Tag Archives: plumbing problems

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Fall Plumbing Adjustments Around the House

Fall Plumbing Adjustments Around the House

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Fall isn’t just a time when the leaves start falling, the kids go back to school, and the summer ends. It’s also a great occasion to do stuff around the house, and in particular, plumbing. Now that the hectic pace of summer has died down, you finally have time to do all the things you wanted to do months ago. And since your plumbing has probably taken a beating due to lockdowns and quarantines, it’s the perfect time to get a jump-start on everything before winter rears its ugly head. Here’s what you should do.

The Water Heater Debacle

Traditional Tank water heaters aren’t a bad investment per se. But if you live in a family of five or more, you certainly don’t want to be the last person to take a shower. While a cold shower might invigorate you and conceivably save water as you rush through your bathing regimen, upgrading to an on-demand water heater is perhaps the better option.

Although a bit more expensive than tank water heaters, you’ll know just where your money went. Every time you turn on the shower or faucet, you have instant hot water, essentially circumnavigating the cold-water issues you had in the past.

Our team at Express Plumbing can evaluate your water heater situation and make a recommendation.  We have helped hundreds of homeowners in the Bay Area make the switch from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater.

Garbage Disposal Repair

Have you noticed that your garbage disposal isn’t crushing up food particles as it has in the past? It’s nothing you did; it’s just the nature of garbage disposals. Like any other type of appliance in your home, it’s going to need maintenance from time to time.

To fix your garbage disposal, start with the easiest remedy: ice. When you pour ice down the drain and turn on the disposal, it effectively sharpens the blades, which could be the source of your problems.

If the problem is with draining, you have two other options. A plunger is a great way to remove clogs while baking soda and hot water solutions can help remove more stubborn clogs. Toss in a lemon afterward to clear the smell and your garbage disposal is like new.

Got any more questions about common plumbing problems?  Give us a call, we love helping our neighbors and residents throughout the Bay Area.

Sprinkler Maintenance

Depending on where you live, fall means more rainfall. In the spirit of water conservation and saving money, you may as well conduct some sprinkler maintenance and take care of nature’s natural watering. Some things to look for include:

  • Puddles of water, which indicates a leak in the system
  • Sprinkler heads spraying the wrong way, which means they’re clogged or obstructed
  • Dead zones, which may be the result of broken lines or mechanical malfunction

If you keep your eyes on these problems, you can make sure your sprinkler is ready for the spring and turn your yellowed lawn into the green envy of the neighborhood.

Since sprinklers run at odd hours, you may not see the problem right away.  Make sure to manually run your sprinklers during the day at least once a month and monitor each location for any leaks.  Avoiding or ignoring this problem can be costly in the long run.

Cleaning the Gutters

With the torrential downpours of fall also comes a potential flooding hazard with respect to your gutters. When gutters are clogged, water goes closer to your house, which may result in leaks in the basement foundation. By cleaning the gutters of debris, you force the water flow away from your house, keeping your basement bone-dry in the process.

Know When to Call a Pro

Not every fall plumbing adjustment is easily handled by a novice DIYer. For those jobs, enlist the help of a plumbing professional. With just a quick call, you can fix minor problems before they become a huge issue in the winter. All that’s left to do is enjoy the change in foliage, Halloween, and maybe just the idea of the kids being out of the house.

We have been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades.  EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing is equipped and staffed to handle any size project.  No job is too small or too big for our crew to handle, simply give us a call and we’ll be there to take care of your plumbing issues 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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Clogged Garbage Disposal at Home What Should I Do

Clogged Garbage Disposal at Home: What Should I Do?

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You’ve probably been there before. You put some end-pieces of food down the garbage disposal, turn on the water, and flick the switch. Quickly the sink fills up with water, and even the grinding of the disposal does nothing. You have the dreaded clogged garbage disposal. But as frustrating as it is, don’t stress. By learning what causes a backup and following a few tips, you can get your garbage disposal up and running in no time at all.

Why is my garbage disposal backing up?

Our San Mateo plumbers serving the Bay Area have reported that several culprits can cause clogged garbage disposal, but the most common reason is improper usage. Many people throw all types of food in the sink that shouldn’t go in there. Furthermore, if you’re not using enough water when you use the garbage disposal, the system can’t flush the food particles down through the trap and pipes.

One of the less common reasons that you should consider if you’re using enough water and only flushing the right types of food down the drain is the condition of the blades. Over time, food can dull the blades of the system, and they’re no longer sharp enough to cut the food into small enough pieces.

Furthermore, a unit that’s 15 years old or more may be at the end of its useful life.  If you end up with a clog, give our experienced technicians a call.  As your local Bay Area plumber, we’re here to make sure drains flow properly so you don’t have to worry about it.

How to drain a clogged garbage disposal?

The good news is that you have several options to drain a clogged garbage disposal. Before getting into these, it’s important to note that you should avoid drain cleaners. While these may work, they’re not environmentally friendly and should only be used as a last resort.;

One of the most efficient ways to clear a clogged garbage disposal is to use a plunger. You can use a toilet plunger, but for sanitary reasons, you may want to consider a sink plunger, which is also a bit smaller and makes it easy to plunge away.

Another option is to use an environmentally-friendly mix of baking soda and white vinegar. Pour one part of baking soda down the drain followed by two parts white vinegar. This will cause a fizzy chemical reaction that can break down food in the line. Flush it clear with water after about 20 minutes.

As a last resort, you may have to give us a call to amend the problem. Don’t go under the sink and start taking apart pipes or the garbage disposal unless you’re confident in your abilities. Otherwise, you might make the problem worse or your sink inoperable.

How to avoid a clogged garbage disposal?

If you want to avoid a clogged garbage disposal, don’t put any of these foods down the drain:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit pits
  • Pasta
  • Grease and oil
  • Celery
  • Bones

Each of these items can clog or even break the garbage disposal. If you have quite a bit of acceptable food, make sure to put it down the drain in small batches to avoid overworking the unit. You should also keep the water running while you’re grinding up food to flush it down the drain and through the pipes.

Finally, you should conduct proper maintenance on all your drains and plumbing throughout the house. Throw ice in the drain once a week to sharpen the blades, as well as a lemon, which can help break down certain foods and provide a better odor.

A clogged garbage disposal is a nuisance, but with preventive ideas and maintenance, you can steer clear of the problem altogether.

These tips and more are available from our experienced crew of plumbers in the Bay Area.  We’ve been serving our community for multiple decades and operate 24 hours if you ever need us.  We look forward to serving your home or business.


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You’ll Love These Cool Plumbing Hacks Around the House

You’ll Love These Cool Plumbing Hacks Around the House

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The easiest way for a homeowner’s day to be ruined is waking up to the drip of a leaking faucet, or the backup of water in the shower or tub. However, you don’t have to let these occurrences keep you from other obligations or activities. These five easy and quick plumbing hacks will allow you to remedy the problems and enjoy the rest of your day.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Poor drainage is generally a small, but annoying indoor plumbing problem. This lack of water flow is usually caused by minerals, food, or hair buildup. If you have tried the usual baking soda or pot of hot water down the drain and came up empty-handed, a concentrated homemade drain cleaner is the quick and easy solution.

To create this homemade drain cleaner, start by pouring a pot of hot water down the drain. Then, add ½ a cup of vinegar and ½ a cup of baking soda into the drain. Let sit for 10 minutes. Follow up with two pots of boiling hot water to clear the drain. If the drain isn’t cleared, give our team of Bay Area plumbers a call, we’ll get your clogged drain flowing right quickly.

Increased Shower Water Pressure

Showers can be the most relaxing part of your day. It can be a time to unwind and de-stress before or after an event. But if your shower’s water pressure isn’t quite up to standard, a soothing experience becomes an annoyance. Fortunately, you have numerous ways to increase your shower’s water pressure, even if you aren’t a DIYer.

Three simple fixes could turn that shower into a high-pressure stream instead of a dribbling hose. The first is to dip your showerhead in a bowl filled up with vinegar and let it sit overnight. Afterward, clean the surface of the head with a toothbrush to break up any particles or debris.

The second option would be to check for kinks or knots within the hose if your shower uses a flex pipe instead of PVC or metal piping. If you have PVC or metal pipes, simply check to make sure all valves are opened. The third and final tip would be to flush the lines in your water heater to improve water pressure and flow.

Stop A Running Toilet

The constant drone of a running toilet is not only an annoying sound but a telltale sign that it needs a bit of TLC. However, you can easily resolve the issue in a few simple steps.

One way to stop a running toilet would be to check the required water height and examine the float. If the water levels are low in the toilet, it could cause the toilet to run continuously. Checking the float and the water levels could help alleviate this problem.

If the water levels are normal, you could have just a simple issue with your flapper. Check your flapper and see if the lack of suction is the reason your toilet will not flush properly or continues to run. If this seems to be the case, drain your tank, remove the flapper, and take it with you to the hardware store to find another flapper that fits your toilet. You can also order a one size fits all flapper online if that suits your needs.

Handy Options for the Novice Handyman

Even if you aren’t the handiest homeowner, knowing a few quick, simple, and long-lasting fixes can make homeownership just a tad easier. With any luck, you can put these problems behind you and enjoy a functional plumbing system that makes cooking, cleaning, and bathing a cinch.

If you’re a homeowner in the Bay Area, we’re here to help you with all your plumbing issues.  From clogged drains to leaky faucets, repairs, and new installations.  Whether the issue is above or underground.  Give us a call for a plumbing quote.


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

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

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

Install Low-Flow Faucets in Your Sinks

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

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

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

Install Curtains and Blinds

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

Quit Drinking Bottled Water

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

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

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

Insulate the Water Heater

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

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

Come Up with Your Own Hacks

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


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Spring Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spring Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips

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

Checking the Pipes Underneath Your Home

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

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

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

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

How To Maintain Your Pipes and Drains

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

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

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

Test Your Sump Pump

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

Flush Your Water Heater

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

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

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

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


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Why You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Drain

Why You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Drain

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

Never Pour Hot Oil Down the Kitchen Sink

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

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

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

How to Properly Dispose of Hot Oil

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

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

Other Drain Clog Prevention Tips

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

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

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

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


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Your End of Year Plumbing Checklist Is Here

Your End of Year Plumbing Checklist Is Here

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

Have Your Sewer Inspected

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

Toilet Maintenance

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

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

Check for Leaks

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

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

Inspect and Flush the Water Heater

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

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

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


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Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Fall

Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Fall

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Although you may have numerous home improvement projects that need your attention this fall, don’t forget about your plumbing. Because many problems aren’t easily seen—especially to the novice plumber—they can spiral out of control without proper care and maintenance. Even little issues such as a running toilet or a leaky faucet can cost you tons of money on your monthly water bill. That’s why you need to employ these seasonal plumbing tips for fall if you live in California. By doing so, you can resolve any issues or problems that can end up costing you a small fortune.  Our team of Bay Area plumbers loves sharing tips without community that will save them from plumbing disasters and unnecessary spending in the long run.  Here are a few you can easily implement this fall.

Adjust Your Sprinkler System

Lawns still need the same amount of water during fall, so resist the urge to dismantle or winterize your sprinklers. Instead, use the fall to maintain your sprinkler system so it’s functional in the fall and ready to go in the spring. Remove each of the sprinkler heads and wash them to remove debris. Then, take out the nozzle body and wash them using a few drops of dish soap and water. Finally, place the sprinklers back in the ground and turn them on to remove the last bit of silt and dirt.

Check the Outside of Your Home

The fall is also the ideal time to check the outside of your home for potential problems. For example, leaves can decompose and clog gutters and downspouts, making a potential water damage hazard. You should also inspect the roof of your home for any issues, which can be done when cleaning the gutters. Finally, make certain that your downspouts are connected to the gutter so that water flows to the appropriate areas.

Inspect for Water Leaks

Often, water leaks can cause damage to homes simply because they’re hard to identify. During the fall, take time to inspect areas where you may find leaks or potential water damage. Basements are notorious for having leaky pipes, so search for any pools of water or moisture. In addition, you should inspect the areas around your toilet, bathtub, and shower. If the caulk around these fixtures is broken, water can seep into your flooring. If you find a lack of caulk, remove the old bead and put down a new one.

Take Care of Your Water Heater

As the temperatures cool, the last thing you want is cold water in the shower. Therefore, you can take a few steps to ensure your water heater is working properly. Flush the water heater to remove any residue and check your water heater supply lines to ensure that they’re free of corrosion.  Express Plumbing also recommends looking into an instant water heater which is commonly referred to as a tankless water heater.  Immediate hot water and big savings!

Check Your Sewer System

The threat of a sewer backing up into the home is a scary thought. Fortunately, fall is the perfect time to check your sewer system for potential hazards. Because tree roots won’t grow as fast during this time of year, you can check to see if they’re impeding your sewer line and fix them appropriately. If you have a septic tank, have it pumped during fall to ensure it works during the holidays.

 

By taking the time to create a fall plumbing checklist and scheduling annual maintenance, you can reduce the chances of a catastrophe—even in the mild California winter. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your plumbing system during the extensive use of the holiday season. That’s a holiday present that’s worth giving to yourself.

 

Our Bay Area plumbing team is always eager to assist you whether you need a repair or new plumbing installation.  Contact us with any questions you have.

 

 


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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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Minimize Plumbing Catastrophes by Identifying Slab Leaks Quickly

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COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on your plumbing. The excess strain put on plumbing systems due to stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine has left water lines and fixtures handling the extra workload. One such problem is a slab leak. These leaks can cause catastrophic damage if not fixed properly, and require the expertise of a skilled plumber. If you think you may have a slab leak, here are the steps you should take to minimize a disaster.

What Is a Slab Leak?

A slab leak is a leak that forms in the water lines underneath the concrete foundation of your home. Because of their location, they are often difficult to detect. However, slab leaks can do catastrophic damage to your home. If left untreated, slab leaks can damage the concrete foundation, erode the soil, and waste thousands of gallons of water. In severe cases, slab leaks can even cause a portion of the home to collapse.

Causes of Slab Leaks

Slab leaks have numerous causes, making them more difficult for homeowners to prevent. Some of the most common sources of slab leaks include:

  • Corrosion caused by pipe contact with the soil. This is especially common in copper piping.
  • Abrasion as a result of pipes rubbing against gravel or rocks. As most foundations have backfill with rocks in them, the expansion and contraction of pipes due to weather can cause them to rub against rocks, pebbles, and gravel.
  • Shifting of the foundation can move the pipes underneath your home, which can cause them to burst and form a slab leak.
  • Poor installation is another factor in many slab leaks.

How to Identify a Slab Leak

One of the major problems with slab leaks is that they’re hard to find. However, homeowners may realize slab leaks with more regularity due to stay-at-home orders and time spent inside. If you’re not sure if you have a slab leak, look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Low water pressure.
  • Warm or damp floors.
  • Sounds of running water when the water is off.
  • Water meter moving when all water is off.
  • Standing water around the perimeter of your house or in the basement.
  • Issues with mold.

How to Fix Slab Leaks

While some of these signs may be the result of a different issue, the only way to assess the problem is by hiring a plumbing expert. With their experience and expertise, these professionals can locate the problem and offer suggestions on how to move forward. In most instances, jackhammering the floor and replacing the pipes or rerouting the pipes are the most viable and cost-effective options.

Plumbing isn’t something that most people are highly skilled in. That’s why, especially during COVID-19, our Bay Area plumbers are in high demand, especially if you have a slab leak.

If you think you may have a slab leak, do everything you can to keep our plumbers safe. Wipe down all surfaces and try to maintain social distancing rules.  Our plumbers continue to provide essential plumbing services in the Bay Area to our commercial, residential, and municipal customers while following all recommended CDC guidelines.


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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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