Category Archives: Toilets

Common issues and tips for optimal use of toilets in your home.  Articles like Toilet Won’t Stop Running? and Toilet Repair vs. Toilet Replacement – Which is Right for You? We cover all the questions you always wondered about but never asked.  Hopefully we have helped solve any toilet issues you are currently experiencing but if you are still having trouble, give us a call today or check out our toilet repair and installation in san diego page for more.

California Mandates New Water Saving Bathroom Etiquette

My Plumber CA tech is repairing a running toilet to help the homeowner save money in San Diego.Two weeks after unveiling a $1 billion water conservation plan, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that for the first time in state history California would implement mandatory water-use restrictions. To show how serious the drought is, Governor Brown went so far as to tell residents that even flushing is not always mandatory, or in his words, “if it is yellow let it mellow”.

The state has been desperate to help residents conserve water; the state began issuing residents $500 criminal penalty fines to water wasters, regulating watering times, and requiring the use of low flow toilets. In Santa Cruz one man received a $3,000 fine for having a leaky toilet for 8 days. This fine may seem steep, but San Diego toilet repair company MyPlumberCA estimates that one running toilet can waste upward of 7,000 gallons every month!

Huge Water Saving Without a Leaking Toilet

Stop plunging your toilet, get the professionals to fix your clogged toilet in San Diego.Although fines this high may not be very common yet, the fact is that residents in San Diego with leaky toilets are flushing money down the drain. One leaky toilet could cost its owner nearly $500 per year. Even worse is that one leaky toilet could be wasting more than 80,000 gallons of water per year. In San Diego, clogged toilets are only a portion of what residents use a plumber for. As residents try to save money, and help relieve the drought, plumbers get calls for all sorts of water-saving fixes. San Diego and a few other cities even offer residents a free water survey program. As part of this program, a Water Conservation Representative will tour your property to identify leaks and water-saving opportunities.

Replacing inefficient toilets, flushing only when necessary, and having leaky toilets fixed may seem like common sense during a drought, but some people are more motivated by having this new bathroom etiquette mandated. Whether you abide by the new bathroom etiquette to avoid fines, or just to save water; there is no wrong reason to do the right thing. Contact My Plumber CA for any plumbing needs!

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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Bathroom Odors a Problem? We’ve Found the Solution!

Is bathroom odor overwhelming your home or office building? Are some of those bodily smells leaking out into your more public spaces? If that’s the case, we’ve got a couple of products that you might want to put on your Christmas list this year. The first one is a blast from the recent past. Back in 2006 the first odor eating toilet seat was produced. It was a commercial failure mostly because consumers weren’t ready to jump on the odor eating bandwagon.

Toilet Seat Eats Bathroom Odors

Fast forward 8 years and the climate around odor control has changed and Kohler is ready to take advantage of it with its new odor eating toilet seat. According to Kohler, “The Purefresh seat contains a deodorizing system that utilizes a carbon filter to neutralize odorous air. An integrated fan, activated when the user sits on the seat, directs the filtered air over a scent pack located within the system and permeates the bathroom with a light, clean scent.” Basically is a sit and sniff seat! Instead of those raunchy bodily odors, you get a light fresh scent every time you sit. The best part about the seat is that it is just that, a seat. You don’t have to purchase an entire new toilet to experience a fresh flush every time.

Spray the Smell Away

Not interested in buying a toilet seat, why not try an innovative product that seals odors beneath the surface of the water when you drop a number two. Poopourri is the product we’re talking about here. It’s one of the simplest ways to keep your personal odors from seeping out into public. This spray is super easy to use. Simply spray the surface of the water in the toilet before using it. When you go to the bathroom a barrier is created that keeps the odors below the water surface and releases pleasant aromas into the air above the water. The spray bottle is small enough to keep in your pocket or your purse so you can carry it along with you wherever you have to go!

Whichever method you choose, your home or office will smell a whole lot better than before. No more embarrassment from the bathroom – now your poop can really smell like roses!

Apple Smart Watches, iPhones, and… Toilets?!

Apple Smart Watches, iPhones, and… Toilets?!

In lieu of Apple introducing the newest iPhones and a smart watch, the only thought on my mind is what will Apple do next? From phones to watches to mp3 players, Applecertainly has a multitude of products in the technology sector. The flair and finesse of their products cause them to stand out and have created the Apple signature. I can only imagine how this flair would carry over if Apple were to delve into the plumbing business. Your bathroom appliances would be made of glass, steel and aluminum with shiny finishes. Of course, concepts for all plumbing appliances haven’t been drawn out, but there is one concept for a bathroom utility Apple fans can dream of owning: the iPoo toilet.

the Apple iPoo concept toilet

iPoo: The Toilet for You

Conceptualized by Milos Paripovic in 2012, the iPoo is a “prestigious designer toilet” that, instead of being oval or round like most toilets, is apple shaped. This design is meant to offer a more comfortable seat as the apple shape resembles a person’s bottom. Furthermore, the toilet has a shiny finish and a single button on top of the ‘stem’ part of the toilet for flushing. The iPoo does not boast any added functionality or features besides its appearance, but for some, appearance is all that matters.

While the iPoo concept is a satire by the author solely meant to entertain, it is certainly a testament to how much influence style and looks have on a buyer in all facets of home life. There are some very real changes and additions you can make to your bathroom in order to add style, though for the time being these changes do not include anything manufactured by Apple.

Realistic Luxury Bathroom Ideas

Blue tile luxury bathroom

Many homeowners love the idea of standing out amongst their neighbors and friends with lavish, luxury homes. While the iPoo toilet certainly would be an eye-catching addition to any bathroom, there are some luxury bathroom ideas created by Metropolitan Home that are equally enticing.  One concept features a tub that stands alone on marble and centerpieces the rest of the bathroom. Shower lovers, fear not for there is a large shower enclosed in glass. The use of marble and the color white in this bathroom scheme gives the impression of cleanliness and highlights the sharp lines of the design. Another concept has blue tiles lining the floor and walls, dual sinks, a bathtub in the floor, and a walk in shower. The entire layout brings the beach or a tropical island to mind with its simplicity and blue color scheme. And really, who wouldn’t want subtle reminders of the ocean and tropics while showering or brushing your teeth?

These are just two ideas to spruce up your bathroom and add a touch of elegance to your home. The possibilities for designing your dream bathroom are endless, and here at My Plumber CA, we are committed to helping you accomplish your bathroom needs and dreams. Call us today to discuss your next bathroom remodel!

Centerpiece bathtub in a luxury bathroom remodel

 

Toilet Won’t Stop Running?

Every plumbing service soon gets to know the pet peeves of their customers. Along with slow-moving drains, low pressure and a high water bill, a toilet that won’t stop running is a thorn in peoples’ sides.

Troubleshooting a toilet that won’t stop running:

1      Jiggle the handle. If that solves the problem, the issue is likely that the chain is wrapped around the flush handle arm. You can fix this by taking the cover off the toilet tank and straightening out the chain. You may want to cut the chain with wirecutters if there’s more than an inch in excess chain. That should help prevent the problem in the future.

2      If jiggling the handle doesn’t work, the next step is to see if the tank is leaking. There are toilet dye tablets, but you can use food coloring if you like (not red, it can stain your tank. Blue is your best bet.) Drop the dye into the tank and wait a few minutes. If there’s coloring in your toilet bowl, you have a leaky flapper. Turn off the water, flush the tank, remove the flapper (it’s usually a simple snap-on fitting) and head down to your local home supply store for an exact match.

3      Not the flapper? Check the float. Does it stick? Mineral buildup can sometimes cause the float to stick. If this is the case, it will have to be switched out.

Those three steps will account for 90% of toilet problems. If it’s still running (or you just don’t feel like messing with it yourself) give My Plumber San Diego a call at 877-697-5862

Wendell and Mark's Favorite Plumbing Tips

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Our Favorite Plumbing Tips

It is easy to check for toilet leaks that might waste water and raise your water bill. Teach your children about water conservation by letting them help you. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If colored water shows up in your toilet bowlbeforethe next flush (at least 15 minutes) thenyou know that you have a leak that iswasting water and costing you money.