Tag Archives: residential plumber

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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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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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Express Plumbing
307 N. Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, CA 94401
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