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Having Your Driveway Replaced? You Should Get a Sewer Line Inspection, Too

“I’m so excited to have a sewer inspection this weekend!”…said no one ever.

Even though sewer inspections aren’t exciting, they are still very important. Because you know what is exciting – and not in a good way? Problems with your sewer line.

Let’s take a look at several reasons why sewer inspections are a good idea, and why you should take advantage when you’re having your driveway replaced.

Why Is a Sewer Inspection Important?

First of all, why is a sewer line inspection that important? After all, who wants to have to think about their sewer? Eww.

But that’s exactly why inspecting the line is so important. You don’t want to have to worry about your sewer. If something goes wrong with it, it’s a major pain. Let’s look at a few reasons why.

Save Your Hard Earned Dollars

Replacing a sewer system is very expensive. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work involved just in digging it up. Plus, on top of the replacement, you’ll have to redo/replace your driveway or landscaping depending on where your system runs.

Also, most sewer line clogs develop slowly as a result of wear and tear. Because of this, you may have a hard time getting your insurance to help pay for the replacement.

They might even refuse a claim for damages in the event that your system backs up and causes damage to your home. The idea behind this is that you could have avoided the problem with regular sewer inspections. They can decide they won’t be responsible to pay because you neglected your duty.

The good thing is that sewer systems typically last for a long time. You can generally expect a system to last for around 40 years. However, the fastest way to age your system and speed replacement is to ignore leaks and other problems as they appear.

That’s where inspections come in. Regularly inspecting your system alerts you to blockages, cracks, and other problems. Fix those before they get bigger and you can prevent a nasty backup or other similar unpleasantness.

Plus, a well-maintained system will last much longer. Thus, you won’t have to deal with replacing your entire system so soon.

Roots Can Cause Problems

In addition to normal wear and tear, roots from trees and other plants can cause serious issues with your sewer system.

You might not like what runs through your pipes, but plants sure do! In fact, sewer pipes are an excellent source of both water and nutrition for them.

Thus, roots often seek out your drain pipes. They will grab onto any tiny hole or crack they can find and start growing inside. Not only does this cause an obvious leakage problem, but also once the root gets big enough it can block your drains.

Regular inspections can help you detect these problems before they get big enough to cause serious damage.

How Often Are Inspections Necessary?

How often you should have sewer inspections done can vary a little. If your system is 20 years or older, you should keep a close eye on it. The system still has the potential to last for quite a few more years, but problems are more likely to pop up.

That doesn’t mean that if your system is newer you can ignore it. Newer systems are less likely to have problems, but not immune.

If you have a lot of trees or shrubs near your system you may want to consider more regular inspections. You’d be surprised how fast those roots can get in there and start causing damage.

With that said, the average homeowner should put sewer inspection on the calendar about once a year. Ask your plumbing professional about a good schedule for you if any of the things we mentioned above apply to your system.

Why Do a Sewer Inspection When Replacing Your Driveway?

Getting to your sewer system is obviously extremely difficult. It’s buried in the ground and digging it up when there isn’t an obvious problem seems kind of silly. Sometimes digging up driveways is not needed with trenchless sewer repair, but don’t take the risk if you sewer drain is under your driveway when you are getting it replaces.

Plus, many sewer systems run under the driveway. You don’t want to have to tear up your driveway just for an inspection!

But what if you’re already planning to replace your driveway? It’s the perfect time to take advantage and have your sewer system thoroughly inspected.

Can You Get an Inspection Without Tearing Up the Driveway?

Any time you think there might be problems with your system, you can ask for a camera inspection. For this inspection method, your plumbing professional will insert a camera into your system to look for potential problems or blockages.

This is a great way to inspect the system without having to tear up your driveway or lawn. But this method isn’t as thorough as a proper visual inspection of your system.

Thus, if you’re tearing up your driveway anyway, take advantage and have a sewer line inspection at the same time. You could save yourself a big headache and a lot of money by catching problems early.

Keep It Moving

The main reason why you should worry about getting a sewer inspection is so that you never have to worry about your sewer drains. Sewer problems are gross to deal with and unpleasantly expensive.

Inspections ensure that your pipes are clear and everything is moving properly. The last way you want to find out about your sewer system blockage is by flushing the toilet and ending up with more than you bargained for.

Be sure to schedule yearly camera inspections. Plus, anytime you will be tearing up your driveway anyway, take advantage and have a full inspection done.

To schedule your next inspection, feel free to contact us today. We’ll be happy to help keep it moving for you!

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When Is A Clogged Drain A Sign Of A Larger Problem?

Odds Are It’s Not Just a Clog

Clogged drains always seem to pop up at inconvenient times. Or they build up so slowly over time that we do not even realize it is clogged until we notice the water level is at our ankles during a shower. It can be difficult to check your drains for clogs since for the most part the issue is well below the drain so it is all out of sight and out of mind until a problem arises. Before you run up to the hardware store for some Drano, it is important to note that most clogs are actually signs of a problem with the sewer line. Every household has a main sewer line that transports water and waste to the city sewer. When there are issues with the main line, it often affects the drains in your house. When your standard household sink appears to be clogged, keep in mind that there could be a variety of causes and you may find that focusing on the bigger picture will save you time and money in the long run.

Does Your Drain Always Seem to be Clogged?

Keeping chemicals on hand to tend to your recurring clogs is probably one of the worst things you can do. While they seem to be an easy and affordable way to tend to a clog, they really only patch up the problems. It uses a lot of harsh chemicals to break down grease, hair, or whatever mess is causing a back up and pushes it down. This is problematic because the chemicals remain in the system for much longer than people realize and can break away at pipes. And that clog might just end up in the main sewer line and create a bigger issue, and more clogs.

If your clogs seems to come back over and over again, then you definitely should consult a professional and do not pour any more chemicals down your drain. Even if the clog seems to be tolerable and does not impact your daily activities, leaving clogs or allowing clogs to come back over and over can lead to some expensive hazards. For one, there is the health risk of leaving waste, mold, or mildew around for people to inhale. Allow that clog to come back also invites bacteria and make it so that the water build up ends up escaping elsewhere into the home. It can break down pipes and create leaks, or cause rot within the walls if left unattended for long enough. While breaking up the clog, or pulling the wad of hair and gunk out might seem to solve the problem, that clog still got there somehow in the first place. This is why checking the sewer line is crucial when it comes to clogged drains. Just like with our own health, sometimes covering up the symptoms does not make the problem go away.

Trenchless Sewer Lining For Stress Free Repairs

When My Plumber CA inspects a sewer line, we make sure to take every step and precaution to determine the source of clogs and other problems. Problems in your main drain line that might be creating regular or nasty clogs could simply be years of debris accumulating deep into the line over time, or it could be a sign of a new tree root spreading out. A sign of a large scale problem like this would be in every drain in your home started to slow, even by just a fraction. When we examine the main line, we perform a video inspection to get a look inside the line to determine the problem. Opting for a trenchless sewer lining can very likely end up fixing all of your drain and clogging problems without much delay or disruption. A trained plumber can install a pipe liner, which puts a tube coated with resin into a damaged pipe. When the resin sets, it is fused with the existing pipe and makes it corrosion resistant. The best part? The plumber would only need to dig one access hole into the landscape in order to set up a pipe liner. If there is more significant damage, pipe bursting might be the most sensible option. This process takes a brand new pipe and goes into a pipe that has collapsed or is damaged. The old pipe is broken apart, whereas with pipe-lining it creates a pipe inside of another pipe. This does require additional access holes, but your entire lawn is not going to be ripped up to get the job done. Trenchless sewer lining is extremely effective and tends to be a faster fix than traditional trench replacements. Most importantly, it can actually save you time and money in the long run. Rather than tending to small problems as they arise, trenchless sewer lining can tend to the source of the problems and help drastically increase the life of your plumbing system. You will see better performance and less problems, which saves you a lot more hassle later. Plus, it is not as invasive as repairs and replacements that require giant trenches across for your yard for an extended period of time. In fact, repairs usually take less than a day depending on severity without ruining your landscaping. The best part is that this is a permanent solution to many common complaints and can extend the life for 50 years.

Our Professional Team Can Help

My Plumber CA is the leading plumbing expert in the San Diego area. We do not just want to be your plumber when problems arise, but we want to help you get the most out of your plumbing system without breaking the bank. We especially do not want you to have to use our emergency services, although we will be happy to help if you do. We want your plumbing to reliable and long-lasting, which is why we do our best to educate our customers about the services we provide. Should you require a trenchless line replacement, you will be invited to observe the video of your sewer line with us so you can see exactly what we see. Additionally, we guide our customers to have the support the need once we leave. Our blog contains tons of information for common problems, as well as how you can perform routine and simple maintenance on all your drains and plumbing to help prevent significant problems. Check out the blog, or contact us at 619-447-5556 and we will be happy to support you in any way that we can.

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Signs of a Gas Leak You Should Never Ignore

Roughly 17 people die every year because of natural gas leaks. This might sound like a small number — until, of course, one of those 17 is a friend or family member. And even if fatalities associated with gas leaks are low, the health consequences that they cause must be taken seriously. In short, in order to avoid injury, illness, or disaster, you need to know the signs of a gas leak to watch out for.

That’s what this post is all about. We’ll also tell you what you need to do if you suspect that your home or place of work has a gas leak.

1. You Smell Something Nasty

One of the most recognizable signs of a gas leak? The slightly sulfuric smell of rotten eggs.

If you suspect that the stink isn’t coming from your trash can or your refrigerator, then it could be coming from natural gas that has somehow leaked into your home. We know what you’re thinking: isn’t natural gas naturally without any kind of odor? Yes — but remember that mercaptan has been added to the gas. This was done specifically so that it would be easier for people to recognize the signs of a gas leak in a house. If you notice this smell, leave your property immediately. Call in an emergency service or a gas line repair professional. You don’t want to run the risk of a gas explosion.

2. You Hear an Odd Sound

Gas Pilot Light

So, maybe you don’t yet smell anything like rotten eggs in your home. Instead, perhaps you’ve noticed that there seems to be a strange, soft hissing sound. This sound, even more oddly, seems to be coming from behind your walls. You might also notice that the hissing sound originates around your pipes. This is another common sign of a natural gas leak. What you’re actually hearing is the sound of the gas consistently leaking from the pipe itself. If you notice this, don’t use your phone inside your home, turn any light switches on or off, or light any sort of a flame. Also, make sure that you don’t use any appliances in your kitchen until you’re certain that the leak is fixed. Leave your home, and call in a professional while staying at a neighbor’s house.

3. You Feel Sick

It might come as a surprise to many that there are serious physical side effects that may indicate gas leaks in your home. Things like a sudden loss of appetite, nosebleed, feelings of dizzinesses, and even exhaustion are all common gas leak symptoms. You may also notice that you seem to be dealing with ringing in your ears, or sometimes, even pain in your chest. The same thing goes if recently, you’ve been having trouble breathing, or if you’ve experienced an uptick in the number and severity of headaches you get. In some cases, you may even notice that you feel depressed, sad, or even angry. If you’ve been to your doctor, and they can’t diagnose another problem with your health, err on the side of caution and have a gas leak inspection done.

4. Your Lawn Doesn’t Look so Good

If you’re concerned that you might be dealing with a natural gas leak, don’t just take a look for signs on the inside of your home. You should also look at your lawn/yard, especially in the area surrounding the meter. Have you noticed that there are tons of dead flies and other insects around it? What about the lawn itself? Are there green and brown patches throughout the lawn, but especially as you get closer to the meter? If you have plants over the meter, are they starting to wilt, turn brown, or die? This is a likely indication that you’ve got a gas leak on your hands. What’s happening is that the gas around the meter is leaking. This means that they’re no longer able to get the oxygen they need in order to survive.

5. Your Bills Have Gone way Up

Of course, we know that the signs of a gas leak that you’re the most likely to notice relate directly to your finances. Have you noticed that, lately, your gas bills have been way higher than normal? Have you been on vacation for a week or so, only to return to gas bills that are through the roof? Especially if you haven’t been cooking more than usual, or haven’t experienced any other change in your gas consumption, there could be a problem.

It’s likely that a leak within your gas pipes is what’s responsible for this sudden hit to your wallet. To be sure, take a look at the exterior of your meter. You might notice that there’s some serious rust built up around it. This is a sign that it’s time to seek professional help to deal with your gas leak.

Don’t Ignore These Signs of a Gas Leak

Whether you notice that tell-tale rotten egg smell, or if you spot dead patches of vegetation and grass on your lawn, you need to take the signs of a gas leak seriously.

The last thing in the world that you want to do is end up putting the health and safety of your pets and family members at risk. In addition to knowing the signs of a gas leak in a house, you also need to know who you can call to handle it. We want to be the people that you rely on. Spend some time on our website to learn more about the gas leak services and routine inspections that we offer. Then, get in touch with us to schedule your service appointment. Don’t wait.

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What to Do If There’s a Ceiling Leak From the Upstairs Bathroom

Is water coming through your ceiling from your upstairs bathroom?

Whether it’s a damp spot, a continuous dripping or a full-blown waterfall, a ceiling leak can cause a huge amount of damage to your home. If you leave it for too long, you may have to shell out a lot of money on repairs.

That’s why you should see to it right away. Read on to find out what do you when you have a bathroom leak through the ceiling.

How to Find and Fix a Ceiling Leak

Many homeowners worst nightmare are water leaks that grow and turn into water damage in your home. Some of the trickiest to spot and fix are ones that show up in your ceiling, especially if you have a two story home with a bathroom upstairs. Any water leaks in your home need to be fix and repaired right away. If left for too long a simple fix can become a costly repair.

You can’t fix a leak if you don’t know where it’s coming from. Here’s how to identify the source of your leak and stop it.

Toilet Leaks

A leaky toilet is a plumbing nightmare. That’s why this should be your first port of call. Check the base of the toilet. Its connection to the floor should be sealed by a wax ring. If the ring is worn, cracked or broken, it’s likely that it’s allowing water to seep through the ceiling every time the toilet is flushed. If you’re still not sure, you can use food coloring to check. Add some coloring to the bowl and flush. If the water that seeps through is the same color, you’ve identified the source of your leak. If your toilet is leaking, the water supply shut off is usually right behind the toilet coming from the floor.

Shower or Bathtub Leaking Water Into The Ceiling Below

Tub Faucet LeakIf the ceiling leak only occurs while the shower is in use, it could be coming from either the faucet or through a tile in the bathroom. If this is the case, you may need a complete bathtub replacement.

Check the faucet and the pipe between the valve and the shower head for any leakage first. Then, leave some water in the bottom of your shower or bathtub overnight. If you don’t find any leaks in the morning, this part of your bathroom isn’t the culprit. If the leak continues while the shower isn’t running, it’s probably coming from a water pipe.

Water Supply Line Leaks And How To Fix Them

Water supply lines are often the underlying cause of water dripping from the ceiling. This is because loose connections can easily allow water to seep through. To check yours, simply go run your hand along your water supply lines to check for any damp spots. If you find any, you’ll then need to tighten or replace the connector joints in those places.

Supply lines can leak but by definition, they supply the water to your fixtures and those could be the culprit of the leak instead of the lines. When the fixtures leak, turning off the water supply is the best way to stop the leak. Water supplies can be in different places depending on where you live and the age of your home. If you are a home owner, it is important to know where your main water supply is so in an emergency, if the water needs to be turned off, you know where to look. You may also need a special tool to turn off the water. Remember to try and stop the water from continuing to leak and turn it off ahead of the leak.

Drain Pipe Ceiling Leaks

Fixing a Drain Leak

Drain pipes are also a common cause of the water leaks in your ceiling if you have an upstairs bathroom or shower. Common causes can be deteriorated pipes from age or hard water.

If you are experiencing leaks only when taking a bath and not a shower from the same bathroom then it’s commonly your bathtub overflow drain that is causing the issue. This is a separate smaller drain pipe that connects your overflow to the main drain. Over time the seals on that pipe can degrade and cause leaks when your tub is too full or when bath water is splashed up and into the overflow drain.

In order to carry out a proper inspection on your drain pipes, you may need to cut a hole in your ceiling and expose them. Many times leaks like these are small and take a while to build up enough damage to make them noticeable. In other cases if your ceiling has a light fixture or something similar installed you will notice this leak right away as the water will drain out of your ceiling by running down and out of your light fixture.  There’s nothing more frustrating than taking a nice relaxing bath only to go downstairs afterwards to a broken light and flooded kitchen.

Call a Plumber

If you make DIY plumbing repairs for a ceiling leak, you’ll have to make sure you use all the correct tools and fittings. Otherwise, you could make some serious mistakes.

If you’re not comfortable doing any of this yourself, it’s best to arrange for a plumber to do it for you. Fully-trained professionals are equipped with all the tools and knowledge to get the job done as quickly as possible.

Contact us today to book an appointment, and we’ll send the experts out to fix your leak for you.

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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.

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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. 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. But, over time, the smell will grow more powerful and let you know exactly where it’s coming from. 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 these common problems.

1. There’s a Clog And You Need To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

We frequently get calls from homeowners asking “why does my garbage disposal stink?” Our first suspect is always a clog. Built-up food can start to rot in the garbage disposal, or it may have been smelly when you put it in. Either way, you’ll need to remove the clog, and this will make the smell worse at first.

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.

If you can’t stomach the smell and lemons don’t clear it up, you can call in a professional. However, if you’re brave enough to unclog it yourself, be sure you turn off and unplug the disposal before you start—so the garbage disposal can’t turn on when your fingers are inside. If the garbage disposal stinks still then may need a clean after the clog is removed.

Garbage Disposal Repair Services2. Your P-trap (or S-trap) Is Dry And Needs Some TLC

The smell may not be from the garbage disposal at all. The P-trap or S-trap form a seal that keeps your plumbing system’s air cut off from the rest of your home. This normally prevents sewer gas from leaving the sewers, wafting up through the garbage disposal, and coming into your kitchen. The trap accomplishes this with water, but if it has run dry, it will stop working.

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. Only a plumber can check and correct this problem. Give us a call and one of our professional plumbers will inspect the p-trap for leaks, blockages, or air pockets.

3. You Could Have A Sewer Ventilation Problem

There’s another way that sewer smells can get into your garbage disposal. Normally, a plumbing vent carries the smells from your kitchen sink, and your bathroom, out through the roof. Sometimes it gets clogged with leaves and other debris, forcing the air to linger in the pipes and, eventually, push its way into your kitchen. If you find your bathroom or your dishwasher smells like sewage along with your garbage disposal, this is most likely your problem as your sewer line also needs to have proper ventilation.

If you carefully inspect or climb onto the roof, you can see if landscaping debris or other items like leaves have blocked the plumbing vent. 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 can’t find it, a plumber will be able to locate the vent and even clean up the clog for you. Then, keep debris off your roof with regular landscaping maintenance.

Brand New Garbage Disposal Installation4. The Garbage Disposal Needs Cleaning

Didn’t find a clog or any of these other problems? Chances are your garbage disposal stinks because it just needs a thorough clean. Films and bits of food can gather in the disposal without actually causing a clog. Read on to find out the best ways to clean a stinky garbage disposal.

How to Remove Garbage Disposal Smell

Once you resolve the underlying problem, you may find your garbage disposal smells bad still. A quick clean should rinse out the smell and make your kitchen a pleasant place to be again. Here are a few ways to remove the leftover garbage disposal smell.

1. Soak with Soapy Water

As part of your usual kitchen cleaning regimen, you should be soaking your garbage disposal in soapy water anyway. Your disposal should have come with a plug, or you can purchase a new one. Place the plug in, draw up some warm, soapy water and let it sit. The soap should help loosen any residual food. After a few minutes, you can put a scrub brush down into the disposal to help remove any gunk. Just be sure the disposal is turned off and unplugged from the wall outlet when you do.

2. Ice And Salt

Sometimes the friction from the scrub brush isn’t enough to clean the blades. You can get better friction from using ice and salt inside the garbage disposal. The advantage of this method is that the ice will melt and the salt is water soluble so neither will cause a clog in the garbage disposal.

Take a handful of ice cubes and mix them with a ½ cup of coarse salt. If you only have normal table salt, that will work fine. Pour the mixture into the stinking garbage disposal. Run a trickle of cold water (hot water will melt the ice—defeating the point), and then start the garbage disposal. Run it until the salt and ice have been processed.

3. Other Deodorizers

After either of those two scrubbing methods, you might want to add something fresh to the garbage disposal to help absorb smell. Your options include:

  • Scented dish soap
  • Lemon or other citrus slices
  • Baking soda
  • Fabric deodorizers lik Febreeze

Prevent the Garbage Disposal Smell

Now that your garbage disposal is as fresh as a daisy, how do you keep it that way?

  • Put spoiled food down the toilet instead of the garbage disposal, as long as the food will fit down the toilet.
  • Don’t put foods that swell up in the garbage disposal. This includes bread, potatoes, uncooked pasta, and uncooked rice. If they swell in the garbage disposal, they can cause a clog.
  • Avoid putting high-fiber foods in the garbage disposal unless you cut them up beforehand. This includes celery, banana peels, and corn husks. The impeller blades will have a tough time handling these foods.
  • Run your garbage disposal longer to be sure the food is properly ground up and passes through.
  • Always run cold water while the garbage disposal runs. Start the water before you put the food in.
  • Wash it regularly with the deodorizers listed above.

Professional Help with Stinky Garbage Disposal

If you’ve tried all of the above and your garbage disposal still smells like sewage, it’s time to call in the professionals. Drain cleaning for your pipes and video inspection can ensure the job gets done right the first time. You could have a larger issue, such as a main sewer line clog, which will require the skills and tools of the professional San Diego plumbers.

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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.

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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.