Tag Archives: plumbing problems

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Remodeling Your Bathroom Check Out These 4 Modern Plumbing Innovations

Remodeling Your Bathroom? Check Out These 4 Modern Plumbing Innovations

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Remodeling a bathroom can feel like a giant undertaking and with good reason. With average costs ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, you’re investing quite a bit of your money. The good news is that you can recoup — on average — anywhere from 55% to 67% of your remodel in the increased value of your home. However, you can increase this value even more by adding a few modern touches. If you’re looking to take your bathroom remodel to the next level, consider a few of these plumbing innovations.

1. The Ultimate Shower

You may have thought a high-powered shower head was the ticket to a blissful bathing experience, but today’s innovations take it one step further. The ultimate shower today consists of multiple wall-mounted sprayers mixed with an overhead shower head to deliver a massage, full-body caress that you’re sure to love.

2. The Smart Toilet

Everything in your home is going smart, so why not your toilet? Smart toilets are one of the latest home innovations to hit the market in the past few years. While they may seem a tad overindulgent, they’re actually designed to save you money and keep your bathroom cleaner. Some of the benefits of a smart toilet include:

  • Automatic flushing
  • Sensor-enabled LED lighting that turns on in darkness
  • Self-cleaning options
  • Deodorizing features to eliminate smells

3. Touchless Faucets

Touchless faucets have been a mainstay in commercial properties and public bathrooms for a decade or so. However, the main problem has always been how well they work and constant maintenance.

But in that last decade, the technology has advanced enough that touchless faucets are even making their way into home bathroom remodels. With a touchless faucet in the bathroom, you can cut down on germs and the possible spread of illnesses, all while adding a modern upgrade to your bathroom.

4. Hidden Tank Toilets

The smart toilet is a pretty nifty addition, but if you want to save room and add a futuristic aesthetic to your bathroom, a hidden tank toilet is the way to go. Rather than the tank sitting on the back of the toilet, it’s installed inside the wall. This means that you gain more room and only the toilet seat and bowl are present in the bathroom.

While a hidden tank toilet can cost you between $500 and $1,000, they’re surprising durable, able to withstand up to 500 pounds of weight while also providing the streamlined look you might only see in expensive hotel suites.

Consider a Professional for the Tougher Parts

If you’re a DIY homeowner, calling a professional can feel like you have your tail between your legs. But with things like water and plumbing, an error on your part can turn to catastrophe. So, if you’re in doubt about any part of your bathroom remodel, make sure to call our team at Express Plumbing in San Mateo.

With a mix of experience, knowledge, and expertise, a plumber may cost a bit more, but he or she can make the process that much easier.


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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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5 Summer Plumbing Tips You Need to Know

5 Summer Plumbing Tips You Need to Know

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Summertime is one of the favorite times of the year for most people. Kids can get outside and enjoy the weather and adults can start to think about vacation time. But one thing that’s often overlooked is summertime plumbing. The summertime means more gatherings and outdoor activities, which can lead to more strain on your plumbing system. While your plumbing shouldn’t hinder your fun this summer, you should keep a few tips in mind to keep your system running smoothly.

1. Give Your Garbage Disposal a Break

Many fruits and veggies are at their ripest during the summer, so indulging (or overindulging) is only natural. However, you shouldn’t let these foods destroy your garbage disposal. Make sure you avoid putting banana peels, melon rinds, corn husks, or other hardy leftovers in the disposal to avoid any damage.

2. Inspect for Leaks Around the House

Long winters and even slightly frigid summers can wreak havoc on your plumbing and cause leaks. However, you may not notice them during the spring or early summer, especially smaller ones.

Make sure to inspect the following areas:

  • Outdoor spigots
  • Pool area
  • Showerheads
  • Pipes underneath the bathroom or kitchen sinks
  • Water heater and water softener
  • Basement or crawlspace water pipes
  • Toilets (you can do this by putting food coloring in the tank and flushing it)

3. Find Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

If you aren’t sure how to shut off your water, now is the time. A clogged toilet, burst pipe, or other issues can severely damage your home if you don’t know where to find this valve.

This valve is either a wheel with spokes (often painted red) or a valve that turns at a 90-degree angle to open or close the main water line. Hopefully, you never need to use it, but you can at least know where it is in case of an emergency.

4. Test the Sump Pump

Summer thunderstorms can put your sump pump to the test. For your basement to stay dry, you need to make sure your sump pump is in tip-top condition and in proper working order.

To test your sump pump, go to the sump and dump a bucket of water inside. Make sure it’s turned on. With the water inside the sump pit, your pump should turn on automatically. If it doesn’t or if it’s malfunctioning, you may need to replace it sooner rather than later.

5. Clean the Gutters

Gutter cleaning isn’t always associated with summer plumbing issues. However, your gutters need to be clean and clear to work correctly, especially if you haven’t cleaned them recently. Grab a ladder, remove all the debris, and you shouldn’t have to worry about any leaks in your home or basement as a result of clogged gutters.

Don’t Have Time? Call Your Bay Area Plumber

Even some of the easiest plumbing jobs aren’t always possible if you’re busy or on vacation. So if you come across a plumbing situation that you can’t handle, give us a call.

Experience combined with the most modern equipment and methods used in the industry, we can take care of a minor or major plumbing situation anywhere in the Bay Area quickly.  Our goal is to take care of your home or business so you can enjoy the summertime without worrying about plumbing.


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3 Common Plumbing Issues and How To Avoid Them

3 Common Plumbing Issues and How To Avoid Them

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With the potential for catastrophic damage or even just a hurdle in your daily routine, plumbing issues are one of the most frustrating situations for homeowners. But there’s a way around it. By understanding some of the most common plumbing issues and how to avoid them, you can limit any situation that can derail your daily life or cause unnecessary stress. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can make your morning shower more of a drag than a pick-me-up and can even make your culinary prowess suffer. But as long as low water pressure isn’t from the source, you can still fix the issue.

In most cases, low water pressure is the result of one of the following:

  • Drain clogs
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Water leaks in hidden areas

To avoid low water pressure, always clean your drains (and snake them as necessary), inspect your pipes regularly, and look for water leaks in areas such as the basement, crawlspace, or other areas you don’t normally frequent.

Our team of qualified technicians and plumbers in the Bay Area have helped hundreds of residents resolve low water pressure problems.  At Express Plumbing in San Mateo, we take pride in not only treating the problem but finding the cause.  So your plumbing issue is handled once and for all.

2. Poorly Functioning Water Heater

Going hand-in-hand with low water pressure, or at least in terms of an eye-opening shower, is your water heater. And when it’s not working properly, your mood and morale can suffer.

The average life span of a water heater is about 10 years, so if your water heater is beyond this, a replacement may be the only answer. If it’s younger than 10 years, the issue is often far simpler to fix than you might think.

To fix a poorly functioning water heater

  • Drain it at least once a year to reduce corrosion or sediment within the tank
  • Make sure that your water heater is large enough to support the usage in your home
  • Check all electrical connections to ensure the tank doesn’t have any loose or broken connections

If you’ve ever considered a tankless water heater, contact our Express Plumbing team for a detailed proposal.

3. Running Toilets

While running toilets may not seem like a problem that’s going to cause catastrophic damage to your home, it can cost you hundreds per year! A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, which can wreak havoc on your monthly water bill.

Fortunately, fixing a running toilet isn’t all that difficult, even for a novice DIYer. To fix a running toilet, use these solutions:

  • Check the flapper or float
  • Look for improperly sized flappers
  • Check inside the tank for a corroded or faulty toilet handle

If you find any of these issues, the good news is that most fixes cost about $10 or less, making it one of the least expensive issues to repair out of all of the plumbing in your home.

Know When to Call a Professional

Not every plumbing situation is something you can readily handle on your own. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, but lucky for you, this only means making a quick phone call to our trusted plumbing professionals at Express Plumbing.

For multiple decades, we’ve been providing plumbing services to residents and businesses in the entire Bay Area.  Next time you need a plumber, give us a call and count on us for all your service plumbing needs 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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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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How Do I Know if My Plumbing is Bad

How Do I Know if My Plumbing is Bad?

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A working plumbing system is vital to the comfort of living in your home. However, you can’t simply ignore it. Plumbing requires at least yearly appointments from a professional, but sometimes you can curb plumbing issues by remaining vigilant. By keeping an eye out for these telltale signs, you can tell if your plumbing is bad and get the proper maintenance you need before it becomes a serious or catastrophic issue.

Slow Draining in Fixtures

A kitchen sink or a shower draining slowly is an obvious sign that you have a plumbing issue. Typically, this is the result of hair, food, or soap scum build-up within the area below the drain or in the pipe.

In most cases, you can fix the clog yourself. Simply remove the drain cover in your bathtub or shower and pull out the hair. In a kitchen sink, clear the food out of the pipes or run your garbage disposal. If neither of these fixes the issue, you may need to give us a call to snake the line.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is a common issue in older homes, especially those homes that haven’t been retrofitted with wider PVC pipes. However, a temporary lack of water pressure isn’t always an issue, as it could be the result of a water main issue.

If you consistently have low water pressure, it’s the sign of a larger issue. You may have several leaks or clogs in your pipes that can significantly reduce water pressure. Over time, this can cause more severe leakage or clogs that can cause your drains to back up. So don’t neglect this issue.

Our San Mateo plumbers use leak detection cameras and other methods to inspect the lines in your home.  Identifying any potential problems early will help you fix them quickly and cost less in the long run.

Dirty Water

Discoloration of your water is another problem that homeowners often face. Sometimes, the local water company will identify this as a system-wide problem, which often results in boil orders.

If a boil order hasn’t been issued for your neighborhood or city, it could be an issue with your pipes. Brownish water is often the result of iron seeping into the line from older pipes or a problem with your water heater. If you notice blue or green water, corrosion might be the culprit. Either way, you’ll need to call us just to make sure.

Noisy Pipes

A properly functioning plumbing system should never make any audible noises other than the sound of water running through the pipes when you turn the water on. If you notice rattles, whines, or any other suspect noise, you could have bigger issues.

When your pipes make noises, it’s usually a surefire signal that you have a leak or your bleed-off system isn’t working right. Both issues are not easily fixed by a novice, so make sure to contact us as your local plumber so we can identify and isolate the problem.

Even if you’re not a natural handyman or DIYer, simply looking for symptoms of bad plumbing can protect your home and investment. Once you’ve identified any problems, don’t hesitate to call our experienced local plumbers.  It could make the difference between a small issue that can quickly be fixed and a massive plumbing problem.


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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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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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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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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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