Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in York?
- 2 How Does the Water in York Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in York?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in York?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in York Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in York?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in York?
Previously known as Yorktown, the city of York has deep roots in American history. The city was founded before America declared its independence. While we continue to build new home communities in the township, we also have a lot of historic, older homes. The plumbing in some may be old, too.
During the winter, our temperature drops below freezing several times each year. Aging pipes and freezing temperatures can be a recipe for a plumbing disaster. Of course, there are a lot of other factors that can cause plumbing problems, some minor, some more devastating. Some common plumbing issues in York include:
Old Plumbing and Pipes
As mentioned, York has a lot of older homes – many of which have yet to upgrade their plumbing systems. Aging pipes and plumbing fixtures will, at some time, show their wear and begin to have problems. They may start to leak or not work properly. PVC pipe can last 25 to 40 years. Copper will last 70 to 80 years. If your home is older and has lead pipes or PVC that is nearing 20 years, it is best to call us and have one of our plumbers inspect your pipeline. Even if your lines are okay, it is good practice to have your pipes and plumbing fixtures checked roughly every two years.
Frozen Pipes, Burst Pipes
As you may have experienced, when pipes are exposed to York’s freezing temperatures, they, too, can freeze. As they warm, they may develop a leak or burst wide open. The only solution is to replace the pipe in the area where the incident happened. The best prevention is to wrap any pipe exposed to the elements and/or to replace older pipes.
Slow Drain or Sewage Backup
One slow drain is often a sign of some type of clog in that particular drain or pipe leading to the sewer system. This can be caused by a number of things, but in York, one possible contributor is mineral buildup caused by moderately hard water.
We may be able to run a snake down the drain and pipe to break up the clog. More than one slow drain is a sign of a larger problem that could involve the main sewer line from your house on your property line or a problem with the city’s sewer line. Backed-up sewage can be a health hazard. If you experience one or more drains moving slowly, the City recommends you call a plumber immediately. If our plumber finds the cause is a city problem, they will contact the City or recommend you do so.
A wise person once said a dripping faucet can affect your mental health. No doubt. While some of us can tune out the continual drip, others get little sleep at night while listening to it. Furthermore, some of us may try placing a washcloth or rag in the sink to soften the dripping noise – not a good idea.
A leaky faucet may be as simple a problem as a poor fitting aerator or the handle needing adjusting. Or, it could be that the unit is worn out or faulty and needs replacing. Over time, limescale may have built up around your faucet due to York’s moderately hard water, thus the need for replacement. Either way, this is a pretty easy and inexpensive repair for our plumber.
Have you ever heard your toilet running long after the bowl has filled? In some cases, it may continue running until it flushes again on its own. This is not normal. The fix may be as simple as the replacement of the flapper valve or the handle. Alternatively, the float may need adjustment or replacement. Even if the problem isn’t a big issue, it is costing you extra money daily. A running toilet can leak from a few gallons every hour to more than 200 gallons per day. Get it fixed.
Water Heater Problems
Our plumbers are trained in a variety of areas, including gas fitting and mechanical services, as well as fire protection. That is why the coupling of water with electricity or gas in a water heater repair or replacement falls upon our shoulders.
Some water heater-related issues include the water not heating, a leak from the unit, and pooling under the water heater. Most water heaters last about 8 to 10 years, some longer. Because York has moderately hard water, the minerals in the water can leave sediment at the bottom of the tank or around your heating elements, causing your water heater to work inefficiently. The water heater is one of those things we tend to ignore until something goes wrong. If your water heater is getting up there in years, the next time you call our plumber out, you should consider asking them to check it out. Our plumber may consider it to be working well and suggest that it should be good for another year or more; or they may recommend you have it replaced sooner.
How Does the Water in York Affect Your Plumbing?
York is blessed with good water. While some areas in Pennsylvania experience hard water, York’s water is approximately 92 PPM, which is considered moderately hard. PPM stands for the parts per million of mineral particles that are found in water. Hard water can be hard on pipes. In York, we experience the same common issues with hard water, but on a milder scale.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in York?
It is hard to put a figure on how much plumbing will cost in York. There are many variables. A rough average cost of having the plumber out for repairs is just above $400. However, it could be as low as $100 or as high as $730 or more. It depends on what and where the problem is. It also depends upon how quickly you need the plumber. One thing about plumbing is you never know when or where a problem will occur.
What Is the Problem?
A new water heater is going to cost more to install than, say, fixing a leaky faucet. That is just a fact. The larger the job, the higher the cost of labor and parts. If you are looking into upgrading the plumbing in your home or adding a bathroom, the plumbing bill will run quite a bit higher, but you are probably aware of that.
Where Is the Problem?
The cost of fixing a leaky joint under the sink will cost less than fixing a leaky pipe under the house. While the parts may be similar in pricing, the labor and equipment needed to do each repair vary greatly. Easy access to a problem helps bring plumbing costs down. Unfortunately, you cannot predetermine where a leak will occur.
Routine Maintenance vs Emergency Repairs
Routine plumbing inspection and maintenance can save you a lot of money in the long run. Sometimes a plumber can foresee the potential for a leak when given the chance to inspect the pipes. But we will get into that in a minute. A leaky faucet is not usually an emergency nor is a running toilet. Although, if left unfixed, either could turn into one.
A call to one of our plumbers during normal 9-5 workday hours will, no doubt, cost less than an emergency during off-hours. That said, when there is an emergency such as a burst pipe or pooling of water under the water heater, you need our plumber out ASAP, even if it will mean having to pay a higher bill. It can still cost you less in the long run.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in York?
Absolutely. You should consider getting better plumbing if you have or experience any of the following:
- Continued leaky faucet(s)
- Having to flush more than once
- Low water pressure throughout the house
- Slow drains including sinks, shower, or bathtubs
- Noisy pipes
- Leaking sprinkler heads
Possible upgrades could include:
- New faucet(s)
- New low-flow toilet(s)
- New low-flow showerhead(s)
- Replacement of some or all of the incoming pipes
- Replacement of sewer pipes
- Replacement of your irrigation system
If you want to go with the best in pipes, consider replacing your old PVC or lead pipes with copper. Copper is a superior corrosion-resistant material great for hot and cold water alike. Similarly, the water heaters available today are safer and much more efficient than those from 10 years ago. Check out the products recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency through its WaterSense program including water heaters and low-flow fixtures and fittings.
Better plumbing will mean saving on your water bill while also offering you peace of mind, reducing the chances of future emergency plumbing issues. If you need advice regarding your plumbing system, we can send over one of our professionals to perform an inspection and make recommendations for proper course of action, even tailored to your budget.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in York Vs Hire a Plumber?
When you have a plumbing issue, for the most part, you should call us. Our plumber will be the one to repair most plumbing issues on your property, but there are some exceptions. If you lose water in your entire house and property, that could be a York Water Company problem. If one or more neighbors have the same problem, you should definitely call the water company. If you see water spewing from a fire hydrant, also call the water company.
If your water bill has suddenly risen, you should call us. Even if you have a leak and it is fixed, some utility companies may offer you a one-time reduction on your bill, with proof of repairs.
The York Water Company also offers a water service line protection plan. For a $5 monthly fee, your water company offers assistance for plumbing repairs that involve repair or replacement of leaks or a broken service line from the shut-off valve up to your home. Assistance is also available for the repair or replacement of lawn areas, driveways, and/or sidewalks that have been disturbed during those plumbing repairs. There is no deductible and your water company will cover up to $3,000 per year. For more information, contact York Water.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in York?
Some plumbing work does require a permit for repairs and replacement, while other services do not. You do not need a permit in York to repair or replace an existing plumbing fixture such as a faucet, sink, or toilet; nor do you need one for having a drain cleared. Replacement of a water heater is also permit-free if you do not switch energy sources. If you have a question regarding whether a plumbing issue requires a permit, contact the township administration office.
As an aside, our city likes to support the locals. As such, in the 1990s, the township adopted a resolution stating that any plumbing work performed within York Township be done by a York Township licensed plumber. Keeping that in mind, our plumbers within York are all licensed and will know about any permit requirements and can help with the permitting process.