Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Lawrence?
- 2 How Does the Water in Lawrence Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Lawrence?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Lawrence?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Lawrence Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Lawrence?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Lawrence?
Lawrence is a beautiful city with over 54 parks, beautiful rivers and lakes, and rolling hills. The climate is humid and can encompass a wide range of temperatures, with summer temperatures rising to over 100 degrees and winters often falling below zero. Lawrence sees a fair amount of rainfall and snowfall, which can sometimes cause washout and flooding in low points due to hills.
All of these features make Lawrence a beautiful oasis in the often flat, windy terrain of Kansas. They all can also, however, cause problems for plumbing, as well. Excessive rain can lead to erosion issues that can displace or crack underground plumbing, and debris from flooding can get into sewage systems and cause clogs. Lawrence residents still regularly have problems with these typical plumbing issues, as well:
- Dripping or leaking faucets
- Low water pressure
- Clogged toilets or drains
- Leaky or burst pipes
- Failing water heaters
- Sewage backups
Lawrence is a town with a lot of history, and older buildings may have more extreme problems more frequently, as older plumbing materials tend to be less durable long-term than modern, more advanced materials. While the City of Lawrence takes great pride in having removed all lead from its water system decades ago, individual older homes may still contain harmful lead pipes, which can add toxicity to water. If these or other old dilapidated materials are found in a building, they need to be replaced immediately to protect your plumbing system and water.
How Does the Water in Lawrence Affect Your Plumbing?
The water in Lawrence is sourced from a combination of the Kansas River and Clinton Reservoir at nearby Clinton State Park. The shale-heavy, hilly terrain of Lawrence brings a lot of sediment down the river, which often ends up In Lawrence’s water. Though Lawrence’s water is very well treated and safe to drink, the mineral sediments harden the water, which rates at 196 PPM in total hardness.
Hard water can cause damage over time to plumbing systems, as minerals in the water buildup in pipes and eventually create clogs and blockage. While not as hard as the water in nearby Kansas City, at 196 PPM, Lawrence does have extremely hard water that will eventually affect pipes in your plumbing system.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Lawrence?
Lawrence’s location near several major highways and some of the biggest train junctions in the Midwest means that materials for plumbing repairs can be incredibly affordable compared to more remote locations. Lawrence has a slightly higher median income than the rest of Kansas, but the difference in labor cost for plumbing services should be negligible. Plumbers are essential experts, and their time is valuable. Plumbing repairs in Lawrence average between $100 and $700. Though our plumbers will be able to give you an accurate quote with some information about your specific situation, there are some factors that could potentially affect the cost of plumbing services in Lawrence.
Cost Factor 1: Complexity and Unknowns
For particularly complex projects, the time necessary to address and repair issues could be much higher than typical service. This can also occur when projects get unexpectedly more difficult by the discovery of unknown issues with materials, plumbing infrastructure, or problems with multiple issues. Unknown complications are frustrating, but they happen. With plumbing, cutting corners is never a good idea, so when issues come up the best policy is to fix them right, even if it wasn’t in the plan.
Cost Factor 2: Materials
The materials required for a particular job may increase the cost. While materials are readily available and affordable in Lawrence compared to other places, specialized or customized parts may take time and have high costs to order. While our plumbers have ready access to standard components and materials, large equipment like pumps and water heaters will cost significantly more, as well.
You are usually bearing the burden of any cost of materials. Our plumbers may have a lot available on hand, but the cost of your service or repair is calculated so that our plumber is compensated for their time and the materials they needed for the job at the cost we paid for those materials. Since our plumbers are experts, they’re getting the absolute best deal possible on materials and already saving you whatever they can.
Cost Factor 3: Emergencies
Tornadoes are a constant risk in Eastern Kansas in the spring months, so most buildings have a basement or other underground storm shelter. In plumbing emergencies, sump pump coverage can quickly become overwhelmed by flooding and require immediate, urgent attention from our plumbers. Basement flooding can be incredibly damaging to home value due to reduced airflow. This can mean emergency calls for even small leaks, as water flowing down a foundation can accumulate quickly and do serious damage.
Emergency calls can sometimes cause emergency rates if our plumber is incredibly busy and you need urgent help. While we get to you as fast as we can, sometimes this can put you behind other, already scheduled appointments. Fitting in an emergency sometimes involves our plumbers going to extreme lengths, and can cost a little more as a result.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Lawrence?
Better plumbing reduces the risks of needing urgent and costly repairs later on. You’re not going to go without your plumbing or let water flood your house anytime soon, so investing in quality plumbing will always save money long-term. Everyone probably has their own steps, unique to their situation, that they could take to improve their plumbing infrastructure and save money in the long run, but there are a few ways that most people in Lawrence can save some money with better plumbing.
We discussed the problems with hard water already, but there is a solution to that. Water softeners can be installed by our plumbers to be an entire home solution to hard water. The softener removes trace minerals, like the high levels of calcium, magnesium, and sodium in Lawrence’s water. Taking these minerals out saves you the cost of dilapidating fixtures and clogging pipes over time, as well as all the other hassles that go with hard water like soap scum buildup in the shower.
Updating plumbing and fixtures in older houses can make your entire plumbing system more efficient and more durable. New higher-quality materials can replace plumbing and fixtures made with dated and worn materials. Although galvanized steel is common in plumbing, as it ages the zinc coating that protects it from rust and corrosion, aging galvanized pipes can add lead toxicity to water and corrode to the point of cracking and potentially causing harmful flooding and water damage.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Lawrence Vs Hire a Plumber?
Many people will put off calling us, and their problems will multiply until the original problem is dealt with. If you have leaking pipes or the start of flooding, immediately call our plumbers. Small leaks can get more serious. If water is leaking through, then an immense amount of strain is being put on that particular piece of the pipe, which could cause further leaks and bursts. Calling for help immediately can prevent a pinhole leak from becoming a flood.
There are some occasions that Lawrence Utilities would be responsible for an issue, but only if it happens on their side of the main connection to your property. If the issue arises on your side, it’s your responsibility. If your flow of water is off in the whole house, then you should call Lawrence Utilities and ask if they have any issues with the water grid around you. If it is on their side, it’s likely they’ll already know about it and are working on it, but if not, you can alert them to an issue that likely left a lot of people out of water.
If the problem is on your side of the main, but you can’t identify a leak, call our plumbers and explain the problem. Our plumbers are trained experts, and it’s likely that they can figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Lawrence?
Though it’s not as highly regulated as some other cities, Lawrence does require permits for some plumbing work. Any plumbing that installs or replaces plumbing piping or equipment will require a building permit from the city. This means most minor repairs that don’t have major replacements can probably be done without a permit, but major pipe replacements and big installations like water heaters or water softeners will require a permit.
Our plumbers can tell you a lot more about specifics on the permits required since every certified plumber is required to know and adhere to those regulations and guidelines. It should also be noted that these requirements are through the City of Lawrence, so no permit would be required for any building past the city limits north of the river.