Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Round Rock?
- 2 How Does the Water in Round Rock Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Round Rock?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Round Rock?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Round Rock vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Round Rock?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Round Rock?
Located north of Austin in Central Texas, Round Rock has a lot of interesting history, including evidence of inhabitants from the Ice Age. Brushy Creek was also the site of low-water wagon crossings in the 19th century. Homes in Round Rock are susceptible to many common plumbing problems, but there are some unique problems due to the area’s climate.
- Clogged or Slow Drains: Unclogging drains is one of the most common reasons residents in Round Rock call our plumbers. Many drains and sewer systems in the area benefit from the use of a camera to clear blockages.
- Climate: While the temperature rarely drops below freezing, Round Rock will occasionally see problems associated with freezing weather and outdoor pipes. More commonly though are problems stemming from the hot and muggy weather. Round Rock is in the very drought prone Central Texas area, and as such is subject to drought restrictions and a mandatory schedule for watering lawns.
- Sprinkler Systems: Due to mandatory watering schedules and the need to conserve water, routinely performing backflow testing on sprinkler systems is important. In addition to saving money and water, it also prevents pest infestations and lawn diseases.
And no matter where your home is or what the climate is, some plumbing issues are universal. These can include leaking faucets and pipes, updating kitchen or bathroom fixtures, and fixing plumbing issues with water heaters or ice makers. Additionally, low water pressure is a common problem, particularly if your water is not treated with a water softener.
How Does the Water in Round Rock Affect Your Plumbing?
Round Rock’s main water supply comes from surface water that is taken from Lake Georgetown and is pumped to the city’s water treatment plant. Wells drilled into the Edwards Aquifer also provide some of the city’s water supply, but since groundwater supply is dependent on rainfall, this is not a very reliable source due to the amount of droughts in Central Texas. Groundwater is the least expensive source because it does not currently require any chlorination. Surface water requires treatment, and many homes, in addition to the treatment plant, utilize water softeners to remove calcium and magnesium from hard water. If there is too much calcium and magnesium in your water, mineral deposits can form in your pipes which will lower your water pressure.
Round Rock is also one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, which leads to the need for, not only new home developments, but also more sources of water. The city of Round Rock has partnered with the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) to develop a new regional water supply system to cope with the increases in population. The BCRUA is working with other communities to further develop and distribute water from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Round Rock?
Fixing plumbing issues can be expensive, particularly if problems are not addressed right away. On average, plumbing costs in Round Rock are between $85.00 and $619.00. These costs do not take into account inspection or permit fees or sales tax on materials. They also do not account for the installation of septic systems, sump pumps, or other new installations. A new septic system can cost over seven thousand dollars and a new sump pump is just under one thousand dollars. Beyond that, there are a few different factors that contribute to the cost of a plumbing repair job.
Cost Factor: Severity
The more extensive and severe a problem is, the more expensive it will be. This is, unfortunately, especially true if you attempt to repair plumbing, get over your head, and cause more problems. Additionally, for homes with plumbing systems in poor condition, costs can escalate as more problems are discovered during the project. A leaky faucet might uncover damaged pipes and mold, increasing the costs dramatically.
Cost Factor: Materials Needed
PVC plumbing is definitely the cheaper option for pipes. This is also usually the most common pipe that is used by our plumbers in Round Rock. If you do want, or need, copper, stainless steel, or ABS pipes, this will increase your cost. Other factors for materials cost include sales tax, which is currently 8.25%. Many larger installation projects, such as a bathtub installation, use a fixed fee that accounts for the cost of materials.
Cost Factor: Hourly Rate vs Fixed Cost
Some repairs will be priced with a fixed fee, such as toilet and bathtub installation or replacement. Other projects, such as sewer line installation, are priced based per linear foot. Our plumbers typically charge an hourly rate, which does not include the cost of supplies and materials. Some jobs call for a fixed fee, but these are usually smaller, less complex fixes. Either way, we’ll price them to save you money!
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Round Rock?
Absolutely! Most plumbing projects will be expensive initially, however in general they will save you money over time. Not only can you save money by addressing problems as soon as they happen, preventing more expensive, future repairs, you will likely also see savings on your utility bill. A leaky faucet, which may not seem like a big deal, can cost around $20 a year. Even though that does not seem like much, it adds up. That leaky faucet also wastes more than 3,600 gallons of water a year. And when you factor in that only 1% of water on the planet is suitable for human consumption, that leaky faucet seems more costly. Not to mention, an extra $20 in your bank account will earn more interest! And there are some other ways better plumbing saves you money.
- More efficient fixtures, like low flow toilets, conserve water, which will save you money on your utility bill. Additionally, in order to promote water conservation, the state of Texas has sales tax exemptions and property tax exemptions for energy efficient equipment that conserves water.
- The city of Round Rock also offers rebates on irrigation systems, swimming pool covers, and lawn aeration.
- Proactive plumbing also increases the value of your home. Energy efficient fixtures, fixing leaks and slow drains, and installing a dishwasher if you don’t already have one, increase the value of your home, and, by using rebates, you can decrease your property tax as well.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Round Rock vs Hire a Plumber?
More often than not, our plumbers can take care of most of your plumbing problems, but there are some instances where you need to call your utility company instead. Sometimes it is not something our plumber is able to do, but usually they are situations where it isn’t legal for someone other than the utility company to step in. If you are unsure, our plumbers can come check out the problem and determine if you need to call the utility company.
If you discover that your house seems to be completely out of water, it is most likely an issue with the city water supply. This means a call to your utility company. However, check with your neighbors first. If you talk to your neighbors, and they aren’t having problems, it is better to call our plumbers since it is likely specific to your home.
If you find evidence of a water leak, where the leak is coming from determines whether it is your responsibility or the utility company. A broken water main will be the responsibility of the utility company, but you are responsible for leaks on your property. Additionally, if you suspect the problem is a break in your water line, and you do not know where the shut-off valve is, or it does not work, our plumbers are a good first call, but you may ultimately need to contact your utility company depending on where the break is.
One situation that always requires a call to your utility company is if you notice a leak at your neighbor’s home when they do not appear to be home. Do not shut your neighbor’s water off yourself. It is actually illegal to turn someone else’s water off, the utility company can come out to evaluate and turn off the water if necessary. And if you need an adjustment on your bill, you will need to call your utility company.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Round Rock?
Repairing plumbing without our plumbers’ assistance can be tempting in order to save money and build your plumbing confidence. But you may not realize that for some plumbing jobs, even something that seems like it is a DIY project, can become complicated quickly, plus you might need a permit from the city. In general, you do not need a permit for fixing, replacing, or maintaining an existing appliance or parts already in place, or if you are replacing plumbing parts, like a toilet seat, that does not require water. Here are some situations where the City of Round Rock does require a permit.
- Adding or remodeling a residential swimming pool.
- If you need to cap off pipes from fixtures that have been removed, or you are replacing or repairing the piping system
- Installation of lawn sprinkler systems, or backflow prevention assemblies for lawn sprinkler systems
- Anything involving sewer lines, cesspools, and septic systems (this does not generally include septic system cleaning, however that should be done by a licensed professional)
- Anything involving sump pumps, including installation or repair
- If you are replacing a metallic (copper or galvanized steel) system with a non-metallic system (plastic or CVPC), not only will you need a plumbing permit, you may also need an electric permit, since you will likely need to install a new grounding electrode
If you are not sure if your project requires a permit, you can contact Round Rock’s Permit Techs. For most projects, if you need to obtain a permit from the city, it is best to call our plumbers. We can easily obtain permits from the city. Round Rock offers on-the-spot permits for many plumbing jobs that do not require any plan review beforehand. The exception to that is sprinkler installation, where drawings with an irrigators seal of approval are required.