Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Olympia?
- 2 How Does the Water in Olympia Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Olympia?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Olympia?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Olympia Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Olympia?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Olympia?
One concern that owners of older homes may have is lead pipes. An earthquake in 1949 destroyed many of the city’s buildings. Any of the homes that survived that earthquake may still have lead pipes. If you are unsure about what your home’s pipes are made of, we can come out and perform an inspection. In addition, you can also have your home’s tap water tested for the presence of lead at any of the Department of Ecology Certified Drinking Water Laboratories in Western Washington. If it is time to upgrade, there are many different types of water pipes on the market today, including copper, PEX, and PVC.
The city has stated that there are no municipal lead service lines in use and that the tap water does not contain lead.
Decaying service lines or worn-out plumbing can also be an issue in older homes, as no pipe material lasts forever. Some of the residences in Olympia’s Historic Districts may have plumbing systems that are nearing the end of their lifespans. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these historic homes, you are responsible for following the city’s guidelines for historic property care. If you make any plumbing repairs or upgrades that will affect the exterior of your house, you must get prior approval from the city’s Historic Preservation Officer, 360.753.8031.
One plumbing issue that we see in both old and new homes is clogged drains. Hair, grease, and food particles can all build up over time and create a clog in your home’s plumbing system. To prevent clogs from forming in the first place, we recommend the use of drain screens and to not dump cooking grease down the drain. If there are small children in the home, you may want to invest in a toilet seat lock. Little kids love to flush random things down the toilet! The hard water in Olympia leaves mineral deposits on the pipes, limiting the flow rate through them and contributing to clogs.
Whatever you do, don’t reach for over-the-counter drain cleaners. These abrasive gels and liquids can actually damage your home’s pipes. As professional plumbers, we have the right tools to safely unclog pipes.
Another common plumbing issue in the area is pipes and service lines that have been damaged by tree roots. Large, native trees are everywhere in this city and a beloved part of the landscape. However, the root systems of mature trees like Olympia’s famous “Moon Tree” spread out further than you might think. Roots are capable of wrapping themselves around pipes and basically “choking” them. Roots can also exert enough pressure on a pipe or main line to shift it out of place. In the absence of an extremely high water bill, you may not detect root damage right away. Watch for unexplainable pools of water or wet spots on your lawn.
How Does the Water in Olympia Affect Your Plumbing?
Groundwater from local wells is the source of Olympia’s tap water. The majority of the city’s water comes from the McAllister Wellfield about nine miles east of the city. About a half dozen other wells in the area provide seasonal, backup, and emergency supplies of water. The city tests its water on a regular basis and releases an annual Water Quality Report.
According to the city, the tap water is classified as “slightly hard”. The water’s “hardness” level measures the presence of certain minerals, like calcium. Hard water is not a safety concern, but can be a nuisance. Olympia residents may notice that it takes a little more soap or shampoo to create a lather. And over time, hard water can create scale buildup inside of your home’s pipes and hot water heater, promoting clogs and limiting the lifespan of your equipment. If you have hard water in your home, we can instill a water softener.
We sometimes get calls from concerned residents because their sinks, bathtubs, and pet bowl dishes are stained bright pink. This discoloration is iron hydroxide deposits, which are caused by the interaction of oxygen in the air with dissolved rust. If you have this problem, let cold water run from the tap for about a minute before using it. If you are concerned about the age or condition of your home’s pipes, we can help you decide if it’s time for a replacement.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Olympia?
If you need to hire a plumber, you’re probably wondering, “How much will it cost?” As a ballpark estimate, the average plumbing service in Olympia costs $484.00. Many residential projects will fall into the $117.00 to $851.00 range, but the final price tag depends on several factors. Keep in mind that the prices we quote here do not include permit fees or taxes.
The nature and scope of the project or repairs
We work on jobs of all sizes, everything from replacing a showerhead to troubleshooting leaks in your home’s water line. As with any home maintenance, a bigger project will have a bigger price tag. If you need us to clean out your home’s sewer line, you can expect to pay, on average, $288.00. And if we insulate your home’s pipes, that will cost anywhere from $111.00 to $801.00, depending on how many pipes we work on and where they are located.
If we need to come out ASAP
Our plumbers in Olympia typically work Monday through Friday during regular business hours. However, we know that our services are sometimes needed 24/7. Issues like a backed-up sewer line or a burst pipe can’t wait. If we need to come out on a weekend or holiday, you can expect to pay more.
If you take advantage of the city’s rebates and incentives
Olympia’s WaterWise Water Conservation program offers a variety of rebates and incentives for plumbing upgrades like an ultra-high-efficiency toilet, high-efficiency washing machine, irrigation rain sensor, and more. To learn more about the program, you can call 360.570.3793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together Thurston County assists income-eligible homeowners with necessary repairs. They can be reached at email@example.com and 360.539.7830.
And, if you’re one of Olympia’s nearly 3,800 veterans, you may be eligible for assistance from the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA offers several loan programs, some of which can be used for home improvement projects.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Olympia?
Yes, better plumbing will save you money, no matter where you live. Our plumbers in Olympia do more than fix leaky faucets–we love to help our customers find ways to save on their water bills. Earlier, we mentioned Olympia’s WaterWise program. We encourage all homeowners to take advantage of these rebates and incentives; otherwise, you’re just pouring money down the drain. (Pun intended!)
If you make the switch to an ultra-high-efficiency (UHE) toilet, the city will give you a rebate of $100; up to three rebates per residential address. Switching to a UHE toilet will save one-half gallon of water per flush. For a family of four, this can really add up to substantial cost savings. The WaterWise program also offers a $50 rebate if you purchase a high-efficiency washing machine. Making that upgrade will save you between $50 and $90 each year in reduced water and electric bills. And if you’re thinking of selling your home anytime soon, better plumbing may increase the appraisal value.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Olympia Vs Hire a Plumber?
We answer a lot of phone calls that start with, “I wasn’t sure if I should call you or the city, but…” As a rule of thumb, homeowners are responsible for the plumbing on their property. This includes the sewer and water lines that run from the house, to the point where these pipes connect with the municipal lines. If you have a problem with any of these, you’ll want to call us.
The city is responsible for water hydrants and municipal service lines. To report a problem with either of these, call the Public Works Department at 360-753-8333. The city also maintains stormwater drains, but does ask residents to rake or shovel debris out of the drains to prevent light flooding. If the area around a stormwater drain is heavily flooded or otherwise unsafe, do not approach it and call the Public Works Department.
If your home experiences a sudden drop in water pressure, the problem could lie with either the municipal line or within your home’s plumbing. Routine maintenance on main lines and hydrant flushing can both cause a decrease in residential water pressure. If your neighbors are also experiencing low water pressure, there’s a good chance it’s one of these two scenarios and you’ll have to wait it out. However, if your home is the only one on the block with water pressure issues, you’ll need to hire our plumbers to get to the bottom of the issue.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Olympia?
Plumbing services do require a permit in Olympia. You can visit the city’s Online Permit Portal for more information. If you have any questions, you can contact the Permit Center at 360.753.8314 or CPDinfo@ci.olympia.wa.us.
Permits are more than just red tape or an unnecessary expense. The permitting process ensures that all plumbing work is up to code and performed in a safe manner. One advantage of hiring us is that we take care of obtaining the plumbing permits for you.