Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Federal Way?
- 2 How Does the Water in Federal Way Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Federal Way?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Federal Way?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Federal Way vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Federal Way?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Federal Way?
Folks around here in Federal Way deal with a lot of the same problems that anyone in Washington may deal with when it comes to plumbing, and we’ve heard all sorts of plumbing issues from people here over the years. There are a few plumbing issues that seem to be a bit more common than others around here:
- Slow/clogged drains
- Low pressure/no pressure
- Fixture replacement
- Water heater replacement
- Leaking/burst pipes
How Does the Water in Federal Way Affect Your Plumbing?
Our water is sourced from the aquifer underneath our city which is fed from the many lakes and streams and plentiful rain we get here in Federal Way. The water administered and treated by the Lakehaven Water and Sewer District is of excellent quality and has never had an issue with serious levels of contaminants of any kind.
The Lakehaven Water and Sewer District have put excellent treatment and contamination prevention measures in place, and diligently follows a long-term plan approved by the State of Washington to both improve water quality and infrastructure over time, while also decreasing waste and increasing efficiency to conserve water for future use and fire prevention.
Not only can the water flowing through your pipes affect your plumbing, but so can the wet nature of our weather here in Washington. For underground plumbing such as side sewers and septic lines, soil can shift over time as it moistens and dries. This can lead to issues like sagging pipes or exposed aggregate.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Federal Way?
Due to our city’s positioning near a major city center with a busy seaport, plumbing is usually quite affordable around here. While most services here typically run below the national average, different types of plumbing services can have a wide range of costs based on several factors.
Size and Scale of the Job
Obviously, a larger job means larger costs. Sometimes, this isn’t strictly additive. The plumbing within your home is intricately engineered to provide the water your home needs and take away the wastewater it produces. Larger jobs often change large portions of the plumbing in your home, which may have effects on plumbing in other areas. Major overhauls and remodels often quickly point out deficiencies in old plumbing once new plumbing is added.
Small plumbing jobs like pipe repair, clog removal, and simple upgrades and replacements are logistically much simpler than larger jobs as well. Major changes to plumbing require extensive planning to ensure that water flow still meets the needs of your home and that every aspect of your plumbing stands up to rigid standards of regulatory compliance.
Materials always have a cost, and like most technicians and contractors, we plumbers typically add the cost of materials and components to your invoice for plumbing work. We tend to have common components readily available, and most simple repairs and services will add a negligible material cost, but occasionally components can add up. Specialty or customized components for plumbing solutions may cost a little more if they need to be ordered or imported.
Luckily, we have a pretty ideal location to get any components or parts we need for low prices here in Federal Way. With our proximity to Seattle, we have access to a wide variety of plumbing supplies that wouldn’t always be available to most towns our size. The fact that Seattle is home to one of the busiest ports in the country, and nearby Tacoma also boasts a large cargo port, helps bring the prices of many components down greatly as well as making many more fixtures, components, and materials readily available. While the price difference from supply chains won’t affect the price of materials too drastically, savings add up just as easily as costs do.
The Age of Your Home
The age of your home can often have a surprising effect on the cost of plumbing services. While old homes commonly have many of the same problems as new homes, plumbing isn’t designed to last forever. Our city may have only been incorporated for just over 30 years, but there are many homes around here much older than that. Most pipes and components only have a lifespan of 10-25 years depending on their material. If the plumbing has been neglected in an older home, unexpected challenges can present themselves that could increase the cost.
One problem that we see a lot in older houses is potentially one of the most dangerous problems that could happen within your plumbing. As your pipes wear down over time, the protective coating around them begins to break down, which could potentially begin adding harmful chemicals to your water. As the pipes corrode, they can release harmful contaminants like lead and rust into your drinking water, which could have drastic health effects on your whole household.
This process is gradual, but in the walls of older homes, it’s not incredibly uncommon to find corroded pipes when you go looking for the cause of a plumbing issue. If we find them, we can’t ignore them. Even tiny amounts of lead are incredibly harmful to the human body and those old pipes are only going to release more as they age. The Lakehaven Water and Sewer District tests carefully for lead and repeatedly finds negligible trace amounts on their annual water reports. They do warn, however, that lead contamination often begins from pipes within the home rather than from a municipal supply.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Federal Way?
Better plumbing can always save you money over time. Investments in the infrastructure of your home not only increase the value of your property investment but also reduce the potential cost of future repairs.
This is true of any maintenance on your house, but particularly with plumbing upgrades, and prompt repairs can prevent costly damage from quickly escalating issues. Under pressure, leaks can quickly grow and expand until they are large enough for serious flood damage – one of the most costly ordeals for a homeowner. Even smaller issues like reduced water pressure could potentially build up pressure in your system and lead to much more serious problems if repairs are procrastinated too long.
Routine inspections, cleanings, and maintenance on your plumbing system will save you a lot of money over the long run. Flood damage and emergency costs can be extremely expensive and are much less likely with updated, well-maintained plumbing.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Federal Way vs Hire a Plumber?
The utility technicians over at the Lakehaven Water and Sewer District do a great job of keeping water flowing around our community, but there isn’t much they can do to help with problems within your home. Contacting them may at least narrow down that the problem isn’t affecting your neighbors and therefore is probably a problem within your home. The water utility can also send out a technician to test your pressure if you are having problems with water flow, but other than verifying that the district is supplying what it should be, they won’t be able to offer assistance if the problem isn’t on district lines.
A plumber is who you call to maintain the plumbing infrastructure on your side of the water district’s connection to your home. If the issue isn’t affecting your entire home, then the problem isn’t going to fall within the water district’s responsibility, so you can easily cut out the water district and call us.
For urgent issues like leaking pipes or clogged lines, you should give us a call immediately. These kinds of issues can escalate easily and quickly under the pressure of water in your pipes. Leaks can turn into larger leaks and clogs can easily turn into burst pipes without urgent attention.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Federal Way?
Here in Federal Way, the Department of Community Development will require a permit for most plumbing work. We won’t need to apply for a permit for most quick repairs or emergency fixes like clogged drains or minor leak repair on your pipes, but any work where we add any new parts or take any existing components out will need to pass a permit review.
Permits in Federal Way are applied for through the Community Development Permit Center, though applications for building permits for plumbing work will need to be signed off by a certified plumber to be accepted. We can make the permit process much easier anyway, as we’re pretty familiar with the city’s requirements for plumbing permits and how to ensure a smooth approval process, so we can get straight to work for you.