Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Topeka?
- 2 How Does the Water in Topeka Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Topeka?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Topeka?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Topeka vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Topeka?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Topeka?
Straddling the Kansas River, Topeka, Kansas, is well known for its sunny vistas, railroad history, and agricultural roots. Residents in Kansas’ capital city share day-to-day challenges, including one of the most fundamental aspects of daily life: plumbing. Whether you’re in a brand-new subdivision or a historic Victorian house, plumbing problems for Topeka residents tend to be similar. Some of Topeka’s most common plumbing issues include:
Clogged drains are a prevalent issue in Topeka. The build-up of grease, oil, hair, food, and other materials poured down the drain cause clogs. Oils and grease from cooking are the most frequent cause, as they solidify in the pipes where the temperature is cooler.
Caustic Cleaners on Old Pipes
Topeka is home to several beautiful old houses, but with old houses come aged pipes. Before you grab the caustic drain cleaner to clear out a clog, pause to consider whether your home is likely to have older pipes. While drain cleaners may be effective on newer materials, old pipes can become corroded and even develop holes from harsh drain cleaners.
When you have a garbage disposal, it may seem like a free pass to dump all your food waste down the drain. Unfortunately, while garbage disposals are designed for grinding small amounts of food, they can be hindered by large volumes of food or hard, fibrous foods like potatoes, carrots, and celery. Rather than disposing of your scraps via the garbage disposal, throw them into the garbage or compost bin.
Water leaks can occur anywhere in your plumbing system, from water faucets and toilets to outdoor spigots and underground pipes. If you notice an uptick in your water usage that your activities can’t explain, there’s a good chance that one of your appliances or pipes is leaking water.
Toilets are by far the most common cause of water leaks, especially if you have a toilet that you rarely use. Worn valves and gaskets, misaligned plunger balls, a caught chain, corroded flappers and valves, and mineral deposits on the drain lip can all result in costly toilet leaks. Faucet leaks are often due to a worn or corroded gasket. If your toilets and sinks are working correctly, but you still have high water usage or signs of a leak, such as damp walls or puddles on the property, it’s time to contact us to seek assistance. You can also file a report to the city of Topeka at 785-368-3111.
Sewer backups are a minor but severe plumbing problem in Topeka. Not only does a sewer backup smell awful, but it can also be harmful to your health. If you notice a sewer smell rising from your drains, don’t panic. If it is a rarely used drain, the trap may have dried out. Simply pour water into the drain. If the smell dissipates, you may simply have a dry trap.
If the sewer smell does not go away after pouring water into the drain, or if you see backflow into your sinks, bathtub, or appliances, it is essential to contact Water Pollution Control at 785-368-3111 as soon as possible. The City will dispatch a specialist who can determine whether it is a problem with the City’s sewer system or your plumbing. The City also has a program that lines the inside of sewer pipes to help prevent I&I, as well as a replacement program to replace failing infrastructure.
How Does the Water in Topeka Affect Your Plumbing?
Topeka’s water comes from the surface of the Kansas River. A variety of mining, industrial, and agricultural operations surround Topeka’s water. According to a 2021 Kansas Department of Health and Environment Source Water Assessment, the water in Topeka is moderately susceptible to contamination by various chemicals and natural substances, including agricultural runoff, minerals, and chemicals.
The Topeka Water Treatment Facility is responsible for treating the water to remove any harmful chemicals or pathogens but some low-level contaminants may still be present in tap water. The water in Topeka is also considered hard water, which means that there is the potential for the buildup of calcium, iron, and other minerals in and around pipes and plumbing fixtures.
Both the hard water and chemical makeup of Topeka water can be hard on your plumbing. To ensure that you have the best plumbing for Topeka’s water, be sure to check with a licensed plumber like us. They can help you determine the best pipe and fixture materials and discuss whether you should consider home filtration systems.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Topeka?
Plumbing costs in Topeka are primarily dependent on us. Some of us charge as little as $60 per hour for standard plumbing issues, while more complex problems can be as high as $95 per hour. In 2021, homeowners paid an average of $369 for plumbing repair in Topeka. The primary factors that determine the cost of your plumbing work are the complexity of the work, amount of damage, and number and type of replacement parts.
Complexity of the Work
In Topeka, we tend to charge hourly rates based on the complexity of the job. If your plumbing project is simple, like fixing a faucet leak or changing out a toilet pump, you can expect to pay less. For jobs that require excavation, laying new pipe, or extensive component replacements, you will likely pay a higher hourly rate and greater price overall.
Amount of Damage
Leaky pipes and clogs can cause water to collect in surrounding areas. Cupboards, drywall, and flooring can become waterlogged and even moldy with extended exposure to ongoing leaks. With leaky pipes under your concrete slab or in your yard, you may find that your foundation is undermined or your property drainage is compromised. All of these complications can be very costly to repair. That’s why it’s essential to have us look at any issues as soon as you notice them. Waiting can result in much more expensive repairs in the long run.
Often, we must replace parts of the plumbing system to effect the repair. It may be a simple gasket in your faucet or toilet, which is small and inexpensive. For more complex repairs, we may have to replace entire fixtures or run new pipes. You can expect to pay for the price of any replacement parts in addition to the hourly rate we charge for the work we are performing. You may be able to reduce your costs somewhat by purchasing the parts we need in advance.
It is essential to complete plumbing repairs as soon as possible to save the most money. Although up-front plumbing costs can seem high, the cost of repairs can be much greater if plumbing problems are left unchecked. Fortunately, several federal resources, including HUD loans, help you cover the cost of improvements and repairs.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Topeka?
When it comes to plumbing in Topeka, better quality is the key to savings. Higher quality plumbing helps you save money by:
- Increasing water efficiency: Quality plumbing allows for the free flow of water through your pipes and fixtures, ensuring that you have just the right amount of water for your needs. Enhanced water efficiency in your sinks, showers, and appliances can save you a significant amount on your water bill.
- Decreasing maintenance and repairs: Good plumbing reduces the potential for expensive and time-consuming repairs due to leaks, backups, and other plumbing issues.
- Reducing damage: With reliable plumbing, your pipes and fixtures are less likely to leak into your walls, floors, ceilings, and foundations, reducing the risk of costly repairs due to water damage.
- Enhancing service life: Better quality plumbing pipes and components are better able to resist corrosion, wear, and tear for longer-lasting plumbing that requires fewer replacements over time.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Topeka vs Hire a Plumber?
When dealing with a plumbing issue in Topeka, it can be challenging to know who to call, the Water Utility or us. In general, if the problem originates on your property, you should contact us, while water main breaks or sewer backups are the purviews of Topeka’s Utilities Department. To pinpoint the location of a leak, you can perform this simple test:
- Turn off the water at your house.
- Check your meter. There is a red triangle, or test hand, in the 9 o’clock position of the register, and it will move counter-clockwise if there is water running.
- If the test hand moves counter-clockwise while you have turned off your house’s water, you have a leak between the meter and the house.
- You can perform this test throughout your house to isolate the source. For example, turn off the water to the toilet and see if the meter is still running. If it is running, your problem is not the toilet. Do the same to your other fixtures and appliances, including sinks, water filtration systems, coolers, refrigerators, fountains, and automatic pet watering systems. When the test hand stops running counter-clockwise, you have isolated the source of the leak.
If the leak is in your house, it is your responsibility to repair it, and you should contact a professional plumber like us for assistance. You should also call us if you are unable to find the source of the leak. If there is evidence that the leak is a water main not on your property, or if you have a sewer backup, you should call the Topeka Water and Water Pollution Control Utility at 785-368-3111.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Topeka?
According to Topeka’s Plumbing Code, most plumbing repairs to stop leaks or replace plumbing components with the same material do not require a permit. If, on the other hand, your plumbing repairs require new material, it is considered a new installation and must be permitted and inspected. Topeka Municipal Codes for Residential Plumbing state that anyone who plans to construct, enlarge, repair, remove, convert, or replace a plumbing system must apply to the appropriate building official to obtain the proper permit.