Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Orange?
- 2 How Does the Water in Orange Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Orange?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Orange?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Orange vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Orange?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Orange?
Orange plumbing problems are not much different from those elsewhere, although we don’t experience the ice and show of the Midwest that can add additional issues. We do, however, have our share of earthquakes, and we are in a drought which can also add to plumbing problems. Let’s look at some of our more common plumbing issues.
General Plumbing Issues
Some plumbing problems can occur in the kitchen, the bathroom, or the laundry room. Clogged drains and dripping faucets can be found at the kitchen sink, laundry sink, bathroom sink, shower, or bathtub. Many of these issues are made worse by the city’s hard water. When it happens in just one spot, it most likely is that individual faucet or drain. But when it happens at more than one location, it is a bigger issue of your water line from the city main line into your home, or your sewer line going out to the city sewer line.
What Else Can Go Wrong in the Kitchen
A jammed garbage disposal never occurs at a convenient time. Avoid pouring grease or oil down the kitchen drain and don’t expect your disposal to chew up bones. You should also avoid overloading the disposal with too much debris at once, even vegetable peelings. If your disposal jams, there is a reset button you can try. If that doesn’t clear the problem, you will have to refrain from adding anything else and call the plumber.
Another kitchen problem can involve a leak in the dishwasher. There are a few things that can cause the leak such as a broken float switch or damaged spray arms. There could also be a tear in the drain hose, or the connections could be loose. The city’s hard water also contributes to a shorter lifespan for most appliances and plumbing equipment, as it makes your system run less efficiently and work harder to produce the results you want.
Perhaps the most universally common plumbing issue is that of a running or leaky toilet. The culprit could be the flapper seal that is either not fitting properly because of mineral deposits from the city’s hard water. Sometimes the constant running is due to an improper float level. It also could be a result of the water pressure being too high and needing a place to release some of that pressure.
Water Pressure Problems
At specific times of day, you may be used to a bit lower water pressure due to a water usage uptick within specific areas of the city. But major changes in your water pressure are not normal and should be addressed. If the low pressure is only at one outlet, it could be as simple as a clogged faucet aerator. But, if you are experiencing universally lower pressure than usual, you could have a leak or large mineral deposits inside your pipes left behind from the hard water in the area.
On the other end, if your water pressure has suddenly increased, it could be from air trapped in the pipes. In that case, simply allowing the water to run for a few minutes should alleviate the problem. But it could also mean that your water pressure regulator is on the fritz, and that is nothing to mess around with. Time to call our plumbers.
Earthquakes and Plumbing
We all know that earthquakes can cause structural damage to our homes. Homeowners are also aware of California’s regulation to strap water heaters because of the threat they pose during and following a quake. Whether large or small, an earthquake can also damage underground water and sewer lines to and from your home by loosening joints or cracking pipes. After an earthquake, even if it was minor, it is a good idea to turn on your faucets and flush your toilets to ensure your plumbing remains in good working order. Contact us if you notice or suspect any damage following seismic activity.
Leaky Hose Bib or Sprinkler Head
Many of us don’t pay too much attention to our outdoor plumbing, but we should. A drippy hose bib can turn into a cracked hose bib if left to continue leaking. If you spot water around a sprinkler head when you haven’t had the sprinklers on, you probably have a leak there. Similarly, if left unattended, it can lead to a much larger problem. Additionally, fixing outdoor water problems will save on your water bill while conserving this precious resource during a time of drought, which is common in California.
Pool Plumbing Problems
We expect to see water around the pool, but only when it has been used. If you see water on the deck, near the motor, or along the line in between, there is probably a leak or a problem with the motor. You can ask to have your pool service check it out. But if it isn’t a motor issue, they may tell you to call our plumbers, especially if the leak is in your pipes underground.
How Does the Water in Orange Affect Your Plumbing?
The water in Orange is considered moderately hard. At 108 ppm (parts per million of calcium, magnesium, and other metals found in one measure of water) our water registers within the U.S. Geological Survey office’s range of moderately hard, between 61 to 120 ppm. At this measure, our water should not affect pipes or plumbing. We are lucky in this regard. Nearby Irvine’s water measures 152 ppm and Tustin’s water is 256 ppm, which measure in the hard and very hard ranges and could cause blockages and lower water pressure in household pipes.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Orange?
On average, homeowners in Orange spend around $450 on plumbing services, with most jobs falling between $100 and $925. Some projects may cost less, and more complex projects may cost more.
Our plumbers typically charge you for their service by the hour. The first hour may be substantially higher than subsequent hours worked. For example, the first-hour charge may be $100, but further hours spent on the same repair may be $30 or $40. The more time a repair takes the higher the labor cost will be.
Complexity of Repair or Project
Speaking of more complex issues, when a water line into the house needs repair or replacement, that can be a more complex repair than replacing a T-trap under the sink. Not only is it going to take longer, but special equipment will also be needed to trench out the line. New materials can be expensive as well including large pipes and fittings.
Urgency of Repair
While you can postpone having a new faucet installed or fixing a hose bib, some emergencies call for immediate repair. A leaking or busted pipe, or a backed-up sewer line are immediate. You can’t plan an emergency, but when it happens, you need our plumbers ASAP. It may not take them long. Maybe they can repair the leak in less than an hour. But that one plumber may be on call for several others during off-hours. Because their schedule has been disrupted to take care of your problem, you can expect to pay more.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Orange?
Better plumbing can definitely save you dollars in the long run. For one thing, replacing fixtures with upgrades or old pipelines with new copper or PVC pipe will reduce the risk for emergency repairs down the road that could cost you a lot more. Considered a home improvement, better plumbing will also enhance your property value.
Additionally, new energy-saving fixtures will lower your water usage and, subsequently, your bills; and when you purchase water-efficient washing machines, toilets, and irrigation equipment, your purchases may qualify for a rebate. The City of Orange refers its residents to the Municipal Water District of Orange County for rebate offers. Some rebate examples include:
- Washing Machines — starting with rebates from $85, a high-efficiency washer will use 55% less water while cleaning your clothes just as well.
- High-Efficiency Toilets — have rebates starting at $40, a premium high-efficiency model will use only 1.06 gallons or less per flush.
- Drip Irrigation — rebates offered start at $.50/square foot and depending on your property size you may use up to 50 gallons less per day by converting spray sprinkler heads to drip irrigation.
- Smart Sprinkler Timers — have rebates starting at $180 for property less than one acre in size and utilizing a weather-based controller can save between 40 to 50 gallons per day.
- Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles — a minimum of 30 are required to get a rebate of $2 each for sprinkler nozzles that will water your property more efficiently and can save you 15 gallons per day, per nozzle.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Orange vs Hire a Plumber?
In most cases, when you need plumbing repair, you should contact our plumbers. However, to report an emergency water leak, the city asks you to call its 24-hour emergency line at (714) 538-1961.
If you see a water main leak or fire hydrant leak somewhere within the city, you should contact the city’s water division. In addition, during a time of drought, if you see any water misuse or have other water-related concerns, the city asks residents to also contact the water division.
Generally speaking, issues that pertain just to your home and don’t affect your neighbors will demand our services rather than help from the water company.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Orange?
Most plumbing repairs do not require a permit in Orange. Leak repairs in pipes or fixtures that do not need rearrangement of the lines or fixture, and cleaning drains or other stoppages, are considered routine. But if pipes or a trap need to be replaced, a permit is required. In addition, a permit is needed for the replacement of a water heater. Gas water heaters must be in California Plumbing Code Regulations-approved locations and must be secured with earthquake straps.
Our licensed plumbers in Orange are familiar with any requirements for permits within city limits and can help sort out whether your project requires one. If you have any questions regarding plumbing permits, we’re here to help!