Category Archives: Sewer and Drain

Everything you need to know about sewers and drains in and around the San Diego area.  My Plumber CA is your trusted sewer and drain specialists.  Check out our posts like Why We Love Trenchless Sewer Repair (And You Should, Too!) and The Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair In San Diego If you are in need of any sewer repair in San Diego give us a call today.

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.

The Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair In San Diego

If you have owned a home in San Diego that you have lived in all your life, chances are that the plumbing system in place would be just as old. The older the plumbing is, the sooner you need to repair or replace your sewage line to ensure no problems come up. If your sewer line bursts or breaks, trenchless sewer repair can fix this problem for you in a convenient way without hindering your everyday lifestyle. Sewer lines cannot be repaired without a professional San Diego plumber’s help but it is still important that you understand the process in order to know whether to consider this option for your home or not.

Trenchless Sewer Repair vs. Traditional Sewer Repair

The traditional sewer repair system that used to be carried out before was less convenient as it required a lot of digging and destruction of property. The whole process was also a lot more expensive due to the extent of digging as well as the costs associated with the damage caused.
The trenchless sewer repair process that My Plumber CA uses in San Diego has made the whole process a lot better and appropriate for homeowners. It is an easier and more sophisticated way of going about the sewer repair system, where the plumber will carry out the work in a lot less destructive manner.
Technology has greatly advanced this process, a sewer camera is used to first identify the problem and figure out where it lies exactly. If the sewer line does need to be repaired it is done easily by digging two holes, one at each corner, instead of digging up the entire ground like it used to be done in the traditional method. The two standard methods of trenchless sewer pipe repair are pipe lining and pipe bursting.

Pipe Lining

In the pipe lining process a flexible and resin-coated tube is slid into the damaged pipe. It is inflated to take fill up the shape of the existing pipe and when the tube hardens after a few hours, it turns into a new undamaged pipe. Despite what you might be thinking, this lining reduces the pipes diameter by only a small amount. The waste removal system is not affected and this problem is taken care of easily.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is another method which is carried out to repair sewer lines especially in cases where pipe lining cannot be done. This pulls a completely new pipe into your old sewer line, which makes the older pipe protrude outwards and ‘burst’. A new sewer pipe line hence comes into place.

Which Trenchless Sewer Repair Method is Right For You?

To know which trenchless sewer line repair method to use, you should consult a professional plumber who would advise you regarding sewer service. With these two methods plumbers have greatly helped in saving driveways, landscaping and expensive flooring for homeowners everywhere. No one wants their property to be damaged and this sewer service has ensured that it doesn’t. Give the professional plumbers at My Plumber CA a call to check your system today. You can also read more about how we do trenchless sewer repair in San Diego.

Common Hidden Leaks in the Home

Do you have a leaky pipe behind your walls or beneath your slab? There is only one way to really tell for sure. Have a professional leak detection service. Slow leaks are insidious and can cause damage to your home over the long term. They can result in warped structure supports, rotted beams and mold and mildew issues. All of which can compromise the health of your home and family.

Checking for Hidden Leaks

If you think you might have a hidden leak, there is a simple way to check. Turn off all of the faucets and toilets at the shut off valves and then check the water meter. Leave everything shut off for at least two hours and check the meter again. If the dial has changed, you have a leak somewhere in your system. If you find that you do have a hidden leak you’ll need a professional to help you locate and fix it.

Other places you might have leaks include near and around the tub, your toilets and your sinks. In fact, the majority of leaks happen in these places.

Splash Leaks

Splash leaks are the most common bathroom leak – even more common that toilet leaks – and they can signal some serious repairs. These leaks happen when water splashes out past shower doors or curtains. The leaky water seeps down into the subfloor and causes it to rot. Repairing this type of leak is as simple as caulking the bottom of the shower door or making sure that the shower curtain is inside the tub edge when taking a shower.

Toilet Flappers

Toilet flapper leaks are the next most common type that you can have in your home. These leaks don’t cause damage to your home in any way but they can cost you a lot of money. A single leaky flange can cause your toilet to run and use an extra 600 gallons of water a month. To test for this type of leak put a few drops of food coloring in your reservoir tank and let the toilet sit for half an hour. If you notice that there is color in your toilet bowl, you have a leak. Replacing the flapper is relatively easy and can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Sink Rim Leaks

Sink rim leaks are another oddball, but all too familiar, leak that our plumbers deal with more often than you would think. The edges of the sink sometimes are not sealed fully and a wet sponge or sprayer overflow could cause water to pool behind the sink and leak down through the crack between the sink and the counter top. Check for this type of leak by dripping water from a sponge behind the sink and waiting to see if water runs down into the lower cabinets. If you have a leak like this a simple bead of caulk can fix it.

In any case, if you haven’t checked your home for hidden leaks in the last year, this is a good time to do so. You may be surprised in what you find.

 

Plumbers Insights – Our Christmas Gift to You

When you call a plumber it will cost you over $100 just to get us in the door. That’s an expense you don’t want to have to deal with in the weeks leading up to Christmas. So what we’ve decided to do is give you a few insights from our experienced staff that will allow you to navigate your plumbing service this season. These tips and tricks range from DIY standbys for those of you who have a bit of technical skill and are willing to get a little dirty in the process to ways to limit water damage when you have a broken faucet or leaking toilet. Most plumbers won’t tell you this kind of stuff because they make a pretty penny on an easy fix, but in the spirit of the season, we’ve become quite a giving bunch!

  1. If you can wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to get service, schedule ahead. We get the most calls on Mondays when wives are calling us to fix what their husbands “fixed” over the weekend.
  2. Don’t know a reputable plumber in the area? Call us. Or, if you want to get an unbiased opinion, call a local plumbing supply company for a recommendation. They won’t usually work with unlicensed or below average plumbers.
  3. Don’t put a brick or half gallon of water in your toilet reservoir. Your toilet was designed to flush with a specific amount of water. Changing it could keep your business from going down the drain (not something you want to deal with if you have guests over the holidays). Instead, if you want to save money, invest in a low flow toilet. They aren’t excessively expensive and can pay for themselves in water savings in just a few years.
  4. If you do have a clog, avoid using over the counter liquid drain cleaners. They are caustic and not only can be harmful to you, but to your pipes too. Use a plunger, or better yet, purchase a hand auger (drain snake). The snake will come in handy and pay for itself on its first use.
  5. Clogs are the bane of most bathrooms. If you happen to have a long locked beauty in your home, invest in a drain cover to catch all of the excess hair that comes out during a shower. Not doing so can lead to slow running drains and even full clogs (another good use for that drain snake).
  6. Replace the rubber hoses on the back of your washing machine with stainless steel reinforced ones. The flimsy ones will break over time and are one of the top insurance claims from homeowners. Even a small leak can cause a problem because the washing machine is almost always in a low traffic area. The drip can go on for quite a while before being caught. We suggest (if you still have the flimsy rubber hoses) that you check the hoses every time you do the laundry.
  7. Don’t let drippy faucets and leaking toilets go. Get them fixed right away. A single dripping faucet can waste up to 8 gallons of water a day. A leaky toilet up to 200! If you don’t want to pay for the fix, you’ll be paying for it when your next water bill comes. And the bill after that and the bill after that. You get the picture.
  8. Do you find yourself jiggling the handle of your toilet to get it to work properly? If so, you probably need a new drain flap – they cost about $5. They are quite easy to install and will stop your need to jiggle without having to shell out a Benjamin just to get a professional plumber in the door.
  9. When you purchased your garbage disposal it came with an Allen wrench. This is a manual way to advance the interior grinding mechanism when the disposal gets jammed. Keep it under the sink (taped to the unit is best) so it is there when you need to clear a jam.
  10. Get multiple estimates for any large plumbing job that you need to have completed. The estimates should be within 25% of each other. Any that are excessively high or low may indicate either an overpriced company or a company that is going to try to nickel and dime you with hourly charges.
  11. Asking for quotes is good, but asking for references is better. Get them from customers that have used the service in the past 3 months. Also realize that plumbers can change their names or company name at any time they wish. So look for a well established company that has a good track record to be on the safe side. Again, if you don’t have any personal references to go from, contact a plumbing supply company to get their recommendation.
  12. Always work with a plumber that warranties his work for at least a year on all major installations and repairs. A plumber that doesn’t stand behind his work is a plumber I don’t want messing with my pipes.
  13. Don’t be afraid to ask us to check your water pressure or those pesky banging signs in the supply lines under your sink. Just do it after we’ve completed the work we have been contracted to do. Plumbers never turn down the potential for new work.
  14. Do you have a wire hanger handy? If you do you can easily fashion a hook that can be snaked down your bathtub drain to remove hair and soap scum clogs. Remember, about two inches down almost all bathtubs have a 90 degree drain turn. This is where the clog is likely to strike.
  15. Learn where your shut off valves are. This is an invaluable piece of information. When a leak starts you can literally have minutes until you are dealing with an interior flooding situation. Locate both the main shut off for your home and the interior shut offs (usually under the sinks and behind the toilets). Know where they are can literally save you thousands of dollars in damages.
  16. If you have some food coloring handy, you can check you toilet for leaks with a dye test. Simply drop a few drops of food coloring (we prefer green) into the reservoir and let the toilet it for half an hour. Check the bowl. If you see colored water you have a leak. The darker the color, the worse the leak. Replacing the flapper valve is usually the solution.
  17. Don’t buy a brand new low flow faucet to reduce your water usage. There are aerators that will thread on to your existing faucets for about 1/10th of the cost and will do the exact same thing.

 

Hopefully at least a few of our insights will help you save some cash or trouble. If you happen to have other questions or concerns about the plumbing in your house, send them in to our professionals. We will be starting a monthly readers question and answers section to our blog. And again, a happy holiday to yours from every one of us at My Plumber Ca!

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$99 Video Pipe Inspection

There’s a reason that we offer a great price on our video pipe inspection service. We think everyone in the San Diego area should have one done. These inspections can find problems in your pipes long before they become the catastrophes that can cost you thousands of dollars.

Rigid Seesnake in use for a San Diego video pipe inspection

looking through the interior of a clean drain line

Our real time video can snake through your entire pipe system to identify problems like:

  • Broken or cracked pipes – we can see small fissures in the interior of the pipe before they become full blown cracks. Then we can fix them with either a pipe relining or a full repiping of the area.
  • Collapsed piping – a partially collapsed pipe can put extra strain on your entire system. We can repipe the area and return your water flow and pressure to acceptable levels.
  • Misaligned pipes – if one of your pipes is offset, it could be leaking. This happens when pipes are set in shifting soil and usually happens with lateral drain lines.
  • Clogs and blockages – clogs happen. We can find them and determine what is causing the block. Then we can use a hydrojet or power auger to clear it.
  • Interior pipe corrosion – if the interior of your pipes are corroding they could be leeching contaminants into your drinking water. We can reline or repipe in these situations.
  • Bellied or bowed pipe sections – a bellied pipe can leave standing water in the pipeline, usually in the lateral sewer line. It can also lead to blockages as debris builds up in the low part of the pipe.
  • Broken pipe seals – pipe joints are the most likely place to find a leak. They can happen anywhere and often are found in connection with corrosion.
  • Root infiltration – tree roots love water and will seek it in your lateral line. We can determine if your sewer line log is from tree roots with our video inspection.
  • Off grade piping – we can identify pipes that never should have been installed in the first place or are not up to current code.

Being able to identify these problems via and interior video scoping allows us to check your entire home from just a few locations and with absolutely no exploratory holes being put into your walls. We can even check the pipes that run beneath poured slab. Our $99 video pipe inspection is a service that all of our customers should take advantage of. Help us get San Diego’s pipes in tip top shape, starting with yours.

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How Does Trenchless Sewer Installation Work?

A trenchless sewer installation is a non invasive way to replace your old, broken or failing lateral line with a new, seamless one. The process is both cleaner and faster than the old method of digging up half of your yard to remove the old piping and put in new.

Trenchless Sewer Installation

The process is rather simple. We dig two access holes to your sewer line – one at the connection to the city drain and one where the line leaves your home. A steel cable is run through your existing line and a large bursting head is attached to one end. A polyethylene pipe is attached behind the bursting head and then they are pulled through your existing line by a hydraulic motor.

The bursting pipe breaks the existing pipe and pushes the pieces into the surrounding soil while the new pipe fills in the vacated space. Once the entire run is completed, the bursting head is removed and the two ends of the pipe are secured to the home and city sewer system. You now have a new, seamless sewer line that is more resistant to root invasion and cracking.

How Much Will It Cost?

A typical trenchless sewer installation is going to cost between $100 and $200 per foot depending on the location of your sewer line and the type of landscape or hardscape above it. This is still much cheaper than a traditional dig job.

How Long Will It Take?

The project will take a couple of hours from start to finish with the majority of the time spent digging out the exploratory dig holes to thread the steel line.

How Long Will It Last?

Your new pipe will be made from High Density Polyethylene(HDPE). This pipe is corrosion resistant and highly flexible so shifts in the subsoil won’t crack it. This is something that traditional clay, PVC and cast iron pipes lack. And, the HDPE pipe is expected to last about 200 years. Replace it once and you never have to do it again.

How Do I Get Started?

Call the trenchless sewer experts at My Plumber CA and get an estimate today! You can also visit our trenchless sewer repair page to learn more.

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Sewer Repair Costs

A sewer main can be very expensive to have repaired, averaging a few thousand dollars. The sewer main is the primary sewer line that connects your house to the city’s main sewer line. In order to see the exact problem that is wrong with the sewer line the professional may decide to use a camera. If they do, they will send a camera down the pipe to try and find the exact problem. This can add cost to the repair but it can also lower the overall cost because it helps keep the repairman from unnecessary repair or replacement costs.

Sewer mains are often underground which is why the repairs cost more. Most of the time, digging up your yard or driveway is the most costly part of the repair. You may only need a small part of the sewer line to be replaced, which wouldn’t cost a lot, but having to dig up the yard and find the problem is going to cost you. If you are building your own home, asking where the sewer main is located would be a wise decision so that you can avoid pouring concrete over it or planting expensive plants and shrubbery over it. Dealing with sewer repairs would be unpleasant enough without having to redo your driveway or your lawn and garden to boot.

If you are trying to find a way to keep the cost down for a sewer main repair you may want to consider slip lining. Slip lining is when a smaller sewer line is put inside the current sewer line. However, this can not always be done. Some repairs call for more work to be done.

In some cases you may need a permit to have your sewer line repaired. If you do this will raise the cost of the repairs. But this can also help by making sure everything is up to code. In some cases you may discover that the part of the sewer line that needs to be replaced or repaired is city property, in which case the city has to pay for the repairs, not you. If you think you may have a sewer main problem call My Plumber CA at 1-855-410-2390 to see what they can do for you. We offer annual sewer video inspections as well. You can also visit our sewer repair and trenchless sewer replacement pages to learn more.

 

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Signs Of A Clogged Sewer Drain

A clogged sewer drain is a very serious plumbing emergency. If you suspect you have a clogged sewer drain, do not run any water in the house and call a plumber service immediately.

The signs of a clogged sewer drain are unmistakable, once you know what you’re looking at. The sewer drain is the only pipe leaving the house. It is usually six or 8 inches wide and it’s usually connected in a straight line to toilet (if you’re trying to locate it.)

The first sign is often an overflowing toilet, because of this direct connection. An overflowing toilet is a symptom of two different problems, though; that of an clogged toilet, OR that of a clogged drain. To figure out which it is, see if any other fixtures are backed up. The most common places are ground floor (or basement) tubs or showers. The sewer water will back up to the lowest point. Washing machines are another common place to see backups.

At this point, it is almost certain you have a blocked sewer drain, but if you really want to make sure, you can check the sewer clean out, which is a V-shaped valve on the main sewer pipe. Be aware though, that if you open it, you may have raw sewage spilling out. So you could easily skip this step and simply call a plumber right away.

It’s extremely important not to ignore this problem. Not only can you not use any water in the home while the sewer is plugged, if you do, the water that overflows may be contaminated with dangerous pathogens, and can cause dangerous molds to be harbored in your walls and floor. Raw sewage is no joke! Moreover, sewer drains are hard to block, because they are so big. That means that if it did back up, you have a lot of something in your pipe. It could be tree roots, or it could be your toddler likes to systematically flush lego blocks. Whatever it is, you’ll need an experienced plumber on hand to identify the cause and fix it.

My Plumber offers sewer video inspections! Clear your drains before you have a backup.