6 Steps to Take During a Plumbing Emergency

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6 Steps to Take During a Plumbing Emergency

6 Steps to Take During a Plumbing Emergency

Whether you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday or a Christmas get-together, your plumbing system works hard for you throughout the year. But if you’re a homeowner, you know it’s only a matter of time before a plumbing issue happens. Unfortunately, these are almost an inevitability. So, the best plan against these emergencies is knowing what to do if they occur.

Rather than panic, these steps should ensure that you limit the damage and fix the problem before it causes a catastrophe in your house. Here’s what you should know if that fateful day finally comes.

1. Identify the Source of the Problem

Whether you notice water on the bathroom floor, in the basement, or somewhere else in the house, you should identify the source of the problem. By narrowing down the source of the issue, you can relay the information to a plumber and find the nearest shutoff valve to stymie the problem.

2. Turn Off the Water

The next step during any plumbing emergency is to shut off the water. Water fixtures such as sinks and toilets should have a valve that you can use to shut off the water supply.

However, burst pipes or leaks from other areas may require you to turn off the main water valve. This is usually located in either the garage, basement, or somewhere on the exterior edge of your house. Turn this off immediately if you can’t locate the exact source of the problem.

3. Contact our Plumbers

Once you have the water off, the next step is to call a plumber. At Express Plumbing, we offer emergency services 24/7 including holidays and weekends.  This call can help you avoid the potential for more damage.  

4. Soak Up the Water

While waiting for the plumber, you can clean up some of the mess. Use towels to soak up excess moisture — preferably cloth towels instead of paper towels. You can wring out the towels as you use them and reduce waste simultaneously.

If the water is from the toilet, make sure that you wear gloves and other protective gear to eliminate the chance of illness from human waste.

5. Remove the Rest of the Water From Your Pipes

Even after you shut off the main water valve, water will remain in your pipes. The only way to purge the water from your pipes is to turn on your water fixtures. Turn on the sinks, showers, and spigots around your house to remove any remaining water. Hopefully, this will stop the leak altogether.

6. Turn Off Your Water Heater

During a plumbing emergency, excess water and gas buildup can severely damage your water heater or cause it to overheat. As such, you should always turn off your water heater to limit or avoid damage. If you have a gas water heater, make sure to turn off the gas before you turn off the water heater itself.

Always Hire a Reputable Plumber

Even in an emergency, hiring a reputable plumber is advisable. An experienced plumber with solid reviews ensures that you resolve the plumbing issue in minimal time at a reasonable cost. Hopefully, you never have a catastrophic plumbing issue. But if you do, our plumbers can at least give you a bit of solace.

 

Contact us today for all your commercial plumbing and residential plumbing in the Bay Area.  We’ve been helping our customers for multiple decades and look forward to serving you.


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Start the Year Right With This New Year's Plumbing Checklist

Start the Year Right With This New Year’s Plumbing Checklist

The New Year is about reflecting on the past year and what you need to do for a successful future. While this usually consists of working out, eating healthier, or achieving a goal, don’t forget about your plumbing.

Without a functioning plumbing system, you put your house, comfort, and quality of living at risk. Don’t wait until a catastrophic failure to address your plumbing. Instead, start the year off right with this handy New Year’s plumbing checklist.

Flush Your Water Heater

Over time, sediment builds within your water heater. If left inside the tank for too long, this sediment can cause malfunctions and breakdowns that can make a hot shower impossible. The only recourse is to flush your water heater at least once a year.

Releasing water from your water heater ensures that the pipes connected to the water heater and the water heater itself are clear of debris — saving you on costly repairs to boot.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to an instant water heater you can avoid thi step all together.  Express Plumbing has installed hundreds of tankless water heaters in the Bay Area and our customers love it.

Only Put the Right Things Down the Drain

A house call for a clogged sink or pipe can cost you hundreds of dollars, but the good news is that it’s avoidable. As part of your New Year’s resolutions, make a concerted effort to put only correct items down the drain — water, certain foods, and toilet paper.

Avoid putting these items down the drain or garbage disposal:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Paper towels
  • “Flushable” wipes
  • Cotton balls

If you can keep these out of the drain, the chance of a plumbing catastrophe lowers immensely.

Fix Leaks and Insulate Your Pipes

Fixing a leak isn’t exactly a fun way to spend your New Year, but it’s a necessary task for a homeowner. When you see a leak, take time and care to fix it quickly. If you need help or your home DIY doesn’t get the job done, you can always contact a plumber. By fixing these leaks early, you can avoid potential damage and higher water bills.

In addition, you should also insulate any pipes that are exposed to low temperatures or the elements. Using foam insulation, wrap each of these pipes, which helps them avoid freezing and bursting. Just like fixing leaks, insulating pipes is every bit as important to the integrity of your plumbing system, as well as the cutting potential repair costs.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance With a Certified Plumber

A final way to ensure your plumbing hums along without issue over the next year is to hire a certified, experienced plumber. Not only can we diagnose any potential issues, but we can also perform preventive maintenance that ensures you don’t have any problems in the future.

We offer our Bay Area customers a preventive maintenance visit for a small fee, allowing you to get priority service and discounts on parts and house calls. It may not be the same as running a marathon or eating better, but it’s one thing off your plate. You’ll be glad you made the call — and you’ll start your year off with a bang — just not one from your plumbing system.

Happy New Year from all of us at Express Plumbing, your local plumbers, always eager to help you, 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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DIY Plumbing Fixes for the Christmas Season

DIY Plumbing Fixes for the Christmas Season

The Christmas season is here once again. You’re probably thinking about guest lists, meals, presents, and planning — it’s enough to overwhelm everyone. However, many people often overlook one of the most important aspects of the holiday season: their plumbing.

 

Even the most well-maintained plumbing systems can get pushed to their limits during Christmas, as cooking, bathing, and extra guests take a toll on fixtures and pipes. As a result, you should know a few tricks and tips to fix minor problems. Before your guests arrive, familiarize yourself with these DIY plumbing fixes for the holiday season.

Shower Won’t Drain

Hair, soap, and other debris can quickly clog your shower drain. When you have more guests at the house, this situation is almost an inevitability.

 

The first step is to take off the drain cover. Once you’ve removed it, you can see in side the drain. This area is usually clogged with soap and hair, so remove it and see if that fixes the issue.

 

If problems persist, your clog is further down the drain. In this case, dump a pot of boiling water down the hole and follow that up with a plunger.

 

Avoid drain cleaners, as these can burn your skin, harm your pipes, and cause environmental damage over time.

 

Toilet Keeps Running

If you constantly hear running water from your bathroom, your toilet has some issues — but ones that are usually easy to fix.

 

Take the lid off the toilet tank. Inside, you should see the flapper that opens and closes to let water in and out, as well as a float, which is a rubber piece that ensures the water fills to the right level.

 

Ensure that the float is adjusted just below the overflow valve and not rubbing against anything. If that doesn’t fix the problem, your flapper probably isn’t sealing. Try moving it to create a seal; if that doesn’t work, you may need to buy a new flapper. Installing a new flapper is easy if you just follow the instructions on the package.

Kitchen Sink Is Clogged

As you prepare holiday meals, food and debris will inevitably get into your sink’s drain. After a day or two, this can cause a considerable clog — one’s that even a garbage disposal can’t remedy.

If this happens to you, try one of these solutions:

  • Turn on the hot water and add a bit of dish soap to lubricate the block.
  • If that’s to no avail, dump boiling hot water down the drain to eliminate the clog.
  • If that still doesn’t work, use a plunger on the sink to dislodge the the clog.

Not a DIYer? Don’t Stress

If you’re not a DIYer, you may feel a bit of anxiety about solving plumbing problems on your own. But you’re surely not the only person who struggles with it.

 

Did you know at Express Plumbing in San Mateo we offer 24/7 service including holidays and weekends?  You will always have a live person that answers when you call, and our technicians are glad to assist you whenever you need us.

 

For the non-DIYer, the only reasonable solution is to call our Bay Area technicians.  We can diagnose problems quickly with our advanced plumbing equipment, provide adequate fixes, and even provide suggestions for preventive maintenance now and in the future. It’s a holiday failsafe that’s sure not to backfire.

 

Happy Holidays from our entire family at Express Plumbing, we look forward to helping you when you need any plumbing in the Bay Area.


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How To Get Your Kitchen Thanksgiving-Ready

How To Get Your Kitchen Thanksgiving-Ready

Although Thanksgiving affords you time to reconnect with friends and family and give thanks for the past year, it’s also a hectic time that can lead to stress — especially if you’re hosting a large gathering or dinner.

 

However, you can plan for the occasion by getting your kitchen Thanksgiving-ready. From pre-Thanksgiving steps to day-of tips, here are ways to keep your kitchen clean and prepped for all the Turkey Day festivities.

 

Here are some amazing Thanksgiving holiday tips from our plumbing crew at Express Plumbing in San Mateo.  Residential plumbers everywhere will agree:

Wait To Run the Dishwasher

Obviously, you want to wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it to conserve water. But another reason exists for holding off — problems with the garbage disposal.

 

Even seasoned homeowners aren’t aware that both the garbage disposal and dishwasher drain into your kitchen sink. If you run the garbage disposal while the dishwasher operates, you risk getting food particles and debris into your dishwashing cycle. If you only want to clean the dishes once, make sure that you use your garbage disposal before you turn on the dishwasher.

Keep Junk out of the Garbage Disposal

Speaking of your garbage disposal, a significant household issues and future repairs during and after Thanksgiving lies within this handy appliance. Many people aren’t sure what’s suitable to go down the drain — leading to clogs, disrepair, and even the need for a replacement.

 

To err on the side of caution (and potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars on repair or replacement costs), copy this list and put it near the garbage disposal so all your guests know.

 

Items that should never go in the garbage disposal include:

  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Grease or oil
  • Leafy plants
  • Pasta and rice
  • Fibrous foods
  • Pits
  • Onion layers
  • Potato peels

Clean the Fridge and Freezer

Your fridge and freezer go into hyperdrive during Thanksgiving — including before and after the big day. If you have extra time, prep both for a heavy workload by:

  • Cleaning out any old food
  • Using a household cleaner or a water-vinegar mixture to clean the interior
  • Removing the drawers and washing them with soap and water so everything is nice and tidy
  • Opening a tub of baking soda and put it inside to reduce pungent odors
  • Using the freezer to free up extra space in the fridge

Dispose of Grease Properly

Grease never goes in the drain or garbage disposal, but getting rid of grease properly is also a concern. Grease dumped outside can attract animals or harm your sewer or plumbing systems as it absorbs into the soil.

 

As a result, you should dispose of your grease in a plastic receptacle. Once it hardens, throw it out with the rest of the trash.

Call a Plumber

Your kitchen works overtime during Thanksgiving, as does the rest of the plumbing around your house. If you want to ensure that your toilets, sinks, and showers are ready for houseguests, give Express Plumbing in San Mateo a call.  Our technicians are available 24/7 including holidays and weekends.

 

With preventive maintenance and a thorough inspection, your plumber ensures everything works correctly. You have enough on your plate already, so don’t add trouble unnecessarily. Call a plumber, get your kitchen ready, and focus on the joy of the holiday.  From all of us at Express Plumbing.  Happy Thanksgiving.


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How To Find the Right Plumber for the Job

How To Find the Right Plumber for the Job

From running toilets to leaky faucets to kitchen remodels, having a great plumber is a godsend. They know what work is crucial, the parts you’ll need, and any obstacles you may face. The only problem is finding the right plumber for the job.

Like many other trades, plumbing contractors vary in expertise, quality, and price. Before you choose a plumbing contractor, use these tips to find a credible option with the knowledge to do the work in a timely, expert, and affordable fashion.

Find One That’s Licensed and Insured

Every reputable plumber has a license from the state. Without a license, the plumber may not meet the state’s requirements — and it’s usually a red flag. Moreover, you’ll want to find one that’s also insured, which protects your finances against any poor work that a plumber does. By finding a licensed and bonded plumber, you can put your mind at ease while also feeling better about the quality of the work.

Ask Friends and Family

The internet is full of reviews for plumbers. Just type in “plumber” and your city, and you’re inundated with dozens of options. Unfortunately, the reviews that accompany these plumbers aren’t always accurate. Different people have different expectations that can cause lackluster reviews, but businesses can also pay individuals to provide glowing reviews. The simple idea is that you shouldn’t trust everything you read.

Instead, go straight to the source — the customers themselves. Ask your friends and family who they hired for their plumbing, and you should come across several options to compare and contrast.

Our team of plumbers at Express Plumbing has been serving the Bay Area community, both homeowners and business owners rely on our vast expertise and history in the industry.  There is no job too big or too small for our crew to handle.  Learn more about our company.

Get a Free Estimate

A huge red flag in the world of plumbing is a plumber that refuses to give a free estimate. When a plumber doesn’t give the estimate, chances are that they will hit you with an outrageous bill, or they don’t have the expertise to know what they’re doing.

Any reputable plumbing company will send someone to inspect any damage or discuss remodeling plans, give you a written estimate, and answer any questions you may have. If you don’t get a free estimate, the plumber gives you flack about estimates, or they can’t answer your questions satisfactorily, check out other options.

Go With Your Gut

Even if a plumber has glowing reviews, don’t go on other people’s opinions alone. If you’re unhappy with the quality of the work, the behavior of the employees, or you just get a bad feeling, trust your gut. You can always choose another plumbing contractor to get the job done.

Opt for Experience Over Other Metrics

Running a business is hard work. Without attention to detail and great management and leadership, the business can suffer. As such, only a handful of plumbing companies survive over the long run.

However, how long a plumber has been in business can often provide insight into their abilities and qualities. Experience is a superb measuring stick of reputation and expertise. If everything else is even between contractors, go with the one that offers years of experience on the job.

Need plumbing in the Bay Area?  We’re happy to serve both residential and commercial customers throughout the San Francisco Bay with 24/7 service including holidays and weekends. Call now.


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5 Ways To Prevent Clogs in Your Drains and Pipes

5 Ways To Prevent Clogs in Your Drains and Pipes

Clogs are a significant problem in many households and one of the main reasons homeowners contact plumbers. However, clogs are also one of the most straightforward hassles to prevent. By taking a few proactive and preventive steps, you can avoid the clogs that can cause water to back up in your kitchen and bathrooms.

1. Don’t Pour Oil or Grease Down the Drain

Pouring oil or grease down the kitchen sink is one of the leading causes of clogged drains. When you pour these liquids down the drain, they bond with other solids — namely food particles — and create clogs over time. You may not see a clog for weeks or even months, but the more you pour down the drain, the greater the likelihood that you’ll cause a major clog.

Instead of pouring these liquids down the drain, use a tin can — such as one that holds coffee — or an aluminum can. Wait until the oil and grease cool down and solidify, then throw the entire can in the garbage.

2. Use a Mesh Strainer

If you want an affordable way to prevent clogs in your drains and pipes, a mesh sink strainer is effective and will only set you back about $2 or $3. These strainers sit in the drain’s opening and collect anything that’s not a liquid. In the kitchen, you’ll catch food particles; in the bathroom, hair will no longer be a problem. You simply need to clean them out periodically, and you’re set.

3. Put the Right Things in the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is a handy feature in the kitchen, but it’s not made to devour every food byproduct from cooking. To prevent clogs in your drains and pipes, avoid putting these things in the garbage disposal:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Bones
  • Pasta
  • Seeds and pits
  • Stringy vegetables

You can also clean and improve the performance of your garbage disposal by running ice through it about once a month, followed by lemons for an improved scent.

5. Learn How To Use a Snake

Plumbers frequently use snakes to eliminate severe clogs, but if you can master them, you can clean minor to moderate clogs. Simple snakes are handheld devices that you push into the drain and move back and forth to remove a clog — super easy for almost anyone. For moderate clogs, you can also buy one that attaches to a drill and acts as an auger to remove clogs. Either way, you can remove clogs in a pinch with minimal effort or headache.

6. Master the Vinegar-Baking Soda Mix

Harsh drain cleaners may remove clogs but can also corrode your pipes and contaminate water. Instead of reaching for the Drano, try mixing vinegar and baking soda to clear minor clogs. These two substances react chemically, creating a foaming mixture and carbon dioxide-based bubbles. When poured into the drain, it effectively removes clogs that snakes or other methods can’t.

When All Else Fails, Call a Plumber

Sometimes, even the most vigilant person may find a clog in one of their drains — it’s one of the inevitabilities of homeownership. If natural cleaners, snakes, and preventive measures still result in a clog, give us a call as your local San Mateo Plumber.

Our experienced plumbers can diagnose the problem, fix any issues, and offer helpful advice to prevent similar occurrences. Even if you fancy yourself a DIYer, calling a professional can be the safer, smarter bet.  We look forward to serving you.


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How To Choose a New Water Heater

How To Choose a New Water Heater

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You turn on the shower and wait. It’s all cold water, and hot water never follows. Unless someone used all the hot water right before you, you might need a new water heater. However, figuring out which water heater is right for your home isn’t as simple as it sounds. While you could buy the same model, water heaters have become far more efficient and advanced over the past decade. If you need help choosing a new water heater, here are some tips and considerations that should lead you to the perfect option.

Choose the Power Source

A new water heater typically runs on one of two power sources: electricity or gas. Electric water heaters cost more to operate, but the effect on the environment isn’t as pronounced. Conversely, a gas water heater is cheaper to run, but it also releases waste into the environment. In addition, a gas water heater will still work during a power outage, which is an important aspect if you live in an area that has frequent extreme weather.

Compare your environmental and power concerns against your budget to determine which option is better for your family and home.

If you’re not sure, our residential plumbing team at Express Plumbing can provide you with all the options available to you and help you compare the value.

Select the Right Size

Water heaters come in many sizes to meet the demands of the homeowner. Generally speaking, the tank size corresponds to the number of people in your household. These are some guidelines that should help you select the appropriate size:

  • 30 to 40 gallons for one or two people
  • 40 to 60 gallons for three to four people
  • 60 to 80 gallons for five or more people

If you have a large family or you want more convenience, consider a tankless water heater. These types of water heaters are more expensive, but they provide on-demand heated water when you need it.

Energy Efficiency

The average life span of a water heater is about 15 to 20 years, so your current model may not meet the energy efficiency standards from decades ago. However, it provides an opportunity to choose an energy-efficient model.

When buying a water heater, look for the Energy Star logo. This signifies that it’s met government-backed standards for efficiency. You’ll use less energy, plus you’ll save money on your monthly utility bill.

Cost Considerations

A new water heater isn’t necessarily cheap, but don’t look only at the purchase price when shopping. You also need to consider the long-term cost of running the water heater and installation expenses on top of the initial cost. This will help you choose the right option for your monthly budget and initial purchase.

Warranty

Before you buy a water heater, make sure a strong warranty backs it. Even if the water heater comes from a reputable company, faulty models or manufacturing mishaps happen. You’ll want to know that the manufacturer covers you against their defects. The industry standard is usually five to six years for warranties, so look for something in that time span.

Choose a Reputable Plumber

You can always choose to install a water heater on your own, but sometimes, it pays to hire a pro.  Our water heater technicians in the Bay Area are experts in installations and repairs.

Homeowners have been relying on our plumbing company for multiple decades.  We offer affordable water heater installations with peace of mind because every job is done right the first time.

Contact us as your trusted San Mateo plumber for all your residential plumbing needs.


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Your Plumbing Questions Answered

Your Plumbing Questions Answered

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Though you may not think about it regularly, your plumbing system is a vital component of your home. Without a fully functioning plumbing system, your comfort of living can wane and you may experience hefty repair bills that can hinder your budget.

However, not every plumbing issue requires expert knowledge. Some are easy to solve even for the novice DIYer. For the sake of your sanity and your wallet, here are some of the most common plumbing questions answered.

1. Why Do I Have Low Water Pressure?

Water pressure can fluctuate for a number of reasons. If you notice a sudden or permanent drop in water pressure, one of these scenarios is typically the culprit:

  • Crack in the city water main or a water main break
  • Corroded pipes if you have old iron pipes rather than PVC
  • Sediment or mineral deposits in the faucet or showerhead
  • Partially closed shut-off valve

Aside from the water main break, checking all of these other components is quick and simple. Assess each of them to save yourself a headache.

2. How Do I Unclog a Drain?

Clogged drains in your kitchen or bathroom can cause unsightly messes and become a source of stress. But it’s not your fault in most cases. Clogged drains are the result of a buildup of hair, skin flakes, dirt, grease, or oil — it’s just a natural byproduct of using your sinks.

Fortunately, fixing the issue isn’t a problem. You can use a plunger to unclog drains in your sinks and shower. If that doesn’t work, you can purchase a snake or auger to remove any debris. Hopefully, this resolves your drainage problems.

3. How Do I Prevent Frozen Pipes?

In cold-weather climates, frozen pipes can cause astronomical damage to a home. But the solution isn’t complicated. To prevent frozen pipes, wrap exposed pipes in foam or insulated wrapping. Search your crawl space, basement, and other areas exposed to the weather to ensure that they’re properly wrapped. This should help you avoid any burst pipes that can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

4. Why Did My Water Bill Increase Dramatically?

Water bills can fluctuate depending on several factors. If you have guests over or water your lawn and plants during summer, you should see a noticeable increase. However, if you haven’t changed anything in your routine, other factors could be at play.

In most cases, an increase in your water bill is due to leaks in your faucet or toilets. Even a moderate leak in your toilet can increase your bill by an average of $70 a month!

If you have a sudden increase in your bill, check all your pipes, faucets, and toilets for leaks. A visual inspection of pipes and faucets isn’t difficult, and you can instantly tell if that’s the problem. To check your toilet for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait about 20 minutes. If there’s a leak, you should see the water in the toilet bowl change color.

If you have a leak in your toilet, replace the float and flapper, or call a plumber to assess the problem.

5. When Should I Call a Plumber?

Not every plumbing problem is easy to fix; some things may require the expertise of an experienced plumber. If you can’t locate the problem, feel like an issue is beyond your skill set, or need an expert opinion, don’t hesitate to call your technician at Express Plumbing near you.

With the help of our reputable plumbers, you can repair any problems you may have, as well as avert costly disasters in the future. You may pay more than if you fixed the problem yourself, but sometimes, peace of mind is worth the price.

At Express Plumbing, we’ve been providing the Bay Area with residential plumbing services for the past few decades, there’s no problem we can’t fix fast.  Contact us.


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Unclog a drain San Mateo

How do I fix a clogged drain?

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Here are some steps you can take to fix a clogged drain:

Use a Plunger

Start by using a plunger to create suction and dislodge the clog. Ensure there is enough water in the sink, tub, or toilet to cover the plunger. Place the plunger over the drain and vigorously push and pull to create suction. Repeat several times until the clog is cleared.

Remove Visible Debris

If the clog is caused by visible debris near the drain opening, such as hair or food particles, you can try removing it manually. Use a pair of gloves or long tweezers to reach in and pull out the debris. Be careful not to push the debris further into the drain.

Use a drain snake

A drain snake or auger is a flexible tool that can be inserted into the drain to break up or remove the clog. Insert the snake into the drain and turn the handle clockwise to push it further. Once you feel resistance, rotate the snake back and forth to break up the clog. Continue doing this until the clog is cleared.

Chemical drain cleaner

Chemical drain cleaners can dissolve or break up certain types of clogs. Follow the instructions on the product carefully, as they can be toxic and should be handled with care. Avoid using chemical cleaners if you have a septic system or if the clog is in a toilet, they can cause damage.

Natural Drain Cleaner

Use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar: If you prefer a natural solution, you can try using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, then flush it with hot water.

If these methods don’t solve the problem or if you’re dealing with a stubborn or recurring clog, it’s best to contact a plumber.  Our team at Express Plumbing specializes in fixing a clogged drain fast.  We’re well equipped and experienced to handle any size drain clog.  We can fix your clogged drain quickly. Contact us today.


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Express Plumbing Sewer Repair

What To Do if Your Sewer Backs Up

Sewer backups can be a messy and unpleasant problem for homeowners. A sewer backup occurs when wastewater from your home’s plumbing system cannot flow out to the main sewer line and instead backs up into your home. This can lead to damage to your property, health hazards, and costly repairs. If you experience a sewer backup, it’s important to know what steps to take to minimize the damage and protect your health. Here’s what you should know to make the best of a bad situation.

Stop Using Water

If you notice a sewer backup, the first thing you should do is stop using water in your home. Stop flushing toilets, running faucets, or running appliances that use water, such as washing machines or dishwashers. This will prevent further backup and reduce the risk of water damage.

Call a Professional Plumber

The next step is to contact a professional plumber, and ideally, one that specializes in sewer backup remediation.  If you’re in the Bay Area, our technicians are sewer experts and can get the problem solved immediately.  Our team at Express Plumbing use the necessary tools and expertise to identify the source of the problem and fix it as quickly as possible. It’s important to act quickly as sewage backups can worsen over time and cause even more damage that’s costly and difficult to fix.

Protect Yourself

Sewage backups can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that can pose a danger to yourself and your family. Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself by wearing gloves, protective clothing, and a face mask if you’re in the vicinity of the sewage.

If you have a weakened immune system or underlying health conditions, it’s best to stay out of the affected area until it has been properly cleaned.

Document the Damage

Before you begin cleaning up the sewage, you should document the damage for insurance purposes. Take photos or videos of the affected area and make a list of any and all items that have been damaged. This will effectively streamline the process of reimbursement when you file an insurance claim.

Clean Up the Sewage

Once the plumber has fixed the problem, you now have the dreadful task of cleaning up. However, it’s not enough to merely clean the mess — you need to disinfect the area as well. Use a disinfectant such as bleach to kill any bacteria or viruses that may be present. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the bottle to avoid any harm and always wear protective clothing while cleaning.

Prevent Future Backups

Mitigating the chance of a future sewer backup is all about prevention. One such method involves your toilet. Avoid the temptation to flush items such as wipes, paper towels, or feminine hygiene products down the toilet, as these can cause clogs in your plumbing system. While your plumber is onsite, ask them to inspect your plumbing system for any potential issues, such as tree roots or damaged pipes.

Consider a Preventive Maintenance Plan

Although a preventive plumbing maintenance plan may set you back a few bucks, it’s worth the effort if you’ve had frequent sewer backups or your plumbing is old or outdated. By having a local plumber inspect your drains regularly, hopefully, you never have to worry about another sewer backup, but the peace of mind you’ll get is well worth it.

At Express Plumbing, we’ve been serving our Bay Area community for multiple decades, rely on us for all your plumbing needs.  Serving Commercial and residential customers throughout the Bay.


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