Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Beaverton?
- 2 How Does the Water in Beaverton Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Beaverton?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Beaverton?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Beaverton vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Beaverton?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Beaverton?
Common plumbing issues in Beaverton are similar to those in many other areas, including clogged drains, leaking pipes, or low water pressure. Your home may also be susceptible to a few issues specific to the Portland area.
About 39 inches of precipitation fall in Beaverton each year, which can lead to some issues. Though the rainfall is mostly steady, some heavy rainstorms can impact your home’s plumbing by putting additional pressure on your pipes. Saturated clay soil is heavy and can lead to underground pipes shifting and causing backups.
Excess water can also lead to cracks in pipes, both exterior and interior. Cracked pipes can leak, leading to flooding in basements and other areas of your home.
Deteriorating Pipes in Older Homes
Beaverton has a long history. Its first post office was built in 1872 and through the 20th and 21st centuries, residential building has continued and increased. Many older homes are perfect for Oregon families, but with age comes the need for plumbing repairs. Older pipes are more likely to break and accumulate debris that leads to clogs and backups.
In fact, pre-1970s homes are more likely to use galvanized steel pipes for water. Most home inspectors suggest galvanized pipes have a lifespan of about 50 years, which means that pipes in these residences are coming to the end of their functional use. You may see water pressure drop and backups happen more often as these older pipes accumulate mineral deposits inside.
Newer homes aren’t immune from issues, either, as rapid construction to accommodate an influx of people eager to call Oregon home has sometimes resulted in less durable plumbing systems. However, older homes are most likely to need repairs or installation of new pipes, water lines, or sewer systems.
Like the rest of western Oregon, Beaverton experiences a few dozen small earthquakes each year. The Portland area and the Willamette Valley sit west of the Cascades in an area with several small fault lines. These small earthquakes may not be felt for long distances, but they can impact plumbing systems. Both water lines and sewer lines may move slightly, which can lead to breaks.
Our plumbers can also help you prepare for earthquakes, by evaluating your home’s risk and taking care of basic preparedness like strapping your water heater to a solid surface that mitigates horizontal movement as required by Oregon law.
How Does the Water in Beaverton Affect Your Plumbing?
Drinking water in Beaverton comes primarily from the upper Tualatin River. If the river gets low, 2 large reservoirs can release additional water downstream. In addition, the City of Beaverton can store water from the winter in spring in aquifers and wells for access in the drier summer months. The quality of this water is typically high, which residents rate at 96%.
Fortunately for your plumbing, Beaverton has primarily soft water. Soft water is more gentle on your appliances and pipes than hard water, which contains a higher level of minerals. However, in the summer months, the city does blend stored groundwater with its main source of surface water, and the water can become moderately hard. Typically, Beaverton water measures between 1.5 and 3 grains per gallon, which is a measure of water hardness.
As well, Beaverton buffers its residential water supply to have a pH of 7.2 to 8.2, which is somewhat basic. This reduces pipe corrosion and minimizes exposure to copper and lead.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Beaverton?
Plumbing costs vary depending on the extent of the services you need in your Beaverton home. Basic issues like a clogged drain or backup may cost between $125 and $150, while replacing your water lines with newer material like PEX averages a little over $4,800 for a smaller family home. The average cost is around $450. Our plumber will be able to evaluate and provide an estimate for services before beginning work. Remember that estimates are just that: A suggested amount of time and materials needed to complete the job. If our plumber uncovers more damage or issues, that estimate may need to be revised.
What Services are Required?
Emergency after-hours services will cost more than a scheduled visit. A short visit that does not require going under your house or digging up buried pipes will cost less. Work that necessitates getting a permit and replacing a significant amount of older pipe can take more of our plumber’s time. The amount you pay for plumbing services depends greatly on what you actually need to be done. Unless you have a scheduled appointment with a project cost estimate, as you might if you were installing new fixtures or remodeling an existing room, you typically pay our plumbers by the hour. The more time they need to complete the job, the more you’ll pay.
Our plumbers are skilled in a variety of issues with water and sewer lines, as well as repairs to sinks and toilets. If you can schedule the needed service and get a cost estimate, you’ll know what work is to be completed and what parts will be needed. That’s easier for us, too – we can schedule the necessary employees, have the correct parts and materials at hand, and avoid paying higher overtime costs that we’d then have to pass on to you.
What Type of Pipes Does Your House Have?
Older, galvanized pipes like the kind that exist in many older Beaverton homes may need to be completely replaced, but even if they are not, repairs can require much more work than cutting and fitting plastic or copper pipe. Older pipes are also more likely to crack when cut, necessitating the replacement of a larger section of pipe.
Copper pipes are generally in better condition than galvanized, but replacement pipes and fittings are more expensive. In addition, the time and expertise to make repairs to copper pipes are higher than other types.
PVC pipes are much easier to work with and repair, but they have limitations. For example, you can’t run hot water through PVC – you’ll need copper, CPVC, or some type of PEX pipe which can be more complicated to install.
Is a Permit Needed?
In Oregon, permits may be necessary even for simple jobs, like replacing a water heater or making an emergency repair on a section of pipe 5 feet or longer. Fortunately, most plumbing replacements or repairs do not require a plan review in the city of Beaverton, so you or our plumber can get a permit over the counter from the Building Division. However, this can still take time and effort to complete. Larger, scheduled services like remodels may need to be reviewed and can take additional time to be processed.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Beaverton?
Quality plumbing work can save you money in the long run. The most inexpensive service provider can do a rushed job, use lower-quality materials, or simply lack the experience needed for the work. And a DIY-er, without the right training or background, can do extensive damage to your home. Picture a leak springing up overnight that does significant water damage to your flooring and walls. That’s why you need to ensure you’re working with a professional like Mr. Blue Plumbing who has the know-how to complete any job you have and who offers a guarantee for the finished work.
What’s more, leaks in your plumbing fixtures can lead to higher water bills. Our experts can identify and fix leaks throughout your home to help you conserve water and pay lower utility bills.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Beaverton vs Hire a Plumber?
In most situations where you discover a leak, the problem will be on your property and must be handled by our plumbers. Sometimes, leaks can be located in the water utility company’s lines before they reach your home. One way to check whether the leak is your responsibility is to turn off the water valve to your home and look at the water meter. Still spinning? That means the leak is in your home’s system; call us to handle the problem. If there’s no movement on the water meter, it’s a problem with the water utility’s lines and you should call them for assistance. Our plumbers will let you know if the problem is on the utility’s side.
If the leak is on your side, and you run up a sizable water bill, it may be worth calling your utility company and asking about a reduction or removal of the charge. Sometimes, especially if you have an invoice from us for the repair confirming that you had work done, the City of Beaverton or your utility will take off a portion of the cost.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Beaverton?
Permits are necessary for many common plumbing services, whether you complete them yourself or have our professional plumbers complete them. These include:
- Installing a water heater. Water heater replacement requires a permit under Oregon law due to the risk of fire, electric shock, and explosion.
- Adding a new plumbing fixture, such as a new sink or toilet.
- Repairing a section of pipe more than 5 feet in length.
- Changing pipes that are in a wall or ceiling or under a floor.
When you hire us to do work in your home, typically we are responsible for securing the needed permits. If you need more information or to submit materials for a permit electronically, visit the City of Beaverton’s Building Permits website. Permits expire after 180 days, so if you decide to delay work after a project has been started, you may have to pay for an extension or a new permit.