Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Northampton?
- 2 How Does the Water in Northampton Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Northampton?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Northampton?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Northampton vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Northampton?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Northampton?
You can’t fail to spot the various unique architecture on display in Elm Street/Round Hill Historic District, the oldest neighborhood in Northampton. Here, you’ll notice different architectural designs such as Queen Anne, Georgian and federal, and non-Georgian and colonial, to mention a few. These 18th-century buildings are full of charm, history, and character, but the plumbing might be as old. These old neighborhoods have plumbing issues such as:
- Old and outdated plumbing fixtures that have deteriorated over time from the corrosive hard water
- Pipe belly formation as the houses settled over the years
- Clogs and blocks resulting, in part, from the mineral build-up from the city’s hard water
- Wear and tear of plumbing fixtures, especially as limescale from the hard water in the area builds up and clogs them
- Tree root damage from the massive local trees in Northampton
In a different part of Northampton, you’ll find a distinct aura of design and architecture. Neighborhoods such as Downtown Northampton or Pioneer Valley are modern, and so are the plumbing systems. However, that doesn’t exempt them from plumbing issues, including:
- Water heater malfunction due to collection of sediments and overwork, again due to the hard water in the city
- Frozen and cracked pipes during the cold winters, resulting in leakages
- Drain pipes clogs and blocks
- Inefficient water and energy-consuming fixtures
- Gas leaks
You may never know the value of your plumbing until a fixture breaks down. Sure, some plumbing issues are easy to diagnose and fix using your DIY skills. But for the complex and complicated problems, such as sewer line leakages or installing new plumbing, contact Mr. Blue Plumbing technicians for a well-done job.
How Does the Water in Northampton Affect Your Plumbing?
Part of Northampton’s water comes from 3 reservoirs, namely, P. Francis Ryan, West Whitely, and Mountain Street reservoirs. 2 groundwater wells in Florence supplies the remaining portion. The water then goes through the Mountain Street Water Treatment Plant, where it’s treated, then supplied to you for consumption. While the source water doesn’t have any harmful minerals, an EWG report confirmed the presence of up to 16 contaminants, 9 of which were above the capped amounts by government departments such as the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Health.
Among these contaminants include nitrates and different acetic acids, which are byproducts of the water treatment processes.
Nitrates are salts that get into the water from the treatment facility and reach you via your plumbing system. Over time, these nitrate buildups on the insides of plumbing fixtures result in blocks and clogs. If not cleared, they reduce water flow and water pressure. Additionally, they build up inside a water heater tank causing inefficient functioning and reduce water pressure.
On the other hand, the acetic acids – Haloacetic, Monochloroacetic, and Trichloroacetic – react with plumbing pipes and drain to produce various elements, including nitrates. Corrosion is more rampant in houses with old plumbing systems, like copper or galvanized steel piping, and causes blocks and clogs, wear and tear, and a reduced lifespan of fixtures.
Activated carbon and reverse osmosis water filters reduce the intake of contaminants and sediments that reach your plumbing systems. These installations are complex and complicated, so they are best left to expert plumbers from Mr. Blue Plumbing.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Northampton?
It’s best to know some plumbing costs and gain insights into the charging criteria employed by our Northampton plumbers. Most jobs in the city fall between $115 and $800, with an average of $430. The final costs are determined by factors, including:
Compatibility and Age of the Current Plumbing
Plumbing systems, such as those found in up-and-coming neighborhoods of Pine Grove, are compatible and modern, meaning our Mr. Blue Plumbing technician can get a compatible fixture from the hardware store around the corner. On the other hand, while repiping has occurred over the years in the old buildings in Elm Street Historic District, some are still old and outdated, and therefore, harder to get. Additionally, old fixtures aren’t compatible with modern plumbing. For instance, modern CPVC drains pipes aren’t compatible with the outdated copper piping. Such issues result in higher plumbing costs.
Labor and Scope of the Job
Labor is the number one cost that inflates plumbing costs in Northampton, as they take the most significant chunk. Different jobs demand either hourly or flat rates. Typically, more complex jobs that could bring about issues are billed hourly and will be more costly.
Northampton’s Plumbing Laws
There are plumbing issues in Northampton that require permits and inspections especially complex problems, such as installations of sewer lines. Application of permits is made at a fee, as stated by the Northampton Department of Building Inspections. If a plumbing job requires a permit and inspection, our plumber will include the fees, resulting in higher plumbing costs.
Our master plumbers in Northampton can undertake any plumbing job in your home. However, some jobs may require that we cause damage to the drywall, resulting in higher costs when making the repairs. For instance, our plumber can tear down a wall searching for and repairing a leaky pipe, resulting in additional materials needed when reconstructing the wall.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Northampton?
The upfront answer is yes. Inadequate and inefficient plumbing in your Northampton home can cost you a fortune. Whether you live in the modern neighborhoods of Pioneer Valley or on Elm Street, you can tweak your current plumbing to save water and money. So, if you want to save money and go on that trip to iconic Bali that you’ve been postponing due to lack of funds, this is what you should do:
Storm Water Credits and Incentives
Northampton’s code of ordinances established the Storm Water and Flooding Utility responsible for administering the Storm Water Management and Flood Control Programs. The utility offers various stormwater credits to homeowners, like the Small Residential Storm Water Improvements Credit.
The utility offers credits to homeowners who construct, operate, and maintain stormwater best management practices that reduce the impact of stormwater run-off. To get these credits, you have to build and maintain approved stormwater infrastructure, such as rain gardens, porous pavement, and dry wells, you can get various discounts from the department of public works. Once your stormwater infrastructure is inspected and credit application approved, you can get a deal or water bill reduced.
Upgrade Your Plumbing
To save money, consider upgrading and updating traditional plumbing systems that are inefficient, consume considerable amounts of energy, and, not to mention, consume more water. For instance, replace your toilet that uses 7 gallons per flush with WaterSense toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush. To avoid low water pressure or inefficient water heater due to accumulation of sediments in the tank, install a tankless water heater. Audit your plumbing fixtures, replace any that break down regularly, consume more water, and contribute to increased water bills.
Install a Water Filtration System
Some plumbing issues in your Northampton home occur due to minerals and sediments that slip through your plumbing system. Your water heater’s tank accumulates deposits and minerals, leading to low water pressure and flow, and high power usage, hence higher power and water bills. An efficient water filter will reduce sediment, dirt, and contaminant intake, reducing the chances of blocks and clogs due to build-up or corrosion.
Go for Affordable Plumbing Fixtures
Every single cost in your plumbing system contributes to your Northampton home’s final cost and plumbing bills. Understandably, you might want to buy a high-end, nice-looking kitchen tap or the ultra-modern bathtub, but these might cost you more than you budgeted for. Also, expensive doesn’t mean efficient, so the high-end might cost you even more. Before landing on particular plumbing fixtures, shop around and have more options to choose from. If you have no idea where to begin, contact our expert plumbers at Mr. Blue Plumbing for efficient, quality, and pocket-friendly fixtures.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Northampton vs Hire a Plumber?
Sometimes you may have a plumbing issue and you don’t know who to contact in Northampton. While our certified plumbers can handle most plumbing issues in your home, the water utility company is best suited to handles others. Who to call depends on the situation, but here are cases to help you decide when to call the water utility company:
- If you suspect your meter has a problem due to a steady increase in your water bill
- When you want a new connection or disconnection from the public water or sewer main
- If you spot a leakage on the street or at your neighbors and they aren’t at home
- If you want to request a meter reading
- If you want to complain about a water service
- When you want to update your details, such as address
Mr. Blue Plumbing technicians are trained and equipped to handle all other plumbing issues within your property. If you spot any plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our plumbers.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Northampton?
Northampton’s plumbing issues come in various degrees, a faucet leak here, a drain block there, or a new toilet installation. Each job requires finesse to fix correctly, hence the need for our qualified plumbers. However, it doesn’t stop there; the law also requires you to have a plumbing permit for plumbing jobs.
The Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters state that any plumbing work in your Northampton home should be done by a trained, certified, and licensed master or journeyman plumber like ours. So, even if you have some DIY plumbing skills, you aren’t permitted to do any plumbing work without a license.
On the other hand, according to Northampton’s Charter and Related Acts and the Massachusetts Uniform State Plumbing Code, no plumbing work should be conducted in your home without a permit, apart from minor work such as fixing a leaky faucet, valves, unclogging a drain, or any other part of your plumbing. However, you require a permit to conduct any work that will alter, remove or replace the current plumbing, such as repiping or new installations.
All our Mr. Blue Plumbing plumbers have been trained and certified to carry out any plumbing job in your Northampton home. If you have any plumbing challenges, get in touch with our expert technicians.