Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Winston-Salem?
- 2 How Does the Water in Winston-Salem Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Winston-Salem?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Winston-Salem?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Winston-Salem vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Winston-Salem?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Winston-Salem?
Clogged Household Drains
Clogged drains are a common problem for homeowners and renters alike. If checking for obvious soap or hair buildup doesn’t solve your drainage problem, it is likely time to call a plumber. Homes in Winston-Salem often experience more severe clogs resulting in total blockage and standing water. Your plumber will be able to provide a long-term solution and will have the tools necessary to diagnose why the problem is happening in the first place. If clogs are frequent or occur in multiple drains of your home, that may be indicative of a more widespread drainage issue in your Winston-Salem residence.
Homes in larger buildings, especially historical buildings, are prone to clogs because of their outdated pipes.
Leaks and Loose Connections
Leaking faucets that constantly drip or toilets that don’t stop running are more than just an annoyance. These leaks are wasting water, which can be a costly problem when it’s time to pay your bill. If you notice a big increase in your monthly water usage, it might be time to check some areas of your home which can be prone to leaks. For instance:
- Faucets and toilets
- Hidden water lines
- Washing machine hoses and connections
- Water heaters
- Outside taps
Leaking pipes and fixtures can contribute to gallons and gallons of wasted water in a single day. A single running toilet can waste over a gallon of water each hour! That will certainly translate to a much higher water utility bill.
Frozen pipes can be a real concern in Winston-Salem during the winter months. January is often the coldest month of the year, but the weather in Winston-Salem can dip below freezing as early as November with cold temperatures possible even into early April. When the temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below, household pipes are more susceptible to damage from freezing. This is especially problematic in homes that have pipes located in unheated garages, attics, basements, or crawl spaces.
The City of Winston-Salem warns residents to winterize their plumbing and prepare for cold temperatures each year. If a cold snap catches you unaware, unprotected pipes can freeze, leaving you without access to water. Even more serious, your pipes could break, crack, or warp which has the potential to cause flooding and the need for costly plumbing repairs.
If a pipe breaks in your home, you can limit flooding damage by shutting off the main water valve. It is usually located in the basement, garage, or outdoors by the foundation.
How Does the Water in Winston-Salem Affect Your Plumbing?
The city of Winston-Salem receives its water from the Yadkin River and Salem Lake. From there, the water is pumped to one of three treatment facilities where it is filtered and treated to provide safe, clean water for residents. While the water that is pumped into homes and businesses meets or surpasses all state and federal standards for drinking water, that doesn’t mean that it is completely free from problems. The city publishes an annual water quality report to keep those who live in Winston-Salem informed about what is in their water each year.
While the water in Winston-Salem is fine to drink, some neighborhoods report a pink build-up or stains which occur in their tubs, showers, and sinks as well as along shower curtains and inside pet bowls. This pink build-up is caused by an airborne bacterium called Serratia Marcescensdoes. Serratia Marcescensdoes does not enter the home via the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities water system because the bacteria would not survive the water treatment process. It can, however, appear during new construction or remodeling activities and thrives in summer when humidity levels are high. While this growth is not detrimental to your plumbing, it can be unsightly. Cleaning with a cleanser containing bleach will often stop the growth process.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Winston-Salem?
The cost of plumbing in Winston-Salem depends largely on what type of work you need done, which materials are required, and how quickly you need it completed. Typically, the cost of plumbing work in the area will include labor, materials, and cleanup costs. This will run you around $50 to 60 an hour. But, keep in mind that some plumbers may charge an additional discharge fee just for sending a plumber to your home, so be sure to ask when you call.
Some of the main factors that determine the overall cost will be:
You won’t be able to control when your pipes spring a leak but if it happens after normal business hours you can plan to spend more on your bill than you’d otherwise like to. Whenever you have to call a plumber outside of business hours, you’ll be spending more money to have them come out to your home. Scheduling regular inspections and maintenance of your plumbing and water systems will help to keep on top of any potential issues before they start. If your plumbing problem is not an emergency it might save you a lot of money to wait to call until morning.
Size of Job
Plumbing issues can range from a simple running toilet in your master bathroom to an unexpected backup of your sewer line. The larger and more complex the job becomes, the more it will end up costing you.
Large plumbing jobs require more staff, more supplies, and longer hours. Thus, you can expect to pay more for the service needed.
When something in your home needs replacement, you have to calculate the cost of the object when you’re budgeting for repairs. If it is just a seal on a faucet, you’ll spend less than if entire pipes or other components in your home need replacing. Some materials, like copper, can be quite an added expense. Also consider the cost of larger ticket items like new tubs or showers, water heaters, or under sink garbage disposals. This cost can increase if you need specialty items or have an older home in need of more repairs.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Winston-Salem?
Absolutely, choosing an excellent plumber can save you money in Winston-Salem. While staying up-to-date on household plumbing renovations may require an additional investment, the overall savings cannot be overlooked. When you update your plumbing you can help to raise the value of your home, save on water consumption, and avoid costly long-term repairs.
For example, replacing outdated water heaters can save you both water and electricity costs, while choosing a low-flow toilet can save a significant amount of wasted water. Or, by simply updating your bathrooms to include water-efficient fixtures, you’ll be conserving water, lowering both your monthly water bill, and lessening your negative impact on the environment. On bathroom faucets, you can easily install low-flow aerators which will use much less water, saving a family of four roughly 8,500 gallons of water a year.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Winston-Salem vs Hire a Plumber?
Having clean, fresh water in your home is one of your top priorities. So when your water isn’t working properly, it is natural to worry. But, when should you call the City of Winston-Salem about your water problem? Or should you call a plumber?
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities is responsible for breaks in water and wastewater mains in the street.
Call Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities if:
- You suddenly experience a loss of water in your whole house
- You see water in the street, leaking from hydrants, or spurting from the ground
- Your water is still discolored after running it for 10 to 20 minutes
- You need the water service turned on or off
- In case of overflow, rupture, leak, or sewer backup, call 336-727-8000
Call a professional plumber if:
- You have noticeable leaks inside your home
- Your drains are working improperly
- You notice a large increase in your water bill
- You hear noises in your pipes
- You have standing water in your yard or near septic systems
- Your toilets continue to run or make noise after flushing
If you are still unsure who to call, it is best to have a plumber come out and take a look. They will know if it is something that you need to fix on your property or they’ll advise you on who to call next. Remember, the general rule of thumb is that the business or property owner is responsible for breaks on private property.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Winston-Salem?
The Winston-Salem Division of Water Services issues permits for various water-related activities which might impact regional drinking water and are regulated by the North Carolina Drinking Water Act. Examples of these would be extending or moving sewer lines or digging a new well. A full list of the permits that you might need to apply for can be found on their website. If you need to install a new septic tank, you’ll have to contact the county you live in. So, inhabitants of Winston-Salem would contact Forsyth County for this particular need.
Rest assured, you do not need a permit for the basic plumbing needs inside your home, like leak repair or changing out a toilet. However, whenever you’re tackling any major renovations, it’s best to check with a professional about any permitting needs you may come up against.