Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In San Jose?
- 2 How Does The Water In San Jose Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Jose?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In San Jose?
- 5 When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In San Jose Vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in San Jose?
What Are The Most Common Plumbing Issues In San Jose?
All plumbing systems are susceptible to certain issues, but San Jose is home to hard water which can lead to additional wear and tear on your plumbing system. As most residents of Southern California are aware, San Jose is no stranger to earthquakes and the dangers they cause. Even small earthquakes and aftershocks have the potential to damage plumbing systems since water and sewer pipes run underground. These are the most common plumbing issues that San Jose residents face.
Burst pipes and shifting ground or structures can cause water leaks. Your sewer system contains lines behind walls, beneath floors, and in the ground. When the earth shifts due to an earthquake, shifting, weakened, or broken pipes can begin to leak. Small leaks indoors may go unnoticed until other signs (like mold or foul odors) emerge. Similarly, underground water or sewer lines can be leaking without you detecting the problem. These signs might indicate a leak.
- Foul or musty odors in and around the home
- Mildew and mold along walls, ceilings, or near water fixtures and beneath sinks
- Poor water pressure
- Unexplained puddles
- Increased water bill
- Pest or rodent infestation
- Patches of lush green grass
Water Heater Damage
A quality water heater is an important part of your plumbing system and an expensive investment. Unfortunately, water heaters can be damaged by the effects of earthquakes and deterioration due to hard water. The City of San Jose web page includes a link to California’s earthquake safety guide which provides instructions for earthquake bracing of residential water heaters. Failure to secure your water heater could lead to shifting or even knocking your water heater over. Replacing the damaged water heater will be expensive, but the potential damage caused by the incident is likely to be much more expensive.
The minerals that exist in hard water can also cause issues for your water heater. Calcium and magnesium usually make up those white limescale deposits that hard water leaves on your faucets and other water fixtures. Many San Jose residents have their own cleaning systems in place to deal with visible limescale buildup. Unfortunately, you can’t see the buildup in your water heater tank and/or inlets and outlets used by the water heater. Limescale buildup can cause lowered efficiency, overheating, leaks, and a shorter lifespan for your water heater.
Low Water Pressure
By now, you may have guessed that if hard water leaves deposits in your hot water heater it’s also affecting your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Limescale buildup occurs everywhere hard water is regularly introduced, including the pipes in your water system. When your water lines become partially filled with limescale deposits, less water can get through the system, resulting in lower water pressure. If the problem only occurs in one faucet, you may simply need to clean the fixture. However, if the issue affects your entire home, more drastic measures will likely be required.
For many San Jose residents, the answer to hard water issues is the use of a water softening system. While these systems do address hard water problems, it’s important to make sure they’re in proper running order. A water softener in poor working condition can cause lower water pressure in your home.
Slow draining sinks and tubs or backed-up sewer systems are a big problem. In the same way that limescale builds up in the water lines that enter your home, wastewater lines are affected too. Mineral buildup from hard water can cause drain lines to clog more easily and frequently. Addressing the problem is essential since clogs can result in burst pipes.
How Does The Water In San Jose Affect Your Plumbing?
Hard water affects the components of your plumbing system and the appliances and fixtures in your home that require water use. Water lines coming into your home and transporting wastewater from your home are affected. Your water heater likely suffers from some hard water issues as well. These are the most common ways the hard water in San Jose, California affects the plumbing systems of residents.
- Increased water use due to poor soap performance in hard water
- Poor performance in water using appliances due to mineral buildup and overuse
- Staining in dishwashers, sinks, and bathtubs
- Slow and clogging drains
- Low water pressure
- Water heater issues including reduced performance, overheating, leaks, and water heater failure
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Jose?
The average cost of plumbing repairs in San Jose is $531. However, this doesn’t take into consideration the cost of permits and inspection fees. It also doesn’t include the major factors that change the cost of plumbing services in the area. These three cost factors are likely to affect the cost of plumbing in San Jose.
Cost Factor 1: Difficulty of the Job
Plumbing is a wide category that spans many repairs and renovations. For instance, the cost of repairing a small leak is significantly cheaper than repiping an entire house or even a single room. Similarly, some sewer issues are easily remedied with common tools. Others require extensive research, specialized tools, and hours of work. The difficulty of a plumbing job is the biggest factor that can raise the cost.
Cost Factor 2: Time involved in the Repair
Whether you call it labor costs or level of difficulty, our plumber must be paid for the time spent taking care of your water issues. If finding or accessing a water leak takes several hours, your bill will reflect the work completed to find the leak before the repair can be made. Unfortunately, not all sewer problems are created equal. A clog that can be repaired with a simple tool like a plumbing snake can often be completed in less than an hour. A clogged sewer line that is underground can require the line to be dug up for repair. This takes considerably more time and money to fix.
Cost Factor 3: Emergency Services
We don’t want you to have to wait for business hours to have your plumbing emergency taken care of. Water leaks and sewer backup are problems that can’t wait. However, emergency services often come with an additional fee. After all, if you had to get out of bed at 4 AM to take care of your job responsibilities, you’d probably want a boost in pay for your troubles. Note that this additional cost isn’t a reason to wait to take care of emergencies. Prompt repair of plumbing emergencies can save you money in comparison to the cost of extensive damage.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money In San Jose?
Yes! Plumbing repairs or replacements that address common water issues in San Jose can help you save money on your water bill. Additionally, any changes that improve efficiency, reduce wasted water, and eliminate leaks will help you save money. Here are some examples of how better plumbing can help you save money in San Jose.
- Have your water heater cleaned to eliminate settled minerals and limescale.
- Repair leaks immediately when you notice them.
- Install a water softener system to address hard water issues.
- Have your water softener system inspected and repaired as necessary.
- Ask our plumbers about plumbing replacements that are more likely to withstand seismic activity.
When Should You Call The Water Utility Company In San Jose Vs Hire a Plumber?
The water utility company that supplies water to your residence is responsible for some plumbing issues that can affect your home. However, if the problem is inside your home, you will likely need to hire our plumbers. Often, plumbing issues can be difficult to diagnose, and you might end up contacting your utility company and a plumber.
Reasons You Should Contact Your Water Utility Company
Whether you receive water from San Jose Water, Great Oaks Water Company, or San Jose Municipal Water System, the reasons you need to contact your water utility company are typically the same. Call your utility company when these circumstances arise.
- New service from the water meter to your home
- Unexplained loss of water
- Discolored water or water with an unnatural odor
- Your water bill is high
- Sewer backup that isn’t remedied by traditional methods
Reasons to Contact a Professional Plumber
If you know that your plumbing problem is within your home or on your side of the water meter, it’s safe to say you’ll need assistance from our experts. Your water utility company is responsible for providing water to your property. Maintaining the water lines and plumbing system on your property is your responsibility. Call us when these plumbing issues occur.
- Water leaks inside the home, under your home, or on your property
- Water heater issues
- Poor water performance in one fixture or drain
- When you’ve already contacted your utility company, and they’ve determined the problem is beyond the meter (on your property)
When Do You Need Permits For Plumbing Service in San Jose?
While a simple leak repair likely won’t have you applying for a permit, many plumbing services in San Jose do require the use of certain permits. Plumbing services that require permits are often those that introduce new products or water sources to your plumbing system. These permits are required to ensure user safety and that all local guidelines for plumbing systems are observed. For some plumbing services, the necessary permits may be secured by our plumbing professionals or water utility company. Still, it’s a good idea to know which services require a permit in San Jose.
These plumbing services require a permit when being completed in San Jose, California.
- Installation of CPVC plumbing materials
- Residential repiping
- Water heater installation
- Repair or replacement for building drain systems
- Installation of a property cleanout
- Repair and replacement of building sewer
- Removal of a septic tank or any private sewage disposal system
If you’re unsure about whether your plumbing service requires a permit in San Jose, it’s a good idea to talk to our plumbing professionals about local ordinances. Additionally, you can contact the City of San Jose to learn more about plumbing permit requirements and local ordinances.