Frequently Asked Questions

show all Education General Pricing & Costs Process Troubleshooting
What Do You Charge For Plumbing Services?

Our pricing structure is designed to be flexible and transparent to meet the diverse needs of our customers. We recommend calling us for the most accurate price quote, as our rates can vary depending on the specific job requirements. Generally, we offer different pricing models:

  • Hourly or Flat Fee: We provide both hourly rates and flat fee options. The choice depends on the nature and scope of the project. For larger or more complex projects, we often provide a project bid with a flat fee.
  • Time and Material: For some services, we charge based on the actual time spent and materials used. This method ensures you only pay for what is necessary for the job.
  • Not-to-Exceed Max Pricing: To protect our customers from unexpected high costs, we offer a ‘not to exceed’ maximum price. This means that even if a job takes longer than anticipated, you will not be charged beyond the agreed maximum limit.

Do you charge for drive time or travel time?

Yes, we do charge for travel time. This is to cover the costs associated with our technicians traveling to and from job sites. We strive to keep these costs reasonable and they will be clearly stated in your quote.

How Can I Save Water & Lower My Water Bill?

Saving water is not only beneficial for the environment but also helps reduce your utility bills. Here are some effective ways to conserve water in your home:

  • Fix Leaks Promptly: Even small drips can waste significant amounts of water over time. Regularly check faucets, showerheads, and toilet flappers for leaks and repair them promptly.
  • Install Water-Efficient Fixtures: Consider replacing older fixtures with low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets. These modern fixtures use significantly less water without compromising performance.
  • Use Appliances Wisely: Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Opt for water-efficient models when it’s time to replace them.
  • Shorten Your Showers: A few minutes less in the shower can save gallons of water. Try to keep showers under 5 minutes.
  • Turn Off the Tap: Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. This simple habit can save a significant amount of water.
  • Water Your Garden Smartly: Water your plants during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation. Consider using drip irrigation systems and mulch to retain soil moisture.
  • Monitor Your Water Usage: Pay attention to your water bill and usage. Unusually high usage can indicate leaks or areas where you can improve efficiency.
  • Educate Your Family: Encourage everyone in your household to be more mindful of their water use. Simple changes in behavior can make a big difference.

Remember, small steps can lead to big savings in water consumption. If you have any specific plumbing concerns or require assistance installing water-efficient fixtures, our team is here to help!

How Do I Get Hot Water Quicker?

Waiting for hot water can be frustrating, but there are several solutions to get hot water faster in your home. Here are a few methods:

  • Insulate Your Pipes: Insulating hot water pipes can reduce heat loss as the water travels from your heater to your faucets. This means the water will be warmer when it arrives.
  • Install a Hot Water Recirculation System: This system keeps hot water moving through your pipes, so it’s available on demand. However, it may require professional installation and could increase your energy bills.
  • Upgrade Your Water Heater: Modern, more efficient water heaters can provide hot water faster. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand and can be a great solution.
  • Check for Plumbing System Issues: Sometimes, slow hot water is due to underlying plumbing problems like clogged pipes or malfunctioning water heaters. Regular maintenance can help identify and resolve these issues.
  • Shorten the Pipe Distance: If feasible, relocating your water heater closer to the point of use can reduce the time it takes for hot water to reach the faucet.
  • Consider a Point-of-Use Water Heater: These small heaters are installed near the faucet and provide instant hot water.

Each home is unique, and the best solution can vary. If you’re unsure what’s right for your home, feel free to contact us for a professional assessment.

What kind of plumbing work do you perform?

We perform all types of plumbing work, both commercial and residential – repiping, service & repair, drain cleaning, tenant improvements, backflow replacement, water heaters/boilers, hydro jetting services, remodels, sewer line camera surveys, slab leaks, fixture replacements, plumbing inspections, new construction, gas lines, etc. Please call our office at 408.295.7767 for more information.

Are your technicians professional and experienced?

Most definitely. AquaTek only hires journeyman-level plumbers. We perform a background check on all potential field employees. Our plumbers are paid on an hourly basis, not on commission. We feel that this is the best way to ensure that the customer receives the best, most honest service possible.

What areas do you service?

We service what is known as the “horseshoe” portion of the Bay Area. This includes most or all of the following areas: Santa Clara, Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa Counties, South San Francisco, and the East Bay.

How does your billing work?

For most service calls, we bill on a time and material basis. There’s a one-hour minimum charge and after that we charge by the quarter hour, plus the cost of materials. There is a one time, small trip fee added to each invoice to help with the cost of insurance and gasoline. This trip charge allows us to bill at a lower hourly rate.

How can I place a service call?

Simply call us at 408.295.7767 and ask for our service department. You may also fax your request to our office at 408.295.7787. Our service department will happily assist you.

What does it mean if my water bill is much higher than usual?

It could be an indication of a few different things. Most likely, you are experiencing a leak – either underground on your main water line or underneath your house.

What are my options if there are roots in my sewer line?

We would recommend a sewer line camera survey to see the extent of the root intrusion. After that, we can recommend a solution.

What does it mean if my water heater is making a popping or crackling noise?

The water heater is full of mineral deposits and should be replaced before it starts leaking.

How do I know if I need a repipe?

Please see the document entitled “Do I Need a Repipe” in the repipe section of our site.

Do you give free estimates?

For repiping and larger projects – yes. Service & repair items are normally performed on a time and material basis and no visit to the jobsite would be necessary. Please call our office at 408.295.7767 for more information.

How much does a repipe normally cost?

No repipe is exactly the same. It depends on the size of the house and the complexity of the job, however, you will be provided with an exact quote at the time of your free in-home estimate.

How will AquaTek gain access to my existing pipes?

We employ our own sheetrock and stucco crew. Unless otherwise noted on your written estimate, we will cut all walls where needed to access areas of piping, i.e. under cabinets, rear of toilets, rear of water heaters, shower valves. After pipe installation and inspection by the City inspector, the sheetrock and stucco will be replaced to a textured surface, unless texture is a painting process. Painting and wallpaper repairs to be performed by others.

What type of material does AquaTek use?

We use type (L) copper. AquaTek uses only the finest quality materials in your home. Although there are thinner and thicker grades of pipe available, it is our professional opinion that this is the best pipe for your home. All fittings will be wrought, copper, or rough brass.

Where gate shut offs are used, i.e. water heater, water main, water softener, irrigation isolation valves – ball valves will be installed in their place. They operate on a quarter turn. Due to the fact that they are made of brass and stainless steel, they will provide you with many years of operation.

What does a repipe actually involve?

Unless otherwise noted on the estimate sheet, all domestic piping will be replace from where the main enters the home to all fixtures. We suggest that the water main be replaced from the meter to the house. If it is galvanized steel, AquaTek will dig and backfill to a finished grade. Shrubbery is excluded unless otherwise noted on the estimate. We suggest either sch PVC plastic, or type (L) copper water main. N both cases, a long life is guaranteed.

All manifold piping below floor is suspended by Teflon straps, copper straps and Teflon-coated hangers. As piping penetrates floor plates, this is known as risers. They will be replaced in the same manner. NOTE: pipe-to-wood contact, in our view, is considered to be less than good craftsmanship. Due to expansion and contraction of pipe, if it comes into contact with the wood, the new piping system will be noisy and often squeak. For this reason, the risers and manifold will be suspended from the structure.

All shut off valves, known as angle stops, are located at each fixture will be replaced with Brasscraft units. All supply tubes that hook up to fixtures from the angle stops will be replaced with braided stainless steel. The existing are not replaced unless noted on the estimate.

Do I need a city permit?

Because your entire home is being repiped, it is not considered to be a “repair”. Therefore, the city or county in which you reside will require that a permit be issued. The permit will be charged as an extra “actual cost”, plus a $140.00 administrative fee to acquire the permit (waiting time, etc.).

Do I have to be home during the repipe?

No. AquaTek Plumbing, Inc. is a licensed and bonded company. AquaTek does not require that the homeowner be home during the entire course of the repipe. Access in and out of the home is all that will be necessary.

What is “hot water recirculation”, and do I need it?

Hot water recirculation systems are available from AquaTek Plumbing. These systems are an outstanding amenity to the home in that they supply hot water instantly throughout the home. In our systems, we utilize a Grundfos pump and timer, attached to a fully insulated water and recirculation pipe manifold. This unit can be turned on and off by setting the timer to the style of your living conditions.

What about grounding the pipes?

All bond and grounding of the new system will be performed by AquaTek as per city or county specifications.

What is the warranty on my repipe?

The warranty begins on the date of final payment of the contract. AquaTek Plumbing, Inc. guarantees against defects of workmanship for (10) years on all copper water piping that we supply and install. A one-year warranty is given on all valves, pumps and fixtures that we supply – materials and workmanship included.

Warranty is valid provided that failure occurs within (10) years from the date the warranty begins and the Homeowner or homeowner representative promptly notifies AquaTek Plumbing, Inc. of failure in writing; mail to: P.O. Box 23271, San Jose, CA 95153, via email to [email protected], fax to 408-295-7787 or by calling 408-295-7767. AquaTek Plumbing, Inc. will correct that failure by repairing or replacing the Product within a reasonable amount of time, without charge; the decision for repair or replacement shall be that of AquaTek Plumbing, Inc.

We do NOT warrant against failure:

1. for fixtures that were present at the time of the project and/or that we did not supply and install;
2. caused by, contributed in whole or in part by, or resulting from natural disasters, such as, without limitation, flooding, earthquake, windstorm and lightening;
caused by, contributed in whole or in part by, or resulting from abuse, such as, without limitation vandalism.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact our office at 408-295-7767, and one of our trained plumbing professionals can assist you.

What are your hours of operation?

We offer 24-hour emergency service 365 days a year, including major holidays, for our customers’ convenience. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. If you call after hours, your call will be routed to our after hours automated phone system. You will be prompted to leave information about your plumbing needs and one of our friendly staff will return your call promptly.