Do You Know What Ends Up in Plumbing A Few Interesting Things Found!

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Do You Know What Ends Up in Plumbing A Few Interesting Things Found!

Do You Know What Ends Up in Plumbing A Few Interesting Things Found!

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Few people can remember the time before indoor plumbing. A time when using the bathroom meant a trip outside, regardless of the weather or temperature. But today, indoor plumbing is a luxury that many people take for granted. It makes every person’s life easier, as long as they maintain their pipes and plumbing system.

However, plumbers have plenty of amusing stories. All kinds of items end up in pipes, toilets, sewer lines, and other fixtures throughout the home, leaving your plumbing professional with tales to tell for years to come. Here are some of the best.

Strange Items in the Toilet

Plumbers already have to deal with nasty clogs and human sewage. But these natural byproducts and substances aside, they still find strange or interesting things from time to time.

Dentures

If you have to hurl, make sure to take your dentures out before doing so. One plumber in California complained about a clog, and when the plumber snaked the toilet, a pair of dentures came out. Turns out the owner of the home had a meeting with the toilet after a night of heavy drinking.

Hair…Lots of Hair

Hair is a common blockage in many bathrooms drains. But some are longer than others. On several occasions, plumbers across the country have removed hair clogs totaling more than 8 feet. That’s just gross.

Toys

Toys end up in the toilet all the time. But when kids flush them down, the weirdest blockages occur. Plumbers have reported everything from dinosaurs to rubber duckies and more.

Rings

A plumber in Ohio reported finding four class rings in one plumbing job. Going the extra mile, he returned the rings to the individuals, creating an impromptu class reunion. Few other ring loss stories have such a happy ending.

How to Prevent these Items from Entering Your Plumbing System

Prevention and good habits are a one-two punch that can prevent extra phone calls to the plumber. Some tips to keep foreign objects out of your plumbing include:

  • Keeping your ring in a box or safe place; never laying it next to the sink
  • Having a small chest or container in the bathroom for bath toys
  • Cleaning the hair from your drains regularly, especially if visible, or add a strainer at the drain to catch the hair.
  • Supervising children in the bathroom at all times

Sometimes, random items will enter your pipes even when you take the proper steps. In these instances, you can always try plumbing or snaking the drain yourself. If that doesn’t work, enlist the help of a trusted, reputable, and qualified plumber.

Other Items to Keep Out of Your Plumbing System

In addition to random objects, jewelry, and toys, you should also keep these items out of your plumbing system:

  • Grease
  • Dental floss
  • Harsh drain cleaners
  • Fibrous vegetables and other food items such as egg shells, rice, onion, celery
  • Wet wipes (even the “flushable” variety)

Each of these items can cause a nasty clog that’s often unremovable without the help of a plumber. Therefore, it’s best to prevent these from entering the plumbing rather than trying to clear the clog afterward.

Although the above stories are amusing, they’re far less entertaining when they actually happen to you. So, make sure to take the necessary steps to keep foreign objects out of your toilet and keep up on routine and preventive maintenance. By doing so, you ensure a fully functioning plumbing system that won’t become the source of funny or horrifying plumber folklore.

With the holidays upon us, and kids at home, there’s a lot for you to handle, just know we’re here to assist when you need us 24/7 including holidays and weekends.  Consider us your “always ready” local plumber.


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What Is No-Contact Plumbing During COVID-19?

What Is No-Contact Plumbing During COVID-19?

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Critical to the infrastructure of businesses and residences, our Bay Area plumbers are still essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet many homeowners may justifiably feel uneasy about individuals in their home for an extended period of time. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revealed COVID-compliant guidelines to protect both plumbers and homeowners from exposure.

By following these protocols, no-contact plumbing has become the new normal for our San Mateo plumbing crew, allowing us to make repairs and conduct routine maintenance. Paired with our own safety guidelines, homeowners should feel at ease. Here’s a glance at how we are practicing no-contact plumbing during COVID-19.

What Is No-Contact Plumbing?

In general, no-contact plumbing is a set of guidelines in the COVID-19 era that help maintain safety between homeowners and plumbers. Both the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have presented methods to limit exposure to the virus. Some of the basic ideas of these no-contact plumbing protocols include:

  • Asking questions as to whether the maintenance is absolutely necessary to help limit contact between individuals
  • Social distancing and mask-wearing
  • Personal protective equipment worn
  • Scheduling to prevent contact between individuals

By adhering to these guidelines, our customers and employees have far less risk of exposure to COVID-19, as well as reduced fear or anxiety.

Personal Protective Equipment

Due to sanitary reasons, and company guidelines our crew is already equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we now take extra precautions. Our plumbers wear masks, eyewear, gloves, and any other PPE deemed necessary for the job. In addition, we may also include a face shield to further reduce the risk of spreading or exposure to COVID-19 where it is deemed necessary.

Scheduling

Another method of reducing exposure to COVID-19 is through various scheduling methods. In the COVID-19 era, we strategically schedule each appointment to minimize contact and offer scheduling appointments via the internet or phone to reduce contact between individuals.

If the repairs are outdoors, we make arrangements with the homeowners to schedule the service even if they’re at work.

No-Contact Plumbing Service Payment Options

While cash is king in the business world, the CDC and OSHA, now prefer no-contact payment options after service. COVID-19 can survive on paper products for 24 hours and plastic for two to three days. As a result, cash and credits cards aren’t the preferred method of payment. Instead, homeowners can now pay through various mobile payment options.  Ask us about all the no-contact payment options we have to put your mind at ease.

Fully functional plumbing is a necessity in any household. Ignoring a problem until it’s too late can not only cause potentially unsanitary conditions, but also cost you two or three times the amount of the original maintenance.

You shouldn’t wait to call us as your local plumbing company when necessary.  In the wake of Covid-19, our interactions may have changed when we come to provide you with a plumbing service, but by following proper no-contact plumbing guidelines, both parties can maintain safe distances without fear of exposure to the virus. That’s a win-win for both sides.

Consider us your trusted San Mateo experienced plumber.  We look forward to providing you with a safe no-contact plumbing appointment when you need one.


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Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Fall

Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Fall

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Although you may have numerous home improvement projects that need your attention this fall, don’t forget about your plumbing. Because many problems aren’t easily seen—especially to the novice plumber—they can spiral out of control without proper care and maintenance. Even little issues such as a running toilet or a leaky faucet can cost you tons of money on your monthly water bill. That’s why you need to employ these seasonal plumbing tips for fall if you live in California. By doing so, you can resolve any issues or problems that can end up costing you a small fortune.  Our team of Bay Area plumbers loves sharing tips without community that will save them from plumbing disasters and unnecessary spending in the long run.  Here are a few you can easily implement this fall.

Adjust Your Sprinkler System

Lawns still need the same amount of water during fall, so resist the urge to dismantle or winterize your sprinklers. Instead, use the fall to maintain your sprinkler system so it’s functional in the fall and ready to go in the spring. Remove each of the sprinkler heads and wash them to remove debris. Then, take out the nozzle body and wash them using a few drops of dish soap and water. Finally, place the sprinklers back in the ground and turn them on to remove the last bit of silt and dirt.

Check the Outside of Your Home

The fall is also the ideal time to check the outside of your home for potential problems. For example, leaves can decompose and clog gutters and downspouts, making a potential water damage hazard. You should also inspect the roof of your home for any issues, which can be done when cleaning the gutters. Finally, make certain that your downspouts are connected to the gutter so that water flows to the appropriate areas.

Inspect for Water Leaks

Often, water leaks can cause damage to homes simply because they’re hard to identify. During the fall, take time to inspect areas where you may find leaks or potential water damage. Basements are notorious for having leaky pipes, so search for any pools of water or moisture. In addition, you should inspect the areas around your toilet, bathtub, and shower. If the caulk around these fixtures is broken, water can seep into your flooring. If you find a lack of caulk, remove the old bead and put down a new one.

Take Care of Your Water Heater

As the temperatures cool, the last thing you want is cold water in the shower. Therefore, you can take a few steps to ensure your water heater is working properly. Flush the water heater to remove any residue and check your water heater supply lines to ensure that they’re free of corrosion.  Express Plumbing also recommends looking into an instant water heater which is commonly referred to as a tankless water heater.  Immediate hot water and big savings!

Check Your Sewer System

The threat of a sewer backing up into the home is a scary thought. Fortunately, fall is the perfect time to check your sewer system for potential hazards. Because tree roots won’t grow as fast during this time of year, you can check to see if they’re impeding your sewer line and fix them appropriately. If you have a septic tank, have it pumped during fall to ensure it works during the holidays.

 

By taking the time to create a fall plumbing checklist and scheduling annual maintenance, you can reduce the chances of a catastrophe—even in the mild California winter. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your plumbing system during the extensive use of the holiday season. That’s a holiday present that’s worth giving to yourself.

 

Our Bay Area plumbing team is always eager to assist you whether you need a repair or new plumbing installation.  Contact us with any questions you have.

 

 


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How CDC-Compliant, No-Contact Plumbing Works

How CDC-Compliant, No-Contact Plumbing Works

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Deemed essential workers by the United States government, plumbers continue to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, homeowners in need of plumbing shouldn’t put off necessary projects due to the current situation.

With guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), our San Mateo plumbing crews are maintaining proper safety protocols, all while getting the job done. If you’re apprehensive about hiring a plumber during the pandemic, don’t be. Here are the ways our Bay Area plumbers adhere to safety guidelines while they perform their duties.

The COVID-19 Plumbing Scenario

Working in unsavory conditions isn’t a foreign concept to plumbers. Whether they’re working in a crawlspace of fixing a sewer line, conditions aren’t always sanitary. Yet in a COVID-19 world, this particular aspect of plumbing provides an extra layer of protection for homeowners.

Plumbers are habitually used to wearing masks and personal protective equipment, making COVID-19 safety protocols easy to maintain. Plus, with the extra safety precautions laid out by the CDC, your family’s safety shouldn’t be a massive concern with the extra precautions we take.

How Plumbers Are Maintaining a CDC-Compliant, No-Contact Solution

As a Bay Area plumbing company and residents ourselves we are aware of the concerns that many homeowners have about the spread of COVID-19—especially as plumbers move from home to home and customer to customer. That’s why we are implementing the following guidelines to keep their clients’ minds at ease.

Social Distancing

In adherence with the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO), plumbers maintain a strict six-foot gap between themselves and customers. By doing so, the incidence of spreading COVID-19 becomes lessened dramatically.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Including Masks

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, plumbers were already wearing PPE. Now, plumbers wear this same equipment with extra precautionary measures. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), plumbers should wear face masks, gloves, eyewear, and other safety equipment. In addition, OSHA also recommends a full-face shield to further protect the plumber and customers from COVID-19 infection when necessary.

Sanitizing Techniques

Because plumbers have to work with dirty water on occasion and are in contact with a variety of surfaces, they must practice strong sanitizing techniques. To exacerbate the issue, the CDC recently said that COVID-19 can live for differing periods of time depending on the surface, including materials that plumbers often use:

  • Copper – four hours
  • Cardboard – 24 hours
  • Plastic – two to three days
  • Stainless steel – two to three days

Because of the resiliency of the virus, plumbers are taking precautions to sanitize every surface they work with, and encouraging our clients to do the same.

 


 

Contactless Payment Options

When the project is finally completed, plumbers are using contactless payment options to keep customers clear of any potential infections. Credit cards are the preferred option over cash to minimize the chance of COVID-19 infection.

Proper plumbing is a necessity in any household, especially as the pandemic has caused many families to stay at home. By following social distancing protocols and wearing personal protective equipment, the chance for COVID-19 to spread is essentially nonexistent.

So, if you have a leaky faucet or a major plumbing problem, give the professionals a call. Not only will you enjoy a well-functioning plumbing system, but the extra flushes and water usage won’t add any more stress to your life.

As a Bay Area plumber, we have been serving our customers for multiple decades, our employees, family and friends all reside in this area, we all must do our part to support each other and avoid the spread by following proper protocols.

If you need us, we are here for you and you’ll be in good hands.  Contact us to discuss your upcoming project or plumbing repair in the Bay Area.

 

 


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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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Money Saving Tips with Plumbing Choices Around the House

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial hardships for many families across the country. With millions of furloughed workers and over 40 million unemployment claims, families and homeowners are searching for ways to cut costs wherever they can. One such way to save money during these uncertain times is to make sound choices about plumbing expenses. Use these tips to keep your fixtures and pipes running smoothly without breaking the bank.

Learn How to Shut the Water Off

If a pipe bursts or the sewer backs up, knowing how to shut the water off is the difference between spending $100 or a few thousand. Typically, the shutoff valve to your home is located in the basement or around the utilities on the exterior of your house. If you notice an excessive amount of moisture or a catastrophic volume of water in your home, turn the water off and call a plumber immediately.

Prioritize Your Plumbing Problems

Not every plumbing issue requires immediate attention. Others may require an emergency call to a licensed plumber. However, you’ll have to use your own judgment to prioritize these situations. If your toilet is running, you may be able to hold off calling a plumber whereas a burst pipe will need prompt attention.

Cut Your Costs on Plumbing Fixtures

Sure, a toilet with a heated seat or a showerhead that pumps out high pressure is nice to have. But if a budget toilet or regular showerhead will suffice, don’t spend the extra money on a luxury. You may also find that cheaper fixtures use less water, saving you even more cash on each flush or shower.

Go With PVC

Whether you suffer a plumbing disaster or you just need to update the pipes in your home, opt for PVC. PVC pipes, or polyvinyl chloride pipes, are a type of plastic pipe that cost up to one-third less money than traditional aluminum or copper piping. In addition, PVC pipes are flexible and can expand if your pipes freeze. As a result, you can avoid the disaster of a burst pipe while putting more money in your wallet.

Switch to Cold Water

Heating the water accounts for a huge portion of your monthly utility bill. Therefore, you can cut costs by making the transition to cold water. You can use cold water to wash your clothes with the same results as warm water. In addition, a cold shower is a great way to relax after a long day or give you the eye-opener you need to get the day started right.

Check Your Home for Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes can cause your water bill to spiral out of control. So each month, check your basement, crawl space, and other areas of your home for leaks. Not only will this lower your water bill, but you can catch certain problems before they become catastrophic.

While you can use these tips to cut costs on plumbing issues, some situations require the attention of a qualified plumbing expert. Our plumbers in the Bay Area have been serving the community for multiple decades.  While we resolve plumbing issues, we focus on providing money-saving tips to our residential clients to help them long term.

Contact us with any plumbing issues you have, we look forward to serving you.


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Minimize Plumbing Catastrophes by Identifying Slab Leaks Quickly

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COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on your plumbing. The excess strain put on plumbing systems due to stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine has left water lines and fixtures handling the extra workload. One such problem is a slab leak. These leaks can cause catastrophic damage if not fixed properly, and require the expertise of a skilled plumber. If you think you may have a slab leak, here are the steps you should take to minimize a disaster.

What Is a Slab Leak?

A slab leak is a leak that forms in the water lines underneath the concrete foundation of your home. Because of their location, they are often difficult to detect. However, slab leaks can do catastrophic damage to your home. If left untreated, slab leaks can damage the concrete foundation, erode the soil, and waste thousands of gallons of water. In severe cases, slab leaks can even cause a portion of the home to collapse.

Causes of Slab Leaks

Slab leaks have numerous causes, making them more difficult for homeowners to prevent. Some of the most common sources of slab leaks include:

  • Corrosion caused by pipe contact with the soil. This is especially common in copper piping.
  • Abrasion as a result of pipes rubbing against gravel or rocks. As most foundations have backfill with rocks in them, the expansion and contraction of pipes due to weather can cause them to rub against rocks, pebbles, and gravel.
  • Shifting of the foundation can move the pipes underneath your home, which can cause them to burst and form a slab leak.
  • Poor installation is another factor in many slab leaks.

How to Identify a Slab Leak

One of the major problems with slab leaks is that they’re hard to find. However, homeowners may realize slab leaks with more regularity due to stay-at-home orders and time spent inside. If you’re not sure if you have a slab leak, look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Low water pressure.
  • Warm or damp floors.
  • Sounds of running water when the water is off.
  • Water meter moving when all water is off.
  • Standing water around the perimeter of your house or in the basement.
  • Issues with mold.

How to Fix Slab Leaks

While some of these signs may be the result of a different issue, the only way to assess the problem is by hiring a plumbing expert. With their experience and expertise, these professionals can locate the problem and offer suggestions on how to move forward. In most instances, jackhammering the floor and replacing the pipes or rerouting the pipes are the most viable and cost-effective options.

Plumbing isn’t something that most people are highly skilled in. That’s why, especially during COVID-19, our Bay Area plumbers are in high demand, especially if you have a slab leak.

If you think you may have a slab leak, do everything you can to keep our plumbers safe. Wipe down all surfaces and try to maintain social distancing rules.  Our plumbers continue to provide essential plumbing services in the Bay Area to our commercial, residential, and municipal customers while following all recommended CDC guidelines.


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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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Toilet Base Leak

Why Is There a Leak Around the Base of My Toilet?

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You may have experienced water on the floor of your bathroom and started to panic. “Where’s it coming from?” you ask yourself. You check the sink and the shower and find no problems. Suddenly, an overwhelming sense of dread starts to grip you. The water’s coming from the toilet. Yet it’s not coming from the tank or the bowl; it’s dribbling from the base. If this has happened to you, here are some reasons why the base of your toilet is leaking and what you can do to amend the problem.

Damaged Wax Ring

Properly installed toilets all feature a wax ring that’s placed between the base of the toilet and the flange attached to the waste/sewer line on the floor. The wax ring creates an impenetrable barrier that prevents any waste from seeping into the surrounding floor. When these wax rings fail, water can pool underneath the toilet, eventually causing the subfloor to rot and the water to leak into the bathroom.

Although wax rings typically last 20 to 30 years, they can sometimes compress and fail if the toilet isn’t properly secured. In many cases, a strong sewage smell is apparent when a wax ring is about to fail. If you smell this, it’s time to replace the wax ring. Try not to wait until the base leaks before you switch it out, or you may cause inadvertent or more severe damage.

Loose Tee Bolts

Tee bolts are the most common method to fasten toilets to the floor. However, these tee bolts can loosen over time. When this happens, the toilet doesn’t form an impermeable, water-tight seal with the wax ring underneath. Without the water-tight seal, the splashing that occurs during flushing can push water out onto the bathroom floor.

Fortunately, you can easily fix this problem. Grab a wrench, tighten the bolts, and the problem is solved, provided that the wax ring is still effective.

Faulty Water Supply Lines

If you notice water around the base of your toilet, but your wax ring is pristine and your tee bolts are tightened, take a glance at the water supply lines that attach to the wall. Typically, a flexible metal hose connects to the water supply in the wall. But if these hoses aren’t installed properly or aren’t tightened, water can leak onto the floor. This gives the impression that your toilet base is leaking, but in reality, you just may need to tighten or replace these hoses.

What to Do When There’s a Leak Around the Base

If you notice a leak around the base toilet for any reason, remember that this water is unsanitary and possibly contaminated with sewage. Stop using your toilet immediately, and use bleach to give the affected area a hospital-grade cleaning. Turn on the bathroom fan to remove the excess fumes, and only reenter the area once it’s dry.

If your toilet is leaking around its base, don’t ignore the problem. Doing so can lead to floor damage, a costly water bill, and unsanitary conditions in your bathroom. Oftentimes, these tips can fix the problem with a leaky toilet base, but if not, don’t hesitate to call a professional to assess, diagnose, and treat the leak.

Express Plumbing is a division of EPS Inc. We’ve been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades by providing plumbing, engineering, and underground construction services. We serve the South Bay by providing an experienced plumbing staff that’s eager to help you when you have any plumbing issues including a leaky toilet. Contact us with any questions you have.


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EPS, Inc. dba Express Plumbing is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and customers. Read More

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