Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Salem?
- 2 Replacing the Pipes in Old Homes
- 3 How Does the Water in Salem Affect Your Plumbing?
- 4 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Salem?
- 5 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Salem?
- 6 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Salem Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 7 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Salem?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Salem?
In Salem, we see a variety of plumbing issues. These can range from a 15-minute fix to a few days. Some of the most common plumbing issues that we see in Salem homes include:
- Replacing a water heater.
- Fixing a running toilet.
- Installing a water line for an ice maker.
- Repairing or replacing a garbage disposal.
- Fixing a leaky faucet.
- Unclogging a sink or toilet.
These are problems that we have almost universally in homes around the country. In Salem, there are a few problems that we see that are specific to the area, such as:
Frozen Pipes Due to a Hard Freeze
From mid-January to early February, the temperatures in Salem can plunge to below-freezing, creating a hard freeze. It’s easy to forget to turn a drip on in the faucet of your Salem home since there are only a few hard freezes each winter.
Sometimes, these hard freezes can freeze your pipes and the water inside them, placing the pipes inside and outside your Salem home in jeopardy. While the freezing water can expand and cause damage to your pipes, another issue is pressure on the pipes.
Without realizing it, you might turn on a faucet where there’s already frozen water inside it. The water doesn’t come gushing out of your faucet in this case; it backs up behind the frozen water. As the water tries to move forward in the pipe in your Salem home, more water pushes up behind it, building pressure and eventually causing the pipe to burst.
It’s always a good idea to turn off the faucet and call a professional when the water doesn’t flow on a cold morning. Our team can thaw your pipes to help reduce the risk of further damage.
Damage to Sewage Pipes from Tree Roots
The Pacific Northwest is home to some gorgeous and tall trees. The trees that you most commonly see in Salem include:
- Red elder
- Bigleaf maple
- Pacific ninebark
- Willamette Valley Ponderosa pine
- Western red cedar
- Oregon crabapple
- Pacific dogwood
Trees are masters at getting the nutrients and water that they need to grow and thrive. Each tree has a root system that grows far and wide looking for water and other nutrients. Tree roots will grow anywhere that they can gain a foothold, and this includes pushing into sewage lines.
Once they start pushing into a sewage line, roots keep going until the line is damaged. In some cases, we can repair the section of the line damaged by a tree root while others require us to replace the entire line. Our team can always evaluate the damage to determine the extent.
Replacing the Pipes in Old Homes
Salem’s history extends back to the early 1800s, so some homes in town are older houses. Our team often needs to replace the water pipes in the yard and inside these homes. In some cases, the pipes are made from cast iron or galvanized steel, which were designed to last for decades.
Unfortunately, when this type of material begins to break down, you may notice a strange taste in your water or rust visible in a clear drinking glass. You might even notice rust as the water pours from the faucet.
Replacing the pipes in your Salem home or yard is a big job. You might opt to have the pipes replaced with PVC pipes. These pipes are considerably less expensive while offering durability and longevity.
How Does the Water in Salem Affect Your Plumbing?
The water that comes into your Salem home originates from the Detroit Reservoir and the North Santiam River. The city of Salem goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of the water testing it weekly.
On the even more positive side, Salem has soft water, which means that the mineral count in the water is low. For the most part, the water in Salem is great for the pipes inside your home and shouldn’t cause any damage or staining like hard water would.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Salem?
It seems like the first question we hear from Salem homeowners is asking to know the cost of plumbing repairs. We can’t offer you an honest or accurate figure until we come to your Salem home and see the plumbing problem ourselves.
However, we can offer the range of pricing we normally see for repairs in the Salem area. The costs of plumbing repair range between $99 and $721 with an average cost of $410.
If you have a clogged toilet, you can expect your cost in Salem to be on the low end, while installing a garbage disposal would be on the high end. Of course, there are plumbing jobs that fall outside the range. For example, replacing a water heater might exceed the high end by the time you add in the expense of the new heater for your Salem home.
Materials and Appliances
One factor that can quickly drive the costs of your plumbing repairs in your Salem home up is material and appliance selection. If you opt to install a Kohler rainfall shower head in your walk-in shower in the master bedroom, it’s going to cost more than an off-brand regular shower head.
Replacing pipes with PVC pipes is more cost-effective in your Salem home than other materials. The cost of a high-energy-efficient water heater may run up your total bill. Our team can help you navigate this cost factor, so you can make informed decisions with your budget in mind.
Location and Scope of the Plumbing Problem
If the scope of the plumbing job is large, you can expect the costs to rise. It takes a lot less time and equipment to get a clog out of a toilet in your Salem home than it does to replace all the pipes.
Sometimes, the scope of the job might seem small to a Salem homeowner, but when we evaluate the plumbing issue, it’s a lot larger than first meets the eye. The location also plays a role in the final costs. If the problem is in a location that’s easily accessed, it’ll be less expensive than one that requires removing a section of wall or digging up your Salem yard.
Required Permits and Building Codes
On large plumbing jobs, the city of Salem requires a permit before work can begin. While you might think it’s an unnecessary cost, the permit also helps to ensure a minimum quality of work on your Salem home.
At certain points, an inspector comes into your home to ensure that strict building codes are being maintained throughout the project. You may find that you need to do extra work on your Salem home to bring it up to code before we can begin the job of fixing the original plumbing issue.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Salem?
Yes, better plumbing can save you money in your Salem home in the long run. You always want to choose materials and appliances that offer longevity while staying within your budget. Our team can show you the options and value of each material and appliance, so you can make the right choice for your home.
The state of Oregon requires plumbers to get a license from the state. As part of the process, the person needs to sit for an exam and prove work experience. This helps to ensure that you always receive better plumbing work in your Salem home.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Salem Vs Hire a Plumber?
In almost every case, it’s the responsibility of the Salem homeowner to take care of plumbing issues in their home and yard. The exception is when a water main or feeder line begins to leak or burst.
The water main is a system of pipes that brings water to your street, and the feeder pipes move the water from the mainline to your Salem home’s pipes. Typically, the utility company is responsible for any leaks or burst pipes before your water meter, and you are responsible for problems after the water meter.
You can always call the utility to check the problem if it’s close to the line in your Salem yard. When you see water in the area owned by the utility company in your Salem yard, you may want to give them a call.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Salem?
The city of Salem requires a permit for large plumbing jobs, such as replacing the pipes in your home or yard. During the work, an inspector comes to your Salem home to ensure the work is done correctly.
The plumbing permit can give you peace of mind that you’re working with a professional company. If you call a plumbing company to your Salem home and it’s a large job, you don’t want to hire someone who says that you don’t need a permit. It’s always best to call the city if you think that a permit might be necessary.