Every time you flush your toilet or wash your hands, you’re using your septic or sewer system. They are systems that are generally out of sight, out of mind, and are thus rarely thought of until something goes wrong. You likely only have one of the systems, but do you know the difference between the two and why one might be more beneficial for you than the other.
If you live in a city or town, then you probably pay a water and sewer bill every month. A sewer system is a large scale drainage system ran by the municipal government. They maintain and upgrade the system and you make a payment every month. When you build a house, you connect to the sewer system. If anything happens outside of that connection on your property or is the fault of the primary system, then the city pays for the repair. If it happens after the connection or is the fault of the homeowner, then you must pay the cost of repair.
If you live outside of the city, then you likely have a septic tank system. The septic tank is an underground tank that holds the drained water from sinks and toilets. Unlike a sewer system that connects entire communities to a single drain field, a septic system is for a single home. When you flush or use sink water, it drains into the tank where it is filtered into three layers. The top layer is called the scum layer and comprises everything that floats. The middle layer is clear water along with fertilizing chemicals such as nitrogen. The bottom layer is the sludge layer…you can probably guess what that’s mostly made of. The tanks hold about 1,000 gallons, with wastewater leached out to a septic field. If anything goes wrong with the septic tank or if the sludge builds up so much it needs to be removed, then you’re responsible for the cost.
The cost of a septic system is all upfront and can be about $16,000 depending on how big of a tank you need, etc. Once this is paid, you no longer pay anything for your sewer system. This is the biggest advantage of a septic system, but the biggest drawback is you’re responsible for everything if anything goes wrong. There are very few reasons why a septic system should malfunction. You pay monthly for a city sewer line and that cost varies depending on the city. The biggest drawback for sewers is the lines themselves can be decades if not a century old and is generally repaired piecemeal. You’ll never not pay for using city sewers.
If you have questions about sewer and septic systems, feel free to contact us (805) 647-0113.
Plumbers can help with all plumbing repair problems big or small, but it costs money to have us come to your home. Many times, small issues can be taken care of by the homeowner and you can save calling the plumber for major emergencies. When there is a small problem, grab your wrench and plunger and get ready to tackle it all on your own.
Every good plumber has a toolkit, and so should every DIY plumber. It’s important to have a toolkit for plumbing that is separate from your primary toolkit. These tools will get down and dirty, so it’s best to just keep them together. You need two plungers: one for the sink and one for the toilet… don’t use the same one on both… ick. You’ll need an adjustable wrench, screwdriver, pliers, utility knife, plumbing tape and a caulking gun. With these tools, you’re ready to tackle almost any plumbing problem thrown at you.
Whether it’s a toilet, sink or bathtub, clogged drains can be a major pain. Many times, the culprit isn’t a children’s toy lodged in toilet or tree root cutting through the pipe. It’s more mundane such as food and grease in the sinks, hair in the bathtub and…poo…in the toilet. The good news is you can take care of these without call the plumber. Grab your trusty plunger and place it over the drain. It’s important that the plunger has a good seal, so when you press down on the plunger, the air rushes into the drain and not out the sides. Forcefully press down on the plunger repeatedly until the clog is cleared.
A running toilet is most likely caused by a stop valve or plug in the assembly inside the toilet tank. Open the back of the toilet and look to see the plug has a good seal or if the floater is too high and causing the plug to not cover the hole. You might be able to fix temporarily by jiggling the handle, but replacing the assembly is easy and inexpensive. If you have a leaky toilet, then you need to find out where the leak is occurring. If it’s a crack in the porcelain, then you might be able to caulk it. If it’s coming from under the toilet, then you’ll have to unscrew the main seat, empty out the water and lift it up to see the wax ring. The seal is likely broken, and you’ll need a new wax ring.
If you’re having a toilet or other plumbing problem, let us help you.
When the weather changes, it can wreak havoc on your plumbing systems and can lead to serious plumbing service and repair if not handled correctly. Whether it’s extreme heat or extreme cold, preventative maintenance can save you money and hassle.
When the temperatures start to fall, you need to take care of your pipes. You may think because the pipes are in the basement or your crawl space that they’re safe from freezing, but that’s not the case. When the water comes into your home from outside, it can be cold enough to freeze. The permafrost is enough to keep the underground water from freezing, but that’s not the case as it gets closer to the surface. When the pipes freeze, it can cause you to lose water and if the water expands, then it can lead to a pipe rupture. Simply wrapping insulation around the pipe can be enough to keep the pipes from freezing. The solution only takes a few minutes and it can end up saving you thousands in repair costs.
When the temperature drops it impacts not only the pipes into your home but out as well. When temperatures are higher, and you pour grease or other items down the drain, it can go through most of the piping without hardening. Cold pipes will harden the grease faster and lead to clogs. The best thing to do is never pour grease down the drain. Instead, collect it in containers and keep your pipes clear all year round.
People love going on vacation during the summer and in all the excitement you may forget all about your hot water heater. Even when you’re not home, the heater will continue to heat the water, costing you money and causing unnecessary wear and tear. When you’re leaving, turn down the heater, so you’re not taxing it so much. Since it’s the summer, you may want to shut the gas off entirely and eliminate any worries. If something happens while you’re gone, no one will be there to call a plumber if the water heater should leak or stop working. The last thing you want to deal with is a gas leak.
Temperature changes can be devastating, but contact us if you have any questions on how you can be prepared.
Home renovations whether it’s the bathroom or the kitchen can revitalize your home and create the room you’ve you always dreamed about. You’ll spend months researching and going through all the different steps, so you can finally begin. While you might consider everything from appliances to contractors, there are some aspects regarding plumbing service that people don’t consider.
Renovations can be exciting, and people often want to make everything perfect since it will be years before anything new happens. It can be tempting to move a stove or sink from one location to another, but be careful. The installation and adjustment of plumbing and gas lines can add up. Talk to a plumber beforehand and get an estimate. They may have to go through concrete or other materials that can add time or cost to the installation. There may also be pipes that need to be replaced or other unforeseen problems.
Your plumbing fixtures as such as bathroom sinks, bathtubs, showers and kitchen sink will be the ones you’re stuck with for a decade or more. You don’t want to do renovations every few years, so get the plumbing fixtures you want now instead of regretting it later. You may think that fancy fixtures are outside the budget, but would you rather spend a little extra to get the best or regret your decision for a decade? Keeping a tight rein on your budget is important, but so is having a satisfying result. The fixtures will be front and center no matter what room you’re renovating, so get the ones you really want.
When you’re renovating, you’re adding many items to the budget. Everything from the cost of appliances, shipping, contractors, etc. The budget can get high fast, but don’t forget to account for unexpected expenses. There’s a general rule that you need to set aside about 20 percent of the budget for “just in case.” You may find that the contractors need more time, the price of the stove is more than thought or the sink you ordered wasn’t the right size. There are many unexpected costs that add up quickly, so keep that in mind when creating a renovation budget.
If you need helps with quotes for a home renovation or any other plumbing issues, then feel free to contact us today.
Every spring, people around the world feel the temperatures rise and want to open their homes to fresh air after months of winter doldrums. Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition that includes cleaning various areas of the home, but don’t forget about your plumbing. When the urge to get your house in order takes over, listen to out plumbing advice and make sure you take care of your plumbing too.
It’s recommended to occasionally use an ecologically friendly drain cleaner to keep your pipes clear throughout the year. You can do this any time of the year, but it makes sense (and an easy way to remember) to do it when you do your spring cleaning. Throughout the year, items such as hair and grease may go down the drain and over time that will cause a clog. Using an organic drain cleaner can help you keep the pipes clog free.
Your water heater worked extra hard this winter to keep your water warm, so you should reward it with an inspection. Winter can be hard on water heaters as they try to keep the water warm despite the frigidly cold temperatures. By doing an inspection in spring, you can take care of any problems before they become an emergency. The last thing you want is for your heater to go out or need to be replaced because of a problem you could have already fixed with hot water plumbing.
The winter can be a nightmare for pipes and fixtures. If you have any leaky pipes, fixtures or toilets, then spring cleaning is the perfect time to get them fixed. Leaky pipes and fixtures may not seem very important right now, but the leak will worsen over time and it could be doing significant damage to your flooring, cabinets or anything else the water touches. If you let a leak go, then you could end up paying for a major plumbing repair. If you have a sink linking, take care of it now when it’s only a minor inconvenience.
If you need help or advice on your plumbing problem, then let us help you today!
When you’ve been plumbing experts as long as us, you start hearing the same questions from customers. There are many common problems and issues that affect people every day and they naturally give rise to plumbing questions. Here is a list of some of the most common questions we receive.
In an ideal world, the only thing to go down your drain is water, but all too often food particles, grease, and hair go down as well. These can get stuck in the pipe and eventually cause a clog. Alternatively, if your drainage pipe breaks, dirt can fall into it and create a clog. One of the most common causes of this kind of outside-the-home clog is a tree root that has grown through the pipe.
The first line of defense is vigilance. Routinely inspect your pipes and look for areas where rust or lime is forming. Leaks most often start where two pipes connect, so keep an extra close eye on these areas. If you see these deposits, then contact a plumber to take care of it. Leaky pipes can damage floors, walls, and anything else around them if they go unchecked.
A running toilet is a common problem that many people just ignore. Even if it’s not causing you any outward problems, it’s still costing you money. A running toilet can cost you up to an extra hundred dollars a year in water costs! Fortunately, the fix is usually pretty simple and can be done by you at home for as little as $10. Why spend an extra $100 a year when a $10 fix can stop it?
When you routinely put food into the garbage disposal, some of that food can get stuck in the disposal area and begin to rot. If you smell a rotten smell coming from your sink, then cut up a lemon, lime, or other citrus fruit, and put the pieces into the disposal. They’ll help clean the disposal and leave a lemon fresh scent. The last thing you want is a disposal repair because of rotten food. Alternatively, just the peels are still helpful if you’d rather eat the meat of the fruit.
Is there anything worse than getting shot with cold water in the middle of a shower? Many people ask us why they run out of how water so quickly. It could be you’re simply using more hot water than your current water heater tank can supply. In that case, consider a larger tank or a tankless water heater. If nothing about your daily routine has changed, and there are no additional people in the house, however, it could also be a problem with the water heater or a leak in the hot water lines in your home. In that case, you should definitely call a plumber.
If you have any more questions about plumbing, let us know and we’ll provide our best answer.
People are natural procrastinators. If we can do something tomorrow rather than today, we likely will. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, but many times it can get us into unnecessary trouble. Horrific plumbing problems rarely start out all that bad; they begin as something small and annoying, but over time grow and grow until one day you have a major issue. When you take the time to take care of a small problem, you may end up saving yourself from a major problem down the line.
Unless a child places something directly into the toilet such as a toy, clogs don’t usually just happen. You’ll probably notice the water draining a little slower and it gets worse and worse until you flush the toilet and suddenly you’re ankle deep in dirty water. That’s a problem no one wants to have and could have been avoided with a little short-term care. If you had the soon-to-be clog taken care of before it became fully blocked, you could have avoided ankle deep dirty water. Clear the clogged bathtub drain now and not later.
Updating your pipes is a major project, but it will save you tons of money and headaches in the future. There is nothing more precarious than going through a winter with old piping. The rust and limestone that have steadily formed over the years may have made your pipes more prone breakage and leaks. When a pipe breaks, it can cause thousands of dollars in damage and you’ll still have to have the pipes repaired. Instead, get the pipes updated before the break. You’ll decrease the rinks of anything happening for many years and avoid having to fix a plumbing leak.
You may not know that a problem is forming because you don’t have the knowledge and tools to see it. We suggest getting plumbing checkups that allow us to look at everything and find any problems before they become major. It can be as simple as saving money by stopping a running toilet to discovering a basement plumbing leak before the rots out your entire floor area. Don’t underestimate the importance of your plumbing.
Don’t wait until the problem becomes a nightmare and let us get your plumbing up to shape.
It’s a new year and people are making resolutions and predicting the biggest trends for 2018. When it comes to the best local plumber trends, we are seeing plenty of new and unique projects coming up. People are savvier to plumbing than ever, and we’re adapting to create a plumbing experience that is second to none. Check out the biggest trends we’re seeing in 2018.
People don’t like running out of hot water anymore. Many grew up with a limited amount of water and it can be frustrating for people, especially those with large families. Tankless water heaters were a novelty for many years, but advancing technology and the increasing comfort requirements of society have elevated their popularity. We’re seeing more and more people choosing tankless water heaters not only for energy savings but also the convenience.
In today’s world, everything is connected. You can’t walk out of your house without your smartphone tuned into your favorite songs. Your house is run by Alexa and you can turn on your crockpot from your phone. It’s called the Internet of things and it’s even reached the plumbing realm. There are numerous plumbing appliances today such as hot water heaters that can be connected to your cell phone. We expect this to grow in the future and eventually become part of everyday life.
Regardless if you believe in global warming or not, people are attuned to nature and want to preserve the planet as best as possible. The less digging we do and less harsh chemical used is a little step toward keeping the planet green. We see the use of ecologically friendly drain cleaning growing in 2018 as well as using techniques for diagnosing and repairing pipes that don’t require digging into the yard. The plumbing industry will continue to develop ways and create services that help their customers maintain green living at current comfort levels.
If you have any plumbing problems that you need answers to, then let us help. We can discuss with you numerous ways we can modernize your home plumbing.
It’s frustrating when we go to the bathroom and discover the faucet’s leaking or there’s water all over the floor from the toilet. Lavatory faucet repair can be difficult and may end up making the problem worse if not done correctly. Your household fixtures may seem simple, but be careful of these common fixture problems.
It doesn’t matter if you got a top of the line faucet or something off the bargain bin, eventually, problems arise. Faucets are made up of several parts and any one of them can cause a problem. You could have a leaky faucet, water coming from the hot or cold water valves, low water pressure, or many more.
We’ve seen nightmarish toilet problems in our years servicing the community, from toilets overflowing with sewage that fills the bathroom floor, to toilets that never stop running, not to mention clogs that refuse to clear. The list goes on and on. Some of these problems can easily be solved by you, such as plunging out a stubborn clog or replacing a ballcock to stop a running toilet. If the clog refuses to budge or it’s just too much for you to handle, then call us.
The garbage disposal is one of those machines that’s scary to try and fix yourself. We’ve all seen those horror movies where someone loses a wedding ring or tries to stick their hand down to fix it and…well…we all know how that ends. It’s easy over time for garbage disposals to get clogged, smell bad, or stop working. It’s a machine, and as such it occasionally needs repair. Keep all of your fingers and contact our licensed team if something goes wrong with your garbage disposal.
You likely spent quite a bit of money on your fixtures, so let us help fix the problem and make sure they come through the process unscathed.
You wake up one morning, eyes bleary and tired, but ready to make that first pot of coffee. You head to the sink with the pot and turn the faucet only to be met with nothing. You hear rushing water and head to the basement to see Old Faithful rushing out of your pipes. Whether it’s a leaking sink or a burst pipe, you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency. It’s important to handle it correctly.
When you’ve got an inch or two of water in your basement or a leak dripping onto your bathroom floor, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Before you do anything else, take a breath and calm down. You won’t help anyone if you’re hysterical and the next hour is very important because your actions can end up saving you money in damages and more. Once you’ve taken a few seconds to calm down, call a plumber and let them know what happened. They’ll be there as soon as possible.
The water rushing into your basement or other area is costing you money and damaging electronics, carpeting and more. It needs to be shut off as soon as possible. Locate the main valve and turn off the water going into the house. You may have to call the city to turn off the water at the source. If the water is near any electrical outlets or appliances, then shut off the breakers until the plumber arrives. Also, turn off the water heater to prevent damage.
When you turn the water off, it keeps more water from entering the house, but it doesn’t do anything for the water that’s already in the pipes. Any leaks will continue until the water runs out. Open the drains and spigots to let the water out. Once the water is out of the pipes, the leaks will stop, and you can wait patiently for the plumber to arrive.
When an emergency happens, Call us and we’ll be there soon as possible.