dish washer running while taking a shower in San Diego, CA dish washer running while taking a shower in San Diego, CA dish washer running while taking a shower in San Diego, CA dish washer running while taking a shower in San Diego, CA dish washer running while taking a shower in San Diego, CA dish washer running while taking a shower in San Diego, CA

Can I Take a Hot Shower While My Dishwasher is Running?

Are you having issues with maintaining enough hot water for all of your daily activities? Your hot water works hard 24/7 to make sure you have enough hot water for your showers, laundry, dishes, and hand washing. But can it give you all of those things at once? One common question we get is whether or not it’s ok to take a hot shower while running the dishwasher or washing machine. Our answer: it depends on your water heater, the size of your home, and many other factors. One way to find out for sure? Try it.

Things to Consider Before Running Your Shower and Dishwasher

  • Water pressure

One thing that you might notice if you take a shower while your dishwasher is going is that your shower head will have less water pressure. This might result in a less than optimum shower experience, although you should still have enough water pressure to get adequately clean (both your body and your dishes).

  • Temperature

Of course, you also have to consider the water temperature. If you’re running hot water for your dishes and hot water for your shower, you might deplete your water heater’s ready hot water supply. If you try it and your shower turns lukewarm or cold at the end, you know you’ve gone through all the available hot water.

  • Water heater capacity

How big is your hot water heater tank? If you recently did the laundry and then ran the dishwasher and you have multiple showers going on at once… you’re probably going to go through your hot water supply before it has time to build back up. If you are frequently running out of hot water and aren’t able to adjust your schedule, consider installing a tankless hot water heater for your bathroom.

  • Showering with hot water used by dishwasher, in San Diego, CA. The length of your shower

If you are prone to taking 20+ minute showers, consider cutting back. Or, if your shower time is set in stone, forgo running the dishwasher at the same time and opt for running it before or after your shower.

  • Your dishwasher’s efficiency

You also need to think about the volume of hot water your dishwasher is using each cycle. Try upgrading to a high efficiency dishwasher to cut down on water use. This will also allow you to run multiple fixtures at once without running out of hot water.

San Diego stinky garbage disposal needs cleaning by My Plumber CA . San Diego stinky garbage disposal needs cleaning by My Plumber CA . San Diego stinky garbage disposal needs cleaning by My Plumber CA . San Diego stinky garbage disposal needs cleaning by My Plumber CA . San Diego stinky garbage disposal needs cleaning by My Plumber CA . San Diego stinky garbage disposal needs cleaning by My Plumber CA .

Why Does my Garbage Disposal Smell Like Sewage?

Is your garbage disposal smelling more and more like the food scraps it’s supposed to be eliminating? A stinky garbage disposal isn’t pleasant to say the least. First you might catch whiffs of the stench while rinsing dishes, then you might be chopping veggies on the other side of the kitchen, and eventually the stink can permeate your entire house. If your garbage disposal smells like sewage, it’s time to take action – fast. Wonder why your garbage disposal smells like sewage no more, and instead take action by checking to see if you’re experiencing one of the issues below.

1.    You need to clean your garbage disposal

Stating the obvious? Perhaps. But we can’t leave this one off the list. If your garbage disposal smells like sewage, try clearing out the disposal. It’s really easy for foodstuffs to get stuck to the blades, especially if you’re not running your disposal as often as you should. Try refreshing the disposal by putting lemon slices down the drain and letting the disposal blades grind them up.

2.    Your P-trap (or S-trap) needs some TLC

If your disposal is clean, then perhaps your p-trap is dry. The p-trap should always have water in it, because this water forms a seal that blocks nasty smelling sewer gas from escaping into your home. If the p-trap is dry, it can’t do its job, and your nose will suffer. Have a plumber inspect the p-trap for leaks, blockages, or air pockets.

3.    You have a ventilation problem

Your sewer line also needs to have proper ventilation. The sewer vent is usually accessible via the roof (be careful climbing up there), and can occasionally get clogged with leaves and other debris. You can try clearing it out by hand, or try running water down the vent opening with a garden hose. Clearing out the vent allows your system to maintain the appropriate pressure to seal away the sewer gas smells.

If you’ve tried all of the above and your garbage disposal still smells like sewage, it’s time to call in the professional. You could have a larger issues, such as a main sewer line clog, which will require the skills and tools of the pros.

thumping sound after water heater use in San Diego, CA. thumping sound after water heater use in San Diego, CA. thumping sound after water heater use in San Diego, CA. thumping sound after water heater use in San Diego, CA. thumping sound after water heater use in San Diego, CA. thumping sound after water heater use in San Diego, CA.

Why is My Water Heater Making a Thumping Noise?

Is your water heater making a thumping noise? It’s not a thief in the night, or a solicitor knocking at your door – it’s your trusty water heater. You might have dealt with a variety of other water heater problems before, like no hot water, inconsistent hot and cold water, or a leaky water heater. But your water heater also has a voice of its own, and will occasionally make thumps, bumps, and groans. But what do they mean? And what should you do about them? We’re here to help.

The Hard Water Problem

Water heater problem fixed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA. If your water heater is making a thumping noise, it’s likely due to sediment build-up from hard water in your area. This can be a serious issue for your water heater, and one that should be attended to immediately. If you know that you live in an area with particularly hard water, then it’s important that you look out for a thumping water heater. When the minerals in your water are heated (specifically, when calcium carbonate is heated) they start to settle to the bottom, creating a problem for your water heater. Sediment build-up reduces efficiency, and also circulates throughout the rest of the water heater.

What Can You Do to Stop the Thumping?

In order to get rid of the thumping water heater problem, you’ll need to remove the sediment from the tank. This can be done via a tank flush (which, realistically, should be done on an annual basis at least). You can flush your water heater yourself, or have a professional plumber do it for you. The tank must be flushed through the drain valve, and you can perform either a full flush (the water heater must be fully shut down) or a mini flush (which is easier, but not as effective as a full flush). Flushing the water heater will prevent corrosion, rust, and will also improve the efficiency of your water heater.

water pressure booster installed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA. water pressure booster installed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA. water pressure booster installed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA. water pressure booster installed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA. water pressure booster installed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA. water pressure booster installed by My Plumber CA in San Diego, CA.

What is a Water Pressure Booster?

Are you suffering from low water pressure, or water pressure that fluctuates throughout the day? This can be a frustrating problem, whether you’re noting low water pressure in your shower, at your kitchen sink, or elsewhere. But the good news is that you don’t have to live with low water pressure forever, and there are several tools and procedures that can help you to improve your water pressure problem. One of these tools is a water pressure booster. But what exactly is a water pressure booster?

My Plumber CA installed a water pressure booster  in a San Diego resident's home. A water pressure booster pump works alongside your expansion tank. Your water pressure booster, depending on which type is installed, is either on-demand or manually activated, which allows you to choose when you want increased water pressure. You should work with your plumber to determine which type of booster is right for you and your budget, since an on-demand system can be a bit more costly.

How Can I Benefit from a Water Pressure Booster?

Here are a few signs that you might benefit from a water pressure booster:

  • Your faucet only dribbles water
  • You see inconsistent high and low water pressure depending on the time of day
  • Your water pressure fluctuates depending on the temperature
  • One or more of your plumbing fixtures is exhibiting low water pressure at the same time

We also want to remind you that if you’re experiencing low water pressure, you should first contact your plumber for a plumbing inspection. Your low water pressure can be cause by a variety of issues, including a water leak, corroded pipes, mineral build-up, and more. Don’t ignore the issue, but instead call your service provider for an inspection. If no obvious cause for your low water pressure is found, then they might recommend a water pressure booster. Work with your technician to determine which model is right for your home or business, and get back on track with normalized water pressure once more!

Winter Hose storage for San Diego Plumbing issues in winter Winter Hose storage for San Diego Plumbing issues in winter Winter Hose storage for San Diego Plumbing issues in winter Winter Hose storage for San Diego Plumbing issues in winter Winter Hose storage for San Diego Plumbing issues in winter Winter Hose storage for San Diego Plumbing issues in winter

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter in San Diego

We’ve finally reached the first day of winter in 2016, and that means the cold days and nights are in full swing. Even though San Diego is blessed with what the rest of the world considers warm temperatures all year long, the temperature can still dip into the 30s on the rare occasion. What does this mean for your plumbing? Frozen, cracked, or burst pipes at its worst. Even if we don’t end up seeing freezing nights this winter, it’s important to know how to prepare your plumbing for winter in San Diego – if not now, then for future years to come. Below we outline 5 tips for winter plumbing preparation that you should follow in order to ensure the longevity of your plumbing system.

1.    Know Where the Water Main Is

First thing’s first – you NEED to familiarize yourself with your plumbing. We recommend that everyone in the home knows where the water main shut-off valve is. Why? The kids need to know in case there’s an emergency leak while mom and dad are at work or on vacation, and mom needs to know because, let’s face it, handywork isn’t just for men. If a pipe bursts or a sudden leak occurs, the first step should always be to turn off the main water valve and stop more (extremely expensive) damages from occurring.

2.    Insulate Your Pipes

Cold pipes become brittle, and this means a greater risk for cracked or shattered pipes – and, consequentially, leaks. All pipes that are exposed to the outdoor air should be insulated, and if they already are, you should check to make sure all insulation is still intact. We’ve heard stories of rodents eating away at insulation, so keep an eye out. If you have an attic or crawl space, make sure the pipes are insulated there as well.

3.    Store Your Hoses

You likely won’t be watering your lawn in winter (especially because your lawn goes dormant when it’s cold outside). Your gardening hoses are made of rubber which, you guessed it, becomes brittle when exposed to extreme cold. You might as well pack up and store any hoses that you aren’t using so they stay durable for longer. You should also empty out your spigots so that there’s no water insdie that will freeze and cause damage.

4.    Drain Your Sprinklers

You should also winterize your sprinkler system by draining any remaining water from the pipes. Remember, water freezes, and when it does it expands. This means that pipes with water inside will be at risk for bursting when exposed to freezing temperatures. Before retiring your irrigation system for the season, run them one last time for good measure.

Winter plumbing issues in San Diego, CA. 5.    Inspect for Leaks

Have your local plumber check your plumbing line for leaks before winter starts. Any leaks, no matter how small, will be a rude awakening if you wait to fix them until the spring. Small constant leaks all winter mean a big spike in your water bills, and you need to save all your pennies during winter for buying holiday gifts!

Invest in Preventative Seasonal Maintenance

The main takeaway we want you have is that seasonal maintenance is not a joke. By being proactive instead of reactive, you can spare yourself a lot of stress and a lot of money on fixing your plumbing line. Call your local plumber today to schedule winter maintenance for your plumbing line in San Diego, CA.

A person fills a cup with San Diego tap water. A person fills a cup with San Diego tap water. A person fills a cup with San Diego tap water. A person fills a cup with San Diego tap water. A person fills a cup with San Diego tap water. A person fills a cup with San Diego tap water.

San Diego Tap Water: What You Need to Know

San Diego Tap Water: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re visiting from another country or moving to San Diego permanently, you’ll likely have a ton of questions about the area. What are the best restaurants? Are there good schools for my kids to attend? Does it ever drop below 65 degrees? How much does it cost to get into the San Diego zoo, and how far is it from Disneyland? But there’s another question we think you should add to your list: is San Diego tap water safe?

image of san diego tap water faucetSan Diego Tap Water is Among the Worst in America

While San Diego is fortunate enough to be in a country that has safe drinking water (if you are fond of international travel, you should bookmark the traveler’s guide to tap water), that doesn’t guarantee that it is perfect (or great tasting). In fact, in 2011, San Diego was rated by 24/7 Wall St. among the 10 U.S. cities with the worst drinking water. As a resident of San Diego, this isn’t something you’d like to hear. But knowing this, why exactly does San Diego’s water supply taste so bad? And what can we do about it?

What’s in San Diego’s Water Supply?

Having safe drinking water doesn’t guarantee that all water tastes the same. Pure drinking water is odorless and tasteless, but tap water does have a taste due to the added minerals. Fluoride, chlorine, chloramine, salt – any or all of these substances can be present in our drinking water.

So what is it that makes San Diego tap water taste so awful?

According to a recent report by the California Department of Public Health, there were 8 chemicals present in San Diego’s tap water that exceeded healthy limits – and 2 that exceeded the EPA’s limits. Among these chemicals were manganese and trihalomethane.

Every year, the City of San Diego publishes an annual water quality report, detailing the results of their tests on the city’s tap water supply. For the most up to date information, check the reports published on this official website.

Is it Safe to Drink?

Yes, you can drink San Diego’s tap water (you can thank backflow preventers for that.) Whether San Diego resident fills a glass with local tap water to drinkor not you’ll think it’s tasty, however, is another issue altogether. Many residents of San Diego complain about how awful the water tastes, often sharing stories of newcomers who foolishly drank the tap water only to complain about its flavor. So while San Diego tap water is safe to drink, it’s not tasty. We recommend that everyone filter their water in order to get optimum flavor.

What is San Diego doing to improve the tap water? The city of San Diego isn’t blind to the fact that many of its residents find the tap water horrible. Currently, San Diego is piloting a purification project to see if they can provider cleaner water than ever before. Stay tuned for more information as the project unfolds and, hopefully, gets approval by the California Water Resources Control Board and other groups.

How Can You Make Your Water Taste Better in San Diego?

So you know that San Diego tap water tastes atrocious – but what can you do about it?

1. Drink bottled water.

This is perhaps the easiest solution, but not necessarily the wisest. Sure, you get the benefit of having good tasting, pure drinking water wherever you need it. But if you’re drinking as much water as you should be each day, then you’re going through hundreds of plastic water bottles at the end of the month. For the environmentally conscious, this isn’t a viable option.

2. Get a Brita filter.

Many San Diego residents opt for a Brita filter (or other similar product) to solve their tap water issues. While it does take some upkeep to remember to refill the pitcher and replace the filters as needed, it still guarantees good tasting drinking water without all the extra plastic bottles.

3. Install an in-home water filtration system.

We recommend this option for commercial institutions and for individuals whose health conditions require them to have the purest levels of drinking water in the home. While the systems can be expensive up front, once installed, they last for years and only require regular filter replacement. For water filtration installation in San Diego, call My Plumber CA to discuss your options and take a step toward purer at-home drinking water.

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Top 3 Solar Water Heater Reviews

Image of rooftop solar water heater in San DiegoSolar water heaters are slowly becoming more and more popular, especially as households and businesses try to cut down on energy consumption and be more environmentally friendly. Because of the gaining popularity, more plumbers are starting to offer solar water heater repair and installation. But what is the best water heater on the market today? Our experts at My Plumber CA are here to share with you our top 3 solar water heater reviews so you can make the most informed decision for your home. Don’t forget to check out our post on whether tankless or solar water heaters are right for you.

Solar Water Heater Reviews

  1. American Electric Direct

Price: $1698.09

Warranty: 6 year residential with option of 10 year extension; 3 year commercial

Review: The low price of the American Electric direct water heater makes it an appealing option for individuals trying to convert to solar power. Take note, however, that this is the price for the tank alone. Other parts must be purchased in order to complete this solar water heater system. The advantage of being able to purchase the tank separately means that you have more versatile repair options in the future. We recommend talking with a professional plumber to work out the ideal setup for your home or business

 

2. Rheem SolPak Gas Solar Water Heater

Price: $5965.97

Warranty: 6 year limited tank warranty, 10 year limited collector warranty, 2 year limited pump warranty

Review: You probably first noticed the steep price for the Rheem SolPak gas system. It’s important to note that this price includes all of the necessary parts, including the controller, HE tank, mixing valve, thermal expansion kit, collector, and pump. You can purchase this unit with one or two solar panels depending on your unique needs. If your solar juice runs out, the gas system kicks in to ensure you’re never without hot water.

 

3. Cirrex Electric Solar Water Heater

Price: $1199.95

Warranty: 10 year solar collector warranty, 6 year booster tank warranty, 2 year pump warranty, 1 year parts warranty

Review: Cirrex boasts that their solar water heater systems can obtain 70% of their power from solar before having to resort to the backup electric source. Instead of solar panels, this unit uses solar thermal collectors that cost just a fraction of panels. As an Energy Star certified system, users may qualify for a federal credit for up to 30% of the unit’s cost.

Newly installed solar water heater for a home As you consider making the switch to a solar water heater installation in San Diego, we encourage you to read water heater reviews, do lots of research, and ask your professional plumbing provider for any tips and tricks before making the big purchase.

fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance.

Your Fall Water Heater Checklist

October and early Fall is a great time of year to perform regular maintenance on your water heater. With the colder weather comes more wear and tear on your system, and it’s best to catch any small problems early on before they become big issues in winter. Keeping your best interests in mind, we’ve created a simple fall water heater checklist for you (or your licensed service provider) to complete on an annual basis.

Water Heater

Your water heater works tirelessly to keep your, well… hot.  Don’t forget to give it some TLC this fall by performing the following:

  • Drain the tank
  • Check or replace anode rod
  • Check gas and electrical lines
  • Look for signs of rust or corrosion
  • Check for water leaks
  • Leave space around the water heater
  • Check the temperature pressure relief valve
  • Check temperature settings
  • Check expansion tank (if applicable)

Note that we advise you to perform this check list throughout the year – not just in fall. We recommend our customers obtain bi-annual water heater maintenance at the very least.

Drainage System

Fall is also a good time to have your home’s drainage system inspected, since leaves, tree roots, and other debris can obstruct your plumbing and cause water damage or worse. Have a plumber inspect your drainage system with a video camera to diagnose any leaks, cracks, or other obstructions that would otherwise only get worse in colder weather.

Preventative Maintenance is Your Friend

Remember that preventative maintenance is not just a gimmick to get you to spend more money. By allowing a professional plumber to inspect your water heater and other plumbing, you’re allowing them to help save you money and also make sure that your water heater and other appliances are in tip-top shape for the long winter. Call your local plumbing professional today for a water heater check-up and video camera inspection of your sewer line!

Someone washes their hands with water that smells like sulfur. Someone washes their hands with water that smells like sulfur. Someone washes their hands with water that smells like sulfur. Someone washes their hands with water that smells like sulfur. Someone washes their hands with water that smells like sulfur. Someone washes their hands with water that smells like sulfur.

Why Does My Water Smell Like Sulfur?

Do you love the smell of rotten eggs?

That’s not really a question, since the unanimous answer from all homeowners is a loud and definite, “No way!” However, we’ve had a few clients ask us why their water smells like sulfur over the years – and the reason why is somewhat surprising. Luckily, there is an easy fix for the nasty odor, and it’s something you can take care of yourself if you’re handy when it comes to basic water heater maintenance.

Drain the Water Heater

Hydrogen sulfide is naturally present in some water sources. That’s just a fact. You might notice a homeowner has water that smells like sulfur and prepares to drain his water heater.the smell only when you first turn the water on, or especially in one area of the home like the bathroom or shower. The first thing you should do is drain the water heater. Realistically, you should be doing this on an annual basis anyway, and draining the water heater will certainly do no harm. Some of our customers have told us that draining their water heater on a monthly basis (not all the way, but maybe 10 gallons each time) has helped to keep the water from smelling like sulfur.

Check the Magnesium Corrosion Control Rod

If draining your water heater didn’t help, then changing the magnesium corrosion control rod definitely will. It takes a bit more handywork to replace, but it’s a surefire way to remove the rotten sulfur smell from your water. The actual cause of your smelly sulfur water is a reaction between bacteria present in the water with the magnesium and aluminium anode rod in your water heater, together creating hydrogen sulfide gas. You can replace your water heater’s magnesium anode rod with an aluminium/zinc anode rod for a permanent fix.

For Those with Softened Water

The trick of replacing the magnesium corrosion control rod won’t work if you have softened water. The science behind it is a little bit dry (essentially, softened water promotes production of hydrogen sulfide gas, aka “the smelly stuff”), but luckily there’s an easy fix to this issue, too. A powered anode rod will solve the issue of your water smelling like sulfur if you have softened water in your water heater.

 

If you’ve suffered from water smelling like sulfur, try following the steps above to see if your smelly water issue is fixed. If you feel uncomfortable performing any of the above steps, call your local plumber for help.

a water meter in ca a water meter in ca a water meter in ca a water meter in ca a water meter in ca a water meter in ca

Why Does My Water Meter Spin Backwards?

There’s a good chance that you’ve never really taken a good look at your water meter. Or at least, not in a long while, and maybe only when you’ve suspected there was a leak. The truth is that not everyone is familiar with their water meter, how to read it, and how it should function. We’ve recently had one of our clients call stating that their water meter was spinning backwards, and they weren’t sure what that could even mean. If you’re also wondering, “why does my water meter spin backwards?” read on to find out more.

1. Improper Installation

This is the first in our list because it’s also highly probable. We’ve seen a lot of weird things, and a water meter that was improperly installed wouldn’t be the most surprising on the list. For reference, the meter should be installed so that the arrow on the meter is facing the direction of water flow.

2. Backflow

Let’s assume that your water meter is indeed installed correctly. If the meter is still spinning backwards, what then? It could be indicative of a larger problem – backflow. Backflow is when water flows incorrectly in the wrong direction. This would definitely make the meter spin backwards, and warrants a call to your local plumber. Backflow can occur due to either back pressure or back siphonage, which are essentially too high or too low of pressure in the system.

3. Broken Water Meter

Let’s not forget that aside from the issues outlined above, water meters do sometimes break. If you’ve had your water meter properly installed and there’s no backflow situation going on, then it could be that your water meter is broken. Contact your local water supplier and explain the issues. They’ll be able to send someone out to inspect your water heater and advise you on what to do next.

If you’ve been wondering why your water meter spins backwards, it’s important that you take note of our advice above. Don’t let the problem go unsolved – check for a backflow issues, or have your water meter fixed sooner rather than later.