Author Archives: Pascale Saliba

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Fall Plumbing Adjustments Around the House

Fall Plumbing Adjustments Around the House

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Fall isn’t just a time when the leaves start falling, the kids go back to school, and the summer ends. It’s also a great occasion to do stuff around the house, and in particular, plumbing. Now that the hectic pace of summer has died down, you finally have time to do all the things you wanted to do months ago. And since your plumbing has probably taken a beating due to lockdowns and quarantines, it’s the perfect time to get a jump-start on everything before winter rears its ugly head. Here’s what you should do.

The Water Heater Debacle

Traditional Tank water heaters aren’t a bad investment per se. But if you live in a family of five or more, you certainly don’t want to be the last person to take a shower. While a cold shower might invigorate you and conceivably save water as you rush through your bathing regimen, upgrading to an on-demand water heater is perhaps the better option.

Although a bit more expensive than tank water heaters, you’ll know just where your money went. Every time you turn on the shower or faucet, you have instant hot water, essentially circumnavigating the cold-water issues you had in the past.

Our team at Express Plumbing can evaluate your water heater situation and make a recommendation.  We have helped hundreds of homeowners in the Bay Area make the switch from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater.

Garbage Disposal Repair

Have you noticed that your garbage disposal isn’t crushing up food particles as it has in the past? It’s nothing you did; it’s just the nature of garbage disposals. Like any other type of appliance in your home, it’s going to need maintenance from time to time.

To fix your garbage disposal, start with the easiest remedy: ice. When you pour ice down the drain and turn on the disposal, it effectively sharpens the blades, which could be the source of your problems.

If the problem is with draining, you have two other options. A plunger is a great way to remove clogs while baking soda and hot water solutions can help remove more stubborn clogs. Toss in a lemon afterward to clear the smell and your garbage disposal is like new.

Got any more questions about common plumbing problems?  Give us a call, we love helping our neighbors and residents throughout the Bay Area.

Sprinkler Maintenance

Depending on where you live, fall means more rainfall. In the spirit of water conservation and saving money, you may as well conduct some sprinkler maintenance and take care of nature’s natural watering. Some things to look for include:

  • Puddles of water, which indicates a leak in the system
  • Sprinkler heads spraying the wrong way, which means they’re clogged or obstructed
  • Dead zones, which may be the result of broken lines or mechanical malfunction

If you keep your eyes on these problems, you can make sure your sprinkler is ready for the spring and turn your yellowed lawn into the green envy of the neighborhood.

Since sprinklers run at odd hours, you may not see the problem right away.  Make sure to manually run your sprinklers during the day at least once a month and monitor each location for any leaks.  Avoiding or ignoring this problem can be costly in the long run.

Cleaning the Gutters

With the torrential downpours of fall also comes a potential flooding hazard with respect to your gutters. When gutters are clogged, water goes closer to your house, which may result in leaks in the basement foundation. By cleaning the gutters of debris, you force the water flow away from your house, keeping your basement bone-dry in the process.

Know When to Call a Pro

Not every fall plumbing adjustment is easily handled by a novice DIYer. For those jobs, enlist the help of a plumbing professional. With just a quick call, you can fix minor problems before they become a huge issue in the winter. All that’s left to do is enjoy the change in foliage, Halloween, and maybe just the idea of the kids being out of the house.

We have been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades.  EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing is equipped and staffed to handle any size project.  No job is too small or too big for our crew to handle, simply give us a call and we’ll be there to take care of your plumbing issues 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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Clogged Garbage Disposal at Home What Should I Do

Clogged Garbage Disposal at Home: What Should I Do?

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You’ve probably been there before. You put some end-pieces of food down the garbage disposal, turn on the water, and flick the switch. Quickly the sink fills up with water, and even the grinding of the disposal does nothing. You have the dreaded clogged garbage disposal. But as frustrating as it is, don’t stress. By learning what causes a backup and following a few tips, you can get your garbage disposal up and running in no time at all.

Why is my garbage disposal backing up?

Our San Mateo plumbers serving the Bay Area have reported that several culprits can cause clogged garbage disposal, but the most common reason is improper usage. Many people throw all types of food in the sink that shouldn’t go in there. Furthermore, if you’re not using enough water when you use the garbage disposal, the system can’t flush the food particles down through the trap and pipes.

One of the less common reasons that you should consider if you’re using enough water and only flushing the right types of food down the drain is the condition of the blades. Over time, food can dull the blades of the system, and they’re no longer sharp enough to cut the food into small enough pieces.

Furthermore, a unit that’s 15 years old or more may be at the end of its useful life.  If you end up with a clog, give our experienced technicians a call.  As your local Bay Area plumber, we’re here to make sure drains flow properly so you don’t have to worry about it.

How to drain a clogged garbage disposal?

The good news is that you have several options to drain a clogged garbage disposal. Before getting into these, it’s important to note that you should avoid drain cleaners. While these may work, they’re not environmentally friendly and should only be used as a last resort.;

One of the most efficient ways to clear a clogged garbage disposal is to use a plunger. You can use a toilet plunger, but for sanitary reasons, you may want to consider a sink plunger, which is also a bit smaller and makes it easy to plunge away.

Another option is to use an environmentally-friendly mix of baking soda and white vinegar. Pour one part of baking soda down the drain followed by two parts white vinegar. This will cause a fizzy chemical reaction that can break down food in the line. Flush it clear with water after about 20 minutes.

As a last resort, you may have to give us a call to amend the problem. Don’t go under the sink and start taking apart pipes or the garbage disposal unless you’re confident in your abilities. Otherwise, you might make the problem worse or your sink inoperable.

How to avoid a clogged garbage disposal?

If you want to avoid a clogged garbage disposal, don’t put any of these foods down the drain:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit pits
  • Pasta
  • Grease and oil
  • Celery
  • Bones

Each of these items can clog or even break the garbage disposal. If you have quite a bit of acceptable food, make sure to put it down the drain in small batches to avoid overworking the unit. You should also keep the water running while you’re grinding up food to flush it down the drain and through the pipes.

Finally, you should conduct proper maintenance on all your drains and plumbing throughout the house. Throw ice in the drain once a week to sharpen the blades, as well as a lemon, which can help break down certain foods and provide a better odor.

A clogged garbage disposal is a nuisance, but with preventive ideas and maintenance, you can steer clear of the problem altogether.

These tips and more are available from our experienced crew of plumbers in the Bay Area.  We’ve been serving our community for multiple decades and operate 24 hours if you ever need us.  We look forward to serving your home or business.


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You’ll Love These Cool Plumbing Hacks Around the House

You’ll Love These Cool Plumbing Hacks Around the House

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The easiest way for a homeowner’s day to be ruined is waking up to the drip of a leaking faucet, or the backup of water in the shower or tub. However, you don’t have to let these occurrences keep you from other obligations or activities. These five easy and quick plumbing hacks will allow you to remedy the problems and enjoy the rest of your day.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Poor drainage is generally a small, but annoying indoor plumbing problem. This lack of water flow is usually caused by minerals, food, or hair buildup. If you have tried the usual baking soda or pot of hot water down the drain and came up empty-handed, a concentrated homemade drain cleaner is the quick and easy solution.

To create this homemade drain cleaner, start by pouring a pot of hot water down the drain. Then, add ½ a cup of vinegar and ½ a cup of baking soda into the drain. Let sit for 10 minutes. Follow up with two pots of boiling hot water to clear the drain. If the drain isn’t cleared, give our team of Bay Area plumbers a call, we’ll get your clogged drain flowing right quickly.

Increased Shower Water Pressure

Showers can be the most relaxing part of your day. It can be a time to unwind and de-stress before or after an event. But if your shower’s water pressure isn’t quite up to standard, a soothing experience becomes an annoyance. Fortunately, you have numerous ways to increase your shower’s water pressure, even if you aren’t a DIYer.

Three simple fixes could turn that shower into a high-pressure stream instead of a dribbling hose. The first is to dip your showerhead in a bowl filled up with vinegar and let it sit overnight. Afterward, clean the surface of the head with a toothbrush to break up any particles or debris.

The second option would be to check for kinks or knots within the hose if your shower uses a flex pipe instead of PVC or metal piping. If you have PVC or metal pipes, simply check to make sure all valves are opened. The third and final tip would be to flush the lines in your water heater to improve water pressure and flow.

Stop A Running Toilet

The constant drone of a running toilet is not only an annoying sound but a telltale sign that it needs a bit of TLC. However, you can easily resolve the issue in a few simple steps.

One way to stop a running toilet would be to check the required water height and examine the float. If the water levels are low in the toilet, it could cause the toilet to run continuously. Checking the float and the water levels could help alleviate this problem.

If the water levels are normal, you could have just a simple issue with your flapper. Check your flapper and see if the lack of suction is the reason your toilet will not flush properly or continues to run. If this seems to be the case, drain your tank, remove the flapper, and take it with you to the hardware store to find another flapper that fits your toilet. You can also order a one size fits all flapper online if that suits your needs.

Handy Options for the Novice Handyman

Even if you aren’t the handiest homeowner, knowing a few quick, simple, and long-lasting fixes can make homeownership just a tad easier. With any luck, you can put these problems behind you and enjoy a functional plumbing system that makes cooking, cleaning, and bathing a cinch.

If you’re a homeowner in the Bay Area, we’re here to help you with all your plumbing issues.  From clogged drains to leaky faucets, repairs, and new installations.  Whether the issue is above or underground.  Give us a call for a plumbing quote.


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Costs are Rising, Use these Cost Saving Tips Around Your Bay Area Home

Costs are Rising, Use these Cost Saving Tips Around Your Bay Area Home

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In April 2021, inflation rose by 4.2% — the biggest year-over-year change since September 2008. As a result, nearly every basket of goods in the consumer price index is rising, making budgeting and cost-cutting a necessity for American households. However, cost-saving tips aren’t limited to buying less. Employing certain hacks can save money around your Bay Area home, giving you more money to spend on the things you want or need. Here are some options to put more money in your pocket each month.

Install Low-Flow Faucets in Your Sinks

According to some studies, replacing your current faucets with low-flow options can save up to 60% on your water bill. In most cases, you don’t need a commercial-strength faucet to cook or wash your hands, so putting these in your home is a no-brainer. If you like strong water pressure for your showers, leave the showerheads and replace everything else.

You can also add a water aerator to your faucets as an alternative or in addition to low-flow faucets. These devices screw onto the faucet tip and dilute the water stream with air, which uses less water without a marked decrease in water pressure.

Our plumbers in San Mateo have installed thousands of faucets throughout the Bay Area.  Ask us for a quote today.

Install Curtains and Blinds

If your Bay Area home has a significant number of windows that face east or west, curtains and blinds can reduce your energy costs. Reflective blinds can deflect sunlight during the summer, saving you as much as 45% on your energy bills over the course of the year. In the winter, turn the heat on and close the drapes to reduce heat loss by up to 10%, saving you even more on your bills.

Quit Drinking Bottled Water

Bottled water is a major drain on household expenses throughout the year. Even at $5 a week, that adds up to an unnecessary expenditure of $260 a year. Plus, the plastic bottles can pose a threat to the ocean or end up in a landfill where it could take up to 450 years to completely decompose.

Tap water is potable throughout the Bay Area, giving you an almost free source of H2O. If you’re averse to tap water, buy a water filter. Even with the cost of the unit and the disposable filters, you can still save around $200 a year.

EPS Inc. a division of Express Plumbing works closely with local municipalities on potable water tank inspections.  If you ever have a question about drinking water and what you can do around the home, simply give us a call.

Insulate the Water Heater

Unless you have an on-demand, tankless water heater, insulating your water heater tank can save you as much as 9% on your energy bills each year. All you need to do is buy an insulating blanket and wrap it around your water heater, which enables the unit to keep 40% more heat in. With the blanket in place, you won’t have to feel guilty staying in that hot shower a little while longer.

On-demand water heaters are our specialty.  We’ve installed them at homes and businesses throughout the Bay Area.  Need to know more?  Simply reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help.

Come Up with Your Own Hacks

The tips mentioned above are easy to do and can save you hundreds of dollars a year, but don’t stop there. Come up with your own hacks around the house, do a job that you normally pay someone else to do, or have a family meeting to come up with ideas. The money you save just might be enough for that summer vacation you’ve wanted.  If you have new ideas you’d like to share with others, send them to us and we’ll be happy to share them in our future articles.


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How Plumbing Improves Our Daily Lives and Our Planet

How Plumbing Improves Our Daily Lives and Our Planet

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Modern plumbing has changed the lives of Americans over generations. In 1950, 25% of households and 50% of rural areas lacked either running water, a toilet, or a bathtub/shower. Today, just 0.64% of American homes are without running water — a testament to the prevalence of modern-day plumbing. But with the advancement of plumbing has also come another boon: saving the planet. With water-saving fixtures in abundance, Americans enjoy convenience at home and the satisfaction of preserving the world — one drop of water at a time.

The Convenience and Innovation of Modern Plumbing

As innovative products continue to hit the market, plumbing has become more than just a modern convenience; in many instances, it’s a luxury item. From the amazing to the borderline excessive, here’s a look at some of the current plumbing products that continue to revolutionize the housing market.

Tankless Water Heaters

The days of the giant water heater tank are over, well, at least if you have the budget to upgrade to a tankless water heater. Using a heat exchanger, these systems heat water as it flows through the device, providing on-demand hot water without the need to wait. In addition, tankless water heaters can save up to 34% on energy costs compared to traditional water heaters, saving you money each time you turn on the tap.

If you’re looking into a tankless water heater in the Bay Area, call us for a free estimate, our team of experienced plumbers have installed hundreds of instant water heaters for homeowners throughout the San Francisco Bay.

Smart Products

Smart products are becoming a part of daily life for many Americans. From doorbells to virtual assistants, these products are all designed to make life just a bit easier. In the past five years, smart products have branched out into the plumbing sector. This includes products that detect leaks, purify water and alert you of any bacteria via Wi-Fi and even Bluetooth showerheads.

Touchless Faucets

Although touchless faucets have been around in commercial buildings for a decade or so, they’re becoming more popular in homes. Using a sensor to detect the presence of an object, these faucets turn off and on without you turning the tap. Not only is this more convenient, but it can also save you money while you’re multitasking in the kitchen or bathroom.

How Modern Plumbing Improves the Planet

While modern-day plumbing offers the utmost convenience, it also improves the well-being of the planet. Droughts and water shortages have become a regular occurrence in many parts of the world. But with water-saving plumbing fixtures, these instances are becoming a thing of the past.

Furthermore, modern plumbing practices in the U.S. are being applied in other areas of the world that don’t have access to clean water. Through various international initiatives, underprivileged areas are now receiving water for the first time — helping to quench thirst and eradicate waterborne diseases at the same time.

Express Plumbing is a division of EPS Inc. which specializes in underground construction, civil engineering and is also involved in working with local municipalities to regularly inspect underground drinking water lines.

Like any other industry, the plumbing sector continues to evolve and grow. With more new homes built every year and the plumbing profession growing by 4% over the next 10 years, chances are that new products will continue to make indoor plumbing safer, convenient, and planet-saving.

As your Bay area plumbers for multiple decades, our goal is to have you enjoy your home without plumbing issues but to also preserve our planet by advocating for advanced environmentally friendly plumbing solutions.  Contact us for all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.

 

Sources:

https://www.portapotty.net/plumbing

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm

 


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Spring Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spring Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

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Although you may have your sights set on warmer weather or cleaning the house after a long winter, the spring season is also the perfect time to take care of your home plumbing maintenance. Not only will regular maintenance decrease the chance of more catastrophic problems, but it will also help you assess your needs moving closer to summer.

Checking the Pipes Underneath Your Home

One of the top priorities for spring home plumbing maintenance is checking the pipe underneath your home. During the winter, pipes underneath the home become susceptible to cracks and damage that can cause significant problems in the spring. Therefore, you should look for puddles of water or leaks around these pipes to ascertain the severity of the damage.

Along with water pipes, sewer lines also run underneath your home. Because of the issues caused by a sewer backup, you’ll want to inspect the sewer line every spring and drain it as necessary. Some telltale signs that your sewer line is clogged includes:

  • Several plugging fixtures clogged
  • Water backs up into a tub or shower when flushing the toilet
  • Drains running exceptionally slow

If you find that your plumbing is suffering from any of these, you may want to drain the sewer lane and check it for clogs. In most cases, this is more easily done by a professional. But if you have some knowledge, find the main sewer line and run a snake through it to fix the issue.

How To Maintain Your Pipes and Drains

Remember that everything you put down the sink, toilet, or shower ends up in your pipes. As a result, you might want to discuss the issue with your family members. Make a specific list of objects and substances that shouldn’t go down the drain, including:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fat and oils
  • Paper towels
  • Paint and cleaning solutions

By keeping these out of your drains, you can avoid clogs and other plumbing issues.

Test Your Sump Pump

If your home has a sump pump in the basement, spring is the ideal time to ensure it’s in working order. To test your sump pump, dump a bucket of water into the pit where the sump pump is located. If it’s working properly, it should turn on, drain the water, and then deactivate the pump. If it fails to do so, you may need to consider replacing your sump pump.

Flush Your Water Heater

If your water heater is around 15 years old, it could be near the end of its useful life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the proper steps to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Inspect the bottom edge of the water heater for corrosion, flush the water heater during the summer, and check the fuses.

Not everything on your list of spring home plumbing maintenance tips are for the novice DIY homeowner. In some cases, you might require the help of a professional.

So if you notice any problems or need the knowledge of an expert, don’t hesitate to contact us at Express Plumbing in San Mateo.  We have been serving the entire Bay Area since 1989.  Our residential, commercial and municipal customers rely on our expertise to get the job done efficiently.

Rely on our plumbing experience and transition to summer by enjoying your home headache-free.


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DIY Home Improvement Plumbing Projects During Quarantine

DIY Home Improvement Plumbing Projects During Quarantine

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As the second wave of COVID-19 plagues the nation, many homeowners are finding solace in DIY home improvement projects. And while a kitchen remodel or painting the cabinets may come first on your list, don’t neglect your plumbing.

With this guide from our San Mateo plumbing team and supplemental online materials you can turn your plumbing system and fixtures into a true asset. Here are some of the top DIY home improvement plumbing projects you can undertake during quarantine.

Replace Your Faucets

Are you tired of looking at outdated brass faucets or something that doesn’t match your individual tastes? Don’t fret. Instead, modernize your home replacing your faucets. Local hardware stores will have a vast selection of styles, finishes, features, and handles for you to choose from, allowing you to pick the best option to fit your home decor and tastes.

But before you replace anything, make sure to turn the water off!

Once you’ve shut the water main off, begin by loosening the nuts underneath the sink. This will allow you to detach the water line and remove the faucet. Once completed, simply put the faucet in place, reattach the water line and tighten the nuts.

Replace Your Showerheads

When your showerhead has a meager flow that doesn’t wash off soap or shampoo, you can’t get the relaxation and refreshment you need to start your day. That’s when you should consider replacing your showerhead. But before you do, you might find that cleaning solvents such as CLR can clear the calcium deposits from the showerhead, returning it to like-new condition.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need a new showerhead. Choose whatever type and style you like, and remember to turn the water off once again. After removing the old showerhead with a wrench, apply Teflon tape to the thread and screw the new showerhead into place. Turn the water back on to ensure that no leaks occur, and voila. You now have a powerful, wake-you-up-in-the-morning, high-pressure showerhead.

Caulk Around Sinks, Showers, and Tubs

Have you noticed the caulk cracking around sinks, showers, and tubs in your house? Typically, this starts to crack after five to 10 years, so if you haven’t picked up a caulking gun in awhile, now’s the time.

 

Caulking isn’t just for aesthetics; it also prevents water from seeping into areas and causing water damage. Thankfully, caulking is one of the easiest DIY plumbing projects. All you’ll need is a caulking gun, isopropyl alcohol, a 5-in-1 tool, and a tube of silicone caulk.

Once you have these items, start by removing the old caulk. To make this process easier and kill mold/mildew, spray the area with isopropyl alcohol. Next, use a 5-in-1 tool to scrape off the caulk and discard it. Once again, clean the area to ensure that no debris is left.

After that, use your caulking gun to apply a bead of caulk. Then, wet your finger. Apply steady, light pressure to the bead with your finger as you run it along the bead. Wipe away any excess. With any luck, you’ll have a beautifully caulked area that’s pleasing to the eye and protected from water.

Like any other type of home improvement project, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Some projects require the assistance of a trained professional. Our Bay Area professional plumbers are very happy to help you when you need us.

We’ve been serving as the go to plumbers in San Francisco and surrounding areas for multiple decades. Feel free to contact us and we will direct you to speak to our residential plumbing team.

If you have any doubts, hold off and call us. But if you want to upgrade your house and feel a sense of accomplishment, these projects are fulfilling and should have just what you need.


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Emergency response plumbers bay area

Emergency Response Plumbers Covid19 and Beyond

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The spread of Covid-19 across the globe has already fueled an abundance of misinformation and rumors. From fake cures to hoaxes, these incorrect tidbits circulating the internet have caused more panic and hysteria. One such rumor is the idea that coronavirus can spread from person to person through plumbing systems, especially in high-rise buildings. However, modern plumbing codes have made such a scenario nearly impossible.

Extra Strain on Plumbing

Because of shelter-in-place orders and other restrictions designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, many residential plumbing systems are under high strain. Although this may increase the chances of sewage backups and other plumbing issues, modern plumbing fixtures and practices exponentially limit the chances of the spread of disease.

The Spread of Covid-19 Through Plumbing Rumor

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, was a viral infection that spread throughout the globe in the early 2000s. Because of the severity of the pandemic and its potential to cause mass fatalities, Covid-19 has been routinely compared to the SARS outbreak. However, one particular instance has caused members of the public to become concerned about the spread of Covid-19 via plumbing systems.

In 2003, defective plumbing caused SARS to spread through a high-rise housing complex in Jordan, leading to 300 infections and 42 deaths. This event has caused rumors that Covid-19 can spread similarly. Such information is 100% false. Due to improved plumbing practices and codes, such an outbreak is impossible in the United States. Despite the unlikeliness of the spread of disease in the United States, other countries that don’t follow codes may increase the chance of Covid-19 transmission via plumbing.

The International Plumbing Code

Developed by public health experts and engineers, the International Plumbing Code (IPC) sets the mandatory minimum requirements for plumbing system installation in the United States. Updated in 2019, the IPC protects the residents, workers, and inhabitants in residential and commercial buildings by providing safeguards against raw sewage, contaminated water, and the spread of disease.

The IPC covers:

  • Backflow prevention.
  • Anti-scalding devices.
  • Wastewater management.
  • Pipe sizing.

By addressing these issues, every building in the United States has a level of safety that ensures citizens won’t contract any disease as a result of using their plumbing.

Express Plumbing a division of EPS Inc. has been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades.  We focus on preventative care measures and work with local municipalities to rehabilitate existing systems, residential and commercial partners throughout the South Bay.  This effort avoids emergencies from arising and we are the emergency response plumbers to rely on.  We simply get it done!

How to Avoid Covid-19 Misinformation and Rumors

Before believing any social media-based information, online articles, or other word-of-mouth, you should conduct a background check of the idea in question. Snopes and FactCheck.org are two of the more reputable options online for identifying truth and misconception regarding Covid-19. In addition, you should always seek out information from reputable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the official web pages or social media accounts of local, state, and federal governments.

Contracting Covid-19 is a concern of many Americans. But by maintaining proper social distancing guidelines, following shelter-in-place procedures, and ignoring untrustworthy news sites, you can separate fact from fiction. By doing so, you can eliminate unsubstantiated fears and use your toilet, shower, and sink without fear of coronavirus contamination.

As an essential plumbing service provider in the Bay Area.  We continue to service our municipal, commercial and residential customers.  We’ve advised our employees to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding hygiene, social distancing and personal travel, and we’ve reinforced existing company policy encouraging employees who exhibit flu-like symptoms to stay home and consult with a medical professional.

We are here to serve our community as always and you can rely on us as your Bay Area emergency response plumbers.


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SLAB LEAK BAY AREA

Avoid Plumbing Problems during the Bay Area Covid-19 Shelter in Place

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Tips to Minimize Plumbing Emergencies During the COVID-19 Bay Area Shelter in Place Order.

Many people are working from home, children are out of school during the Corona Virus Shelter in Place mandate. Our plumbing technicians continue to provide essential services in the community to commercial, municipal and residential clients.

Here are some tips to avoid plumbing problems during the coronavirus pandemic and increased household plumbing usage:

In the Bathroom

Clogged Sewer

As you remind your children to wash their hands regularly, also remind them to conserve on toilet paper usage. Warn them about flushing too much toilet paper down the drain at once.

The bathrooms in your home are getting used a lot more than they would on a daily basis. Motivate them to shut the lid in order to avoid toys, and things from falling in the toilet.

No Hot Water

If you are using a regular water heater. Hot water may run out if you have a large family and everyone is showering or taking baths at the same time.

Space out shower times with at least 30 min to an hour between each person. With an instant water heater, you’d never have to worry about running out of hot water.  Learn more about Tankless Water Heaters.

Clogged Drains

With a lot more showers, comes a lot more hair going down the drain. Place small screens, or covers over the drains to eliminate hair from clogging your drains. Clean them regularly.  Easily found at local grocery stores or hardware stores.  Remember to keep a social distance when shopping for essentials.

In the Kitchen

A family at home means the kitchen is getting used a lot more and on a consistent basis. Pay close attention to what you or your children are putting down the kitchen drain and in the garbage disposal.

Wipe plates clean before rinsing and placing them in the dishwasher.

Slab Leak

They say when it rains it pours. We have received many calls relating to slab leaks which can wreak havoc on the foundation and structural integrity of any home.  Slab leaks are not clearly visible to a homeowner, they can often go undetected for long periods of time. Now that you’re spending more time at home, you may take notice.

How Can You Tell It’s a Slab Leak?

  • Sudden spikes in your water bill
  • The sound of running water when pipes aren’t in use
  • Moisture or mildew under carpeting
  • A moving water meter dial when pipes aren’t in use
  • Standing water around the perimeter of your house
  • Unusually low water pressure
  • Cracks in your baseboard or walls
  • Damp or warm floors
  • Mold Problems / Moldy smell

We are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak according to the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and other local and national health organizations.

Our thoughts are with you during this COVID-19 pandemic and we hope you and your loved ones are safe. We want you to know that our team is here to take care of all your essential plumbing needs.

Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.


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plumbing pipes by express plumbing

All About Plumbing Pipes and Their Uses

Everyone hears the word plumbing and different type of pipes conjure in their mind. Most people think of silver piping running beneath their house or inside of the walls, but were you aware that there are actually different types of plumbing pipes?

Do you know which type of plumbing pipe you are using in your own home? Unless you are a licensed plumber, you probably have no idea.

The first thing you should know is that there are two distinct categories of piping: metal and plastic.

If you would like to know the exact types of the various plumbing pipes, please look below for a more detailed explanation on each of the most common types of metal and plastic plumbing pipes, shared exclusively by the leading plumbers in San Mateo CA.  Express Plumbing.

PVC Pipe

This is a type of plastic plumbing pipe which is used primarily in the transport of high pressured water. Standard sizes range anywhere from half an inch to four inches in diameter. This piping may only be used with cold water, as it is plastic and hot water may cause it to warp. The coloring of PVC pipe is usually white, but some variations may be gray. 

CPVC Pipe

This piping has received extra chlorination so that it may handle both hot and cold water. It comes in a very distinctive yellow color, and is more flexible than PVC piping. 

PEX Pipe

This type of piping may handle both hot and cold water, and has had a surge of popularity in recent years. It is most often used in water-based heating systems as it is much more resistant to heat then it’s counterparts. Colors include white, red, and blue. Red is used to denote pipes used for hot water, while blue is used to denote pipes used for cold water.

Poly Pipe

This is used to transport highly pressurized water, and comes in the form of a thick black pipe. Most often, it is used to transport water to and from the home. Commonly used outside, this piping is buried under the ground in order to prevent freezing.

Copper Piping

This is the most common type of pipe used inside of the home, despite the fact that it is more expensive then the plastic types of piping. Copper piping is very resistant to corrosion, and is able to withstand exceedingly high temperatures, making it perfect for hot water usage. These pipes are copper colored, as the name suggests.

Galvanized Plumbing Pipes

The galvanized coating on these heavy duty pipes helps to prevent rusting and gives it a dull gray appearance. These are used to carry water to and from the house. They come in standard sizes ranging from half an inch to two inches in diameter. The use of these pipes is diminishing,as they are being replaced with the PEX piping, which is just as durable but much more cost efficient.

If any of the pipes ever burst, especially the sewer pipe.  It’s important to find a specialist in trenchless pipe replacement.  Trenchless pipe replacement is our specialty at EPS Express Plumbing.

We’ve been serving the Bay area for multiple decades and are glad to assist you when you need underground pipe replacement or repairs.


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Express Plumbing
307 N. Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone: (800) 246-6425 $246 - $6425
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