How To Effectively Maintain Your Outdoor Plumbing

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How To Effectively Maintain Your Outdoor Plumbing

How To Effectively Maintain Your Outdoor Plumbing

When you think about plumbing, your mind almost always wanders toward sinks, toilets, showers, pipes, and other fixtures inside the home. However, outdoor plumbing is equally as important to the functionality of your entire plumbing system. Neglecting its maintenance can affect your wallet and peace of mind. Discover how to effectively maintain your outdoor plumbing and what signs to look for to prevent such stress.

Inspect Your Outdoor Spigots

When you turn the handle on your spigot to the left, water should flow freely, providing ample pressure for your water hose or a drink on a hot day. If it’s a trickle, it’s usually one of two issues:

  1. The valve from the water line to your spigot is off, possibly due to your winterization process. Pull the handle to allow free water flow as normal.
  2. You have a cracked pipe leading to the spigot.

Seek professional help immediately to prevent further issues or leaks in your home’s interior if your valve is in the on position and you suspect a crack.

Pro Tip: If water is squirting between your hose and spigot, the rubber washer on your hose is probably worn. Replace it with a new one for about $0.50, and you’re back in business.  This and many more tips are available to you by our team of San Mateo Plumbers.

Get Regular Septic Tank Inspections

Septic tanks are essential for sewage removal in your home, but if you don’t maintain them, you could find raw sewage backing up into your home — something no one wants.

Depending on the size and condition of your septic tank, you should schedule an inspection and pumping every three to five years. You should also keep certain items out of your plumbing system to prevent any potential clogs, including:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Oil and grease
  • Sanitary products
  • Hazardous chemicals

Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts clogged with debris can cause substantial damage to your home, including wood rot, flooding, or even foundation cracks due to hydrostatic pressure. As such, keeping them clean is essential.

Generally, you should clean your gutters and downspouts every spring and fall, allowing water to flow freely into the sewer. If you have numerous trees in your yard, you may want to clean your gutters more frequently — or at least inspect them every month or two to ensure they’re working.

Examine Your Plumbing Vent Pipe

A plumbing vent pipe is a type of pipe that exits your home to allow gases and odors to dissipate while allowing water to flow freely. Since the pipe often exits through the ceiling, it can become clogged with debris or bird nests. Examine these pipes about once every six months to keep this vent pipe clean.

When In Doubt, Get Professional Help

Not every DIYer can tackle issues with outdoor plumbing, so don’t feel slighted if you’re not up to the task. You may not have the time or knowledge, or you may just want the project done right the first time.

Whatever your reason, hiring a plumber can alleviate the stress associated with outdoor plumbing problems or potential catastrophes. Call our plumbers in the Bay Area at Express Plumbin to schedule an appointment and take the hassle and guesswork out of your outdoor plumbing debacle.

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6 Ways To Conserve Water at Your Home

6 Ways To Conserve Water at Your Home

According to a Washington State Department of Health report, Americans waste up to 30 gallons of water daily, equating to almost 8,000 gallons a year. Such waste can impact access to water in the long run, dramatically increasing your water bills.

However, you don’t need a magic trick to save water — you just need to become more conscientious about your water usage. Apply these tips to conserve water at home, become more eco-friendly, and put more money in your pocket.

1. Fix Leaks

One of the most effective ways to conserve water is to fix leaks as soon as you notice them. A dripping faucet or a leaking toilet can waste up to 300 gallons of water each month. Inspect your plumbing regularly or sign up for a preventive maintenance plan and repair any leaks promptly to conserve water.

Our team of experienced residential plumbers in the Bay Area fix leaks on a daily basis, give us a call if you suspect a leak anywhere around your home or business.

2. Install Water-Saving Fixtures

Upgrading to water-efficient fixtures can significantly reduce water consumption in your home. Install low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilets with dual-flush or low-flow options. These fixtures are designed to maintain water pressure while using less water, helping you conserve without sacrificing performance.

If you’re unsure which fixtures to choose, look for the WaterSense label. This EPA designation ensures the fixture has the highest efficiency standards.  Besides plumbing repairs, we help homeowners upgrade all their fixtures, remodel bathrooms, kitchen sinks and more.

3. Take Shorter Showers

A long, hot shower always feels nice after a long day. However, they can also contribute to water waste. To conserve water, use a shower timer or challenge yourself to shower in five minutes or less.

4. Use Rainwater or Greywater 

Harnessing rainwater or greywater is an eco-friendly way to supplement your water supply for outdoor use. Install a rain barrel or a rainwater harvesting system to collect rainwater from your roof or a greywater system to funnel used water to the exterior of your house.

Use this water to feed your garden, wash your car, or do other outdoor tasks, reducing the need for treated water.

5. Always Do Full Loads

Whether doing laundry or running the dishwasher, always wait until you have a full load before starting the cycle. Washing partial loads wastes water and energy and is far less efficient. Only do smaller loads when you need a garment for work or a special occasion.

6. Water Smart

Watering your lawn or garden regularly encourages growth and health. But don’t water haphazardly; do it the right way.

For the sake of conservation, water your plants or lawn during the coolest part of the day to reduce evaporation. You should also water plants at their base rather than overhead to deliver water directly to the roots where it’s needed most. For added water conservation, consider drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses, which are more efficient than traditional sprinklers.

Put These Tips into Practice

Incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine can significantly impact water conservation efforts. With minor changes to your habits and a touch of mindfulness, you can help preserve this precious resource for future generations while lowering your water bill and reducing your environmental footprint.

At Express Plumbing, we’re not only a company, we’re also residents of this beautiful San Francisco area.  We not only share these tips with you but we also follow them ourselves in our homes.  Give us a call when you need a residential plumbing expert in the Bay Area.

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Spring Rain & Plumbing Issues: What You Need To Know

Spring Rain & Plumbing Issues: What You Need To Know

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and April showers give flowers and vegetation the fuel they need to flourish. But behind this idyllic scene lies a lurking issue you may not have thought about: your plumbing.

Excessive rain can cause a glut of plumbing problems if you’re unprepared. Before spring comes, take the initiative. Learn more about potential plumbing problems caused by rain and what you can do to solve them.

Sewer Backups

Due to thawing snow/ice and rain, sewer backups are common during spring. Water in the sewer system is full, and the situation overloads your sewer main. As a result, raw sewage and water may flow out of the toilet, creating an undesirable situation.

Heavy rainfall may make sewer backups unavoidable, but you can take a few steps to rectify the situation. Make sure to get your sewer main cleaned at least once every two years, never pour oil or grease down the drain, and install a backflow valve.


When the ground surrounding your home is saturated or hasn’t thawed from the cold, it can’t absorb water. Without anywhere to go, water starts to seep into your foundation, which can lead to flooding in your basement. Furthermore, if you don’t clean your gutters regularly, the hydrostatic pressure can crack the foundation, leading to even more flooding.

To alleviate this situation, regularly remove gunk from your gutters, clean drainage pipes, and install window well covers as necessary.

Slab Leaks

Slab leaks result from pipes bursting or leaking underneath your home’s foundation. As the pipe continues to leak, your concrete starts to absorb the water, which can lead to pools of water in your basement. Excessive rain, especially when the soil becomes saturated, exacerbates the problem. Corroded pipes are also a root cause of slab leaks.

To avoid this situation, avoid corrosive drain cleaners like Drano and have your plumbing inspected regularly. Though slab leaks may be unavoidable, some preventive maintenance can go a long way.

Septic Tank Issues

Heavy rain is the mortal enemy of septic tanks. When rain comes down in droves, it can saturate the ground around your septic tank and seep into the tank itself. When this happens, your septic tank intake can’t handle the plumbing and sewage system load, resulting in a sewer backup or a problematic overload.

The only way to ensure your septic tank can handle heavy rain is to get it inspected regularly and emptied. You should also find ways to seal the riser surrounding your septic tank so heavy rains don’t impact it.

Ease Into Spring with a Visit from a Plumbing Pro

With so much at stake, don’t gamble with your plumbing this spring. A yearly preventive maintenance visit from a plumbing professional ensures that your plumbing system is in tip-top shape while also thwarting any potential for major plumbing problems. 

Before the spring showers start, give our San Mateo plumbers a call.  At Express Plumbing, we serve the entire Bay Area by providing residential plumbing, commercial plumbing and other services that help prevent plumbing problems from occuring.

Contact us today for an estimate.

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5 Things To Consider During a Bathroom Remodel

5 Things To Consider During a Bathroom Remodel

Staying with the current trends can improve the value of your home — so long as they’re tasteful. Your bathroom is no different. With emerging technologies, decor, and aesthetics, remodeling your bathroom can lead to better value for your home and even lower water and utility bills.

However, a bathroom remodel isn’t exactly cheap. With an average price of about $10,000, you want to ensure you’re making a solid plan. Consider a few of these aspects to avoid sunken costs and wasted time.

1. Setting a Realistic Budget

Though the average bathroom remodel price is around $10,000, that doesn’t mean you should automatically attempt to hit this figure. Depending on the size and scope of the project, ten grand becomes an arbitrary figure.

More importantly, you should stick to a budget that suits your financial situation and the size of the bathroom itself. In most cases, a dollar-per-square-foot figure is a better plan. Aim for a budget between $70 to $250 per square foot to keep yourself on budget.

2. Focus on a Particular Goal

The biggest mistake that many homeowners make with a bathroom model is a lack of focus. They hear that remodeling a bathroom adds value to their home, or maybe they just want a new look — neither is particularly a solid reason to have a bathroom remodel.

Instead, focus on a tangible goal and consider what you aim to achieve. Do you want to update the fixtures? Do you need more water-efficient fixtures? Are you bringing the bathroom to a more contemporary style? Do you need to redo the entire thing or just a portion?

Answering these questions and choosing a remodeling scope can drastically improve the project’s outcome.

3. Improve Ventilation

Excessive moisture is the most common foe of a functional and aesthetically pleasing bathroom. The only way to negate this moisture is by adding ventilation. Generally, aim for ventilation fan ratings equal to one cubic foot per minute (CFM) per square foot. For example, if your bathroom is 85 square feet, get a ventilation fan rating of at least 85 CFM. This will eliminate wall water marks, mildew, and mold.

4. Add Some Better Lighting

Layering your bathroom lighting is integral to your enjoyment of the room itself. Dim lighting is the scourge of a great vanity area, while lackluster lighting over the toilet creates a depressing spot to do your business.

If possible, add several different light fixtures in the form of ceiling mounts, sconces, and overhead lights — and all with dimmers if possible. This lets you control the brightness and ultimately leads to a more versatile experience in showering, grooming, or doing your business.

5. Hiring the Right Person for the Job

Even if you want to install the shelving, racks, tile, or decor, not everything should be a DIY event in a bathroom model. For rough plumbing, water rerouting, and fixture installation, enlist the help of our professional Bay Area plumbers.  At Express Plumbing, we are experienced and licensed to handle any size project.

With the right mix of experience and expertise, a reputable plumber can complete the plumbing aspects of your remodel precisely and accurately — adding to the allure of your brand-new bathroom.

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6 Steps to Take During a Plumbing Emergency

6 Steps to Take During a Plumbing Emergency

Whether you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday or a Christmas get-together, your plumbing system works hard for you throughout the year. But if you’re a homeowner, you know it’s only a matter of time before a plumbing issue happens. Unfortunately, these are almost an inevitability. So, the best plan against these emergencies is knowing what to do if they occur.

Rather than panic, these steps should ensure that you limit the damage and fix the problem before it causes a catastrophe in your house. Here’s what you should know if that fateful day finally comes.

1. Identify the Source of the Problem

Whether you notice water on the bathroom floor, in the basement, or somewhere else in the house, you should identify the source of the problem. By narrowing down the source of the issue, you can relay the information to a plumber and find the nearest shutoff valve to stymie the problem.

2. Turn Off the Water

The next step during any plumbing emergency is to shut off the water. Water fixtures such as sinks and toilets should have a valve that you can use to shut off the water supply.

However, burst pipes or leaks from other areas may require you to turn off the main water valve. This is usually located in either the garage, basement, or somewhere on the exterior edge of your house. Turn this off immediately if you can’t locate the exact source of the problem.

3. Contact our Plumbers

Once you have the water off, the next step is to call a plumber. At Express Plumbing, we offer emergency services 24/7 including holidays and weekends.  This call can help you avoid the potential for more damage.  

4. Soak Up the Water

While waiting for the plumber, you can clean up some of the mess. Use towels to soak up excess moisture — preferably cloth towels instead of paper towels. You can wring out the towels as you use them and reduce waste simultaneously.

If the water is from the toilet, make sure that you wear gloves and other protective gear to eliminate the chance of illness from human waste.

5. Remove the Rest of the Water From Your Pipes

Even after you shut off the main water valve, water will remain in your pipes. The only way to purge the water from your pipes is to turn on your water fixtures. Turn on the sinks, showers, and spigots around your house to remove any remaining water. Hopefully, this will stop the leak altogether.

6. Turn Off Your Water Heater

During a plumbing emergency, excess water and gas buildup can severely damage your water heater or cause it to overheat. As such, you should always turn off your water heater to limit or avoid damage. If you have a gas water heater, make sure to turn off the gas before you turn off the water heater itself.

Always Hire a Reputable Plumber

Even in an emergency, hiring a reputable plumber is advisable. An experienced plumber with solid reviews ensures that you resolve the plumbing issue in minimal time at a reasonable cost. Hopefully, you never have a catastrophic plumbing issue. But if you do, our plumbers can at least give you a bit of solace.


Contact us today for all your commercial plumbing and residential plumbing in the Bay Area.  We’ve been helping our customers for multiple decades and look forward to serving you.

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Start the Year Right With This New Year's Plumbing Checklist

Start the Year Right With This New Year’s Plumbing Checklist

The New Year is about reflecting on the past year and what you need to do for a successful future. While this usually consists of working out, eating healthier, or achieving a goal, don’t forget about your plumbing.

Without a functioning plumbing system, you put your house, comfort, and quality of living at risk. Don’t wait until a catastrophic failure to address your plumbing. Instead, start the year off right with this handy New Year’s plumbing checklist.

Flush Your Water Heater

Over time, sediment builds within your water heater. If left inside the tank for too long, this sediment can cause malfunctions and breakdowns that can make a hot shower impossible. The only recourse is to flush your water heater at least once a year.

Releasing water from your water heater ensures that the pipes connected to the water heater and the water heater itself are clear of debris — saving you on costly repairs to boot.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to an instant water heater you can avoid thi step all together.  Express Plumbing has installed hundreds of tankless water heaters in the Bay Area and our customers love it.

Only Put the Right Things Down the Drain

A house call for a clogged sink or pipe can cost you hundreds of dollars, but the good news is that it’s avoidable. As part of your New Year’s resolutions, make a concerted effort to put only correct items down the drain — water, certain foods, and toilet paper.

Avoid putting these items down the drain or garbage disposal:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers
  • Paper towels
  • “Flushable” wipes
  • Cotton balls

If you can keep these out of the drain, the chance of a plumbing catastrophe lowers immensely.

Fix Leaks and Insulate Your Pipes

Fixing a leak isn’t exactly a fun way to spend your New Year, but it’s a necessary task for a homeowner. When you see a leak, take time and care to fix it quickly. If you need help or your home DIY doesn’t get the job done, you can always contact a plumber. By fixing these leaks early, you can avoid potential damage and higher water bills.

In addition, you should also insulate any pipes that are exposed to low temperatures or the elements. Using foam insulation, wrap each of these pipes, which helps them avoid freezing and bursting. Just like fixing leaks, insulating pipes is every bit as important to the integrity of your plumbing system, as well as the cutting potential repair costs.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance With a Certified Plumber

A final way to ensure your plumbing hums along without issue over the next year is to hire a certified, experienced plumber. Not only can we diagnose any potential issues, but we can also perform preventive maintenance that ensures you don’t have any problems in the future.

We offer our Bay Area customers a preventive maintenance visit for a small fee, allowing you to get priority service and discounts on parts and house calls. It may not be the same as running a marathon or eating better, but it’s one thing off your plate. You’ll be glad you made the call — and you’ll start your year off with a bang — just not one from your plumbing system.

Happy New Year from all of us at Express Plumbing, your local plumbers, always eager to help you, 24/7 including holidays and weekends.

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DIY Plumbing Fixes for the Christmas Season

DIY Plumbing Fixes for the Christmas Season

The Christmas season is here once again. You’re probably thinking about guest lists, meals, presents, and planning — it’s enough to overwhelm everyone. However, many people often overlook one of the most important aspects of the holiday season: their plumbing.


Even the most well-maintained plumbing systems can get pushed to their limits during Christmas, as cooking, bathing, and extra guests take a toll on fixtures and pipes. As a result, you should know a few tricks and tips to fix minor problems. Before your guests arrive, familiarize yourself with these DIY plumbing fixes for the holiday season.

Shower Won’t Drain

Hair, soap, and other debris can quickly clog your shower drain. When you have more guests at the house, this situation is almost an inevitability.


The first step is to take off the drain cover. Once you’ve removed it, you can see in side the drain. This area is usually clogged with soap and hair, so remove it and see if that fixes the issue.


If problems persist, your clog is further down the drain. In this case, dump a pot of boiling water down the hole and follow that up with a plunger.


Avoid drain cleaners, as these can burn your skin, harm your pipes, and cause environmental damage over time.


Toilet Keeps Running

If you constantly hear running water from your bathroom, your toilet has some issues — but ones that are usually easy to fix.


Take the lid off the toilet tank. Inside, you should see the flapper that opens and closes to let water in and out, as well as a float, which is a rubber piece that ensures the water fills to the right level.


Ensure that the float is adjusted just below the overflow valve and not rubbing against anything. If that doesn’t fix the problem, your flapper probably isn’t sealing. Try moving it to create a seal; if that doesn’t work, you may need to buy a new flapper. Installing a new flapper is easy if you just follow the instructions on the package.

Kitchen Sink Is Clogged

As you prepare holiday meals, food and debris will inevitably get into your sink’s drain. After a day or two, this can cause a considerable clog — one’s that even a garbage disposal can’t remedy.

If this happens to you, try one of these solutions:

  • Turn on the hot water and add a bit of dish soap to lubricate the block.
  • If that’s to no avail, dump boiling hot water down the drain to eliminate the clog.
  • If that still doesn’t work, use a plunger on the sink to dislodge the the clog.

Not a DIYer? Don’t Stress

If you’re not a DIYer, you may feel a bit of anxiety about solving plumbing problems on your own. But you’re surely not the only person who struggles with it.


Did you know at Express Plumbing in San Mateo we offer 24/7 service including holidays and weekends?  You will always have a live person that answers when you call, and our technicians are glad to assist you whenever you need us.


For the non-DIYer, the only reasonable solution is to call our Bay Area technicians.  We can diagnose problems quickly with our advanced plumbing equipment, provide adequate fixes, and even provide suggestions for preventive maintenance now and in the future. It’s a holiday failsafe that’s sure not to backfire.


Happy Holidays from our entire family at Express Plumbing, we look forward to helping you when you need any plumbing in the Bay Area.

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How To Get Your Kitchen Thanksgiving-Ready

How To Get Your Kitchen Thanksgiving-Ready

Although Thanksgiving affords you time to reconnect with friends and family and give thanks for the past year, it’s also a hectic time that can lead to stress — especially if you’re hosting a large gathering or dinner.


However, you can plan for the occasion by getting your kitchen Thanksgiving-ready. From pre-Thanksgiving steps to day-of tips, here are ways to keep your kitchen clean and prepped for all the Turkey Day festivities.


Here are some amazing Thanksgiving holiday tips from our plumbing crew at Express Plumbing in San Mateo.  Residential plumbers everywhere will agree:

Wait To Run the Dishwasher

Obviously, you want to wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it to conserve water. But another reason exists for holding off — problems with the garbage disposal.


Even seasoned homeowners aren’t aware that both the garbage disposal and dishwasher drain into your kitchen sink. If you run the garbage disposal while the dishwasher operates, you risk getting food particles and debris into your dishwashing cycle. If you only want to clean the dishes once, make sure that you use your garbage disposal before you turn on the dishwasher.

Keep Junk out of the Garbage Disposal

Speaking of your garbage disposal, a significant household issues and future repairs during and after Thanksgiving lies within this handy appliance. Many people aren’t sure what’s suitable to go down the drain — leading to clogs, disrepair, and even the need for a replacement.


To err on the side of caution (and potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars on repair or replacement costs), copy this list and put it near the garbage disposal so all your guests know.


Items that should never go in the garbage disposal include:

  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Grease or oil
  • Leafy plants
  • Pasta and rice
  • Fibrous foods
  • Pits
  • Onion layers
  • Potato peels

Clean the Fridge and Freezer

Your fridge and freezer go into hyperdrive during Thanksgiving — including before and after the big day. If you have extra time, prep both for a heavy workload by:

  • Cleaning out any old food
  • Using a household cleaner or a water-vinegar mixture to clean the interior
  • Removing the drawers and washing them with soap and water so everything is nice and tidy
  • Opening a tub of baking soda and put it inside to reduce pungent odors
  • Using the freezer to free up extra space in the fridge

Dispose of Grease Properly

Grease never goes in the drain or garbage disposal, but getting rid of grease properly is also a concern. Grease dumped outside can attract animals or harm your sewer or plumbing systems as it absorbs into the soil.


As a result, you should dispose of your grease in a plastic receptacle. Once it hardens, throw it out with the rest of the trash.

Call a Plumber

Your kitchen works overtime during Thanksgiving, as does the rest of the plumbing around your house. If you want to ensure that your toilets, sinks, and showers are ready for houseguests, give Express Plumbing in San Mateo a call.  Our technicians are available 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


With preventive maintenance and a thorough inspection, your plumber ensures everything works correctly. You have enough on your plate already, so don’t add trouble unnecessarily. Call a plumber, get your kitchen ready, and focus on the joy of the holiday.  From all of us at Express Plumbing.  Happy Thanksgiving.

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How To Find the Right Plumber for the Job

How To Find the Right Plumber for the Job

From running toilets to leaky faucets to kitchen remodels, having a great plumber is a godsend. They know what work is crucial, the parts you’ll need, and any obstacles you may face. The only problem is finding the right plumber for the job.

Like many other trades, plumbing contractors vary in expertise, quality, and price. Before you choose a plumbing contractor, use these tips to find a credible option with the knowledge to do the work in a timely, expert, and affordable fashion.

Find One That’s Licensed and Insured

Every reputable plumber has a license from the state. Without a license, the plumber may not meet the state’s requirements — and it’s usually a red flag. Moreover, you’ll want to find one that’s also insured, which protects your finances against any poor work that a plumber does. By finding a licensed and bonded plumber, you can put your mind at ease while also feeling better about the quality of the work.

Ask Friends and Family

The internet is full of reviews for plumbers. Just type in “plumber” and your city, and you’re inundated with dozens of options. Unfortunately, the reviews that accompany these plumbers aren’t always accurate. Different people have different expectations that can cause lackluster reviews, but businesses can also pay individuals to provide glowing reviews. The simple idea is that you shouldn’t trust everything you read.

Instead, go straight to the source — the customers themselves. Ask your friends and family who they hired for their plumbing, and you should come across several options to compare and contrast.

Our team of plumbers at Express Plumbing has been serving the Bay Area community, both homeowners and business owners rely on our vast expertise and history in the industry.  There is no job too big or too small for our crew to handle.  Learn more about our company.

Get a Free Estimate

A huge red flag in the world of plumbing is a plumber that refuses to give a free estimate. When a plumber doesn’t give the estimate, chances are that they will hit you with an outrageous bill, or they don’t have the expertise to know what they’re doing.

Any reputable plumbing company will send someone to inspect any damage or discuss remodeling plans, give you a written estimate, and answer any questions you may have. If you don’t get a free estimate, the plumber gives you flack about estimates, or they can’t answer your questions satisfactorily, check out other options.

Go With Your Gut

Even if a plumber has glowing reviews, don’t go on other people’s opinions alone. If you’re unhappy with the quality of the work, the behavior of the employees, or you just get a bad feeling, trust your gut. You can always choose another plumbing contractor to get the job done.

Opt for Experience Over Other Metrics

Running a business is hard work. Without attention to detail and great management and leadership, the business can suffer. As such, only a handful of plumbing companies survive over the long run.

However, how long a plumber has been in business can often provide insight into their abilities and qualities. Experience is a superb measuring stick of reputation and expertise. If everything else is even between contractors, go with the one that offers years of experience on the job.

Need plumbing in the Bay Area?  We’re happy to serve both residential and commercial customers throughout the San Francisco Bay with 24/7 service including holidays and weekends. Call now.

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5 Ways To Prevent Clogs in Your Drains and Pipes

5 Ways To Prevent Clogs in Your Drains and Pipes

Clogs are a significant problem in many households and one of the main reasons homeowners contact plumbers. However, clogs are also one of the most straightforward hassles to prevent. By taking a few proactive and preventive steps, you can avoid the clogs that can cause water to back up in your kitchen and bathrooms.

1. Don’t Pour Oil or Grease Down the Drain

Pouring oil or grease down the kitchen sink is one of the leading causes of clogged drains. When you pour these liquids down the drain, they bond with other solids — namely food particles — and create clogs over time. You may not see a clog for weeks or even months, but the more you pour down the drain, the greater the likelihood that you’ll cause a major clog.

Instead of pouring these liquids down the drain, use a tin can — such as one that holds coffee — or an aluminum can. Wait until the oil and grease cool down and solidify, then throw the entire can in the garbage.

2. Use a Mesh Strainer

If you want an affordable way to prevent clogs in your drains and pipes, a mesh sink strainer is effective and will only set you back about $2 or $3. These strainers sit in the drain’s opening and collect anything that’s not a liquid. In the kitchen, you’ll catch food particles; in the bathroom, hair will no longer be a problem. You simply need to clean them out periodically, and you’re set.

3. Put the Right Things in the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is a handy feature in the kitchen, but it’s not made to devour every food byproduct from cooking. To prevent clogs in your drains and pipes, avoid putting these things in the garbage disposal:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Bones
  • Pasta
  • Seeds and pits
  • Stringy vegetables

You can also clean and improve the performance of your garbage disposal by running ice through it about once a month, followed by lemons for an improved scent.

5. Learn How To Use a Snake

Plumbers frequently use snakes to eliminate severe clogs, but if you can master them, you can clean minor to moderate clogs. Simple snakes are handheld devices that you push into the drain and move back and forth to remove a clog — super easy for almost anyone. For moderate clogs, you can also buy one that attaches to a drill and acts as an auger to remove clogs. Either way, you can remove clogs in a pinch with minimal effort or headache.

6. Master the Vinegar-Baking Soda Mix

Harsh drain cleaners may remove clogs but can also corrode your pipes and contaminate water. Instead of reaching for the Drano, try mixing vinegar and baking soda to clear minor clogs. These two substances react chemically, creating a foaming mixture and carbon dioxide-based bubbles. When poured into the drain, it effectively removes clogs that snakes or other methods can’t.

When All Else Fails, Call a Plumber

Sometimes, even the most vigilant person may find a clog in one of their drains — it’s one of the inevitabilities of homeownership. If natural cleaners, snakes, and preventive measures still result in a clog, give us a call as your local San Mateo Plumber.

Our experienced plumbers can diagnose the problem, fix any issues, and offer helpful advice to prevent similar occurrences. Even if you fancy yourself a DIYer, calling a professional can be the safer, smarter bet.  We look forward to serving you.

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