Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Kennewick?
- 2 How Does the Water in Kennewick Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Kennewick?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Kennewick?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Kennewick Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Kennewick?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Kennewick?
Thanks to a mild climate and varied water sources in the area, residents in Kennewick don’t have to worry about many of the plumbing issues that occur in some cities. Unfortunately, some plumbing issues do exist in the tri-cities area. Like all systems, plumbing systems are susceptible to wear and damage from external factors and unexpected problems. The most common plumbing issues in Kennewick are usually related to aging plumbing systems and normal wear from regular use.
Your sinks and tubs are responsible for removing dirt, food particles, grease, and many other substances from whatever you need to wash. As particles, grime, soap scum, grease, and hair enter your drainage system over time, you can expect clogged pipes sooner or later. For many Kennewick residents, this issue is amplified by problems that occur with aging plumbing systems. Many plumbing systems built before the 1960s include the use of galvanized steel pipes. These pipes are susceptible to corrosion over time, which can build up in your plumbing system and contribute to clogs.
Tree Root Damage
It’s common for homes in Kennewick built in the 1940s and 1950s to have drainage pipes made from orangeburg. This material is very susceptible to rot, and if yours hasn’t been replaced, it could be damaged. As trees grow, roots stretch for long distances beneath the ground. When these roots infiltrate aging drain systems, clogs, leaks, and serious foundation damage can occur in your home.
Frequent Minor Leaks
The water in your plumbing system is always under pressure. As your pipes age, they become more easily affected by this pressure. Small leaks may be discovered when you have standing water near fixtures, dampness behind walls and ceilings, moisture in the basement, or persistent musty odors in your home. Unfortunately, small leaks can be difficult to detect and can cause major water damage to your home over time. Signs of a water leak in your Kennewick home include:
- Increased water bills
- Mold and mildew growth in your basement and on interior walls and ceilings
- Low water pressure that may occur in one faucet or throughout your home
- Peeling or blistering paint on a wall
- Water stains on ceilings
- Damaged flooring, including warping, soft spots, sagging floors, loose tiles, and damp carpets
- Sagging ceilings
- Noisy pipes, including sounds like gurgling, vibration, rattling, or rushing water when no faucets are running
- Rusty water
The biggest reason for burst pipes in many areas in Kennewick is freezing weather. However, aging pipes can burst without freezing. Small leaks can further damage corroding pipes until the pipe bursts. If you’re not home when it happens, a burst pipe has the potential to rapidly leak hundreds of gallons of water into your home. This can result in extremely expensive repairs to fix structural damage, foundation damage, and eliminate mold.
When a drainage or sewer leak occurs, it’s often beneath your home. This means it can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Leaking plumbing or sewage pipes beneath your foundation can saturate dry soils, causing the ground to shift and heave beneath your home. This can lead to cracks in your home’s basement walls or foundation. Signs of slab damage due to water or sewer leaks may be similar to water leak damage in your home. Finding this damage early can help you avoid expensive repairs. Signs of slab damage include:
- Water pooling outside your home or in your basement
- Persistent moldy or musty odors throughout your home
- Rushing water sounds in your home when no water is running
- Increased utility bills
- Spots in your flooring that feel warm or hot
- Wet and damaged flooring
Perhaps the most dreaded plumbing issue, clogged toilets, can lead to dangerous sewage backup in your home. Toilets get clogged for a variety of reasons. Flushing non-flushable items is an offense that should always be avoided. This means you shouldn’t flush wipes, diapers, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, or anything besides toilet paper (even when labels read flushable). However, there are other reasons that toilet clogs occur. For instance, collapsed drainage lines trap items, causing a clog. Backup builds slowly until it re enters your home. If you can’t quickly resolve a clogged toilet through traditional methods, it’s important to call us right away.
How Does the Water in Kennewick Affect Your Plumbing?
Generally, the sources of water and the treatment process to make drinking water safe in Kennewick have little to no effect on plumbing in the area. However, some factors of residential plumbing systems can combine with local water to affect plumbing over time. For instance, if you note the blue or green stains that indicate copper in the water, the source may be corrosion from your home’s plumbing system. In Washington, most copper in drinking water comes from corrosion of household plumbing. Simply flushing the tap water for 30 to 45 seconds before use can help eliminate copper that accumulates from plumbing corrosion.
Since water in Kennewick is derived from multiple sources, the minerals found in your water changes from time to time. Water hardness is measured by the number of minerals found in water. Hard water is common in areas with a dry climate and in water derived from wells. This means hard water is a factor in Kennewick. While hard water doesn’t affect your health, it can cause calcium buildup in plumbing systems and water heaters. This buildup can lead to clogged pipes and, occasionally, corrosion in your water heater. Proper maintenance of your plumbing system is the best way to avoid adverse effects from hard water.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Kennewick?
Plumbing services usually range between $100 and $745 in Kennewick. The average price for plumbing repairs is about $368. Labor costs for residential plumbing average around $68 per hour while commercial plumbing labor costs average $88 per hour. The biggest reason for varied prices in plumbing services is directly related to the type of repairs being completed. Other price factors may include the following:
The biggest reason plumbing prices vary so widely is directly related to the vastly different types of service required. For instance, plumbing leaks that are difficult to find increase the complexity of a job. This means we spend more time on a job, which naturally increases the cost of labor. If your plumbing repairs require specialized tools or take a long period to complete, you’ll see an increase in the cost of service.
The dry climate in Kennewick makes water conservation an important concern. To improve water conservation efforts in the city, there are many rebates available to residents and business owners interested in replacing outdated plumbing fixtures with devices that use less water during use. For instance, homeowners can receive valuable rebates when replacing washing machines, water heaters, and other appliances with water conservation features.
Often, the cause of plumbing issues isn’t as simple as the pipe or fixture that needs to be repaired. For instance, tree roots that grow into your drain lines often require workers to access the plumbing system beneath your foundation. Residential leaks often require access behind walls or ceilings. The cost to return your home to normal after fixing your plumbing issues can lead to higher costs overall.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Kennewick?
Yes. Aging plumbing systems cause a variety of issues for homeowners in Kennewick. Most homes built in the 1940s and 1950s have plumbing systems composed of copper pipes. While these pipes may have aged well compared to states with harsh winters, aging systems are prone to problems that require frequent repairs. Compared to many modern choices, copper is an expensive plumbing material. When you need pipes replaced with more copper piping, the cost of your repairs will be more expensive. Replacing older plumbing systems will help eliminate the costs of frequent repairs and expensive materials. Adding water and energy-conserving features and appliances to your new plumbing system can help you reduce your utility costs as well.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Kennewick Vs Hire a Plumber?
Water distribution crews from the Utility Services Division of Public Works keep the water system operating efficiently, including transmission lines, mains, valves, reservoirs, hydrants, meters, pumps, etc. This means that everything that affects your plumbing and running water all the way to your service line is the responsibility of the utility company. Your service line runs beneath the ground, from your water service meter to your home. Anything that affects your service line and the plumbing system within your home is your responsibility.
While it’s true that you’re responsible for plumbing issues on your side of the meter and your utility company is responsible for the quality of your water, each part of the plumbing can have effects on the water inside your home. For instance, issues with water quality may be related to a problem with your water heater or aging materials in your home’s plumbing system. The following guidelines can help you decide whether to call us or your utility company.
- Increased utility bills
- A water leak inside your home
- Low water pressure to one faucet
- Clogged toilets
- Slow drains
- Water heater issues
- Water leaks at your meter or beyond
- No running water inside your home
- Discolored or foul-smelling water
- Large amounts of sewage backup suddenly occurring from toilets and/or drains
- Unexplained puddles of water outdoors when your meter isn’t running
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Kennewick?
Permits are required for all dwellings that require new plumbing fixtures, piping, and systems. While many common plumbing issues (like leaks and clogs) can be fixed without a permit, the installation of new features could mean you need a permit from the city or county. Benton County plumbing permits cost $50.