Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in State College?
- 2 How Does the Water in State College Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in State College?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in State College?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in State College Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in State College?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in State College?
The world knows about State College, home of Penn State University. What most people don’t realize is that there is a lot of history surrounding this municipality.
The school was founded in February 1855. It was originally named, “The Farmers High School”, and designed to be an agricultural school. The mascot for the school was “Old Coaly,” nothing other than a mule who aided in the construction of the Old Main Building.
Beyond the university, this area has many great things to see and do. It is the home of the largest creamery in the world, boasts the 4th largest stadium, and has many other things to see. Visitors and those who call it home, never run out of things to do. This is also surprising since it is practically surrounded by state forests and nature.
As time moved forward from the founding of PSU, people have come and gone. Some of the oldest buildings have done the same, but it does make you wonder what types of plumbing can be found there. Is the water quality acceptable and are the pipes in good condition after all this time?
The truth is, overall, State College is in good shape as far as the water goes. The most common plumbing issues include:
- Water Heater Issues
- Water Lines Issues
- Faulty Washing Machine Hoses
- Clogged Drains– State College has hard water, which can cause mineral buildup in pipes and clog plumbing.
- Sewage Backup– With frequent snowfall in this area of Pennsylvania, flooding can occur in the spring, making sewage backup, burst pipes, and drainage issues common.
- Burst Pipes
- Floor Drain Issues
New plumbing installations are also sometimes needed as College State continues to grow.
How Does the Water in State College Affect Your Plumbing?
In Pennsylvania as a whole, Nitrate can be found. There’s even some in the air you breathe. It comes from plant life and the many agricultural practices that have been used throughout history. It ends up in your water through rain runoff and erosion.
Anything over 10-ppm can be dangerous to babies and those with compromised immune systems. The good news is in State College, there is an average of 5.51 ppm. This shows that there isn’t enough nitrate in the water to cause health concerns. However, if you feel the need to get rid of the nitrate in your water, you can do this with a water filtration system.
There are also contaminants from lead and copper as shown by the “Quality Report” for 2020. This is great news for an area with such history behind it. Some still worry that lead could be in the pipes, but water testing is available if you have real concerns about your water.
The biggest concern for homeowners is hard water, which is something everyone in College State deals with. Anything over 121 mg/l is considered hard. In College State, there is an average that falls between 120-190 mg/l.
Hard water can pose problems for everyone. Homeowners may have to deal with hard water stains and a shortened lifespan on their appliances.
Hard water stems from minerals, especially magnesium and calcium, in the ground. Not only does it impact the color of your appliances, but it can also cause other plumbing issues. If you want to know whether your pipes could be getting damaged or not, you only have to use a little water. It is easy to tell if you have a lot of minerals coming through your water lines. Some ideas include:
- The Soap Test: Add a little water and a small amount of soap to a container that you can close. Shake it to get bubbles to appear. If it doesn’t have suds, your water is hard. The same is true if it creates a good amount of suds, but they go away quickly.
- The Sniff Test: First thing in the morning, turn on your tap and grab a glass of water. Smell it, taste it, allow it to sit on the counter for a while to see if you find particles settling to the bottom. In general, hard water will smell and taste like metal if it has been sitting in pipes for a while. The sediment that you see is flakes of those minerals settling in your glass as they may in the bottom of your pipes.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in State College?
It is hard to predict how much a plumbing job will cost. Every home is unique, and every job requires different things. In State College, the minimum cost will typically be around $95.00. The max cost could be around $700.00. It depends on what you need though. Most homeowners pay right at $400.00 for basic plumbing repairs.
If you want to know more about your price range, no one can give it to you without first seeing the job. There are too many possible cost factors to give an exact total, sight unseen. Some of the things that may influence price include:
What is a water emergency? You may have a water emergency if your pipe bursts after winter snowfalls. It could be a simple fix, you may be able to turn off the water to that area and wait until a good time to call a plumber. However, if it causes you to lose water to your entire home, you may not be able to wait for Monday.
If you have a plumbing emergency on weekends or holidays then your cost average will increase. Plumbing that can be done during regular business hours will be more affordable. Therefore, if you have concerns, you may want to consider asking a professional before it goes bad on their day off.
Easy plumbing issues will be cheaper to repair than large jobs. This means if you simply need a clog removed from your sink, you will pay on the lower end of the estimated cost. Unfortunately, there are times when simple isn’t completely simple.
For instance, if you have a clog that is located in the drain pipes under your home or in the yard where the plumber may have to dig for it. This will increase your cost for the job to be done. Your plumber will not know about this difficulty until he is there, looking at the job.
A lot of this will be dependent on what you want Mr. Blue Plumbing to do. If you want a water softening system installed, the price of the machine will be more than the price of a replacement faucet. The parts that will be needed for your job will ultimately increase the price for the plumbing job. To avoid some of the costs, you may want to buy the parts yourself. For some parts, your plumber may be okay with it. Others may not be approved of by your plumber. Parts often end up being the largest cost factor for most homeowners.
Our professional plumbers will be as fair and as reasonable as possible. However, a large bulk of the price for plumbing repairs and installations will depend on what you need for them to do.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in State College?
This is a very common question, with a simple answer. For many people, the answer is, “Yes.” The exception is if you have a newer home, which may already have some modern faucets, showerheads, and more.
One big example of cost savings comes from low-flow toilets. In as little as a year, you can save an average of $140.00. If you go further and add low-flow sink faucets and showerheads, you can add to that possible savings.
You should look also at your water heater to ensure that it is energy efficient and working effectively. Water heaters have an average lifespan of 10-years, but in hard water areas, it could be less. Each year some advances make things more efficient. If your water heater is several years old, you should consider upgrading.
As a final thought, you may want a water softening system if you do not already have one. Even if it doesn’t save you money directly, it can save you in the long run when your pipes last longer than your neighbors.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in State College Vs Hire a Plumber?
There are times when you should call a plumber to fix a problem. Broken water lines, clogs, slow drains, and more are all good reasons. The problem comes when you aren’t sure that a plumber is the right person for the situation. You wouldn’t call a plumber if the fire hydrant is flooding the roads near your home.
You should contact SCBWA if you have a water emergency, but you can also contact them for issues that are not located on your property. This includes:
- A vacant house that has a flooded lawn
- A broken water line on the street
- If your water meter is going up when no water is being used
- You lose all water to your home
- You lose all water pressure in your home
- You need to turn the water on or off to your home
For all other problems, as they pertain to your home, you will want to contact Mr. Blue Plumbing.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in State College?
In State College, it may not be required to get a permit to upgrade the plumbing in your home. However, because it is a municipality, some amendments may not be recorded that may pertain to the regulations in State College. We work with you and connect city leaders to get an idea of what is required for your plumbing specifically.
However, when tackling a construction project, you will have to follow the International Plumbing Code 2015. This can make the entire process much more complicated for homeowners and people who want to set up a commercial property. This is also why you will likely want to ask for help before you tackle any major plumbing issues in State College, PA.