Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Eugene?
- 2 How Does the Water in Eugene Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Eugene?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Eugene?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Eugene vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Eugene?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Eugene?
Residential and commercial property owners in Eugene face similar plumbing problems that plague buildings across the entire country. Most common plumbing concerns in Eugene, OR include:
- Running toilets, dripping faucets, and other leaking fixtures
- Clogged and slow draining toilets and drains
- Low water pressure and bad water quality
- Replacing, upgrading, and installing new piping systems
While Eugene is not close to a major fault line, it has a Seismic Design Category D classification. That means the structures and buildings in the region are prone to severe and destructive ground shaking, especially those located on poor soils. Although the area isn’t renowned for seismic activity, its proximity to the Cascadia fault line increases the likelihood of a destructive earthquake in the future.
Some of the earthquake preparedness measures you can implement today to safeguard your plumbing system include:
- Installing earthquake shutoff valves on the gas lines
- Repairing gas lines, fixtures, pipe, and water mains damaged by the earthquake
The University area has some of the oldest homes in the city, and they are likely to have older plumbing systems that are susceptible to mineral deposits and leakages. Some of the dated plumbing systems may be due for an uphaul or upgrade as part of earthquake preparedness.
How Does the Water in Eugene Affect Your Plumbing?
Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) harvests water from McKenzie River to produce some of the best drinking water in the entire country. The soft water poses little, if any, a threat to our plumbing systems. However, residents who aren’t connected to the municipal water supply may face a considerable challenge with water hardness.
Water hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, in the water. Hard water is high in calcium and magnesium minerals and forms calcium carbonate deposits when heated in a home heater. In Eugene, the water from the municipal has an average of 1 grain per gallon, which is the range of soft water. Soft water has less than 4 grains per gallon, but it can leach minerals from metallic water pipes and reduce their lifespan.
Water with more than 7 grains per gallon is considered hard and is highly destructive to the plumbing system. Water hardness isn’t a significant concern if you’re using municipal water. But it becomes a primary concern when we’re using groundwater. Long-term movement of hard water inside the pipes causes scale buildup and clogs aerators and showerheads. Luckily, our Eugene municipal water doesn’t pose a significant threat to your plumbing system.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Eugene?
Most people dread calling a plumber because they have price concerns. Price concerns prompt even the best of us to postpone plumbing repairs until it’s too late. Unfortunately, delaying plumbing issues only serves to compound the problem. Naturally, our plumber needs to examine your plumbing system to give an accurate estimate of how much a plumbing job would cost.
However, you’ll be happy to learn the cost of hiring our professional plumbers in Eugene ranges from $99 to $719, with most homeowners paying $419. Numerous factors influence the price of a plumbing job and may increase or lower the cost beyond the average range. Some of these factors include:
Cost Factor: Range and Scope of Service
Naturally, the scope and nature of a plumbing job determine the cost, with the more complicated and extensive jobs carrying a higher price tag. For instance, faucet replacement, toilet unclogging, and fixing a leaking pipe fall are low-priced jobs. On the flip side, locating a hidden leak or fixing a broken sewer line are complex undertakings with a high-cost implication.
Scheduled service costs way less than emergency plumbing, which carries a premium rate. Since a significant portion of the plumbing system is hidden away beneath the ground and behind walls, most jobs have many unknown variables. Sometimes it is impossible to estimate the costs until our plumber inspects the system and determines the scope of work.
Cost Factor: Labor and Expenses
The labor cost depends on the project, with commercial plumbing jobs commanding a higher rate than residential jobs. Some jobs carry a flat fee, while others use an hourly rate. While the hourly rates are predictable, the amount of labor required to fix a plumbing problem isn’t. Many unknown variables may impact the duration and, consequently, the overall cost of a plumbing job. Eugene requires our plumbers to procure plumbing licenses and various permits before undertaking major plumbing jobs, further padding the price.
Cost Factor: Cost of Materials and Supplies
Fluctuating costs of materials and supplies add to the many unknowns when estimating the cost of a plumbing repair job. Seasonality has a significant impact on the cost of materials because it affects availability and supply chain logistics.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Eugene?
There are no downsides to keeping your plumbing system in tiptop shape. A seamless plumbing system lets you conserve water (which is the most precious commodity in the world), save your hard-earned money, and protect the environment. A sound plumbing system ensures that you enjoy your creature comfort all year round without saddling you with expensive bills each month. Here are some of the cost-saving benefits of keeping your plumbing system in great shape.
Fixing Water Leaks
Ignoring dripping faucets and showerheads amounts to flushing money down the drain. A slow-dripping faucet might not seem much, but it can waste up to 347 gallons of water yearly. On the other hand, a fast-dripping showerhead will waste up to 5 gallons of water daily. The wastage can add up quickly if you have several leaky faucets in the house. Undiagnosed pinhole leaks in your piping system are likely to tuck in an extra $100 to $600 to your monthly water bill. It also increases the risk of water damage, mold infestation, and contravening water conservation ordinances and regulations.
Regular Inspections and Maintenance
Most of us hardly pay our plumbing system a second thought, well, that is until something goes wrong. Although contractors build many plumbing systems to last, they comprise many small parts requiring regular care and maintenance. Having our professional plumbers inspect your piping system at least twice a year keeps it running seamlessly. Most importantly, it allows you to nip any problems in time and keeps them from snowballing into extensive problems that’d cost a fortune to fix.
Upgrading your fixtures
Replacing older appliances with the newer, water-efficient model is an excellent way to reduce your water consumption and lower your utility bills. Replacing old showerheads and faucets with more efficient yet affordable low-flow fixtures will save you a great deal of money. The Eugene Water and Electricity Board offers a rebate to help residents offset the cost of upgrading to water-efficient fixtures and equipment.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Eugene vs Hire a Plumber?
Unless you find a water main that spouting water and flooding the street, you should call our plumbers for all other plumbing-related problems. Our experts will service and repair the portion of the plumbing system within your property. Any problem beyond your property line falls under the domain of the utility company.
The water company is responsible for maintaining and repairing the municipal lines up to the edge of your property. If you spot water leaking from the water main, be sure to report to the utility company and ensure the neighborhood doesn’t run out of water. Water leaks on your property might be a little bit harder to detect.
Wet spots on the main water line are the most obvious telltale signs of a water leak. If you observe continually wet spots in your front yard, it’s advisable to investigate the issue further.
Turn off the water at the main water valve and observe the meter. If the meter continues to run with the water turned off, the main water line may have sprung a leak on your property, and you should call our plumbers to investigate further. However, if the meter doesn’t move, you should notify the water company to deal with the issue.
Water Supply Problems
Our plumbers may help you resolve frequent water supply interruptions, but sometimes you may need to call EWEB. If you notice a considerable drop in water pressure, such as water not flowing in the upper rooms, there might be a water main break in your area. Check with your neighbors to establish if they’re experiencing the same problem. If other homes on your street have the same issue, there might be a problem with the municipal supply. If you’re the only one with that problem, it’s best to call us to investigate and fix it. Clogged aerators, pinhole leaks, and corroded pipes are common water supply problems.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Eugene?
Building codes ensure that a building meets the minimum requirements necessary to safeguard public health and safety. These codes are carefully developed to maximize public safety and are customized to suit the local conditions. For instance, a Seismic Design category 3 classified region will have different building codes than a category two.
Building codes cover every aspect of the building and construction, including electrical, plumbing, and mechanical works. The government issues a permit to acknowledge that the building complies with the area’s building codes. Therefore, you must procure the necessary permits as required by the municipality. Eugene ordinances require permits for all plumbing jobs in commercial and residential properties. Some of the commercial plumbing jobs that require permits include:
- Installing or altering vacuum and medical gas systems in healthcare facilities
- Installing vacuum drainage waste and venting
- Installing or altering reclaimed water systems
- Installing a plumbing system with a water service line measuring 2 inches in diameter
- Installing a multi-purpose fire sprinkler
- Installing a commercial booster pump system
- Installing or altering wastewater pre-treatment systems for building sewers
Figuring out the projects that may require a building permit from the municipal or which permits to request can be a challenging undertaking. Having our professional plumbers do all the heavy lifting helps simplify the process.
Hiring our specialists is advisable when installing, repairing, or modifying the plumbing system in your property.