3 Common Plumbing Issues and How To Avoid Them

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3 Common Plumbing Issues and How To Avoid Them

3 Common Plumbing Issues and How To Avoid Them

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With the potential for catastrophic damage or even just a hurdle in your daily routine, plumbing issues are one of the most frustrating situations for homeowners. But there’s a way around it. By understanding some of the most common plumbing issues and how to avoid them, you can limit any situation that can derail your daily life or cause unnecessary stress. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can make your morning shower more of a drag than a pick-me-up and can even make your culinary prowess suffer. But as long as low water pressure isn’t from the source, you can still fix the issue.

In most cases, low water pressure is the result of one of the following:

  • Drain clogs
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Water leaks in hidden areas

To avoid low water pressure, always clean your drains (and snake them as necessary), inspect your pipes regularly, and look for water leaks in areas such as the basement, crawlspace, or other areas you don’t normally frequent.

Our team of qualified technicians and plumbers in the Bay Area have helped hundreds of residents resolve low water pressure problems.  At Express Plumbing in San Mateo, we take pride in not only treating the problem but finding the cause.  So your plumbing issue is handled once and for all.

2. Poorly Functioning Water Heater

Going hand-in-hand with low water pressure, or at least in terms of an eye-opening shower, is your water heater. And when it’s not working properly, your mood and morale can suffer.

The average life span of a water heater is about 10 years, so if your water heater is beyond this, a replacement may be the only answer. If it’s younger than 10 years, the issue is often far simpler to fix than you might think.

To fix a poorly functioning water heater

  • Drain it at least once a year to reduce corrosion or sediment within the tank
  • Make sure that your water heater is large enough to support the usage in your home
  • Check all electrical connections to ensure the tank doesn’t have any loose or broken connections

If you’ve ever considered a tankless water heater, contact our Express Plumbing team for a detailed proposal.

3. Running Toilets

While running toilets may not seem like a problem that’s going to cause catastrophic damage to your home, it can cost you hundreds per year! A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, which can wreak havoc on your monthly water bill.

Fortunately, fixing a running toilet isn’t all that difficult, even for a novice DIYer. To fix a running toilet, use these solutions:

  • Check the flapper or float
  • Look for improperly sized flappers
  • Check inside the tank for a corroded or faulty toilet handle

If you find any of these issues, the good news is that most fixes cost about $10 or less, making it one of the least expensive issues to repair out of all of the plumbing in your home.

Know When to Call a Professional

Not every plumbing situation is something you can readily handle on your own. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, but lucky for you, this only means making a quick phone call to our trusted plumbing professionals at Express Plumbing.

For multiple decades, we’ve been providing plumbing services to residents and businesses in the entire Bay Area.  Next time you need a plumber, give us a call and count on us for all your service plumbing needs 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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4 Spring Home Plumbing Tasks You Can Do Yourself

4 Spring Home Plumbing Tasks You Can Do Yourself

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Spring is finally in the air! While getting outside is probably a top priority, as a homeowner, you always have something to update, upgrade, or fix. One of those is your plumbing. Over the winter, your family and the weather can wreak havoc on your plumbing. But even if you haven’t noticed any changes in your plumbing, doing a quick inspection and completing a few simple repairs is time well spent. So if you’re feeling like Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It, but don’t have a ton of plumbing skills, here are some spring home plumbing tips you can easily do yourself.

1. Check Your Sump Pump

If your home is equipped with a sump pump, spring is the time to make sure it can spring into action when needed. To check your sump pump, follow these instructions:

  • Disconnect the sump pump from its power source.
  • Clean it.
  • Remove the pump screen and clear out any debris that’s in the line
  • Put the pump back together and test it in a five-gallon bucket of water.
  • If everything’s working, pop it back in place and you’re done.

2. Clean Downspouts and Gutters

During winter, your downspouts and gutters get hammered by weather. Plus, you can’t readily clean them when there’s inclement weather or it’s freezing outside. But once spring brings warmer temperatures, you’re ready to clean.

Hop up on a ladder to clean your gutters by hand, disposing of debris and mud in the process. To clean your downspouts, first, test them by putting a hose down one. If the flow of water seems normal, your downspout should be fine. But if you notice poor water flow, you’re going to need to clear the debris. In most cases, you can turn on the hose full blast to get rid of the clog. However, more stubborn debris may require a plumbing snake or high-powered hose.

3. Check for Leaks

This is probably the easiest task for the novice plumber. All you need to do is look around fixtures and pipes to see if you notice any leaks. If you notice some moisture, find out where the leak is coming from to see if you can repair it. If it’s over your head, hire a plumber to take care of the issue.

Our technicians at Express Plumbing always go the extra mile.  On many occasions when they’re called for a problem, they make sure and check the various areas around just to make sure the homeowner did not miss a thing.  Just a small way of making sure we take care of our neighbors.  We’ve lived and worked in the Bay Area for over 30 years and as a family-owned business, we take pride in providing excellence.

4. Test Your Outdoor Spigots and Sprinkler System

Although outdoor spigots and sprinklers can often survive even a cold winter, you may find issues or leaks if you didn’t get all of the water out of the pipes prior to a freeze. The easiest way to determine any issues is to simply turn on the spigot or the sprinkler system. If you notice any leaks, you may have to replace the spigot or the sprinkler heads or lines.

Need Help? Call Express Plumbing

Your DIY skills as a plumber can only take you so far, even with great learning materials like websites and YouTube. So, for the more difficult jobs, it’s best to go with a professional.

Our team of certified technicians and friendly staff at Express Plumbing, you can’t go wrong.  For multiple decades we’ve helped homeowners, businesses, and municipalities achieve the impossible.  No job is too big or too small for our company, we’re experienced and equipped to complete a project efficiently and within budget.  Call us to discuss.


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4 Amazing Home Plumbing Upgrades You'll Love

4 Amazing Home Plumbing Upgrades You’ll Love

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Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, the housing market has boomed. Depending on the location, home prices have surged anywhere from 10% to 20% or more, signifying a hot housing market that’s causing homes to appreciate significantly in value.

If you’re a homeowner, you may have thought about cashing in on the boom. But if you’re happy in your house and still want to add value for the future, plumbing upgrades are a great investment. Here are some of the top home plumbing upgrades that you’ll love.

1. Tankless Water Heater

If you have a giant tank of a water heater, it’s time to modernize your home with a tankless water heater. As the name implies, a tankless water heater sheds the massive tank in favor of on-demand heating. When you turn on the hot water, you don’t have to wait for it to warm up. It’s ready to go.

And because you don’t have to wait for the water to heat, you use far less in the process. In most homes, a tankless water heater provides instant comfort while also saving you as much as 34% over traditional water heaters.

In recent years, Express Plumbing has installed hundreds of tankless water heaters in our local area.  Homeowners love having instant hot water and love the savings they get with each utility bill.

2. Bathroom LED Mood Lighting

So this isn’t necessarily a plumbing upgrade, but bathroom LED mood lighting can certainly improve your mornings or evenings with a splash of color. Available for overhead lighting in the shower or even the showerhead or toilet colored LED bathroom lighting provides the calm you need to start your day or unwind after a long one.

3. PVC Pipes

Unless you live in a newer home, you may have cast iron, clay, or even lead pipes for water and sewer. While these pipes will work, they come with some serious drawbacks:

  • Cast iron can corrode over time, which can cause leaks.
  • Lead can affect your health over time.
  • Clay can break and cause sewage backups into your home or yard.

Due to these problems, PVC pipes are where it’s at. Made from polyvinyl chloride, PVC pipes are non-corrosive and almost universally accepted for building codes. If you have old pipes, PVC can lessen the chance of catastrophe while adding value to your home.

4. Pull-Out Faucets

If you’ve ever been doing dishes and just can’t reach that one spot in a large pan or pot, you’re instantly frustrated. Instead, you have to work overtime to get rid of grease or grime. But with pull-out faucets, your frustration is a thing of the past.

Pull-out faucets provide an extra layer of functionality to rinse out the sink, clean dishes, or just add aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. And with low-cost options and several different finishes such as brushed nickel, chrome, bronze, or even stainless steel, you can match them to your kitchen aesthetics and sense of style.

Express Plumbing is a full-service Bay Area plumber, no project is too big or too small for our experienced plumbers to handle.  Love the home you’re in with so many visual and non-visual plumbing options.  We’re here to answer any questions you have.

Want to Upgrade Your Plumbing? Make Sure to Call a Pro

Even if you’re an avid DIYer, plumbing is one of the hardest trades to master. So, if you want to boost your home’s aesthetic, functionality, and value without any issues, make sure you give us a call and we will only send you the most experienced technicians in the industry.  We’ve been serving our residential plumbing customers for multiple decades in San Mateo and all surrounding Bay Area.


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4 Tips to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

4 Tips to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

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If you live in an area where the temperatures often fall below freezing, your plumbing system is always something to keep an eye on. More specifically, your pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting, which cause catastrophic damage in your home. As a result, preventive maintenance and following a few of these ideas can protect you from a scary situation. This year’s weather in the Bay Area has fluctuated tremendously, make sure to follow these tips to keep your pipes from freezing this winter if the temperature decides to dive.

1. Insulate Unheated Areas

If you have a crawl space, unheated garage, or pipes in an otherwise unheated area of your home, insulate them to prevent freezing. You have several ways to insulate these pipes:

  • Add insulation to these areas, which can also help you save on your energy bill
  • Insulating tape
  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Rubber pipe insulation
  • Foam and foil pipe insulation

Whichever method you choose will depend on your budget, how hard the area is to reach, and how much work you’re willing to put in.

2. Turn the Faucet On

Although you may see a slightly higher water bill, turning on a faucet in your home can ensure that your pipes don’t freeze. You don’t have to turn them on completely, but just a slight drip can prevent bursting pipes.

The reason that this works is because it forces the water in the pipes to keep moving. When water moves, it’s far more unlikely to freeze.

For maximum effect, turn on the faucet that’s the furthest from your water source. This will cause the water to circulate through all the pipes in your house, effectively keeping them from a deep freeze.

3. Maintain Your Thermostat Temperature

While personal finance experts and the Department of Energy agree that you should set your thermostat lower to save money in cold weather, maintaining a constant temperature is more ideal for making sure your pipes don’t freeze.

By setting the thermostat at a constant temperature, you don’t risk pipes getting too cold. Instead, they stay warmer, which makes freezing a lot less likely. A temperature of around 65 to 70 degrees should suffice, but choose a temperature where you’re comfortable.

4. Caulking Time

A final way to ensure that your pipes don’t freeze is to grab a caulking gun and go to town. Cold air can get into your home anywhere a crack or hole exists. When the cold air gets in, the temperature in unheated areas drops, and pipes are exposed to the temperature change.

To combat this drop in temperature, go around the exterior of your home with a caulking gun. Look for any cracks or holes that you can fill, which will effectively keep out the cold air.

What To Do If Your Preventive Maintenance Fails

If you follow the tips listed above, you’ve dramatically reduced the chances of a pipe bursting in your home. But sometimes, the temperature drops so much and so rapidly that it’s out of your hands. So if your pipes burst, make sure to turn the water off and call us to avoid any further damage. Good luck on keeping your pipes intact this year!  We’re here to provide you with exceptional plumbing services to keep your home free from plumbing problems.


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How Do I Know if My Plumbing is Bad

How Do I Know if My Plumbing is Bad?

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A working plumbing system is vital to the comfort of living in your home. However, you can’t simply ignore it. Plumbing requires at least yearly appointments from a professional, but sometimes you can curb plumbing issues by remaining vigilant. By keeping an eye out for these telltale signs, you can tell if your plumbing is bad and get the proper maintenance you need before it becomes a serious or catastrophic issue.

Slow Draining in Fixtures

A kitchen sink or a shower draining slowly is an obvious sign that you have a plumbing issue. Typically, this is the result of hair, food, or soap scum build-up within the area below the drain or in the pipe.

In most cases, you can fix the clog yourself. Simply remove the drain cover in your bathtub or shower and pull out the hair. In a kitchen sink, clear the food out of the pipes or run your garbage disposal. If neither of these fixes the issue, you may need to give us a call to snake the line.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is a common issue in older homes, especially those homes that haven’t been retrofitted with wider PVC pipes. However, a temporary lack of water pressure isn’t always an issue, as it could be the result of a water main issue.

If you consistently have low water pressure, it’s the sign of a larger issue. You may have several leaks or clogs in your pipes that can significantly reduce water pressure. Over time, this can cause more severe leakage or clogs that can cause your drains to back up. So don’t neglect this issue.

Our San Mateo plumbers use leak detection cameras and other methods to inspect the lines in your home.  Identifying any potential problems early will help you fix them quickly and cost less in the long run.

Dirty Water

Discoloration of your water is another problem that homeowners often face. Sometimes, the local water company will identify this as a system-wide problem, which often results in boil orders.

If a boil order hasn’t been issued for your neighborhood or city, it could be an issue with your pipes. Brownish water is often the result of iron seeping into the line from older pipes or a problem with your water heater. If you notice blue or green water, corrosion might be the culprit. Either way, you’ll need to call us just to make sure.

Noisy Pipes

A properly functioning plumbing system should never make any audible noises other than the sound of water running through the pipes when you turn the water on. If you notice rattles, whines, or any other suspect noise, you could have bigger issues.

When your pipes make noises, it’s usually a surefire signal that you have a leak or your bleed-off system isn’t working right. Both issues are not easily fixed by a novice, so make sure to contact us as your local plumber so we can identify and isolate the problem.

Even if you’re not a natural handyman or DIYer, simply looking for symptoms of bad plumbing can protect your home and investment. Once you’ve identified any problems, don’t hesitate to call our experienced local plumbers.  It could make the difference between a small issue that can quickly be fixed and a massive plumbing problem.


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4 Holiday Plumbing Tips

4 Holiday Plumbing Tips

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Whether you’re having friends over for a New Year’s party or enjoying the company of your relatives during Christmas, the holidays are all about getting together and sharing time with others. However, an overflowing toilet, cold shower, or clogged drain can threaten to erode the more enjoyable aspects of the holiday season.

Our residential plumbers in San Mateo have helped thousands of residents in the local area during the holiday season.  So before you have family or friends over, make sure to follow these holiday plumbing tips to avert disaster.

1. Don’t Have Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Everyone is a self-proclaimed master of the culinary arts when the holidays come around, or at least that’s what they think. However, too many cooks in the kitchen can have a profound effect on your plumbing system.

Maybe grandma doesn’t know what goes in the garbage disposal or your niece isn’t aware that oil and grease never go down the drain. Either way, you should only have trusted individuals around the kitchen. If your drain gets clogged, food and celebration gets put on hold. Don’t let this happen to you.

2. Tell Others What Goes in the Toilet (and What Doesn’t)

Not surprisingly, your toilets work overtime during the holiday season as more people come to your house. Yet despite your guests’ familiarity with the toilet, some use it as a disposal for just about everything — even things that can cause your toilet to clog or back up.

If you want to keep your toilet flowing, make a list of things that your guests shouldn’t put in the toilet and post it in a location that’s easy to see. Some things to put on your list include:

  • Feminine products
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental floss
  • Cigarette butts
  • Hair
  • Gum

3. Refrain from Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Drain

You’ve already kept people out of the kitchen to reduce the chance of a clogged drain. The next logical step is to prevent grease and oil from getting down the drain.

When you pour grease and oil down the drain, it solidifies with cold water, even if it was a liquid beforehand. While you’re aware of this valuable information, others might not be. So just as you did with the bathroom, post a friendly reminder that grease and oil should never go down the drain. Instead, have a large coffee tin or other metal containers for disposal.

4. Stagger Your Showers

If you have people staying at your house, you likely have a morning stampede to the shower as your guests try to get a nice, hot shower. However, this shouldn’t become a carousel or revolving door.

If you allow one shower after the other, not only does your hot water run out, but your shower drain can’t fully clear out. As a result, stagger your showers with 15-minute breaks in between. This will make sure your drains don’t get overloaded and everyone gets a hot, refreshing shower.

If you’re not exactly a handyman, don’t stress. Some jobs are better left to the professionals. However, you should move quickly. Many plumbing companies get booked up quickly around the holidays, Express Plumbing in San Mateo operates 24/7 including holidays and weekends.  If you ever need us, simply give us a call.


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How to Winterize Your Indoor and Outdoor Plumbing Before It's Too Cold

How to Winterize Your Indoor and Outdoor Plumbing Before It’s Too Cold

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When the leaves and temperatures start to change, the last thing on your mind is your plumbing. But as a homeowner, seasonal plumbing maintenance is essential to ensure your system doesn’t fail you throughout the winter. So before the cold weather hits, here are some steps to winterize your plumbing.

These tips are provided by our expert plumbing technicians serving the San Mateo and surrounding areas:

Disconnect Hoses from Outdoor Spigots and Turn Off the Water

If you’re a gardener or you have a yard that’s the envy of the neighborhood, you probably have a few hoses hooked up to the exterior of your home. However, these can become susceptible to damage in the winter if the weather gets below freezing. This weather can lead to ice in the water line, which can then lead to built-up pressure that can burst your pipes.

To avoid this damage, disconnect all your hoses and turn the water off to exterior spigots. Then, turn the valve on to release any water that’s in the line. Doing both of these things will make sure that you don’t have any water in the line that can freeze.

Consider a Frost Protector

Once you’ve disconnected the hoses and turned off the water, you may also want to consider a frost protector. These foam insulators fit right over the spigot, adding another layer of protection against frost.

Hot Water Tank Maintenance

Unless you have an on-demand tankless water heater, your hot water tank needs a bit of TLC before winter comes. Start by opening the drain valve and letting the water drain out until the tank is empty. Make sure that you have a drain nearby or in the basement for the water. Otherwise, connect a garden hose to the tank and drain it in a nearby sink.

Next, drain the holding tank to relieve any additional pressure that’s within the system. You can also add antifreeze to the jet pump case as an added safety measure.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

One of the most catastrophic events that can happen to your plumbing in the winter is burst pipes. However, you can prevent this with some quick, easy maintenance. Begin your maintenance by identifying any pipes that are more susceptible to freezing. This might include pipes in crawl spaces, near the exterior of the home, or in unheated places.

Once you’ve identified which pipes may freeze, wrap them with insulation sleeves, heat tape, or foam. This will prevent them from freezing or bursting and it’s a minimal cost compared with the cost of repairing burst pipes.

Clean Your Gutters

No one likes to grab the muddy, slimy mess that builds up in your gutters over the course of the year. However, this debris can quickly clog up your system, which in turn, can lead to ice dams or water leaks inside your home. So grab a ladder and dig out all that debris so that water can flow unabated.

While even the novice DIYer can take care of these projects, don’t forget to give us a call for the more tasks or preventive maintenance. With a quick call, you can get peace of mind with a plumbing system that won’t let you down.

Our crew is comprised of experienced plumbing technicians and the most advanced equipment available for plumbers today.  We’ve been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades and are here to help when you need us for all your commercial and residential plumbing needs.


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Residential Plumbing Most Commonly Asked Questions

Residential Plumbing Most Commonly Asked Questions

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When your residential plumbing system is functioning at full capacity, you probably don’t think too much about it. It’s only when something fails, there’s a drip that keeps you awake, or the toilet backs up that your mind finally starts to wonder about the pipes beneath the floor or behind the walls. While even a novice DIYer can fix some plumbing issues, others may require a more professional approach. Either way, getting the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about residential plumbing is the most direct path to keeping your plumbing in business and your mind at ease.

What Should I Do If My Toilet Starts to Overflow?

An overflowing toilet doesn’t just induce panic. It’s downright gross and can damage your home’s flooring, baseboards, and more. But before you have a meltdown, familiarize yourself with the steps to prevent a major catastrophe.

If your toilet starts to overflow, the quickest way to fix it is to take the lid off the tank, reach in, and push down the flapper. Hopefully, this solves the issue.

If the bowl continues to fill, look down at the base of your toilet. You should see some flexible pipe running to the wall. Follow this to the shutoff valve and turn the water off to avert disaster.

What’s the Best Way to Fix a Clog?

Although Drano and other drain cleaners tout themselves as the top solution to plumbing clogs, they’re environmentally unsafe. They may work, but if you don’t want to pollute the water supply, you still have other options.

In bathtubs and showers, the solution is usually easier than you think. Put on a pair of gloves, remove the grate, and reach down inside. A majority of the time, the issue is just a thick clump of hair and soap that’s built up over time. Once you remove this, it should solve the issue.

For your kitchen sink, you should first try a plunger. The suction can force the clog down the drain. If that doesn’t work, pour some baking soda down the drain and follow it up with a few quarts of boiling water.

When Should I Tackle a Plumbing Problem on My Own?

The most important thing to consider when fixing a plumbing issue is if you have the right tools for the job. Many plumbers use a variety of tools that you won’t find in a basic toolbox, so that’s where to look first.

Next, think about your confidence and knowledge to fix the problem. If you aren’t confident or aren’t sure what you’re doing, don’t force the issue.

Sometimes the Smart Move Is to Call a Professional

Even if you’re a driven individual that’s handy with a set of tools, don’t tackle plumbing problems that are over your head. Oftentimes, this can make the problem worse. Instead, call a professional plumbing crew.

By hiring a seasoned plumber, you can make short work of any plumbing problems and, hopefully, solve them before they become a major issue. The plumber may not love you looking over his shoulder, but maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.  At Express Plumbing, we’ve helped residential, commercial and even municipal customers when they run into plumbing issues anywhere in the Bay Area.  Give us a call, we’re happy to help.


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