Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In San Francisco?
- 2 How Does The Water In San Francisco Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Francisco?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In San Francisco?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In San Francisco Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in San Francisco?
What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In San Francisco?
We work on a lot of plumbing issues in the San Francisco area, but here are the ones we handle most often for our customers.
Broken Water Pipes
San Francisco is older than you might think. The city was originally founded in 1776 by Spanish settlers. Nearly 250 years of history have made San Francisco an amazing place to live, but it has some drawbacks for the plumbing. Some of the city’s sewer lines are more than 100 years old, meaning they desperately need replacing. The City of San Francisco is making good headway on this project, but there are ramifications for those living nearby. Broken water pipes can cause water damage to property and affect the way your plumbing is working inside your home.
Drains have to handle a lot, and sometimes homeowners aren’t as careful with them as they should be. Drains in the kitchen get clogged with grease and food scraped off of your plate at the end of a meal. Bathroom drains get clogged with hair as well as residue from conditioners, shampoos, lotions, and more. This build-up can cause drains to empty slowly and may get blocked entirely, leaving you with a full sink or tub. You can loosen the drain cap and try to remove any clogs yourself, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll want to call in our professionals.
Water loves finding the path of the least resistance, and sometimes that’s not the path we want it to take. Leaks can happen almost anywhere in your plumbing system, and sometimes you won’t know there is a leak until the issue is pretty serious. Signs of a leak include the obvious dampness and puddling around your appliances, but be aware of less obvious signs, too. Low water pressure or slowly refilling tanks could be a sign there is a leak in your system you haven’t spotted yet. Calling in one of our master plumbers for an inspection can help prevent water damage from the leak.
Low Water Pressure
If you aren’t getting a full flush or notice your shower isn’t as strong as it used to be, you may be experiencing low water pressure. There are a lot of different reasons for low water pressure. The answers may depend on where it’s happening and whether it’s happening with both your hot and cold water flow. If you are experiencing low water pressure in a single tap, then it may be a simple clog. If every tap in your home is experiencing low water pressure, though, then there might be an issue with a water leak somewhere in your main pipes.
No Hot Water
There is nothing worse than expecting a nice hot shower and getting only cold water, instead. A lack of hot water is a sign of problems with your hot water heater. Depending on the type of hot water heater you have, this could be as simple as the pilot light going out. It could also be something more complicated like a mechanical failure or San Francisco’s soft water causing problems inside the tank. In either case, you’ll want to have our experts look at your hot water heater right away, because a minor issue can become a big problem very quickly.
How Does The Water In San Francisco Affect Your Plumbing?
San Francisco’s water quality is excellent. It’s consistently rated as one of the best-tasting tap waters in the United States. And while the taste of the water won’t impact your plumbing, the quality of the water will. Water that is dense in minerals, also known as hard water, can cause build-ups of mineral deposits in the pipes and cause issues with the plumbing systems in your home. San Francisco residents can rest easy, though, because the Bay Area has very soft water. That means there aren’t many naturally-occurring minerals in the water, so it’s as easy on your plumbing as it is on your hair and clothing.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Francisco?
If you are experiencing an issue with your plumbing, the cost of calling our professional plumbers might worry you. Fortunately, we offer very reasonable rates. While jobs will vary, on average people can expect to pay around $170 for our plumbers to visit their home. Your final bill will vary, though, depending on a few factors.
Cost Factor1: How Long the Work Takes
Sometimes this is hard to estimate. After all, what looks like a straightforward repair might, later on, require opening up a wall to get to a leaky pipe. So our plumbers will typically charge an hourly fee for their repair work. This covers their labor and possibly some of their materials. For other work, our plumbers may offer a flat fee for the job. They might know that a toilet replacement takes them about three hours and charge a flat fee accordingly.
Cost Factor 2: The Type of Job
Some plumbing jobs are more complicated than others. Fixing something like a clogged pipe is usually pretty straightforward, but finding the cause of low water pressure can be a lot more complicated. They might require special tools that our plumbers don’t have on hand. They may need to rent equipment and add this expense into the final bill. The more complicated the specialized work is, the more you can expect to pay.
Cost Factor 3: Emergency Service
If our plumber needs to work outside of their normal hours, you can expect your emergency service to cost a little more than normal. So early morning, late-night, and weekend service calls may end up with a higher bill.
Our plumbers are happy to give you a quote, either over the phone or in person, before they start the work. This can help you budget for the plumbing work in preparation for your issue to be solved.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In San Francisco?
Absolutely. Here is how better plumbing could help you save money in the long run:
- Quality materials last longer. You don’t have a pay a fortune for the plumbing materials used in your home. However, spending a little more than rock bottom can really pay off in the long run. Buying well-made fixtures and plumbing parts will end up costing you less over the time you own your home because they will last longer. That means you won’t have to replace them nearly as often, and in some cases, ever again.
- Quality workmanship lasts longer, too. The work of a good plumber like those from Mr. Blue Plumbing will last longer than a work of a plumber who is just trying to patch your issue so they can get onto the next job. Quality plumbing work should permanently resolve any issues you are having. Looking for a skilled plumber like us in the San Francisco area will pay off because you’ll have fewer follow-up service calls to pay.
- The best plumber is a proactive plumber. Most plumbers can fix a leak. But great plumbers like ours will make sure the leak doesn’t happen again. By proactively looking for ways to improve your plumbing system, our experts will help you avoid the cost of future repairs. Preventative measures are much less expensive than a big repair bill.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In San Francisco Vs Hire a Plumber?
The answer to whether you need to call the utility company or our plumbers in San Francisco will depend on where the leak is occurring. While there may be an exception to the rule, in general, if the leak is happening on your property, it’s your problem. That means you’ll need to call us right away. Your property will include everything beyond the street, so even if there is a leak in your yard from a pipe, that’s still a problem for you and our plumber to resolve.
If, however, there is a water pipe issue in the street, then you’ll want to call the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
If you aren’t sure whether your plumber or the utility company should handle the issue, start with contacting us. We can advise you and let you know if you should contact the City of San Francisco. We will be able to provide you with a contact number, as well.
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in San Francisco?
For most plumbing repair work, you won’t need to get a permit. However, for more extensive types of plumbing work, the City of San Francisco requires you to get a permit to ensure the work meets city and state codes. The city will require a permit for plumbing work such as:
- Remodeling an existing kitchen
- Remodeling an existing bathroom
- A home addition that requires any kind of plumbing line, including a half bath
Smaller projects can qualify for an Over the Counter Permit, which is faster than waiting for a permit for major projects. You can see a list of Over the Counter Permits on the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection’s website. If you aren’t sure whether your project will require a permit, you can email this department, and they’ll be able to tell you.
Our experts will be able to tell you what projects in your home will require a permit and which will not. They can also help you with the process of obtaining the permit and will add the cost of the permit onto your final bill.