Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Clifton?
- 2 How Does the Water in Clifton Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Clifton?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Clifton?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Clifton vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Clifton?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Clifton?
There are more than 31,500 housing units in Clifton, with 8,000 of those built before 1939. On average, 1954 is the median age of most homes in the town.
Many of the homes in Clifton are starting to show their age and exhibiting problems with existing pipes. Homes built before 1986 most likely still have the original lead pipes. According to the Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC), “lead may exist in your service line, internal plumbing, lead solder, faucets, or fixtures.” They estimate that “thousands and thousands of homes in Paterson, Clifton, and Passaic still have lead service pipes.”
Exposure to lead commonly occurs in older homes and presents adverse health conditions, especially in children and pregnant women. Free lead testing kits are available, and homeowners are encouraged to use them. PVWC also offers financial assistance to help customers replace existing service lines that contain lead. Contact PVWC at 973-340-4300 for further information.
The infrastructure of Clifton is also deteriorating. The city owns 159 miles of sanitary sewer lines and 50 miles of storm drains. Most of the pipes are more than 100 years old. As the lines become weaker, ruptures and blockages are occurring more frequently. Storm pipes are also showing signs of leakage, causing widespread plumbing issues throughout Clifton. As older pipes give way to more use from an increased population, residents are experiencing sewer backups in their basements and line breaks in their homes.
Another common plumbing issue that we often see in Clifton is clogged drains. Old pipes aside, toilets can easily backup, making it difficult to flush. Kitchen sinks that don’t have proper drain screens can clog up quickly from too much grease poured down the drain. We also see plenty of bathtub clogs from excess hair in the shower. All of these clogging issues are made worse by the city’s hard water. The water leaves mineral deposits in your pipes that contribute to slow drains and blockages, and the restricted flow means less debris like hair and soap scum can make it down your drains safely.
The best way to remedy your drain clogging problems is to give us a call and avoid over-the-counter products that can do more harm than good.
How Does the Water in Clifton Affect Your Plumbing?
Source water in Clifton comes from the Passaic River, located in Totowa, New Jersey. Finished water gets blended with water from the Wanaque Reservoir.
The Alan C. Levine Little Falls Water Treatment Plant in Passaic Valley received extensive upgrades in 2001 to modernize the source of treatment for drinking water in and around Clifton.
The new technology is a model for water treatment operators around the world. The advanced system improves water quality by removing pathogenic bacteria, particulate matter, and organic contaminants from the drinking water before it comes out of the tap.
Even though the PVWC complies with federal standards, there are still contaminants present in the water source. Installation of activated carbon and reverse osmosis filters will eliminate toxic chemicals, improving the taste and smell of your drinking water. Let us know if you need help determining the best type of filter for your home.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Clifton?
Every plumbing job is different and priced according to the severity of the problem and the amount of time spent in your home correcting the issue. On average, the cost of plumbing services in Clifton is about $525. This price varies drastically between $90 and $900 based on several factors, which are outlined below.
Cost Factor: Type of Job
Plumbing entails differing services that may include unclogging drains, installing water softeners, repairing water heaters, and working on septic tanks and wells. The more complex and time-consuming the job, the higher the price.
If you are experiencing an emergency, we will get a trained professional out to you as soon as possible. Keep in mind there will be a surcharge for 24-hour on-call assistance.
Cost Factor: City Code Requirements
Some home improvements may require a permit from Clifton before work can begin. Jobs that require excavating are more work-intensive, resulting in an increased cost for services.
We will apply for all the necessary permits to adhere to city code requirements before starting any plumbing work on your property. Of course, you won’t need a permit to fix a simple drain issue, but you will need one for more complicated procedures.
There will be an additional charge for permitting fees, but we will inform you of all involved costs before starting the job.
Cost Factor: Complexity of the Problem
The more involved the job is, the more it’s going to cost. If your home needs a complete overhaul of the pipes, for example, it can cost thousands of dollars. The same goes for sewer lines that need replacement. If you don’t have money for needed repairs, several programs can help you out financially. FHA / HUD offers a Title I Property Improvement Loan Program that lends homeowners up to $25,000 for necessary home improvements.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Clifton?
The cost of living in Clifton is considerably higher than in other places in the country. Utilities, such as water, are about 11 percent more than other towns.
To determine the cost of a water bill, PVWC calculates a quarterly base charge based on the customer’s water meter size. There are then additional charges for actual water usage.
In Clifton, homeowners report an average quarterly water bill of $200, reflecting a base charge of $193.42. A similar amount is charged for sewer usage, making the average total water and sewer bill for Clifton residents about $400 per quarter, or $1600 annually.
Leaky faucets are the biggest culprit of exorbitant water bills. Many customers struggle to find ways to reduce water usage, only to find out a drip is wasting hundreds of gallons of water each day. Repairing a small 1/16-inch opening in a leaking faucet could result in considerably less daily usage. Putting a shut-off nozzle on a garden hose could save five gallons of water usage every minute.
There are plenty of simple ways to reduce the amount of water used in your home. In addition to repairing existing problems, we want to help you find ways to lower your monthly water bill.
Many homeowners try to resolve plumbing issues themselves to save money, sometimes resulting in higher bills. Waiting until an emergency strikes is never a good idea. Be proactive and hire our professionals to correct existing issues before they become major concerns.
It’s a good idea to have our experts perform an annual plumbing inspection to make sure all pipes are in good working order. Clearing drains and removing build-ups of rust, lime, hair, and other debris will help to eliminate costly problems down the road.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Clifton vs Hire a Plumber?
The Passaic Valley Water Commission provides safe, clean drinking water to the residents of Clifton. The ready-response team can help with poor water pressure, discolored water, or air in the lines. Sometimes the problem can be a result of a water main break that is affecting the entire neighborhood.
In the event of a water emergency, contact PVWC immediately by calling 973-340-4300. If the problem is not causing an immediate threat, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to contact a plumbing service professional like Mr. Blue Plumbing to determine where the problem is originating from.
Homeowners also have a responsibility to maintain sewer lines in good working order. According to City Code Article 375-3.2, property owners “shall maintain and be responsible for the proper upkeep, repair, and replacement of the sewer lateral from the public right-of-way to the building.” In the event of a blockage, “the property owner shall either immediately clean it or retain a private contractor, at its sole cost and expense, to clean the sewer lateral.”
A resident can request the City of Clifton to clean the mainline, but there is a $175 fee for this service. A refund will be issued if it is “determined that the mainline did require such cleaning.”
Homeowners must also take care of any plumbing issues that occur on their private property. The city will only remedy issues on public right-of-ways relating to main water lines, sewer lines, storm drains, and fire hydrants in Clifton.
A lack of water pressure could indicate that PVWC is working in the area or flushing the mainline. Check their website for any updates regarding problems in your neighborhood. If nothing is happening with the city, there is a good chance the plumbing problems are coming from your pipes.
Give us a call, so we can help you determine the best course of action.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Clifton?
A permit is required in Clifton if you plan to connect to the current public sanitary sewer system. Properties that discharge more than 500 gallons per day must obtain a Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission permit.
If any right-of-way construction is done in the street, a Roadway Excavation permit is also required.
The Sewer Division of the city of Clifton oversees the maintenance and repairs of the entire underground infrastructure. The Public Works Department handles two pump stations, sanitary sewer lines, storm drains, catch basins, and 3,335 manholes.
City workers will respond to blockage in the sanitary sewer system, lateral stoppages in homes, and problems with storm drains. They are also responsible for storm basin cleaning. The Sewer Division maintains a preventative program to limit grease in household lines and provide root treatment.