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

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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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When it’s Time to Hire a Plumber

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Many homeowners choose to fix a clogged sink, a toilet that constantly runs, or small-time plumbing problems on their own. While this can save them money, oftentimes the root of the issue remains. This ticking, plumbing time bombs can eventually turn from a small problem into an utter catastrophe. Before you decide to channel your inner amateur plumber, look for these signs and know that it’s time to hire a plumber.

Clogs

A plunger or a snake is a moderately effective home remedy for clogs, but if the stubborn ball of drain matter refuses to vacate, don’t resort to drain cleaners or other ideas you read online. Harsh chemicals can do irreversible damage to your plumbing system while unsubstantiated quick-fixes can do the same. Instead of opting for this route, call a plumber that has the knowledge and tools to amend the situation correctly.

Low Water Pressure

If you have 10 guests over for a visit and four are taking a shower at the same time, you might experience lower water pressure than normal. But if you have the same issue with only one tap or shower on in your home, you may need to call a plumber.

Sometimes a minor clog is to blame for low water pressure, but in other instances, the situation may be more severe. A water leak, fractured pipe, or an eroded waterline can all lead to sub-par pressure. If you can’t solve the complication with minor fixes, contact a professional.

No Water

Unless you turned the water off for some reason and forgot to turn it back on, there are almost no scenarios where you shouldn’t have water. In the event that water fails to come out of the tap or shower, something has gone horribly awry.

Major leaks, backups from the main water main, and frozen pipes are all sources of no water. Unfortunately, these problems are difficult to repair and even harder to diagnose. Leave those jobs to someone with the training and specialization to get the job done right.

Dripping Fixtures

According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dripping and household leaks account for over 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year. With a limited supply of freshwater in many areas, this is a cause for concern. To compound the issue, the extra money you spend on 10,000 gallons of water could go toward a vacation, savings account, or junior’s college education.

For these reasons, it’s important to fix any dripping issues or leaks. While you might have the expertise to do the repair on your own, don’t waste precious time when you could contact a plumber. They’ll find the problem and repair it so you can continue on with your regular routine.

Your home isn’t only your refuge; it’s an investment that you want to keep in tip-top shape. If any of these plumbing signs arise, don’t wait. Call a professional plumber today and fix the problem before it spirals out of control.

Express Plumbing is a division of EPS Inc.  Our company has been providing engineering, plumbing, and underground construction services for multiple decades throughout the Bay Area.  Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have relating to plumbing, sewer, underground utilities and more.

 


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Plumbing flood floor drying tips

How to Dry Flooring In Case of a Plumbing Flood

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A plumbing flood is avoidable with proper maintenance, but when a pipe bursts in your home, chaos unfolds.

Not only is your furniture at risk of severe damage, but your floors can suffer as well. The porous nature of subflooring, carpet, and wood can retain water for days and even weeks after the leak.

Therefore, you need to be diligent when it comes to cleanup. Before the problem calls for a total flooring replacement, follow these tips to save your floor — and your investment — before it’s too late.

As a Bay Area Plumbing and Engineering Contractor, we want you to avoid plumbing problems all together, but if you can’t, use these tips to help you properly dry the area.

Before You Begin

Before you start to cleanup, photo-document the affected area. Armed with these photos, you have evidence of the flood to give to your insurance company. If you have any cloth furniture that’s salvageable, remove it from the room and set it outside to dry. The power of the sun will take care of most of the moisture. When it’s overcast or cold outside, set the furniture near a heat source.

Soak Up Excess Water Immediately

Use a squeegee or a wet/dry vacuum depending on the location and severity of the problem. You can easily find these tools for sale or rent at a local hardware store.

Once you have the right tool for the job, remove as much water as possible. Speed is crucial. If you can remove a majority of the water within 24 hours, you lessen the chance of irreparable damage. The longer you wait to rid your home of water, the more chance moisture has to seep into hardwood flooring or carpet, necessitating a full replacement.

Use a Fan

The next step to dry your flooring is to use a high-powered fan. A household floor or desk fan usually isn’t strong enough to get the job done, so you may have to purchase or rent a fan with enough power to remove excessive moisture.

If you have wooden furniture such as a dresser or armoire in the room, remove the drawers and open any doors to ensure you remove the moisture from these areas as well.  In addition, this fan will help circulate fresh air, which can also lessen the musty, mildew smell caused by flooding.

Unleash the Power of a Dehumidifier

Even with a thorough vacuuming and a fan, your room will undoubtedly still have moisture hiding somewhere. To remove this final bit of water, rent or buy a portable dehumidifier.

These dehumidifiers remove water vapor from the air that you otherwise couldn’t eliminate. Remember to empty the water drawer frequently to make sure you don’t have another water spill on your hands.

Disinfect All Affected Areas

When a pipe bursts, there’s a chance that the water has come in contact with sewage or bacteria. Because of the health risks posed by bacteria and subsequent mold, you should disinfect and sanitize any area touched by the water.

This includes not only the floor itself, but also baseboards, walls, and furniture. In more severe cases, consider hiring a professional.

Any time a pipe bursts in your home, it’s a catastrophic situation that requires due diligence. So push the stress aside and get to work drying your floors. The value of your home and your pocketbook depend on it.

Our professional plumbers are standing by to answer any questions you have relating to plumbing.  We service the entire San Francisco Bay Area and are relied upon by residents, commercial clients and municipalities due to our experience, advanced equipment and techniques.


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How Can We Save Water in Our Daily Lives?

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Water is a necessity for life on the planet and an abundance of daily activities from taking a shower to washing the dishes. Yet according to the United States Geological Survey, only 3% of the Earth’s water is freshwater. More alarmingly, just 1.2% of this freshwater is usable by humans, as the rest is contained in ice caps, glaciers, and underground. Because of the importance of freshwater, conservation becomes integral. To limit the waste of water and protect it as a valuable resource for the future, here are a few tips to help you save water in your daily life.

Run the Dishwasher and Washer Only When They’re Full

A foolproof method to limit your daily water usage is to only run the dishwasher and washer when they’re full. This means that instead of doing your laundry on a specific day, you should switch to an as-needed basis. You might also need to eat a few meals before hitting the power button on your dishwasher

Buy a Rainwater Tank

Whether you’re an avid gardener or you just love the curb appeal of a green lawn and lush landscaping, chances are you turn to the hose more often than not. However, you can save water by purchasing a rainwater tank. This tank fills naturally with each downpour, allowing you to hook up a hose or use the nozzle to water your plants, shrubs, and yard.

Turn Off the Tap When Brushing Your Teeth or Shaving

Most people adhere to the age-old rule of brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. This keeps your teeth and gums healthy and pearly-white. But when it comes to the tap, make sure to shut it off. Doing so effectively saves 3 gallons of water in just 4 minutes. Use the same idea when shaving in the morning to conserve even more water.

Reusing Cooking Water

If you eat pasta consistently, you’re left with a pot of hot water afterward. But don’t pour that water down the drain. Instead, wait until it cools and use it to water your vegetable garden, landscaping, or houseplants.

Fix Leaky Pipes or a Running Toilet

Some estimates show that leaky pipes or a running toilet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water annually. While some leaky pipes are difficult to diagnose due to their location, conducting yearly preventive maintenance and plumbing inspection can uncover these water-wasting culprits. A constantly running toilet is easily amended by fixing the float or changing some of the other components inside the toilet tank.

Turn Off the Water When Doing Dishes

If you don’t have a dishwasher or you have to remove excessive gunk from your dishes, you’re stuck with washing dishes the old-school way — by hand. Yet you don’t need to run the water continuously when doing so. Instead, fill one side of the sink with soapy water and use it to wash your dishes. Use the tap only when rinsing, and you’ll save a ton of water each time you wash.

With these easy-to-apply rules, tips, and routines, you can start to save the world’s most precious resource — one drop at a time.

Express Plumbing a division of EPS Inc. has been serving the Bay Area’s residential, commercial, and municipal sector since 1989. We care about our environment and strive to educate all our customers about the importance of water conservation.

Need a Bay Area Plumber? We service all the major cities within the San Francisco and San Mateo area. Contact us for a quote.


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Fall Season Plumbing Tips for Home or Office

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Even as temperatures dip, it’s important to maintain your plumbing system. With proper plumbing maintenance, you can ensure your plumbing system runs smoothly throughout the fall and avoid any unwelcomed plumbing emergencies during winter.

Whether you’re at home or the office, follow these tips to keep both outdoor and indoor plumbing problems at bay.

Basement Plumbing Tips

If your home or office has a basement, make sure to check the sump pump and the water heater. Sump pumps are responsible for sending water away from the home to more secure locations such as storm drains. In order to run properly, a sump pump must have power and a clear discharge line. Otherwise, your basement could flood.

Your water heater is under more stress as colder temperatures converge on your area and the water heater works harder to heat.

To avoid any complications or added stress on the heater, flush the system to remove loose sediment at the bottom of the tank.

This will ensure that there are no clogs in the system and it’s ready to heat on command throughout fall and into winter. You should also check the pressure release valve. This should shoot a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace it.

If you’re always having a problem with your traditional water heater, it may be the perfect time to look into replacing it with a tankless one. Here is some information that compares a traditional water heater with a tankless water heater.

Yard Tips

Don’t forget about the outside of your home or office during fall or winter, as these can become problematic once temperatures plummet. Remove your water hoses from external spigots before they can freeze onto the thread, luckily we live in California where the weather remains mild pretty much the whole year, but you never know!.

If left to the elements, a frozen hose on a spigot can cause interior pipes to burst, causing flooding or damaging the spigot and hose. To add another layer of prevention, find the water shutoff valve, cut the water supply from the exterior, and let everything drain. This will also help you avoid pipe bursts and other damage.

During fall, clean out all gutters and downspouts as another precautionary measure. If these remain clogged, they’ll start to retain water, which will eventually freeze come winter. Ice in the gutter or roof can eventually come crashing down as it melts, causing damage to property or injury to persons on the ground.

Protect Your Pipes

Pipe bursts are one of the most catastrophic incidents a homeowner or business owner can face. When pipes burst, everything floods, causing damage to any area below the location of the burst.

Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening. Locate any pipe that’s exposed to the elements, such as the basement, the exterior of the home, the garage, or between floors. Using heat tape or pipe insulators, wrap the pipes tightly. This will prevent them from bursting and give you peace of mind for the rest of the season.

Express Plumbing, a division of EPS Engineering not only provides above ground plumbing services, but we specialize in underground construction for both residential and commercial properties. Our team always provides innovative ideas and preventative tips from our experience of multiple decades to our client. The majority of plumbing emergencies can be avoided with proper maintenance.

Schedule Annual Plumbing System Inspection and Maintenance

If plumbing and home improvement aren’t your strong points, let our professionals take care of preventive maintenance and plumbing woes.

During an annual inspection, our plumbers will examine the pipes, water heater, sump pump, and septic system for any flaws or problems that may require maintenance. This takes the hassles and the guesswork out of your fall plumbing checklist, allowing you to enjoy the season comfortably.

Fall weather doles out some of the most unexpected weather of the year, and without proper maintenance, your plumbing system could fail at the most inopportune time. But with a bit of due diligence and help from our experienced team, you’ll ensure an effective plumbing system throughout fall and beyond.

Got a question? We love helping clients throughout the Bay Area. Our EPS Engineering team focuses on large scale projects that involve planning, engineering, and underground heavy construction operations, our Express Plumbing Division focuses on providing plumbing support to our residential, commercial, and municipal clients. We are always eager to serve our Bay Area plumbing clients, and we look forward to serving you. Let’s Talk.


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Underground Cable Systems without Digging

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Whether you’re repairing underground cables, laying new cables, or building a new property, the process of digging trenches for electrical, plumbing, sewer. telecommunications, or gas lines are cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive.

Thankfully, trenchless technology is taking the hassle out of laying cables and pipes. Discover how this technology is revolutionizing underground cable systems, saving you time and money in the process.

What Is Trenchless Cable Laying?

Before the introduction of horizontal directional drilling, laying cables wasn’t easy. To install any sort of subterranean cables, contractors had to dig a trench to house cables.

underground cabling installation

This process often required ripping out concrete or blacktop, followed by a strenuous digging process by hand or machine. Today, a number of trenchless technologies are making trench-digging obsolete.

Horizontal Directional Drilling

One of the most common trenchless technologies is horizontal directional drilling. To complete this task, workers bore a hole in the ground at a predetermined angle, using a transmitter to guide and steer the drill below the ground.

After drilling the initial hole, the process of reaming enlarges the hole to the desired size. Finally, the cable or pipe is attached to a lead and pulled through the length of the hole.

Microtunneling

Microtunneling is another type of trenchless technology that excavates and removes soil while simultaneously installing the pipe. Controlled via a remote by an operator, this pipe-laying technique is becoming more and more popular.

Pipe Bursting

When you need to replace or repair old pipelines, few trenchless methods work as effectively as pipe bursting. To complete this task, workers use a machine that pulls a larger-diameter pipe through the old pipe. This breaks the original pipe, putting the new pipe in its place.

These aren’t the only types of trenchless technologies available for both residential and commercial applications, but they’re gaining popularity as more and more companies and consumers turn to these methods for cost savings and efficiency.

Saving Time and Money

Traditional methods of laying underground cable systems are wholly inefficient, pricey, and inconvenient. Not only do you incur the labor expenses of digging the trench, but you also have to consider other costs. Demolition of existing concrete is an expensive venture, compounded by having to lay new concrete upon completion of laying the underground cable systems.

If you aren’t considered with concrete, you should also consider the sunk cost of replacing your landscaping. Even small trenches can wreak havoc on your yard. Not only do you have to add in the cost of replacing grass, bushes, mulch, or trees, but you also have to deal with an unsightly yard that destroys your curb appeal.

Because trenchless technologies don’t require digging or excavating, the entire process is far less time-consuming. This saves you on labor and equipment costs. Plus, many trenchless providers charge solely on the length and diameter of the pipe, eliminating hidden and unexpected costs as a result.

Whether you’re building a new home, replacing existing lines, or repairing a cable system, trenchless technology gives you a practical, cost-effective way to get the job done right.

Express Plumbing is a division of EPS Inc. We service the entire Bay Area with our team focusing on the most advanced techniques, proper planning, and implementation to get the project done quickly and remain cost-effective.


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plumbing pipes by express plumbing

All About Plumbing Pipes and Their Uses

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

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

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

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

PVC Pipe

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

CPVC Pipe

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

PEX Pipe

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

Poly Pipe

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

Copper Piping

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

Galvanized Plumbing Pipes

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

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

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


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What’s Lurking in My Underground Pipes?

When it comes to plumbing, most of us are in the dark. We’re often in the dark about what’s lurking in our underground pipes.  Sure, we may be able to fix the occasional clogged toilet or leaky faucet, however sometimes the problem may be deeper set and requires a professional underground contractor.

Underground Pipes

Some plumbing problems may not be tucked away directly in our homes but may be hiding in underground piping. These pipes may run through our neighborhood, back or front yard and underneath our homes foundation.  Not an easy reach or a quick fix.

Many times these plumbing problems go undetected because it is hard to pinpoint the location of the issue until it is already too late, thus causing a stressful plumbing emergency. This can often lead to flooding or bursting pipes at the affected source.

Although these problems are hard to prevent, exceptional plumbing services such as video camera inspections offered by Express Plumbing help assure our clients that such problems are quickly detected and fixed.

Efficiency in Underground Pipe Inspections

Our professional technicians can take a look deep into underground pipes to see any blockage, cracks, collapsed pipes, root intrusions and more.  Underground pipe video camera inspections are efficient and designed to travel in any direction.

Express Plumbing is a division of Engineering Perfect Systems in the Bay Area.  Residential, commercial and municipal clients rely on our expertise and state-of-the-art, advanced equipment to get things done quickly.

In addition to pinpointing major problems, video camera inspections can be used on smaller jobs in our homes.

These useful cameras can help locate clogs and problems in our drains and even help rescue valuables such as the lost wedding ring down the drain, as recently reported by ABC 7 about a Kristen Kallis doing just that and was very happy to get her $10,000 diamond ring back.

This is great news for families with kids, as drains and toilets seem to be fun targets for tossing unwanted items.

If you suspect that something is lurking in your underground pipes, give our team a call, we’ll be glad to take a closer look using advanced equipment and expertise that will save you time and money.


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Why is My Water Bill Too High?

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Are you trying hard to find the actual cause of an ordinary plumbing problem at home? Does excessive water usage, low water pressure, noises or slow drains ring a bell? If you are looking to find the source of the water problem at your place then you have landed on the right page. Follow a few simple tips to locate the source of the water problem:

Listen To The Dripping Sounds

This step may sound simple but it is often overlooked in a noisy, busy home. Although a dripping faucet would not waste a significant amount of water, over time it could result in gallons of water waste. You may hear the sound of dripping water where there is no or little activity around the house, such as late at night or early in the morning.

Look For The Leak Evidence

You can detect leaks along the board base of the walls near your plumbing fixtures. Pipes containing pressured water can eventually become corroded, crack or develop loose fittings due to freezing and thus, allowing the continuous loss of precious water until it is repaired. Darkened surfaces, mildew or puddles of water even may occur below the leaks. It may be important to remove the wallboard, plaster or paneling to correct the problem if it is inside the wall cavity.

Check Under The Sinks & Vanities

You can take a flashlight and follow the trail of the exposed pipes to look for the droplets of water. The droplets of water, if any, would accumulate at the lower section. You can run your fingers along these pipes and feel for wetness.

Look For The Sweat On Your Pipes

The pipes in your home may sweat when the water (cold) passes through them in the warmer interior spaces. This condensing of water on the surface of the pipes may start to drip, causing the moisture problems to eventually appear.

Maybe The Bathrooms Are Making Noises

Listen for noises from your bathrooms in order to check if they run at unusual intervals, especially when no one in the home has flushed them recently. The tank would slowly drain after some time when there is a seal leak in your water closet (toilet), until the level of water sufficiently drops for a float valve to replenish it. Leaking seals and sticking flush valves in the toilets could waste a significant amount of water since the flow is continuous.

Check Supply Valves On Commodes & Lavatories

The packing that seals the water valve basically seals when it is compressed. It is only sealed to pack the leak paths so it does not create any difficulty while you turn the handle. You need to turn the packing nut slightly clockwise to see if it stops the leakage around the stem. The smallest of leaks occasionally stops when the valve is partly opened and it is either fully opened or fully closed.

Last but not least, you need to check the water meter. The water flow to your house will cease by turning off all the appliances and faucets that consume water. Locate the water meter, read the displayed amount and note it. Check it again after an hour to see if the water went through it (even if no one is using it in your home). Usually, smaller leaks do not move this meter but larger ones will.

This residential plumbing information is brought to you by our Bay Area plumbers, voted contractor of the year.  Express Plumbing is a division of Engineering Perfect Systems, dedicated to the Bay Area for multiple decades.

Contact us with any questions or upcoming plumbing projects in the Bay Area.


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