Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Yakima?
- 2 How Does the Water in Yakima Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Yakima?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Yakima?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Yakima Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Yakima?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Yakima?
Yakima’s natural beauty and agricultural strength don’t diminish Yakima as a robust and metropolitan city. With a population of nearly 100,000, Yakima is the major population center in the area, with nearby towns in the Upper and Lower Yakima Valleys being typically considered part of the Yakima Metropolitan Area. Though life around here may not be as hectic as in a crowded metropolis, Yakima is a modern city with its residents routinely facing the same plumbing problems as people in other cities around the world, including:
- Clogged and slow drains
- Fixture replacement
- Low water pressure
- Dripping faucets
- Leaking pipes
People here in Yakima also face some problems that are much more common here than in other parts of the country. The rich, but often very unstable soil of the Yakima Valley can cause issues with sewage lines sagging or even cracking. A combination of loose, sandy soils, volcanic discharge leftover from the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption, and runoff from frequent mudslides can regularly create shifts in soil that can cause sewage pipes to sag. This interferes with gravity drainage and can cause backups and clogs. Left untreated, pressure could build up in obstructed pipes, eventually leading to sewer ruptures.
The vibrant plant life in Yakima can also play a key role in sewage problems. Persistent tree roots can break through sewage pipes, looking for moisture and nutrients. Once a sewer line is penetrated by roots, the problem will only grow in scale as the roots continue to grow towards the moisture in the sewer, and pressure of escaping water and waste will further damage the sewage pipe causing serious problems.
How Does the Water in Yakima Affect Your Plumbing?
With gravity-fed supplies from primarily the Naches River, Yakima has incredibly pure and high-quality mountain water. The city of Yakima’s water treatment does an incredibly efficient job at removing contaminants and trace minerals, resulting in clean, clear water that is surprisingly soft for mountain-sourced water at only 36 ppm hardness. Trace minerals (often rated as hardness) in water can bring small particles into your plumbing system that can clog pipes and stain fixtures over time. With the relatively low hardness of Yakima water, these should be minor problems for residents of the area.
Yakima’s water can be affected by natural, environmental forces beyond the control of the city, though. Frequent mudslides in the area happen as heavy rainfall disrupts fractured basalt layers in the soils. Silty interbeds begin to shift, freeing the basalt above it to flow downwards with gravity. Landslides and mudslides can do huge damage to homes that can result in massive flooding and long-term damage as underground plumbing shifts with the rest of the earth. Yakima’s residents should be very conscious of their water main shut-off valve for this reason, and turn off the water supply in the case of a landslide, mudslide, or earthquake, to avoid devastating flood damage.
Though it’s been over 40 years, volcanic activity and its effect on the water bears mentioning here in Yakima. When Mt. St. Helens blew its top in 1980, massive amounts of ash fell on Yakima, quickly overwhelming the water supply and wastewater treatment systems, causing shortages, blockage, and contamination. Though everyone here in Yakima hopes that we’ll avoid natural disasters of that scale in the future, the eruption and ensuing water disaster was a costly and traumatic ordeal for many that are still very present in the memories of many older Yakima residents.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Yakima?
Plumbing can be quite affordable in Yakima compared to other similar cities. Typical costs for standard and routine repairs in the Yakima area can be as low as $80-$200, but several factors can influence this cost for repairs, with a wider scope or complicating circumstances.
Like most contractors and technicians, our plumbers will usually pass the cost of materials needed onto the consumer in an invoice. Our plumbers will have typical materials needed for plumbing jobs readily accessible at competitive costs, but for rarer and specialty materials, higher costs will be incurred. Customized plumbing solutions that require specialized parts will often carry a premium in materials that may make the cost of your plumbing bill rise.
Age of Building
Frequently in old buildings, greater problems may present themselves during routine repairs. While you may not have planned on repairing dilapidated and aging pipes or plumbing systems, our certified plumbers will often not be able to ignore hazardous or harmful discoveries after a closer look at plumbing problems. Those issues will need to be addressed. As these issues usually create costly problems down the line, repairs may be an unexpected expense, but will be investments that mean future savings on plumbing costs and repairs.
Plumbing systems can be very complicated and often, repairs to one part of your plumbing may create ripples across your system. Complex plumbing issues like full remodels and entire overhauls don’t simply mean that more labor needs to be allotted by plumbers. It requires extensive planning and diagnostics to ensure that a quality job gets done the first time. The more extensive a job is, the more planning will be required to guarantee long-term sustainable plumbing solutions that withstand the test of time and don’t require frequent repairs in the future.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Yakima?
Better plumbing always saves money. Your plumbing systems are key parts of the infrastructure you rely on for the long-term life of your home. High-quality plumbing solutions and materials will get you more mileage for your money and help you avoid frequent repairs and updates that can quickly grow very costly over time. In either the case of new additions to a plumbing system or repairs, the philosophy is still the same: do a good job once to avoid having to do it again.
There are some specific measures you could take to save more money with better plumbing that have been particularly successful for the folks here in Yakima.
Replace Outdated or Aging Pipes
Pipes in your plumbing system aren’t meant to last forever. Even pipes made of the toughest materials have a recommended shelf life between 30 and 40 years. For older homes, this may mean that significant parts of your plumbing system are past their expiration date, so to speak. Aging galvanized pipes can lose their coating. As they corrode without their protective layer, they can be structurally compromised and risk cracking and rupturing. Leaking or burst pipes can be extremely costly, so updating these as needed will save on emergency costs.
These aging pipes can also potentially release lead as they corrode, which adds toxins to water and is detrimental to the health of anyone in a household. Lead can cause long-term damage and even death very quickly, so it’s never worth it to procrastinate repairs on potentially corroded pipes.
Fix Leaks Immediately
It can be easy to look at a pinhole plumbing leak and think of getting it fixed later. Maybe that leak isn’t so bad now, but if there’s a leak, that means the water has built up so much pressure against the pipe that it actually broke through. As water escapes the leaking pipe, more pressure will put strain around the already damaged area of your pipe or fitting, leading to more damage and larger leaks. Maybe it’s just a drip now, but getting it fixed immediately before it turns into a flood prevents the extremely high cost of the damages that come with flooding.
Update Old Fixtures
New technology in plumbing fixtures often means you can install toilets, showers, or sinks that use a small fraction of the water but provide the same functionality. Low flow fixtures not only save money on your water bill, but also function much more efficiently than older fixtures, putting less strain on your plumbing system. Installing new fixtures removes old, unreliable elements from your plumbing which can lessen the chance of major problems developing from old and dated fixtures.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Yakima Vs Hire a Plumber?
In Yakima, if it’s on your property, it’s your problem. The water utility company will be responsible for any problems that happen on their side of your connection to the water main, but if their connection to your home remains reliable and steady, they won’t be able to help with issues within your property. If your entire property is out of water, a call to the utility company could verify if there is a larger problem that the City is already working on. If it’s not affecting other neighbors, however, the best the City will be able to do is test the pressure of their connection to your property to verify that they are supplying water. This will at least let you know for sure that the problem rests on your side and is, thus, your responsibility to get our plumbers to work on it.
While calling to ask if a water issue is a City problem never hurts, if low flow or a shortage is only affecting part of your property, then it’s likely that the problem rests somewhere within your plumbing system. Low flow or no flow can be building up pressure in your pipes that could lead to detrimental problems like burst pipes, so you should consult our Yakima plumbers immediately to see how to proceed. If you spot a leak within your home, don’t delay calling us. Water is nothing if not persistent and small leaks inevitably become large leaks faster than you think.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Yakima?
You won’t need a permit for simple fixes for leaks or clogs in Yakima, but permits and inspections will be required for anything that replaces or adds new materials to any plumbing system. Any replacement will be considered new work that needs to be permitted through The Yakima Community Development Department. Our certified plumbers will be able to talk you through the exact permit and inspection requirements and any fees required, to make it as easy as possible for you to get what you need, for your plumbing system to be repaired.