Minor Residential Plumbing Leaks Can Become Large Quickly

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Bay Area Residential Plumbing Leaks and Repairs

Minor Residential Plumbing Leaks Can Become Large Quickly

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No matter how old your home is, a plumbing leak can happen, avoid turning a small residential leak into a large plumbing disaster by following these steps.

Identify the Residential Plumbing Leak Source

Faulty plumbing systems, and pipes can be anywhere in the house, kitchen, bathroom, under the slab, the garage or even in the attic.

It’s important to identify the source of the problem quickly.  If you have a two-story home, you may notice a water leak downstairs when the source is the bathtub upstairs.

If you cannot identify the source, our residential plumbing team in the Bay Area uses advanced leak detection equipment to pinpoint the exact location and repair it quickly.

Minimize the Home Leak Damage

If the leak is under the sink or in an area that has a water shut-off valve, be sure to turn that off quickly.  This will avoid the leak from further damaging your walls, floors, and surrounding areas.

Shut Off the Water Supply when Away

If you have a second home you occasionally visit, or you’re leaving a long vacation, it may be beneficial and preventative to shut off the water supply to the house.  Many vacation home owners follow this routine to avoid plumbing leaks and emergencies while they’re away.

If you ever find yourself with a plumbing disaster and your home is in the Bay Area, know that we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekend.  Many Bay Area homeowners keep our number on speed dial.

Avoid Residential Plumbing Leaks with Regular Maintenance

You’ll never know what’s going on behind the walls, under the floors or carpet, but all your visible hardware, pipes, should be checked regularly.

If you see a rusty pipe, a faucet that’s getting stuck or anything the grabs your attention, don’t ignore it!  Repairing plumbing and hardware before they break can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

At Express Plumbing in the Bay Area, we’ve been serving our Burlingame, San Mateo and Bay Area community since 1989.  Both residential and commercial clients rely on our experience, advanced equipment, and innovative techniques to repair, replace, or install.

We enjoy educating our residential community on the preventative measures they can take to avoid residential plumbing leaks.  We hope you find this useful, and ask you to share it with others.

If you need a residential plumbing expert, give us a call or request a complimentary plumbing quote from our team of Bay Area plumbers.


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EPS Inc., a Bay Area Heavy Construction Company Saved My Home from a Sinkhole in San Mateo

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Douglas Irvin, a 74-year-old retired Bay Area resident and no stranger to engineering, he retired after 32 years in engineering with the department of defense.

He said in an interview earlier this week.  “Nick Bechwati saved my home and I am grateful.  Nick did everything he could to save money and discussed what he planned to do each step of the way.  He treated me like the professional engineer I am”.

Douglas Irvin has owned a rental property in the San Mateo area for over a decade, all was great until he received a call from his tenant one morning in February 2017 letting him know that a huge sinkhole ripped apart the yard, drained the koi pond and has threatened the home.  Irvin was left with a big problem and a project ahead he wasn’t expecting.

“I had to act fast, I was worried about another rain storm coming and the house collapsing” he said as he recalled the story to me earlier this week.

As the San Mateo Daily Journal reported in February and Irvin recalled during our conversation, he was left with a lot of unanswered questions.

Where is the water coming from? Was there a pipe that failed? Who is responsible for the uphill storm water?  With all these questions, he knew he had to act fast and possibly get the answers later.  He didn’t want to lose his home, and wanted the right heavy construction company for the job.

“There’s a 48” storm drain pipe that ran right through my property, never saw it on the map, I always thought it ran around the property”. Said Irvin

His home was in danger of collapsing, and the entire seen was a complete disaster, marked off by bright yellow caution tape by local authorities.

What lead you to Nick Bechwati, owner of EPS Inc. in the Bay Area?

“I’m not a stranger to engineering, after 32 years I still had a lot of contacts and started asking around for the best Bay Area heavy construction company.  Everyone kept pointing the finger to Nick Bechwati as the most experienced, and best equipped to handle this project, so I gave him a call”

How did your first meeting go with Nick?

“When nick walked up to meet with me, he was holding and leaning on a cane, I also have trouble getting around at my age, so we immediately had something in common.” He said as he chuckled.

Nick Bechwati was still recovering from leg surgery due to an accident that happened earlier this year, he never missed a day of work after his surgery, he is a dedicated hands-on owner that has been serving the Bay Area since 1989 providing advanced drilling, heavy construction, and plumbing services for residential, commercial and municipal clients throughout Northern California.

“They say I’m a workaholic but I don’t see it that way.  If you love and enjoy what you do, is it considered work?” Said Nick Bechwati, owner of EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing.

His dedication must’ve been apparent to Mr. Irvin during their first encounter.  Irvin continued, “After 32 years of experience in engineering, and dealing with so many people in the industry, I’d like to think I’m a pretty good judge of character.  I didn’t hesitate, after a small conversation with Nick, I agreed with everything he said, I liked his ideas, and action plan, I could tell he was the one I’m trusting my home to, and signed a contract to start right away.”

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Were you around your San Mateo rental home during the heavy construction project?

“I’m retired, so I had all the time in the world to hang around the project, I knew what I was looking at and I saw Nick on the job, I documented, took photographs and observed him making some tough decisions, it wasn’t easy, but he had a solution I agreed with every time”.

“This wasn’t your everyday situation, they had to go 25 feet below the pipe and clear all the debris, it needed the right person for the job, someone that can act fast, with no room for error, being an engineer myself, I would’ve done exactly what Nick did in many situations”.

The project was quite involved, it required someone with experience to deal with the permits, and City licensing requirements, etc… “Nick has been around for a while, his relationship and contacts with the local City helped ease the process”. Irvin said with satisfaction.

Did you know EPS Inc. has an Express Plumbing division that handles every day plumbing issues?

“Well, this project didn’t need a plumber that’s for sure, but yes I am familiar with all the services his company provides.  I’ll tell you, if I do need a plumber anywhere in the Bay Area they’ll be the ones I call.

During our conversation, Douglas Irvin was a joy to speak with, he was very forthcoming and shared all he could about the project with a passion.  Very mild tempered when discussing a disaster that threatened his home, this can only come from his many years of experience in engineering.

EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing is a full-service company specializing in engineering, heavy construction, drilling and plumbing.  Nick Bechwati has been serving the Bay Area since 1989 by providing the highest quality, guaranteed services to not only meet but exceed the clients’ expectations.

The company provides its services to residents, business owners, Bay Area cities, along with 24-hour disaster response.

Anything else you’d like to add Mr. Irvin?

Nick Bechwati did save my home, I made the right choice when I picked EPS Inc. to handle this heavy construction project.  I still have many issues to deal with at the City, but for now, my home is saved and I couldn’t be happier.


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Average Cost of Converting Septic to Sewer

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If you have a septic tank in the Bay Area and you’re finally ready to connect your home’s wastewater to public sewer, the first thing you’re thinking is what will it cost to have a septic to sewer line conversion.

Although the exact price of converting septic to sewer will vary based on many factors such as location, city and county specific regulations, accessibility, and circumstances, we hope this article will provide you with common answers to your questions, and what the process involves.

What’s included in a septic to sewer conversion?

  • Choosing an experienced sewer contractor in the Bay Area
  • Getting the proper permits for the particular location
  • Figuring out the sewer extensions needed
  • Properly disposing the old septic tank
  • Proper scheduling of the project and local city inspection requirements

The process is something we at Express Plumbing are very familiar with, we work with all the building departments in the Bay Area and have helped hundreds of residents convert their septic tank into public sewer.  We are the #1 referred and preferred sewer experts in the Bay Area, for a reason.

Cost of Converting Septic to Sewer

There are 3 main costs calculated in the cost estimate, permits, fees, and labor to get the septic conversion done.  If you’re thinking about this, you’ll need to consider a cost anywhere between $3000 and $7000.

If you want an accurate proposal to reflect your particular septic to sewer conversion, give our Bay Area plumbing company a call, we’re happy to submit a detailed proposal to help you properly forecast and budget for the project.

septic to sewer conversion bay area

Building Department Permits and Fees

Before any work can begin, there are various applications, specific forms, permits and fees that must be completed and paid.  Hiring our professional sewer experts will ease the burden since we take care of all this for you.  The fees and permit cost will vary depending on the Bay Area city or County your home is located in.

In addition to the permits, there are application fees, sewer capacity certification requirements and public sewer connection fees to consider.

EPS Inc dba Express Plumbing has been providing these sewer services in the Bay Area since 1989.  A project like this requires expertise, proper planning, advanced equipment, a contractor that’s licensed to perform it, and insured to protect you from any liabilities.

If you have a sewer repair, replacement, or a septic to public sewer conversion project in mind, we ask you to contact us for a complimentary, detailed, no obligation proposal.  We’ve been digging, replacing, and installing pipe in the Bay Area for over 30 years and we look forward to providing you with the excellent service you expect and deserve.


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The Unhealthy and Stinky Clogged Sewer Line – FIXED!

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If you’ve ever had to deal with a blocked sewer line, you’d have a good idea of what we’re talking about.  A small problem can quickly become a big one, if not properly handled, and not something you can ignore and deal with later.

Depending on how your home is built, the problem before you can either be bad or a complete nightmare to deal with.

If your home has a basement or a crawl space, the problem can be dealt with much easier.  If your home is on a slab (no crawlspace or basement) you may not have any access to the main sewer line of the house, and this is where hydro jetting is a must!

When you contact a plumber for a clogged drain or sewer line, it’s important to contact an expert plumber that’s well equipped to handle whatever situation they may face.

Calling a local plumber that may not have the advanced equipment and capabilities to deal with the problem at hand may cause you to pay two different plumbers to get one problem taken care of.

HydroJetting a Clogged Sewer Line

hydrojetting a sewer lineHydrojetting is a blessing when clearing stinky messes!  Hydro jetting is an advanced plumbing process where high pressure of water’s steam is passed through the main sewer line in order to unclog all the blockage.

The process is exceptionally beneficial when clearing out clogged drains and sewer lines in tough to reach areas and homes with no crawlspace.

The hydrojetting process minimizes out of pocket costs, and expensive repairs without causing any damage to the pipes or surrounding areas.

Can I clear the clogged sewer line myself?

While we always promote proper maintenance and DIY ideas for homeowners, unclogging a sewer line or a drain is something you really should leave up to an expert plumber why?

Unclogging a blockage in a pipe is something that’s unseen, an expert plumber is well equipped with the proper gear needed to see inside the pipes such as a plumbing video camera inspection system which will pinpoint the cause of the issue.

Our sewer line experts in San Mateo are capable of conducting tests that unmask any breaks in the sewer line before they work on them. Digging around in an unseen area can cause new damage or further damage to an existing break.  This will end up costing you more time and money.

With clogged drains and clogged sewer lines, a fast, professional response is a must.  Our Bay Area plumbing company has been serving the surrounding areas since 1989.

We take great pride in providing our residential clients a team of professional plumbers that can handle the smallest plumbing emergencies but always well equipped for the biggest plumbing disaster 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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3 Common Residential Plumbing Questions & Answers

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As a trusted plumbing company, we regularly get asked plumbing related questions, whether our plumbers get asked on-site or we get answer requests on the web. We’ve compiled a quick list we hope you’ll find beneficial.

TOP RESIDENTIAL PLUMBING QUESTIONS

My toilet keeps running long after flushing, how can I quickly stop that?

A running toilet, can waste a lot of water, it can also be quite annoying to hear the sound non-stop.

The reason your toilet keeps running is the rubber flap in the back of the tank. Take the top off the back of the tank, flush the toilet and watch the flap. Does it close the opening all the way? If not, re position the flap directly over the hole, and that should stop it.

Our hot water runs out quickly, I haven’t called a plumber because we get hot water, it just doesn’t last, what can I do?

Answering this question will depend on the type of water heater you have. Type and size of the water heater will have an effect on the amount of hot water produced.

If you have an electric water heater, one of the heating elements could’ve stopped working. There are two elements that heat up the water, one is on top and the other is on the bottom, thus reducing the amount of water available.

The size of the water heater and capacity will also make a difference, usage, etc. Did your family size recently increase? Are you running appliances you never ran before or more often?

Our experienced Bay Area plumbers will look at various situations, and test to determine the reason for the problem. Our estimates are complimentary, for a more detailed diagnosis, it’s best to call a plumber on-site.

You may also want to consider a tankless on-demand hot water heater. There is no tank, and the water is heated as its being requested throughout the house, so you never run out of hot water.

I have an ongoing issue with a clogged drain, it’s happening more frequently, can you tell me what could be causing this and if it’s safe to use chemical drain cleaners often?

Drains get clogged for multiple reasons, in the kitchen for example, if you’re not careful with what you put down the drain, the buildup can cause it to clog. In the bathrooms, hair, soap scum, oil residue, etc.. can also cause continuous clogs.

If the problem is persistent, you could have issues with other areas in the pipes such as tree roots, or a clog further down the drain. A video camera inspection should reveal the exact location and allow our plumbers to eliminate the problem for good.

As to whether it’s a good idea to continuously use chemical drain cleaners. We prefer preventative measures such as drain covers that minimize what goes down the drain, rather than harsh chemicals.

Drain cleaners are toxic, it’s not a good idea to keep them around the house with pets and children around. You may want to check into drain protection covers or bacteria and enzyme solutions available on the market, safer for the environment and safer on the pipes.

For serious clogged drains, contact our Bay Area Plumbers to clear the lines quickly.

 

We hope you found some of these topics helpful and something you can benefit from at your home.
If you have plumbing, and home improvement questions you’d like answers to, feel free to contact us, we’ll have our experts give you their professional advice and share it on our site with other homeowners.

If you need a reliable plumbing company in the Bay Area, we’ve been providing services since 1991 to commercial and residential clients. Our plumbing estimates are complimentary, and we take price in providing the highest quality plumbing service, guaranteed.


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Tankless Water Heater Endless Water

How Much Money does a Tankless Water Heater Save?

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On demand water heaters, often referred to as tankless water heaters only produce hot water when you need it.   There is no water storage being heated therefore you save money, but how much money does a tankless water heater save?

How It Works

A tankless water heater has no tank, so no water is being heated when not in use.  When you turn the hot water faucet on in the house, cold water travels through the unit, gets heated and delivered to you.

Generally, the hot water is delivered at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute.

Electric or Gas Tankless Water Heater?

Gas operated tankless water heaters produce a higher flow rate of hot water than the electric ones.

If you’re in a large home, the gas fired tankless model can’t supply hot water simultaneously for multiple users like the electric one does.

Operating Costs of Gas or Electric Water Heaters

Cost and Savings of an On-Demand Water Heater

The initial cost of purchase and installation is more than you would pay for a conventional water heater, but the savings and return on investment are much better.

  • Tankless water heaters have lower operating and energy cost
  • Life expectancy is more than 20 years when compared to 10 with traditional water heaters

Tankless Water Heater Client Review

When Chris and Joan started looking at switching their traditional water heater to a tankless one, they weren’t really sure it’s worth the time or investment.

We worked closely with them and provided all the details and statistics available relating to energy savings over time.  They made their decision and the San Mateo tankless water installation happened without a glitch.  Here’s what they had to say:

If you’re in a home that uses 40 gallons of hot water daily, you can expect 24% to 35% energy savings, if you use more hot water, the savings are even more and up to 50%.

A tankless water heater is energy efficient but that energy efficiency can be better optimized with proper installation and maintenance.

There are many factors to consider, therefore it’s important to hire an experienced tankless water heater contractor that understands the various fuel types, local climate, building code regulations, safety issues when dealing with gas operated water heaters.

Express Plumbing in San Mateo CA has over 25 years of experience in new installations, maintenance, and plumbing repairs.  We’ve worked with apartment complexes, residential homes, commercial businesses, and municipalities throughout the Bay Area.

If you’re ready to learn more about on-demand hot water heaters and want to get a no obligation, complimentary estimate, give us a call or request a quote.

We’ve been serving the Bay Area since 1989, we take pride in providing excellent service throughout the area.  We would love to help you save money and get your home energy efficient with a tankless water heater installation.

Complimentary Tankless Water Heater Estimate


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Is a Burst Pipe Emergency Covered by Insurance?

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An emergency involving a burst pipe is an unexpected financial burden to homeowners and business owners. Does your insurance cover a bursting pipe? Here is the information we found to help you avoid unforeseen costs.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners’ insurance does cover unexpected burst pipes and the damage it causes, however insurance does not cover the damage resulting from an ongoing slow leak that was left and not repaired.

Water Damage from Burst Pipe

Photo: Pennlive.com UCLA water damage from burst pipe. Read Full Story

How to Prevent Bursted Pipes?

There are major problems associated with a burst pipe. Even a small crack can flood your home, besides the visible damage, water damage under the carpet, wood floors and in the walls can cause mold if not dealt with immediately.

freezing weather pipe burst

Pipe Burst due to Freezing Weather

Here are a few recommendations to help you avoid burst pipes.

  • Learn More about emergency release valves.

  • Avoid frozen pipes in cold areas by properly insulating exposed pipes.

  • Prior to winter drain all outdoor pipes and faucets and disconnect the hoses to avoid bursts.

  • Schedule a yearly maintenance inspection by a licensed contractor.

When it comes to plumbing emergencies, prevention is key. Our team of plumbing technicians regularly performs home plumbing inspections, and routine evaluations to identify potential problems from wear and tear.

How to Handle a Pipe Burst?

If you experience a bursting pipe, and you do not have an emergency shut off valve, you must react quickly to minimize the damage.

  • Locate your house water valve, know where this is at all times.
  • Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water to your home.
  • Verify the water has been shut off by turning on your water hose outside, which should stop if you properly followed the procedure.

Our Bay Area plumbing company has helped thousands of homeowners avoid emergency bursting pipes by providing regular maintenance inspections.

We have also installed hundreds of shut off valves to help them avoid water damage and repair costs if they have a pipe burst while away from home.  We are also open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends.  If you ever have a plumbing emergency, give us a call and we’ll quickly help you.

Taking small steps to avoid unnecessary repairs and expenses is very important. There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for insurance coverage, have a pipe that bursts to later find out it’s not covered due to improper maintenance.

Know your insurance policy, and understand your particular coverage to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Our plumbing company in San Mateo accepts insurance claims, we will communicate with parties involved to insure a timely repair and avoid any further unnecessary costs.


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Average Cost of Hydro Jetting in San Francisco Area

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Slow sewage lines or clogged drains? Hydro jetting commonly referred to as high pressure jetting is used by our San Francisco professional plumbers to quickly remove the blockage and build up.  It’s effective and efficient.

About the Hydro Jetting Process

We begin by determining the location of the problem first using a video camera inspection, this will quickly pinpoint the location.  A combination of a snake and Hydro jetting may be used if tree roots are involved in the blockage.

The snake will break up the particles in the blockage, while the high-pressure water jetting clears the drains completely and removed any remaining particles on the interior walls of the pipes.

Average Prices of Hydro Jetting Plumbing Services in the San Francisco Area courtesy of HomeAdvisor.

 

High Pressure Drain Cleaning Vs Snake

Hydro jetting is very common with commercial plumbing projects, especially restaurants.

In a residential home, the process works great for removing sand, silt, and build up in clogs such as hair and other grease and food particles.

Using a snake to unclog a drain only breaks up the particles and leaves the buildup on the interior walls.  The high-pressure process of hydrojetting can completely clean the pipes which a snake cannot compare to.

Benefits of Hydro Jetting to Clear Drains

Time is money.  The quicker a project a completed, the less costly it is.  The high pressure drain clean process is environmentally friendly and avoids the use of chemicals to clear the drains.

The hydro jetting machine can release high pressure of 7000 lbs per square inch to clean your clogged drains or sewer lines quickly and without and problems.

Our expert Bay Area plumbing technicians provide drain cleaning services in the San Francisco area to both commercial and residential clients.

We’re equipped and experienced to handle your plumbing needs no matter how big or small.  Rely on our experience to help you the next time you need a hydro jetting contractor in the Bay Area.


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Stay Merry This Season With These Christmas Plumbing Tips

Tis the season to spend your Christmas eve with a plumber, Not!

It’s time to eat lots of goodies, be Merry and avoid the the plumber with these helpful Christmas plumbing tips from Express Plumbing, the Bay Area’s favorite contractor in San Mateo CA.

Our crew is experienced, nice, and friendly, but if you don’t want to have us in your home on Christmas eve or day, consider following some simple rules.

Christmas Plumbing Tip #1

Allow your drains to drain by suggesting that your in-house guests wait 15 minutes between showers.

This will give the drains the time to do their thing.  You may also want to place small screen covers over the shower drains to catch all the added hair trying to make its way down the pipes.

Holiday Plumbing Tip #2

With more people in the house, sanitary items, wipes (including the flushable ones), etc.. tend to find their way down the toilet more often.  

It’s not something you can easily announce to your guests, so make a festive friendly sign and put it above the toilet as a quick reminder.

Plumbing Tip #3

Baking and cooking requires the use of butter, flour and oils.  Fat and oils become solid in pipes.  Avoid clogging your drains by wiping the pots and pans clean over a trash can before adding it to the sink.  

Follow these simple tips and carry on with your guests without having to worry about personalized time with your plumber.

If you already have plumbing issues, however small they may be, address them before the big day.  Minor plumbing problems can become plumbing disasters quickly if not fixed.

Our plumbing professionals are available 24/7 including holidays and weekends, we’ve been on Santa’s good list since 1989.  

At the end of Nov. when we had trouble with the sewer line we were fortunate enough to have your company solve the problem. We just want to thank the men for the professional and excellent service that they provided us.
We really appreciate all that they did. We wish all a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.
Sugrue family

As much as we enjoy our clients and neighbors, the last thing we’d want is to put a damper on the most wonderful time of the year by showing up for a plumbing emergency.  

From our entire team, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season filled with health, happiness, and lots of cheer.


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3 Simple Tips to Avoid Holiday Plumbing Disasters

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The holiday season brings family and friends together, whether you’re having a few people over for dinner or out-of-town family guests that will stay overnight, here are some tips from your San Mateo trusted plumber to help you avoid plumbing disasters this holiday season.

While enjoying the holiday festivities, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a clogged drain, cold shower, or overflowing toilets.  Let’s see if we can help you give your guests a memorable experience without any plumbing emergencies.

emergency-plumbing-disasters

Avoid Plumbing Disasters #1 – Know Your Shut Off Valves

Most homeowners aren’t plumbing experts, but you should at least know about the plumbing in your home.  Locate where the shut off valves are in and around your home, this will be the most important thing to know in case you have a plumbing emergency during the holidays or any other time.

avoid-plumbing-emergencies

Avoid Plumbing Problems #2 – Trash is for the trash can

Help your guests avoid disposing improper items in the toilet or sink.  Make sure you have trash cans throughout the bathrooms and near the sink in the kitchen.  A small cotton swab down the toilet can create a plumbing disaster you don’t want to deal with, or the wrong leftovers placed in the sink can clog your garbage disposal quickly.

Avoid Plumbing Emergencies #3 – Don’t waste water

Avoid wasting water by checking all the connections outside of the home and inside.  You may want to turn up your hot water heater to ensure there will be plenty for your overnight guests to enjoy a nice warm shower.  Stick to a maximum temperature of 125 degrees.

Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours

Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours 

Our residential plumbing experts have been serving the Bay Area community since 1989.  We are available 24/7 even nights and weekends.  If you’re faced with a plumbing disaster you can’t handle, know that we’re here to help you when you need us most.

Our entire team at Express Plumbing in San Mateo CA wishes you and your family a wonderful holiday season filled with memorable moments and free of plumbing disasters.  


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