faucet, it’s usually better in the long run to pay a little more and simply replace the whole faucet. Our plumbers will advise you on whether the faucet should be repaired or replaced based on your individual situation.
Most clogged drains come on slowly, as hair or grease builds up and creates a blockage over time. While it may be tempting to use a drain cleaner to solve the problem, these caustic chemicals can damage pipes and cause even greater problems in the future. A small plumbing auger is usually a better option for clearing the clogged drain.
Clogged drains are most common in older homes and homes with small children. Older homes may have piping with years of mineral and calcium buildup. In more serious cases, tree roots may intrude on sewer lines and other water pipes. Young children might accidentally toss foreign objects down the drain without their parents’ knowledge, making it more likely to have a clogged drain. Any home can experience this issue, and our plumbers can help you determine the best way to unclog your drain and keep it clear.
How Does The Water In Chicago Affect Your Plumbing?
Chicago has two main issues that affect plumbing: lead pipes and hard water. Lead pipes affect drinking water for many citizens of Chicago, even though the city is working to change that. Hard water affects more than just drinking water — the calcite buildup and limescale from hard water can damage pipes and cause several plumbing problems throughout the home.
Chicago was late to ban lead pipes for plumbing, waiting until 1986 to stop installing them. By then, the city had installed hundreds of thousands of lead pipes throughout the city. As these pipes are slowly replaced, some homes in Chicago are still at risk of lead poisoning through tap water. Although Chicago has started a massive plan to replace lead pipes with safer options, the EPA encourages all Chicago citizens to have their water tested for elevated lead levels, flush pipes if they haven’t been used for several hours, and purchase a water filter.
The United States Geological Survey reports the Chicago area has some of the highest levels of hard water in the United States. Hard water is any water with a high content of calcium and other minerals. These minerals can build up inside pipes, around faucets, and throughout your plumbing system, creating significant problems for homeowners.
To prevent the problems caused by both hard water and lead, our experts can install a whole-house water filtration system in your home. This will keep you safe from the risks of lead pipes and prevents calcite buildup in pipes and on faucets. This makes your entire plumbing system last longer and saves homeowners with hard water thousands of dollars in the long run.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Chicago?
A number of factors can affect the cost of a plumbing job. Smaller jobs, like replacing a wax seal or fixing a faucet, usually cost around $90-100, but larger, more complicated jobs can range higher depending on the required repairs. Our plumbers will look for the root cause of a problem to ensure you get a fix that will last, which might cost more in the short term, but will certainly pay off in the long run. Overall, labor, the cost of materials, and accessibility have the greatest effect on plumbing costs.
Cost Factor: Labor
One important factor in Chicago plumbing costs is labor. The more time required, the more you’ll pay for the service. Our plumbers in Chicago typically charge between $80-85 per hour, right around the national average. You may pay more for our higher skill levels and experience, which might be worth the cost for certain types of repairs, but very low rates can be a red flag that another plumber isn’t fully certified.
Cost Factor: Material costs
Another factor is the cost of materials. These costs can vary widely but typically depend on the extent of the damage. A small pinhole leak will cost far less than a broken water main, and replacing a small seal will cost less than replacing an entire faucet. Have our qualified plumbers assess the damage and determine the right course of action to ensure you get the best quality fix that fits your budget.
Cost Factor: Accessibility
Another cost factor is accessibility. A broken pipe that requires drywall removal or an underground water line that must be dug out to repair will cost more than something that is easy to access. It will take our plumber more time to get to the problem and create a proper fix if the broken pipe is difficult to reach. We will ensure that the root of the problem is fixed, even if it means taking the extra time to reach pipes that are difficult to access.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Chicago?
In Chicago, better plumbing can definitely save you money. Asking us to install a new eco-friendly faucet or low-flow showerhead when your old one goes out can regulate the water flow, saving you money on your water bill. Our plumbers will notice faulty pipes that are likely to continue degrading and replace them with new pipes rather than patching the old ones. This improves water flow and prevents future leaks, so you won’t have to call again and again to repair the same pipe.
Trenchless sewer lines are one of the biggest cost savings that better plumbing can offer. Installation is faster, saving you money on labor, and there’s less damage to your landscaping with this technology. Trenchless pipes are stronger and more durable, preventing future plumbing problems. If you have to repair or replace a sewer line and the technology will work for your home, we may recommend this to save you money and provide a better replacement than the original.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Chicago Vs Hire a Plumber?
Sometimes, you need to call your Chicago water utility company instead of our plumberß. But when is the right time to do this? There are three important scenarios where you should call the water utility instead of our experts in Chicago.
Moving in or out of your home
When you move to a new home in Chicago, you’ll need to call the water utility to turn your water on and get everything up and running. If you are moving out, call to end your service once you move out. It’s important to time these correctly to ensure you have service when you need it.
Leaks beyond your property line
If you notice a leak coming from the street, neighbor’s home, or anywhere beyond your property line, the city of Chicago is responsible for shutting off the water main. In public areas, they are responsible for getting the problem fixed. If you notice any of these problems, call the water utility instead of our plumbers.
Neighborhood water outage
Anytime your whole street or neighborhood is affected, call the water utility. There may be an outage for nearby repairs or scheduled water service, so there is no need to call us if others have the same problem. The water utility should be able to give you an estimate for when water service will return to normal.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Chicago?
You don’t usually need a building permit for plumbing service in Chicago unless you’re doing major renovations or building new construction. However, for some plumbing repairs you’ll need to use the “Easy Permit Process.” This allows our plumber to fully replace existing pipes or other plumbing structures. The streamlined process is much faster than the process for building permits, making it easier for Chicago residents to get their repairs done in a timely manner. Our plumber can help you determine whether you need this type of permit, and we will apply for the permit if you hire us for the job.
Here at MrBluePlumbing, we are always ready to deliver high-quality repairs at a great value. Our highly qualified plumbing experts will help you assess your needs and find a solution that is right for you and your home. Contact us with your project needs in the form, and we’ll get you in touch with our expert plumbers in Chicago right away!