Tag Archives: plumber

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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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Most Common Holiday Plumbing Problems We’ve Seen in the Bay Area

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You’re right, plumbing problems aren’t specific to geographic locations, but we can only speak about our plumbing emergency experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This time of year, everyone is in a festive mood as they should be, but there’s nothing worse than a plumbing disaster striking right in the midst of a holiday event, but our plumbing crew will tell you it happens all the time.

As a Bay Area plumber since 1989, we’ve been called night and day to deal with plumbing emergencies for businesses, homeowners, even municipality plumbing issues , the number of residential plumbing problem calls always increase around the holidays, why?  The plumbing does take a large beating with the above average use during this season.  Here are the most common residential plumbing problem calls we’ve received.

Common Plumbing Problems and Prevention

Garbage Disposal Stops Working

With so many tasty dinners around the holidays, of course their are many broken garbage disposals. There are however a few things you can do to prevent this from happening or at least delay it so you can remain in a festive mood.  Your garbage disposal is not a dumpster.  Keep things out of it, it’s that simple.

Sure, many will tell you to cut things into smaller pieces, or to only put certain types of foods down the garbage disposal.  As your trusted Bay Area plumber, we say to avoid it all together around the holidays because we want you to enjoy the holiday season free from any unexpected plumbing issues.

Broken Water Heaters

We get called for this all the time, and it’s always fun when the water heater is not broken at all, the igniter goes off and no more hot water.  This is usually a quick fix and we all get back to our holiday festive moods.

One year a San Francisco resident was so excited after finding out her water heater was not broken at all, it had just shut off, she had our tech Joe stay for dinner and celebrate Christmas eve with her family.  It’s moments like these that we enjoy and help us love what we do even more.

We serve our community with dedication and a rapid response 24 hour a day, 7 days a week including the weekends and holidays.  We do it with a smile.  If you have a plumbing problem in San Francisco, call us and you’ll get a live person whenever you call.

Here are a few things you can do if you have a traditional water heater when you’re expecting a few overnight holiday guests.

Turn up the temperature, but never go over 120 degrees, it can be dangerous, this will help you stretch your hot water and insure everyone gets a nice comfy shower.  Remember to turn it down right after they’re gone so you don’t waste too much and save energy.

If you have an on-demand water heater (tankless water heater), you don’t have to worry about hot water at all.  When you want it, it’s there.

Last but not least, we hate to talk about a pesky, stinky plumbing matter, but we simply can’t avoid it because it’s one of the most common plumbing problems during the holidays.

Clogged Toilets or Sewer

With so many guests in and out of the bathroom, that’s bound to happen.  Not to mention, after a few drinks, who knows what’s being flushed down the toilet.  If you don’t normally keep a waste basket close, get one!

Remind your guests not to flush sanitary napkins, baby wipes, facial tissues, etc.

We’re always available to help including holidays and weekends, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a plumber near just in case.  Leak detection, Sewer repair or replacement is our specialty.

These are just a few of the calls we’ve received in the past, we hope these tips will help you and from our entire plumbing and engineering team at EPS Express Plumbing, we wish you and your family a festive, holiday season filled with love, laughter and free of plumbing problems.

Rapid Response:

The Holidays seasons is one of our busiest months, we serve the entire Bay Area, but call us when you need a trusted, fast response:

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san mateo clogged drain expert

Proper Maintenance to Avoid A Clogged Drain

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Clogged drains account for the majority of residential plumbing emergencies.  Homeowners and business owners throughout the Bay Area can avoid a clogged drain by following a few maintenance tips on a regular basis.

Prevent a Slow Clogged Drain in the Kitchen

Preventing slow and clogged drains is the first step in avoiding a plumbing emergency.

Cooking Grease, and coffee grounds are two of the major every day items that go down the drain.  Avoid putting them down the drain all together by adding them in an old coffee can and dispose of them in the trash instead of the kitchen sink.

Coffee grounds are also great for plants, if you have a backyard garden, add them to the mulch pile, and watch your flowers bloom.

Clogged Bathroom Drain

Soap scum and toothpaste account for many of the bathroom drains our plumbing technicians see.  It’s quite difficult to avoid this but there are other things you can avoid such as hair going down the drain which will help you drains remain clear longer.

Place a screen that will catch the hair before it goes down the drain and create a clogged build up.

There are custom screens specific for your drain available at the local hardware store.  Snap a picture on your phone before going the store, this will help you get an exact fit screen.

Maintaining Drains while Saving the Environment

The EPA says that Americans toss approximately 4.5 pounds of garbage every day.  Avoiding clogged drains by properly maintaining them also includes not putting things down the drain that can hurt our environment.  Medications, flammable liquid, and paint are a few of the items to avoid all together.

Here are the alarming results of pouring these 7 things down the drain.

Our Bay Area residential plumbing experts are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends.  As an emergency plumbing company, we enjoy sharing some of the things you can do every day to avoid having to call us in the first place.

If you’re following a proper drain maintenance plan but still end up with a clogged drain, give us a call and we’ll be happy to serve you anywhere in the Bay Area.

 


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Sewer Line Problems – Tips To Avoid Tree Roots in the Sewer Line

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The most common clogged sewer line repairs are the results of tree roots finding their way into the sewer line.  It seems almost impossible to avoid this situation underground, but here are some tips to help you avoid costly sewer line repairs.

Although Express Plumbing specializes in sewer line problems and repairs, we believe prevention is the best policy and this is one of the reasons we are the #1 referred sewer line experts in San Mateo and all Bay Area cities.

Locate Your sewer line

It’s best practice to know exactly where the lines are in your yard and around your home, before you start digging or planting.  Homeowners and business owners can easily find the exact location of underground utilities by contacting the local public works department or the national “Call Before You Dig” 811 number.

Choose Sewer Line Safe Plants

If you’re planning on planting around your home, and you’ve located your sewer lines, try to choose plants that are safe for your sewer line and do not have expanding and overgrowing roots that will reach the distance.  Limit the amount of plants you place close to your sewer line location to avoid sewer line plumbing problems.

tree roots sewer line problems

Here are a few trees to avoid placing over your sewer system.

  • Australian acacias
  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Cypress
  • Elm
  • Eucalyptus
  • Maple
  • Mesquite
  • Mulberry
  • Pepper Tree
  • Poplar
  • Sycamore
  • Willow

If roots have already invaded your sewer line, you may have a problem that needs addressing immediately.  Sometimes the roots from a neighbor’s home will encroach onto your sewer line and this will require you to work closely with the neighbor to address the problem.

Catch  Sewer Line Problems Early

sewer line camera inspectionClogged drains happen all the time and for different reasons, but if you notice you’re having a continuous problem with drains clogging, it may be time to look closer and avoid a bigger plumbing problem.

Frequent Overflowing toilets are also another sign that it may be time to have a regular sewer line inspection done.

Our San Mateo plumbers perform sewer line repairs in the Bay Area frequently.  We also help many homeowners avoid costly sewer line repairs by providing a sewer line inspection service.

It’s important to know what’s lurking in your sewer lines and a video camera inspection can help us catch small plumbing problems before they become a serious plumbing emergency.


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Is Your Home or Business Earthquake Ready?

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CNN reported at least nine people died when a 6.2 magnitude earth quake struck near Ueki Japan.  In the Bay Area we’re always at risk of a large magnitude earthquake and one of the main reason earthquake shut off valves have become increasingly popular.

earthquake ready

No one is ever earthquake ready, but taking small preventative steps to protect your home and family is easy by installing an earthquake shut off valve.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Japan

What is an Earthquake Shut Off Valve?

A shut off valve is simply a valve that shuts off the flow during an emergency, there are various valves for various applications and one of the most popular ones is a seismic gas shut off valve which shuts off the natural gas service when an earthquake of a sufficient size occurs at your home or business.

Homes and businesses in the Bay Area are built to withstand a certain magnitude earthquake, but this doesn’t mean that gas leaks and water leaks will not occur even if the house or commercial building is still standing.

Preventing explosions, fires, and other disasters from happening during an earthquake is one of the most important preventative steps we can take as homeowners and business owners.

Our Bay Area plumbers in San Mateo CA specialize and provide our clients with options, and techniques that help them save time, and money while preventing plumbing disasters from happening.

Earthquakes are bound to happen, it’s a matter of “when” so don’t ask yourself “if” you should take these precautions seriously.

We offer free estimates, and 24/7 live operators to help you during an emergency.  Give us a call at 650-343-9477 if you’re interested in learning more about the cost and time it takes to install an earthquake shut off valve in your Bay Area home or business.


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EPS, Inc. dba Express Plumbing is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and customers. Read More

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