Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Rockville?
- 2 How Does the Water in Rockville Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Rockville?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Rockville?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Rockville Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Rockville?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Rockville?
As one of Maryland’s oldest towns dating back to Colonial America, Rockville has become a key component of historical value for many enthusiasts, housing some of the most insightful historical sites like Glenview Mansions, the Beall Dawson House, the history museum itself, and the Montgomery County Historical Society. Not to mention the tourist attraction of several beautiful landscapes and parks like Rock Creek Regional Park and Veteran’s Park.
The attractions are nearly endless, with many of us natives still navigating the vast area ourselves (even if it’s for our second, third, umpteenth time!). It was the Rockville depot on the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad in 1873 that led to the growth and expansion of our once-small town. In fact, there are more than 68,268 people in the area today (compared to 200 in 1800 and 2,047 in the 1930s).
With this rapid growth came housing; many of which remain in the area, both updated and in their natural state. This remains one of the prime reasons our area is so prone to plumbing issues. After all, with old age comes more need to maintain and repair here and there.
Some of the most common plumbing issues in Rockville are the following.
It’s common for older homes in Rockville to be more susceptible to clogs and blockage in our drains, especially since it can be done so easily if you have kids (throwing personal items in drains, toilets, etc.) and cook at home a lot (certain foods, grease, oil, and fat can back up your drains). However, it’s also common in other circumstances where there is an unforeseen mineral build-up since most homes in Maryland have hard water.
In most cases, grabbing a drain cleaner, using a snake which is one of our tools, or plunging can get the job done for you just fine. For other cases, a professional plumber like us can help you identify the best way to go about your problem.
The City of Rockville provides water and sewer service to 70% of the city, or about 12,000 accounts. For emergency water or sewer problems, you can also call the city at 240-314-8567.
Indoor and Outdoor leaks
Leaks are arguably the most common plumbing problem in Rockville. This is because they can be what they are or be a symptom of another problem. Either way, they often go overlooked by homeowners and build up on your water bill in the meantime. Not to mention they contribute to water waste, negatively impact the environment, and can lead to more harm than good in the long run—bigger, more costly repairs and replacements (i.e., if pipe bursts as a result).
According to WaterSense, many homeowners are aware of the importance of keeping an eye out for leaks indoors (i.e., toilets, showerheads, faucets, pipes, etc.) but often overlook the outdoors’ leaks. For this reason, they recommend the following:
- If you have an in-ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged by frost or freezing (it can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month).
- Don’t forget garden hoses! Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
A toilet that runs water nonstop is not normal (more like 30 seconds is) and should always be addressed right away. In fact, the American Water Work Association has reported that 45% of indoor water waste in the average home is due to toilets, and nearly 13 units of water a year is wasted by a running toilet.
With that being said, many causes include an overflow of water going into the bowl (adjusting the height of water level) or one of the main parts—the flapper and fill valve. To determine which one, look into the tank and check if the water is running to the overflow tube. If it is, then it’s likely a toilet valve issue, but if it isn’t, then it’s likely a toilet flapper issue.
Don’t Flush Trash Down Your Toilets
While this may or may not come as a surprise, Rockville has a major problem with flushing trash down their toilets. According to the City of Rockville, “Increasing amounts of unflushable trash are removed from Rockville’s sewer lines each year. These ‘unflushables’ clog Rockville’s sewer lines. They’re one of the top causes of emergency sewer line maintenance calls—which more than quadrupled between 2018 and 2019.”
Remember to check out the types of trash making its way into Rockville pipes to ensure you stop flushing them down your toilet.
How Does the Water in Rockville Affect Your Plumbing?
Water in Rockville comes from the Potomac River like much of the surrounding area, making it susceptible to the supply’s effects on plumbing. According to the EWG’s Rockville Water Quality Report, the last inspection revealed 15 contaminants—7 of which exceeded EWG health guidelines.
As the City of Rockville explains, “Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.” However, it can hurt your plumbing, especially since Rockville water is also considered ‘hard’, and hard water means there is a high collection of minerals in your supply (contributing to mineral build-up in your pipes).
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Rockville?
Plumbing in Rockville can be fairly affordable depending on the project at hand. Keeping in mind that the following factor can (and most likely will) impact your final price, the average cost for a standard plumbing service for most Rockville homeowners is $399, with many of the minimums as low as $95 and the maximums hitting as high as $701.
First and foremost, many homeowners in Rockville confuse inspections with estimations (which are general evaluations of what you may pay based on the problem you either described or specifically said you had). Inspections consist of a professional coming out and identifying the problem before discussing what will come next. How much you pay for that additional service depends on the job. For instance, a leak inspection for a faucet, toilet, showerhead, etc. will cost you around maybe $50, but a video inspection in your septic tank or drain line will cost you more than $300.
You will also want to consider the hourly rate of your professional. This will likely differ from business to business based primarily on our expertise and experience (the more experienced, the higher the pay). The key is to find the right balance for you, so you get the most out of your experience without breaking the bank. In Rockville, homeowners pay on average $100 an hour for a plumbing expert.
The Maryland Office of Consumer Protection urges residents to be aware of their rights with a contractor and ensure they have a valid license (illegal for them to do the work without one) before moving forward with the job. To verify a license with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC), you can either reach them at 410 230-6309 or online using a Public Search.
The Nature of Your Service
What service you require also plays a significant part in what you end up paying when it’s all said and done. This is because a job that takes more people, equipment, and expertise will cost more than one that is much smaller. Take, for instance, the installation or repair of a fixture or faucet. That costs about $157 in Rockville, but a job that calls for more work like repiping a new home addition or remodel will cost you close to $6,500.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Rockville?
Better plumbing will always save you more money, even if it seems like you’re saving a lot by not shelling it all out right now. The truth is, small problems that aren’t addressed right away can lead to much bigger problems later. Take, for instance, a seemingly minor leak. Not only will that leak add up to more costs on your water bill, but if it’s a while before you take care of it, you may also be looking at a cracked or burst pipe that will cost you well over $50.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says that “nearly 10,000 gallons of water are wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.” This water waste leads to an additional 10% added to your water bill every month. Even worse, leaking water can cause water damage or mold/mildew build-up—both of which can cost you as much as thousands in repair costs.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Rockville Vs Hire a Plumber?
In Rockville, MD, you are either serviced through The City of Rockville or the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). Either way, you are encouraged to call your water utility company if the problem seems to be with their water line. Otherwise, you should hire us. For instance, if you notice you and your neighbors have the same plumbing problem, it’s likely a water company problem. If it’s your problem alone, then you’ll want to hire us.
Another way to determine the source of your problem is to shut off all your water in the house and check the water meter. If it’s turning, it’s your problem. If it isn’t, you’ll need to call your water company.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Rockville?
According to the City of Rockville, “Both commercial and residential properties in the City of Rockville are required to obtain permits before starting construction projects related to electrical, plumbing, mechanical, structural work and more.”
With plumbing permits, in particular, you need a permit if you are:
- Adding, replacing, or relocating plumbing fixtures.
- Repairing or replacing water lines Repairing or replacing sewer lines.
- Any changes in fixture piping Installation or replacement of water heaters.
To obtain the online permit, you’ll need an account, a valid Maryland Contractor’s license (so you’ll need to know the expert doing the job before this step), credit card payment, a valid address, and a way to print out the permit(s).