Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Sumter?
- 2 How Does the Water in Sumter Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Sumter?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Sumter?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Sumter vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Sumter?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Sumter?
There are many plumbing issues that virtually every homeowner will contend with at one time or another. Problems like running toilets, leaky faucets, and broken water heaters can happen in any home, no matter the age of the house or how well you maintain your plumbing system. There are a few plumbing issues we see more often here in Sumter, though. Here are three you should know about:
- Cracked and leaking pipes. Because of the average age of homes in Sumter, this is an issue that most homeowners here need to know about. That’s because cracked and leaky pipes are more common in homes built more than 30 years ago, like most of the houses in the area. No pipes will last forever, but many of the older homes in Sumter have lead or clay pipes. The lifespan of these pipes is quickly running out, which means they are beginning to deteriorate and create issues for homeowners. These issues might involve leaks, burst mains, rusty water, or even clogs that never seem to go away. Changing out those old pipes for new ones can eliminate plumbing issues and could even increase the value of your home.
- Clogged drains. South Carolina residents are fortunate to have a variety of beautiful native trees that flourish on our land. Those trees can cause issues with your plumbing, though, as they send roots deep into the ground. Those roots surround your pipes and can end up breaking them or growing inside the pipe and creating a clog. When that happens, you’ll need to contact our trusted Sumter plumbers. They’ll be able to remove the roots without digging up the pipe or disturbing your landscaping. It’s tough to know if roots are causing your clogs, though. It may be due to flushing something you shouldn’t or putting too much grease down the drain. Our plumbers can use a particular type of camera to identify what is causing your clog exactly.
- Broken sump pumps. Swamps, marshes, and wetlands dot the Sumter landscape. They are gorgeous natural spaces to explore, but they can be tough on your home. That’s because the moisture in the ground can start to seep into your home, creature issues with mold, mildew, and dampness. The solution is a sump pump, and they usually do their job of removing water from the lowest point in your home very well. If there has been a lot of moisture recently, though, your sump pump can become overloaded and break down. You’ll want to get your sump pump fixed right away, or else you’ll see a quick accumulation of water, especially if you have a basement.
How Does the Water in Sumter Affect Your Plumbing?
According to the USGS water hardness scale, Sumter has very soft water, with only 22 parts per million. That means there are very few minerals in our water supply, primarily from the Black Creek and Middendorf Aquifers. In other areas of the country, especially away from coastal regions, the water has much higher concentrations of calcium carbonate and magnesium. These minerals are safe to drink, but they are tough on plumbing fixtures. They can leave behind a residue that builds up over time, resulting in clogs and unsightly deposits of scale.
Because Sumter has soft water, we don’t have to contend with these issues. Our water is, in general, very gentle on our plumbing systems. It’s also gentler on your clothing and skin than hard water. However, soft water pulls minerals out of your piping, causing corrosion and pinhole leaks over time. As such, leaks and contaminated water are common in the area.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Sumter?
What you’ll pay for our plumbing services in Sumter will depend on the job you need done. For example, to unclog a pipe, you’ll pay around $125. A sump pump installation will cost you closer to $1,000. Because the cost for our plumbers will vary so much, it’s a good idea to call us for an estimate. You can break down the cost of your plumbing quote into three categories:
Our plumbers typically work hourly, charging anywhere from $60 to $90 an hour for their services. How much you’ll pay will depend on the type of work and how long the job takes.
Parts and Materials
You’ll need to pay for any parts and materials used on your plumbing job. Our plumber will purchase these on your behalf and add the cost to your final bill. Make sure you talk to us about your budget so that we can find you the best option within your price range. How much you pay here can vary based on the materials you choose.
You might need to pay for a plumbing permit from the city. Or, you may require the help of one of our emergency plumbers and need to pay an after-hours call-out fee. Knowing about these fees ahead of time can help you better prepare for your final bill.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Sumter?
When you invest in your plumbing system, you’ll end up saving money in the long run.
For example, say a homeowner wants to replace the outdated plumbing fixtures in their bathroom in the Hampton Park Historic District. If they purchase high-quality fixtures to replace those old ones, they may end up paying a little more in the beginning. However, over time, they could end up saving money thanks to a reduction in repair and replacement costs. There is a good chance they won’t have to ever replace those fixtures again in their lifetime, so that will save them money. High-quality plumbing equipment is less likely to break or wear out, too, so they won’t be calling our plumbers as often for repairs.
Good plumbing equipment and preventative maintenance will also help you save on your monthly water bills. A leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water a year, and you’ll pay for every drop. Sumter’s water rates may be below average for South Carolina, but that doesn’t mean you want to pay money for nothing. By investing in quality equipment and reasonable maintenance, you can eliminate leaks and prevent them from starting in the future. That’s great news for your monthly water bills, and it’s good for the environment, too.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Sumter vs Hire a Plumber?
In general, if a plumbing issue is happening on your property, then it’s your responsibility to get it fixed. So you’ll want to call our plumbers for a water main break, sewage backup, pipe leaks, or any other plumbing issue that is happening within your property line. That’s even the case if you suspect the cause of your plumbing issue lies with the city’s water and sewer mains. Our plumbers can take a look and diagnose the problem for you and contact the appropriate parties from the City of Sumter if necessary.
There are some cases where you’ll want to contact the water department in Sumter, though. These include:
- Water meter leaks
- Sudden drops in water pressure at more than one house in your area
- Meter box and lid replacement
- Water main breaks
- Leaking fire hydrant
You can call the City of Sumter to report an issue or submit a report online. For emergencies, you should call (803) 436-2558. Someone is available on this line 24 hours a day. They’ll send a contractor out to inspect the issue and make the appropriate repairs.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Sumter?
You need to get a permit for most plumbing projects in your Sumter home. The only exceptions are:
- Repairing existing plumbing equipment, such as a clogged toilet, as long as the repairs don’t alter the existing plumbing fixtures or pipework
- Replacing existing plumbing equipment, such as updating a bathroom sink, as long as the replacement is the same capacity and uses the same pipework as the original piece
For everything else, you’ll probably need to apply to get a permit, including projects such as:
- Replacing or repairing water and sewer lines
- Adding new plumbing fixtures to your property
- Replacing water heaters
- Installing irrigation systems in your yard
You can download the plumbing permit form online. The application only takes a few minutes to complete, and you should get an answer quickly. The process helps ensure that all work done on homes in the Sumter area meets the South Carolina building code standards. If you don’t get a permit for the plumbing work done on your property, you may find it challenging to sell your home in the future. Most lenders will refuse to finance the property.
If you have questions about the permit process or are still unsure if your project requires a permit, contact the Sumter building permits department.