Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Lynchburg?
- 2 How Does the Water in Lynchburg Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Lynchburg?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Lynchburg?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Lynchburg Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Lynchburg?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Lynchburg?
From art-deco and industrial-era architecture to the James River, which borders the city, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a great view in Lynchburg. Known as the “City of Seven Hills”, Lynchburg is the home to rolling hills that weave throughout the city’s landscape, creating a gorgeous backdrop. Each of the seven primary hills has a fascinating history behind its name. For example, Garland Hill is named for the Garland family that has lived here for over 100 years, while Diamond Hill is named for the lots on the turnpike that was triangular-shaped.
Lynchburg was also one of the first cities in Virginia to have a public water system. The city, which had a system of wooden pipes, brought in an engineer from Philadelphia in the 1820s to improve Lynchburg’s water system. While the city no longer relies on wood pipes, old pipes continue to haul water beneath the city’s streets.
Some historic neighborhoods such as Garland Hill, Pierce Street Renaissance, and Rivermont haven’t had plumbing upgrades in years. That means that eventually, something’s inevitably going to break down. Some of the most common plumbing problems homeowners encounter due to the outdated plumbing in Lynchburg include:
- Clogged plumbing, drains, and fixtures
- Leaky pipes
- Decreased water pressure
- Broken water lines and sewage lines
- Dripping faucets
- Frozen or burst plumbing
These plumbing issues need to be addressed quickly, both for the good of your plumbing system and your home’s comfort. Minor plumbing issues, if left unresolved, can escalate, resulting in further damage to your home and expensive repairs.
How Does the Water in Lynchburg Affect Your Plumbing?
Lynchburg has good water quality for plumbing, with an average water hardness of 48 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg, which is considered soft. The problem comes in if you’re using well water. As the water travels through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, making your water hard.
While drinking hard water has no known adverse health effect, it is rough on your plumbing. The minerals in hard water leave stains in sinks and tubs and build up inside your appliances, fixtures, and pipes over time. This can wreak havoc on your plumbing, causing clogs, and reduced water flow. Worst of all, it can cause corrosion in your water heater, ultimately causing it to fail. Overall, hard water can result in less efficient plumbing and more repairs over time.
White scale buildup on plumbing fixtures such as faucets, sinks, and showerheads is often a good indicator of the presence of hard water. You can also test for hard water by shaking up a small amount of dish soap and water in a closed container. If the solution fails to produce a lot of suds, your water is likely hard. The best way to protect your plumbing system is to use Lynchburg’s municipal water supply since the water is soft. But if that isn’t possible, having our plumbers install a water softener in your home is your best bet.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Lynchburg?
When something goes wrong with your plumbing system, your first thought may be, ”Oh no, is this repair going to cost me thousands of dollars?” However, there’s no need to worry since plumbing prices in Lynchburg vary depending on the service you need (unclogging a drain, installing new pipes, fixing a pipe, etc.). The average plumbing repair in Lynchburg tends to be about $329, but our plumbers charge between $100 and $900 on average. Additionally, costs for emergency repairs are significantly higher, so you can expect to pay a premium rate if you call us for a plumbing service off-hours than if you make an appointment during regular business hours.
To get a more accurate idea of how much you might be required to pay, our plumber will need to scope out the work, calculate the cost of parts, and roll it together with other fees to give you an estimate for the job. Some factors that go into plumbing pricing include:
The cost of materials can significantly affect your plumbing costs. If you only need a simple plumbing repair like unclogging your sink, it will cost you less because no materials are required. However, if your pipes burst and they need to be replaced, you’ll have to pay for the labor as well as the new replacement parts. The quality of those materials will also affect the final cost since prices vary according to quality. For example, it will be less expensive to replace your pipes with PEX piping than copper piping because it costs less than half the price of copper and installs much faster.
Pipe Location and Permits
The location of your pipes will also impact costs, especially if we need to access an underground sewer pipe or the city’s main line. Hard-to-access pipes or underground pipes will cost more to replace or repair.
If there are obstacles such as a tree, landscaping, or concrete to dig through and remove to install new plumbing, your plumbing costs will be higher because the project will need more time, effort, and manpower. And if the pipes in your sewer line extend under a city street, you’ll end up paying more because of the equipment and manpower needed to access the pipes underneath the asphalt and permits required to close off the street to traffic.
The cost of permits can also add to your plumbing costs. Permits are required for small repairs, installation, or replacement of plumbing fixtures in Lynchburg. You may also be required to upgrade other aspects of your home when you replace the plumbing to bring them up to current code standards.
Complexity of the Work You Need
Due to the variations in how long a repair takes and how challenging it is, different repairs have widely different prices. Something simple like busting a clog in a drain could be completed in under an hour by our master plumbers and will cost you much less than a major repair, such as replacing your home’s piping, which may take up to 10 days.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Lynchburg?
Yes! Better plumbing will save you a lot of money. Plumbing problems can cost you a lot of money if you don’t get them fixed quickly. A leak in the pipes doesn’t cost a lot to get fixed, but if you don’t take care of the problem promptly, it can easily lead to thousands of dollars in water damage and disrupt your life for weeks. Here are a few ways you can save money with better plumbing on your Lynchburg home.
1. Schedule Preventive Maintenance
The best way to reduce your average monthly plumbing costs in Lynchburg is to prevent plumbing problems altogether. Many problems with your plumbing can sneak up on you, and a thorough inspection is the key to catching minor plumbing problems before growing into an expensive disaster for you. Paying for routine leak detection in your plumbing system or having your sewer line scoped annually will cost you, but not nearly as much as a plumbing emergency. Scheduling regular plumbing inspections with us could result in untold savings:
- Unclogging and cleaning drains will prevent costly backups that may need hydro-jetting or augering in the future.
- A sewer line inspection may only set you back about a hundred dollars, but it can save you thousands if you find and resolve an issue in its early stages.
- Fixing plumbing leaks can protect your home from water damage, prevent a future plumbing failure, and save you tons on your utility bill.
- Fixing flow issues with your plumbing fixtures, such as showers, toilets, and sinks, can reduce your monthly water bill, saving you hundreds of dollars annually.
2. Switch to Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
Water conservation should be a priority for every Lynchburg resident. Severe drought conditions in Virginia caused a State of Emergency to be declared in 2002, and all Virginia residents were not allowed to fill their swimming pools, water their lawns, or wash their vehicles. One of the best ways to conserve water is by installing low-flow plumbing fixtures in your home. These fixtures include showerheads, faucets, and toilets and can reduce water usage by over 50%. Low-flow toilets alone can save you more than $140 per year in water costs and up to $2,900 during the fixture’s lifetime.
3. Install Tankless Water Heaters
If you have ever run out of hot water while taking a shower, you know that having a limited hot water supply is no fun. Luckily, with tankless water heaters, you never have to worry about this. Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters have a 20-year lifespan and produce hot water on demand, so there’s no need for a storage tank. This not only saves on space, but you also don’t have to worry about leaks. On-demand units eliminate energy losses associated with keeping a full water tank hot, saving you hundreds of dollars on your energy bill. Savings can stretch to 15% annually.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Lynchburg Vs Hire a Plumber?
Plumbing issues in Lynchburg are inevitable, but knowing who to call between your utility company and our plumbers can be challenging. Although we can’t speak for every specific situation you may encounter, here are a few tips to help you decide.
- Increase in your water bill: If your water bill suddenly increases without an apparent reason, you may have a leak in the pipes leading to the city’s water mains. In this case, calling our plumbers is the best course of action since pipes located on your property are generally your responsibility. You should also call us if there is water leaking inside your home.
- There’s a puddle in your driveway: If there’s a puddle in your driveway and you suspect the water is coming from underground pipes, it could be either your house lines or the water utility company’s lines. The easiest way to determine who to call is to shut off all the water in your house and check the meter. If it’s still turning, the leak is most likely on your side, and you should us. If the meter is not turning, the leak is on the water company’s lines. Call and report it to your water utility company.
- When your entire home’s water goes out, the utility company may be experiencing outages in your area. Call Lynchburg Water Resources, as they can give you information on the complete affected area and an estimate of when water will be restored.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Lynchburg?
Permits protect the homeowner or commercial property owner against substandard work and create a public record that the plumbing services were completed to local code requirements and inspected. They’re specific to one project and are often accompanied by official inspections. Instances when you need plumbing permits in Lynchburg include:
- Plumbing installations
- Water systems
- Sewer installations or replacement
- Water heater replacement
- Moving your existing plumbing to a different location
- Drain line replacements
Though you could look up and obtain all the permits you’ll need yourself, it’s better to leave this task to our professional plumbers as they are always up-to-date with the plumbing permits required in Lynchburg and can take care of the technical stuff for you.