Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Haverhill?
- 2 How Does the Water in Haverhill Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Haverhill?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Haverhill?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Haverhill vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Haverhill?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Haverhill?
As one of the oldest historic communities in the state, Haverhill is home to various attractions like downhill skiing, horseback riding academies, and several activities in nature alongside our Merrimack River that meanders through the City. It’s also the home of Rowland Hussey Macy (founder of Macy’s Department Store), who designated the first Macy’s parade be in Haverhill on July 4th, 1854.
This is only the tip of the iceberg if you consider that it was also in Haverhill, MA, that Alexander Graham Bell conducted early experiments with telephones. Thomas S. Sanders made the very first business telephone call. So the history is rich. But, unfortunately, it also means that the City is predominantly old, founded on an area that has been around for a very long time, and vulnerable to the plumbing issues that come with it.
Because the City is old doesn’t mean all homes and buildings have old plumbing, but it does emphasize the importance of keeping the City progressing forward so that none of its historical value gets left behind. After all, plumbing is what keeps Haverhill thriving. Sadly, the following plumbing issues common to the area can cause significant problems — which is why we need to keep an eye out for them as much as possible.
Water Heater Temperature — Too Hot or Too Cold
It’s a pain to wake up and find out that you have to take a shower that is too hot or too cold, but it’s a common problem for residents in Haverhill. What you may not know is it’s usually pretty quick and easy to fix. In most cases, your shower valve just needs to be adjusted or tightened, and your water heater temperature just needs to be changed to a preferable temperature. If you’re unsure what to set it to, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends homeowners set their temperatures to 120.
On the other hand, if you also notice a foul smell or some abnormal noises coming from your water heater, the problem is likely more complex. Hiring a plumber will resolve this issue much quicker and efficiently in this case.
Clogging and Blockage
Residents also run into problems associated with clogging and blocked drains in our area. The plumbing problems occur because of several causes, and honestly — it’s pretty easy to do. Reasons range from children throwing their toys and other items in drains or flushing them down the toilet, food waste building up in disposals and drains, hair in shower drains, and cooking ingredients like grease, oil, and fats discarded in the kitchen sink.
Chances are, you can fix this problem pretty quickly with a drain cleaner or a plumbing snake. However, if the problem is out of your reach or cannot be located, a plumber can come and identify the problem and solution for you.
Indoor and Outdoor Leaking
Often overlooked, leaks can lead to several significantly bigger problems than many of us think. So many residents are quick to ignore a leak or just don’t know of it at all, causing thousands of gallons in water waste and more money charged to your water bill. Water Sense has found that not only do the average household’s leaks account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, but 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
To avoid this waste, keep an eye out for common leaks like:
- Toilet flappers
- Leaking vales (like faucets)
- Water pipes
- In-ground irrigation systems
- Garden hoses
How Does the Water in Haverhill Affect Your Plumbing?
Although hard water is prevalent for most cities in the United States, affecting more than 85% of the country, the water in Massachusetts is considered ‘soft’ to ‘slightly hard.’ Water quality is a big deal since the harder your water supply is, the higher the percentage of dissolved minerals it has in it. Harder water means that mineral buildup is more likely for your plumbing, causing more severe wear-and-tear and clogs that sometimes lead to pipe cracks or bursts if left unnoticed and resolved. Fortunately, our water isn’t as bad in this area.
However, there is no known method for ridding the water supply of all contaminants just yet, so your plumbing can still be vulnerable to similar problems. According to the EWG’s Haverhill Water Quality Report, there were 17 contaminants found in total, with seven that exceeded EWG health guidelines. For this reason, you should still have regular plumbing maintenance and care to prevent any expensive and preventable outcomes from happening.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Haverhill?
On average, plumbing costs about $450 in Haverhill. Many residents reported that they paid a minimum of $110 and a maximum of $800. However, with that being said, this doesn’t mean that you will pay in this cost range since the following factors will influence that number significantly.
First and foremost, an inspection is not the same as an estimate. Since an inspection requires the plumber to come out and find the problem and an estimate gives you a quote based on what you say the problem is — inspections cost money, and estimates are typically free.
As for how much, inspections range in price depending on the inspection you need to have done. For instance, an inspection for a typical household leak may only cost you around $50 to $100. Still, one that requires a video inspection service (like sewers and drain lines) will likely cost you hundreds more.
Type of Service
In a similar sense, the type of service you require will also change the price since some services require more people, time, and tools. This is especially the case in plumbing since pricing can vary dramatically based on this cost factor.
For instance, installing or repairing toilets, fixtures, and pipes may only cost you about $80, but a bathtub installation will run around more than $2,500. Even more expensive, plumbing for a remodel or home addition runs about $6,000 in Haverhill, and a septic system installation runs as high as $10,000.
Another cost factor that’s important to remember is the hourly rates of the professional(s) you work with. These vary so much because the experience and expertise of each professional vary. For example, one with 20+ years in the field will have a much higher hourly rate than one licensed but only a few years into their career. The average in Haverhill, however, is about $96.50 an hour.
We suggest verifying your professional’s licensing via Massachusetts’ Check a Professional License online portal. Validating their licenses will ensure you’re only working with experts in the field who are trained and qualified to do the job for you.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Haverhill?
Any time you take better care of something as integral to your home structure as plumbing, it will always save you money. It may not seem like it at first, especially since it can be a large lump sum in some cases, but you prevent more significant problems from arising when you keep up with regular maintenance and care.
For instance, leaks and clogging are common plumbing issues ignored for a while. But, unfortunately, these issues can lead to broken and burst pipes that will cost you thousands more in repairs and replacements than the minor fixes that can typically be repaired on your own. The costs don’t even include the water damage and mildew and mold buildup in areas with regular leaking. Those can cost as much as $6,000 or more.
Similarly, there’s the money you can save on your water bill. While it’s not quite as hard of a financial hit, it does make a noticeable difference. According to the Environment Protection Agency, “Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.”
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Haverhill vs Hire a Plumber?
It’s already a pain dealing with plumbing issues. Worrying about whom to contact when there’s a problem just adds to it. Fortunately, we have a reliable rule of thumb you can follow:
When you notice you’re having plumbing problems, ask around about the issue among neighbors. If your neighbors have the same or similar plumbing problems, it’s likely a water company problem. However, if it’s a problem you notice you’re the only one having, it’s better to give a plumber a call. They’ll be able to direct you to your water company if necessary.
According to Haverhill’s Water Division, any concerns associated with metering, water maintenance, water treatment, wastewater treatment, and wastewater collection should be directed to their department to ensure the problem is identified and resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. Depending on the situation, they have Emergency Numbers and Non-Emergency contact options.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Haverhill?
According to The City of Haverhill, no one can do their plumbing work unless they are licensed to do so. Additionally, “you must have a plumber that has a Massachusetts state-issued license, and permits must be pulled before any work commences.” If work is started before obtaining the permit, your fees are subject to being doubled.
For this reason, Haverhill’s Plumbing and Gas Inspectors recommend allowing at least three days before commencing with plumbing work if you’re sending your application through the mail. They also say to give the office a call to ensure it has been received.
Note that your plumbing permit is only valid for six months, and the fee for obtaining one depends on the job — so residents must also contact the Gas and Plumbing department for pricing.