Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fresno?
- 2 How Does the Water in Fresno Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fresno?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fresno?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fresno vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fresno?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Fresno?
Fresno’s beautiful historic housing stock is a point of pride for the city, including picturesque neighborhoods in Porter Tract and Huntington Boulevard. Living in older homes has its charms, but plumbing issues can be one of the potential drawbacks. Older systems wear out and will need maintenance, or even a complete replacement, to get things flowing again. Even relatively new homes will experience a wide range of plumbing issues from the wear and tear of washing dishes, taking long showers, running load after load of laundry, and all those other essential chores. We handle and resolve a huge variety of plumbing issues throughout Fresno, but here are the most common:
This is one of the more serious problems that Fresno homeowners deal with, especially for older homes. While pipes are made from very sturdy materials, they definitely won’t last forever and eventually have to be replaced. Corroded or aging pipes are a major challenge to the overall integrity of your plumbing system. Leaking pipes can also lead to flooding, which is why you may notice pooling water around appliances. They also waste an incredible amount of water, which is especially bad with Fresno’s frequent droughts.
If your water bill is going sky-high without any major change in usage, then you’re almost certainly dealing with a leak. All Fresno homeowners are encouraged to download the EyeOnWater app to help them detect any leaks. This handy tool syncs up with Fresno’s Department of Public Utility to provide a wealth of data on your recent water usage. The City routinely compiles and compares its water distribution system data to identify any major leaks in the system.
Our drains do a lot for us, and sometimes it’s more than they can handle. Bathroom drains get clogged up with residue from lotions and conditioners, soaps, hair, and even skin flakes. Meanwhile, kitchen drains have the tough job of managing grease, and the food remains get scraped off plates. The scum and grit accumulated from these substances can eventually cause your drains to empty very slowly or even get blocked altogether. A full sink or tub is a serious headache, but even a slow drain is very inconvenient. When you can’t remove the clogs yourself, it’s time to call us to help restore the normal function of your drain.
Low Water Pressure
If you find you’re not getting a full flush with your toilet, or there’s a noticeable decrease in the strength of your shower stream, you’re probably experiencing low water pressure. There are many different potential causes for this common plumbing issue, making it so tricky to pinpoint exactly what’s happening. If you’re experiencing this problem with every tap in your home, and if it gets worse when you have more than one running, then it’s likely that you have a water leak in your pipes somewhere along the line. If the problem is on a single tap, then it’s probably something much more simple, like a faulty faucet or a valve that got shut off.
How Does the Water in Fresno Affect Your Plumbing?
The City of Fresno goes to great lengths to ensure our water is very safe to drink, including measures like the city’s new state-of-the-art Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility. However, the hardness of Fresno’s water does present some challenges when it comes to plumbing, specifically mineral scaling.
Mineral scaling is what happens to the inside of your plumbing systems if the water is “hard,” meaning that it naturally has high levels of calcium carbonate, magnesium, and other minerals. The measurement of these materials in Fresno’s water is, on average, 122 parts per million, which is considered very hard. Fresno’s water can do a number on your appliances and plumbing because these mineral substances will eventually build up and leave a thick coating. A small amount of mineral scaling is considered a good thing since it can serve as a protective barrier for your pipes and reduce corrosion. However, there’s a point where this coating does cause problems, especially for water heaters.
Fresno’s hard water makes the installation of a water softener pretty much a necessity. If you don’t have one, your water heater would need to be descaled regularly to function properly. Mineral scaling can cause appliances to malfunction, use water very inefficiently or stop working altogether. The minerals can also show up as a scaly residue on your dishwasher, tea kettle, coffee maker, or anything else in your home that heats the water. We get many calls from Fresno homeowners who notice these scaling symptoms and want us to inspect their water heater. We also regularly inspect water softeners since they’re affected by mineral buildup as well, and this will begin to affect their performance over time.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Fresno?
In Fresno, the average cost of hiring us is around $408. However, there’s a very wide range included within that average, and it can certainly be much more or much less. Here are the most significant factors that will determine your final bill.
Complexity of the Job
Some plumbing jobs are much more complicated than others, which means we might require specialized tools or knowledge. Straightforward services like fixing a faucet or unclogging a drain will be on the lower end of the scale, while projects like replacing a water heater or installing a sump pump are much more expensive. An issue like low water pressure can also be potentially complex, and we have to begin identifying the cause of the problem. If it turns out that your plumbing system has a major leak, then it may be necessary to replace long lines of pipe, which would also be on the higher range of the scale.
How Long the Project Takes
Although it’s common to be charged a flat fee for a specific service, most of us will charge you an hourly rate. In the case of a problem that requires gaining access to a leaky pipe, we may have to make multiple openings in the wall or the floor. Depending on the setup of your plumbing system, this is the kind of issue that will take more time, which is why it also costs more.
Regular Maintenance vs. Emergency Repair
There’s a big difference between needing to do some basic upkeep for your plumbing and needing repairs because of an urgent situation. For example, a burst pipe that’s now flooding your home is extremely stressful for any homeowner and definitely an emergency! These plumbing jobs are always likely to be more expensive, especially if it happens after regular business hours. We essentially have to drop everything else and rush over to get the situation under control.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Fresno?
Absolutely, especially if you focus on making your plumbing system more efficient. The EPA’s WaterSense program is all about helping homeowners reduce water and energy waste by choosing the right appliances and fixtures. Using these approved plumbing products can reduce your water usage by 20 percent, which means they pretty much pay for themselves. You can also potentially get some rebates from DPU to offset the costs of products that conserve water. Some of the possible upgrades that help with water efficiency would be low-flow toilets and low-flow showerheads.
If you’re dealing with recurrent leaks, which is a truly astronomical waste of water; that should definitely become your main plumbing priority. You can replace older incoming pipes, sewer pipes, or your irrigation system, and make a huge difference in reducing water usage. For a serious upgrade on your old lead pipes, consider going with copper. This is a corrosion-resistant material with great long-term performance and will be much less likely to spring a leak.
Replacing an old, inefficient water heater can also help you save substantially on your energy costs. The new Energy Star models are much safer and more efficient than those available 10 to 15 years ago. So much so that they can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of using the appliance.
Better plumbing can save you money on your energy bills, your water bills, and even the cost of future plumbing repairs. Best of all, you also have the peace of mind that you probably won’t have to deal with a plumbing emergency anytime soon.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Fresno vs Hire a Plumber?
Good question. The answer is that most plumbing issues in Fresno will require us, but there are those exceptions when you should be reaching out to DPU instead. It just depends on whether you have an issue within your plumbing system or if the problem is coming from the utility’s plumbing system and might potentially affect several homes in your immediate area.
Losing water to your entire property would be one of those situations where you contact DPU, especially if the same thing is happening to any neighbors. Another situation where you should DEFINITELY call the utility company right away is if you notice a water leak on your street, which a water main break would probably cause. This line will typically run at the front of each property in your neighborhood and connect to the city’s plumbing system. Like any other water pipe, they can spring a leak or even burst.
When it comes to any issues that happen on your property itself, you’re responsible for hiring us to take care of the problem.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Fresno?
Homes in Fresno are hooked up to the city’s main water supply, which means it’s important for all plumbing work to be managed closely at the municipal level. While you don’t need a permit for the superficial plumbing problems you might deal with, such as replacing a faucet or cleaning a drain, the City of Fresno does require permits for any structural plumbing work. For example, repairing or removing any components of your existing plumbing system, especially underground piping, piping that’s located beneath a floor or inside of a wall or ceiling. The same is true for major projects like making changes to a sewer line or adjusting any of your water supply lines.
We also have specific criteria that we must abide by to make sure our services comply with all federal, state, and local regulations. This is why we definitely make sure to secure the right permits before beginning any plumbing project.