Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Bernardino?
- 2 How Does the Water in San Bernardino Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Bernardino?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Bernardino?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Bernardino Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Bernardino?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Bernardino?
Problems with water pressure in San Bernardino are the number one complaint that homeowners here have. This is due to the fact that the city’s water reservoirs are located at higher elevations. Typically, homes that are farthest from the reservoirs and sit at lower elevations will have the highest water pressure. Conversely, homes that sit at the same elevation as the reservoirs can expect to have lower water pressure. Changes in water pressure are also more noticeable during peak usage times.
Thanks to gravity, some San Bernardino homes will always have low water pressure. Residents living in these houses can take steps to ensure that their water pressure is maximized. Routine plumbing maintenance is vitally important in these low-pressure homes. Clogs, mineral deposits, undetected leaks, and malfunctioning valves will reduce naturally lower water pressure to just a trickle.
While low water pressure is nothing more than a nuisance, high water pressure can actually damage a house’s plumbing system. Pipes that have recurring leaks and a hot water heater that routinely malfunctions are signs that the water pressure in the home is too high, and in some homes, the pipes will rattle when an appliance or faucet is turned off. A pressure regulator may need to be installed in San Bernardino homes that sit at lower elevations.
Another common plumbing issue we see a lot in San Bernardino is clogged pipes. Things like hair, food, grease, and soap scum will build up over time. And, yes, we do pull the occasional toy out of sewer lines, so please don’t be embarrassed to call us if your little one flushed a toy.
People often call our plumbers in San Bernardino after trying an over-the-counter drain cleaner. These liquids and gels are often ineffective at removing stubborn clogs. These products can actually damage your pipes if they’re used frequently. If you have a slow drain, your best bet is to call us. Don’t put it off, as clogs only worsen with time. Trust us when we say that you do not want water or sewage backflow into your home!
Not every call we go on is an emergency or a major repair. We do a lot of house calls for replacing fixtures like showerheads, faucets, bathtubs, and sinks. Despite what all the do-it-yourself websites and TV programs will tell you, these types of tasks benefit from a professional plumber’s expertise. Don’t make the mistake of trying to save a few bucks, only to cause expensive damage to your home’s plumbing system. We’re happy to help you turn your bathroom into your own personal spa, complete with a new sink and waterfall showerhead.
How Does the Water in San Bernardino Affect Your Plumbing?
The hardness of water in the San Bernardino area can affect your plumbing. The Municipal Water Department’s most recent Consumer Confidence Report showed that San Bernardino’s water has a hardness rating range of 120 to 330. The United States Geological Survey classifies these water ratings as “hard” and “very hard”.
While “hard water” sounds scary, it is not a health concern. It can be a bit of a nuisance, though, as some people with hard water in their homes notice that they need to use more soap or shampoo to create a lather and glassware that comes out of the dishwasher that never “looks” clean.
Hard water won’t affect your health, but it can affect your plumbing. Over time, hard water will cause mineral buildup inside of pipes on the elements in your hot water heater and around fixtures. If you have hard water in your home, installing a water softener may be an option. A water softener system is an investment that will help your plumbing and appliances last longer.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Bernardino?
The average plumbing bill in San Bernardino is $464, with a range anywhere from $113 to $816. Keep in mind that plumbing services range from the very simple (replacing a faucet gasket) to the very complex (taking out old pipes and installing new ones). As with any home improvement project or repair, plumbing costs are dependent on several factors.
Cost Factor 1: You need someone out ASAP.
If you have a plumbing emergency on your hands, like no hot water or a burst pipe, you will need our plumber out as soon as possible. We know that emergencies rarely happen during regular business hours, which is why our plumbers will do 24/7 calls as needed. You can expect to pay more if we have to come out in the middle of the night, on a weekend, or on a holiday.
Cost Factor 2: The scope of your project.
Some plumbing projects that look simple to our customers end up being complex. We may be called in for one leaky pipe, only to discover that the ancient plumbing is a ticking time bomb. Or, we may go in hoping we can just replace the heating element on a hot water tank, only to discover that the entire tank is lined with mineral buildup.
As a point of reference, a hot water heater repair can run about $130, and the price tag for installing a new water heater is around $1,574. That total can go up considerably for larger tanks and premium water heater brands.
Cost Factor 3: Whether or not you’re eligible for financial assistance.
There are local and federal housing repair loans and grants that may offset the cost of some plumbing services. Each program operates a little differently and sets its own eligibility criteria and terms.
Two programs that serve San Bernardino residents include the Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire and USDA housing repair loans and grants. Military veterans in San Bernardino may also qualify for Help with Home Repairs and Modifications.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Bernardino?
Better plumbing will absolutely save you money in the long run. Our plumbers in San Bernardino do more than just fix leaky pipes. We love to help homeowners find ways to save money on their water bills. Water is California’s most precious resource, and we all have to do our part not to waste any. Depending on your budget and lifestyle, that could mean installing a shower flow control or upgrading to a front-loading washing machine.
We also always like to remind people to take care of leaky faucets right away. It may not seem like a lot of water is wasted, but over time it does add up. If your kitchen faucet leaks one drop per second for a whole year, that’s 3,000 gallons of wasted water (and money).
Not all plumbing problems are as noticeable as a dripping faucet. Portions of your home’s plumbing system run behind walls and under the subflooring. You want to detect any leaks in these “hidden” pipes before water damages your home’s infrastructure. Routinely monitoring your home’s water meter is one way to detect any minor leaks that you can’t see. We recommend blocking out a two-hour period where no one will use water. Check your meter at the start and end of these two hours. If your water meter changes at all, you likely have a leak somewhere in your home.
Older homes can be more susceptible to leaks, as pipes do wear out over time. San Bernardino is home to a lot of vintage homes, some of which were built in the 1930s. In the past, copper, cast iron, and clay water pipes were installed in homes. If you live in an older home and aren’t sure when the pipes were last replaced, it might be time to call us in for a plumbing inspection.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Bernardino Vs Hire a Plumber?
A lot of the phone calls we take start with, “I wasn’t sure if I should call you or the city, but …” As a general rule, if your neighbors also have plumbing issues, there is probably something wrong with the city lines. The city is responsible for maintaining the municipal water lines and fire hydrants. If it’s only your home that is affected, you should start by calling our plumbers. Typically, homeowners are responsible for repairs that are needed on their property.
But before you call anyone, keep in mind that both low water pressure and high water pressure are known issues in San Bernardino. If you just moved into your home, you may want to check with your next-door neighbors to see what is “normal” for the homes on your block. The city also has a water pressure zone and pressure contours map that residents will find helpful.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Bernardino?
The city of San Bernardino requires permits for many residential plumbing services. Obtaining a permit can seem like a lot of red tape, but the city’s rules and regulations keep us all safe. San Bernardino’s Building and Safety Division handles all permits and can be reached at (909) 384-7272. Permit costs vary depending on the work you are having done.
If you try to tackle plumbing repairs on your own, it can be difficult to know when and if permits are required. When you hire one of our licensed plumbers in San Bernardino, we take care of the paperwork for you, and if you’re ever in doubt if a plumber or other contractor is licensed in the state of California, you can look this information up online. California’s Department of Consumer Affairs website has a Check a License feature.