Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Alexandria?
- 2 How Does the Water in Alexandria Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Alexandria?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Alexandria?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Alexandria vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Alexandria?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Alexandria?
Welcome to Alexandria, the ninth-largest city in Louisiana. There are many things to do here, like visiting the Alexandria Museum of Art, enjoying the sites at the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, or seeing the animals at the Alexandria Zoological Park. Lake Buhlow is a great place to relax on your own or spend some time fishing and kayaking with your family.
Alexandria takes great pride in its rich heritage, which dates back to 1785. There are many historical sites in Alexandria, including several homes. While older homes have their charm, they also come with heavy upkeep, which is evident in the plumbing.
Lead in the water is a major concern for anyone with an older home, especially in Alexandria. The City of Alexandria released an alert in 2019, making residents aware that the Louisiana Department of Health had found four confirmed cases of homes with lead in the water during a routine test. This is due in large part to aging pipes that contain lead. If you’re not sure if your home should be tested, a good rule of thumb is that anything constructed before 1986 probably has lead piping. As your pipes begin to corrode due to hard water, age, and high water pressure, the lead begins to break down.
According to the WHO, “The amount of lead dissolved from the plumbing system depends on several factors, including the presence of chloride and dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, water softness and standing time of the water, soft, acidic water being the most plumbosolvent.”
No amount of lead is safe for human consumption, and this is especially true for children. The EPA reports that lead consumption can cause behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia. In more extreme cases, lead ingestion can cause seizures, coma, and even death. Women who are pregnant may see reduced growth in the fetus or even premature birth.
Water purification requires several steps to get the water clean enough to drink, and this is more difficult when there are contaminants in the water. The City of Alexandria reports that urban runoff is becoming a problem. Things like changing the oil in your driveway, not picking up litter, and using harsh detergents to wash your vehicle all contribute to the local water supply becoming contaminated. This is a problem that can be remedied by everyone doing their part, however. The City of Alexandria requests that residents refrain from pouring harmful chemicals into drains, as well as washing their vehicles in the driveway, and using the hose to clean their driveway. It might not seem like much, but it goes a long way towards helping clean up the local drinking water.
The city of Alexandria is also plagued by hard water. Hard water isn’t so pleasant for your pipes. It can build up inside your supply lines and drains, leading to increased water pressure that can cause leaks, reduced water flow, and corrosion of gaskets, o-rings, and fixtures. Hard water can leave mineral deposits in your water heater as well, making it less efficient and limiting its useful lifespan. It also reduces the effectiveness of soaps and detergents, which means you aren’t getting as clean as you may like.
How Does the Water in Alexandria Affect Your Plumbing?
Alexandra pulls most of its water from the ground. It comes from rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. In many cases, this can result in some great-tasting natural water that tops anything you can drink from a bottle. According to a water report released by the City of Alexandria, there are some cases when the water can pick up contaminants, such as viruses, bacteria, minerals, pesticides, herbicides, organic chemicals, and even radioactive chemicals. While the city met all of the EPA requirements for water quality in 2019, some were right on the borderline of being too high.
The biggest problem with people who are drinking water pulled from the ground is hard water. This contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium. When it comes to human consumption, it’s a good thing, according to the WHO. Humans rarely get enough minerals and vitamins in their daily diet, so consuming the minerals you need in your drinking water is an easy way to remedy this.
If you’re not sure if your water is hard, a quick test is to wash a load of clear glasses in the dishwasher. If they come out looking white or appear cloudy, then you probably have hard water buildup. An easy solution is to add a water softener, which will pull some of the minerals out.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Alexandria?
Plumbing repairs in Alexandria are relatively cheap. At the lower end of the scale, you’re looking at about $90. This price can increase up to $951 for larger jobs. The average cost of plumbing repairs is around $370. How much you’ll end up paying depends on several factors, of course, such as how old your pipes are, what parts will be required, and how big the job is.
Cost Factor: Aging Pipes
Replace pipes with lead. This can be a costly endeavor, no matter how you look at it, however. The good news is that once you replace the pipes, it will help increase your health, as you aren’t consuming lead. It will also give you peace of mind as you know your pipes most likely won’t require work soon.
Cost Factor: Parts Required
Some jobs require parts that our plumbers don’t already have on hand. This doesn’t apply to every case, however, and some parts cost more than others. If you need a leaky faucet in the bathroom fixed, it probably won’t require many parts. On the other hand, if your water heater is malfunctioning and requires replacement, the price will increase drastically.
Some parts must be ordered, as they aren’t available at the local hardware store. They’ll have to be ordered online. Plumbing parts made of copper will also raise the final price.
Cost Factor: Size of the Job
Some jobs are just easier than others. Fixing a running toilet is a lot simpler than cutting into a wall to find a leaking pipe. For other jobs like unclogging the toilet, it usually comes with a fixed rate and isn’t that expensive. Then some jobs require digging up part of the yard to get to pipes. Not only are you looking at paying our plumber when the job is done, but you’ll also be responsible for repairing the wall or lawn once our expert leaves.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Alexandria?
Updating and maintaining your plumbing is a great way to save money. It enables you to catch problems before they become big ones, or just avoid them altogether. It can also save you money in other ways, often by reducing the amount of water you use and saving on your water bill each month.
Given the lead concern in Alexandria, updating your pipes is recommended. This can increase the resale value of your home if you decide to move later on. It’s a big enticement for buyers who aren’t sure they want to invest in an older home.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Alexandria vs Hire a Plumber?
For most situations, you’ll need to call our plumbers first. If you think there is a problem with the water utilities, you can call the Alexandria City Water Department at 318-441-6214. The City of Alexandria will most likely only come out if there is a problem with the city line or sewage back up. Figuring out where the problem lies is a bit tricky, but there are a few steps to help you narrow down who to call.
One of the quickest ways to figure out if you need to call our plumbers or the City of Alexandria is to speak to your neighbors. If they have the same issues as you, then it’s likely a problem for Alexandria to take care of. On the other hand, if they aren’t noticing any issues, you need to call us.
If you notice standing water in the yard, then locate your water meter. This will be a box next to the curb and should read “Water Meter.” If the puddle is on the far side of the meter box, next to the road, you need to contact the City of Alexandria. If it’s on the side closer to your home, then you need to call our plumbers.
Leaks can be a bit trickier to diagnose, but it’s not complicated. Start by shutting the water off. Make sure you don’t forget the washing machine and the ice maker if you have one. Once this step is completed, check the water meter box. Be careful while opening it, as some animals like to call it home and may not enjoy you coming by for an unexpected visit. Once you have the box open, check the meter. Take note of where it’s sitting. If it’s moving and the water is cut off, you likely have a leak. If it’s not moving, check back in an hour or two. Not seeing the water meter move probably means you don’t have a leak on your waterline, and the problem is likely one with the City of Alexandria. If on the other hand it’s moving, you have a leak somewhere and need to call our experts.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Alexandria?
Getting a permit in Alexandria is fairly straightforward. You simply fill out a building permit application, turn it in by noon Monday, pay your $15 fee, and then wait to hear back. The City of Alexandria will then get to work on figuring out if you need the permit or if you’re good to go. There isn’t much information regarding what plumbing jobs require a permit and which don’t. The City of Alexandria looks at each job case by case, so you’ll have to wait to hear back from the city before beginning any work. For more information, contact the City of Alexandria at (318) 473-1372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.