Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Dublin?
- 2 How Does the Water in Dublin Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Dublin?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Dublin?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Dublin Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Dublin?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Dublin?
Beautiful homes on lovely, shady lots abound in Dublin, but no matter how attractive and comfortable the home, nearly everyone needs to call a plumber at some point. Here are some of the most common reasons for plumbing service around Dublin.
Water Heater Issues
Washing your hands, doing laundry, or taking a shower when the heater fails can range from annoying to very unpleasant. Unfortunately, water heaters have a limited lifespan, only 10-15 years on average. For many of us, that means our water heater is already on borrowed time. Water heaters develop a layer of sediment on the bottom of the tank, especially in areas with harder water (like Dublin). Unless that sediment is flushed out routinely, it creates an insulating layer, making the heating element work harder, until it fails. Meanwhile, unless you regularly replace a tank’s sacrificial anode, it is rusting in place of the tank itself, until it is used up and the tank begins to rust. Regular maintenance, repair, and replacement as needed are common plumbing service calls.
Leaks and Dripping Faucets
From a faucet with a constant, slow drip to a pipe connection under the sink with a slow leak that’s just enough that you have to keep a bucket under it, these minor annoyances are a common repair. Most of the time, these are very simple fixes, requiring minimal time and materials to perform. Over time, though, most small leaks will continue to grow until they result in major disasters, causing tremendous property damage. Imagine a broken supply line in an upstairs bathroom while no one’s home, and you get the picture.
Slow Drains and Clogs
A slow kitchen sink drain, a bathtub that takes forever to empty, or a toilet that repeatedly clogs may all be fairly simple, one-time fixes. However, these may also be signs of a bigger problem in your drain lines. It’s always best to fix slow drains and clogs properly when they first appear, to avoid unpleasant (and more costly) repairs when a toilet overflows or a sewer line backs up. Since water in Dublin is quite hard, mineral buildup can clog pipes, making this a common issue in thearea.
How Does the Water in Dublin Affect Your Plumbing?
The water supply for Dublin is provided through the City of Columbus Water Division and comes from a number of groundwater wells across the area. While this water is of excellent quality for drinking, bathing, cooking, and every other use we have for fresh, clean water, it can sometimes be an issue for our pipes. This happens when water is harder.
About Hard Water in Dublin
Water is considered hard or soft depending on the volume of dissolved minerals it contains. These amounts (usually of calcium and magnesium) are often measured in grains per gallon (gpg) where 3 gpg and under indicates soft water, and 7 gpg and higher indicates hard water. Across Dublin, water hardness measurements depend on the individual water source, but the average is about 6.5 gpg across the three water purification plants in the Columbus water system, which is considered quite hard. Harder water can encourage mineral buildup in pipes, causing reduced water flow and buildup on faucet aerators and showerheads as well as inside appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and even coffee makers. On the positive side, harder water is less able to absorb metals from your pipes such as lead.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Dublin?
Countless homeowners delay even routine plumbing work, expecting the costs will be too high. In reality, the average plumbing job around Dublin only costs about $375. Small, simple repairs can cost as little as $100, while larger jobs are, on average, $650 or higher. So many elements of a plumbing job can influence its cost, especially since every house and its plumbing are unique. Since so much of plumbing is hidden inside walls and underground, it can be hard to make a realistic estimate until we examine your specific situation. What plumbing jobs do have in common is that some aspects of the work are most likely to affect its cost, including:
Type and Scope of Service
As you’d probably expect, smaller plumbing jobs will almost always cost less than larger, more complicated jobs. Of course, it’s part of the nature of plumbing that what seems like a small repair, such as a simple clogged toilet, may turn out to be a blocked sewer line that requires excavation and pipe replacement. Alternatively, what you fear may be a broken water supply line may turn out to be a simple (and much less expensive) failing valve.
Materials and Supplies
The cost of materials is one which we have little control over. Logistical issues, available supply, and your personal preferences for fixtures, styles, and other aspects of a plumbing job can all directly affect how much it costs. Common materials such as copper piping and fittings are dependent on the price of the copper they’re made from, which has fluctuated wildly in recent years.
Permits, Inspections, and Added Expenses
Because Dublin requires permits and inspections for much of the plumbing work done here, compliance with those regulations will add to your costs. In addition, if we need specialized equipment, additional workers, or if service is to be done outside of regular business hours, your costs may also increase.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Dublin?
As with most things, the better you care for them and invest in improvements, the more efficiently they’ll run and the longer they will last. Plumbing is no exception, though most of us don’t give it a second thought until a problem arises. Making some repairs and improvements to your household plumbing can cost a little upfront, but can easily pay for itself down the road. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Fix Small Issues
Those small leaks that can turn into massive disasters aren’t onlly causing you major (and expensive) household damage when they fail. They’re already costing you with money down the drain. Calculations by the EPA indicate that the average US home wastes about 10,000 gallons of water each year. That’s enough for a couple of years’ worth of laundry or a half year of daily showers. Taking care of minor issues can result in major savings. The Columbus Water Division even offers a helpful guide for how and where to check for leaks around your home.
Replacing some of your appliances with more efficient models can dramatically reduce your water usage, which is good for your wallet and the planet. You can find products with the government’s WaterSense rating (similar to the Energy Star rating you may be more familiar with) for your bathroom, kitchen, and even your outdoor landscaping needs.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Just as you regularly change the oil in your car, you should regularly perform some plumbing maintenance chores, too. Some of the important tasks we recommend be done regularly include:
- Flush your water heater to remove sediment buildup.
- Check and replace your water heater’s sacrificial anode to prevent the tank from rusting.
- Inspect your plumbing for small leaks and drips, and repair those promptly.
- Tend to slow drains and clogs right away, and get professional help for repeat issues as they are likely symptoms of a larger problem.
- Have your sewer lines checked for breakage and invading tree roots which can cause backups that lead to sewer line backups.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Dublin Vs Hire a Plumber?
Deciding whether to contact Columbus Water Division or a plumber for a water-related problem will generally depend on where the problem seems to be. Residents are responsible for water lines on their side of the water meter and sewer lines on their side of the connection with the main sewer line.
Columbus Water Division is responsible for their side of both sets of pipes. A rule of thumb to identify where a problem lies is to see if your closest neighbors are having the same issue. If they are, the problem is likely on the municipal side, and you should report it to Columbus Water using the city’s 311 service, or, in the case of a suspected water main break, you can also contact the Water Distribution Maintenance Desk directly. If, however, the problem is isolated to your home, it is likely your responsibility and contacting a plumber is a good next step.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Dublin?
The City of Dublin specifies which plumbing work requires a plumbing permit:
- Repair, replacement, relocation, or addition to the piping system
- Installation of new plumbing fixtures such as toilets, sinks, showers, tubs, and dishwashers
- Replacement of water heaters
- Installation or capping of septic systems, dry wells, sewer lines, water lines, and backflow prevention assemblies for lawn sprinkler systems
- Replacement of the metallic water service (copper or galvanized steel) with a nonmetallic water service (plastic or CPVC), which requires an electrical permit as well
When plumbing work that requires a permit is done, the finished work must be inspected for safety and adherence to the building code. Inspections for Dublin plumbing are performed by Franklin County Public Health. Minor repairs which do not require valves, pipes, or fixtures to be replaced are generally exempt from the permitting requirement. If you aren’t sure whether a permit is required, contact us or the Dublin Building Standards office to clarify things.