Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fontana?
- 2 How Does the Water in Fontana Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fontana?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fontana?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fontana vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fontana?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fontana?
Since our first homes, citrus orchards, and vineyards grew and spread along what would become historic Route 66, Fontana has been a popular place to settle, find good work, and raise a family. Major growth came in the mid-20th century postwar boom in industry and manufacturing, and we haven’t looked back since. In fact, we’ve grown nearly 75% just since the year 2000. Fontana’s rapid growth has meant hundreds of more homes being built and, of course, the plumbing that goes along with them. Unfortunately, even the newest of homes can present plumbing issues. Some more common problems we see here include:
Leaks and Dripping Faucets
Some of our most frequent service calls include faucets that drip, toilets that keep running, small leaks around pipe connections, and other seemingly minor issues are commonplace. They’re exacerbated in an area like Fontana because of the hard water that leaves mineral build-up on the pipes. Such problems should be addressed quickly, though, to prevent them from turning into larger (and more expensive) issues and to reduce wasted water.
Slow Drains and Clogs
Probably just as frequent as leaks and drips, slow drains, clogged pipes and toilets, and related issues are often a reason to call for plumbing service. Food, grease, soap, shampoo, hair, and other materials can collect in drains and pipes, causing reduced water flow until they stop up entirely. Older homes in some of our earlier subdivisions can be more susceptible to such issues with their generally older pipes. Hard water around Fontana can add mineral buildup to your pipes which can also slow down your drains.
Water Heater Problems
Many service calls are for problems with water heaters, from a complete lack of hot water to ominous rumbling noises, rust-colored hot water, and other complaints. Because the water is harder across our part of southern California, sediment buildup in the bottom of water heaters is more common, causing the heating element to work harder to produce adequate hot water — and thus to have a shorter working life and more problems, too.
California residents are no strangers to earthquakes, including here in Fontana — especially in Hunter’s Ridge and Coyote Canyon, along the Cucamonga Fault Zone. Seismic activity can spell disaster for your plumbing system. In addition to strapping down water heaters, we frequently install water and natural gas shut-off valves which will automatically close when earthquakes of a certain magnitude are detected near your home, helping to prevent catastrophic damage.
How Does the Water in Fontana Affect Your Plumbing?
Your water quality depends, in large part, on where it comes from. In Fontana, that can mean five different companies (Fontana Water Company, the Cucamonga Valley Water District, Marygold Mutual Water Company, West Valley Water District, and the city of Rialto Water Company), depending on which part of the city you live in. All of our Fontana water is of good quality, but most of it is rather “hard”. Hardness is a measure of dissolved minerals, usually calcium and magnesium, in water, measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Hardness measures of 3 gpg and below are considered soft, while those 7 gpg and above are hard water. Across our entire water system, the average hardness is 8.8 gpg. In practical terms, this can mean mineral buildup in your pipes, faucet aerators, showerheads, and in appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines which shortens their lifespans. On the positive side, harder water is less able to leach dangerous metals like lead from pipes.
Fontana Water Company
The majority of Fontana is served by the Fontana Water Company and comes primarily from several groundwater basins, Lytle Creek, and other regional sources. It averages about 8.6 gpg, making it hard water.
City of Rialto Water Company
The northeast and southeast corners of Fontana are served by the City of Rialto Water Company which sources water primarily from groundwater basins and local water districts. It averages about 9.6 gpg.
Cucamonga Valley Water District
Fontana residents in the West End receive water through the Cucamonga Valley Water District, mostly from the State Water Project and groundwater basins. It averages about 7.3 gpg.
Marygold Mutual Water Company
A smaller area around Bloomington and the hospital are served by the Marygold Mutual Water Company which supplies water primarily from the Chino Basin. This water is also on the hard side, as it is across Fontana’s water supplies.
West Valley Water District
Parts of southeast Fontana receive water service through the West Valley Water District. This water is sourced mostly from Lytle Creek and several underground basins and averages about 9.8 gpg.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fontana?
Planning a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project can be exciting, but needing emergency plumbing repairs is never a highlight of the day. While many aspects of plumbing work can influence how expensive it is, you may be pleased to know that the majority of plumbing repairs in Fontana cost about $125 to $700, with an average of a little over $400. Some of the more common reasons that prices vary include:
Cost Factor: Type and Scope of Work
As you’d expect, the specific plumbing work to be done is the major factor in determining its cost. A small repair such as a clogged toilet or leaky faucet will almost always cost less than something more extensive such as a clogged sewer line or replacing a bathtub with a shower unit. Because plumbing systems are tucked inside walls and under the ground, the true extent of a problem can be unknown until we are working on it. For example, what seems like a simple (and inexpensive) clogged toilet can actually be a more expensive blocked sewer main. Alternatively, what you expect to be a major project with a leaking supply line from the water main may, in fact, be a pressure regulator valve problem that will cost substantially less to repair. In some cases, the type or extent of work will also determine whether or not water-conserving fixtures are required to be installed as part of the plumbing work being done, also affecting your bottom line.
Cost Factor: Materials and Supplies
The wide variety of materials and supplies needed for plumbing work covers a huge range of costs, from washers and gaskets that cost pennies to fixtures and tiles costing thousands of dollars, or more. The specific materials needed to work on your home’s plumbing system will determine the costs, as will your personal preferences about any fixtures such as a model, color, or style of sink, faucet, toilet, or other, often more visible, parts of a plumbing job. Finally, the logistics, supply limitations, and availability of many materials we use can affect prices. For example, the cost of copper has seen major fluctuations in recent years, affecting overall costs.
Cost Factor: Permits, Inspections, and Added Expenses
Some plumbing work in Fontana may require a permit and an inspection, depending on the extent and type of work performed. When these are required, the relevant fees will be included in your costs. Emergency service, and at times we need a larger crew or specialized equipment, will also add to the cost of a plumbing job.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fontana?
In general, improving any major system in your home will help it to run more efficiently and effectively, and that will also usually save you money. While many people think of upgrading some of the more visible parts of their plumbing systems, such as faucets, sinks, and showers, improving any part of the whole system can bring you savings. If you’re not sure where to start, a consultation with one of our plumbers can help inspect your plumbing system for ways you can save. In addition, the Fontana Water Company offers free home water audits to check your appliances, fixtures, and faucets for leaks, excessive water consumption, and other problems. Some of our suggestions for savings include:
Fix Smaller Issues
Small leaks and dripping faucets can be signs of trouble to come when they turn into larger issues that may cause substantial water damage to your home. These problems can also add up quickly, contributing in large part to the 10,000 gallons of water the average US home wastes each year. That’s a lot of a precious resource and dollars straight down the drain. Fixing slow drains and clogs can also help you save, so you spend a little upfront to avoid expensive excavation and other sewer line work down the road.
While some plumbing work will require you to upgrade your fixtures to low-consumption models, making these changes is a smart thing to do even when you’re not required. Not only will you save on your water bill, but you’ll also save resources.
Rebates are available for many plumbing improvements such as those the SoCal Water Smart program offers. These rebates can help offset the cost of installing or replacing washing machines, toilets, sprinkler nozzles, rain barrels, and some landscape irrigation products.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fontana vs Hire a Plumber?
As a rule of thumb, deciding who to call for a plumbing problem usually depends on the scale of the issue. If a plumbing issue is isolated to your house, it is likely your responsibility (your side of the water meter and sewer main) and our plumbers are your best bet. If you and your neighbors are having the same problem, it is likely a problem on the municipal side of things, and you should call the water company. Unfortunately, in Fontana, that can be a little complicated, as you’ll need to figure out which of our five water companies serves your home. You can check your water bills for confirmation.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fontana?
Because the system which carries water and natural gas through homes and neighborhoods is critical and vulnerable to poor workmanship and inconsistent techniques, permits are required to help ensure its safety and reliability. Some plumbing work in Fontana will require a permit and an inspection, for example, both homeowners and our professionals are required to obtain a permit for water heater replacement. Contacting us or the City City Building & Safety Department Department can help you determine if your work will require a permit or not.