Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fargo?
- 2 How Does the Water in Fargo Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fargo?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Fargo?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fargo Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fargo?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fargo?
Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota and home to the nationally acclaimed North Dakota State Bisons, better known as the “thundering herd.” The Bisons are the only football team at the NCAA level to win five straight national championships. Besides the proud football heritage, Fargo is home to a vibrant, tight-knit community dating back to 1871. In 2020, the community was ranked in the top 100 best places to live in the country. With such great livability scores, the city’s population and housing developments are steadily on the rise. The older houses in the community are prone to several plumbing issues, which we largely attribute to the aging plumbing fixtures.
Below are the common plumbing issues we identified in Fargo homes:
Winter temperatures in Fargo are brutal. As temperatures drop, water in the pipes starts to freeze leading to water leaks. Mobile homes have been the hardest hit because their plumbing system is highly exposed to low temperatures, but all homes are at risk, especially if you also have issues with heating or your water heater.
In some worse cases, we have to deal with pipe burst issues especially where homeowners stay away from their premises during winter. When pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures, water in the pipes also freezes and turns into ice. The ice puts a lot of pressure on the inner side of the pipe walls. With time, the pipes will rupture, leading to flooding and property damage since pipes can’t handle the excessive pressure.
We advise our customers to leave their heater on whenever they plan to leave their home during winter, even if it’s just a couple of days. In case there are signs of a pipe freeze, try keeping the cabinet doors open. You can also have a fan blow into the problem areas. We also recommend a continuous assessment of the heat tape for the resident in mobile homes to ensure that it’s in perfect working condition.
The water utility department in Fargo also feels the effects of wipes getting into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment employees can spend up to 15 to 20 hours every week to manage the large amounts of disposable wipes. We have had various reports where clothes and other items have been found in sewers, such as underwear, towels, washcloths, golf balls, pool balls, and more. These non-sewer-friendly items require the city authorities to utilize extra maintenance measures at some lift stations in the city.
Storm waters are also a great contributor to sewer backups in Fargo. We’ve experienced many instances when the Red River floods and the excess water enter the sanitary sewer, leading to an overload in the city’s water system. The water then starts to backflow into individual household lines. When this happens, most homeowners call us after noticing water entering their basements. To prevent sewer backups from storm waters, you can cap all the sewer openings in your basement. You can also try to plug toilets, showers, sinks, floor drains, and more. However, homes built after 2005 have a main sewer check valve that prevents sewers from backing up when there is a system failure or high flows. The valve also stops sewage from exiting your home.
Clogged Drains and Pipes
During holidays, we get more calls as the average household food consumption increases. Most calls pertain to clogged drains caused by the high amounts of leftovers that go down the drain. Sometimes, we even get some holiday foods such as pasta, potato peels, and celery that quickly clogs the drains. We have also noted that many flushable wipes are causing clogs in the pipes for many homeowners and commercial premises. These products don’t break down, and continuous pile-up leads to clogged pipes.
Residents in older homes face more problems when wipes find their way into sewer pipes because they can hang on tree roots that have found their way into pipes. Even if wipes are indicated as ‘flushable,’ we always urge Fargo residents not to flush them. Instead, put the wipes in the trash. You should only flush the regular tissue paper and human waste.
To make matters worse, the hard water in Fargo contributes to mineral build-up on the interior of your pipes. As a result, the flow through them is limited, contributing to clogs and slow drains.
How Does the Water in Fargo Affect Your Plumbing?
Fargo has very hard water at 289 PPM, one of the hardest water in North Dakota. The leading cause is underground water sources since surface water availability is dependent on environmental conditions. Hard water affects your plumbing system, especially in older homes that haven’t shifted to using PVC pipes. When the magnesium and calcium compounds in the water buildup in the pipe, it reduces water flow and water pressure. Over time, you may need to replace your pipes as the compounds gradually corrode the pipes.
The City of Fargo has stepped up the water treatment process to soften the water. These processes help reduce the water hardness to about 7 gpg, preventing the water from being too corrosive.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fargo?
From our research in Fargo, most homeowners pay an average of $440 for most plumbing issues. The prices can vary, and you might pay a low fee of about $100 and a higher rate of $780 depending on various factors such as:
If you have a frozen pipe, unblocking it is relatively straightforward, which will most likely take a few minutes. However, if the freeze has already led to a pipe burst, we will need more extensive labor processes for the repairs, making it more expensive.
Permits and inspection fees are required for plumbing projects in Fargo. They add an extra cost to your total amount and will be paid directly to the city or through our experts.
Scope of the Job
In an area where clogged drains are reported in most households, clearing the clog may cost you different prices depending on the scope of the job. In newer homes, unclogging the drains is pretty straightforward since they have an up-to-date plumbing system that is easier to manage. However, in older buildings, we may have to dig up your yard to unblock the pipes, especially where tree roots have infiltrated in the pipes. Homeowners in the older house will end up spending more on the repairs.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Fargo?
A large part of your plumbing system is under floorboards and behind walls, but it’s an essential part of your home’s comfort. Even the slightest damage cannot be overlooked, and you will end up spending unplanned expenses on repairs or even replacements.
As a Fargo property owner, you are probably worried whenever we get to the brutal winter temperatures. You never know when a pipe burst will happen, and depending on the extent of the damage, it can release hundreds of gallons of water into your home every hour. As a result, you have to pay for plumbing repairs and damages to your home. Fortunately, better plumbing measures can save you from unexpected pipe bursts. Our professional plumbers in Fargo can help install insulation on your pipes to protect them from the cold air.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fargo Vs Hire a Plumber?
While our Fargo plumbers can handle most plumbing problems, the water utility company also helps residents with some issues. Here are some different scenarios we found out:
When You Have Sewer Problems
Whenever you have sewer problems in your home, the first question you need to address is the origin of the problem. We noted that many Fargo residents aren’t aware that they are responsible for a blockage in the sanitary sewer line service that happens from the main sewer line to their house. As such, consider working with our professional plumbers in Fargo for any sewer repairs or cleaning that needs to be done on the sewer line at this point.
The Street Department in Fargo assists homeowners and plumbers to verify if the main sewer under the street isn’t obstructed. If the sewer service line has collapsed in the city street’s right of way, the City of Fargo can provide some financial assistance towards the repair. The city avails half of the initial $4,000 of the repairs and 25% on the qualified repairs done on non-rental private homes. However, if you are making new installations and industrial, rental, and commercial properties, they don’t qualify for any financial assistance.
When There is a Pipe Freeze
Generally, a pipe freeze isn’t visible to property owners. In most cases, we discover a pipe freeze after homeowners call us due to unusual odors or sounds from their system when running a faucet or flushing toilets. In other cases, some taps may run dry. These cases are due to a freeze in a specific pipe or the entire underground water line. Whenever this happens, call our Fargo plumbers to assess the source of the problem. If it’s within your property, they should unblock the pipe to keep the water flowing. The city officials monitor the pipes from the water mains to all the sections within public spaces to ensure frost levels don’t affect normal water flow.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fargo?
In Fargo, you must have a permit for any new plumbing projects. You can visit the City Hall offices or the online permit portal to apply for the license. If you are considering doing your own plumbing, you must consider the following guidelines:
- Hire a licensed contractor to bring the water and sewer from the street
- All plumbing works must follow the North Dakota State Plumbing Code
In a nutshell, when making plumbing repairs, consider working with our licensed plumbers in Fargo to help coordinate the entire project. The city’s plumbing inspector will also inspect the repairs on the project after completion.