Tag Archives: plumbing

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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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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 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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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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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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How Do I Know if My Plumbing is Bad

How Do I Know if My Plumbing is Bad?

Tags : 

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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How Plumbing Improves Our Daily Lives and Our Planet

How Plumbing Improves Our Daily Lives and Our Planet

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Modern plumbing has changed the lives of Americans over generations. In 1950, 25% of households and 50% of rural areas lacked either running water, a toilet, or a bathtub/shower. Today, just 0.64% of American homes are without running water — a testament to the prevalence of modern-day plumbing. But with the advancement of plumbing has also come another boon: saving the planet. With water-saving fixtures in abundance, Americans enjoy convenience at home and the satisfaction of preserving the world — one drop of water at a time.

The Convenience and Innovation of Modern Plumbing

As innovative products continue to hit the market, plumbing has become more than just a modern convenience; in many instances, it’s a luxury item. From the amazing to the borderline excessive, here’s a look at some of the current plumbing products that continue to revolutionize the housing market.

Tankless Water Heaters

The days of the giant water heater tank are over, well, at least if you have the budget to upgrade to a tankless water heater. Using a heat exchanger, these systems heat water as it flows through the device, providing on-demand hot water without the need to wait. In addition, tankless water heaters can save up to 34% on energy costs compared to traditional water heaters, saving you money each time you turn on the tap.

If you’re looking into a tankless water heater in the Bay Area, call us for a free estimate, our team of experienced plumbers have installed hundreds of instant water heaters for homeowners throughout the San Francisco Bay.

Smart Products

Smart products are becoming a part of daily life for many Americans. From doorbells to virtual assistants, these products are all designed to make life just a bit easier. In the past five years, smart products have branched out into the plumbing sector. This includes products that detect leaks, purify water and alert you of any bacteria via Wi-Fi and even Bluetooth showerheads.

Touchless Faucets

Although touchless faucets have been around in commercial buildings for a decade or so, they’re becoming more popular in homes. Using a sensor to detect the presence of an object, these faucets turn off and on without you turning the tap. Not only is this more convenient, but it can also save you money while you’re multitasking in the kitchen or bathroom.

How Modern Plumbing Improves the Planet

While modern-day plumbing offers the utmost convenience, it also improves the well-being of the planet. Droughts and water shortages have become a regular occurrence in many parts of the world. But with water-saving plumbing fixtures, these instances are becoming a thing of the past.

Furthermore, modern plumbing practices in the U.S. are being applied in other areas of the world that don’t have access to clean water. Through various international initiatives, underprivileged areas are now receiving water for the first time — helping to quench thirst and eradicate waterborne diseases at the same time.

Express Plumbing is a division of EPS Inc. which specializes in underground construction, civil engineering and is also involved in working with local municipalities to regularly inspect underground drinking water lines.

Like any other industry, the plumbing sector continues to evolve and grow. With more new homes built every year and the plumbing profession growing by 4% over the next 10 years, chances are that new products will continue to make indoor plumbing safer, convenient, and planet-saving.

As your Bay area plumbers for multiple decades, our goal is to have you enjoy your home without plumbing issues but to also preserve our planet by advocating for advanced environmentally friendly plumbing solutions.  Contact us for all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.

 

Sources:

https://www.portapotty.net/plumbing

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm

 


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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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Do You Know What Ends Up in Plumbing A Few Interesting Things Found!

Do You Know What Ends Up in Plumbing A Few Interesting Things Found!

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Few people can remember the time before indoor plumbing. A time when using the bathroom meant a trip outside, regardless of the weather or temperature. But today, indoor plumbing is a luxury that many people take for granted. It makes every person’s life easier, as long as they maintain their pipes and plumbing system.

However, plumbers have plenty of amusing stories. All kinds of items end up in pipes, toilets, sewer lines, and other fixtures throughout the home, leaving your plumbing professional with tales to tell for years to come. Here are some of the best.

Strange Items in the Toilet

Plumbers already have to deal with nasty clogs and human sewage. But these natural byproducts and substances aside, they still find strange or interesting things from time to time.

Dentures

If you have to hurl, make sure to take your dentures out before doing so. One plumber in California complained about a clog, and when the plumber snaked the toilet, a pair of dentures came out. Turns out the owner of the home had a meeting with the toilet after a night of heavy drinking.

Hair…Lots of Hair

Hair is a common blockage in many bathrooms drains. But some are longer than others. On several occasions, plumbers across the country have removed hair clogs totaling more than 8 feet. That’s just gross.

Toys

Toys end up in the toilet all the time. But when kids flush them down, the weirdest blockages occur. Plumbers have reported everything from dinosaurs to rubber duckies and more.

Rings

A plumber in Ohio reported finding four class rings in one plumbing job. Going the extra mile, he returned the rings to the individuals, creating an impromptu class reunion. Few other ring loss stories have such a happy ending.

How to Prevent these Items from Entering Your Plumbing System

Prevention and good habits are a one-two punch that can prevent extra phone calls to the plumber. Some tips to keep foreign objects out of your plumbing include:

  • Keeping your ring in a box or safe place; never laying it next to the sink
  • Having a small chest or container in the bathroom for bath toys
  • Cleaning the hair from your drains regularly, especially if visible, or add a strainer at the drain to catch the hair.
  • Supervising children in the bathroom at all times

Sometimes, random items will enter your pipes even when you take the proper steps. In these instances, you can always try plumbing or snaking the drain yourself. If that doesn’t work, enlist the help of a trusted, reputable, and qualified plumber.

Other Items to Keep Out of Your Plumbing System

In addition to random objects, jewelry, and toys, you should also keep these items out of your plumbing system:

  • Grease
  • Dental floss
  • Harsh drain cleaners
  • Fibrous vegetables and other food items such as egg shells, rice, onion, celery
  • Wet wipes (even the “flushable” variety)

Each of these items can cause a nasty clog that’s often unremovable without the help of a plumber. Therefore, it’s best to prevent these from entering the plumbing rather than trying to clear the clog afterward.

Although the above stories are amusing, they’re far less entertaining when they actually happen to you. So, make sure to take the necessary steps to keep foreign objects out of your toilet and keep up on routine and preventive maintenance. By doing so, you ensure a fully functioning plumbing system that won’t become the source of funny or horrifying plumber folklore.

With the holidays upon us, and kids at home, there’s a lot for you to handle, just know we’re here to assist when you need us 24/7 including holidays and weekends.  Consider us your “always ready” local plumber.


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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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