Looking for an affordable plumber in San Rafael, CA? Great! Mr. Blue Plumbing is at your service 24/7.

In this guide, we cover common questions including:

  • How Much Does Plumbing Typically Cost In San Rafael?
  • Can Better Plumbing Save You Money?
  • When To Call The Water Company?
  • When Do You Need Permits For Service?
  • What To Expect During Service Calls?
  • And Why Mr. Blue Plumbing Is The Best Plumbing Company For You!
Plumbing Service San Rafael, CA

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Plumbing Testimonial

Finally a plumber that charges what they actually quote! My sink repair was done quickly and not a dollar more than my estimate. Thank you, Mr. Blue Plumbing!

– Ned J.

Plumbing Testimonial

We needed a kitchenette installed and got the runaround from three plumbers. Then we found Mr. Blue Plumbing and got the work done in a matter of days. THANK YOU!

– Harriet E.

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San Rafael, CA


Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm (EST)
Area Served: San Rafael, CA


General Plumbing
Septic System Servicing
Drain Cleaning
Hot Water Heater Install & Service
Well Pump Service

What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in San Rafael?

Some buildings in San Rafael, such as Mission San Rafael Archangel, date back to the town’s foundation in 1817. Additionally, Victorian-era buildings are in the oldest neighborhoods, such as the French Quarter and Victorian Village. Old plumbing systems still exist in these buildings, highlighting the need for plumbing services due to common plumbing issues such as:

Old and Outdated Plumbing 

Old plumbing has practically all types of plumbing issues. Oftentimes they overflow frequently. The pipes are weaker and susceptible to leaks, breaks, line collapse, clogs, and sewer backups. Yes, it may be repaired, but it will just be prone to repeated repairs due to its outdated plumbing. It would be more cost-efficient to call us to replace and update your plumbing system.

Water Heater Replacement

One way of knowing if something’s wrong with your water heater is when suddenly you got no hot water running in your shower. It is highly discouraged to attempt a DIY fix for your water heater since any inexperienced person who’ll try to do this alone may cause fire or explosion. Avoid this by calling us. We are highly experienced in replacing water heaters.

Water Leaks

Old, clogged pipes and invasive tree roots are some of the reasons which cause water leaks. These leaks start small, but it becomes more visible as the problem becomes more serious. Some signs of water leaks include low water pressure, wet spots, or bubbling paint on your walls, and a sudden increase in your water bill. Call us so we could investigate the issue and provide an economical solution for the problem.

Plumbing issues can occur at any time, anywhere in San Rafael, whether you live in the old neighborhoods like Gerstle Park or the up-and-coming Bret Harte neighborhood. 

How Does the Water in San Rafael Affect Your Plumbing?

75% of the water you drink in San Rafael is sourced from rainwater collected at Mt. Tamalpais watershed and supplied by the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD). The remaining is supplied by the Sonoma County Water District who sources the water from the Russian River. According to an MMWD report, the source water contains no harmful minerals. However, the process of disinfection and treatment produces the byproduct haloacetic acid.

When the haloacetic acid comes into contact with the plumbing system, especially copper and iron pipes, the acetic acid corrodes the metal to form salts known as acetates. Over time, these salts accumulate within your plumbing system, resulting in blocks and clogs. The result is reduced water flow and inefficient water pressure.

The dry season in San Rafael sees the water table change due to a reduction in water. Water is always in high demand during this period, and it’s common to see brown water coming out of your tap. While brown water isn’t harmful, the dirt (the brown color) accumulates within the pipes, causing blocks. Also, the dirt stains the plumbing systems, making them unappealing.

On the other hand, heavy rains in San Rafael lead to increased water levels and flooding, resulting in water damages and sump pump malfunctions due to overworking. Additionally, the increased water carries debris and dirt through the pipes resulting in blocks and clogs.

How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in San Rafael?

Plumbing issues in San Rafael are unpredictable, hence the rare appearance on your budget. Worse still, you dread calling us for fearing the cost of fixing your malfunctioning garbage disposal might cost you an arm and a leg. While most prices are pocket-friendly, such as $160 for drain cleaning, they are estimated costs. The average plumbing costs in San Rafael is $523. Homeowners pay around $127 for simple plumbing repairs and around $919 for emergencies. Several factors determine the final cost of plumbing in your San Rafael home.


Each weather pattern in San Rafael has its common set of plumbing challenges. For instance, basement flooding or water damage during the rainy season, and frozen or overworking fixtures in the cold season. These issues aren’t unique to a particular weather season. They can occur at any time. Just like the weather changes and brings with it different plumbing issues in San Rafael, the costs are different.

Existing Plumbing

Old neighborhoods in the French quarter have old and outdated plumbing. A sewer line burst break can be disastrous since the existing sewer pipes are no longer in use. Looking for spare parts for such outdated plumbing can be challenging for a plumber resulting in hiked costs. Also, the plumbing systems might need repiping more than fixing, leading to higher plumbing costs.

Permits and Inspection Fees

Chapter 12.105 – Permits of the San Rafael Code of Ordinances is clear on the plumbing jobs requiring permits and inspections. For instance, if you want to repipe your house, you’ll need to apply for a permit with the city since the job will physically alter the structure. If a plumbing job requires a permit and inspection, we will distribute the permit and application fees resulting in a higher charge.

Scope of the Job

There are specific plumbing jobs in San Rafael where we will spend more time and are involved more. Complex plumbing jobs such as tankless water heater installation or sump pump installation take longer to complete. Hence, they’ll cost you about $1,400. On the other hand, a typical water faucet leak repair requires less time and costs you about $120.

Types of Tools Used

Some plumbing services in San Rafael require more sophisticated hardware to get the job done properly. For instance, our technician might use a video camera to inspect a sewer line with severe clogs. After identifying the clog, the plumber will then use a high-pressure water jet to clear the line. Such extra machinery will cost you a bit more but will get the job done right.

Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in San Rafael?

According to the EPA, a typical family of 4 members in the US uses approximately 400 gallons of water daily. Most of it is used in indoor uses such as bathing, dishwashing, and other drains. While water is the most abundant resource on the planet, only 0.3% is drinkable. Therefore, if you want to save money in San Rafael, you have to start by conserving water through:

Replace Leaky Fixtures

Leaks in your San Rafael home waste around 90 gallons of water daily. That’s a high water bill to pay for leakages. If you spot a leak, however small, act on it by calling us. Don’t procrastinate since the leakage is minor, and maybe you can fix it with duct tape. Such a solution is short-lived and won’t solve the issue. If a fixture is regularly leaking and costing you repair and high water bills, consider replacement rather than repair.

Install Smart Irrigation Systems

You can now have a smart irrigation system for your lawn in San Rafael, thanks to modern tech. The traditional irrigation system relies on preset time to commence irrigation through sprinklers. Enter the smart irrigation system with sensors that monitor and collect data on weather conditions such as evaporation, temperature and humidity, soil conditions, and plant water use. The irrigation system adjusts and autoruns depending on the data collected. For instance, if the soil has enough water during the rainy season, the irrigation system shuts down, saving up to 20% water, hence money.

And the cherry on top, you can control this irrigation system via your smartphone in the comfort of your living room.

Install WaterSense Fixtures

The traditional fixtures are known to consume considerable amounts of water in San Rafael. For instance, the conventional showerhead disperses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. EPA has introduced WaterSense, a program that will help you find water and energy-saving products to help you save money on plumbing. From showerheads, faucets, and toilets, to mention a few, you can identify these fixtures through the WaterSense label. If you want to save 20% of your water, decrease your water bill, and money on plumbing, consider replacing your current plumbing fixtures with WaterSense products.

Marin Water Rebates

The City of San Rafael also understands that saving money begins with saving water. That’s why Marin Water offers you fantastic rebate programs and incentives. For instance, you qualify for up to $100 if you replace your traditional clothes washer with a new efficient (CEE compliant) washer that consumes less water and power. To participate and qualify for the rebates program in San Rafael, Marin Water has outlined the terms and conditions and the application mode.

You can still maintain your budget and pay for any plumbing job that’s occurred in your San Rafael home. You can start by contacting us to fix your plumbing anytime you have a plumbing issue.

When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in San Rafael Vs Hire a Plumber?

There are plumbing issues that usually fall under the jurisdiction of the water utility company in San Rafael. And while our experts are trained to handle them, it’s best to abide by the law. So, call the water utility company in the following circumstances:

  • When you want to ask about water discounted rate programs
  • If you want a new water connection
  • If your whole home is out of the water, yet the water shutoff valves are on
  • When you have any queries or complaints regarding water services or a high water bill
  • To report main water leakages

When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in San Rafael?

A Code of Ordinances in San Rafael directs contractors, plumbers, and citizens on legal requirements on various plumbing services and jobs to be carried out in homes. Section 12.105 explains when plumbing permits are required in San Rafael.

If a plumbing job will change or move your structure in any way, or it’s a new installation, then you’ll need to apply for a permit. Therefore, if you are repiping or installing a new bathtub, you have to apply for a permit with the city for a fee.

Additionally, you’ll need a plumbing permit if any plumbing service will require an electrical installation of any kind after the job is done.

So, if you require any plumbing service in San Rafael, first go through the code of ordinances and gain insights into what the law requires of you.

Lastly, it’s best if you contact us for all your plumbing services and jobs. Our experts are trained and certified as master plumbers by the Department of Human Affairs’ Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Recent Requests We Received From Customers In San Rafael, CA

Date of Request: May 14, 2024

Location: San Rafael, CA


Need glass door with panel installed in tiled shower stall. Already purchased Dreamline shower door.

Date of Request: May 16, 2024

Location: San Rafael, CA


Tub liner, new shower walls, covering for wood around window, and new faucets and shower head.

Date of Request: May 13, 2024

Location: San Rafael, CA


Old shower take out install new basin for shower. Tile shower floor and wall. Tile bathroom floor.

Date of Request: May 13, 2024

Location: San Rafael, CA


Grease trap installation.

Date of Request: May 13, 2024

Location: San Rafael, CA


Install new bath tub.

Date of Request: May 13, 2024

Location: San Rafael, CA


Thrasher repair.

Other Nearby Areas We Service



We have a project manager on call 24/7/365, ready to dispatch our plumbing experts. That means we’ve always got you covered in case of emergency. Call us first, and you won’t need to make a second call!

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