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Most Common Plumbing Issues for California Homeowners

Dec 1, 2022 | Plumbing Advice, Residential Plumbing, San Francisco Plumbing

A row of houses and buildings in San Francisco including the Painted Ladies

Plumbing issues exist in every homestead all over the world. They are unavoidable and should be kept an eye on regularly. Depending on old age or exposure to weather conditions, your plumbing will wear and tear. This is why you should know a reliable plumber whom you can call for help when your plumbing needs maintenance. Let’s discuss some of the most common plumbing issues for California homeowners.

Old plumbing systems

Outdated plumbing systems are one of the typical issues homeowners in California experience, even the ones living in urban cities such as San Francisco. The pipes below the city were laid down almost a hundred years ago and have not been touched since. Most of the pipes were installed in the 1930s, and their estimated life expectancy is ending.

This means that pipes are much more likely to burst. At worst, this could lead to whole neighborhoods being without water for a while. If you are moving to SF or already live there, getting a plumbing inspection for your house is very important. You don’t want to have any unpleasant surprises, especially in the middle of winter when pipes are more likely to burst due to cold weather.

Gutters getting clogged

This issue is most common in areas with lots of trees. In spring and autumn, the wind carries many leaves, sticks, and other small debris. A lot of this debris gets caught on your roof and gutters. It builds up over time until your drainage system gets blocked and doesn’t work correctly. What happens, in this case, is that the water will not flow away from your house properly. Often, the overflowing water will start dripping down the house walls. This can lead to leaks, moss gathering, and other issues.

Therefore, you should keep your gutters clean. You don’t have to do this every day, but check up on them once or twice per week. Just make sure not to toss all the debris into the sewage system. That can cause the sewers to get blocked, leading to an even larger and costlier plumbing issue. Pile up the debris in one spot or put it in a garbage bag. Keep the garbage bag away from flame sources since dry leaves and twigs are incredibly combustible.

A gutter that is clogged with leaves.

Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris.

Poor water pressure

Another issue you can experience in California is low water pressure. And it can occur at any point, regardless of the season. You might not even think it’s an issue, especially if you’re moving from San Francisco to another part of California. Therefore, before hiring cross-state movers, inform yourself about the water pressure in the area you are moving to. It’s even more crucial to hire professionals with some plumbing experience. Getting reliable help for this process is necessary if you want your new home to function properly.

Local flora overgrowth

As beautiful and valuable as they are, trees can become a significant menace to your plumbing in San Francisco. As they age, trees keep expanding and growing their roots farther and farther underground. Some trees have massive root systems that can dig their way to the pipes underground. Others can even find their way inside the plumbing and clog it. Tree roots are much stronger than the pipes used in plumbing, and their roots can crack or break them.

Some trees, such as oak, can grow exponentially. While their shade is pleasant and welcome in the summer, their roots can burst your underground pipes. If you notice a tree near your house starting to raise the soil or concrete around it, you might have to cut it down to prevent severe plumbing damage.

A house surrounded by beautiful flora.

Trees can cause major underground plumbing damage.

Slow drains

Another on the list of most common plumbing issues for California homeowners is slow drains. Similarly to how your gutters can get clogged over time, so can the drains inside your house. However, the issue won’t be leaves and twigs but hair, oil, soap, and other substances. You can use many ways and chemicals to DYI clean the pipes every few months. However, for more severe issues with the sewer pipes, make sure to call for professional help. Not only because they are equipped for the job but also because you might actually damage your pipes if you pour some harmful chemicals.

Leaky taps

Leaky taps are, at a glance, the least complicated plumbing issue you might face. They almost always begin as a small and, seemingly at first, minor issue. A few droplets of water come out of the tap from time to time. However, over the course of weeks, you may start noticing that more and more water is leaking out. This only adds up over time, and you will end up wasting a substantial amount of water. Call your local plumber as soon as possible to avoid wasting water and increasing your water bill.

A plumber fixing one of the most common plumbing issues for California homeowners, leaky taps.

Leaky taps can significantly increase water consumption in the long run.

Final thoughts

As you can see, plenty of things can cause plumbing issues. Always make sure your gutters are clean from debris and that your drains flow away the water smoothly and quickly. Another thing to keep an eye on is the root system of the trees around your house. Ensure the roots are not protruding too much from the ground or expanding too close to your pipes. Unfortunately, you might have to cut down the tree if it starts posing a danger to your plumbing. Finally, water pressure is another issue you ought to keep in mind. Call a professional for inspection if you have weak water flow.

You can avoid these plumbing issues for California homeowners if you know what to keep an eye on. It is advised to contact your local plumber as soon as you notice an issue with your plumbing. Because most issues will only worsen as time passes. So, solving these problems early on will prevent more significant damage and costlier bills. Good luck!

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