Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Baton Rouge?
- 2 How Does the Water in Baton Rouge Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Baton Rouge?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Baton Rouge?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Baton Rouge Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Baton Rouge?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Baton Rouge?
In February 2021, Baton Rouge experienced low temperatures that it hadn’t experienced in more than a century. Falling into the low 20s, many plumbing pipes froze, only to burst as they thawed out. Plumbers were busy. It has happened before, but freezing weather plumbing issues are not the norm for Baton Rouge. Spring and summer weather usually cause more problems.
Hurricanes are the weather-related problem that Louisianans are more accustomed to. Hurricane winds and the amount of water dropped during a storm can cause a lot of flooding which, in turn, can cause water leaks, sewer backups, and appliance malfunctions. Once the hurricane has passed and people, including plumbers, can move around comfortably again, if you experience any plumbing damage, make a call to the plumber. Some hurricane-related plumbing problems include:
- Leaky pipes,
- Water heater damage or complete shutdown,
- Slow draining toilets,
- Slow draining sinks, showers, and tubs
More Routine Plumbing Problems
A Leaky Pipe
Pipes get old. Many Baton Rouge homes are older, with older plumbing. After all, our city was founded well before the U.S. gained its independence. OK, so there wasn’t indoor plumbing then, but you get the picture. There are some antiquated plumbing systems in houses around the city.
Sometimes you can spot a leaky pipe either outside or in the home, perhaps under a sink. Other signs of a leaky pipe may be lower-than-usual water pressure or a spike in your water bill. Pay attention to the signs.
A dripping faucet is not only an annoyance, but it can also be a simple or more complex problem. There could be an internal washer that needs to be replaced. Sometimes, the faucet itself needs to be replaced. Another possible problem is that the water pressure in your plumbing is too high and the pipes are looking for a way to relieve the pressure.
Who hasn’t experienced a clogged drain? This is one of the most common plumbing issues. There are a lot of drain cleaners on the market, but they are dangerous and can be harmful to people and pets. If a plunger doesn’t help, calling the plumber is a much wiser decision.
Having more than one clogged drain is a sign of a more significant problem. This is usually caused by a blockage further along in your sewer line. Call the plumber immediately if you experience this issue.
Some toilets run continuously and we get used to it, so we tend to ignore the issue. Some run so much that the toilet will flush itself. No, it is not a poltergeist. Seriously though, if the toilet keeps running, something is wrong. It could be as simple as a broken flush valve, a worn-out flapper, or a water float that is too high. Or, it could be a sign of something worse like high water pressure.
A more common issue in multiple-story homes, a knocking pipe can be as simple as a loose support strap or an indication of high water pressure, which is a much larger issue. Knocking pipes are not normal and you should not be lax about them.
As previously mentioned, Baton Rouge is known for good water quality. If your water suddenly becomes yellow, brown, or reddish, it could be from rusting pipes. Older copper pipes that are oxidizing can cause water to turn bluish or greenish. If you experience either, call the plumber and do not drink the water. It is probably a result of aging pipes that need replacing.
Broken Garbage Disposal
If you have a foul odor from the kitchen sink and/or a slow drain, your garbage disposal may not be working properly. Your garbage disposal has a reset button. Try it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue and you continue to have problems, you should call the plumber to come out and take a look at it.
Water Heater Malfunction
If you do not have hot water or you hear a knocking from your water heater, you see it leaking, or it sounds as if it is running more than usual (or all the time), call the plumber right away. Water heaters are nothing to fool with. A malfunctioning or broken water heater can be dangerous whether it heats by gas or electricity.
How Does the Water in Baton Rouge Affect Your Plumbing?
While some areas of Louisiana such as New Orleans have hard water, Baton Rouge is blessed with water that is relatively soft at 44 ppm. Ppm or parts per million represents the number of minerals found within a unit of water. The higher the number, the harder the water.
Baton Rouge water comes from 66 wells measuring between 600 and 2,800 feet deep, according to the Baton Rouge Water Company. The water coming from the ground into the wells is bacteriologically pure. It is chlorinated by Baton Rouge Water and then pumped into the distribution lines to reach your home.
Baton Rouge water is safe to drink and poses no hazard to plumbing pipes or fixtures.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Baton Rouge?
Plumbing costs vary as much as the jobs that need to be done. Repairing a running toilet will most likely be a minimal cost, whereas replacing a water heater or repairing the main water line will cost significantly more. On average, a residential licensed plumber in Baton Rouge will cost around $70 per hour. Let’s look at a few other cost factors.
Materials and Parts
Say you need to replace your water heater. They can vary a lot in price. No doubt you will be looking for some type of upgrade. Maybe you will want to go solar or tankless (on-demand). Either may save you money on your water bills, but the upfront cost could be more. The type and size of the water heater you decide on can vary by hundreds of dollars.
Similarly, if you need some pipe replaced, you should think about whether you want to install PVC or copper. Copper will cost more, but will also last longer. These are the types of things you will need to consider for various parts, and units that need to be replaced.
Accessing the Problem
Some plumbing problems are easier to locate than others. If you have one stopped-up drain, you know where that is located. It may take the plumber to determine exactly where that problem lies. If the clog is located in a pipe in the wall or under the house, that will be more difficult to access than if the problem is simply in the cabinet under the sink. The more time and the more difficult it is to find and solve the problem, the higher the service cost will be.
Is the Repair Urgent?
Most plumbing service companies have someone on call 24/7. If you have a non-urgent problem such as a dripping faucet, you can call during regular hours to schedule the next available appointment. However, if there is water spewing from a pipe or your water heater is malfunctioning, this would be a reason to call, no matter the time or day. You can expect to pay more for emergency service.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Baton Rouge?
Better plumbing will save you money. Whether you choose upgrades to your plumbing appliances and materials like your water heater or new pipes or you choose to use a top-notch plumbing company with licensed, experienced plumbers, in the long run, you are going to save money.
You may think you can save money by having a handyman repair your plumbing. You can’t. There is a reason Louisiana requires plumbers to be licensed. They go through proper training to learn their craft, and you can depend on a licensed plumber to fix your plumbing properly.
The average American home wastes about 10,000 gallons per year. How? Mostly through dripping faucets, running toilets, or leaky pipes. Repairing and replacing worn-out plumbing will not only prevent worse problems in the future, but save on your water bills, too.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Baton Rouge Vs Hire a Plumber?
In general, you will need to call a plumber to repair most plumbing problems. If you think you may have a water leak, it can be hard to know who to call. The Baton Rouge Water Company is only responsible for problems on their side of the water meter. You are responsible for anything from that meter to your home and yard.
If the reason you suspect a leak is because your water bill is high, then you should have a plumber check into it. The meter only measures water that is provided to your property.
If you are experiencing low water pressure, it could be from your property or the water company. In this case, shut off all the water in your home and yard. If the meter is still running, then there is likely a leak on your property and you need to call the plumber. But if the meter stops, you should call the water company.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Baton Rouge?
Here in Baton Rouge, permits are not necessary for most plumbing repairs. A couple of exceptions include replacing and/or relocating a water heater and work done on a sewer line. Subsequent inspections may also be necessary.
Local plumbers should be aware of what conditions require permits and inspections. If you have any questions about possible permits needed, contact the city’s Permit and Inspection Division.