Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Asheville?
- 2 How Does the Water in Asheville Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Asheville?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Asheville?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Asheville vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Asheville?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Asheville?
Whether you live in Asheville for the mountain experience or for the mild climate and fine dining, there’s no denying the appeal of settling down in the area. Even though the cost of living in Asheville is a little more expensive than other cities in North Carolina, it’s well worth it for the historical value alone. In fact, Asheville has a wonderful collection of 1920s buildings (architectural stations) that were saved by the depression.
Tourists even know of and enjoy the area for its strong historical properties, making the preservation a priority to the City of Asheville. This means various historical homes (occupied and on the market), and plumbing is always more important to keep up with when dealing with older homes.
Some of the most common plumbing problems to make their way into Asheville homes are as follows.
A running toilet can be a nuisance in many ways, but most of all, it never stops running up your water bill. The cause of your running toilet could be a malfunctioning refill tube, issues with your float ball or flapper, a worn gasket, or even having the wrong length for your valve chain.
Whatever be the case, it’s a problem that can cost you at least $200 more on your water bill a month since it can waste water by the thousands. After a year or more, you’re looking at thousands of dollars flushed down the toilet too.
It’s too easy to assume that a faucet leak or pipe leak is just that — a leak. Something that presumably can be fixed whenever you get around to it. In reality, that leak can not only be a problem in itself (spiking your water bills, contributing to water waste and harming the environment, etc.) but can also be a sign of a bigger problem (like mineral buildup, clogging, and more) or lead to a bigger problem like cracks and pipe bursts.
For leak detection, WaterSense recommends you to:
- Examine your winter water usage (a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month).
- Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used (something’s wrong if it’s not the same).
- Place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank (color in 10 minutes without flushing means you have a leak) — flush immediately to avoid staining.
Sometimes masked by the sight of a leak, clogs can lead to some expensive repairs and replacements if homeowners aren’t careful. This is because the clog can cause small leaks in your pipes from the pressure of the blockage – when that leak (and clog) isn’t addressed, then that pressure continues to build up until it cracks the pipe or bursts.
Look out for signs like a bubbling drain, odd noises, weird smells, lowered water pressure, and more.
Water Heater/Temperature Changes
The climate in Asheville might be mild, but a too hot or too cold shower when unexpected can ruin whatever good weather the city may be having that day. When this happens, there’s a couple of things you can do. You can either adjust the water heater temperature (the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees) to a more desirable temp or adjust your shower valve.
If neither of those quick fixes works, you might need our plumbers to inspect why it isn’t working properly.
How Does the Water in Asheville Affect Your Plumbing?
Fortunately for all of us residents in Asheville, not only has the City been awarded the Area Wide Optimization Award by the NC Department of Environmental Quality, but our water is already naturally considered ‘soft’ — which means we aren’t as susceptible to the plumbing damage caused by hard water as many other cities and states.
On the other hand, no water supply is completely perfect, so our plumbing is not completely clear of mineral damage. In fact, our recent Asheville Water Quality Report by EWG found that there were 17 contaminants in our supply, with 6 exceeding EWG health guidelines. Now, this doesn’t mean we have a bad water supply — it just means it isn’t possible to remove ALL contaminants that can attack our plumbing and cause buildup.
This also means you should keep up with maintenance routines and annual checks to ensure damage has not been done to your plumbing without your knowledge. Early detection is always key if you’re looking to save money in the long run.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Asheville?
Speaking of saving money, plumbing in Asheville can get pretty expensive (depending on the job). The price is comparable to other cities in the state, but it’s contingent on what service you require, the hourly rate charged for the work, and the additional services you need (like inspections).
Keep in mind that the cost can change radically depending on the following factors. However, the average cost for standard plumbing in Asheville is around $355, with a minimum of at least $85 for smaller jobs and a maximum average of $625 for more difficult services.
Cost Factor: Inspection
First and foremost, homeowners often need an inspection more than they don’t. Inspections are great for people who don’t know what the problem is at all, or suspect the small problem they see is the result of a much bigger problem that needs handling. As for pricing, it can vary dramatically (just like service), depending on what you need to be inspected.
For instance, a running toilet or minor leak may cost you less than $100, but a septic tank and bathtub installation will certainly cost you in the thousands.
Cost Factor: The Service You Need
Likewise, what you need to do to your plumbing will determine how much more or less you will need to pay in final costs. A job like plumbing for a remodel or home addition can cost you an average of $4,750, while toilet replacement averages around $150, and a water main repair sits around $400 in Asheville.
Cost Factor: The Experts Hourly Rate
You should also consider whether the work is being billed at an hourly rate or a fixed rate. Depending on the amount of work that needs to be done and the potential for unforeseen problems, our plumbers will opt for either pricing, which can change your total quite a bit. On average, our hourly rates usually range between $69 and $80.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Asheville?
Better plumbing will always save you money, including in Asheville. This is because the small repairs and issues we often left untouched can lead to bigger problems in the future. Think of it this way: If you have a minor pipe leak and think it’s no big deal, months to a year later (or more in worse cases), it can turn into total replacements if the pipe cracks or bursts.
With that being said, it can also save you in costs (and health problems) related to water damage, mildew, and mold in your home if a leak goes on far too long (won’t be able to properly clean up the areas surrounding the leak). Even more, you regularly save money on utility bill costs. Constant leaking or running toilets make the water bill run up monthly, whereas plumbing maintenance can save you that added expense.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that you can save as much as 10% on your monthly bill and thousands of gallons of wasted water over time.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Asheville vs Hire a Plumber?
It can be difficult deciding between calling the city and hiring our plumbers, especially if you’re not very familiar with plumbing and aren’t sure what the source of the problem actually is. Fortunately, there is at least one scenario that can guide you from this point on.
If your plumbing problem is one that you and all your neighbors have, chances are you’ll want to call your water company because it could be something on their end. However, if the plumbing problem is only in your home, you most likely need to hire our plumbers to resolve your problem. If it is still something related to your water company, our expert will be more qualified and knowledgeable on the subject, so they will direct you on what to do next.
In the meantime, the City of Asheville has a great blog for residents looking for more information on various services and relevant information — more specifically, information on our water, the environment, and ways of reducing water waste to keep the City of Asheville an award-winner.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Asheville?
According to the city’s codes, as long as the alterations, repair, or replacement costs are $15,000 or less in any single-family residence and there is no change or addition (not including replacing with a new item of the same size and capacity), a permit is required in Asheville. On the other hand, if any of that applies, then a permit is required for both a professional or homeowner doing the job themselves.
Furthermore, The City of Asheville also states that homeowners can elect to do their own plumbing without a license under the following conditions:
- You already have the plumbing and/or Mechanical permits required for the upcoming project.
- The plumbing or mechanical inspector has already inspected the work.
- The owner occupies the dwelling for 12 months after completion of the job.