Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Schenectady?
- 2 How Does the Water in Schenectady Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Schenectady?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Schenectady?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Schenectady vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Schenectady?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Schenectady?
Anyone who lives in Schenectady or Albany Counties will be familiar with the cold winters that New York battles. However, as residents of Schenectady bundle up to fight the elements, sometimes they forget that it’s just as important to keep their pipes from freezing as it is to keep themselves toasty warm. Your pipes need their winter jackets on too.
Frozen pipes can stop water from entering a building or limit the amount that can flow throughout your home. They can also lead to very serious plumbing problems. When water freezes it expands in size, which can actually burst water pipes. This will result in major trouble when the ice thaws, including damage to walls, floors, ceilings, and additional plumbing elements.
Clogged Household Drains
Clogged drains are a common problem for residents in Schenectady. Many homes and commercial buildings in Schenectady are older, historic buildings. This can often lead to clogged pipes due to outdated plumbing systems. The pipes may be the wrong diameter for the current usage. Depending on when your building was built, you may need to consider updating your entire plumbing system. If you still have a clog after removing obvious buildup from soap scum or hair, it is time to call our professional plumbers. Some clogs may result from mineral buildup from the city’s hard water. The minerals attach to the insides of your pipes, restricting flow and contributing to clogs.
If you are experiencing a more severe clog which has resulted in a total blockage of your drain or standing water, our plumbers will be able to provide a long-term solution. Additionally, our plumbers will have the tools necessary to diagnose why the problem is happening in the first place. Unfortunately, common drain cleaning products used by homeowners tend to add to the problem rather than fix it.
Leaking faucets or toilets that don’t stop running are more than just an annoying situation. These leaks are constantly wasting valuable water, which can be a costly problem when it’s time to pay your monthly utility bill. If you notice a drastic increase in your monthly water usage, it might be time to check some areas of your home which can be prone to leaks. Unfortunately, the hard water in Schenectady contributes to leaks because the corrosive minerals deteriorate seals, gaskets, o-rings, and fixtures more rapidly than soft water.
- Faucets and toilets, including where they connect to the internal plumbing
- Hidden water lines
- Washing machine hoses and connections
- Water heaters
- Outside taps
Just one running toilet can waste over a gallon of water in a single hour! That running water will translate to a much higher water utility bill for your home. More importantly, if the city of Schenectady notices a likely leak on your property due to an increased amount of usage, they will issue you a “leak notice”. This notice gives you a limited number of days to diagnose and fix the problem before they shut off the water to your home.
How Does the Water in Schenectady Affect Your Plumbing?
The city of Schenectady receives its water predominantly from the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. From there, the water is pumped to the area’s water treatment plants. At the plant, the water is filtered, fluoride is added, and it is disinfected prior to entering the water distribution system.
While the water that is pumped into our homes and businesses from there certainly meets or surpasses all state and federal standards for drinking water, that doesn’t mean that it is completely free from problems. The Schenectady County Environmental Health Units’ Public Water Supply Program oversees the community’s water supply. All water supplies are required to submit water samples for analysis to the Environmental Health Unit for regular review. According to the program, “Community water supplies are routinely sampled for bacteriological contaminants, radiological, lead and copper levels, synthetic, volatile organic, and inorganic compounds, as well as a variety of other compounds.”
The city publishes an annual water quality report to keep those who live in Schenectady informed about what is in their water each year. While the contaminants in the water supply are below the allowable levels, there is still the possibility that particles from calcium, copper, and other compounds could build up in your home’s pipes.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Schenectady?
The cost of plumbing in Schenectady, NY depends on a number of independent factors. For example, what type of work do you need to do? Are there any expensive materials required for the job? What is your timeline like? Typically, the cost of plumbing work in the area will include materials, labor, and cleanup costs. This will run you around $460 on average or between $120 and $980.
Some of the main factors that determine the overall cost will be:
Cost Factor: Required Materials
If you’re replacing something large or expensive like a water heater, soaking tub, or sewer lines you have to budget in the cost of these materials. Likewise, if you’re just swapping out a faucet, you’ll spend far less than if entire pipes or other components in your home need replacing. Additionally, some materials like copper or tile can be quite costly. Also, consider the cost of larger ticket items like new tubs or showers, garbage disposals, and hot water heaters. This cost can increase if you need specialty items or have an older home in need of more repairs. The same is true if you choose really high-end fixtures.
Cost Factor: The Size of Your Job
The more complex the job becomes, the more it will end up costing you. Bigger jobs equal bigger bills. This is simply because large plumbing jobs require more of our staff, more supplies, and longer hours. Thus, you can expect to pay more for the services you require. Plumbing issues can range from a simple dripping sink or a running toilet to an unexpected backup of your sewer line.
Cost Factor: Timing
Your plumbing emergency won’t happen on your schedule. Likely, your pipes will spring a leak at the most inconvenient time. Unfortunately, if it happens after normal business hours, you can plan to spend more on your bill than if you called during business hours. By scheduling regular maintenance of your plumbing and water systems, you can keep on top of any potential issues before they start. Remember that whenever you have to call our plumbers outside of business hours, you’ll be spending more money. If your plumbing issue is not an emergency, and you can wait until regular operating hours, it might save you a lot of money.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Schenectady?
You can absolutely save money in Schenectady by updating your plumbing.
Avoiding costly, long-term repairs, and increasing the overall value of a property is every homeowner’s ultimate goal. Updating your plumbing can help you do both of these things. You can also lower your monthly water payment if you’re able to limit water consumption. While staying up-to-date on household plumbing renovations may require an initial investment, the savings cannot be overlooked.
For example, on bathroom and kitchen 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. Low-flow toilets and showerheads can also have an impact on lessening your water usage.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Schenectady vs Hire a Plumber?
It’s natural to worry if your water is malfunctioning in your home. Knowing when to call our plumbers can be a confusing issue. There are times when our plumbers are absolutely necessary, but other times when a quick call to your utility company is a better choice.
The city of Schenectady’s Water Department is responsible for breaks in water and wastewater mains in the street. However, it is the home owner’s responsibility to repair and maintain the water and sewer laterals that come onto private property as per Chapter 255-30 of the City Code.
Call the water department at (518)382-5023 if you’re experiencing:
- loss of water in your whole house
- standing water in the street or water bubbling up from the ground
- discolored water after running it for a while
- the need to turn the water service on or off
- an overflow, rupture, leak, or sewer backup
Call us right away if:
- You notice any leaks in your home.
- Your drains are not working properly.
- You notice an abnormal 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 you hear noise long after flushing.
Our splumber can also advise you on what to do in each of these scenarios.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Schenectady?
The City of Schenectady will usually issue permits for plumbing and building-related jobs which might have an impact on local drinking water. These include instances where you might be digging to install a pool, a new well, or moving sewer lines. On the city’s website, you’ll find an extensive list of permits to apply for and a link where you can do all that right online. If you’re using our professional plumbing service for the work, we will likely handle getting the permits for your project. If you own and live in a 1 or 2 family house, then you have the ability to apply for a Homeowner’s Permit to do the plumbing work inside your home yourself. You can get this permit through the Plumbing Inspector at 518-382-5091.
Luckily, you don’t need to apply for a permit for basic plumbing needs. We can repair leaks, update fixtures, or change out a toilet without a permit. If you plan to undertake any major renovations, it’s best to check with our professionals about any permitting needs or contact the city with any questions before you begin.