Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Marcos?
- 2 How Does the Water in San Marcos Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Marcos?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Marcos?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Marcos vs. Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Marcos?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Marcos?
Pipe and fixture leaks are pretty common in San Marcos. Causes of leaks range from corrosion to tree root damage, fixtures wearing out, and weather problems.
Like most parts of California, San Marcos is a sunny city with few wet days. Winters are also mild, with an average of zero snow inches in a year. The prolonged dry weather wreaks havoc on the plumbing system. Lack of precipitation causes the ground to compact, and when it settles, underground pipes crack.
Worn-Out and Dated Plumbing in Older Homes
San Marcos has a fair share of older homes, which present more plumbing issues than newer homes. Corroded pipes, tree root invasion, worn-out fixtures, and overwhelmed sewer lines often characterize plumbing systems in older homes.
Most homes may not be as old as the Cox and Bidwell houses, but even quality plumbing materials, synonymous with old dwellings, require replacement within 50 years or less. In addition to wearing out, the plumbing materials are usually water-inefficient, as they were built long before the government introduced water-efficiency standards.
Limescale buildup on pipes and fixtures often result in blockages over time. When this happens, issues of blocked drains or low water pressure due to blocked lines do arise. We have also come across numerous problems of corrosion-related leaks, especially in older homes using copper pipes. Even in the more recent homes that have plastic pipes, leaks are still common. As limescale builds up, the lines narrow and become susceptible to bursting from pressure resistance.
Hot Tubs and Pools
Repair calls for hot tubs and pools are also standard. Most issues are either broken parts or leakage problems. Leaky pools present all manner of problems on the plumbing system. When the water flows out, it erodes the concrete, which then damages the structure. The chemicals in the water also corrode the pipes.
How Does the Water in San Marcos Affect Your Plumbing?
Little rainfall and longer hot seasons leave San Marcos with inadequate water for its residents. The city usually sources its water from the Colorado River and the California State water project. Only a tiny amount comes from local supplies.
Hard Water and the Plumbing System
The water sources, such as the water treatment plant at Twin Oaks Valley, and the distribution processes are managed under strict observance of government quality standards to guarantee water safety. The water we receive in San Marcos may be safe for our consumption, but it’s unforgiving to the plumbing system.
Most parts of the nation have hard water, including the water supplied to our homes. Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. When water passes through the system, mineral deposits cling to the surfaces and form a layer of limescale. Limescale is responsible for a host of plumbing system issues, including pipe and fixture corrosion, water heater inefficiency, leaks, blockages, etc.
Pipe and Fixture Corrosion
Limescale buildup corrodes the pipes and fixtures, leading to pinhole leaks. This is especially common in homes with copper pipes. While it’s hard to notice corrosion in lines, you can quickly identify the issue on faucets and other metallic fixtures.
Water Heater Issues
As the limescale builds up in the heater, it acts as an insulator. This causes the heater to consume more energy, as the heat takes a long to penetrate through the insulation layer and warm the water.
Blocked Pipes and Drains
Pipe blockage is primarily due to limescale buildup. This problem is common in both old and new homes. Again, when the pipes crack due to extreme dryness, they create room for the tree to poke roots and grow inside. With time, the roots enlarge and block the lines.
Our water is highly corrosive. This is caused by factors such as low pH and high temperature. Usually, corrosive water dissolves the metals in the metallic plumbing surfaces at an excessive rate. These metals contaminate the water, making it unhealthy for consumption. If the metals are more than what the body requires, some people may react to them, especially those with allergic intolerance. On the other hand, corrosive water damages the pipes and shortens their lifespan.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Marcos?
San Marcos plumbers will charge you based on several factors: materials used, location, task complexity, the expertise required, etc. Generally, the cost will range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars, depending on the task. For example, cleaning a sewer line can cost you between $200 and $300, while bathtub installation can average between $2,000 and $3,000.
Cost Factor: Plumbing System and Materials
Service providers often charge based on the materials you prefer. For instance, if you opt to install copper pipes instead of plastic, you will spend more because plastic pipes are cheaper than copper. Installing water-efficient fixtures is also expensive compared to standard ones. If you prefer high-end fixtures over the average or low-end types, your total expense will also be higher.
Cost Factor: Task Complexity
Task complexity is another cost factor in plumbing jobs. Even though most plumbers charge an hourly rate, this is likely to vary depending on how complex or sensitive a task is. For example, hiring a plumber to replace pipes under the foundation is quite complex compared to replacement on open grounds. The cost of the latter may also vary depending on the landscape. Replacing pipes under a concrete-type yard would be more involved and ultimately costly than performing the same work on, say, a grass yard.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Marcos?
Yes. Adopting better plumbing can save you money in several ways.
You can cut down your plumbing costs significantly through smart layout designing. If you have a storey house, aligning the bathrooms on the same side can reduce the materials you require for water supply and drainage. Keeping the amenities that need plumbing close together allows material sharing and can lead to massive savings.
Getting Things Right First
While some plumbing jobs such as replacing a faucet would make an easy DIY, complex projects like repairing a sewer line may require some experience. Carrying out a complicated repair or installation on your own without the necessary expertise can end up costing you more in the long run if not done correctly.
Water-efficient fixtures may be expensive due to the superior technology involved, but they save money in the long term. For instance, installing a high-efficiency toilet (HET) can cut down your water consumption by more than a half. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WaterSense products save water by at least 20% compared to standard water-efficient models. Remember, the federal government requires plumbing fixtures to cut down water consumption by 30% compared to the traditional toilets.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Marcos vs. Hire a Plumber?
Some plumbing issues such as drippy faucets, clogged drains, or faulty water heater are straightforward. Whenever they arise, you know you need to hire a plumber to sort them out. However, some problems can leave you confused, unsure whom to call – the water utility company or a plumber. Knowing whom to call can help speed up problem resolution and conserve water where leaks are involved.
When to Call the Water Utility Company
- If you have low water pressure due to a leak on the street.
- If the water stops flowing to your home.
- If you spot a water puddle in your yard and establish that it’s caused by a leaking company line.
When to Hire a Plumber
- If you receive an abnormally high water bill and you suspect it could be due to hidden leaks in your system.
- If your meter keeps running even when all faucets and outlets are closed.
- If you have a pipe leak on your side of the meter.
Note that you can contact their support for any leaks on company lines by visiting their respective websites at the following links:
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Marcos?
Construction of buildings is often governed by a strict code of ordinances, not just here in San Marcos but nationwide. The codes guide the builders on procedures to follow to guarantee the structural integrity of the buildings. In return, this provides safety assurance for the occupants.
Hiring a plumber for any significant project involving installation or remodeling requires a permit. The permit is issued upon submission of the construction plan together with an application form. The plan must be signed by a state-licensed professional.
The building code applies across the state, but there are specific sections unique to San Marcos. Due to the strong winds and low humidity synonymous with the city, the hillsides are more prone to fire hazards. City regulations require using fire-resistant materials to minimize the risks.
However, some plumbing services can be performed without a permit. According to the city’s code, repairs (such as fixing toilets or sinks) do not require a permit unless such repairs involve altering the original plan.