Tag Archives: bay area

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

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

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

Install Low-Flow Faucets in Your Sinks

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

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

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

Install Curtains and Blinds

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

Quit Drinking Bottled Water

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

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

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

Insulate the Water Heater

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

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

Come Up with Your Own Hacks

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


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How 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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Spring Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spring Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

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

Checking the Pipes Underneath Your Home

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

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

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

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

How To Maintain Your Pipes and Drains

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

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

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

Test Your Sump Pump

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

Flush Your Water Heater

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

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

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

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


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Why You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Drain

Why You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Drain

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Your plumbing system is the lifeblood of your home. Without it, you can’t wash dishes, take a shower, or water the lawn. As such, you should treat every component with the utmost care. However, situations arise that can potentially damage your plumbing. One of these is drain clogs. While these can be caused by many scenarios, one of the most common problems is pouring hot oil down the drain. Find out why you should never pour hot oil down the kitchen sink and other tips to keep your drains and sinks flowing smoothly.

Never Pour Hot Oil Down the Kitchen Sink

It seems like a no-brainer. Hot oil is a liquid, and liquids go down the drain. However, the hot oil is a substance unlike any other. Regardless of the type of oil, these substances can clog or cake the insides of the drain.

For example, coconut oil, bacon grease, and vegetable shortening are spectacular for creating stir-frys or creating delicious meals. But while they liquify at high temperatures, they solidify at room temperature. When you pour these down the drain, they eventually reach room temperature, creating an impenetrable clog that can prevent proper drainage and water flow.

And while olive oil, canola oil, or avocado oil are liquid at room temperature, they’re also hydrophobic. In short, that means they don’t like to mingle with water. When you pour these oils down the drain and turn the water on, they immediately separate. Instead of being flushed through the plumbing system, they cake on the sides of pipes. Over time, this can create a bottleneck, which eventually leads to significant clogging that requires the work of a plumber.

How to Properly Dispose of Hot Oil

If you regularly use butter, oil, or fat for cooking, proper disposal is essential. Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult. Start by selecting a container such as a coffee tin or other vessel that won’t melt due to the high temperature of the oil. Pour any leftover oil or fat into the container each time you cook.

Once you’ve filled the container, you have two options. The easy choice is to just chuck the container in the trash. But if you’re more of an environmentalist, call one of your local recycling centers. Most of the time, they’ll take your fat/oil concoction and give you a few pennies for your trouble.

Other Drain Clog Prevention Tips

The kitchen sink isn’t the only drain you should keep clean. Bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and showers are equally as important. That’s why you should take these tips to heart:

  • Put a drain guard over sinks and shower drains to keep out hair and soap scum
  • Brush your hair before you take a shower or bath
  • Don’t flush certain objects down the toilet such as paper towels or other bulky items

Because so much depends on clear, clean drainage lines, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. If you’re iffy about whether a substance can go down the drain, don’t pour it down the sink. Instead, dispose of the substance properly. As a result, you’ll have a clean plumbing system that you can depend on when you need it the most and avoid clogged drains throughout your home.

Express Plumbing has residential plumbers in San Mateo County standing by to help you if you ever need us, but part of our commitment to the Bay Area community is to provide you with preventative tips in order to properly take care of the plumbing pipes and drains in your home.


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Your End of Year Plumbing Checklist Is Here

Your End of Year Plumbing Checklist Is Here

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As the year comes to an end, you have plenty to worry about. Getting prepped for next year, hanging out with family, and finishing up year-end projects are all part of the plan. But one thing you shouldn’t neglect is your plumbing. With this end-of-year plumbing checklist, you can make sure all your fixtures and pipes are ready for winter and next spring.

Have Your Sewer Inspected

One of the most severe plumbing issues (and grossest, too) is when your sewer backs up. This is especially important with more use during the holidays or if you work from home due to COVID. That’s why you should have your sewer inspected by a professional. By taking a proactive approach, you can avoid any nasty situations, as well as determine any potential problems that need to be addressed in the near future.

Toilet Maintenance

According to some estimates, a running toilet can waste up to 26 gallons a day. In a year, that translates to around 10,000 gallons. Multiply that by the average U.S. price of water ($1.50 for 1,000 gallons), and you’re throwing away $15 a year for each toilet in your home.

While that doesn’t sound like much, analyze the alternative. Replacing the flapper or float on your toilet costs just a few bucks and makes your toilet run like new. If you’re already running down a plumbing checklist, this task is a no-brainer at minimal cost or effort.

Check for Leaks

Leaky pipes and fixtures aren’t just a money pit. They can also impact your house through water damage or mold, which can adversely affect your health. As a result, you should always check your home for leaks at the end of the year. Always check areas such as crawlspaces and the basement, as these are notorious places for leaks.

Leaking fixtures are easier to check. For sinks, just turn them on and look under the sink for moisture. In bathtubs and showers, turn them on and search for water coming out from anywhere other than the spout or showerhead. If they’re leaking, you might just need to tighten the bolts, replace the washers, or soak the showerhead in CLR or vinegar.

Inspect and Flush the Water Heater

During winter, your water heater is your best friend. You should treat it as such with a quick inspection and maybe even a flush. Make sure that the temperature gauge remains around 120 degrees, and that you don’t see any leaks, rust, or condensation on the tank. If you haven’t flushed your water heater, now’s the time. This will remove sediment that can reduce efficiency or substantially shorten the life of the water heater.

Although you can probably manage many of these tasks with minimal knowledge about plumbing, don’t let important or potentially serious issues fall by the wayside. For tasks you can’t complete on your own, make sure to call our experienced Bay Area plumbers at Express Plumbing. If you’re looking for a gift for the homeowner in you, check out an annual preventive maintenance plan. With one of these in place, you can minimize the chance for catastrophic damage and ensure your plumbing system keeps humming all year long.

From our entire team at Express Plumbing, we wish you a happy and healthy new year.


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