Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Novato?
- 2 How Does the Water in Novato Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Novato?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Novato?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Novato Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Novato?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Novato?
Living in Novato, the relatively stable temperatures mean you don’t have to worry about your plumbing system being negatively impacted by cold weather in winter. However, Californians have several other plumbing issues that we often encounter.
Properly working sump pumps and ejector pumps are necessary if you have a basement in Novato. They prevent sewage backups and basement floods from happening. If suddenly you smell a foul odor in your basement and small water pools start to form, call Mr Blue Plumbing right away so we could inspect and inform you right away if pump replacement is needed.
Another problem that frequently occurs in Novato is slow drains. Several factors can cause this, including a buildup of hair, oil, and soap. Although this may seem like a minor issue, we can be very helpful in identifying and resolving the root cause of this problem.
Speaking of roots, tree roots are a surprising — but common — cause of plumbing issues in Novato. Your home has several pipes and sewer lines buried in the surrounding ground, and nearby tree roots will often seek out the water that flows through these pipes. If the roots make contact, they can create cracks in the pipes and wreak havoc on your drainage system.
Mandatory Restrictions on Use of Water
Due to the low levels of rainfall in California and reservoirs reaching historic lows, Marin County, which Novato falls under, has imposed restrictions on water use for residents. Watering your plants have restrictions on which day, how many times per week it can be done, and which times you’re allowed to do it. There is also a ban on refilling decorative fountains, washing your cars at home, watering public medians, washing driveways and sidewalks, and power washing.
Because of the dire need to conserve water, the state imposed mandatory limits on the water used by plumbing fixtures. For instance, new toilets should not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush, new showerheads should not exceed 2 gallons per minute, new bathroom faucets should not exceed 1.5 gallons per minute, and new kitchen fauces should now exceed 1.8 gallons per minute.
For existing plumbing fixtures, they need to comply with the following restrictions: bathroom and kitchen faucets should not exceed 2.2 gallons per minute, toilets should not exceed 1.6 gallons per flush, and showerheads should not exceed 2.5 gallons per minute, otherwise they will need to be upgraded to comply with the restrictions. Call us so we can help you upgrade your plumbing system and avoid the fines issued for non-compliance.
Due to Novato being near several active fault lines, it is predicted by the United States Geological Survey Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities that there is a 70% likelihood that one or more earthquakes of 6.7 or higher on the Richter scale will occur in the area between 2000 and 2030. Earthquakes, even minor ones, can cause the ground to shift which in turn can dislodge or damage your plumbing system. When an earthquake occurs, you can call us to inspect your plumbing system for any damages and make any necessary repairs before the problem gets any bigger.
How Does the Water in Novato Affect Your Plumbing?
The North Marin Water District sources approximately a quarter of Novato’s water from Stafford Lake. The rest comes from a groundwater aquifer near the Russian River. Testing indicates that this groundwater is so pure, it does not need to undergo any further treatment. However, to ensure its purity and balance its pH levels, minor amounts of chlorine and sodium hydroxide are added before the water makes it to your home.
Although some areas of California struggle with hard water, Novato is luckily not one of them. Hard water is caused by particularly high amounts of calcium and magnesium, which are perfectly safe to drink but will often create mineral buildup in pipes and water heaters. This ultimately reduces the lifespan of your plumbing system and can create frustrating clogs.
To be considered hard, water must contain at least 61 milligrams per liter of calcium carbonate. In Novato, the 2019 Annual Water Quality Report detected just 4 milligrams per liter, which means the water in this area tends to be very soft. If you notice mineral buildup on your showerheads or faucets, you may have begun receiving hard water and want to consider installing a water softener. Otherwise, the water in Novato should not harm your plumbing.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Novato?
The price of plumbing can fluctuate greatly depending on the type of problem you’re experiencing. On average, homeowners in this area can expect to spend approximately $513 on plumbing. However, it is impossible for us to fully predict your costs until we have looked at the problem. A few factors that tend to influence plumbing costs include:
The Size of the Job
For common problems like clogged drains, you are unlikely to face high fees. When we can rapidly fix the problem, labor costs can remain low. Larger jobs, such as installing a new water heater, can cost over $1,000. This type of job typically requires more people, more time, and a larger number of materials, all of which add up to create a higher cost.
Emergency Vs. Standard Maintenance
If we come to your home during regular business hours to solve a straightforward problem, costs will typically be fairly low. Unfortunately, however, sometimes plumbing emergencies do happen. When they occur, you can’t wait around until it’s convenient — you have to handle it right away, day or night. Because this urgent problem requires a rapid response time and may happen during off-hours, it can be much more expensive. Labor costs typically rise when plumbers must take time away from their personal lives to deal with the issue. Additionally, plumbing emergencies are generally larger jobs and may cause extensive damage that is costly to repair.
Cost of Materials
Although it’s easy to overlook the cost of materials when thinking about plumbing problems, this is a very important factor. If the problem in question is a small job that we encounter frequently, it is unlikely that we will need to special order any kind of expensive material. With larger jobs, however, the cost of material can rapidly increase. For example, if your pipes need to be replaced, we may suggest investing in copper pipes, which are more expensive upfront but will perform significantly better over time.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In Novato?
Plumbing is always a good investment, whether you frequently have large problems or you only encounter minor issues from time to time. Even small problems can end up costing more than people typically realize. For example, leaky taps can waste over 3,000 gallons of water every year, resulting in many hidden expenses. Fixing leaks in your home can save you approximately 10% on your water bills.
You can circumvent unexpected costs by investing in preventative maintenance measures. Hiring us to inspect your plumbing system is an excellent way to save money long-term, even if you aren’t currently experiencing any noticeable problems. During routine inspections, we can check for hidden leaks, make sure your drains are not likely to clog, ensure your piping system is up-to-date, and even check your appliances to ensure they are running as efficiently as possible. This simple step can help you prevent plumbing problems before they happen.
Additionally, it is always worth taking the time to find a skilled, qualified plumber, like us, rather than simply choosing the first name that pops up when you search for plumbers near you. If you inadvertently hire an inexperienced plumber, they may be unable to resolve your problem properly. They would eventually need to pay a second plumber to come to take a look. Skipping this step and going straight to us will save you a significant amount of time, money, and hassle.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In Novato Vs Hire a Plumber?
If you’re experiencing problems with your water, it’s easy to wonder whether you should be calling a plumber or reaching out to the water utility company. Here are some ways to determine who you should contact, depending on the issue you are experiencing.
When to Contact the Water Utility Company
Our local water utility company is the North Marin Water District. They are in charge of citywide water problems and emergencies such as a burst water line. To figure out whether you should contact the water utility company, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has water stopped flowing to my home?
- Did my water pressure suddenly plummet for no apparent reason?
- Are my neighbors experiencing similar problems?
- Do I have a leak that I know is not coming from my pipes?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should reach out to the North Marin Water District for assistance. Representatives can be reached during business hours at (415) 897-4133. If you experience an emergency during off-hours, call the same number and press 7 to be forwarded to the after-hours service center.
When to Contact a Plumber
While the North Marin Water District can assist in larger problems with the water lines, you would want to contact us directly if you are experiencing plumbing problems isolated to your own home. You should contact us if:
- You’re experiencing localized plumbing problems such as clogged drains, a running toilet, or issues with your pipes
- Your water pressure has been gradually decreasing, but your neighbors are not experiencing similar problems
- You’re hearing loud clanging sounds in your pipes
- Your water bills have unexpectedly skyrocketed
A sudden increase in water bills can indicate a hidden leak somewhere in your home. If you notice a leak but aren’t sure whether it is coming from your pipes or pipes belonging to the water utility company, there is an easy way to check. Turn off all the water in your home, and then have a look at your water meter. If the meter stops turning, but the leak continues, this means that it is coming from the utility company’s water lines, and you should contact them immediately to alert them. However, if you turn off all the water in your home and your water meter continues to turn, this means you have a leak in your pipes and should contact us.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in Novato?
Per the California Building Code, you will need a permit if you plan to “erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace” your plumbing system. A few things that may require a permit include:
- Installing bathtubs, sinks, or bidets
- Replacing sections of sewer line
- Installing a new sump pump, water heater, or water softener
However, standard maintenance and minor repairs, such as unclogging a drain, will not require a permit. If you are unsure whether your plumbing issue will require a permit, we at Mr Blue Plumbing will be able to offer personalized guidance.