The Unhealthy and Stinky Clogged Sewer Line – FIXED!

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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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What’s The Operating Cost of an Electric or Gas Water Heater

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The cost of water heater operation is just as important as the type of water heater you purchase.

Daily expenses are becoming more important to monitor for homeowners in the Bay Area and across the country.  With rising living costs, we often get asked by homeowners which water heater costs more, an electric or gas water heater? Here is some information to consider.

cost-of-water-heaterA water heater is an essential part of our everyday life, so when you’re faced with making a decision on installing a new water heater, remember that the average shower is about 8 minutes and uses 10 gallons of hot water every time.

An average water heater runs three hours every day, a 50 gallon, 55,500 watt water heater with a .90EF and electricity rate of $.16 per kilowatt will cost an average operating cost of $781 per year.  The majority of water heaters do have a label listing the annual operating cost, but it may vary depending on individual usage.

There are many choices when selecting a water heater, and the first one you’ll need to make is whether you want a tankless water heater or a traditional water heater.  A tankless water heater also saves on water usage and overall energy.  Get more info about traditional water heaters vs tankless water heaters.

The up-front cost is more expensive than the traditional water heater, but overtime, the savings make a lot of sense for homeowners concerned with energy savings.

Energy Operating Cost of Water Heater

Electric Cost

The federal average price in the U.S. for electricity is $0.09 per kWH.

Gas Cost

The federal average price in the U.S. for gas is $0.93 per therm.

Which Water Heater Costs Less?

Photo: Huffington Post - Saving Money For Your Family

Photo: Huffington Post – Saving Money For Your Family

An electric water heater uses electric resistance coils to heat the water, while a gas water heater uses the heating from burning natural gas.

What does this mean to you?  Electric water heaters are more energy efficient than gas water heaters but due to high electricity costs, the electric water heater is more costly to run.

At our San Mateo plumbing company, we provide commercial and residential water heaters, we’ve been serving the Bay Area since 1989.  We’ve provided water heater installations and repairs for all types, models, and energy requirements.

We work closely with every client to help them make an informed decision about their new purchase and installation.  Our technicians are experienced, and willing to assist you when you need a new water heater.

With every project, our professional plumbers work with our Bay Area residential and commercial plumbing clients to ensure they make important decisions early which intern saves them both time and money.

Give our team a call for a free estimate on your next electric or gas, traditional or tankless water heater installation.


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Bathroom Remodeling Saving Tips

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You’ve decided to remodel your bathroom. Use these tips to get a new look without flushing funds down the toilet.

Have a Solid Bathroom Remodeling Plan

When you’re working with a budget, you may think working with a designer professional is pricey, but a proper plan can save you both time and money.

Having a good plan with a budget forecast and a timeline will make the path to your perfect bathroom easily achievable.

Improve But Don’t Move The Plumbing

Replacing the old pipes may be necessary but leaving the plumbing pipes where they are is less costly than moving them to another area in the bathroom.

If your bathroom doesn’t have a shower and you’re adding one is fine, but moving where the existing toilet pipes are to another location may be a costly task you’ll want to avoid.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Photo Credit: Ideal Standard

Bring In Natural Light

During a bathroom remodel, many consider changing or adding light. Shop local sales for affordable lighting or bring in outdoor lights with a skylight if you have easy roof access.

bathroom-toilet-remode

Photo: BathroomDesignIdea.com

Don’t Flush the Toilet in the Trash

If your toilet is in great shape, consider only replacing the toilet seat and cover without replacing the entire toilet.

Photo Credit: DIY Network

Photo Credit: DIY Network

Faucets and Fixtures

Updating the faucets and fixtures is sometimes a must due to hard water residue and normal wear.

Only replace the faucets that are damaged and try to match the ones you are keeping.

For example: If the shower head is in great shape, leave it and replace the sink faucets only to closely match the shower head style and material.

As a professional Bay Area Plumbing company since 1989, we’ve worked closely with architects, designers, homeowners and business owners on many bathroom remodeling projects. With every project, we aim to save our clients time and money by making suggestions that leaves them smiling without breaking the bank.

If you’re thinking about remodeling and need a bathroom remodel plumbing expert, look no further. Give us a call or stop by our plumbing company in San Mateo. Our team is experienced, and gets it done to meet your budget and timeline.


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How Much Does It Cost to Redo Your Plumbing?

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Refitting the plumbing in your home can definitely pay off in the long term – in addition to higher property value and energy-efficiency savings, you’ll gain security against leakages and other plumbing emergencies. Water is the single most common cause of damage to the home – and the number one cause of water damage is leaky plumbing!  

But what’s the financial outlay of redoing your plumbing? In this post, we’ll take a look at how much you can expect to spend.  

Square Footage Matters

It can be hard to get a general estimate of plumbing costs since there are so many variables – the age of the home, the age of the plumbing system, the date of the last repair or remodel, and local building codes are just a few. A total bathroom remodel can cost between $2,000 and $15,000. According to Home Advisor’s national survey for 2016, most members spent between $5,666 and $13,011.  

The cost for remodeling a 1-bedroom, 2-bath home can range as low as $1,500 and as high as $12,000; the cost for a 2-bedroom, 3-bath home can range as low as $3,000 or as high as $20,000.  However, the national average is approximately $4.50 per square foot of property, and hourly rates are typically between $50.00 and $75.00.  Use these numbers as a rubric.

Pick and Choose

If you can’t afford a comprehensive refit of all your plumbing, you can opt for a limited set of repairs and replacements now, and save others for later.  For example, a homeowner with a 1-bedroom, 2-bath home might choose to replace the pipes, the shower in one bathroom along with both toilets and sinks, a total cost of less than $5,000.  A homeowner with a 2-bedroom, 3-bath layout might choose to focus on the master bathroom.

Limit Your Exposure

Exposed plumbing includes anything that can be seen and accessed without opening up floors or tearing down walls – for example, your toilet and shower system or the pipes that can be accessed via a crawlspace. Replacing exposed plumbing is much less costly, because the work is much less intense. These repairs typically cost between $1,000 and $6,000, with smaller houses on the lower end of that estimate.

Depending on the layout and age of your house, your plumber may be able to access most of your plumbing pipes this way. If you’re planning to sell your home, this level of repair can be very valuable, since new fixtures will be attractive to prospective buyers. You might also want to highlight just one part of the house – for example, a homeowner with a 2-bedroom, 3-bathroom home might refit one bathroom for staging purposes and leave the others “as is.”  

Photo Credit: TN Valley Excavation

Kill Two Birds

When you remodel your home, take advantage of the temporary teardown by resolving any plumbing issues. After all, while your house is “under construction,” much more of your plumbing will be exposed. Add-on costs for replacing plumbing pipes during a remodel can drop to as little as $250 to $1,000, so this two-for-one special is definitely worth a buy in!  

Shop Around

Some repairs can be much more costly – repairing a septic tank normally costs several thousand dollars, and replacing a water heater can cost more than a thousand. To keep these costs manageable, be sure to get several estimates from plumbers in your area – and don’t be afraid to ask for a detailed breakdown. You may be able to save money by completing repairs yourself – but don’t overextend yourself by taking on a project beyond your abilities.

Material Advantage

Professional plumbers can also advise you on the most cost-effective materials to use.  For example, crosslinked polyethylene tubing, or PEX, is a flexible plastic tubing that can be snaked into a wall just as easily as wire, for a much lower installation cost than conventional metal pipes. PEX is also much cheaper than copper pipes. Refitting a 2-bedroom, 3-bathroom home with copper piping normally starts at about $5,000 – PEX repiping for the same layout could cost as little as $3,500.  

Newer and less conventional materials can come with a lot of unknowns. There may not be much information available on how durable they are. However, these options are worth investigating.

Redoing your plumbing is a fairly costly, labor-intensive process, but these tips should help you minimize the expense. A professional plumber can help you find the best repair and replacement solutions for your home, and it might be worth investing in an expert consultation.

This guest post is contributed by Steam Showers Inc., a Southern California company with ten years of experience providing high-quality steam shower products via internet sales.

About the Author: Steam Showers Inc., is the largest distributor of steam showers in the United States. Based in Southern California, Steam Showers Inc., has a ten-year record of selling steam showers on the internet, specializing in steam showers, whirlpool bathtubs, shower panels, and walk-in bathtubs. We pride ourselves on supplying a superlative product at a competitive price.


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