Tag Archives: clogged drain

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Plumbing Troubleshooting Tips

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Plumbing issues come in a variety of sizes. From small matters that you can fix yourself to major problems that require the aid of a trained professional, plumbing doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.

However, troubleshooting the problem and finding the root of the issue can help determine a repair plan and save you time and money. Whether you have a leaky faucet or a sewer backup, here are some plumbing troubleshooting tips to get your pipes and water system back to full functionality. Brought to you by our plumbing company in the Bay Area.

Troubleshooting Toilets

The two most common toilet problems are a running toilet and a clogged toilet. A running toilet is fairly easy to diagnose. When you can hear water running when the toilet isn’t in use, chances are you have this issue.

If left untreated, a running toilet can run through over 200 gallons of water a day, causing your water bill to skyrocket. Checking the flapper valve, replacing the float, or checking the tank for sediment will often fix a running toilet.

Clogged toilets provide a more serious problem. When clogged, they can overflow and cause a mess of gigantic and often disgusting proportions. Most often, a plunger will do the trick, but if that’s not enough to amend the situation, you may need to call a plumber to snake the line.

Troubleshooting Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes are one of the more serious plumbing problems you may face. When pipes leak, they can damage furniture, wood flooring, and wood subflooring, as well as attract pests such as cockroaches and silverfish.

Fortunately, leaky pipes are fairly easy to diagnose. To find the problem, look for puddles of water collecting beneath your pipes. If these pipes are exposed, such as in a basement, locating them is far simpler.

However, pipes located within walls often need a plumber’s touch. In cold weather climates, proper pipe insulation is necessary to avoid pipe bursts. If you don’t see insulation wrapped around your pipes, visit a hardware store to get the necessary supplies.

Troubleshooting Faucets

Perhaps the most common and easy-to-diagnose problem is a leaky faucet. These leaks are also one of the most irritating plumbing issues. Between the dripping sound and a higher water bill, leaky faucets are enough to drive a person crazy.

The good news is that figuring out the source of the problem is straightforward. Nine times out of 10, a washer within the faucet has become worn or dislodged and needs replacing. With the right tools, this is a quick fix. If you aren’t a handy, DIYer, a quick call to the plumber is just as effective.

Troubleshooting Drains, Sinks, and Tubs

Clogged drains, sinks, and tubs pose a threat to your home if they cause overflows and spillage into places susceptible to water damage. A visual inspection of the drainage will let you know if a clog is apparent. At that point, diagnosing the underlying cause isn’t as easy. In kitchen sinks, fats, oils, and food particles can cause a clog, as well as a dirty garbage disposal.

Bathroom sinks, showers, and tubs can have the same drainage problems caused by soap scum buildup and hair. Oftentimes, you can remove the drain cover and pull out the clogging offender. If this doesn’t troubleshoot the issue, a call to Express Plumbing in the Bay Area is a necessity.

Troubleshooting plumbing issues is something every homeowner must deal with at some point in time. Armed with these tips, you can find, diagnose, and treat many simple problems, but you don’t have to be a hero. If a plumbing situation comes up that’s outside of your area of expertise, don’t gamble on the well-being of your home.

Call our professional plumbing team in the Bay Area and ask us to properly diagnose the plumbing problem. An early and correct diagnosis will save you time and money.


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Avoid These Common Summer Plumbing Issues Around the House

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Fun in the sun isn’t enjoyable if you’re having to deal with summer plumbing problems! While you’re getting ready for a trip to the beach, a backyard BBQ and evening parties, if you’re a homeowner in the Bay Area, you’re never worry free.  There are always issues around the house, and plumbing issues are one of them.  Let’s get you prepared.

Most Common Summer Plumbing Issues

Clogged Toilets & Drains

With swimming comes more showers, with kids out of school, the toilets will be working double time.  Talk with your kids and explain proper use.  If you’ve got teenagers discuss the things they should NEVER put down the toilet to avoid clogs.  For the shower drains, it may be a good time to invest in a drain plug to catch all the hair.  Keep a plunger handy, just in case they do get clogged, and give us a call if you ever need our residential plumbers anywhere in the Bay Area.

Leaks in Washing Machine Hoses

Swimming, sports, showers, only mean that your washing machine will be working overtime these summers months, to prevent washing machine hose leaks, check them often and replace them before they begin leaking in order to avoid a leak in the house.  Plumbing issues can come from anywhere, you can’t stop them all, but with a little attention to detail, one can avoid a few plumbing problems from becoming bigger disasters.

Sewer Line Plumbing Problems

We are the Bay Area underground sewer experts because we get called for sewer repair and sewer replacements on a daily basis, so we know this can happen, and it does!  Whether the roots from trees expanded during the wet winter months and found their way into the sewer line or the collection of residue and hair has finally reached maximum capacity, avoid sewer line problems by not only installing drain plugs in the summer but all year long.

If you have a sewer issue, minimize the repair by hiring our trenchless “no-dig” plumbers.  We have the equipment and expertise to handle any sewer and underground pipe repair without digging.  The process is efficient, minimizes the disruption to the ground above, thus the cost and time to repair is much less.

Summer is meant to be enjoyable, follow these small tips to enjoy the kids being out of school, have outdoor fun without having to deal with plumbing issues that will drain your excitement.

We at EPS Express Pluming enjoy helping our Bay Area community and are called upon by commercial, residential, and municipal clients to provide engineering, plumbing, drilling, and building services when they need it.  We’ve been serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989.  We look forward to helping you when you need us most 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

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Here are some plumbing frequently asked questions sent to us in the Bay Area.  Our plumbers are always eager to help you find ways to avoid plumbing emergencies.  Before you call a plumber, read these common FAQ’s.

PLUMBING FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How Can I Avoid a Clogged Drain?

How to unclog a garbage disposalPay close attention to what you put down the drain.  Clogged drains in the kitchen happen because people aren’t conscious of what they put in them.

Bathroom drains get clogged because of hair, soap scum and residue from shampoo and toothpaste.

Use screens to catch the hair and avoid it from going down the drain all together.  Use drain cleaner on a monthly basis to maintain your drains and keep them clear from residue.

Can I Prolong the Life of My Water Heater?

Everything has a life span including faucets, fixtures, and water heaters.  You can extend their life by having a water softener installed in your home or business.  The goal is to minimize scale build up which also damages pipes, and appliances.  If water flows efficiently without any build up, the life span is prolonged on all things plumbing in the home.

Do I Have to Replace my Faucet if It Drips?

Not always!  When a faucet is dripping, it generally means the small mechanism on the inside needs to be replaced, or repairs.

It’s something you can do yourself if you’re not ready to replace the fixture all together.  Turning your faucets on and off gently is another way of prolonging their life.

Most Popular Plumbing FAQ – Can I Prevent Leaky Pipes?

When a leak starts, it’s really too late.  It’s important to avoid it all together by inspecting your plumbing on a regular basis.  A visual inspection is sufficient, you’ll want to look for signs of rust in areas around the pipes.  This is an indication that the pipe will eventually have a crack or a leak.  A leaky pipe can cause damage and increase your water bill tremendously.  Catching the problem early and preventing it all together is the best option.

Our Bay Area plumbing company is called upon by homeowners and business owners to conduct an on-site inspection on a regular basis.  We call it “PPP” Plumbing Problem Prevention.

What to Do if My Water Heater or Pipes Leak?

san leandro plumber bay areaYou should contact our plumbers quickly.  We offer 24/7 plumbing service including weekends and holidays.  Most often when water heaters leak, it means the bottom has rusted, there’s no way to repair that, and may require a replacement.  If you cannot locate the leak, we have leak detection equipment that will pin point the source so we can repair the pipe leak or perform a pipe replacement.

Whatever you do, don’t procrastinate when there’s a leak, the damage only gets worse.

My Toilet Keeps Running, How Can I Stop it?

If you have a toilet that continues to run even when it’s not flushed, it’s best to repair it quickly.  First, it’s annoying, second it can be quite costly.  The water is wasted, but it’s like you’re literally “flushing money down the toilet”.  This is quite a common plumbing repair, and well worth your immediate attention.

This is just a a small list of the plumbing FAQ our Bay Area plumbers answer all the time.  Do you have something else you’d like to know? We’re a phone call or an email away.  Send us a message and tell us how we can help you.

Our plumbers have been serving the Bay Area since 1989.  We hire the best and most qualified technicians in the industry, rely on us for all your plumbing needs in AthertonBelmontBurlingameHalf Moon BayLos Altos HillsMenlo ParkMillbraePacificaPalo AltoPortola ValleyRedwood CitySan CarlosSan FranciscoSan BrunoStanfordWoodsideFremontMountain ViewColmaFoster CityDaly CityBrisbaneUnion CityHaywardNewarkSan LeandroFoster City, and all surrounding areas.


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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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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.

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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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