Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Brookline?
- 2 How Does the Water in Brookline Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Brookline?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Brookline?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Brookline vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Brookline?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Brookline?
Brookline is one of the most charming areas of Massachusetts. The city’s water has a hardness of about 12 mg/l (or less than 1 grain/gallon by older measures). For comparison, “hard” water would have greater than 75 mg/l hardness.
A family of four in Brookline uses 90,000 gallons of water each year, or each person uses about 60 gallons of water each day. We experience occasional earthquakes, floods, hail, lightning strikes, and the sporadic landslide throughout the year – all things that can affect a building foundation, and in turn, its plumbing.
Here are the top issues in Brookline plumbing.
Low Water Pressure
When it’s really hot outside, lawn sprinklers work extra hard. Usually, you’ll notice the summer’s first cause of low water pressure in the bathroom or kitchen sink. Check to see if both hot and cold faucets are affected. If so, 95% is aerator problem. Mineral deposits from hard water build up and impede water pressure. Call us immediately once you notice any signs of low water pressure.
Another common problem is rusted pipes. This is a much more serious and costly plumbing issue that can occur in Brookline and surrounding areas, especially in older homes like in the areas of Chestnut Hill North, Cottage Farm, Crowninshield, Graffam-McKay, and Harvard Avenue.
Running and Overflowing Toilets
A constantly dripping faucet or a running toilet becomes maddening quickly. It also raises your energy and water bills significantly, in addition to driving you nuts.
There are a couple of reasons why a toilet will run continually. Most are glitches with the small elements inside the tank. The flapper valve might not fit right anymore, the fill tube may be loose, or the water level indicator float might be unbalanced. It could also be a more serious problem, like when one of those small components break.
An overflowing toilet unsettles the workings of a household. It’s a nasty, unhygienic surprise and usually couldn’t happen at a worse time. Toilets overflow for a few basic reasons. It could be that it’s just clogged or possibly the toilet float mechanism is broken, and the toilet is constantly filling with water.
No matter what caused it, the first step in an overflow emergency is always to shut off the water valve at the base of the toilet to prevent the issue from getting any worse and call us right away.
Clogged and Leaking Pipes
Dirt, grime, food, small toys, cosmetics, toothbrushes, and all sorts of other things go down the drain and end up in the plumbing, keeping the sinks, faucets, and toilets from properly distributing and draining water. Clogs are normally caused by things that are reasonably easy to flush out.
Usually, a plunger, drain cleaner, or a plumbing snake will fix a small problem for the time being, but stopping it forever takes extra measures. We recommend calling a professional plumber like us to prevent further damage.
Leaking is a common pipe issue and one reason why Brookline homeowners call us. Pipes wear out after as years go by, and they start leaking, especially if they are rusted or oxidized, or if the seams and/or seals have come loose. Homes in areas such as Boston and Cambridge are likely to experience similar types of issues.
When rusted pipes occur, they can weaken and snap anywhere in the plumbing, but usually fall short at the joints. The cost of repairs depends on the location of the home or business and the gravity of the leak.
If you have a sewer back up, you can call the city’s Water & Sewer Department at 617-730-2175. They will dispatch personnel to assess the problem and determine if the blockage is within the public sewer main or the private sewer service. The city is responsible for blockages within the public sewer main and the homeowner is responsible for blockages within the private sewer service.
Broken Water Pipes
Clogged and leaking pipes are a big, wet problem, but when they break, the real trouble begins. A small pipe burst can cause pretty severe damage. You can safely double that damage from a major break in a pipe just about anywhere in the house. When a break happens, the first move is to shut off the main water valve to avoid swamping the house.
Renovating burst water pipes is a tough job because some degree of excavation will be involved. When this happens, it’s always possible to rupture the gas line while digging for the water line.
If you have a broken sewer pipe, it must be repaired by a Licensed Drainlayer. A list of current drain layers is available at the city’s Water Sewer Division Office. If the problem is in the house and needs to be repaired, the homeowner would call us after calling the Water and Sewer Division.
How Does the Water in Brookline Affect Your Plumbing?
Brookline has moderately hard water. Brookline’s water comes from the Quabbin Reservoir, about 65 miles west of Boston, as well as the Wachusett Reservoir, about 35 miles west of Boston. The water is delivered through several master meters into Brookline’s distribution system.
Much of this area was once underground, which is why some neighborhoods in Brookline experience periodic flooding, a problem for underground pipes.
Hard water causes plenty of problems. Mineral deposits from hard water cause clogs. When hard water is hot, part of it evaporates, leading to condensation of the minerals, like calcium, in the water. These mineral deposits accumulate in plumbing systems, dishwashers, and water heaters, as well as washing machines, and hot water heaters.
Hard water causes widespread problems through the whole plumbing system. Issues like lowered water pressure, high water bills, and the malfunctioning appliances are common when hard water buildup starts to occur.
Some water and plumbing systems are more susceptible to hard water than others. PVC and copper pipes are stronger and more impervious to the effects of hard water. Mineral deposit clogs can still be a problem if left unmonitored, however, hard water doesn’t pose a health risk, but it is a pain and can even leave stains on your clothes.
Brookline city officials recommend flushing your water heater every year, but if you’re in an area with harder water, you might consider doing it more often, once every six months, for example. Without flushing, you’ll find yourself without hot water, most likely while in the shower with no towel in sight.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Brookline?
In 2021, homeowners paid an average of $432 for plumbing repairs and installations in Brookline. The average cost of our services in Brookline relies on which area you’re in and some extraneous factors surrounding your problem.
Timing is one of the biggest factors in any problem in the home, whether it’s plumbing, electrical, or even rodents and other pests. The lowest prices will be available during regular business hours. Emergency situations are always more expensive. You’re not just paying for the services, equipment, and supplies for the job, but also the price of operating outside normal business hours.
Cost of Manual Labor
A big factor in plumbing pricing in Brookline is the cost of labor. It’s another biggie. The cost of labor depends on the company you’re using, their training and education process, and the services provided. Companies who use only quality products and provide continuing training for their employees will have greater labor costs.
Size of Building
There are a lot of big houses in Brookline and the size of the home and real estate is a major factor in the price of plumbing services. Homes with more than one story can cause plumbing prices to skyrocket. The more plumbing system there is to purchase, install, and maintain the costlier it will be to the homeowner.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Brookline?
It won’t serve you to cut corners on plumbing troubles. It’s always safest to do the best job possible the first time around. Buy the highest quality supplies and services you can find to save hundreds of dollars over the years.
Replace old and worn-out faucets and hardware for a quick and relatively inexpensive plumbing task that saves a significant amount of money at year’s end. Upgrade toilets and water heaters every five to seven years to get the most savings.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Brookline vs Hire a Plumber?
All kinds of plumbing problems occur in Brookline, but not all require our services. Sometimes you’ll need to call the City of Brookline Water Department.
Check the water meter when you assume a leak. If you think a leak has sprung in your house’s plumbing and the water meter is not spinning wildly, you’ll need to call the city water utility department. They are responsible for leaks in main water lines, but not the plumbing lines inside your home. If the leak is in their lines, it will not affect your water meter.
If your home’s water meter is spinning, the leak is in the lines somewhere on your property. You’ll have to call us.
Don’t forget, the water utility district will charge a service fee if they come out and the leak is on your property after all.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Brookline?
Major jobs like replacing entire systems or putting in a water heater require a permit in Brookline. A city employee is required to check your work for safety measures as well. Things like cleaning out the aerator, plunging a toilet, and replacing a faucet do not require a permit.