Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Livonia?
- 2 How Does the Water in Livonia Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Livonia?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Livonia?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Livonia vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Livonia?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Livonia?
As a modern, major suburb of Detroit, folks here in Livonia have had just about every plumbing problem you can imagine over the years. Still, there are a few plumbing issues that we certainly see more of than others here in Livonia.
- Leaking pipes and fixtures
- Low water pressure or no water pressure
- Clogged or slow drains
- Old or corroded pipes
- Frozen pipes
- Cracked or burst pipes
- Water heater failure
- Fixture replacement
How Does the Water in Livonia Affect Your Plumbing?
The water here in Livonia is sourced from the Detroit River. Our water is thoroughly treated and tested to ensure that harmful contaminants are kept within safe levels. Still, the large amounts of trace minerals that run through the Detroit River from its headwaters at Lake Sinclair are more challenging to remove. Though these minerals are harmless to humans, they “harden” the water. At around 100 ppm, our water is moderately hard here and can lead to soap scum buildup in showers, film on clean dishes, and difficulty rinsing the soap off. It can also complicate your plumbing considerably over time.
The minerals in hard water accumulate in your plumbing over time. Often you can see a gritty buildup on fixtures from the continued assault of mineral-heavy water. This is called scale and can be incredibly difficult to remove. It steals some of the beauty of your fixtures and accumulates throughout your plumbing infrastructure. Over time, this can lead to clogs and reduced pressure. Eventually, it can weaken pipes and potentially cause leaks. While hard water won’t damage your plumbing right away, it will almost surely reduce the lifespan of every piece of your plumbing system over time.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Livonia?
Thanks in part to the high saturation of technical expertise in the Detroit area, the cost of plumbing here in Livonia is typically significantly below the national average cost for major metropolitan areas. Basic plumbing services can be as affordable as $80-$200, but several variables can alter the cost that you’ll pay for your specific situation.
Age of Building
Old plumbing is often hiding some secrets that won’t be discovered till you’re working on it. Livonia went through a population and development boom in the early 1960s, and many of these homes are still occupied. These homes that have never had their plumbing remodeled put their pipes at almost double their safe life span.
Even the best plumbing materials are often only rated for 3-5 decades of use. After that, the protective coating on pipes could degrade, resulting in rust and corrosion gaining a foothold. This makes pipes vulnerable to failure and rupture and could leak harmful chemicals like lead into your water. We don’t want to create more work on a job as plumbers, but no certified plumber can ignore a corroded and potentially toxic pipe they find in your plumbing. We’ll have to deal with these surprise emergencies as we find them, and old plumbing often hides quite a few of them.
Like many other contractors and technicians, we plumbers will often add the cost of any materials we use in your system to the total cost of your invoice. Nearby Detroit is a major trading and shipping hub, so you’re probably not going to be paying exorbitant premiums for materials, but they will still add a cost to the work. Difficult to find parts that may require custom solutions and special orders could cost significantly more than typical components and materials.
Size of Job
A bigger job means a higher cost. With plumbing systems, though, this can be even more important than with other home repairs. Your plumbing system is very complicated, and major work will require extensive planning and engineering to ensure that your plumbing system operates at peak efficiency and reliability. Since The City of Livonia charges more for permits based on the components being installed, expansive jobs with many installations could also increase the cost of your service.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Livonia?
Improvements to your plumbing will almost always save you money throughout the life of your house. Like other infrastructure in your home, upgrading and maintaining systems before they start to cause problems is critical to controlling upkeep costs, and it’s no different here in Livonia. Better plumbing solutions extend the life of your plumbing to control the cost of repairs and replacements over time but also increase the overall reliability of your home’s plumbing, which can mitigate the risk of costly disasters that could result from critical failures in your plumbing.
Though investments in your plumbing system will likely save you money in the long term, there are a few specific ways that we regularly see folks here in Livonia reliably saving money with plumbing improvements.
Water Softening System
Our hard water here in Livonia will damage your plumbing over time. While all plumbing will eventually wear down, the minerals carried by hard water can accelerate your plumbing’s deterioration, leading to more costs over time with more frequent replacements, repairs, and general upkeep to keep plumbing clear of mineral obstructions.
Water softening systems can clean up some of the excess mineral content in your water so that much softer and less harmful water runs through your pipes. In addition to the conveniences that softer water offers, like a decreased accumulation of soap scum in the shower and the disappearance of that white film on clean dishes, soft water could also potentially add years to the lifespan of your plumbing components and fixtures. Over time, an investment in a water softener is something many residents here in Livonia have found to be one of the best ways to save money.
Most of Livonia’s development happened in the 1950s and 1960s, and many people here still live in those homes. While some original fixtures may still function, older fixtures are far less efficient and reliable than modern models. New technology has allowed our fixtures to be much more efficient with their water and energy use, which can save you a lot of money on utility bills. Add this to the increased reliability of newer fixtures not past their originally expected life span, and it’s almost a no-brainer to update to modern fixtures to save money over the life of your home.
Updating fixtures doesn’t only apply to showers, sinks, and toilets. Water heaters can be an incredibly important plumbing fixture to keep current and reliable at all times. Newer water heaters are much more efficient than older technology, and a replacement with an upgrade can be far less costly than an emergency replacement when your old water heater has given up the ghost. Ensuring that your water heater is up to the challenge of our Michigan winters is one of the best ways to prevent an onslaught of unexpected plumbing expenses.
Your water heater isn’t the only thing that winter around here can put a strain on. With winter temperatures regularly spending many days without venturing above freezing, any unprotected plumbing in your system is vulnerable to potential freezing. Pipes under cabinets, in crawl spaces, or outside the home commonly don’t stay heated well enough in extreme cold to prevent freezing. Properly insulating these pipes and even applying thermostatic heat tape if needed makes it much easier to ensure that ice doesn’t lock up your system.
Frozen pipes can often just start by limiting or stopping the water supply, but your problems could escalate dramatically if the issue isn’t dealt with quickly. The water in your plumbing is kept under pressure, and when ice is blocking the pressure, it’s only a matter of time before the pressure escapes, bursts pipes, and floods the place. Plumbers like us around Livonia are experienced at dealing with frozen pipes; if we’re called soon enough, we can usually get them thawed before major damage occurs.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Livonia vs Hire a Plumber?
Here in Livonia, our Water Utility Services are plenty helpful when they can be. There aren’t a whole lot of issues that the utility can help with, however. Our utility workers maintain over 500 miles of water main to ensure that water is continuously pumped into our homes, but if issues happen on your side of your home’s connection to the city water supply, the utility will be unable to help. The utility department could at least tell you if there’s a larger problem with the city water supply, but if there isn’t, it’s likely time to call us.
Us plumbers are here to help with everything that goes wrong with the plumbing in your home, past the city’s water supply. Plumbing issues can get out of hand quickly, so call for help immediately. Small leaks can easily turn into large leaks under pressure. Large leaks can easily turn into flooding, which can do massive damage to your entire plumbing system and cause extensive damage to your home and possessions.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Livonia?
Most work on plumbing in Livonia will require permits from the city. You won’t need to seek a permit for routine repairs and services like clog removal and basic repairs, but any work that installs or removes any plumbing component will likely need a permit. Permits will require a detailed work plan and a fee based on the total work. We’re very familiar with these permits here in Livonia and can assist you on this so that we can get on to the plumbing work right away.