Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Waukesha?
- 2 How Does the Water in Waukesha Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Waukesha?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Waukesha?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Waukesha vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Waukesha?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Waukesha?
One of the most charming aspects of life in Waukesha is the beautiful historic homes throughout the McCall Street Historic District. Not many people realize that such beautiful homes also have a lot of problems. The older the home, the more prone they are to plumbing issues. Galvanized pipes were created as an alternative to lead pipes. They were generally used for plumbing systems in older houses. These pipes come with their own set of problems, unfortunately.
- Lead – Although these pipes were created as an alternative to lead pipes, the zinc coating releases lead up to ten times the hazardous level set by the EPA. Pipes can also have higher levels of lead if they are connected downstream from copper piping. Even if you don’t have lead pipes in your home, the corrosion that occurs in galvanized pipes traps lead particles from connected pipe systems and continues to release lead into the water.
- Rust buildup – Galvanizing steel pipes entails coating the pipes in zinc to protect them. The zinc does not prevent rusting or corrosion, however, it simply provides a layer of material that rusts before the pipe does. Eventually, the protective layer corrodes and completely exposes the steel to rust.
- Low water pressure and leaks -These pipes are especially prone to reduced water pressure caused by corrosion and leaks.
- Rust-colored water – When enough corrosion has occurred, iron leaks into the water and gives it a rusty-brown color.
There are other plumbing issues that are common no matter how old your house or plumbing system is. Issues like leaky faucets, slow drains, and clogged pipes happen everywhere. We also have the issue of the harsh Wisconsin winters. The temperature drops below freezing and this can be detrimental to outside faucets. It is common knowledge to protect your outdoor faucets. Hardware stores, and other big-box stores, as well as Amazon, sell inexpensive and easy-to-install faucet covers.
How Does the Water in Waukesha Affect Your Plumbing?
Wisconsin water is moderately hard. The average water hardness for Wisconsin residents is at the 158 PPM mark. Madison has the hardest water, 350 PPM. The city with the softest water is Wausau, 90 PPM. Waukesha is the county seat of Waukesha County, where the groundwater does not comply with safe drinking water standards. Water must be piped from other aquifers nearby, giving Waukesha the same hard water as the surrounding counties such as Milwaukee and Washington counties.
Hard water is rough on plumbing. It causes restricted water flow from built-up deposits, damages appliances, and leaves gross, flaky deposits on showerheads and faucets.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Waukesha?
Plumbing is rarely inexpensive. Prices can quickly get more expensive if the job is not done properly or more issues crop up along the way. It is also easy to get in over your head when you’re not a professional. That is why it is vital to fix problems as soon as you find them. Call our plumbers, particularly if you have no plumbing experience, and you’d prefer to pay for repairs once and not again after mistakes are made.
Cost Factor: Accessibility and Timing
You could have the easiest plumbing job in the world, but if it’s three feet beneath your foundation, it becomes complicated. The price of excavation and parts also go into the price, it’s not just the price of labor. Another factor is timing. If you have to call our plumbers after regular business hours, you can expect to pay a surcharge.
Cost Factor: Size of the Job
Another huge factor in pricing is the size of the job. Unclogging a toilet or replacing a faucet line is going to cost considerably less than replacing your pipe system.
Cost Factor: Flat Fee vs Hourly Rate
There are two ways of pricing a plumbing job and there are benefits and disadvantages to both.
A flat rate is a price agreed upon before the job starts. The main benefit to this method of payment is no surprises on the price, regardless of the time it takes or any complications that come along. We typically reserve flat-rate pricing for jobs that are at low risk for unforeseen problems.
An hourly rate is based on how long the job takes and how much the materials cost. Our reputable plumber will provide a reasonable estimate and update you during the project. The main disadvantage to this is not knowing your total before we begin.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Waukesha?
Waukesha has moderately hard water which is rough on the plumbing. The better appliances, pipes, and fixtures that you have, the longer they will last under Wisconsin hard water conditions.
Plumbing projects can be expensive right off the bat, but they save you money in the long run. Fixing problems ASAP saves money in the future but also on your next water bill. Something as simple as a leaky faucet can cost $15 a year or more. That might not seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly. Leaky faucets also waste more than 3,500 gallons of water a year. Only 1% of water on the plant is suitable for human consumption, making the cost of that leaky faucet becomes more significant. Here are more ways better plumbing saves you money.
- Using efficient fixtures, such as low-flow toilets, saves money on your utility bill, and conserves water. You can also get rebates and other incentives for using these types of energy-saving appliances and fixtures.
- Better plumbing increases the value of your home. Adding energy-efficient fixtures, repairing foundation issues, fixing leaks, and installing an energy-efficient dishwasher all significantly increase the value of your home.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Waukesha vs Hire a Plumber?
Water companies will only make repairs on city property, such as a broken water mains in the street. It’s harder to tell the responsibility when it comes to your home. Standing water in your lawn could mean an issue with the city water lines, but it can also mean a problem in your home’s plumbing system. Waukesha water utility will perform maintenance visits, but if the problem is with your system, it’s your responsibility, and you’re stuck with the fee from their visit and repair costs.
A significant increase in your utility bill over a few month’s time is always a signal that there’s a leak on your property. Even a slow leak will cause big-time damage. It’s best to contact our plumbers the moment you realize what’s happening. It probably didn’t start the moment you noticed it and has been dripping steadily for some time.
Standing, puddled water on your property is another instance you don’t want to delay calling us. Water takes time to bubble up to the surface. A puddle most often means a leak from below. It may be as simple as replacing a section of pipe or the more complex repairs required when excavation is needed.
If the water meter is running, the problem is almost always the responsibility of the homeowner. Another reason to keep a sharp eye on the water utility meter. If the water meter isn’t running, contact your water utility company. They will fix the problem and your water bill will return to normal.
If your water pressure changes, or if the water goes out, call city utilities first. There’s probably an outage from inclement weather or nearby construction. If the city reports the problem is not with them, you’ll need to call our plumbers.
Showers, sinks, tubs, toilets that back up or don’t drain all the way, and a toilet that always needs to be plunged are all issues that our experts can take care of in no time.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Waukesha?
By law, some plumbing work must be completed by a licensed plumber. Check the City Code of Ordinances for home plumbing for all the laws about your project. Small projects will not be covered, like a leaky faucet. Other projects, digging a sewer line or replacing a water heater, will need a permit. Before you begin to dig, and prior to doing any work close to electrical lines, you must contact the Waukesha County Division of Building Safety.
The law also says you will need a permit to replace a drain line, make repairs on your sewer line, repipe your house, and to move any existing plumbing to another area of the house. Our plumbers are well-versed and have updated information on all codes, ordinances, and laws to be able to guide you to the correct resource for your own project and be there to help if you make a mistake.
There are a few things to consider before doing your own work versus hiring a plumber. Things such as safety, time, expense, quality, and warranties are important.
A good rule of thumb is that if you need to get a permit from the city for your plumbing job, you should call us. Our experts have permits to perform these types of projects.