Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Redwood City?
- 2 How Does the Water in Redwood City Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Redwood City?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Redwood City?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Redwood City vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Redwood City?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Redwood City?
People who live in Redwood City experience the same common plumbing issues as anyone else. We get calls all the time because toilets get clogged, sink drains back up, faucets drip, and sometimes pipes spring a leak. Besides those mundane plumbing problems, we also get calls for some plumbing issues that are unique to the homes in Redwood City. Just a few of those things include:
Lead Plumbing Pipes
Lead pipes were once the most affordable option for plumbing in Redwood City. Unfortunately, lead pipes can cause serious health problems for children and pregnant women. These pipes were banned from use by Congress in 1986, but the ban only applied to new construction. There was never any requirement for lead pipes to be replaced and many homes in the city still have them. Older homes in Redwood City may still have lead plumbing pipes or copper pipes with lead solder, and your family may be at risk of drinking lead-contaminated water.
Galvanized Plumbing Pipes
Like lead plumbing pipes, galvanized pipes were once widely used in Redwood City homes. In addition to being a possible source of lead poisoning, galvanized plumbing is prone to corrosion. When the inside of the pipe rusts and flakes off, it becomes suspended in the water as it makes its way out of the tap into your drinking glass. Besides being unappealing, rusty, corroded water from inside the pipes can have an odd odor that’s off-putting. Replacing galvanized pipes is the only way to eliminate these issues.
If you own a historic Redwood City home, you want to keep as much of the original charm as you can. After all, it’s the little details that make the place feel special. Your vintage bathroom and kitchen fixtures are as authentic as it gets, but are they functioning properly? We’re experts at finding new fixtures that mimic the look of antique fixtures, so it’s easy to replace those that are corroded, dripping, hard to operate, or simply too far gone to call vintage.
Clogs & Slow Drains
Clogs and slow drains can occur in any home, but they happen more often in Redwood City because of the hard water in the area. The water leaves mineral deposits on the insides of your pipes, which, over time, builds up enough to cause significant blockages.
How Does the Water in Redwood City Affect Your Plumbing?
Unlike some areas of the country, the water in Redwood City isn’t particularly hard. In fact, it’s considered moderately hard. However, even a low level of calcium suspended in the water can cause issues with your plumbing. Calcium deposits not only leave spots on your glassware, but they also build up in your fixtures and pipes where they can cause low water pressure issues and leaks at connections.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Redwood City?
When it comes to plumbing, no two jobs are the same, and it’s difficult to say how much repairs for your plumbing problems will cost. We can say that the average cost for our services in the area ranges from $100 to $900. The more complex your plumbing job is, the higher the rate. In addition to the complexity of the job and the number of hours it takes to complete it, there are some other factors that will determine the final amount of your plumbing bill.
Scope of the Plumbing Work
As you can imagine, the more plumbing work that you need done, the more expensive it’s going to be. In part, this is due to the additional hours it will take, but it’s also about the amount of physical work it will take to get the job done in a timely manner. After all, your family can’t go without water for long, and your plumbing issue needs to be taken care of quickly.
If you need to have an entire house full of lead or galvanized pipes replaced, it’s going to cost substantially more than replacing a single faucet. If you have a large multi-story home with several bathrooms, it’s going to be a much tougher job to take care of plumbing issues than it will in a small home. It’s not just how much pipe needs to be replaced, or how many fixtures need to be installed, however, when determining the scope of the work the location of the pipes is key.
Hidden and Difficult to Reach Plumbing
Many of your home’s plumbing pipes and connections are hidden inside walls and under the floors of your home. They were installed during construction before the walls were in place. This works out well for the builder, but when you’ve got a plumbing problem, it presents a unique challenge. There are times when it’s necessary to make holes in the floor or wall to get to the pipes, which can be unnerving.
We deal with plumbing issues in many of Redwood City’s older homes, and we are extremely careful about how we access the space. When the pipes need to be repaired or replaced, plaster walls and other historic finishes need to be handled delicately, so they are preserved. We do everything in our power to ensure that nothing is damaged and that all the plumbing is repaired properly, but the extra caution can lead to longer working times and higher bills.
Indoor vs Outdoor Plumbing
Your home’s plumbing system is both inside and outside under your lawn. Whenever you have a plumbing problem that happens inside, we’re here to help. We handle everything you’d expect us to from clearing clogged drains and fixing drippy faucets to replacing harmful lead pipes and installing new plumbing fixtures. Although it depends upon what your plumbing problem is, indoor plumbing is cheaper than outdoor plumbing.
As a homeowner in Redwood City, you’re responsible for everything that happens on your side of the water meter. That means you’ve got to take care of outdoor plumbing issues like water main breaks or clogged sewer lines that run under your lawn. We have no problem taking care of these big plumbing jobs for you, in fact, we’re very aware of the types of outdoor plumbing problems you’ll encounter in Redwood City. But, because we need to dig up and move very heavy pipes, we need heavy equipment and extra people, so it’s a bit more expensive than indoor plumbing.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Redwood City?
Investing in maintaining your Redwood City home’s plumbing system is a smart idea. By having it regularly inspected, small issues can be caught and repaired before they become major problems. That means fewer unexpected emergency plumbing repair bills now and better performance of your plumbing system for years to come.
Addressing hard water issues that cause calcium build-up in your plumbing will also save you money. You’ll get better water pressure coming through your faucets and showers. Your water appliances like the water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker will all work more efficiently and last longer. And, softer water will also help you use less soap, shampoo, and detergents, your skin and hair will feel better, and your laundry will be cleaner.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Redwood City vs Hire a Plumber?
When it comes to whom you should call for a plumbing issue, it’s usually pretty easy to tell. If the problem is inside your house like a dripping faucet or clogged drain, you need our plumbers. The utility company won’t help you. Basically, all of the plumbing that’s located on your side of the meter is your responsibility to repair or replace as needed.
The Redwood City Public Works Department is responsible for the city’s water mains and sewer lines. They’ll be the ones to call if you notice a large amount of water pouring from an obviously broken water main. They’re also the right people to talk to if you suspect there’s a problem with a clog in the sewer line. Another time you’ll want to contact the Public Works Department is when you’re having trouble with your home’s plumbing and you can’t shut the main water valve off yourself.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Redwood City?
Like most other cities, you need a permit for many plumbing services in Redwood City. Things like replacing lead or galvanized pipes, installing a new water heater, repiping a bathroom that’s been remodeled and rearranged, and installing new plumbing all require a permit. We’re very familiar with the plumbing permit process in Redwood City and we’ll take care of everything.
There are a few exceptions to the permit rules. If you’re just trying to stop a drain leak or soil leak, and you’re not going to replace any parts, you don’t need a permit. If you have a leak in the bathroom, the plumbing pipes and fixtures can be dismantled and put back together without a permit. If anything changes, such as the configuration of the pipes, or the fixtures, it’s considered a new project and you need a permit.