Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Elgin?
- 2 How Does the Water in Elgin Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Elgin?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Elgin?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Elgin Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Elgin?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Elgin?
Homes in Elgin grapple with the everyday plumbing problems resulting from normal wear and tear. These include clogged sinks and drains, leaky pipes and faucets, and backing toilets. However, the city’s rainy weather poses an additional challenge to your plumbing system.
Elgin receives significant rainfall throughout the year, even during the driest months. Heavy rain increases the pressure on your piping system, increasing the likelihood of failure and backups. Some of the commonly reported problems include:
- Blocked and clogged drains
- Overworked sump pumps
- Flooded basements
- Ruptured underground pipes
Historic neighborhoods such as the Spring/Douglas historic district are home to some of the oldest houses in the city. Most century-old homes use old plumbing technology and piping systems, making them vulnerable to leaks and frequent breakdowns.
Although Elgin experiences infrequent, moderate earthquakes, ground shifting might pose a danger to the plumbing systems in historic buildings. Such buildings require a high level of earthquake preparedness and maintenance such as:
- Equipping gas lines with shutoff valves
- Routine maintenance after an earthquake event
How Does the Water in Elgin Affect Your Plumbing?
Most of Elgin’s water comes from the Fox River, and deep wells supplement the rest. Water drawn from the Fox River is very hard, ranging from 260 to 400 milligrams per liter or 15 to 24 grains per gallon. Elgin’s Water Department treats and softens the water to between 124 to 155 mg/L or 7.9 grains per liter. That means the city’s entire supply of fresh water is hard.
While hard water is safe to consume, it has a drastic effect on the plumbing system. It leaves unsightly stains on your sinks and tubs and ugly buildup on the fixtures. Hard water also creates buildup inside the water pipes, leading to clogs that decrease the water pressure and may cause burst pipes.
Hard water is fresh water with high levels of natural minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. Hard water drains away and leaves a white, chalky residue on the sinks and faucets. Rainwater becomes hard by absorbing the naturally occurring minerals from the ground as it flows into rivers and lakes.
The levels of mineral content in the water determine its hardness level. There are various ways to measure water hardness, but grains of mineral per gallon (GPG) and milligrams per liter (mg/L) are the most used.
There are four categories of hard water:
- 0 to 60 mg/L: Soft
- 61 to 120 mg/L: Moderately hard
- 121 to 180 mg/L: Hard
- Higher than 181 mg/L: Very hard
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Elgin?
People often get caught up in the cost of hiring our plumbers that they forget the value they bring. Doing so prevents property owners from hiring us until it’s too late. Ideally, you should have our plumbing experts examine your system as soon as you notice a problem. The longer you leave the problem unattended, the more it compounds, making it more costly to fix.
The cost of hiring our plumbers in Elgin ranges from $113 to $822, with most people paying an average of $467. The cost of your plumbing project depends on numerous factors that lower or increase the price. Some of the most influential factors include:
Scope of Service
Plumbing services range from simple fixes such as unclogging a sink, bathtub, and a drain to the more complex ones such as sewer line installation and repair. Lower-end jobs take less time and use basic tools and equipment. On the other hand, complex jobs such as line installation and upgrades use heavy equipment. Such jobs also carry a hefty price tag since they’re labor-intensive and require great skills. They might call for surface preparation and site cleanup which tucks an additional fee into the job.
The Age of the Plumbing System
Buildings in Elgin’s landmark districts are likely to be using plumbing systems from the previous century. It means that most of the metallic pipes have reached the upper limit of their lifespan. There’s also a possibility of having some lead pipes on the property which is dangerous to your health. Such plumbing projects can prove to be quite costly since they require a lot of plumbing supplies. They’re also likely to be labor-intensive and take a long time for our master plumbers to complete. Some of the construction materials used in old plumbing systems are no longer available, but even when they are, they carry prohibitive prices.
Elgin’s most affluent neighborhoods such as Udina and Almora are likely to demand higher prices. Since the homes are likely to have complex plumbing systems, they require a high level of skills and expertise, as well as more labor. Our plumbers servicing these markets are highly qualified professionals with considerable experience and equipped with expensive modern plumbing equipment. The city of Elgin requires all plumbers to be state certified and procure a permit before each job, which all of our plumbers are.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Elgin?
Having a less-than-sound plumbing system amounts to flushing water down the drain. An efficient plumbing system coupled with water-efficient fixtures can lower your water consumption by 13,000 gallons, saving you up to $130 a year. An efficient plumbing system lets you enjoy creature comforts such as long showers, without saddling you with hefty water bills.
Upgrade Your Fixtures and Appliances
Saving water is a civic duty of every Elgin resident, and it helps conserve this precious commodity. Luckily, saving water doesn’t translate to lowered quality of life. You only need to upgrade and replace your older fixtures with WaterSense toilets, showerheads, and faucets. A water-efficient toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush, down from 6 gallons. A low-flow tap cuts water flow by up to 30%, while a low-flow showerhead uses up to 60% less water.
It’s easy to ignore your plumbing system because the pipes are hidden behind walls and floorboards, which is the very reason you should have our plumbers inspect them at least once a year. Temperature variations and high water pressure can stress your pipes, increasing the likelihood of your system springing a leak. Scheduling regular inspections with us helps to avert a disaster. During the maintenance run, our plumber fixes all the damage and detects any hidden leaks in your system. Hidden leaks pose a threat, leading to extensive water damage and mold infestation.
Soften Your Water
It’s advisable to install a water softener since all of Elgin’s fresh water supply is hard water. Although safe for human consumption, hard water shortens the lifespan of your plumbing system and equipment. The dissolved minerals form deposits inside the pipes and restrict the flow of water. They also corrode fittings and joints while increasing the pressure on the pipes. Installing a water softener ensures that you have cleaner drinking water and safeguards your plumbing system.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Elgin Vs Hire a Plumber?
Sometimes, property owners don’t know who to call when they have a problem with their water mains or sewer line. However, there’s a clear distinction between the city’s portion of the water mains and your portion. The Elgin Water Department will fix any problems in the city’s portion. You’re responsible for keeping the lines within your property in excellent working conditions.
You can either call the City or hire a plumber to fix a leaking water main or sewer line. But first, you need to do a little sleuthing to establish if the problem lies within or outside your property line. Walk along the water and sewer lines and check for unexplained damp spots on your property. If the sewer line is leaking, you might spot areas with lush plant growth and bad smells. Leaky water mains can cost you a lot of money, while a leaky sewer line poses a health hazard. Hire our plumbers to fix these problems as quickly as possible.
Water Supply Problems
One of the perks of indoor plumbing is the convenience of having a reliable supply of hot and cold water at home. A sound plumbing system ensures a steady supply devoid of pressure variations and interruptions. If your water supply is inconsistent, you may have a huge problem. The first step is to establish the source of the problem. Close all the taps and check if the meter is still running. If it continues to run, you may have leaky water mains and you should call our plumbers.
If the meter doesn’t run, the problem might be outside your property. Check with a few neighbors if they’re having the same problem. If they’re in the same boat, then there’s a problem with the water supply in your area. Call the Elgin Water Department to fix the problem.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Elgin?
Elgin requires that property owners obtain a permit when hiring our plumbing contractors to fix their plumbing system. The permit serves as a guarantee that our plumbers adhere to the city’s building code. Building codes set the minimum standards a building should meet. City officials and inspectors enforce the regulations since they are meant to protect public health and safety.
Some of the plumbing projects that require a permit include:
- Installing new water mains and drains
- Installing or upgrading a new garbage disposal unit
- Installing or replacing a toilet
- Installing a shower pan or bathtub
- Installing or upgrading a water heater
- Installing or repairing a sewer line
You can contact the City at 311 to find out if your plumbing project requires a plumbing permit. The cost of a plumbing permit depends on the size and type of the project. The cost ranges from $75 (for adding a fixture) to $350 (for water and sewer line installation in new construction).
It’s crucial that you obtain a permit before commencing the work. Late acquisition of a license can saddle you with penalties of up to $650.