Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Cambridge?
- 2 How Does the Water in Cambridge Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Cambridge?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Cambridge?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Cambridge Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Cambridge?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Cambridge?
Plumbing problems aren’t restricted to older homes that are suffering from neglect. Dealing with the occasional leaking faucet, clogged sink, or overflowing toilet is just part of being a homeowner. There is no avoiding it. Some plumbing problems in Cambridge homes are a bit more difficult to deal with and happen even less frequently than the issues mentioned above.
It gets pretty cold in the depths of winter in Cambridge and unprotected plumbing pipes and fixtures are at risk of freezing. If you have frozen pipes, you won’t get any water coming into your home, which is an inconvenience at best. Frozen pipes can sometimes burst, sending water spewing all over the place and causing damage to your home.
We’re well aware of how the cold can affect the plumbing in Cambridge homes. In fact, it’s one of the most common calls that we receive during the long, cold winters. We have the experience needed to unthaw pipes, repair damages, and prevent future issues with freezing.
Lead Water Lines
Lead plumbing pipes were banned from use in 1986 due to the physical and developmental harm that contact with lead can cause young children. Many cities, like Cambridge, used lead water lines extensively prior to the ban due to the fact that lead was a cheap material. When the lead pipe ban was instituted, there was no requirement for the pipes that were already installed to be removed. So, many are still in place throughout the city.
Since lead water lines can’t be seen, it’s difficult to tell if your home is under threat. Testing for lead in the water will give you an idea that lead pipes are present, but you can find out for sure. Just contact the Cambridge Water Department and view their list of water line types. Look up your street name and number to find out if your home is connected to the city by a lead line.
Unprofessional Plumbing Repairs
Whenever someone who’s not licensed attempts to do plumbing repairs, it can be a problem. If plumbing connections aren’t done correctly, the wrong size pipes are used, or a fixture isn’t properly installed, it can fail. If you’re lucky, you’ll be home, so you can quickly shut off the water, so you mitigate the damages. But, that’s rarely how it goes.
We’ve seen more than our share of amateur plumbing repairs and installations in Cambridge. In almost every case, the work is subpar and sometimes it’s downright shoddy. Poor plumbing work is often put to the test by the hard and corrosive water in Cambridge. Because we’ve seen so much DIY plumbing, we know what to look for. No matter how bad the plumbing is, we’re able to fix it quickly and bring everything up to code, so you can rest assured that it’s safe.
How Does the Water in Cambridge Affect Your Plumbing?
The drinking water in Cambridge is considered moderately hard, which means there are minerals like calcium and magnesium present, but not in extremely high levels. Even in relatively low quantities, these minerals can cause damage to your plumbing. They will build up inside your plumbing pipes, and fixtures, causing seals to fail and leaks to form.
You may not think about it, but your plumbing isn’t just about pipes, showerheads, faucets, and drains. The water in your home is also connected to your water appliances. The water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker all draw water from the pipes that are laden with mineral deposits. The hoses and connecting pipes of these appliances are also affected by mineral buildup. Over time, it restricts the flow of water which puts undue stress and strain on the machine, shortening its useful life.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Cambridge?
The usual cost of plumbing in Cambridge isn’t really a good indication of what your costs will be. Even if we told you that the average hourly rate for a plumber in Cambridge is around $70, you still wouldn’t get a good idea of your potential costs. For you to get an accurate quote for the plumbing work you need done, we’ll have to send someone over to perform an inspection and consultation. However, the typical range of plumbing repair in Cambrdige is between $150 and $900. Some things we look at when writing up an estimate for plumbing work include:
Extent of Work
Just like most other professionals, we evaluate each plumbing job in Cambridge by how much work needs to be done. Many plumbing jobs are relatively fast and easy to take care of, like replacing a kitchen faucet or installing a new showerhead. But, replacing a house full of lead pipes or reconfiguring the plumbing due to a remodeling project are huge jobs.
As you would expect, the bigger your plumbing job is, the longer it will take, and the more materials and supplies will be needed. If you’re also working on a strict deadline for the completion of your plumbing project, it may even take more people to get everything done on time. All of those things add up to additional costs for your plumbing services.
Level of Difficulty
Some plumbing problems can be repaired relatively easily. Faucet replacements, unclogging drains, and clearing a backed-up toilet are all very easy to take care of. We rarely spend more than an hour taking care of these minor issues, and most of our plumbing service calls in Cambridge take 2 hours or less to complete. But, not all plumbing issues are so easy to take care of.
Replacing pipes that are hidden inside a wall, under a floor, or under a crawl space is no easy task. Repairing pipes that have frozen and burst on a bitter winter night isn’t easy either. We are always happy to help out, but the more difficult the job is, the more we have to charge to cover our costs and to reflect the expertise required to tackle such a job.
Indoor or Outdoor Plumbing?
Indoor plumbing services like repairs and replacement are almost always less expensive than outdoor plumbing repairs. The main reason for this is the type of tools and equipment that are needed to take care of broken water main or sewer line. We may have to dig down to the pipe, pull it out, and replace it. All of these steps are dangerous and difficult.
In addition to being physically challenging, outdoor plumbing problems can also cause damage to your Cambridge property. Your well-manicured lawn and carefully crafted landscaping may suffer damage when we dig up the lines. We always try to be mindful of this, but it’s not always possible to avoid damage.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Cambridge?
When it comes to your home’s essential systems, the plumbing is probably the most important. Your family needs water for drinking, cooking, personal hygiene, laundry, and housekeeping. If you’re having trouble with minerals in the water, you’re spending more than you need to on personal care products, soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products.
Your home’s water heater, dishwasher, ice maker, and washing machine are all dependent on the water supply coming into your home. If the water contains high levels of minerals, they’ll build up inside your appliances where they can cause problems. You’ll end up having to pay for repairs or replacing them frequently unless you address the hard water issues.
Simply adding a water softener to your system can extend the lifespan of your equipment, limiting your replacement costs over time.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Cambridge Vs Hire a Plumber?
For the most part, you’re going to want to call our plumbers for any issues you have with the pipes, fixtures, and water appliances inside your home. The City of Cambridge cannot be held responsible for any problems you have including leaks, water pressure problems, or hard water issues. They’re also not going to help you manage any outdoor plumbing problems like a sewer line leak on your property. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to take care of these types of plumbing problems.
The Cambridge Water Department is responsible for managing the city’s water supply as well as the sewer system. Whenever there’s a water main break that’s causing flooding on city property, the water department should be contacted to take care of it. The same holds true for sewer main blockages or leaks. If you smell or see raw sewage, exit the area and warn others to stay away so no one gets sick.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Cambridge?
The City of Cambridge requires homeowners or contractors undertaking plumbing work to obtain the appropriate permits prior to beginning work. While this may seem a bit overbearing, permits are necessary to ensure that the work being performed meets or exceeds the state’s building code requirements.
We understand the strict rules regarding plumbing services in the Uniform State Plumbing Code for Massachusetts, and we know exactly what to do to make sure your plumbing is always up to code. We’re also well-versed in dealing with the permit process in Cambridge and we’ll take care of everything so you don’t have to stress or worry. In addition to pulling the proper plumbing permit, it’s also a requirement to have the plumbing work inspected to ensure that it meets the building code.