Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In Greensboro?
- 2 How Does The Water In Greensboro Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Greensboro?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Greensboro?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Greensboro Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Greensboro?
What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In Greensboro?
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that many of the most common plumbing jobs in Greensboro involve the same issues as most places across the country. These include:
Whether you have a faucet that constantly drips, a toilet that doesn’t stop running, telltale stains from a leak on the ceiling, or a more obvious and damaging flow of water, they all require repair. Some fixes are as simple as replacing a gasket or valve, while others may require fixture or pipe replacements.
Clogs and Slow Drains
One of the most common issues we deal with on a regular basis is unclogging and remedying slow or completely stopped drains, most frequently in bathtubs, sinks, showers, and toilets. Many times, homeowners have tried caustic chemical drain openers, plungers, and even household drain snakes with little luck or needed to use them on a regular basis. Once or twice over a number of years usually means unique situations, but if your drains are slow or clogged with any frequency, professional attention from our experts is in order.
Nearly half of the homes in North Carolina use a septic system to dispose of household wastewater, including that from sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, washers, garbage disposals, and any other household drains. Quality plumbing companies, like us, will know how to clean septic tanks and get them working again safely and quickly.
Discovering a broken pipe can be a nerve-wracking experience. Greensboro sees enough cold weather each winter to cause some frozen pipes. Thawing frozen pipes must be done carefully to avoid causing further damage, either due to leaks from holes in the pipes from overexpansion as the water froze, or fires caused by attempts to melt the ice inside them. Other times, household piping breaks from age, internal corrosion, poor workmanship or maintenance, or other damage. Underground pipes are also susceptible to breaking from a number of causes, including age, corrosion or other damage, construction errors, tree roots, and shifting soil, among others. This can happen more frequently during our rainy spring and summer when the saturated ground can compress and shift more, potentially pushing pipes out of line. Symptoms of unseen broken pipes may be reduced water pressure and higher water bills with no major changes in your household use or water rates. If you suspect a leaky or broken pipe somewhere, it’s a good time to call our plumbers to investigate efficiently and effectively.
You rely on your water heater for comfortable showers, clean dishes, and so much more, but they only last an average of 10 to 15 years. After a few years, the anode rod (which helps prevent corrosion and rust inside the tank) deteriorates too much, and if not replaced, the tank will begin to rust from the inside out and will soon fail, often bursting at the bottom edges and potentially causing major water damage if not caught immediately. Even with regular anode rod replacement, your tank will generally only last around 20 years at the maximum. Signs of a failing water heater, besides an obvious lack of hot water, include rumbling in the tank and discolored, rusty, or smelly water. Those issues may have other causes, too, so having our professionals look at the problem is a good start.
How Does The Water In Greensboro Affect Your Plumbing?
Greensboro’s municipal water is drawn from Lake Townsend, Lake Brandt, and Lake Higgins to our two water treatment plants, supplying the average 32 million gallons Greensboro area water customers use each day. In addition to municipal water customers, nearly 25% of Guilford County residents depend on private wells for their drinking, bathing, and other water needs. While both well water and municipal water are good quality, one factor that can affect your plumbing is water hardness.
Water Quality and Hardness
What people often call hard water reflects a measurement of the amount of dissolved minerals, mostly calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, that it contains, measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Luckily, our Greensboro area well and municipal water is on the soft side, generally measuring about 2 to 3 gpg. Softer water provides a number of benefits, including:
- Reduced mineral buildup (often called limescale) on the insides of pipes, plumbing fixtures, dishwashers, washing machines, and places you may notice more such as faucets, showerheads, and in your coffeemaker, meaning all of them should last a little longer and work better.
- Less spotting and residue on dishes, whether washed by hand or with a dishwasher.
- You may need much less soap, shampoo, and other detergents and cleaners for effective cleaning.
Unfortunately, soft water can also absorb more metal and other chemicals from your pipes and fixtures, especially if they are made of brass. Our municipal water is treated with lime and a corrosion inhibitor to help prevent this and to limit rust and other pipe damage.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Greensboro?
Knowing you need to call our plumbers can evoke a feeling of dread, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The average plumbing job in the Greensboro area only costs about $375. More simple jobs requiring minimal work and materials can be as low as $100 (sometimes even less) while the higher end lies around an average of $650. Of course, many of the issues our plumbers deal with are hidden inside walls, between floors and ceilings, and underground, so unknown, undiscovered problems may lurk there. In addition, there’s such a massive range of work that our plumbers do. There are numerous factors which can affect the cost of any plumbing job. The most common of these include:
Type and Complexity of Service
If your plumbing call involves a leaky faucet that’s quickly repaired with a new gasket, or unclogging a stubborn drain, costs will usually be on the lower end. Mid-range jobs can include replacing some pipes or a water heater. Other jobs, however, can seem fairly straightforward, but veer into more expensive territory when issues are detected, such as deteriorating pipes that need to be replaced in additional locations, multiple leaks, or issues requiring excavation work. Finally, some jobs are just more complex from the start, such as major re-piping, full bathroom remodeling, or extensive underground or under-the-house issues.
Additional Expenses and Labor
Many of the issues that crop up in the more complex plumbing jobs are the types that require additional expenses including more workers, permit costs, specialized equipment, and more hours on the job – all of which can add to your costs.
Materials and Supplies
Between changes and hiccups in the supply chain and logistical issues, some materials and supplies may vary widely in price and availability, both of which will likely affect the cost of plumbing work. Additionally, some plumbing jobs, such as fixture replacement or installation, offer a very wide range of styles, options, materials, and capabilities, with an array of prices to match. Any choices you make in these areas can directly affect the ultimate cost of the work done.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Greensboro?
Most people don’t give a thought to their plumbing until there’s a problem, by which time repairs, especially if leaks or other problems have caused extended damage, can be quite costly. As with regular car maintenance and annual checkups with your doctor, a little regular attention to your plumbing might cost a little bit up front, but it can save you thousands of dollars or more down the road in repairs and lower water bills. Here are a few suggestions:
A single faucet with a slow drip can waste about 35 gallons of water each year. Unfortunately, most of us have more leaks that waste more water. Between regular faucet drips, loose toilet flappers, and other fixture leaks and drips, the average house wastes about 10,000 gallons of water every year, adding about 10% to your water bill.
Schedule Regular Inspections and Maintenance
Regular inspections of your plumbing system, especially if you’ve had problems in the past, are a smart piece of preventive care for your home. Fixing leaks, clearing drains, flushing the water heater, and inspecting sewer lines are inexpensive costs up front that can prevent them from turning into complicated and expensive issues in the future.
While Greensboro may not be under mandatory water conservation measures, we have had drought conditions in the past, and it’s always wise to conserve a resource as precious as fresh water. Doing so not only helps the environment, it can substantially reduce your water bill, too. Updating your appliances, faucets, and showerheads to reduce water usage is a great way to find savings on both accounts.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Greensboro Vs Hire a Plumber?
When faced with a plumbing problem, especially one that seems to involve a water leak or reduced water pressure that you haven’t been able to detect inside your home, the problem likely lies underground. It can be nearly impossible to tell whether the cause is on your own property or the water company’s responsibility. Though, if your neighbors are having the same problems, it’s more likely to be a municipal problem. An inspection by our experts can determine what’s causing your issues and whether you or Greensboro Water Resources are responsible for fixing it.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Greensboro?
The City of Greensboro requires permits for most substantial plumbing work. This includes:
- Installing or moving any fixtures which are connected to the drainage system such as bathtubs, shower units, garbage disposals, toilets, and sinks, and installing or moving a water heater
- Work on sewer lines
While permits and/or work by our licensed plumbers are required for other plumbing work in rental properties and homes for sale, most other household plumbing repairs which involve replacing or repairing fixtures and components with ones that are the same size and capacity do not require permits. Of course, if you are unsure, check with the city, or hire our licensed plumbers who will know when permits are required and can facilitate that process for you.