Tag Archives: home improvement

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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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3 Common Residential Plumbing Questions & Answers

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As a trusted plumbing company, we regularly get asked plumbing related questions, whether our plumbers get asked on-site or we get answer requests on the web. We’ve compiled a quick list we hope you’ll find beneficial.

TOP RESIDENTIAL PLUMBING QUESTIONS

My toilet keeps running long after flushing, how can I quickly stop that?

A running toilet, can waste a lot of water, it can also be quite annoying to hear the sound non-stop.

The reason your toilet keeps running is the rubber flap in the back of the tank. Take the top off the back of the tank, flush the toilet and watch the flap. Does it close the opening all the way? If not, re position the flap directly over the hole, and that should stop it.

Our hot water runs out quickly, I haven’t called a plumber because we get hot water, it just doesn’t last, what can I do?

Answering this question will depend on the type of water heater you have. Type and size of the water heater will have an effect on the amount of hot water produced.

If you have an electric water heater, one of the heating elements could’ve stopped working. There are two elements that heat up the water, one is on top and the other is on the bottom, thus reducing the amount of water available.

The size of the water heater and capacity will also make a difference, usage, etc. Did your family size recently increase? Are you running appliances you never ran before or more often?

Our experienced Bay Area plumbers will look at various situations, and test to determine the reason for the problem. Our estimates are complimentary, for a more detailed diagnosis, it’s best to call a plumber on-site.

You may also want to consider a tankless on-demand hot water heater. There is no tank, and the water is heated as its being requested throughout the house, so you never run out of hot water.

I have an ongoing issue with a clogged drain, it’s happening more frequently, can you tell me what could be causing this and if it’s safe to use chemical drain cleaners often?

Drains get clogged for multiple reasons, in the kitchen for example, if you’re not careful with what you put down the drain, the buildup can cause it to clog. In the bathrooms, hair, soap scum, oil residue, etc.. can also cause continuous clogs.

If the problem is persistent, you could have issues with other areas in the pipes such as tree roots, or a clog further down the drain. A video camera inspection should reveal the exact location and allow our plumbers to eliminate the problem for good.

As to whether it’s a good idea to continuously use chemical drain cleaners. We prefer preventative measures such as drain covers that minimize what goes down the drain, rather than harsh chemicals.

Drain cleaners are toxic, it’s not a good idea to keep them around the house with pets and children around. You may want to check into drain protection covers or bacteria and enzyme solutions available on the market, safer for the environment and safer on the pipes.

For serious clogged drains, contact our Bay Area Plumbers to clear the lines quickly.

 

We hope you found some of these topics helpful and something you can benefit from at your home.
If you have plumbing, and home improvement questions you’d like answers to, feel free to contact us, we’ll have our experts give you their professional advice and share it on our site with other homeowners.

If you need a reliable plumbing company in the Bay Area, we’ve been providing services since 1991 to commercial and residential clients. Our plumbing estimates are complimentary, and we take price in providing the highest quality plumbing service, guaranteed.


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Common Summer Residential Plumbing Projects

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Every year you may encounter major or minor home repair and plumbing issues. Depending on the age of your home, some issues might be larger and quite costly.

summer plumbing projects bay areaMany homeowners opt to embark on summer projects early to address these issues. Plumbing projects are those that affect your everyday life inside or outside the home.

Some projects you can do alone, and others will require a professional plumber to handle.  If any of your projects need us, schedule your free estimate early by giving us a call.  We serve the entire Bay Area including San Francisco, Alameda County, San Mateo, Burlingame and all surrounding areas in the Peninsula.

Here are a few of the common plumbing projects our residential clients have requested.

Installing a Hot Water Heater

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Hot water heaters are one of the most important appliances in the home. They are instrumental when it comes to heating cooking and bathing water. When these appliances malfunction, they can cause all sorts of problems. Leaks are just one issue you may have. Installing a new hot water heater requires specific expertise.

Give us a call for a free estimate on a new traditional water heater or tankless water heater installation. Learn more about investing in a tankless water heater.

Pipe Replacement

Older homes often have plumbing components that are outdated. There are instances when plumbing pipes require replacement. Our Bay Area experienced plumbers know what pipes are needed for your plumbing system.  We are the experts in trenchless pipe replacement, ask us all about it by giving us a call for a free estimate.

Upgrading Plumbing Hardware

Faucet and fixture replacements are probably the top requested calls.  You may choose to replace them because you don’t like the look anymore, or because they’re no longer functioning.

Replacing a bathroom or kitchen faucet is easy, but if not professionally done and well installed, you may end up with a leak and a more costly project.  Repair and Maintain things early to avoid plumbing problems.

Experienced plumbers are those that are certified to work in this industry. They have the expertise required to fix plumbing problems. At Express Plumbing, we’ve been serving our Bay Area neighbors since 1989.  We only hire experienced plumbers, and we guarantee your satisfaction with every plumbing project we perform.


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Why is Pipe Insulation so Important?

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Applications of pipe insulation are often overlooked and misunderstood by homeowners. They never understand how important pipe insulation is when it comes to plumbing. However, if you knew where and how to use pipe insulation, you would not only end up increasing the face value of your house but also improve the overall energy efficiency.

energy efficient

There are a large variety of materials for pipe insulation. You can find pipe insulation in either polyethylene, rigid foam, rubber, glass or mineral wool. The purpose remains the same in every type of insulation. Take a look at the following advantages of pipe insulation, regardless of the type of materials employed:Why You Need Water Backflow Preventers 2

Thermal Insulation In Cold Weather

Imagine taking a shower in extreme cold weather and you notice that there is no hot water. This is a worst case scenario that can happen during the cold winter months due to the bursting of pipes. This would then result in taking a cold freezing shower. Pipe insulation can help prevent such accidents and also save you from the crippling repair and cleaning costs that follow thereafter.

Pipe insulation allows for the smooth flow of water by slowly transferring the heat to the much colder environment outside from the pipes, preventing the liquid from freezing up. Therefore, it is also important that during installation of pipe insulation, immense care is taken to avoid any gaps that might expose the pipes to external cold air.

Providing Warmth Within The House

Pipe insulation is quite handy during the cold winter months as it brings a new option to the table for keeping each room in your house warm and cozy. This means that no matter what the temperature is outside, your house can stay as warm as you want. Insulation pipes make it quite sensible for application due to ever increasing heating and fuel prices. If you use sleeves to clad the pipe, you can insulate your cold and hot pipes quite effectively and deal with any damage caused by extreme temperatures.

Energy Conservation

Efficiency of the water heater can be greatly improved with the help of pipe insulation. The amount of heat lost within the surrounding environment is greatly reduced. The reason why it is hard to retain hot water without the insulation is because pipes can generally bleed heat out into the surrounding areas creating a drop in the temperature of hot water.

To sum it up, a good pipe insulation can help you improve the overall efficiency of your house, save energy and save hundreds of dollars spent every year on energy bills. It is important that you do not ignore the small wear and tear of the insulation pipes as they may turn out to be a big expense for you one day.

We’ve been providing quality plumbing and engineering services in the Bay Area since 1989.  We take great pride in giving our clients information that will help them save time and money.  If you have other home improvement ideas you’d like to share, let us know and we’ll be happy to mention you when we do.


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