Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Waltham?
- 2 How Does the Water in Waltham Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Waltham?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Waltham?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Waltham vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Waltham?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Waltham?
Being aware of common plumbing issues in Waltham can help you proactively maintain your property and stay alert for plumbing problems. Some of the most common problems we assist with include:
Clogs and Slow Draining
Backed-up drains are one of the most common problems in residential and commercial buildings throughout the Waltham area. Clogged drains can be caused by hair, soaps, FOG (fats, oil, and grease), and the buildup of day-to-day usage. Homeowners can take some steps to prevent clogs, such as using drain traps and disposing of FOG outside of the home’s drainage system. But it’s important to address buildup before it develops into a clog, which can cause water to back up the pipe system and overflow into your home.
Dripping water and slowly leaking plumbing fixtures can develop in any property, and there can be numerous underlying causes. Older plumbing fixtures and pipe systems, which are common in Waltham’s older neighborhoods, may have old or degraded O-rings and washers that aren’t properly protecting plumbing connections. Toilets can constantly drip if the flapper fails or no longer properly aligns. More serious leaks might be caused by cracks in drainage pipes or poorly fitting supply lines. No matter what the underlying cause is, it’s important to schedule a service call before it develops into an emergency. Calling in a plumber to fix constant leaks and drips can also reduce your water bills and conserve water.
Poor Water Pressure
Corroded pipes, pipes with buildup, and even valves that aren’t fully open can decrease the water pressure at various points throughout your house. While low water pressure may be an inconvenience on its own, it can often be a warning sign of a bigger problem, such as hard water buildup or pipe failure in buildings with older pipes.
Bathroom and Plumbing Upgrades
DIY bathroom repairs and installations can cause water leaks, low water pressure, and water damage. They may also not be up to code with the local ordinances in Waltham. Whether you’ve purchased a home with projects the previous owner handled alone or a plumbing project simply isn’t going as planned, our professional plumbers can repair the issue.
Broken Water Heater
Water heaters are built to last between eight and ten years. Heavy usage, Waltham’s slightly hard water, and infrequent maintenance can shorten this estimated lifespan. We can quickly assess the condition of a water heater and replace it with a new unit for minimal interruption to your home’s hot water access. You can also switch to a tankless water heater.
Frozen and Burst Pipes
Waltham winters have frequent freezes, which can be hard on improperly insulated and protected pipes. Every year, homes in the years freeze due to a sudden drop in temperature or improperly managed pipe systems. We make emergency service calls to help find, thaw, and repair frozen pipes before they can cause costly water damage to the surrounding structure.
Septic systems are a popular choice for both new and old homes across the New England area, including Waltham. Proper septic system maintenance, including pumping out the system, having inspections, and ensuring any changes meet. Title 5 requirements are crucial for keeping your septic system in good condition. Failure to do so can lead to leaking tanks and clogs.
How Does the Water in Waltham Affect Your Plumbing?
Waltham’s water supply comes from Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs west of Boston. The reservoirs are capable of providing hundreds of millions of gallons of clean water to local residents, and the water is routinely tested for contaminants ranging from pathogens to radioactive materials. Waltham’s water supply is considered to have an excellent level of water quality, and the clarity of the water is measured at 0.34 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU), well below Massachuett’s 1 NTU standard.
This means that the local water is safe to drink and use without further treatment at the point of consumption. While you may choose to outfit your plumbing fixtures and faucets with water filters, that is not a requirement for enjoying safe or great-tasting water. The mineral content of the water is low; Waltham residents have access to soft water rather than hard water with a concentration of calcium or magnesium that can leave behind scale or white buildup. Soft water presents relatively little risk of developing mineral buildup in pipes or in and around faucets and fixtures.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Waltham?
The cost of a plumbing service in Waltham can vary significantly based on the required service, the time the job requires, and even the time of year. The average price of a plumber in Waltham is around $45-$200 per hour, depending on the individual project. Learn more about three factors that can have the greatest effect on the cost of your plumbing project:
The Services Provided
Plumbing calls can range from replacing a washer in a leaky faucet to replacing old and corroded pipe systems. Projects can become more complex as underlying issues are discovered. For many plumbing projects, you can expect to see an initial diagnostic or assessment charge as we look into the underlying cause of a problem. After that, you’ll receive an estimate with a breakdown of the different services and charges needed to complete the project as a whole.
If You Need Emergency Services
Some plumbing problems are emergencies that need an immediate resolution to protect the property and yourself while minimizing the cost of related damage. These include busted pipes and sewage backups. Emergency calls are more expensive. This can also increase if the emergency is due to severe weather conditions because of the additional complications for the plumber and because of increased demand for emergency services in the area. For our 24/7 services, you might also expect to pay more for midnight calls, weekend calls, and calls during holidays.
Additional Line Item Costs
There are multiple different line items that can add to your final plumbing bill, not just parts and labor. Depending on the nature of the project, you may need a permit for adding or modifying fixtures, especially if your property is in a historic district. Different parts may also vary in price and availability depending on your fixture’s manufacturer and if the appliance or plumbing system is still commonly in use.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Waltham?
Better plumbing is almost always an investment that leads to long-term savings. Updating your home’s pipe systems, either with modern materials for the pipes and supply lines themselves or smart sensors that detect leaks, reduce the risk of water damage and disasters. Upgrading your water heater, garbage disposal, and septic system components over time can also make your home safer and less likely to experience a sudden plumbing emergency. Better pipe insulation and assessments can mitigate the risk of a frozen and cracked pipe during the winter, especially if you have recently added plumbing fixtures to your home.
Even routine plumbing maintenance and service calls can help you save money; small drips due to degraded washers add up month after month, and arranging for an annual or semi-annual maintenance appointment can help you stay on top of those problems.
Both plumbing upgrades and routine plumbing maintenance also help to maintain and increase your home’s property value. Whether you’re placing your home on the market soon or you’re considering selling your home in the next few years, professional plumbing work is a good investment. Future buyers may also request an inspection of your home’s pipes, septic system, and other fixtures, which can significantly impact the selling process and price.
Ultimately, better plumbing can reduce your expenses because you can:
- Lower your water bill by eliminating leaks, drips, and wasted water.
- Reducing the odds of facing a plumbing emergency at an inconvenient time.
- Keep your water pressure at the ideal pressure level for comfort and convenient use.
- Catch leaks before they develop into large-scale water damage.
- Protect your property.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Waltham vs Hire a Plumber?
Hiring a plumber is the first step in many emergencies or situations with developing plumbing problems. Homeowners are generally responsible for managing repairs and plumbing problems on their own property (by hiring a certified plumber), while issues that are affecting your neighbors tend to fall under the city’s purview. We recommend turning off the local water supply line to the affected fixture or to your house if possible. Once we arrive, we can determine if the city or utility company needs to act to resolve the plumbing issue. For example, if you notice cloudy or low-pressure water coming out of your kitchen tap, we can assess the issue to determine if it’s localized to your pipe system or may be a wider issue in your neighborhood or Waltham as a whole.
If you notice a developing issue with storm drains, sewer systems, or fire hydrants off your property, we recommend contacting the city either on their emergency or non-emergency lines. Waltham is responsible for operating and maintaining these systems, as well as six local sewage pumping stations.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Waltham?
As a general rule, you need permits for any plumbing work done in your home, especially if it involves additional construction or alterations. For example, having a new shower installed would often require a permit to ensure the drain line is appropriately sized and best practices are followed. However, a simpler job such as replacing the washer in the head of your kitchen faucet would not require a permit. When you hire a certified plumber, we handle the process of pulling the necessary permits and ensuring compliance with state and local ordinances before and during the plumbing service.