Tag Archives: plumbing emergency

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5 Tips to Avoid a Christmas Plumbing Issues

5 Tips to Avoid a Christmas Plumbing Issues

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When the Christmas season rolls around, you’re already inundated with plenty to do. One thing you don’t want to worry about is your plumbing. Although your plumbing gets kicked into hyperdrive if you have guests and other people to your home, a plumbing disaster is one thing that you can’t afford to have. So, before your guests pull their chairs up to the dinner table, make sure your plumbing is in order with these tips from our team of plumbers at Express Plumbing in San Mateo.

1. Pour That Grease in the Right Place

When you cook meats, you’ll undoubtedly have a bit of grease. But rather than pour it down the drain, make sure you put it in a proper receptacle and dispose of it in the trash. When you pour grease down the drain, you can clog the pipes, which can lead to drain backups and other issues.

2. Insulate Your Pipes

If you’ve lived in your home for a number of years, you probably don’t have to worry about frozen pipes. But if you’ve moved into a new home or you’re expecting an unexpectedly cold winter, you should insulate your pipes as soon as possible.

By insulating your pipes, you ensure that none of them will burst if the temperature drops unexpectedly.

3. Wait a Few Minutes Between Showers

Your water heater is the difference between comfort and squalor when winter comes along. However, you can’t just keep a rolling line of showers when you have guests.

Water heaters need a second to recharge themselves, and they also need a second for the drains to clear. So if you have a packed house, put your foot down now. You need to wait at least 10 minutes between showers for everyone to have the comfort of a nice, warm soak.

4. Don’t Throw Random Stuff in the Toilet

Everyone has “interesting relatives.” So when they come into town, you may come across a moment where you’re worried about what goes into the toilet—outside of the normal bodily functions.

With that said, you need to post a sign or have a constructive conversation regarding what goes in the toilet. To that effect, you need to specifically talk about things that can’t go into the toilet, such as:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cigarette butts
  • Cleansing wipes of any kind—including the supposed “flushable wipes”
  • Paper towels
  • Q-tips and cotton balls

The overarching idea here is that if it’s not No.1 or No. 2, it probably shouldn’t go in the toilet. Otherwise, you could be in for a Christmas plumbing disaster.

Get a Plumber Over to the House Before the Holidays

Perhaps the best tip of all is to call one of plumbers before the holidays even start—just to make sure everything is flowing well. It’s a preventive measure that—even if you’ve taken the necessary precautions—can ensure that nothing catastrophic happens.

Our technicians live and work in the San Mateo area, but we service the entire Bay.  Although we provide you with regular tips for your home plumbing needs.  We also help commercial and municipal clients and are always ready to assist when you need us.

When you hire the Express Plumbing team, you’re hiring knowledge, expertise, and experience to get the job done right. You shouldn’t have to worry about plumbing during Christmas—and we will always make sure that you don’t have to.


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5 Ways to Cut Heating and Plumbing Costs This Winter

5 Ways to Cut Heating and Plumbing Costs This Winter

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Depending on where you live, the winter weather ranges from mild to frigid. While everyone’s different in terms of comfort, you want to stay warm and comfortable. However, that comfort comes with a price. Heating a large or even midsize home is expensive, and if you add in the plumbing bill, you’re looking at quite a sizable chunk of change. Fortunately, you can use these tips to cut your bills while still awaiting the defrost come spring.

1. Flush Your Water Heater

Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, flushing your water heater is one of the best things you can do come winter. When you want to have a hot shower, you shouldn’t have to wait for the water to heat up or sediment coming out of the drain.

That’s why fall is an excellent time to flush your water heater. It gets rid of any issues, assures you hot water, and makes your winter just a little more comfortable.

2. Set the Thermostat

After a hard day, it’s always natural to come home in the winter and crank your thermostat to Florida-like levels. However, even a few degrees of fluctuation can cost you hundreds during the winter. The optimal temperature is right around 68 degrees, so if that feels cold, grab a sweater. You might just be surprised how much you save on your electric bill.

3. Insulate Your Pipes

So, insulating your pipes may not directly help you save money, but the prevention of a burst pipe can potentially save you thousands. Before frigid temperatures hit, you should wrap your pipes with insulation. It only costs a few bucks, and you can avoid a flood in your basement or crawl space that can end up costing you thousands.

4. Do the Ceiling Fan Thing

Every ceiling fan has a little switch on it that reverses the direction of the fan. In the summer, you want the fan to turn counterclockwise so it blows the cool air down on you. But in the winter, you want the opposite.

Switch the fan to clockwise, and the hot air goes to the ceiling. This may seem counterintuitive, but having the hot air above you allows you to keep the house warm while maintaining your body temperature.

5. Fix the Leaks

If you’ve noticed your toilet running or your sink dripping, now is the time to fix the situation. Use the motivation of people coming over for the holidays to do these repairs, and if it’s over your head, you can always call a plumber. It might cost a bit more, but you’ll save on your water bill during the winter and beyond.

Hire a Professional

If you can’t find the time or you don’t have the knowledge to upgrade or fix your heating or plumbing, you should always consult our professionals at Express Plumbing in the Bay Area. Not only will you get great work, but you can always consider a preventive maintenance plan that pays for itself in the long run.

By hiring our team of plumbing professionals, you can do what you do best. Enjoy the winter without the stress of a poor plumbing or heating system.  Enjoy yourself this winter you got the best team of plumbing pros on your side.


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6 Autumn Home Plumbing Tips

6 Autumn Home Plumbing Tips

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As a homeowner, fall is the ideal time to do some final things around the house before winter finally arrives. And while planting a new lawn, doing repairs, and cleaning are all ideal, don’t forget about your home’s plumbing. By planning ahead and doing some routine maintenance in autumn, you can ensure your home’s plumbing is working effectively and efficiently in the winter. Here are a few tips to keep your plumbing humming along this autumn.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Although it’s one of the most dreaded tasks from a homeowner’s perspective, autumn is when you should absolutely make time to clean your gutters. Fall and winter can see an increase in precipitation, but if your gutters are clogged, you risk bringing water into crawlspaces or against the foundation.

Water against the foundation of your home can cause hydrostatic pressure, which can cause cracks or even lead to flooding. Thankfully, you can avoid all of these issues just by scooping out the gunk. Just make sure to wear personal protective equipment, as that debris can be downright nasty.

2. Drain Your Water Heater

Draining your water heater is also an important task in autumn to prevent corrosion, increase heating capacity, and improve the life span of your water heater. It’s a big job if you have a large tank, so calling a plumber may be the better option.

3. Test Your Sump Pump

If your home contains a sump pump, you should make sure that it’s in proper working order, as it’s the only thing keeping your basement dry during a torrential downpour. To test your sump pump, grab a large bucket of water and dump it into the sump container to see if it turns on. Clean any hoses or the receptacle itself as necessary to avoid any clogs.

4. Seal the Gaps

Whether you have an old home or a brand-new one, going around your house with a caulking gun can actually prevent plumbing problems. As you walk around the exterior of your home, seal any holes or cracks to prevent cold air from entering your home. By doing so, you can avoid freezing or bursting pipes come wintertime.

5. Take Care of Your Outdoor Plumbing

While you may still need to water the lawn to get fresh grass seed growing, set a date when you’re ready to turn off your exterior plumbing. Disconnect any hoses, shut off any exterior spigots, and use an exterior shut-off valve whenever necessary. This will allow water to drain from the plumbing so there’s nothing left to freeze or burst the pipes when temperatures start to drop.

6. Call a Plumber

Even the best DIYer may have a situation arise that’s outside their realm of expertise, time constraints, or even a decent YouTube instructional video. For those moments, the only true way to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape is by calling a professional.

We hire the most experienced team of technicians in the Bay Area.  We welcome you to rely on us for all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.  Contact us and we’ll find the most cost-effective way to avoid catastrophe.

By calling us this fall, you can enjoy the holidays and the coming spring without a care in the world. That’s something you don’t get every day.

Contact us with any plans or questions you may have. We service the entire Bay Area, review a list of all our service locations around the Bay.


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Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for a Summer Gathering

Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for a Summer Gathering

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Summer ushers in a time of excitement, parties, and more. So if you’re one of the people who love throwing parties, you’re probably getting ready for the excitement of the season. While food, entertainment, and beverages are an important part of your gathering, don’t forget about your plumbing. During summer, your plumbing can get overloaded, especially during large gatherings. So before you send out the invitations, use these tips to prepare your plumbing for your next summer party.

1. Fix Leaks in the Toilet

You don’t have to witness water around the base of the toilet for a leak to be present. In most cases, the biggest leak is one you never even see: it’s around the flapper. While this may not make an issue during a gathering, or at least not in theory, you may find a larger water bill if you don’t fix this issue. In most cases, all you need is a new flapper, which is cheap and easy to install.

2. Unclog Your Drains

When you have a gathering, your drains are the most likely source of an emergency. If clogged, your kitchen sink and bathroom sink can overflow or even give off an offensive odor. However, these problems aren’t always that easy to diagnose. Check the cabinetry below the drains to check for mold or mildew, as the clog may be in the drain below.

3. Put Hair Catchers in Every Drain

Speaking of clogs, your party guests could inadvertently start a plumbing catastrophe if you don’t put hair catchers in the drains. Particles of food can get stuck in the drain, causing water to overflow. With a hair catcher in place, you always ensure that you won’t have a clogged drain.

4. Let Guests Use All of Your Bathrooms

When you’re a party host, you typically assign a single toilet for the use of partygoers. However, using one bathroom only exacerbates the chance of a clog, especially from repeated use of the lavatory. If possible, open up one or two other bathrooms. Not only will you limit the chance of a clog, but you’ll also cut down on the line for the john.

5. Check Your Exterior Spigot, Irrigation, and Sprinklers

Is a summer gathering really a summer gathering without a bit of fun in the water? If you want to entertain children or adults that still indulge their childlike tendencies, you need an outdoor water system that’s up to the task.

Before your guests arrive, replace any sprinkler heads that are malfunctioning, make sure your exterior spigots work, and assess your sprinkler/irrigation system for any obvious leaks.

Call Express Plumbing in San Mateo

In some cases, small repairs and hacks won’t get the job done. Instead, you need the help of a professional. If you can’t handle an issue on your own, calling us can take the stress and hassle out of the situation so you can get ready for what you do best: throwing one hell of a party.

Express Plumbing has been serving the Bay for over 30 years, and we’re ready to serve you whenever you need us.  Contact us for help.


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4 Spring Home Plumbing Tasks You Can Do Yourself

4 Spring Home Plumbing Tasks You Can Do Yourself

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Spring is finally in the air! While getting outside is probably a top priority, as a homeowner, you always have something to update, upgrade, or fix. One of those is your plumbing. Over the winter, your family and the weather can wreak havoc on your plumbing. But even if you haven’t noticed any changes in your plumbing, doing a quick inspection and completing a few simple repairs is time well spent. So if you’re feeling like Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It, but don’t have a ton of plumbing skills, here are some spring home plumbing tips you can easily do yourself.

1. Check Your Sump Pump

If your home is equipped with a sump pump, spring is the time to make sure it can spring into action when needed. To check your sump pump, follow these instructions:

  • Disconnect the sump pump from its power source.
  • Clean it.
  • Remove the pump screen and clear out any debris that’s in the line
  • Put the pump back together and test it in a five-gallon bucket of water.
  • If everything’s working, pop it back in place and you’re done.

2. Clean Downspouts and Gutters

During winter, your downspouts and gutters get hammered by weather. Plus, you can’t readily clean them when there’s inclement weather or it’s freezing outside. But once spring brings warmer temperatures, you’re ready to clean.

Hop up on a ladder to clean your gutters by hand, disposing of debris and mud in the process. To clean your downspouts, first, test them by putting a hose down one. If the flow of water seems normal, your downspout should be fine. But if you notice poor water flow, you’re going to need to clear the debris. In most cases, you can turn on the hose full blast to get rid of the clog. However, more stubborn debris may require a plumbing snake or high-powered hose.

3. Check for Leaks

This is probably the easiest task for the novice plumber. All you need to do is look around fixtures and pipes to see if you notice any leaks. If you notice some moisture, find out where the leak is coming from to see if you can repair it. If it’s over your head, hire a plumber to take care of the issue.

Our technicians at Express Plumbing always go the extra mile.  On many occasions when they’re called for a problem, they make sure and check the various areas around just to make sure the homeowner did not miss a thing.  Just a small way of making sure we take care of our neighbors.  We’ve lived and worked in the Bay Area for over 30 years and as a family-owned business, we take pride in providing excellence.

4. Test Your Outdoor Spigots and Sprinkler System

Although outdoor spigots and sprinklers can often survive even a cold winter, you may find issues or leaks if you didn’t get all of the water out of the pipes prior to a freeze. The easiest way to determine any issues is to simply turn on the spigot or the sprinkler system. If you notice any leaks, you may have to replace the spigot or the sprinkler heads or lines.

Need Help? Call Express Plumbing

Your DIY skills as a plumber can only take you so far, even with great learning materials like websites and YouTube. So, for the more difficult jobs, it’s best to go with a professional.

Our team of certified technicians and friendly staff at Express Plumbing, you can’t go wrong.  For multiple decades we’ve helped homeowners, businesses, and municipalities achieve the impossible.  No job is too big or too small for our company, we’re experienced and equipped to complete a project efficiently and within budget.  Call us to discuss.


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4 Amazing Home Plumbing Upgrades You'll Love

4 Amazing Home Plumbing Upgrades You’ll Love

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Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, the housing market has boomed. Depending on the location, home prices have surged anywhere from 10% to 20% or more, signifying a hot housing market that’s causing homes to appreciate significantly in value.

If you’re a homeowner, you may have thought about cashing in on the boom. But if you’re happy in your house and still want to add value for the future, plumbing upgrades are a great investment. Here are some of the top home plumbing upgrades that you’ll love.

1. Tankless Water Heater

If you have a giant tank of a water heater, it’s time to modernize your home with a tankless water heater. As the name implies, a tankless water heater sheds the massive tank in favor of on-demand heating. When you turn on the hot water, you don’t have to wait for it to warm up. It’s ready to go.

And because you don’t have to wait for the water to heat, you use far less in the process. In most homes, a tankless water heater provides instant comfort while also saving you as much as 34% over traditional water heaters.

In recent years, Express Plumbing has installed hundreds of tankless water heaters in our local area.  Homeowners love having instant hot water and love the savings they get with each utility bill.

2. Bathroom LED Mood Lighting

So this isn’t necessarily a plumbing upgrade, but bathroom LED mood lighting can certainly improve your mornings or evenings with a splash of color. Available for overhead lighting in the shower or even the showerhead or toilet colored LED bathroom lighting provides the calm you need to start your day or unwind after a long one.

3. PVC Pipes

Unless you live in a newer home, you may have cast iron, clay, or even lead pipes for water and sewer. While these pipes will work, they come with some serious drawbacks:

  • Cast iron can corrode over time, which can cause leaks.
  • Lead can affect your health over time.
  • Clay can break and cause sewage backups into your home or yard.

Due to these problems, PVC pipes are where it’s at. Made from polyvinyl chloride, PVC pipes are non-corrosive and almost universally accepted for building codes. If you have old pipes, PVC can lessen the chance of catastrophe while adding value to your home.

4. Pull-Out Faucets

If you’ve ever been doing dishes and just can’t reach that one spot in a large pan or pot, you’re instantly frustrated. Instead, you have to work overtime to get rid of grease or grime. But with pull-out faucets, your frustration is a thing of the past.

Pull-out faucets provide an extra layer of functionality to rinse out the sink, clean dishes, or just add aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. And with low-cost options and several different finishes such as brushed nickel, chrome, bronze, or even stainless steel, you can match them to your kitchen aesthetics and sense of style.

Express Plumbing is a full-service Bay Area plumber, no project is too big or too small for our experienced plumbers to handle.  Love the home you’re in with so many visual and non-visual plumbing options.  We’re here to answer any questions you have.

Want to Upgrade Your Plumbing? Make Sure to Call a Pro

Even if you’re an avid DIYer, plumbing is one of the hardest trades to master. So, if you want to boost your home’s aesthetic, functionality, and value without any issues, make sure you give us a call and we will only send you the most experienced technicians in the industry.  We’ve been serving our residential plumbing customers for multiple decades in San Mateo and all surrounding Bay Area.


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4 Tips to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

4 Tips to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

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If you live in an area where the temperatures often fall below freezing, your plumbing system is always something to keep an eye on. More specifically, your pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting, which cause catastrophic damage in your home. As a result, preventive maintenance and following a few of these ideas can protect you from a scary situation. This year’s weather in the Bay Area has fluctuated tremendously, make sure to follow these tips to keep your pipes from freezing this winter if the temperature decides to dive.

1. Insulate Unheated Areas

If you have a crawl space, unheated garage, or pipes in an otherwise unheated area of your home, insulate them to prevent freezing. You have several ways to insulate these pipes:

  • Add insulation to these areas, which can also help you save on your energy bill
  • Insulating tape
  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Rubber pipe insulation
  • Foam and foil pipe insulation

Whichever method you choose will depend on your budget, how hard the area is to reach, and how much work you’re willing to put in.

2. Turn the Faucet On

Although you may see a slightly higher water bill, turning on a faucet in your home can ensure that your pipes don’t freeze. You don’t have to turn them on completely, but just a slight drip can prevent bursting pipes.

The reason that this works is because it forces the water in the pipes to keep moving. When water moves, it’s far more unlikely to freeze.

For maximum effect, turn on the faucet that’s the furthest from your water source. This will cause the water to circulate through all the pipes in your house, effectively keeping them from a deep freeze.

3. Maintain Your Thermostat Temperature

While personal finance experts and the Department of Energy agree that you should set your thermostat lower to save money in cold weather, maintaining a constant temperature is more ideal for making sure your pipes don’t freeze.

By setting the thermostat at a constant temperature, you don’t risk pipes getting too cold. Instead, they stay warmer, which makes freezing a lot less likely. A temperature of around 65 to 70 degrees should suffice, but choose a temperature where you’re comfortable.

4. Caulking Time

A final way to ensure that your pipes don’t freeze is to grab a caulking gun and go to town. Cold air can get into your home anywhere a crack or hole exists. When the cold air gets in, the temperature in unheated areas drops, and pipes are exposed to the temperature change.

To combat this drop in temperature, go around the exterior of your home with a caulking gun. Look for any cracks or holes that you can fill, which will effectively keep out the cold air.

What To Do If Your Preventive Maintenance Fails

If you follow the tips listed above, you’ve dramatically reduced the chances of a pipe bursting in your home. But sometimes, the temperature drops so much and so rapidly that it’s out of your hands. So if your pipes burst, make sure to turn the water off and call us to avoid any further damage. Good luck on keeping your pipes intact this year!  We’re here to provide you with exceptional plumbing services to keep your home free from plumbing problems.


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4 Holiday Plumbing Tips

4 Holiday Plumbing Tips

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Whether you’re having friends over for a New Year’s party or enjoying the company of your relatives during Christmas, the holidays are all about getting together and sharing time with others. However, an overflowing toilet, cold shower, or clogged drain can threaten to erode the more enjoyable aspects of the holiday season.

Our residential plumbers in San Mateo have helped thousands of residents in the local area during the holiday season.  So before you have family or friends over, make sure to follow these holiday plumbing tips to avert disaster.

1. Don’t Have Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Everyone is a self-proclaimed master of the culinary arts when the holidays come around, or at least that’s what they think. However, too many cooks in the kitchen can have a profound effect on your plumbing system.

Maybe grandma doesn’t know what goes in the garbage disposal or your niece isn’t aware that oil and grease never go down the drain. Either way, you should only have trusted individuals around the kitchen. If your drain gets clogged, food and celebration gets put on hold. Don’t let this happen to you.

2. Tell Others What Goes in the Toilet (and What Doesn’t)

Not surprisingly, your toilets work overtime during the holiday season as more people come to your house. Yet despite your guests’ familiarity with the toilet, some use it as a disposal for just about everything — even things that can cause your toilet to clog or back up.

If you want to keep your toilet flowing, make a list of things that your guests shouldn’t put in the toilet and post it in a location that’s easy to see. Some things to put on your list include:

  • Feminine products
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental floss
  • Cigarette butts
  • Hair
  • Gum

3. Refrain from Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Drain

You’ve already kept people out of the kitchen to reduce the chance of a clogged drain. The next logical step is to prevent grease and oil from getting down the drain.

When you pour grease and oil down the drain, it solidifies with cold water, even if it was a liquid beforehand. While you’re aware of this valuable information, others might not be. So just as you did with the bathroom, post a friendly reminder that grease and oil should never go down the drain. Instead, have a large coffee tin or other metal containers for disposal.

4. Stagger Your Showers

If you have people staying at your house, you likely have a morning stampede to the shower as your guests try to get a nice, hot shower. However, this shouldn’t become a carousel or revolving door.

If you allow one shower after the other, not only does your hot water run out, but your shower drain can’t fully clear out. As a result, stagger your showers with 15-minute breaks in between. This will make sure your drains don’t get overloaded and everyone gets a hot, refreshing shower.

If you’re not exactly a handyman, don’t stress. Some jobs are better left to the professionals. However, you should move quickly. Many plumbing companies get booked up quickly around the holidays, Express Plumbing in San Mateo operates 24/7 including holidays and weekends.  If you ever need us, simply give us a call.


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How to Winterize Your Indoor and Outdoor Plumbing Before It's Too Cold

How to Winterize Your Indoor and Outdoor Plumbing Before It’s Too Cold

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When the leaves and temperatures start to change, the last thing on your mind is your plumbing. But as a homeowner, seasonal plumbing maintenance is essential to ensure your system doesn’t fail you throughout the winter. So before the cold weather hits, here are some steps to winterize your plumbing.

These tips are provided by our expert plumbing technicians serving the San Mateo and surrounding areas:

Disconnect Hoses from Outdoor Spigots and Turn Off the Water

If you’re a gardener or you have a yard that’s the envy of the neighborhood, you probably have a few hoses hooked up to the exterior of your home. However, these can become susceptible to damage in the winter if the weather gets below freezing. This weather can lead to ice in the water line, which can then lead to built-up pressure that can burst your pipes.

To avoid this damage, disconnect all your hoses and turn the water off to exterior spigots. Then, turn the valve on to release any water that’s in the line. Doing both of these things will make sure that you don’t have any water in the line that can freeze.

Consider a Frost Protector

Once you’ve disconnected the hoses and turned off the water, you may also want to consider a frost protector. These foam insulators fit right over the spigot, adding another layer of protection against frost.

Hot Water Tank Maintenance

Unless you have an on-demand tankless water heater, your hot water tank needs a bit of TLC before winter comes. Start by opening the drain valve and letting the water drain out until the tank is empty. Make sure that you have a drain nearby or in the basement for the water. Otherwise, connect a garden hose to the tank and drain it in a nearby sink.

Next, drain the holding tank to relieve any additional pressure that’s within the system. You can also add antifreeze to the jet pump case as an added safety measure.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

One of the most catastrophic events that can happen to your plumbing in the winter is burst pipes. However, you can prevent this with some quick, easy maintenance. Begin your maintenance by identifying any pipes that are more susceptible to freezing. This might include pipes in crawl spaces, near the exterior of the home, or in unheated places.

Once you’ve identified which pipes may freeze, wrap them with insulation sleeves, heat tape, or foam. This will prevent them from freezing or bursting and it’s a minimal cost compared with the cost of repairing ac burst pipes.

Clean Your Gutters

No one likes to grab the muddy, slimy mess that builds up in your gutters over the course of the year. However, this debris can quickly clog up your system, which in turn, can lead to ice dams or water leaks inside your home. So grab a ladder and dig out all that debris so that water can flow unabated.

While even the novice DIYer can take care of these projects, don’t forget to give us a call for the more tasks or preventive maintenance. With a quick call, you can get peace of mind with a plumbing system that won’t let you down.

Our crew is comprised of experienced plumbing technicians and the most advanced equipment available for plumbers today.  We’ve been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades and are here to help when you need us for all your commercial and residential plumbing needs.


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Residential Plumbing Most Commonly Asked Questions

Residential Plumbing Most Commonly Asked Questions

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When your residential plumbing system is functioning at full capacity, you probably don’t think too much about it. It’s only when something fails, there’s a drip that keeps you awake, or the toilet backs up that your mind finally starts to wonder about the pipes beneath the floor or behind the walls. While even a novice DIYer can fix some plumbing issues, others may require a more professional approach. Either way, getting the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about residential plumbing is the most direct path to keeping your plumbing in business and your mind at ease.

What Should I Do If My Toilet Starts to Overflow?

An overflowing toilet doesn’t just induce panic. It’s downright gross and can damage your home’s flooring, baseboards, and more. But before you have a meltdown, familiarize yourself with the steps to prevent a major catastrophe.

If your toilet starts to overflow, the quickest way to fix it is to take the lid off the tank, reach in, and push down the flapper. Hopefully, this solves the issue.

If the bowl continues to fill, look down at the base of your toilet. You should see some flexible pipe running to the wall. Follow this to the shutoff valve and turn the water off to avert disaster.

What’s the Best Way to Fix a Clog?

Although Drano and other drain cleaners tout themselves as the top solution to plumbing clogs, they’re environmentally unsafe. They may work, but if you don’t want to pollute the water supply, you still have other options.

In bathtubs and showers, the solution is usually easier than you think. Put on a pair of gloves, remove the grate, and reach down inside. A majority of the time, the issue is just a thick clump of hair and soap that’s built up over time. Once you remove this, it should solve the issue.

For your kitchen sink, you should first try a plunger. The suction can force the clog down the drain. If that doesn’t work, pour some baking soda down the drain and follow it up with a few quarts of boiling water.

When Should I Tackle a Plumbing Problem on My Own?

The most important thing to consider when fixing a plumbing issue is if you have the right tools for the job. Many plumbers use a variety of tools that you won’t find in a basic toolbox, so that’s where to look first.

Next, think about your confidence and knowledge to fix the problem. If you aren’t confident or aren’t sure what you’re doing, don’t force the issue.

Sometimes the Smart Move Is to Call a Professional

Even if you’re a driven individual that’s handy with a set of tools, don’t tackle plumbing problems that are over your head. Oftentimes, this can make the problem worse. Instead, call a professional plumbing crew.

By hiring a seasoned plumber, you can make short work of any plumbing problems and, hopefully, solve them before they become a major issue. The plumber may not love you looking over his shoulder, but maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.  At Express Plumbing, we’ve helped residential, commercial and even municipal customers when they run into plumbing issues anywhere in the Bay Area.  Give us a call, we’re happy to help.


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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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