Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Luis Obispo?
- 2 How Does the Water in San Luis Obispo Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Luis Obispo?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Luis Obispo?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Luis Obispo vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Luis Obispo?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Luis Obispo?
Like many cities in California, San Luis Obispo is plagued by drought. Not surprisingly, this has a significant impact on everything that affects plumbing in the city. A troubled past with attempts to solve water limitations with groundwater pumping taught the town of San Luis Obispo the importance of water conservation. Unfortunately, it’s an expensive lesson, and the resulting settling caused foundation damage, leading to more plumbing issues that can lead to costly water loss. Many of the reasons San Luis Obispo residents call a plumber are to remedy the problems that lead to water loss. The most common plumbing issues in San Luis Obispo include the following.
You know your toilet runs to refill the tank immediately after flushing. However, when your toilet continues to run, you’re losing water. When your toilet isn’t behaving properly, it’s likely to use more water than it should. Toilets that never stop running, fill slowly, are extra noisy, or leak, need to be inspected by a plumber.
While it doesn’t seem like a large amount of water, your dripping faucet is costing you money. It’s also wasting water. The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. While your dripping faucet might not amount to that, it is a serious problem in an area that suffers from severe drought. Sometimes, dripping faucets can be remedied by replacing worn parts or simply cleaning debris from the leaking component. If a DIY fix doesn’t work, it’s a good idea to call in a plumber.
Damage from Tree Roots
Older homes have sewer lines made from materials that are easily penetrated by growing tree roots. Additionally, these lines have been in the ground for decades, giving tree roots ample time to work their way around and through sewer lines. Growing tree roots can crush or fill sewer lines, making your system stop functioning. Signs of early tree root damage may mimic that of clogged pipes. Long-term sewer lines from tree roots can cause extensive leaks and limited function of the system.
Leaky Foundation Slabs
Plumbing or sewer leaks beneath your home can cause serious damage to your foundation. Settling ground can lead to foundational shifts beneath your home. When minor shifting occurs, your home may show no signs of damage, and your foundation can still remain intact. However, plumbing pipes and sewer drain pipes run under your home, and lead into the ground can be damaged during shifting. When you experience leaks under your home or beneath the ground, there might be few visible signs. These occurrences could be a sign you have a slab leak.
- Increased water bill
- Warm or hot spots in specific areas of your floor
- Moldy smell
- Sounds of rushing water when no water is running
- Pooling water outside your home
Slow-moving drains, toilets that don’t flush properly, or worse, liquids coming back up the drain when they should be going down are signs of a clogged drain. Unfortunately, a plunger or a bottle of drain cleaner doesn’t always solve the problem. Many homes and buildings in San Luis Obispo were built before 1950, and most still have their original sewer laterals. Older homes that haven’t had the sewer systems replaced are more susceptible to drain, and sewer clogs because the materials in older pipes can collapse and leave little room for water (and other debris like toilet paper) to pass through.
Older homes with aging pipes are more likely to have practically all types of plumbing issues. Homes in Old Town, near Laguna Lake, and Foothill Boulevard, have some of the oldest pipes in the city, and they tend to overflow more frequently. Aging pipes are weaker and therefore susceptible to pinholes, leaks, breaks, line collapse, clogs, and sewer backup. Since aging pipes can solve so many problems and the costs of repeated repairs can add up quickly, it’s often more cost-efficient to replace an older plumbing system.
How Does the Water in San Luis Obispo Affect Your Plumbing?
Technically, the water in San Luis Obispo doesn’t have a big effect on plumbing. Like most issues with San Luis Obispo plumbing, lack of water is the major plumbing issue. In an area where water conservation is essential, leaking water faucets and running toilets have a major effect on the surrounding environment.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Luis Obispo?
The cost of plumbing repair varies widely in any area, and San Luis Obispo is no different. The typical plumbing cost in San Luis Obispo varies between $110 and $790, with the average cost being around $450. For many homeowners, the varied costs will come as no surprise. After all, fixing a small leak is a considerably different job than repiping your entire home or replacing your sewer system.
There are certain plumbing repairs and replacements that can save you money. To improve water conservation, the city of San Luis Obispo provides rebates for the installation of certain fixtures that help conserve water. Both business owners and homeowners are eligible for the rebates. However, you must fill out an application and schedule a pre-inspection and post-inspection.
Aging sewer laterals in San Luis Obispo have created issues in many areas of the city. Sewer laterals are the sewer lines that run from the main sewer line to your home or business. That means they’re the responsibility of the property owner. To eliminate the problems in the city related to sewer overflow of aging lateral lines, the city passed an ordinance requiring sewer inspections under some circumstances. To assist homeowners in replacing these lines, the city also offers rebates of $2,000 for homeowners who have to pay out of pocket for repairs.
Special Tools Required
Plumbing issues that occur beneath your home’s foundation are always a major job that will require considerable time and equipment to expose the leak or damage. When plumbing jobs require machinery to excavate pipes or provide visibility beneath your foundation, the cost of repairs will be considerably more expensive. As the task takes longer to complete, the cost of labor increases as well.
While many plumbers are available to take care of emergencies around the clock, emergency services will typically cost more per hour than general scheduled repairs. If you’re experiencing sewage backup or flooding due to a water leak in the middle of the night, calling a plumber right away will save you from facing the costs of extensive repairs to your home, but you can expect to pay more for your plumbing expert’s time.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Luis Obispo?
Yes. Aging plumbing systems in older homes are more susceptible to leaks, breaks, and collapse. Repairs to these systems are often ineffective because new issues occur with regularity. Replacing an entire plumbing or sewer system will eliminate these problems and help you avoid potentially larger and more expensive problems in the future. Replacing your system with a new system that includes water conservation features can also help you save money each month on your water bill.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Luis Obispo vs Hire a Plumber?
Determining when you have a plumbing issue instead of the utility company can be a challenge. If you’re facing a potential water leak, the key to deciding where the responsibility lies is usually in the meter. Since the utility company is responsible for issues related to the mainline, the pipes beyond the meter are typically your responsibility, and you’ll need to call a plumber. That means, if your water bill suddenly goes up, you probably need a plumber. If the issue was on the mainline, your meter wouldn’t record the extra water. Similarly, if you have a water leak inside your home, it’s your responsibility. However, low pressure in your home or puddling water beyond where your meter is located could indicate that the utility company needs to repair a leak.
When you’re facing drain or sewer issues, finding the problem can be a bit more tricky. If you have one slow drain or clogged toilet with no other issues throughout your home, you can assume you need a plumber. However, if all your drains are acting up, the clog could be on either side. If you notice puddling around your home or sewage odors near your home, you’ll probably need a plumber. If you experience large amounts of sewage backup coming into your home, the problem is likely coming from the main sewer line, and you should contact the utility company immediately.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Luis Obispo?
Most common plumbing repairs don’t require permits in San Luis Obispo. For instance, you can have existing fixtures and water pipes replaced in your home without requiring a permit for the city. However, if you’re replacing an entire system or adding new plumbing (like that in a home addition), you may need a permit. When you’re planning sewer repair, the requirements are similar. Repairing a leak in an existing line or having a new toilet installed is considered a repair. However, running new lateral lines or having a septic system installed will require a permit. Additionally, any repair that requires a connection to the main utility line will likely require a permit. If you are unsure whether you need a permit for plumbing repairs in San Luis Obispo, contact the city board for more information.
Plumbing repairs in San Luis Obispo are often simply the results of wear and tear on older systems. Having your system inspected and keeping it maintained are the best ways to avoid potentially expensive repairs.