Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in El Paso?
- 2 How Does the Water in El Paso Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in El Paso?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in El Paso?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in El Paso vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in El Paso?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in El Paso?
El Paso, TX is a beautiful and sprawling city in far west Texas that is home to almost 700,000 residents. El Paso has a rich history with records of people settling there for hundreds of years before it officially became an American city in 1848, and it is known for its incredible Tex-Mex food scene, abundant sunshine, and gorgeous architecture. The history of the city makes it a popular tourist destination, especially for those from the north looking to avoid harsh winters, but residents of the city regularly struggle with plumbing issues, thanks to old piping and fixtures. As a result, the most common plumbing issues we see in El Paso include low water pressure, clogged drains, and leaks.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is a major nuisance, especially when it happens suddenly. Low water pressure makes it difficult to get hair products out of your hair and soap off your body in the shower, and it can make cleaning dishes by hand a real struggle. Plus, low water pressure doesn’t allow many of your appliances, like your dishwasher or washing machine, to work as efficiently.
This issue is often caused by mineral or sediment buildup in your pipes as a result of El Paso’s hard water. The minerals reduce your pipes’ diameter and prevent water from flowing through. If you have noticed a gradual drop in water pressure, it’s likely that mineral buildup is the cause. If, on the other hand, your household experiences a sudden drop in water pressure, it may be due to leaks within your plumbing system, or a problem with your water source. If you notice a quick change in water pressure, look for leaks and contact a plumber right away.
Older plumbing and fixtures common in El Paso homes can often lead to clogged drains, especially when objects are dumped down drains that don’t contain garbage disposal. In fact, the busiest days of the year for most plumbers includes the day after Thanksgiving due to many people improperly dumping food down drains. Drain clogs can also occur when hair, soap, and other objects accumulate over time and eventually form a clog that can lead to slow draining or complete stops. The minerals in El Paso’s hard water also contribute to clogs, as they limit the flow of water and debris through the pipes. Clogged drains can pose a hazard when standing water is allowed to sit for too long unattended, as mold and bacteria can thrive. Some clogged drains can be fixed within a few minutes with the use of a snake, but others may require complete plumbing rework to prevent the problems from happening again.
Outdated plumbing systems that are common in older El Paso homes are often fitted with pipes that are lined with zinc, and the zinc lining can often degrade over time. This allows leaks and other plumbing problems to occur. Leaks can also be caused by excessive water pressure, tree roots, or broken seals. We may be able to fix the leak by replacing a seal or adjusting your water pressure, but some leaks will require new pipes entirely. Leaks can lead to gallons and gallons of wasted water, as well as major property damage, so it’s best to address these problems as soon as possible.
How Does the Water in El Paso Affect Your Plumbing?
The water in El Paso is considered hard water, which means that it contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium. If you get your water from groundwater wells instead of city water, your water is also likely considered hard. These minerals tend to leech into a groundwater supply from soil and rocks, but they do not cause health issues when water containing them is consumed or used for bathing and cooking. Hard water does make soap and detergents harder to lather, and it can lead to mineral buildup in pipes, on fixtures, and within appliances. Hard water can also lead to dry skin and hair, and it can cause foggy dishware and stained laundry.
If you notice any of the above issues, it’s likely that you are dealing with a hard water problem. The simplest fix is to call our plumbers get a water softening system installed if you don’t already have one. Water softeners exchange hard water ions with softer ones, like sodium and potassium, allowing your plumbing system to work more efficiently for you and your family. If you do have a water softening system, it may not be working as well as it should, but our plumbers can inspect your unit to look for issues and repair any problems.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in El Paso?
The average cost for plumbing services in El Paso is around $350, though your final bill will depend on a variety of factors. Our plumbers typically charge hourly rates, usually around $100 per hour, but some easier jobs demand a flat rate. The three largest factors taken into account when costing out plumbing services include the size of the job, the timing of the services needed, and whether special equipment is needed.
Cost Factor: Size of the Job
If you hire our plumbers to help you with a simple clogged drain or a tiny leak, you can expect a quick and easy job that will result in a lower bill. If, on the other hand, you are having us change the layout of the plumbing in your home for a remodel, or you need entire stretches of pipes replaced, you’ll receive a higher bill. To many homeowners’ dismay, some jobs that appear small and straightforward are actually indicative of larger underlying problems that must be addressed that will end up costing more upfront.
Cost Factor: Timing of Job
Plumbing problems don’t have the courtesy of taking vacations or waiting until morning to arise when it’s more convenient to deal with them. Many people have woken up to the sound of a burst pipe or running water in their homes in the middle of the night, and this issue can cause tons of costly damage if it isn’t dealt with right away.
Unfortunately, our emergency plumbing services are more costly than plumbing services that occur during regular business hours, but paying a little extra to have us take care of a burst pipe in the middle of the night is likely cheaper than paying for all the property damage it can cause if it isn’t taken care of in a timely manner. Some plumbing work truly can wait until business days and hours, but when in doubt, it’s better to have your plumbing issue looked at by our professionals sooner rather than later.
Cost Factor: Special Equipment Needed
Our plumbers are knowledgeable and talented folks, but that doesn’t mean they can make plumbing miracles happen with little more than a simple wrench. Some plumbing jobs can be handled with tools we have readily available, but many larger jobs will require us to rent specialized or heavy-duty equipment to get the job done. This is especially true if you have sewage backups or piping issues underneath your yard, and we have to dig deep to fix the issue.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in El Paso?
Better plumbing can definitely save you money in the long run, even if it seems like a painful and costly expense upfront. Upgrading to newer fixtures and piping systems can help your home use water more efficiently, leading to much lower water bills each month. El Paso residents understand the value of conserving water, as the area doesn’t get much rainfall, and the City of El Paso has made great strides in reducing its residents’ water usage for decades.
Better plumbing can also save you money by reducing the amount of maintenance and repair costs you endure year after year. If your home frequently experiences clogs or leaks, getting your plumbing system replaced with an upgraded version can reduce or eliminate the need for plumbing repairs. Plus, getting a new plumbing system installed in your home can raise its value!
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in El Paso vs Hire a Plumber?
For most plumbing and water-related issues, you will be responsible for hiring our plumbers to come out and take a look at the issue. The only times you will need to contact the water utility company instead is if you have questions about your water bill, you need to start or stop your service, or you see water issues on public property. Examples of public water issues include leaking fire hydrants, sewage backing up into the street, or water main problems.
If you aren’t sure who to call about a certain issue or scenario, you can always hire our plumbers to investigate the issue further. If it ends up being a city problem, we can contact the right people to resolve the problem swiftly.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in El Paso?
The City of El Paso does not require a plumbing permit for basic plumbing jobs and repairs, as long as they don’t change the plumbing systems themselves in any way. This means that you won’t have to pay fees or fill out applications to get minor leaks or clogs fixed, though you will need to contact the city for a permit if you plan to remodel your home in a way that alters your current plumbing system.
Our plumbers will know which jobs require permits and which ones don’t, and they can help you fill out the paperwork to obtain permission from the city before beginning work. It may be tempting to sneak around and skip out on applying for a permit, but this can result in major fees and make it impossible to sell your home to other buyers in the future. Permits are designed to ensure that your home’s alterations are done properly to keep you and your family safe, so not obtaining one before work isn’t a smart move.
If you live in a historic district, or your home is considered a historic landmark, it’s important to check with the city before you undergo any type of construction, even if a building permit wouldn’t otherwise be required.