Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Lexington?
- 2 How Does the Water in Lexington Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Lexington?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Lexington?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Lexington vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Lexington?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Lexington?
Lexington homeowners deal with many of the same plumbing issues that are common to all, but we also have some unique challenges due to being so close to the Kentucky River. Lexington also has many older homes and their plumbing systems aren’t always in tip-top shape. Overall, the majority of plumbing repairs are simply due to wear and tear from all the essential tasks our plumbing has to offer us. Here are some of the typical issues that we deal with at Mr Blue Plumbing:
Sump Pump Installation and Repairs
Flooding is very common in certain parts of Lexington, especially in winter and spring when the Kentucky River is more likely to swell. We also get some flash flooding because of interior streams and heavy rains. That makes the sump pump truly indispensable for homes with below-ground foundations, whether you have a basement or a crawl space. Sump pumps work hard to suck out excess water and direct it to a drainage system located outside which protects your home from expensive water damage. Most sump pumps will have an average lifespan of 5-8 years, but you can prolong that time by taking good care of them. Maintenance should include making any needed repairs and occasionally cleaning out gravel, debris, or other obstructions that might have gotten stuck inside the pump.
We also recommend inspecting your sump pump every year to make sure it will be there for you when you need it. It’s not fun to end up needing a Lexington plumber to repair your sump pump right in the middle of a flood when many of your neighbors also need the same service.
Sewer Service Line Repair or Replacement
Your property’s sewer service lines handle your wastewater and join up with the city’s main sewer line. Most Lexington homes built before 1980 have sewer service lines made with clay pipes, which makes them extremely likely to crack or have separation at the joints. Newer homes with improperly installed service lines can have problems too, including leaks and frequent backups. What’s the worst part of sewer service line issues on your property? It’s that very distinct sewage smell.
The city’s Water Quality division only makes repairs beyond your property line which means Lexington homeowners are duly responsible for maintaining their sewers. We regularly make repairs for sewer service lines, but sometimes the complete replacement of an outdated system is the only solution. We especially recommend that older homes with clay systems should replace their entire sewer with new, durable PVC pipes.
We get plenty of calls for slow-running drains or drains that stop running altogether, especially in kitchens. You may not realize it, but common substances like grease, oil, mayonnaise, and salad dressing are the number one enemy of a well-running drain. Most fats will solidify in cold water and they’re also known to bind food scraps together. Over time, these materials can create a very sticky and solid obstruction inside your kitchen pipes and leave you with a sink full of water. Bathroom drains are also incredibly susceptible to clogs, especially if they have to manage a lot of hair.
While the plumbing solutions available at your local hardware store can do the trick in some situations, these products can also cause harm to your plumbing system if you don’t use them correctly. They also won’t be of much help with those extra-stubborn blockages that leave you with standing water for hours on end. Luckily at Mr Blue Plumbing, we’ve never met a clog that we couldn’t handle!
How Does the Water in Lexington Affect Your Plumbing?
Most of Lexington’s tap water comes from surface water bodies, especially the Kentucky River and the Jacobson Reservoir. Like most of Central Kentucky, Lexington’s water is extremely “hard”, which means that it naturally contains a lot of calcium and magnesium. The hardness level of Lexington’s water is measured as 215 parts-per-million which is considered extremely high.
Hard water is a headache for homeowners because it’s not great for the longevity and performance of your plumbing. According to the University of Kentucky, hard water interferes with the performance of any household appliance that uses water, especially water heaters. The problem is that the minerals in hard water tend to accumulate as a type of sediment called mineral scaling and this substance can build up and affect the performance of your appliances. Water heaters affected by mineral scaling tend to malfunction, use water inefficiently, or even break down. Hard water can also show up as clouds on clean glasses or a thin film on your shower walls. Like other areas of Kentucky, Lexington homeowners rely on installing water softeners to protect their appliances. If you’re dealing with cloudy glasses and an inefficient water heater, installing a water softener can make a big difference.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Lexington?
The cost of hiring a plumber in Lexington will mostly depend on the complexity of the job and how long it takes to complete, but there are other important factors. Homeowners can expect to pay an average of $370 for plumbing services which includes a range of $95 at the lower end and $655 at the higher end. Here are the main factors we’ll use to give you an estimate:
Complexity of the Job
Most local plumbers will charge an hourly rate of $60-65 for simple projects and this can go up to $95 per hour for more complex plumbing work. Faucet repairs are relatively quick and inexpensive while installing a new water heater or dealing with a persistent leak will cost more. It also happens that some jobs will start small and then become much bigger. Most slow-running drains are typically caused by clogs, but they can sometimes be a symptom of serious structural problems within your sewer service lines.
The urgency of your issue and the time of day when you need plumbing services will also impact the cost. We understand that certain problems can’t wait such as sewage backups and burst pipes. Emergency services do cost more, especially if they happen after hours when we have to send a qualified plumber out to your home. You’re also likely to pay more during a flooding event when plumbers quickly become the most popular people in Lexington. This is one of the reasons we recommend checking your sump pump annually to make sure it’s in good working condition.
Type of Materials
In some situations, the materials we utilize for your plumbing work have a big impact on your final bill. For example, PVC pipes are much cheaper than copper pipes. Larger homes are also likely to require more piping supplies than homes with smaller square footage. We will discuss the pros and cons of each material and help you make a decision that suits both your budget and the plumbing needs of your property.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Lexington?
The answer is yes, especially if you haven’t updated your plumbing for a while. Better plumbing is generally more efficient which can help you see a reduction in your water and energy bills. Quality plumbing is also more durable and dependable which means you spend a lot less money hiring Lexington plumbers! The EPA’s WaterSense program has a great list of recommended fixtures and appliances that can help homeowners reduce their consumption of both water and energy. Depending on the age and condition of your existing plumbing system, the best upgrades to consider are:
- Installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets designed to substantially reduce your water use;
- Replacing an older water heater, dishwasher, or washing machine with a new, high-efficiency EnergyStar model; and
- (If you deal with recurrent leaks) Investing in sturdy new pipes for either your water line or sewer service line.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Lexington vs Hire a Plumber?
If you have an issue with the plumbing on your private property, you would almost always need to call a plumber. Lexington’s Water Quality Division is responsible for maintaining all municipal lines on city property, but homeowners are responsible for all their plumbing. This includes the maintenance of water and sewer service lines up to the point of connection to the city’s main lines. If you have an issue with these pipes or any other component of the plumbing system on your property, call Mr Blue Plumbing and we’d be more than happy to help.
Of course, there are some scenarios where you should call a utility company instead and they mainly have to deal with plumbing issues on city property. Some example scenarios include water spraying from a fire hydrant, a burst pipe in your neighborhood, or even sewage overflowing onto the street. If you lose water to your entire property and so do some of your neighbors, it’s likely an issue with the municipal water line. You should call the Lexington Water Quality division.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Lexington?
If we’re talking about very superficial and typical plumbing jobs, like unclogging a drain or repairing a running toilet, then you won’t need a permit. When it comes to any structural change you might want to make to your plumbing system, permits would probably be required. This would include anything from installing a new water heater to relocating a sewer service line. The state of Kentucky also has strict standards about who can do these jobs and it has to be a certified, Kentucky-licensed plumber.
These rules are all about keeping you safe and making sure that our collective water resources are managed properly. Your plumber will explain any of the necessary permits needed and we also make sure we take care of this step before beginning any of the work.