Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Columbus?
- 2 How Does the Water in Columbus Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Columbus?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Columbus?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Columbus vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Columbus?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Columbus?
If you live in the same place for long enough, you are almost guaranteed to have some kind of plumbing issue. Plumbing is a complicated system, and the parts used won’t last forever, no matter the quality. That means almost every household will experience a leak or a clog at some point. Here are the three most common plumbing issues you are likely to have in Columbus:
- Burst pipes. If you’ve lived in Columbus for long, you know how bitterly cold the winters can be. The lowest ever recorded temperature in Columbus was a frigid -27.0°F. Fortunately, it doesn’t get that cold very often, but winter temps still dip below zero frequently. When that happens, we know we’re about to get an influx of calls about burst pipes. Exposed pipes can freeze in these temperatures, causing the water inside them to expand and crack the pipe. Burst pipes can also happen when we have a rapid shift in the weather, such as freezing to warm in a day. This causes the pipe to contract and expand very quickly, which can also cause it to fracture. Burst pipes can cause massive water damage to your property very quickly if you don’t turn the water off immediately. Our Columbus plumbers can replace the burst pipe. They can also help ensure the issue doesn’t happen again in the future by adequately insulating the exposed pipe.
- Clogged drains. Columbus was officially incorporated in 1864 and experienced a population boom in the 1950s and again in the early 2000s. That’s why you’ll find so many homes in the area built during those decades. Unfortunately, you’ll still find a lot of the plumbing from then, too. Pipework doesn’t last forever, no matter what it’s made of, and a lot of the pipes in older neighborhoods are due for replacement. That means homeowners there are going to start experiencing clogs more often. Those old pipes have years of backup and debris, and some may be starting to corrode and collapse on themselves. Replacing pipes, especially in areas like the Columbus Historic District, can solve many plumbing issues, including clogged drains and low water pressure.
- Faulty sump pumps. Sump pumps are a great thing to have in your Columbus home, especially if you have a basement or crawl space. The water table tends to be quite high here, so flooding in the lowest areas of your home is more common than you’d like. A sump pump can help prevent that flooding, but they aren’t foolproof devices. Even the best sump pump can fail you, especially when we experience periods of heavy rain. If your sump pump does stop working, you’ll want to contact us to get it repaired right away. Waiting to get it fixed can put your home at risk of water damage.
How Does the Water in Columbus Affect Your Plumbing?
According to recent testing by the Columbus City Utilities, the water supply in town has between 15 and 18 grains of calcium carbonate per gallon. That means our water, according to the USGS water hardness scale, is very hard. Hard water contains high levels of minerals, usually calcium carbonate and magnesium. These minerals attach themselves to the water molecules as they pass over the rocks and ground before entering the city water supply. These minerals are safe to consume, but they can cause a lot of issues with your plumbing over time.
Hard water deposits can build up within your plumbing system. This can cause your system issues such as clogged pipes or mechanical failure in your water heater or dishwasher. You can help mitigate some hard water damage by running white vinegar through your dishwasher and clothes washer every month. For best results, though, talk to a Columbus plumber about installing a water softener in your home.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Columbus?
The cost of our plumbers will vary. You may pay anything from $150 to fix a leaking faucet in Bethel Village to $10,000 to refit copper pipes in your Columbus Historic District home. The average cost for our services in Columbus is around $390. When our plumber comes to your house to offer you an estimate on a project, they’ll look at three variables:
Cost Factor: The Time You Need
Some plumbing projects are quick, taking our experienced plumber less than an hour to complete. Other projects can take days. Our local plumbers will estimate the amount of time they think the project will take them and charge accordingly. We typically charge based on an hourly rate. We’ll take our hourly rate and multiply it by how long we think your plumbing project will take. More complicated jobs will naturally cost more in labor.
Cost Factor: The Materials You Need
Almost every plumbing project will require parts and materials. This might be a $5 float to fix your running toilet or thousands of dollars in copper piping. Our plumber can source these materials for you (and can often get a better deal than you could be doing it yourself), then add the cost onto the final bill. Make sure our plumber knows your budget upfront so that they can source parts and materials within your price range. There are always many options available, and they can advise you on what brands and materials are a good value for your money.
Cost Factor: When You Need It
If you have a plumbing emergency outside of regular business hours, prepare to pay more for their time. This might be a higher hourly rate or an emergency plumbing surcharge added to your bill. This covers the cost of calling out our plumbers after hours as well as their travel time. While it might be more expensive, it’s less expensive than paying for water damage mitigation later on, so don’t delay the call.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Columbus?
Absolutely. A small investment in your plumbing can pay off in the long run. You’ll have fewer repair bills and less frequent replacement of your plumbing system’s parts. You can also save through:
- Rebate programs. Upgrading your home’s plumbing systems can make them more efficient, using fewer natural resources. There are often government incentive programs to help you do this, including one from Bartholomew County that could help cover a new water heater cost.
- Lower utility bills. Upgrade your plumbing and watch the impact it has on your monthly water bill. You’ll end up using, and paying for, less water each month. That’s because modern fixtures are more efficient with water usage, especially toilets and water heaters. Upgrading your plumbing can also help eliminate leaks, which can waste thousands of gallons a month.
Most plumbing upgrades are more affordable than you think, too. If it’s time to replace your plumbing fixtures, talk to our plumbers about eco-friendly options that could help reduce your plumbing expenses in the long term.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Columbus vs Hire a Plumber?
You should hire our plumbers to fix any plumbing issues occurring within your property line in most cases, including any issues you suspect may be due to the city’s water or sewer mains. Our plumbers can diagnose the issue, and if it’s a problem with the city’s lines, they can help you contact the right people to get it fixed. Keep in mind that the lines leading from your water meter to your home are your responsibility to fix and maintain, as is the sewer line that comes from the city’s mainline to your home.
You should call the Columbus Utilities Department if there is an issue with:
- The water main
- The line leading to your water meter
- The water meter
You should also contact the city to see water or sewage leaking on public property or a leaking fire hydrant.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Columbus?
Bartholomew County handles all the permitting for the City of Columbus. You’ll need a permit for most plumbing projects, except for:
- Repairs to existing plumbing fixtures, such as unclogging a toilet or stopping a leaky faucet
- Replacement of existing plumbing fixtures with like-kind fixtures, as long as there are no changes to the plumbing system set-up or capacity
In all other cases, you’ll need a permit. That includes bathroom remodels, bathroom additions, and any project that changes your home’s plumbing infrastructure. The permitting process is fairly straightforward, but you may need to submit:
- Construction plans
- Site plans
- A release for the septic system
- A zoning compliance certificate
You can download the permits and other necessary forms online and submit them in person or via email. The minimum cost for a plumbing permit is $30, but you’ll pay more if you need additional inspections. If you have questions about the process or want to ask if your project requires a permit, you can contact the Code Enforcement Department at Bartholomew County. Our expert plumbers may also be able to advise you.