Repairing a pipe, clearing clogged toilets and drains, and other common residential plumbing repair hourly rates might range from $50 to $140. Some plumbers charge a flat rate for common residential services, typically between $100 to $450. More complicated plumbing repairs, such as replacing a broken sewer line outside the home, might average between $2000 and $5000 or more.
No matter your costs for residential plumbing repairs, it’s vital that you schedule this work as soon as it’s needed so as to avoid even costlier repairs down the road. It’s also important that a homeowner avoid trying to trim expected plumbing repair costs by managing this work on their own! Residential plumbing is often more complicated than a homeowner might realize, and a few household tools and online tutorial videos are a poor substitute for the expertise a licensed, experienced plumber offers.
To ensure you’re doing everything possible to keep your home in good condition and avoid otherwise unnecessary residential plumbing repairs, note some vital information about common plumbing problems and their fixes. You might also consider some added details about why you want to call a plumbing contractor near you for these and other plumbing issues, including suggestions for regular plumbing maintenance. This information will ensure your home’s plumbing always works as expected and that you avoid costly repair bills.
What Are the Most Common Residential Plumbing Repairs?
Before you overlook any needed fixes in your home, note the most common residential plumbing repairs, how a homeowner might try to tackle them on their own, and when and why it’s best to call a plumbing contractor! Feel free to discuss your home’s plumbing issues with a nearby contractor as well, so you know what’s needed to keep everything in good working order and avoid otherwise unnecessary repair costs.
- Clogged toilets, shower drains, and kitchen sinks are probably the most common residential plumbing repairs needed! Trying to flush or dispose of solid materials not meant for toilets and sinks often leads to clogs and even damaged pipes.
- To avoid toilet clogs, never flush anything other than human waste and toilet tissue. Even small items like cigarette butts and cat litter, and items that don’t dissolve easily such as facial tissue, can “clump together” in drainage pipes, leading to toilet clogs.
- A homeowner might try a plunger to address clogged toilets; invest in a high-quality, bulb plunger with a rounded end for best result. Use a bit of Vaseline around its edge so that it sticks to the toilet bowl, forming a vacuum and making plunging easier. You might need to plunge the toilet several times, using vigorous motions, to clear it completely.
- Never attempt to address a toilet clog with a plumbing snake, as improper use of these tools can simply push solid matter deeper into plumbing pipes. It’s also easy to get the snake caught on connectors and other plumbing parts, increasing damage to those pipes! If you cannot plunge a clog, call a plumber.
- Cooking grease and oil also tend to solidify in kitchen sink drains, leading to clogs. If you rinse greasy plates in the sink or pour oil and greases down the drain, remember that those substances solidify as they cool! Solid grease and oil can then lead to clogs and backed-up kitchen sinks.
- Clogged disposals are a common kitchen plumbing issue. A homeowner can typically remove the flange around the bottom, curved pipe under the kitchen sink where food debris often collect and dump out waste, so that the sink drains once again. If this doesn’t address a clog, however, it’s time to call a plumber!
- Hair and soap scum clinging to the top of drains often cause shower clogs. To avoid this problem, buy a simple drain cover that traps hair and other materials, and clean it regularly.
- Water heater repair is another common fix, and one that should be left to the pros! Lack of hot water often indicates a damaged heating element or solidified minerals collecting at the bottom of the heater tank. These fixes are difficult for homeowners and might indicate the need for an entirely new water heater.
- Frozen pipes are also common in many areas, but a homeowner would do well to call a professional plumber to address this issue. Water freezes as it expands, putting pressure on pipes and connectors; in turn, they might crack and burst at any time, and especially as the water warms and the pipes begin to move back into position. A plumber might simply remove a frozen pipe, reducing the risk of it bursting and flooding.
Why Avoid DIY Residential Plumbing Repairs
A homeowner might address minor, everyday plumbing problems, such as a clogged toilet or garbage disposal, as said. Sometimes a plunger is all that’s needed to clear toilet clogs, and it’s also relatively easy to remove food debris from the pipes under your kitchen sink. However, before you invest in some rented tools and search online for plumbing repair tutorial videos, you might consider some added reasons why it’s often best to leave most repairs to the pros.
One important consideration is that plumbing repairs and installation often involve more details than homeowners realize. For instance, plumbing pipes are typically installed at a slight angle, to encourage water flow through those pipes. However, too much of an angle can allow water to flow too quickly so that it fails to take solid materials with it, resulting in clogged pipes!
Mixing certain metals can also increase the risk of corrosion once they get wet. When replacing certain pipes or connectors, it’s then vital that you choose the same metal as a connecting pipe or you might be faced with damaged connectors and resultant water leaks.
Misuse of a plumbing snake to clear clogs can actually make the situation worse! A homeowner not trained in the proper use of a snake might push clogged materials deeper into a pipe so that it’s more difficult to reach. If a clogged toilet or drain begins to empty, a homeowner might assume they’ve cleared the clog when they’ve only removed a small part of that solid material, so that they’re faced with yet another and potentially even larger obstruction and more serious clog before too long!
An experienced plumbing contractor near you is also better equipped to pinpoint actual plumbing damage causes. A water leak, for example, might be the result of damaged pipe connectors several inches or even many feet away from where that water is dripping! Changing pipes or connectors around the area of the water drip rather than tracing it back to the damaged pipe can mean future leaks and eventual mold growth.
Signs of Needed Residential Plumbing Repairs
No water pressure and a clogged toilet are perhaps the most obvious signs that your home needs residential plumbing repairs, but many indications of needed fixes are much more difficult to spot! It’s not unusual for homeowners to overlook needed repairs simply because they’re not familiar with early warning signs; in turn, plumbing damage gets more extensive and costlier to fix.
Water that suddenly tastes or smells odd, or is cloudy coming out of the faucet, might indicate a damaged pipe. Broken or damaged pipes can let rust, sediment, gasses, and other such contaminants into the home’s water supply.
Persistent clogs are also another potential indicator of needed plumbing repairs. A damaged pipe might also be letting in dirt, mud, and other debris that then forms clogs; plunging or snaking might address the issue temporarily but when clogs continue to appear, it’s time to call a plumber!
A homeowner would also do well to be alert to odd sounds coming from the home’s plumbing pipes or water heater. Rumbling from the heater might indicate a buildup of hard water minerals; as these solidify, they easily damage the heating element and tank. If you hear what sounds like running water or drips behind the walls, this typically indicates a damaged pipe and resultant leak that need immediate fixing!
What is residential plumbing maintenance and is it really needed?
Residential plumbing maintenance typically includes a check of the home’s plumbing pipes and their overall condition. Worn connectors and other such parts might get replaced as needed. Pipes typically also receive a cleaning, removing “gunk” and other debris clinging to their insides, reducing the risk of clogs. Regular plumbing maintenance can keep pipes and other fixtures and fittings in good repair and help reduce the risk of damaged plumbing over time.
How often should a homeowner have their home’s plumbing pipes replaced?
A homeowner might schedule a full plumbing inspection and maintenance every two to three years. An experienced, skilled plumber can note the condition of those pipes and if they’re suffering severe damage and wear, are rusted, or need replacing for any reason. Investing in new plumbing pipes, fixtures, fittings, and other such pieces when needed ensures your plumbing works properly and also helps avoid otherwise unnecessary residential plumbing repairs.