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When to Change Your Bathroom Plumbing

Sure, your bathroom fixtures can rival any showroom this side of town. But is the bathroom plumbing behind them at par?

The daily baths, toilet flushing, showers, and sink use eventually cause inevitable wear and tear. In time, your plumbing will need replacing.  And we’re talking more than just cosmetic repair.  In many cases, substantial work is needed.  Here are the five warning signs that indicate a need to upgrade your plumbing.

bathroom plumbing San Diego CA

  1. MOLD – Mold anywhere is a cause for concern.  It’s a sure bet.  When you see it, you will, more often than not, need to change your bathroom plumbing.  Once mold appears on walls and ceilings, you know that water is running where it shouldn’t.  And the sooner you find the leak source, the better.  Look for moist or wet areas in the walls and ceiling. It won’t be obvious especially after a hot shower or bath.  But wait a few hours and do a complete ocular of your bathroom.  If you still see wet spots on walls and ceilings, its time to call a professional plumber.


  1. FAULTY HARDWARE – Old and outdated fixtures are prone to rust and chipping.  Don’t wait till you see visible signs.  If your fixture is at least five years old, consider a complete bathroom plumbing and fixture replacement. Bits of chipped metal isn’t always obvious to the naked eye especially when it mixes in with the water stream.  If you are DIY-ing it, make sure to turn off water from the source before removing any type of bathroom fixture.


  1. LOW WATER VOLUME – Tolerating a weak shower can be dangerous!  If the water in the bath or shower isn’t coming out in a strong stream, your pipes may be corroded.  Galvanized steel pipes degrade over time. Their diameter narrows, causing the volume of water to decrease.  Ignore it, and you can expect costly leaks down the line.  Low water volume often leads to a complete pipe replacement.


  1. SMELLY, RUSTY WATER – Water quality problems (such as foul-smelling, rusty water) often lead to bathroom plumbing replacement.  But the culprit is not what you might expect – your water heater. Many water heaters feature sacrificial anodes – steel cores that are covered in zinc or magnesium and aluminum.  Over time, these rods break down. And the result is, you guessed it! Foul-smelling, rust-colored water!  The fix is a new water heater.


  1. OTHER WATER ISSUES – Leaks and faulty bathroom plumbing are obvious reasons for an upgrade.  If you turn on your tap but find that water collects around the fixture or the tub, you need to do some proper sealing.   Be mindful of drainage as well. A slow draining type or shower points to a clog.  Flush your drains with a baking soda-vinegar mix (or a commercial cleaner) to keep clogs at bay.  Eventually, you will need to replace your drain hardware.

Replacing and upgrading your bathroom plumbing don’t just update your bathroom’s look.  They also guarantee safety.  Catch your problems early enough and you can save both time and precious resources.

Lead Pipes – Fix or Replace Them Before It Is Too Late

Many Older Areas of San Diego Use Lead Pipes

Many people don’t realize that lead pipes are still used widely in many places in the San Diego such as University City. This article explains why we still have lead in our plumbing and are still using lead pipes.

Why is Lead Used in Water Pipes and Plumbing?

The answer goes back literally thousands of years to the first plumbing systems, which are named after the word “lead” in Latin, plumbum. Lead piping was used because of its unique ability to resist pinhole leaks, while being soft enough to form into shapes that deliver water efficiently. Lead was used in many other common products as well until scientific advancements in the 20th century demonstrated the element’s toxicity. The plumbing industry voluntarily took significant steps to reduce lead exposure.

Why Lead in Water Is Still a Concern Today


lead pipes San Diego CA

There are a number of reasons why trace amounts of lead can be found in the water supply today:

  • Nearly all homes built before the 1980s still have lead solder connecting copper pipes.
  • Lead still can be found in some interior water pipes and in pipes connecting a home or business to the main water pipe in the street.
  • While lead may still be found in metal water taps, these products must pass rigorous NSF/ANSI 61 testing and certification to assure the lead content is below safety thresholds.
  • Water chemistry also affects lead levels. Water not treated properly for corrosion control may cause lead to leach from leaded plumbing materials into the water. Lead found in tap water typically comes from corrosion of fixtures or from solder connecting the pipes. Lead also can leach into a water supply when water sits in leaded pipes for many hours. Carefully controlled water chemistry prevents dangerous levels of lead from entering the drinking water system from the pipes.
  • Some major U.S. cities still have 100 percent lead piping bringing water from the utilities to homes and businesses. The dissolved oxygen in the water combines with the metal at the surface (copper, zinc or lead) to form a metal oxide. This oxidation layer naturally develops through the decades to coat lead piping and prevent lead from getting into the water supply. When water conditions require it, water utilities also add lime or orthophosphates as a further barrier to prevent lead from getting into drinking water.


Read more about lead pipes and plumbing at

Water Leaks: 6 Common Causes in San Diego

6 Common Causes of Water Leaks

There are several variables that can cause pipes to leak as well as your plumbing to not be as effective as it once may have been. Here are 5 of the most common causes for water leaks in your home.

water leaks San Diego, CA

1. Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. From an economic perspective, that could amount to a substantial amount on your water expense. If over a hundred gallons of water a month literally going down the drain doesn’t sound like a whole lot, then consider the amount of money wasted. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the most noticeable leakage issue in a residence is brought on by a dripping faucet; fixing one can save almost 10% of a property owner’s water bill.

2. Rusty Pipes

Older residences are at a much greater threat for corrosion damage due to the use of copper and steel pipes. The rust can accumulate and block the flow of water in the pipes as well as cause serious rusting which could deteriorate the pipes.

3. Water Leaks Under the Sink

We see this all the time. Individuals store way too much things under their sinks. This clutter often knocks a pipe loose and can cause, at first, a slow leak that frequently can go unseen and eventually create significant water damage and mold growth.

4. Irregular or excessive water pressure

High water pressure may really feel great, yet extreme or irregular pressure could stress your pipes. A lot of pipes as well as faucets can only withstand a certain degree of water pressure. Any type of added pressure can cause leaks.

If you feel concerned about your water pressure, have a professional plumber check the pressure. If too much water is moving through the pipes too swiftly at excessive pressure it can strain as well as crack the pipes.

5. Tree Roots

Several of the most typical water leaks really start outdoors instead of in your home. For instance, tree roots can invade water lines causing moisture to seep out right into your lawn.

If you notice any new damp patches or sink holes in your backyard, experience an unexpected decrease in water pressure, or have trees growing very near your residence, have a plumber look for intrusion by these roots.

6. Earthquakes and Ground Settling or Movement

Water leaks can be caused by the natural settling and motion of your residence in time. This can be greatly intensified by living in earthquake country, If you see cracks in the wall or foundation your pipes may be stressed as well. Excessive activity can result in cracked as well as broken pipes and also leaks that worsen with time.

Your house’s plumbing system is much more at risk to damage after an earthquake, specifically if it has not been inspected and taken care of on a regular basis.

If you’re looking to keep your plumbing in top shape to avoid water damage as well as expensive structural repairs call Black Mountain Plumbing, Inc.  at (858) 536-4161 to examine your home for water leaks and other plumbing problems.


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  • 9909 Hibert St, San Diego, CA 92131
  • (858) 536-4161
  • Monday-Friday 6:00 am – 11:45 pm
  • C-36 (Plumbing Contractor) and HIC (Home Improvement Contractor). License #782799
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