Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Bellingham?
- 2 How Does the Water In Bellingham Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Bellingham?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Bellingham?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Bellingham Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Bellingham?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Bellingham?
Welcome to Bellingham, WA! Much of the allure for Bellingham is centered around the outdoors. There is hiking, bicycling, golfing, fishing, snow sports, and bird watching. Local farmers’ markets are perfect for picking up ingredients for your favorite dinner unless you’d rather go out to eat at some of the many local restaurants. If you want something a little more fast-paced, you can visit one of the casinos. When it’s time to relax, just schedule an appointment with one of the local spas.
Water plays a huge role in everything that happens in Bellingham. Plumbing is one of the biggest factors of all, and there are a few things that can cause issues.
Stormwater is a big concern for the City of Bellingham. Much of the water used here comes from lakes, streams, and Bellingham Bay. Things like fertilizer, soap, pesticides, oil, and even bacteria from pet waste can become a huge issue when it is swept into the local water supply by rain. As such, we get many requests for whole-home filtration systems.
There are some substances that the human body can’t handle, and lead is one of them. The EPA states that no amount of lead in the drinking water is acceptable. It can cause some severe health problems in humans, especially for young children. Small children who are exposed to lead can begin to develop behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slow growth, hearing problems, and anemia. Reduce growth of the fetus and premature birth may affect pregnant women who consume water with lead.
But how is lead getting in the water? As it turns out, it’s coming in through your plumbing. Before we were aware of the harmful side effects, it was common to manufacture pipes that contained lead. It wasn’t an issue when the pipes were new, but as water begins to corrode the pipes, the lead begins to erode into the water you drink and cook with. Any houses built before 1986 could be at risk of being constructed with lead pipes so aging homes are the main concern. We get many calls to replace piping that could contain lead or lead-based solder.
Bellingham has hard water, which means minerals can accumulate on the insides of your pipes, plumbing fixtures, and other equipment. It can promote clogging, slow drains, and low water pressure, and it can limit the life span of your fixtures, appliances, and water heater. We get many calls in the area to install water softeners and to correct leaks and other issues associated with water hardness.
How Does the Water In Bellingham Affect Your Plumbing?
For the most part, the water in Bellingham is very clean. According to the latest water quality report released by the City of Bellingham, the city more than exceeds the federal and state regulations for water. For example, there were no Escherichia coli found in the water. This is a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses, and pneumonia. The City of Bellingham does frequent tests for this, as well as many other types of bacteria, and hasn’t found any.
The plumbing can be affected by the iron, magnesium, and calcium in the water, however. While it’s hard to say that Bellingham has hard water, these minerals have been known to build up in pipes, and cause leaks, high water pressure, and other plumbing issues. If you’re not sure if you have hard water, run a load of clear glasses through the dishwasher. If they come out looking filmy or cloudy, then you likely have hard water. A water softener can go a long way towards helping clear this problem up. As these are minerals humans naturally need and sometimes fail to get in their diet, this is actually a good thing if it’s not clogging up your pipes.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Bellingham?
Figuring out how much a plumbing job will cost is no easy task. There are lots of factors to take into consideration such as age, the amount of work, and the materials required.
Aging pipes that were installed before 1986 should be replaced. You’ll have to tear out parts of the wall, remove the old plumbing, install the new, and then repair the wall. This means a lot of work. Timing it when you’re doing a renovation can help cover some of the cost because you’re doing new work anyway.
Amount of Work
More work means more money. There’s no real way around that. A running toilet is a lot easier to fix than a busted pipe that requires digging up part of your lawn. Some jobs that seem straightforward can quickly morph into a job that requires long hours, which will also increase the price. Our plumbers typically charge by the hour, which will give you a better idea of how much the final cost will be. If it’s something they can fix quickly, even if the job is a little more difficult, it will cost less than a job that started with a tiny leak and turned out to be a symptom of bigger problems hiding behind the walls.
Nothing in life comes free, and plumbing parts are no exception. In many cases, our plumber may already have the required parts with them. If they don’t, they’ll need to order them. Shipping and handling will increase the price.
With that being said, you don’t want to save money on pipes only to regret it later on down the line. It’s much better to choose a higher-priced item that will last than a cheaper one that will have to be replaced quicker. Talking to our plumber about the pipes for your home will help cut through some of the confusion.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Bellingham?
Better plumbing is a great way to save money. The initial cost can sometimes be frustrating, but it will save you money in the long run. By catching a small leak under the faucet, you save more money than if you wait for a pipe to burst. Requesting an inspection from us once a year is a great way to discover some of these issues before they become a major problem. Many repairs can be fixed immediately, and you don’t have to worry about dealing with it later on down the line. If there are major repairs headed your way, it may buy you enough time to plan on how to pay for it before it becomes a true necessity that can’t wait.
It also helps to replace aging pipes. The cost may be more than you want to invest upfront, but the monthly savings on your water bill will be worth it. Removing aging pipes that can be leaking lead into your water will increase the resale value of your home. It will also save you money at the doctor as your health can be greatly improved by drinking higher quality water.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Bellingham Vs Hire a Plumber?
If you have questions about your water, you can call the Lake Whatcom Reservoir at +1 (360) 778-8000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is mainly for when you have questions about the quality of your drinking water, however. If you notice your water has an off-taste or odor that isn’t going away, this is the perfect time to call, especially since your neighbors are having problems as well.
But what if this is a plumbing issue that involves leaks, high water pressure, or sewage problems? The key to knowing when to call the City of Bellingham or to call a plumber greatly depends on where the problem lies. According to the City of Bellingham, “The City is responsible for water quality only to the point where it enters the property. From the property line throughout the home, apartment or office, water quality can be affected by internal plumbing. If the problem is inside the home and not at neighboring houses, customers are still encouraged to contact the water quality lab for help troubleshooting the source of the problem.”
The City of Bellingham may not fix the problem if it’s on your property, so that’s when you give us a call. If you’re not sure if the problem is in your pipes or if it’s the city, there are a few simple steps you can take. Start by cutting off the water. Don’t forget about the washing machine and ice makers located on your refrigerator.
Next, go check the water meter. This should be located at the edge of your property by the curb or in your basement. If outside, it will be located in a metal or plastic box that says “Water Meter.” Keep an eye on the needle. If it’s moving, you’ve likely got a leak on your property. If it’s not moving, that doesn’t mean there’s no leak. Leave the water off for about two hours, and then go back and check again. If the needle has risen then you probably have a leak on your property, and need to call our plumbers.
If the problem is standing water on your property, and there hasn’t been any rain, you’ll need to check and see which side of the water meter it’s on. Water on the side closer to your home means there are plumbing issues on your property. If the water is closer to the curb, then you need to call the City of Bellingham.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Bellingham?
The City of Bellingham mainly requires you to get a permit for new installations or replacement parts. Things like fixing a leak shouldn’t be an issue, but when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call the City of Bellingham Permit Center at (360) 778-8300 or send an email to email@example.com.
Some of the things you can expect to get a permit for include installing or replacing a bar sink, bath, shower, double check valve assembly, floor drain, floor sink, hand sink, hose bibb, kitchen sink, laundry tub/ tray, or utility sink, sprinklers, toilets, urinals, washers, water piping, and a vacuum breaker. The permit application is fairly straightforward. The fee for the permit will depend on what type of work you’re getting done.