Category Archives: Plumbing

From tips, tricks, advice, and information about all things plumbing, you have come to the right place. If you have ever dropped your wedding ring down the drain, wondered why we love trenchless sewer repair, or how to get rid of garbage disposal smells, you can find the answers here. My Plumber CA loves to work on San Diego plumbing problems. That is how we got started in this business and will continue to work for our great customers. If you need help with drain cleaning and our tips and tricks have not gotten the job done, call us today. We can also give a free estimate for any garbage disposal repairs in San Diego.

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!

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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.

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.

hot water comes out of a faucet from new hot water heater hot water comes out of a faucet from new hot water heater hot water comes out of a faucet from new hot water heater hot water comes out of a faucet from new hot water heater hot water comes out of a faucet from new hot water heater hot water comes out of a faucet from new hot water heater

Tips for Buying a New Water Heater

Tips for Buying a New Water Heater

If you’re looking to purchase a new water heater, then you probably already know that there are a ton of options out there. Whether you purchase a water heater yourself from some place like Home Depot, Sears, or Lowes, or you get your water heater repair specialist to order one for you, you’ll need to know exactly which water heater will be best for your home or business needs. We’ll give you some tips for buying a new water heater that should help you choose between tanked or tankless, gas or electric, and more.

Know Your Required Gallon Capacity

One of the first things you need to know is what size tank you’re looking for. The gallon capacity new hot water heater being installed by worker(or the hot water flow rate, if you choose a tankless water heater) determines how much hot water you can use at a time. If you’re living in a home with just 1-5 people, your recommended tank size will be a whole lot different than if you were looking for a water heater to satisfy the needs of a 20-person business. Below are the general recommendations for the appropriate gallon capacity based on household size:

  • 2 or fewer people: 23-36 gallons
  • 2-4 people: 36-46 gallons
  • 3-5 people: 46-56 gallons
  • 5+ people: 56+ gallons

And if you choose to use a tankless or point-of-use water heater, you’ll need to consider the possibility of needing more than one unit in different areas of your home.

Here are a few other questions you should consider when determining the size of your new water heater:

  1. How many showers do you have? How many bathrooms?
  2. Does everyone in your home shower at the same time? If so, this would require a larger tank size (or more tankless water heaters, once for each bathroom)
  3. Do you tend to run multiple appliances at the same time (like your shower, dishwasher, and clothes washer)? If so, you’ll need a bigger gallon capacity, or else to change your habits so only 1-2 appliances use water at once.
  4. Do you have a large tub, whirlpool, or Jacuzzi? If you want to fill the entire thing up with hot water before you soak, then your hot water heater’s gallon capacity will need to be at least as large as the tub.

Know the Trade-offs Between Fuel Type and Energy Efficiency

The final weigh-in on which water heater you should get might very well be the energyworker installs new hot water heater at home efficiency – and this goes hand-in-hand with which fuel type you choose. While gas water heaters might be more common and less expensive to install, it’s possible that an electric water heater would save you money, especially if your utility company offers lower off-peak prices.

Different Fuel Types

  • Electric

Electric water heaters have a good number of high-efficiency options, and they are usually cheaper to install than the other types. Check with your utility company to see their rates and whether you can get better prices during off-peak hours.

  • Gas or Propane

Gas and propane water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient than electric ones, but they do cost a bit more up front to install. You must also be careful about what you store near these water heaters, and have them regularly inspected for gas leaks.

  • Heat Pump or Hybrid

These hybrid water heaters are becoming more and more popular for several reasons. They are more energy-efficient, they cost less to run, and they can stand alone or be added onto an existing water tank.

  • Solar

We expect to see solar water heaters gaining in popularity in areas like the Southwest where sun is abundant (but in the Midwest, not so much).

The main takeaway we want you get get is that you need to do your research. Look at your local gas and electricity rates, the cost to install each unit, and see if over a 5-10 year period you could see significant savings with one fuel type vs. another.

Know Your Budget

Keeping in mind the above information, you also need to know how much you are able to spend on a new water heater. Are you able to afford multiple tankless water heaters? Can you spend a few hundred extra dollars on a high-end hybrid water heater? See the average cost for different models below:

  • Electric – $300 – $600
  • Gas – $300 – $800
  • Tankless – $300 – $1500
  • Hybrid – $1000 – $1400

Keep in mind that even though a hybrid water heater might be more expensive up front, you’ll need to factor in utility cost savings for the life of the unit as well.

Did you recently buy a new water heater? Share your own water heater buying tips and tricks with us!  And if you are ever in need of water heater repair and installation give us a call.

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How to Get Your Wedding Ring from Your Garbage Disposal

We’ve all had that moment. You’re washing dishes and then you go to drain the water only to realize that your wedding ring is missing from your finger and has gone down the garbage disposal or sink drain.

lost wedding ring down garbage disposal drainBut where did it go?

A wedding ring can easily become lost in your garbage disposal or sink drain if not properly sized or if you don’t wear gloves when doing the dishes. Luckily, you might be able to get your wedding ring from your garbage disposal more easily than you think.

With a little bit of stealthy maneuvering (and a bit of luck), you could have your wedding right back on in no time.

If You Can See the Wedding Ring in the Disposal

Using a flashlight, see if the wedding ring is visible inside of the disposal. If so, then you might be able to retrieve the ring without too much trouble. Follow these steps below to attempt to retrieve your wedding ring from your disposal.

1. Unplug the Garbage Disposal

You should never begin work on your garbage disposal if you haven’t first unplugged it. It’s especially unsafe if your wedding ring has gotten jammed in your garbage disposal. Allowing the motor or blade to run with the ring inside will not only damage the ring, but also the disposal’s blade. More importantly, if you are ever reaching inside the disposal, an unplugged unit means that you don’t have to worry about accidentally grinding your hand.

Which leads us to our next point…

2. Keep Your Hands Out of the Disposal

If at all possible, don’t put your hands in the garbage disposal.

Why?

It’s difficult to see what is going on inside of your disposal, meaning that you could easily run your hand across the blade or across another piece of sharp metal. This will cause lots of blood, a trip to the emergency room, and lots of cash. Just don’t do it.

image of kitchen sink after a ring was lost down the garbage disposal drain3. Try Using a Magnet

So if you can’t stick your hand down your kitchen drain, how are you going to get your wedding ring out? First, try using a magnet. A long magnet or a plain old refrigerator magnet tied to a string will do the trick. Dangle the magnet just inside the kitchen drain and see if it picks up your wedding ring. Got a ring made out of silver or gold? Sorry, your wedding ring isn’t magnetic. You’ll have to try something else.

4. Try Using Pliers, Tongs, or a Long Wooden Spoon

Shine a light down your kitchen drain. Can you see your wedding ring? If so, try using pliers, kitchen tongs, a long cooking spoon, or other useful device to scoop up the ring. Remember – refrain from putting your hands in your garbage disposal.

5. Check if Your Wedding Ring is Stuck in the P-trap

Still haven’t found your wedding ring? It is possible that your ring went all the way through the disposal and is stuck in the u-shaped pipe below the kitchen sink. Many p-traps have drain plugs or cleanout plugs at their lowest point. This make it easy to open up the p-trap and remove any waste that has collected there. Place a bucket under the pipe, remove the drain plug, and (hopefully) discover your wedding ring inside.

If your p-trap does not have a cleanout plug, you’ll have to remove the slip nuts on either end of the pipe and take out the entire u-shaped section. You can do this yourself, or have a professional do it just to be on the safe side.

6. Still No Luck? Call a Professional Plumber

If you still cannot locate your wedding ring in your garbage disposal, it is likely that the ring is stuck inside the unit itself. In this case, we recommend calling your local plumbing professional to disassemble the garbage disposal and reveal your wedding band.

If You Can’t See the Wedding Ring in the Disposal

If you can’t see your ring but you’re positive that it fell into the sink drain, don’t lose hope. Call your local plumber and have them inspect your garbage disposal. It could be that your ring is stuck somewhere inside the disposal or in another section of easily accessible pipe.

Remember – don’t run the disposal if you think your ring is inside of it. You will only cause damage to your wedding ring and ruin or jam your disposal in the process. My Plumber CA offers garbage disposal repair in San Diego and beyond. Call us today to schedule a plumbing repair appointment ASAP.

Planning for the 2015 El Niño storm season and preparing plumbing and furnace for Storm issues Planning for the 2015 El Niño storm season and preparing plumbing and furnace for Storm issues Planning for the 2015 El Niño storm season and preparing plumbing and furnace for Storm issues Planning for the 2015 El Niño storm season and preparing plumbing and furnace for Storm issues Planning for the 2015 El Niño storm season and preparing plumbing and furnace for Storm issues Planning for the 2015 El Niño storm season and preparing plumbing and furnace for Storm issues

2015 El Niño Preparation for Your Home or Business

By now the entire country is well aware the California has been experiencing its worst drought in over 1,000 years. So the news of an El Niño winter should be welcomed with open arms, right? Well, not exactly. Experts have predicted that the 2015 El Niño will be worse than its 1997 predecessor, which remains the worst El Niño on record. The 1997 storms led to disastrous floods, landslides, and mudslides off of California’s coast, destroying many homes in the process. So just because California is in desperate need of water doesn’t mean you should avoid taking steps to prepare for the upcoming El Niño season.

  1. Have an evacuation plan.

    Even if your area doesn’t end up flooding, it’s always safe to have a plan in times of high risk. Know your neighborhoods safe routes and the surrounding area. Draw or write up an emergency evacuation plan and go over it with your family. Don’t forget to include your pets in your plan!

  2. Make a list of all your possessions.

    In the event of a flood or devastating landslide, your entire home and everything in it could be destroyed. Make life easier for you and your insurance company by taking photos of your home’s interior and exterior and making a detailed list of all your belongings and their worth. It’ll save you more headaches in the future.

  3. Invest in flood insurance.

    Often times, flood insurance is a separate insurance plan from your regular homeowner’s insurance. Sometimes you even have to wait a month after purchasing flood insurance for it to take effect. So do yourself a huge favor – talk to your insurance agent about flood insurance today.

  4. Inspect your home for leaks.

    When the colder months approach, your pipes are at a greater risk for fractures leading to leaks and water damage in your home. Have a certified plumber come and perform a safety inspection before the winter season begins. Check for water pooling in or outside your home, especially in the basement or garage.

  5. Inspect your furnace.

    An El Niño season doesn’t just mean more rain, but also colder temperatures. Make sure your furnace is in working order so you and your family can remain comfortable during the winter.

Why We Love Trenchless Sewer Repair (And You Should, Too!)

How Does Trenchless Sewer Repair in San Diego Work?

Having your sewer repaired used to be one of the most costly plumbing expenses homeowners would have.  A team of trained workers would dig a trench through your driveway and sometimes under the foundation of the house to access the faulty sewer line.  Luckily for homeowners with sewer repair in San Diego there is an easier option that would require no trench.  If you request a trenchless sewer repair in San Diego you can have your sewer fixed in one day.  The one day trenchless sewer repair job would come with a 20 year guarantee if it is completed by My Plumber CA.

What Does The Trenchless Sewer Repair Process Look Like?

The process for completing a successful trenchless sewer repair job is fairly straightforward.  My Plumber CA would begin by digging two holes in order to access the pipe with issues.  A steel cable is extended through the pipe with issues from one end to the other.  A bursting head and a new pipe are added to the steel cable.  The bursting head uses hydraulic machinery and cable to crush the pipe.  As the old pipe breaks away the new pipe is pushed through to take the old pipe’s place.  Once completed My Plumber CA the best plumber in San Diego connects the new pipe to your home and main sewer lines.

What Issues Are Solved By Trenchless Sewer Repair?

If you suspect that your sewer needs repair you may want to consider trenchless sewer repair.  Trenchless sewer repair will fix issues with cracked or collapsed pipes.  It also can help reduce some of the trench-work required to fix negative grade, which is when an old pipe sags or has an improper slope angle.  Trenchless sewer repair can even fix pipe issues caused by roots or household debris getting caught in the lines.  In some cases a homeowner may request a trenchless sewer repair on a perfectly good pipe if they are trying to add a larger water line to their home.   If you are experiencing these, or other sewer related problems, reach out to My Plumber CA to see if your issues can be solved by a trenchless sewer repair.

Common Ways to Fix Any Kitchen Sink Problem

Your kitchen sink is one of the most important parts of your kitchen. It is because of this that it’s so important that everyone know how to fix a kitchen sink.  If you have a problem with your sink, you’ll have a problem cooking food, cleaning dishes, and keeping your work area clean.

Anything can go wrong with your kitchen sink. The faucet may drip, the drain or faucet might leak, or the sink might become clogged. Here are a few things you can do to fix your kitchen sink if you experience these or other problems with it:

Clear a Clogged Drain

A clogged drain is one of the most common kitchen sink problems. Food or hair can get into the drain, or oil can harden in the pipe. The next thing you know, you have water and sludge backing up into your clean sink.

You can use a number of chemical drain cleaners to remove the clog. If these do not work, you can try a drain snake to remove the offending material or use a plunger the same way you would on a toilet. You should be able to clear most minor blockages on your own using one of these methods.

Fix a Leaky Drain or Pipe

If some part of your kitchen sink is leaking, such as the drain, the faucet or the pipe, you should easily be able to repair it by tightening the part. Tighten all washers and other connections to start. If that does not solve the problem, you will need to inspect the seals around the area that is leaking. If the seal is broken or cracked, you will need to replace it.

Call a Plumber

The very best thing you can do to fix any kind of problem with your kitchen sink is to call a qualified plumber like My Plumber in San Diego. You could damage your drain by putting the wrong cleaners in your sink or using materials to try to clear clogs. You could easily overlook problems that are contributing to leaks, and you could make problems worse by trying to repair them. Always call the professionals to for plumbing repairs in your San Diego home. You’ll get the job done right and will protect your investment.

How to Dispose of Water Heaters

Getting rid of a water heater isn’t like getting rid of a TV. You can’t just leave it on the curb on trash day, nor can you sell it to someone else who might want to use it. When you replace your water heater, it’s usually because the old one no longer works or has aged out of usefulness. No one else is going to want that water heater either.

Here are a few things you can do if you live in the San Diego area to dispose of your water heater:

Go to a Recycling Center

In San Diego, it is illegal to take appliances like water heaters and refrigerators to the landfill. You are legally required to recycle these and other appliances as per the Metallic Discards Act of 1991.

Once the water heater is drained, you can take it to a local recycling center. Make sure you ask if the recycling center takes water heaters before you just show up with it. Also ask if you are entitled to payment for the water heater since many recycling centers make a profit on these items by stripping them for parts.

San Diego also runs regular community recycling events, such as for electronics and used oil products. Call your city or county officials to find out if a recycling event is planned for appliances. You’ll be able to put your old water heater on the curb for pickup if so.

Ask the Utility Company to Take It

Some utility companies will take old water heaters and other appliances to recycle for you. Some will even give you a credit on your bill if you are upgrading to an energy efficient model. You may have to file receipts to get the credit.

Ask My Plumber CA to Do It

It’s not recommended that you install or remove a water heater yourself. Call an experienced plumber that will safely and properly install your new heater and can take care of removing and disposing of the old water heater. This is the easiest option since the technician takes care of everything for you, and you don’t have to worry about anything.