Tag Archives: bay area

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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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Emergency response plumbers bay area

Emergency Response Plumbers Covid19 and Beyond

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The spread of Covid-19 across the globe has already fueled an abundance of misinformation and rumors. From fake cures to hoaxes, these incorrect tidbits circulating the internet have caused more panic and hysteria. One such rumor is the idea that coronavirus can spread from person to person through plumbing systems, especially in high-rise buildings. However, modern plumbing codes have made such a scenario nearly impossible.

Extra Strain on Plumbing

Because of shelter-in-place orders and other restrictions designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, many residential plumbing systems are under high strain. Although this may increase the chances of sewage backups and other plumbing issues, modern plumbing fixtures and practices exponentially limit the chances of the spread of disease.

The Spread of Covid-19 Through Plumbing Rumor

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, was a viral infection that spread throughout the globe in the early 2000s. Because of the severity of the pandemic and its potential to cause mass fatalities, Covid-19 has been routinely compared to the SARS outbreak. However, one particular instance has caused members of the public to become concerned about the spread of Covid-19 via plumbing systems.

In 2003, defective plumbing caused SARS to spread through a high-rise housing complex in Jordan, leading to 300 infections and 42 deaths. This event has caused rumors that Covid-19 can spread similarly. Such information is 100% false. Due to improved plumbing practices and codes, such an outbreak is impossible in the United States. Despite the unlikeliness of the spread of disease in the United States, other countries that don’t follow codes may increase the chance of Covid-19 transmission via plumbing.

The International Plumbing Code

Developed by public health experts and engineers, the International Plumbing Code (IPC) sets the mandatory minimum requirements for plumbing system installation in the United States. Updated in 2019, the IPC protects the residents, workers, and inhabitants in residential and commercial buildings by providing safeguards against raw sewage, contaminated water, and the spread of disease.

The IPC covers:

  • Backflow prevention.
  • Anti-scalding devices.
  • Wastewater management.
  • Pipe sizing.

By addressing these issues, every building in the United States has a level of safety that ensures citizens won’t contract any disease as a result of using their plumbing.

Express Plumbing a division of EPS Inc. has been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades.  We focus on preventative care measures and work with local municipalities to rehabilitate existing systems, residential and commercial partners throughout the South Bay.  This effort avoids emergencies from arising and we are the emergency response plumbers to rely on.  We simply get it done!

How to Avoid Covid-19 Misinformation and Rumors

Before believing any social media-based information, online articles, or other word-of-mouth, you should conduct a background check of the idea in question. Snopes and FactCheck.org are two of the more reputable options online for identifying truth and misconception regarding Covid-19. In addition, you should always seek out information from reputable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the official web pages or social media accounts of local, state, and federal governments.

Contracting Covid-19 is a concern of many Americans. But by maintaining proper social distancing guidelines, following shelter-in-place procedures, and ignoring untrustworthy news sites, you can separate fact from fiction. By doing so, you can eliminate unsubstantiated fears and use your toilet, shower, and sink without fear of coronavirus contamination.

As an essential plumbing service provider in the Bay Area.  We continue to service our municipal, commercial and residential customers.  We’ve advised our employees to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding hygiene, social distancing and personal travel, and we’ve reinforced existing company policy encouraging employees who exhibit flu-like symptoms to stay home and consult with a medical professional.

We are here to serve our community as always and you can rely on us as your Bay Area emergency response plumbers.


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hire a plumber bay area

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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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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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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Plumbing Troubleshooting Tips

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Plumbing issues come in a variety of sizes. From small matters that you can fix yourself to major problems that require the aid of a trained professional, plumbing doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.

However, troubleshooting the problem and finding the root of the issue can help determine a repair plan and save you time and money. Whether you have a leaky faucet or a sewer backup, here are some plumbing troubleshooting tips to get your pipes and water system back to full functionality. Brought to you by our plumbing company in the Bay Area.

Troubleshooting Toilets

The two most common toilet problems are a running toilet and a clogged toilet. A running toilet is fairly easy to diagnose. When you can hear water running when the toilet isn’t in use, chances are you have this issue.

If left untreated, a running toilet can run through over 200 gallons of water a day, causing your water bill to skyrocket. Checking the flapper valve, replacing the float, or checking the tank for sediment will often fix a running toilet.

Clogged toilets provide a more serious problem. When clogged, they can overflow and cause a mess of gigantic and often disgusting proportions. Most often, a plunger will do the trick, but if that’s not enough to amend the situation, you may need to call a plumber to snake the line.

Troubleshooting Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes are one of the more serious plumbing problems you may face. When pipes leak, they can damage furniture, wood flooring, and wood subflooring, as well as attract pests such as cockroaches and silverfish.

Fortunately, leaky pipes are fairly easy to diagnose. To find the problem, look for puddles of water collecting beneath your pipes. If these pipes are exposed, such as in a basement, locating them is far simpler.

However, pipes located within walls often need a plumber’s touch. In cold weather climates, proper pipe insulation is necessary to avoid pipe bursts. If you don’t see insulation wrapped around your pipes, visit a hardware store to get the necessary supplies.

Troubleshooting Faucets

Perhaps the most common and easy-to-diagnose problem is a leaky faucet. These leaks are also one of the most irritating plumbing issues. Between the dripping sound and a higher water bill, leaky faucets are enough to drive a person crazy.

The good news is that figuring out the source of the problem is straightforward. Nine times out of 10, a washer within the faucet has become worn or dislodged and needs replacing. With the right tools, this is a quick fix. If you aren’t a handy, DIYer, a quick call to the plumber is just as effective.

Troubleshooting Drains, Sinks, and Tubs

Clogged drains, sinks, and tubs pose a threat to your home if they cause overflows and spillage into places susceptible to water damage. A visual inspection of the drainage will let you know if a clog is apparent. At that point, diagnosing the underlying cause isn’t as easy. In kitchen sinks, fats, oils, and food particles can cause a clog, as well as a dirty garbage disposal.

Bathroom sinks, showers, and tubs can have the same drainage problems caused by soap scum buildup and hair. Oftentimes, you can remove the drain cover and pull out the clogging offender. If this doesn’t troubleshoot the issue, a call to Express Plumbing in the Bay Area is a necessity.

Troubleshooting plumbing issues is something every homeowner must deal with at some point in time. Armed with these tips, you can find, diagnose, and treat many simple problems, but you don’t have to be a hero. If a plumbing situation comes up that’s outside of your area of expertise, don’t gamble on the well-being of your home.

Call our professional plumbing team in the Bay Area and ask us to properly diagnose the plumbing problem. An early and correct diagnosis will save you time and money.


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Hydrojetting Bay Area Services

Clogged Drain with Standing Water: How to Fix It and When to Leave It to Professionals

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From the kitchen to the bathroom, a clogged drain starts as a minor nuisance, but it can quickly escalate to a full-blown catastrophe. While gentle plunging or manually removing the obstruction can sometimes solve the problem, clogged drains with standing water are another deal entirely. The DIY handyman within may try to rectify the issue at hand, but oftentimes your lack of expertise will make this process difficult. The next time you have a clogged drain with standing water at your home, here are some tips on how to fix it and when it’s best left to professionals.

What Causes a Clogged Drain with Standing Water?

Clogged drains have numerous causes, but each manifests itself over different lengths of time. In the bathroom, hair, dirt, and soap can generate a fair bit of buildup, especially if you have a larger family or an influx of guests for a special occasion. Causes of kitchen draining problems can include food waste, grease, and items that can’t be broken down by a garbage disposal.

Other times, clogged drains are out of your control. Tree roots can damage your pipes and obstruct water flow, while hard water and insoluble items and can result in mineral buildup. These two conditions are far easier to diagnose and usually require the help of a professional.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Liquid Chemical Drain Cleaner

When you have a clog, your first instinct is to go to the hardware store and purchase a liquid chemical drain cleaner. These cleaners work wonders on small clogs, but they also have several downsides. Liquid drain cleaners don’t always work on every pipe, and their harsh chemical makeup can actually corrode your pipes after just a few uses. On top of that, it’s also toxic and harmful to the environment. Although tempting, leave the chemical drain cleaners on the shelf.

When to Try DIY Solutions for Your Clogged Drain

If you’re in a pinch or short on time, there are some DIY solutions to help you fix a clogged drain. For minor clogs, pour vinegar down the drain followed by baking soda. This combo will create fizzing action that will remove some debris. Using a plunger and dumping boiling water down the drain is also proven to eliminate some clogs.

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When to Call a Professional for a Clogged Drain

When you’ve tried the DIY options to no avail, it’s time to call the experts. Not only can they diagnose the problem, but they can provide several options to clear the clog. Commercial-grade plungers used by pros can take care of some clogs, but powerful tools such as a snake or an auger are the only viable solutions for clogs that are deep within your plumbing system. Most often, these deep-rooted clogs are the main source of standing water or recurring clogs.

If that still doesn’t clear up the problem, our plumbers can use hydro-jetting technology, which shoots a high-strength burst of water through the pipes to help remove any obstructions.

Express Plumbing is a division of EPS Inc. in the Bay Area. Our team of plumbers will provide you with an estimate prior to completing any project. If you’re interested in complex underground construction services, visit our civil engineering division in the Bay Area for more information.

Don’t let a clogged drain and standing water make everyday life a pain. By knowing what causes clogs, some easy home remedies, and when to call a plumber, your water is free to flow throughout your home.


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