Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Summerville?
- 2 How Does the Water in Summerville Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Summerville?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Summerville?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Summerville vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Summerville?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Summerville?
Let’s face it. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with plumbing in the home and the yard. Whether you have an older home or a newer one, plumbing issues are just a part of life. Most plumbing problems are due to everyday wear and tear. Some of the more common plumbing issues in Summerville include a running toilet, clogged drains, leaky faucets, leaky sprinkler heads, a faulty water heater, cracked or burst pipes, and more.
If you experience sewer water backing up into one or more of your drains, this is a significant problem. Summerville experiences frequent flooding during certain seasons, which can overwhelm sewage systems and cause sewage backup. Before you experience actual water backing up, you may notice:
- Foul odors coming from your drains,
- Bubbling drains or toilets,
- Slow-moving drains.
If you experience any of these signs, don’t wait for a backup of sewer water; call us at Mr Blue Plumbing immediately. Sewage, also known as wastewater, is known to carry air-borne contaminants, including bacteria and viruses. Inhaling those vapors can make you and your family ill.
To help prevent sewer backup, avoid two of the biggest causes of clogs, flushing supposed “flushable” wipes down the toilet, and pouring fats, oil, and grease down the kitchen drain. Wet wipes do not break down the way toilet paper does and can eventually clog the sewer line. Grease and fats will cool and harden in pipes, also creating a clog, or plug, in the lines.
Furthermore, tree roots can be a problem for sewer lines and main water lines alike, particularly thanks to abundance of tree-lined neighborhoods in Summerville. Consider how far the branches of your trees grow out. Typically, the roots will spread out about the same distance as the branches searching for water and nutrients. If a tree is growing too close to underground pipelines, the roots can strangle or grow into the lines resulting in a leak or full-blown pipeline burst.
If you have trouble with a sewer backup in your drains or other sewer-related pipe problems, you should know that any issues dealing with the plumbing directly on your property are your responsibility. But if the trouble is outside your property, then it is a city problem. Our professional plumbers can help you discern where the problem lies. If it is in the mainline leading up to or from your property, you should contact the city’s public works department.
Summerville normally gets a lot of rain – around 51 inches each year on average, compared to the US average of 38 inches per year. Because of an increase in homes and other buildings over the past few years in Summerville but no changes in the storm water infrastructure coupled with so much rain, Summerville has been prone to flooding. This is because the pipes in the city are too small and water has nowhere to go.
A flood can affect your pipes in several ways. For one, any fixtures that are damaged by a flood should be replaced and those that have been submerged underwater should be taken apart and disinfected. And if your fixtures were damaged by a flood, most likely the connecting pipes are damaged as well.
The weight of floodwater and saturated soil could crush your underground pipes and if they have been in stagnant water for a long period, they can also incur damage. Once the floodwaters have receded, check your property for any uneven areas or sinkholes, which can indicate damaged underground pipes.
The rushing flood waters can also cause your home’s foundation to shift which can weaken, crack, or dislodge your pipes. If your foundation has cracked or shifted, you will need to get that repaired first before calling us to repair your plumbing to prevent damaging the pipes again.
Floodwater normally carries sediment which can infiltrate your pipes and cause clogs. Should you experience any issues with your plumbing after a flood, call us at Mr Blue Plumbing so we can assess the damage and make the necessary repairs.
How Does the Water in Summerville Affect Your Plumbing?
The Santee Cooper Regional Water System supplies Summerville’s water. According to the Santee Cooper website, our water comes from Lake Moultrie through some 20 miles of transmission pipe to not only Summerville but Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, and other parts of Berkeley County. Santee Cooper is proud to be a member of various water associations, including the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program. The Lake Moultrie Water System, along with another from Lake Marion, also operated by Santee Cooper, have received the honor of being awarded the Best Tasting Water by the South Carolina Rural Water Association.
Most of South Carolina has soft water. When we refer to water hardness, it measures dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other metals in the water. Summerville’s water measures 22 PPM (parts per million of a unit of water). PPM is used interchangeably with mg/L.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey office, 0 to 60 PPM is considered soft, 61 to 120 PPM is moderately hard, 121 to 180 PPM is hard, and anything more than 180 PPM is very hard.
While hard water is more brutal for your pipes, soft water can also cause some damage, especially for those who have copper pipes. As the soft water goes through your pipes, it pulls minerals such as copper and lead and other unhealthy contaminants from your pipes. This corrosion can create pinhole leaks in your pipes in the long run.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Summerville?
Plumbing repair in Summerville typically costs between $85 to $621 with most homeowners paying an average of $353. As you can see from the wide range in cost, it is difficult to determine exactly how much plumbing repairs will cost. Logic dictates that a simple repair will be less expensive than a more difficult or complex repair. Most plumbers work on hourly rates. When we provide you with an estimate, we determine the amount of time we think the repair will take as well as materials and what equipment we need.
Amount of Labor and Time Involved
Replacing the flapper valve or the float on a toilet may take us an hour or less but replacing the entire toilet is a bigger project. It could take 2.5 hours, almost tripling the labor cost. An even more complex repair would be burst water or sewer pipe. It could call for more than one plumber and could take half a day or longer to repair.
The cost of plumbing materials can vary a lot. That flapper replacement may cost between $3-$5. A toilet float could cost between $14-$20. Depending on your chosen model, a new toilet can cost between $125 to $300 plus tax. You can get a basic low-flow toilet for between $125-$180, but the best models may cost $275-$300. Similarly, to replace a pipe, you can get new PVC which should last 25 years or more. But the best and most dependable pipe for underground work is the copper pipe, which will cost you more but will also last for 50 years.
Our plumbers have all the tools needed for basic repair and installation work, such as repairing or replacing the toilet, fixing a pipe leak under the sink, or repairing a water heater. But when a major pipeline needs fixing or replacing, earthmoving equipment such as a trencher may be needed. The use of such equipment will add to the repair cost. We need to rent the equipment and/or hire an outside service to dig and access the pipeline.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Summerville?
Simply put, yes, better plumbing can save you money. For one thing, when you upgrade to low-flow fixtures and get rid of those pesky leaky faucets, you decrease your water usage and subsequently will see a decrease in your water bill. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a single faucet leaking one drip per second wastes up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. You could take 180 showers with that!
And there are other ways better plumbing saves you money in the long run. While you could have just the pipe where a leak has sprung replaced, at the same time, if you replace that whole area of pipeline, you reduce the risk of having another emergency in the near future. That better plumbing may cost you a bit more in materials and labor upfront but could ward off another emergency plumbing visit, tearing up the same area in the future, which could cost a lot more.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Summerville vs Hire a Plumber?
When you experience a plumbing issue, be it an emergency or not, you should call us in most cases. The exception is when you know the problem stems from a city problem. How do you know? Well, for one thing, if your neighbors are having similar problems in water pressure, or sewer backup, most likely the trouble is coming from the city pipe servicing your area. In this case, you should call the Summerville Public Works Department.
Some other signs of mainline leaks include:
- An unexplained hike in your water bill,
- Puddles of water near the shutoff valve and meter,
- Water in the street or gutter,
- Wet spots in your yard not associated with a leaky sprinkler head,
- Hissing or bubbling sounds from the pipes,
- Discolored water.
Some of these signs could also stem from your own water line though. To be sure, call us to schedule an assessment.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Summerville?
The City of Summerville requires permits for plumbing related to new buildings and renovations. In addition, if a repair involves replacing a concealed trap, drainpipe, or vent pipe, it is considered new work by the city, and a permit is also required with a subsequent inspection.
When it comes to routine work such as fixing leaky pipes or plumbing fixtures or clearing clogged drains, the repairs do not require a permit unless there is a rearrangement or replacement of the valves, pipes, or fixtures.