Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Decatur?
- 2 How Does The Water In Decatur Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Decatur?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Decatur?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Decatur Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Decatur?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Decatur?
A lot of plumbing issues are universal. You’ll experience a running toilet or a clogged drain no matter where you live in the country. There are a few issues we see more often in Decatur, though:
- Sewer backups. There are several reasons why your sewer may be backing up, but it’s most likely due to a clog in your sewer mains. This could be due to tree roots growing into the pipes, too much rain overflowing the system, or something getting flushed that should go down the toilet. It’s a difficult problem to diagnose yourself, though, so you’ll want to contact our professional plumbers in Decatur for help. They can use a camera to detect the cause of the clog and determine the best way to remove it. They can also contact the city if the problem is within the city’s main sewer pipes.
- Leaky pipes. Founded in 1829, the city of Decatur is nearly 100 years old. Some houses such as the Oglesby Mansion are nearly as old and that means some pipework is, too. Steel pipes were state-of-the-art when first installed, but they only last about 50 years. At that point, they’ll start to corrode and leak. That means there’ll be a decrease in water pressure and gallons of wasted water every day. Sometimes the leaks are obvious, but other times they can go on for a long time before detected. Leaks are expensive, wasteful, and all too common, so it’s a call we get a lot.
- Burst pipes. Decatur can have gorgeously warm summers, but our winters are bitterly cold. Any pipes exposed to the elements will go through a freeze-thaw cycle where they shrink up in the cold and expand as the temperatures rise. If that transition happens too quickly, it can cause your pipes to crack and burst. This can create a lot of water damage in your home in a short amount of time. You’ll probably need the help of our emergency plumbers to stop the water and repair the pipe. They can also help insulate the pipe so the problem doesn’t happen again. We see this a lot more in the winters as well as the early spring.
How Does The Water In Decatur Affect Your Plumbing?
Illinois is a hard water state, and Decatur is no exception. Our water has a hardness level of between 150-250 ppm, which is very hard on the USGS water hardness scale. That means there are higher amounts of naturally occurring minerals in our water that’s due to where our water comes from, which is usually underground. The water leeches minerals from the rocks underground before it makes its way into our utility system. These minerals are safe to drink, but they can have a negative impact on our plumbing systems.
The minerals in hard water can leave deposits inside our plumbing systems, which can slowly build up over time. Evidence of these deposits is seen as the watermarks on your shower door or the hard white substance that builds up at the end of your faucet. These deposits can also end up clogging your pipes. In the most severe cases, they can cause mechanical failure in your appliances. Hard water is notoriously hard on water heaters, for example.
There isn’t much you can do, unfortunately. Running white vinegar through your dishwasher and washing machine may help; installing a water softener is an even better option. Otherwise, you’ll need to be vigilant about annual maintenance, which can help prevent some of the more serious damage.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Decatur?
Our plumbers typically charge an hourly rate of around $65, which is in line with other areas of the United States. We may charge a flat rate for a specific job. For example, you’ll typically pay around $150 for a visit from Our experienced plumbers to fix a clogged drain. On average, homeowners can expect to pay around $450 for a visit from our plumbers. Those costs will vary, though, depending on:
How Long the Job Takes
The more time it takes to complete a job, the more you’ll pay for the work. Hourly fees can add up quickly. Our plumbers are willing to set a fixed fee for a job in some cases, and they’ll set that fee based on how long they believe the job will take them to complete.
When You Need It Done
We get a lot of emergency calls in Decatur for a reason. Plumbing issues rarely happen during office hours. They usually happen on the weekends or in the evening when the whole family is home and putting more strain on the system. If you call our plumbers for assistance during off-hours, you’ll pay a premium for their service. That fee is less than you’ll pay for water damage mitigation, though, so it’s still worth contacting us when you run into an issue.
What Materials Are Required
Some plumbing jobs don’t require many materials. A leaking toilet may simply need a new $5 float; other jobs require a lot more. For example, you may be repiping your home with copper pipes. Those materials can run you into the tens of thousands of dollars. Talk to us about your budget, though. There may be less expensive options that can help you save money without sacrificing too much quality.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Decatur?
An investment in your plumbing up-front can help you save money on your plumbing later on. Here is how:
- Fewer replacement costs. All plumbing fixtures need replacing eventually. If you move into one of the older houses in Decatur such as around the Near Westside neighborhood, then you may discover most of the fixtures are due for replacement. It’s tempting to save money and buy budget fixtures. Those fixtures probably won’t last very long, though. You could end up replacing them sooner and paying more for fixtures over the time you live in your home.
- Fewer repair visits. Budget fixtures are more likely to leak, too. That means you’ll need us to come out for repairs more often. It’s worth investing in your plumbing service, too. Paying a little more for our experienced, reputable plumbers can help ensure the job is done right the first time. That means lower costs over time on your repair work.
- Less wasted water. Did you know that just three drips a minute from a leaking faucet can waste nearly 157 gallons of water per year? Cheap plumbing fixtures and budget repairs can leave leaks and drips behind. That’s bad for the environment. It’s bad news for your monthly water bill, too. You’ll be paying for each gallon even if you never used it.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Decatur Vs Hire a Plumber?
For the most part, if a plumbing issue is happening on your property, it’s your responsibility to fix it. That means you’ll need to hire our plumbers and they will diagnose the issue. If that issue involves the city’s plumbing system, they can contact the right people and get the help required.
However, there are a few exceptions. The City of Decatur encourages people to contact them in the case of a sewer backup. A crew will then check and flush the city’s main sewer lines to make sure it’s not a problem there causing your backup. They’ll report back to you and let you know what they find. You can then contact us if the issue hasn’t been resolved.
You should also contact the city if you spot a leak or sewage backup on city-owned property. That includes leaking fire hydrants or storm drains that aren’t draining. The city will send a crew to investigate and make the necessary repairs.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Decatur?
The City of Decatur requires you to get a plumbing permit any time you alter, install, or otherwise modify water or waste lines. They also require you to get a permit for the installation of a new water heater. You can get the form for the plumbing permit online. Residential permits cost .5% of the project value, with a minimum cost of $50. Once you submit the application, a city engineer will review your plans. They will make sure the plans meet the minimum safety requirements, according to the Illinois building code.
You do not need a permit if you are fixing or replacing an existing plumbing fixture. That means no permit is necessary to replace a sink, unclog a drain, or change out your faucets. However, you’ll need our licensed plumbers to do the work. If you opt to do it yourself, then you may need to take a test to prove you have the required knowledge.
These rules are often why it’s easier, faster, and less expensive in the long run to hire our professionals to do the job for you. Our plumbers will know when to apply for a permit and what’s required to get approval. They’ll also have a license, making the process a lot easier.