Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Virginia Beach?
- 2 How Does the Water in Virginia Beach Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Virginia Beach?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Virginia Beach?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Virginia Beach Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Virginia Beach?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Virginia Beach?
Just because Virginia Beach water is of high quality, does not mean that plumbing issues don’t arise. Plumbing issues are universal, especially in older homes and businesses. Some of the more common plumbing issues seen in our area include:
Many things can cause a leaky indoor pipe. Continual clogs, pipe corrosion, or cracked pipes or seals are just a few. Excessive water pressure is another issue, as is the incorrect laying of the pipe when originally installed. The longer a pipe leaks, the worse it can get, and the more damage it can cause to your home.
Leaks Caused by Frozen Pipes
While we don’t experience a lot of nights below freezing in Virginia Beach, we have had some pretty cold weather streaks. Freezing temperatures can cause outdoor plumbing problems such as pipes for hose bibs. If such freezing weather is anticipated, it is best to drain outdoor pipes, shut off the valves, and wrap them to avoid breakage due to freezing temps.
There are a variety of reasons why a toilet will continuously run. Worn-out flapper seals or flush valves are the worst offenders. Other problems include improperly sized flappers and chains, corroded handles, water floats that are too high, or refill tubes that are too long.
There are many reasons for a clogged drain and some of them can be health hazards as well as plumbing problems. A solo clogged drain can be caused by the buildup of hair, soap, shaving cream, and more in the bathroom sink or shower. A clogged drain in the kitchen can be caused by grease, oil, coffee grounds, and food products.
Multiple clogged drains are signs of a bigger problem. This means there is a problem with the main sewer line. Another indication of a sewage problem is a foul smell coming from the bathroom sink, bath, or shower.
Continual Low Water Pressure
Some homes suffer low water pressure when water is being utilized in various places all at one time. This is not uncommon. But, if the water pressure worsens or happens when simply taking a shower, or the washing machine is slow to fill, these are indications of a plumbing problem. Low water pressure can be caused by hidden water leaks in the walls or under the house, or in the mainline from the city water supply into your home.
When your water doesn’t heat up properly, it could be a sign of a problem within the water heater or the connection of electricity, or the gas line used to create the heat. Causes can include corrosion within the water heater itself or the pipes, or failure of the heating element. Improper installation can be yet another problem.
How Does the Water in Virginia Beach Affect Your Plumbing?
As previously mentioned, Virginia Beach has good water that is safe to drink. It is also not hard, which is a good thing. Hard water is associated with the number of mineral deposits found in the water. It can be hard on pipes and plumbing fixtures. Another plus for living here is that Virginia Beach is spared the problems that hard water can cause on plumbing.
Virginia Beach’s water measures 58 ppm (parts per million of mineral deposits in the water). Norfolk’s water has a hardness level of 47 ppm. Anything under 60 ppm is considered soft water. On the flip side, Roanoke’s water measures 143 ppm, which is hard.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Virginia Beach?
From running toilets to stopped-up sewer lines, our professional plumbers are equipped and trained to properly repair the plumbing problems in your home. For general plumbing work, labor charges generally run between $60-$65 per hour. More complex plumbing work can cost more. Most plumbing repairs cost between $175 and $480. Having to dig up a major sewer or pipeline will add to the cost. Some factors that influence plumbing costs include:
Depth of the Problem
Common sense dictates that a simple plumbing issue is less time-consuming and less expensive to repair than a more advanced plumbing problem. Repairs that are easily accessible and do not require a lot of replacement materials are going to cost a lot less than issues that take further exploration to flush out. Analyzing why a toilet is continually running is easily accessible. The cost of a new flapper or handle is inexpensive. You can usually expect this to be a minimal-expense plumbing call.
That sewer line backup problem can cost a lot more. Our plumber will run a camera down the line to see where the blockage is located. It may or may not be able to locate the source of the problem, though. Digging up dirt may be required to reach the pipeline. If any part of that line needs to be replaced, the materials could be expensive and the job would be labor-intensive. All of this could add up to a pretty large, but necessary, expense.
Additional Equipment and Labor
If digging up a pipeline or going through the foundation of a home to get to a pipeline is required to diagnose and repair a problem, either will require the use of additional equipment such as a trencher or other earthmoving tool, or tunneling equipment. Running these tools is expensive. Additional staff may be needed to work the equipment and/or more than one pair of hands may be necessary, which increases labor costs.
Note that before that work begins, according to Virginia’s Miss Utility Law, utility services must be called 48 hours prior to excavation. This is so utility services can map out any other pipelines or underground electrical lines on your property, in order to avoid hitting them when digging.
Urgency of the Problem
If you have been watching a plumbing problem evolve, it is especially important to have it taken care of. However, when you call our plumbers, you generally can request a regular service call which may be scheduled for that day or the next. But, if you experience a busted pipe or have sewage backing up into your shower and/or tub, you need our services right away. This is why many plumbers offer emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Emergency calls will cost more, especially when they occur during off-hours. Our plumbers can rearrange their schedule for a regular hour emergency, but you may end up paying a bit more as well.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Virginia Beach?
While some plumbing repair work can be expensive, having that work done will, no doubt, save you money in the long run. For example, a running toilet can waste upwards of 200 gallons per day. The average household wastes approximately 10,000 gallons in a year. That is equal to about 270 loads of laundry, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Water costs the average U.S. family $1,100 per year. Here in Virginia Beach, that could be lower. Keeping your household plumbing in proper working order will help keep the cost down. Regular inspections and routine maintenance are the best defense against plumbing problems. Just how often those should be done is a good thing to discuss with our experts. Having a diagnostic look at your mainline is a good place to start. Routine snaking or auguring of your main line from the house is also good preventative maintenance.
In addition, replacing showerheads and faucets with new low-flow fixtures and equipment will also help alleviate water costs.
The State of Virginia offers sales tax incentives for upgrading to energy-efficient water heaters, washing machines, and toilets certified by Energy Star and WaterSense. For three days in August each year, the state offers a tax-free holiday in which it will waive the sales tax on the purchase of these items.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Virginia Beach Vs Hire a Plumber?
Any plumbing issues on your property are your responsibility. Reasons for calling our plumbers include:
- Replacing broken fixtures inside or outside
- Repairing visual leaks
- Repairing a running toilet
- Repairing or replacing a water heater
- Unclogging a drain
- Checking on water issues causing unusual taste, odor, or discoloration
Our qualified and experienced plumbers should be able to handle these plumbing problems and more.
Some of the above issues could be a city utility issue, which our plumber can discern. If the problem is from the main water line or sewer line off of your property, that is the city’s issue to deal with. Whether you spot a leak leading up to or away from your property or our plumber finds that the cause of a problem stems from the city’s infrastructure, you should contact the Virginia Beach Public Utilities’ office.
If you want to try and figure out where a water problem lies before you call us, try turning off your water shutoff valve. If your water meter continues to run, the problem is probably on your property and you should go ahead and call our experts. But if the water meter stops, the problem is probably from the city’s line, and you should call the city’s public utilities’ office.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Virginia Beach?
Simple plumbing repairs such as replacing a faucet or clearing a clogged drain are routine; for more advanced issues or remodeling, a city permit may be required. According to the City of Virginia Beach, the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) is responsible for all regulations for plumbing and associated utility work for on-site water and sewer lines and their connections. Plans need to be approved before permits are given for work to begin. A permit and inspections are required by the USBC to ensure the work is done properly with approved materials.