Tag Archives: holiday plumbing problems

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End of Year Household Plumbing Tips

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With any luck, you’ve gone another year without any plumbing mishaps. No leaks, bursts, backups, or overflows have damaged your home, and as the year draws to a close, it’s time to give something back.

Before the hectic time around Christmas and New Year’s, follow these end-of-year household plumbing maintenance tips that are sure to keep your fixtures and pipes running like clockwork.


Outside Plumbing Maintenance Tips

You may think only of your sink, washing machine, or bathroom when it comes to plumbing, but don’t neglect the outdoors.

The first step to maintaining your outdoor plumbing is to remove all of your garden hoses.

If exposed to the elements, the water in the hose can freeze and expand, causing significant damage to interior pipes and fixtures. Make sure to disconnect these hoses, turn off the shut-off valve, and drain any excess water.

Insulate Your Pipes

One of the costliest plumbing repairs occurs when a pipe bursts in the home. This can cause excessive flooding and damage that can drain your emergency savings account.

However, the problem is avoidable. Wrap any exposed pipes in your basement or crawl space with foam pipe insulation. Available from hardware or plumbing supply stores, this foam insulation keeps your pipes’ temperature above the freezing point.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Whether you’re cooking for 10 or 100 during the holidays, your kitchen goes into overdrive. Your stove, oven, and dishwasher can usually handle the extra workload, but pay attention to your garbage disposal.

Even one that’s fully functional in mid-November can cause problems come January. During the holidays, use the acronym FOG to avoid:

  • Fats.
  • Oils.
  • Grease.

These three items can gum up your garbage disposal, rendering it inoperable when you need it most. You should keep coffee grounds, egg shells, and bones out of the garbage disposal to increase its longevity. Running only cold water also helps the device from overheating.

If you still run into problems, a trained technician is the only surefire way to repair the issue.

Fix the Leaks

You might notice an occasional drip of water coming from your sink or bathtub, but it doesn’t motivate you to fix it. That said, even a slow drip can add up. Just one drip per minute can add up to 34 gallons a year, wasting tons of money and freshwater in the process.

Drips in other places such as the basement or utility closet can also cause water damage that further drains your bank account. If you notice a leak or drip, the end of the year is the perfect time to fix it so you can start fresh come January 1. Although some of these are easily fixed with the turn of a wrench, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing professional if the problem is over your head or outside your DIY expertise.

With gift buying, parties, and New Year’s resolutions, you have plenty to worry about at the end of the year. Don’t add a plumbing disaster to the list. By following this checklist, you’re assured of a pristine plumbing system that won’t let you down.

All of us at EPS Inc. Express Plumbing wish you and your family a very happy holiday season, free from plumbing disasters and lots of cheer.


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Avoid Thanksgiving Plumbing Issues

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Thanksgiving is one of the most exciting times of the year. You invite friends and family into your home to celebrate what you’re thankful for while feasting and drinking to your heart’s desire. Unfortunately, the added company can also wreak havoc on your plumbing and home sewer system. Follow these easy tips to avoid Thanksgiving plumbing issues.

Don’t Abuse the Garbage Disposal

When used correctly, the garbage disposal is among the most convenient appliances in the home. If it’s abused, you’re on a dangerous path to clogs and backups. While it can easily grind organic matter such as the flesh of soft veggies and fruits, other items are problematic. Avoid bones, coffee grounds, eggshells, starchy vegetables, oils, and fats, as these can cause significant clogs that only a licensed plumber can repair. A sink strainer is a nice fail-safe if you have little helpers, or you haphazardly throw items into the sink by habit

If you’re Eco-conscious, throw all of the organic items you can’t put in the garbage disposal into a separate container. Together, the vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, and other leftovers make one amazing compost that’s perfect for the garden.

 

Create Bathroom Ground Rules

Everyone has their own habits when it comes to the bathroom, but don’t let that prevent you from being the supreme ruler of the commode and shower. Space out showers at least 15 minutes apart to allow the drains to clear. Put up a sign that informs others that only toilet paper can do down the toilet, and if you have any hints of plumbing issues involving your flushing mechanism or a float, fix it before the holiday. By following these two simple rules, the chances of a sewage backup go down exponentially.

Don’t Play Handyman

Modern websites like Wikihow and YouTube have turned generations of bashful DIYers into proactive versions. In a perfect world, this means you could fix your plumbing just by watching a video or reading a short excerpt from a book. In reality, you could mess up your plumbing to the point of no return. Ignore Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It inside your head, and leave the problem to a professional.

Prevent Plumbing Issues With Proper Maintenance

If you notice some warning signs of plumbing issues such as slow draining sinks or showers, leaks, low water pressure, or a lack of hot water, tackle the problem immediately. A call to a licensed plumber before Thanksgiving is a surefire way to fix the issue and eliminate it at a fraction of the cost. Procrastination only exacerbates the problem and leads to further repairs and costs down the road — just when you’re saving up for Black Friday.

Some home plumbing and sewer issues are unavoidable, but with just a bit of forethought, you can avoid a Thanksgiving plumbing meltdown. That’s something you can definitely be thankful for.

Our crew of experienced plumbers have been serving the Bay Area since 1989.  Got a question? Give us a call or send us a message.


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Most Common Holiday Plumbing Problems We’ve Seen in the Bay Area

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You’re right, plumbing problems aren’t specific to geographic locations, but we can only speak about our plumbing emergency experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This time of year, everyone is in a festive mood as they should be, but there’s nothing worse than a plumbing disaster striking right in the midst of a holiday event, but our plumbing crew will tell you it happens all the time.

As a Bay Area plumber since 1989, we’ve been called night and day to deal with plumbing emergencies for businesses, homeowners, even municipality plumbing issues , the number of residential plumbing problem calls always increase around the holidays, why?  The plumbing does take a large beating with the above average use during this season.  Here are the most common residential plumbing problem calls we’ve received.

Common Plumbing Problems and Prevention

Garbage Disposal Stops Working

With so many tasty dinners around the holidays, of course their are many broken garbage disposals. There are however a few things you can do to prevent this from happening or at least delay it so you can remain in a festive mood.  Your garbage disposal is not a dumpster.  Keep things out of it, it’s that simple.

Sure, many will tell you to cut things into smaller pieces, or to only put certain types of foods down the garbage disposal.  As your trusted Bay Area plumber, we say to avoid it all together around the holidays because we want you to enjoy the holiday season free from any unexpected plumbing issues.

Broken Water Heaters

We get called for this all the time, and it’s always fun when the water heater is not broken at all, the igniter goes off and no more hot water.  This is usually a quick fix and we all get back to our holiday festive moods.

One year a San Francisco resident was so excited after finding out her water heater was not broken at all, it had just shut off, she had our tech Joe stay for dinner and celebrate Christmas eve with her family.  It’s moments like these that we enjoy and help us love what we do even more.

We serve our community with dedication and a rapid response 24 hour a day, 7 days a week including the weekends and holidays.  We do it with a smile.  If you have a plumbing problem in San Francisco, call us and you’ll get a live person whenever you call.

Here are a few things you can do if you have a traditional water heater when you’re expecting a few overnight holiday guests.

Turn up the temperature, but never go over 120 degrees, it can be dangerous, this will help you stretch your hot water and insure everyone gets a nice comfy shower.  Remember to turn it down right after they’re gone so you don’t waste too much and save energy.

If you have an on-demand water heater (tankless water heater), you don’t have to worry about hot water at all.  When you want it, it’s there.

Last but not least, we hate to talk about a pesky, stinky plumbing matter, but we simply can’t avoid it because it’s one of the most common plumbing problems during the holidays.

Clogged Toilets or Sewer

With so many guests in and out of the bathroom, that’s bound to happen.  Not to mention, after a few drinks, who knows what’s being flushed down the toilet.  If you don’t normally keep a waste basket close, get one!

Remind your guests not to flush sanitary napkins, baby wipes, facial tissues, etc.

We’re always available to help including holidays and weekends, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a plumber near just in case.  Leak detection, Sewer repair or replacement is our specialty.

These are just a few of the calls we’ve received in the past, we hope these tips will help you and from our entire plumbing and engineering team at EPS Express Plumbing, we wish you and your family a festive, holiday season filled with love, laughter and free of plumbing problems.

Rapid Response:

The Holidays seasons is one of our busiest months, we serve the entire Bay Area, but call us when you need a trusted, fast response:

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