Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in McKinney?
- 2 How Does the Water in McKinney Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in McKinney?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in McKinney?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in McKinney vs. Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in McKinney?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in McKinney?
Plumbing issues in McKinney often range from leaks to blocked pipes and faulty fixtures. Though there are issues that come up throughout the year, seasonal problems are also common, such as frozen pipes. Older homes also present unique plumbing problems. But the most common issues we have handled in McKinney include:
Leaky fixtures are pretty common in McKinney. Our repairs range from fixing showerheads and faucets, as well as drippy toilets. Faucet issues are often due to worn-out washers, while toilets leak mainly due to loose flappers. In older homes, faucets and showerheads may also leak due to corrosion.
Leaky plumbing fixtures are not just common in McKinney but nationwide as well. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10% of homes waste 90 water gallons per day through leaks.
Slow and Blocked Drains
Clogged sink and bathroom drains are another common problem we often receive calls for. In most cases, the causes are the usual ones – hair and soap residuals in bathrooms, food deposits in the kitchen, etc. Sometimes toilets also block when air fresheners get flushed accidentally.
Water Heater Issues
Water heater issues are most common in homes with tank-type heaters. Over time, limescale from McKinney’s hard water builds up in the tanks. The buildup acts as an insulator, which then reduces the heater’s efficiency and increases energy consumption.
Sometimes there are issues of leakage, especially in older heaters. The chemicals in the water corrode them, resulting in pinhole leaks. Usually, tank water heaters have a life of about ten years. Though most replacements should occur within this time frame, sometimes a heater may not come close to the ten-year mark, either due to the above issues or lack of regular maintenance.
Low Water Pressure
We also get calls for low water pressure, especially in older McKinney homes. In most cases, our diagnosis points to two issues – either leaky hidden pipes or clogged lines. Different problems can cause leaky pipes – tree invasion in underground pipes, corroded copper pipes, loose joints and burst pipes from constant high water pressure force, and so forth. On the other hand, debris can clog lines from the water source or limescale buildup.
Unless a homeowner has installed a pressure-reducing valve, the water pressure should mainly range between 60psi and 70psi (pounds per square inch). Lower water pressure often indicates the presence of any of the above two issues.
Tree Root Invasion
We often encounter this problem in older homes where the tree roots have spread out, searching for water. Often, they dislodge the pipes from their position, sometimes loosening the joints or causing cracks. This results in water leaks or worse problems like foundation damage.
How Does the Water in McKinney Affect Your Plumbing?
According to the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), the region’s water is mainly hard. Calcium and magnesium minerals cause water hardness. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) determines water hardness based on the calcium carbonate quantity per liter. The higher the level of calcium carbonate present, the hard the water is.
Generally, hard water wreaks havoc on the plumbing system. Higher levels of chemicals corrode the pipes and other fixtures. With time, pinholes develop on the plumbing materials, resulting in water leaks.
The minerals also build-up, resulting in layers of limescale. The limescale clogs the pipes and reduces the water pressure. When the pressure from the source is too high, the pipes may burst from increased resistance.
On top of corroding showerheads, the water can also block the nozzles. Water heaters also sustain more damage as limescale buildup decreases their efficiency. You may also experience drain clogs quite often due to soap scum buildup.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in McKinney?
Our plumbers will charge you based on the task involved, materials used, and the job’s complexity. Generally, they charge hourly rates with a minimum flat rate, and their quotes often include materials unless you want to source them separately.
Cost Factor: Task Involved
The quote you get depends on the task at hand. For example, repiping a 1,500 sq. ft home with PEX can cost you around $4,500 on average. Bathtub installation costs around $1,900, while a less involving job such as unblocking a drain would average $130.
If you want gas line installation, the charge will average $33 per linear foot, and a much bigger project like septic tank installation would cost about $7,000 for a three-bedroom house. Sewer line cleaning can cost about $200, while installing a water softener would be about $1,100.
Notable is that hiring our plumbers in McKinney is way cheaper than in most parts of the nation. For instance, the national average for unblocking a drain is about $220. Sewer line cleaning costs around $300, while water softener installation goes for about $2,000.
Cost Factor: Labor Costs
Labor affects plumbing costs in two ways – time spent and expertise required. As mentioned, our plumbers charge hourly rates, with a flat rate as a minimum fee. Again, if a task requires the expertise of one of our specialists, you will end up paying more.
Cost Factor: Job Complexity
Another common cost factor is the job’s complexity. Complex jobs require the right expertise to guarantee better results. For instance, replacing the waterline may be less complicated than replacing a sewer line. In the same way, repairing pipes below the foundation is in every way complex than carrying the same task on your yard. In short, you should expect to pay more depending on how complex the job is.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in McKinney?
Better plumbing may mean quality materials and high expertise, which do not in any way equate to low costs. Sometimes, smart plumbing can save money without heavy initial outlay, like using PEX pipes instead of copper. But these may be just short-term savings, as PEX pipes have a shorter life than copper.
In most cases, better plumbing will involve higher initial costs but massive savings in the long run. However, there are a few cases where smart plumbing can save you money both in the present and future, as we will see shortly.
Installing Water-Efficient Fixtures
One smart way of fixing your costs is by replacing your old fixtures with water-efficient models. The federal requirement for plumbing fixtures is to cut down water consumption by 30%, compared to the traditional fixtures. WaterSense, a program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), further promotes water conservation. They encourage manufacturers to make products that save water by a further 20% in exchange for WaterSense certification.
Installing water-efficient fixtures, especially WaterSense ones – showerheads, faucets, high-efficiency toilets (HET), etc., can lead to massive savings in water bills over the long run.
Upgrading Your Water Heater
If you have a tank-type water heater, you can save money by installing a tank-less (on-demand) one instead. Tank-less heaters generate water on demand, meaning you don’t have to warm an entire tank. As there’s no storage, water is heated as it passes through the heater. Generally, on-demand heaters have fewer issues than tank-type ones. As such, they have a longer life span stretching to about 20 years, unlike tank heaters, which require replacement after ten years.
Choosing a Convenient Plumbing Layout
The proper plumbing layout comes in handy during repiping and remodeling. It can help you save a lot in material costs. Designing amenities that require plumbing like the kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms, close to each other or on the same level can lead to significant savings in story houses. The reason is that most of them can share supply and drain lines.
In case you’re using a tank heater, reducing the distance the water has to travel not only leads to the use of lesser materials but minimizes heat loss, which consequently saves energy costs.
Preventing Drain Clogs
Some drain clogs are preventable. Sometimes, items can drop into the drains unintentionally, leading to unnecessary problems. However, you can arrest such issues by installing mesh screens or filters and consequently cut back drain unclogging expenses.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in McKinney vs. Hire a Plumber?
If you often get confused about whom to call whenever specific water issues arise, here are some distinctions to help clear things out.
When to Call the Water Utility Company
- If there’s no water running in your home.
- If there’s a leakage on their side of the meter.
- If you have low water pressure as a result of a leaky pipe on the street.
When to Hire a Plumber
- If you discover a water puddle in your yard and the leaky pipe is on your side of the meter.
- If your meter continues running even after closing all the water outlets.
- If there’s low pressure and you suspect it could be due to a leaking or clogged pipe.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in McKinney?
Plumbing installations and remodels in McKinney require a permit. Usually, the McKinney government will charge you a fee for each fixture installed, with the average price per fixture being around $2.5. A standard installation will see you pay for several fixtures, but even when you’re installing just a few items, there’s a standard minimum fee per permit of $25.
You don’t need a permit for minor repairs and replacements unless they involve altering the original plan. For instance, if you’re replacing an outdoor sink and wish to relocate it to a more convenient location, you will need a permit for the new pipe installation. If you’re not sure whether a task violates the McKinney plumbing regulations, you can always seek the help of our professional plumbers who understand the codes.