Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Memphis?
- 2 How Does the Water in Memphis Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Memphis?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Memphis?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Memphis Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Memphis?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Memphis?
There are many attractions in Memphis with great historical value and landmarks of some of the most incredible music ever made. From the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Graceland, and Sun Studio (where residents can feel connected to the greatest musicians ever) to the 5,200 acres of nature and parks in the areas – we all know that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Memphis, TN.
Tennessee is also one of the few states with cities where housing is affordable despite the high population. This means that you can enjoy the city and its attractions every day, without the hassle of paying more than you can afford, particularly in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and of course, Memphis. The reason for this is that houses are a little older and taxes run a little lower.
Unfortunately, when you have an older home (and in some areas, antique), you will also have plumbing issues. Here in Memphis, the most common issues you’ll run into are the following:
Leaking faucets and/or pipes
Leaking faucets and pipes are more common than you may think. Most, if not all, homes will experience it at some point. The seriousness of a leak can range from little to no urgency, to a bigger problem. Either way, the repair/replacement should be taken care of right away, to ensure it isn’t (or won’t lead to) a bigger problem and your small plumbing problem doesn’t spike your utility bill.
With so many older and even historical homes in Memphis, it’s more common than ever for plumbing leaks to happen, causing neglect to lead to more serious expenses.
Clogged sinks, pipes, drains, etc.
Another common plumbing occurrence is clogged sinks, pipes, drains, and more. This issue can be masked by leaking and lead to a bigger expense than you may be ready for. The pressure on your pipelines due to a clog shows up in the form of a leak first and then can burst or crack your pipe, leading to a more major repair.
To prevent any major problems with your plumbing, keep an eye out for signs of bubbling (in toilets, sinks, showers, etc.), water backups, slow draining, unexpected puddles of water, and more.
Lead plumbing and service lines
The Shelby County mayor reveals that because of the several large aquifers beneath the Mississippi River and their natural filtration process, Memphis is considered one of the best cities for water quality. However, there is an old database that was reported by Memphis Light, Gas, and Water that reveals areas where old lead service lines may be.
With this being said, MLGW found that there were 36,483 lead service lines installed in the early 1900s (common back then) and are actively investigating the plumbing of homes built before 1940 to ensure plumbing is replaced. However, they do note that lead piping doesn’t mean you automatically have lead in your water, just that it can happen and should be immediately replaced.
How Does the Water in Memphis Affect Your Plumbing?
Unfortunately, no water is ever fully cleared of contaminants. Memphis takes extensive measures to ensure it is as safe as possible, but there aren’t any established measures for removing all contaminants, as seen in the EWG’s Memphis Water Quality report. What this means for your plumbing is that it can still be vulnerable to mineral buildup and blockage.
While there are great ways to filter out your water for drinking, there aren’t similar ways to prevent the water from affecting your plumbing. The only preventative measure you can take to keep your plumbing running at its best is to keep a lookout for any signs of deterioration, lowered performance, and quality. Early detection is always a more efficient preventative.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Memphis?
Plumbing costs in Memphis can vary depending on cost factors associated with the service you need to be done. For instance, more difficult jobs will take more time and cost more. Any inspections that may be needed if you’re not particularly sure of the plumbing issue you’re having might add to the cost as well.
With that being said, the average cost of standard plumbing in Memphis is around $365, with a minimum rate of $85 for smaller jobs and an average high rate of $650 for bigger (and typically more difficult) jobs.
Plumbing Service Required
Depending on the damage done to your plumbing, the issue in question, and how long the problem has gone on unresolved, the plumbing service you require can be much more than the Memphis average or, in some cases, much less. For instance, a gas line installation may only cost you around $50, faucet and fixture repairs/replacements can cost a couple of hundred dollars, but a bathtub or septic system installation will cost you in the upper thousands.
In this case, the best thing you can do is consider how big of a problem your plumbing job is and call us for an estimate.
We typically charge flat rates for smaller plumbing repairs with little risk of unexpected findings. Larger jobs may vary quite a bit in price because we need to charge an hourly rate when we can’t accurately estimate the timeline for the repair.
Many homeowners forget to consider the inspection fees required for plumbing jobs that don’t have an obvious problem/solution at hand. For instance, you may have a leaking pipe, but that might not be the only problem. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes much bigger than that, and only an inspection can confirm or say otherwise.
You may be looking at a few hundred more in final costs in these cases, but the real number depends on the inspection you need.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Memphis?
Many homeowners want to believe they’re doing themselves a favor when they wait to fix a leak or resolve a drainage problem. After all, would it hurt to wait another two or more months to fix the problem? Believe it or not, it would hurt a lot.
Better plumbing in Memphis can save you so much more in the long run than you think. You will save money on the three following areas, at least:
- Utility bill: While your leak may seem like a big deal right now, it could be the reason your water bill is higher than usual (much more expensive over a long period). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can save as much as 10% on your water bill if you keep up with leak repairs and help reduce the amount of water wasted a year (10,000 gallons with 10% of homes contributing to 90 gallons of wasted water per day).
- Water damage and mold/mildew buildup: It’s true, if it’s out of sight and out of mind, then it’s much harder to remember to take care of. The same goes for leaks, but you must resolve the problem as soon as you identify it, to prevent water damage, mold, mildew, and other common problems that can arise. This alone could save you thousands in damage over time.
- Replacements and repairs: Common replacements and repairs are expected and even inevitable in the old homes of our wonderful Memphis city. However, you shouldn’t have to fully replace your piping system just yet (if built after 1940), if you keep up with regular maintenance measures. If you don’t keep up, though, you are looking at $3,000 to $5,000+ in repiping costs.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Memphis Vs Hire a Plumber?
When it comes to who to call to resolve your plumbing problem, it will be our expert plumbers in most cases. Think of it this way: If the problem is yours and yours alone (neighbors aren’t complaining of the same problem), then chances are you need to hire us. On the other hand, if it seems more like a city problem because other homeowners in your area are having the same plumbing problem, then contacting your water utility company is essential.
However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be your water company’s problem, just because you’re the only one experiencing it. Our plumbers will know the difference and advise you where to go and what to do next. In the meantime, MLGW provides residents with a Reading Your Meter guide and seasonal tips for keeping utility costs low.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Memphis?
According to the Memphis and Shelby County plumbing code, any resident looking to receive a plumbing service must obtain a permit before the job is taken care of. The only exception to this rule is if the plumbing service is an emergency and needs to be addressed right away, then you may apply on the next business day, following the service.
Inspections are required before approval (given it’s not an emergency) and can determine the fate of your service. The code states that upon inspection, the Building Official may revoke a permit if necessary, if they feel your service is in violation of or not aligned with technical codes or local ordinances put in place in Memphis and Shelby County.