5 Important Services Residential Plumbers Cover

While plumbing services are a common household task, fixing broken or leaky pipes can be a serious hassle. However, it’s not an issue you need to handle alone. With the help of residential plumbers, you can quickly restore your plumbing to full operation in no time. Residential plumbers are experts in fixing problems at home and offer affordable rates for their services. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you might need more than one visit from a plumber. Luckily, there are many qualified residential plumbers available that you can trust with this task. Here is everything you need to know about hiring residential plumbers and which one is right for you.

How to find reliable residential plumbers

There is no set rule for finding a reliable plumber. With the right due diligence, you can find a trustworthy plumber for residential plumbing services. Here are a few tips to help you find a reliable plumber:

– Ask for referrals: The best place to start your search for a plumber is your friends, family, and neighbors. If you know someone who has recently used plumbing services, ask them who they would recommend. If you don’t know anyone that has used a plumber recently, ask around at work or your local coffee shop. You can also ask your realtor for a recommendation.

– Get at least 3 estimates: Once you have a few names, it’s time to see what each plumber has to offer. You can get an estimate from each plumber and compare the services, prices, and overall professionalism. The estimate will help you get a better idea of the tasks that need to be performed to get your plumbing back to normal. This will also give you an idea of the plumber’s charges for the given job.

– Check their credentials: Make sure you check the plumber’s credentials and certifications. You can do this by checking their website and online reviews. You can also ask the plumber for a copy of their business license and insurance. This will help you verify that they are a legitimate company and not just a person working out of their garage.

What do residential plumbers do?

A plumber is a person who installs and repairs water and gas piping systems in your home. Residential plumbers don’t always work on large projects like a new building’s plumbing system. Instead, they spend their time on smaller projects for individual households. A residential plumber can help you with the following tasks:

– Fixing a leaky faucet: With daily use, all faucets will have some sort of leak. Residential plumbers can perform minor repairs to stop the leak and restore the faucet to full operation.

– Removing a clog: Clogged drains are a common plumbing problem. Residential plumbers can clear your drain line to restore normal water flow.

– Installing a new kitchen faucet: If you want a new kitchen faucet on a regular sink, you can install it yourself. However, most people hire a professional for a kitchen faucet replacement.

– Installing a new water heater: A water heater is a major plumbing task that requires professional expertise. Residential plumbers can replace your water heater with a brand new one.

– Installing a new water filtration system: A water filtration system helps keep your water clean and safe from contaminants. Residential plumbers can help you install a new water filtration system.

Licensed and insured residential plumbers

When you hire a plumbing service for residential plumbing, you want to make sure the company is licensed and insured. A licensed plumbing service has undergone inspection by the state and has proven that they meet the state’s standard for plumbers. An insurance policy will protect you in case of any damages to your home or property. If you hire a licensed and insured plumbing service, they will likely have workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees if they get injured on the job. Here are a few things you can look out for when choosing a licensed and insured plumbing service:

– Ask for their plumbing license and insurance information: You can start by requesting their license and insurance information. If they have both, they will likely have no problem showing them to you.

– Ask for references: References will help you verify the company’s legitimacy. You can ask references about their experience with the company and if they are satisfied with the services provided.

– Ask about their process: You can also ask about the company’s process for handling residential plumbing jobs. You can ask about their scheduling practices, how they charge for their services, and what type of repairs they perform.

The benefits of using licensed and insured residential plumbers

There are many benefits to hiring licensed and insured plumbing services.

– They are trained and experienced: As a licensed and insured plumbing service, they have undergone rigorous training to master their trade. They also have years of experience installing and repairing residential plumbing systems. This means they can handle any plumbing issues you face quickly and efficiently.

– They have the right tools and equipment: Residential plumbers have the right tools and equipment to handle nearly any situation. Their tools will include everything from wrenches to screwdrivers. Their equipment will include various plumbing pipes and hoses. This can help them fix your plumbing issues quickly and efficiently.

– They will leave your home clean: Residential plumbers are expected to leave your home as clean as they found it. This includes cleaning up any mess they made while fixing your plumbing. This will help you avoid having to clean up after the plumber and make the experience as painless as possible.

Finding the right licensed and insured residential plumbers for your home

Once you have narrowed down your list of residential plumbing service providers, it is time to find the right one for your home. Here are a few tips to help you find the right plumbing service for your home:

– Ask for references: References can help you verify their legitimacy and make sure you are hiring a trustworthy company. References can also give you an idea of how they operate their business.

– Ask about their qualifications: You can ask about their employees’ qualifications and certifications. You can also ask about their licensing and insurance information.

– Ask about their process: You can ask about the company’s process for handling residential plumbing jobs. You can ask about their scheduling practices, how they charge for their services, and what type of repairs they perform.

– Get multiple estimates: Once you have a few names, you can get multiple estimates to compare each company’s rates and services.

When you should not use a licensed and insured plumbing service

Not all plumbing service providers are the same. Some may not be licensed or insured. Others might be unqualified to handle your plumbing issues. These can be signs of a shoddy or unlicensed residential plumbing service:

– They are significantly less expensive: If a plumbing service is significantly less expensive than their competitors, there might be a reason why. You should ask about their licensing and insurance before you hire them.

– They have poor customer reviews: You should always check a residential plumbing service’s online reviews before hiring them. You can find out what past customers think about their services.

– They don’t want to show you their license and insurance: A licensed and insured plumbing service should have no issue showing you their license and insurance. If they refuse to show you, you should avoid hiring them.

– They don’t show up on time: Hiring a residential plumbing service is stressful enough without having to wait around for them. You should expect them to arrive on time.

Conclusion

Plumbing services are a common household task, but fixing broken or leaky pipes can be a serious hassle. However, it’s not an issue you need to handle alone. With the help of residential plumbers, you can quickly restore your plumbing to full operation in no time. Residential plumbers are experts in fixing problems at home and offer affordable rates for their services. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you might need more than one visit from a plumber. Luckily, there are many qualified residential plumbers available that you can trust with this task.

Trust Palo Alto Plumbing

Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is a company that is proud to serve our California customers and provide top HVAC services. We understand that all customers have different concerns, so we will be there to make sure your home is comfortable. Our team of professionals will quickly arrive to help with troubleshooting that solves all of your problems. Please call us today!

11 Ways on How to Find a Water Leak Underground

Is there water pooling in your yard or at the bottom of a slope, and is there improper drainage? If so, you may have an underground water leak. But how can you know for sure? We’ll examine the signs and how to find a water leak underground, why it should be repaired, and who to contact.

How to Find a Water Leak Underground

There are several indications that water is leaking underground. Here are some tell-tale signs:

A high water bill

A water bill should remain about the same each month unless you had a long-term guest or were on vacation. Look at water bills from the last few months to see if there has been an increase. If there has, it is an excellent time to call a home inspector to check out the plumbing.

Low water pressure

If there is low water pressure and you haven’t been notified about a city water pressure issue, it may be because the pipes are clogged, worn down, or broken. In some areas, new construction can cause drains to get clogged.

Broken pavement or driveway bulges

If there are no trees around, these signs indicate a pipe has cracked.

Toilets bubbling

A toilet that is bubbling indicates a clogged drain or broken pipe.

A sinkhole or pothole in your yard

A cracked pipe can cause sinkholes and potholes. Sinkholes and potholes are serious matters and require calling a home inspector immediately.

A damaged foundation or wet spots may be present

There may be a leaking or broken pipe seeping through the home if you see wet spots. This can damage the home’s foundation and ruin the structure if it is not caught early enough.

Water contaminated with dirt

There is something wrong with your pipes if you see dirt and debris in your water.

Bad odor

When there is an obstruction or broken pipe in the sewer, dirty water doesn’t flow where it should, and you will smell an odor. This is the perfect time to have a home inspector examine it.

There is water in the road

Water has no place to go but to flow down the street when a pipe bursts. This is a sure sign you have a water leak.

Your house is older than 30 years

Old homes tend to have plumbing issues as their lifespan is limited. A water leak underground might result from corroded pipes or broken pipes due to weather or the age of the home. Inspecting the plumbing system early is crucial to determine whether you have a water leak.

Sounds from pipes

It’s a smart idea to call a home inspector if you hear sounds coming from the pipes. A sewer scope may be used to assess pipe conditions. A flexible camera looks for cracks, line damage, and underground roots.

A hiss is a sound that indicates a drop in water pressure. Water can also flow around the pipe, creating a splashing sound. Additionally, pipes can be damaged by pebbles and stones clicking through and banging into them.

How to Find a Water Leak Underground: The Presence of Trees

A tree can damage a pipe if it grows too close to it because it likes the nutrients and water in the lines. You can have a sewer scope inspection done before purchasing a home to see if there are any issues with the piping. In fact, you can have this done while you are living there if there are problems with the water or if you want to know the condition of the pipes.

Inspect the Bottom of Cabinets and Sinks

Ensure that the cabinets and water are free of discoloration and mold every year. You can save a lot of money and hassle in the long run if you catch it early.

Underground Water Leaks are Emergencies

Leaking or broken pipes are not something to brush off and procrastinate. In addition to structural damage to the foundation and extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the residences, broken pipes can cause safety hazards.

Conclusion

It is unfortunate when water leaks underground, but if caught early, it can save you a lot of money. Keeping an eye on the abovementioned areas and paying attention to signs will be helpful. We hope this post was helpful for you in how to find a water leak underground. Read about the dangers of pipe leaks here for further information.

Who Should You Call?

Palo Alto Plumbing can help you detect leaks outside your home by inspecting sewers and pipes inside to locate leaks! If you require assistance, contact us right away!

3 Effective Ways How To Clean Dishwasher Drain Line | Palo Alto Plumbing

The reasons why homeowners install dishwashers in their home are obvious. They provide you with freedom from the monotonous and arduous job of washing dishes many times a day. People, however, forget the importance of how to clean dishwasher drain properly and maintain it in the process. Of all the conveniences in the modern home today, the one that makes life the easiest and saves a great deal of time is the kitchen dishwasher.

Life can be really great when your dishwasher is operating as it should. However, when it malfunctions or loses efficiency in cleaning, this can really have an impact on your personal efficiency.

There is a filtration system to dishwashers that do require frequent cleaning, specifically if you do not pre-rinse or scrape your dishes. Your dishwasher maintenance will depend on how you use it and treat it. If you do not scrape or pre-rinse your dishes, you should clean the filter once monthly. A clean dishwasher drain is achievable if you put a bit of effort into maintaining it.

If you look at the floor of your appliance, you will locate the filter and can remove it to clear away any debris or food particles with a soft brush. Then simply rinse and reinstall it. For the dishwashers that have bigger clogs that are stubborn and require more than just an easy filter clean, you need to take other steps. Your sink drain, garbage disposal and dishwasher do the majority of your dirty kitchen work and to keep them running efficiently and smelling fresh you can take a few simple steps. Take time to learn how to clean dishwasher drain below.

3 Ways How to Clean Dishwasher Drain Line

  1. Clear Garbage Disposal

Many times, your dishwasher’s water drains from the garbage disposal. In this case, you will need to clear your disposal often to allow the water to pass through it freely. If you have a full disposal, it can make the water backup and results in standing water inside the dishwasher. Be sure to loosen all clogs and completely run the garbage disposal.

  1. Clean Air Gap

Many people have air gaps installed on their kitchen counters next to the sink faucets which will prevent sink water from backing up into the dishwasher. If there is buildup in this air gap, it may cause improper draining from your dishwasher. One way to spot an air gap that is clogged is if water floods on your countertop. You can simply take the cap off of your air gap and remove all debris.

  1. Use Homemade Solution to Break Up Clogs

If you see a clog in your dishwasher drain and it causes the water to back up, try some baking soda, vinegar and hot water to loosen up and break the clog. First, add the vinegar and baking soda solution to the dishwasher basket at the bottom. Let it sit for around 15 minutes and then pour in some hot water (boiling) to the basket to clear away the clog. This is an important step in how to clean dishwasher drain.

Regular dishwasher maintenance is important to get good operation from your dishwasher and extend its lifespan. You should set up a weekly and monthly maintenance schedule to unclog dishwasher drain line or to prevent it from happening. Preventative care, even in small amounts, will help save on expensive repairs or even a dishwasher replacement later on.

If you have a clog in your dishwasher drain, it is important to clean it out as soon as possible. A clogged dishwasher drain can cause water to back up into the dishwasher, leading to water damage and mold growth. Dishwasher repairs can be expensive, so it is always cheaper to prevent problems by keeping your dishwasher drains clean.

If you need help cleaning your dishwasher drain, or if you have any other dishwasher problems, please contact us today. Our team of experts would be happy to help you get your dishwasher working properly again.

For more details call (650) 374-0868 or click here.

When You Need Emergency Plumbing Services: A Guide

When you are faced with a plumbing emergency, it can be a stressful time. Depending on the severity of the situation, an emergency plumbing situation can quickly become dangerous if not resolved quickly. If your house is flooding or the water pressure in your home is too low to operate faucets and showers safely, these are signs that there is a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Whether you have a burst pipe, clogged toilet or leaky faucet, there are different plumbing services that should be contacted in case of an emergency. In this article we will go over some general guidelines on when you need emergency plumbing services, as well as common issues and their solutions.

When Should You Call Emergency Plumbing Services

Water Pressure Issues

If there is a noticeable drop in water pressure or the water flow has stopped, there may be a leak in your water pipes. A leak can be caused by a number of different factors, including a break in the pipes or the formation of a clog further down the line. If the leak is small, you may be able to fix it yourself by tightening a connection or removing debris from the pipe. However, if the leak is significant or you don’t know how to fix it, you will need to call emergency plumbing services as soon as possible.

Sewer Drainage Issues

When not properly installed or maintained, a sewer line can become clogged or damaged, causing sewage to back up into your home. A clogged or damaged sewer line can cause health and safety risks, including the risk of sewage spilling out of the drain and into your home.

If you notice sewage bubbling up out of a drain or a strong smell coming from a toilet, there is a problem with the sewer line. It is best to call emergency plumbing services immediately, as sewage can quickly spread throughout the house. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

Water Heater Issues

If the water heater is leaking, hissing or making odd noises, it is time to call emergency plumbing services. Even if the water heater doesn’t look visibly damaged, it is a good idea to have it checked out by a professional. High-pressure water leaks can often go unnoticed, and a small leak can quickly turn into a major problem if not addressed quickly. If the water heater is leaking, it is probably due to one of two things. Either the element is broken or the tank is too full of sediment. The best way to avoid water heater issues is to clean the tank and flush the elements every year.

Toilet Issues

If the toilet is clogged, you may be able to clear the clog by plunging it. However, if the clog is stuck further down the pipeline, plunging may push it further into the pipes, which could result in a backup and cause sewage to spill out of the toilet bowl. If the toilet is overflowing, you will want to shut off the water supply. From there, you can use a plunger to try and suck the water back down into the toilet bowl. If the water doesn’t go down, you may need to have emergency plumbing services resolve the issue.

Burst Pipes

If you notice a pipe has burst, it is important to turn off the water supply to the entire house to prevent further damage. If a pipe burst inside the wall, emergency plumbing services will need to come out to cut a hole in the wall to access it. A burst pipe outside the house can be fixed by the plumber in less time.

Pipes can burst for a variety of reasons. The most common culprit is the freeze/thaw cycle experienced by many areas during the winter. Other causes can be age of the pipes, corrosion and poor installation.

What To Look for In Emergency Plumbing Services

In a perfect world, our plumbing would never break. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. Even if you take every precaution to prevent catastrophe from striking, your plumbing can and will inevitably fail at some point. The important thing is being prepared for when that time comes. That’s why it’s important to have emergency plumbing services on hand in case something goes wrong. Here are some things you should look for in any potential service provider before signing on with them:

Reputation

The first thing you should do when looking for emergency plumbing services is researching the company’s reputation. You can do this by reading customer reviews on their website, or by searching for reviews on third-party review sites like Yelp. There are also several industry-specific review sites like Angie’s List for plumbers, so be sure to check those out as well. A company with a great reputation is one that has an excellent track record of providing quality services to its customers. A good reputation indicates that a company has been in business for a while, is well-established, and has a loyal customer base. A reputable company is also likely to be more trustworthy and reliable.

Licensing and Certification

While certifications don’t necessarily guarantee the quality of service, they do at least show that the company has at least met some minimum standard of competence. It’s a good idea to only hire plumbing services that are licensed by the state and/or certified by an industry-specific organization. The latter will typically be a third-party certification company. In general, certifications are a good indicator that a company is trustworthy and professional enough to merit your business. The most common certifications for plumbers are:

– Licensed master plumber – this is the highest level of certification for plumbers. It means that the plumber has passed an exam, conducted a certain number of hours of field experience, and has a certain amount of practical experience.

– Journeyman plumber – This is the second-highest level of certification for plumbers. To get this certification, a person has to have work experience as an apprentice, pass an exam, and have a certain amount of practical experience.

– Apprentice plumber – This is the lowest level of certification for plumbers. To get this certification, a person has to have a certain amount of on-the-job training followed by an exam.

Responsiveness

During an emergency, you want an emergency plumbing services company that’s responsive, reliable, and timely. This will make the process easier on both you and the plumber. If possible, try to contact the company during regular business hours to see how long they take to respond. If you call after hours and get a voicemail, make sure that the company leaves an appropriate message about when someone will get back to you. This will give you an idea of how long you can expect to wait for help during an emergency.

Pricing

The cost of emergency plumbing services can vary wildly depending on the type of service and the company you use. While you should definitely shop around, don’t base your decision solely on price. Instead, you should consider the following things:

– Does the emergency plumbing services company charge by the hour or by the job? Hourly rates are often a sign of a disorganized or inefficient company. On the other hand, fixed rates are a sign that the company is confident in its ability to finish the job quickly.

– How many technicians will be working on your job? A larger team of plumbers can finish tasks quicker and more efficiently than one person.

– Do they offer any coupons or discounts? While coupons don’t necessarily indicate a low price, they can still help you save money

Repairs and Maintenance Options

Finally, you should make sure that the emergency plumbing services company offers repair and maintenance solutions. This will save you time and money in the long run. If you can’t find a company that offers both repair and maintenance services, make sure that the company has a good track record of solving plumbing issues.

How Do I Avoid Emergency Plumbing Issues?

The best way to avoid plumbing issues is by having them taken care of as soon as they arise. For example, if you have a slow leak, it is best to call a plumber as soon as possible so the leak can be fixed before it becomes a problem. It’s also a good idea to keep all your fixtures and pipes well maintained. This means periodically cleaning your faucets, toilets and sinks and replacing any worn out pipes. If you are experiencing problems with your plumbing, it may be due to a buildup of sediment in your pipes and fixtures. To prevent major plumbing issues, you can use a plumbing snake to unclog your pipes or a water softener to flush out the pipes.

How To Protect Your Sewer Line

A clogged or damaged sewer line from tree roots especially can cause significant damage to your home, as well as a health and safety risk. To protect yourself from costly repairs, you can follow a few simple guidelines.

What you can do to solve the problem of damaging tree roots:

  • Know the warning signs: frequent clogged drains, slow-flowing drains and overflowing drains
  • Schedule annual drain and sewer line inspections
  • Schedule regular sewer line cleanings to prevent root growth

If your drains clog frequently, we recommend calling emergency plumbing services to have your drain and sewer lines inspected. One of our plumbers at Palo Alto Plumbing can run a camera probe through your pipes to find any damaged areas. Once we complete the inspection, we’ll offer the necessary recommendations. If you have major tree root damage, we may recommend that the lines be replaced.

Conclusion

Plumbing issues can be a pain, but they’re inevitable. There’s nothing you can do to prevent them, so it’s best to be prepared. That way, when a plumbing emergency comes up, you’ll know what to do. When these types of issues arise, you don’t have time to waste. You need someone to respond quickly so the issue can be fixed before it becomes a bigger problem. Emergency plumbing services like Palo Alto Plumbing are here for exactly that reason, and we can take the stress out of an already stressful situation by responding quickly and repairing your plumbing so you can get back to your life.

Need Emergency Plumbing Services? Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

Call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate on emergency plumbing services. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.

Dishwasher Drain Hose Clogged? 6 Easy Fixes

A dishwasher is an integral appliance in most households, but a clogged dishwasher drain hose can cause big problems. If the hose is clogged, dirty dishwasher water fills the sink and won’t drain. This makes it impossible to clean your dishes and disrupts your daily routine. In addition, a clog can cause the hose to leak if it becomes too full. This could cause water damage to your cabinets or flooring. Finally, a clog can emit an unpleasant smell. Is your dishwasher drain hose clogged? Here are six easy ways to clear a clog as well as information about when to call a plumber.

Common Symptoms of a Clogged Dishwasher

Here are some ways you can tell that your dishwasher is clogged:

– Bubbles in soap dispenser: The dishwasher is not correctly rinsing the soapy water from dishes. Something is blocking the holes on the sprayer arm, preventing it from spraying.

– Film on glasses: The dishwasher is leaving a film of dish soap residue on glasses. Dirty filters or faulty sprayer arms could cause this.

-Slow to rinse: Dirty filters may need to be replaced or cleaned out. Or, too much detergent is being used. You might also need to adjust your water temperature.

– Leaks: If you have a dishwasher with an active leak, it will be leaking from the bottom of the machine where the water supply line attaches to the dishwasher. You may also notice that water is pooling around the base of your dishwasher.

How to Prevent Your Dishwasher from Clogging 

One of the most common causes of a clogged dishwasher is the accumulation of food particles. Food particles can get onto your dishes and into your dishwasher, eventually causing it to become clogged. To help prevent this from happening, rinse off any food particles on plates before placing them in your dishwasher. Additionally, run your garbage disposal if you have one before starting a load in your dishwasher. This will prevent food particles from backing up into your dishwasher when you run a cycle. It will also help get your dishes cleaner.

One of the most critical maintenance tasks is to make sure your dishwasher is cleaned out after every use. Check if any areas may have clogged up or are not draining well. If so, you can take a baking soda and vinegar mixture and pour it down the drain. Run water through the drain to ensure it’s fully clean before adding a rinse aid to prevent clogs from occurring.

If your dishwasher is not producing completely clean dishes, the residue will start to build up on the machine’s surface. This buildup can reduce the performance of your dishwasher and cause it to break down faster. Whenever you have a significant amount of time between loads, running a cycle with nothing but water is best. This will help keep any residue from building up.

Some other things you should check for are hard-to-clean grime around the door seal, mineral deposits under the rubber gasket on top of the door, and rust or sediment at the bottom of your dishwasher drum. All these things can build up over time and ruin your machine’s performance, so periodically checking for these items is key to maintaining your dishwasher for long-lasting use!

Dishwasher Drain Hose Clogged? 6 Easy Fixes

Here are six at-home remedies to unclogging your dishwasher and get it running again:

  1.     Check the dishwasher’s filter. If it is clogged, you can use a small cup or pot to scoop out the items. 
  1.     You can use a pipe cleaner or compressed air to clear out any clogs that may have formed inside the dishwasher. 
  1.     Look for any loose parts on the bottom. This might include screws, bolts or brackets that attach various components. The water supply line may even be disconnected or broken. If any of these are happening, call your local repairman or technician and get them to come by as soon as possible!
  1.     Using a plunger, plunge the clogged end of the hose until the clog releases 
  1.     Point a hair-dryer at the clogged end of the hose until you hear it suck water and then try plunging again 
  1.     Pour baking soda down the drain line followed by vinegar, which will start to bubble. Let it sit for five minutes before you try to clean again. 

If these home remedies do not do the trick, you might need to call in a professional to help you. Below are some situations in which a professional plumber might be needed.

When Should I Call a Plumber?

If your dishwasher is severely clogged or overflowing

A clogged or overflowing dishwasher can cause extensive water damage to your home if left untreated. If you have a dishwasher that isn’t draining, the first step is to check for an obstruction in the drain hose. If this is clear and there is still no drainage, it may be time to call a plumber.

There are strange odors coming from the dishwasher that you can’t get rid of

You should also call a plumber if you notice strange odors coming from your dishwasher. This could indicate bacteria growth due to standing water in the machine.

Your dishes aren’t getting clean or the wash cycles are of 

Lastly, if your dishes are not getting clean or the wash cycle is too long to complete, you may want to consider a professional’s assistance with your dishwasher. A clogged dishwasher can cause these problems because it cannot drain properly and water doesn’t flow through as well as it should.

Need Help? Palo Alto Plumbing is Here

We hope this blog post helped you better understand maintaining your dishwasher. 

Is your dishwasher drain hose clogged? Call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.

 

 

Water Leaks: 6 Ways They Can Ruin Your Home & How to Prevent Them

H2O is essential to life, but it can also be destructive if you have water leaks in your home. You might not know there’s a problem until water starts seeping onto the floor or through the walls or visible mold starts growing. A leaky pipe, dishwasher, toilet, or showerhead could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Here are 6 ways that a water leak can ruin your home.

How a Water Leak Can Ruin Your Home

Water leaks can cause mold

A leak in your home can cause mold growth. Mold is a type of fungus found in the air and on surfaces like walls, tiles, or furniture. Depending on where it’s located, mold can be harmful to your health and could also cause a significant financial loss. Mold can cause asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and other illnesses. It is also hard to clean because it’s hard to get rid of once it sets in. Mold can spread quickly if it gets into the air and there is a water source nearby. For example, if your faucet drips or your pipes leak water, the wetness will attract mold spores which will spread throughout your home.

Water leaks can destroy your home’s foundation

Every home has a foundation, and the foundation must be strong. If something interrupts the structural integrity of your home’s foundation, it can lead to structural damage. If your home’s foundation is compromised, you could end up with expensive repairs to save your home from falling apart and sinking. Leaks can cause damage to the foundation if left untreated. From small leaks that happen during construction and plumbing to more significant leaks due to faulty equipment or pipes, water can cause severe problems for your foundation.

Water leaks can ruin your carpets and flooring, and your possessions

Carpets and flooring are among the most expensive things to repair or replace inside your home. Carpet and flooring are more likely to show the effects of water damage than any other room. If you spot some mold, wet spots, or discoloration on your carpet or flooring, it’s time to call a professional.

A leaky pipe or toilet can also cause a wet and moldy mess and ruin your personal belongings like furniture and electronics.

Water leaks may affect the electrical system in your home

Water leaks can cause dangerous electrical issues in your home. Water is a conductor of electricity, and a leak’s moisture can short-circuit circuits. For example, if you have a dishwasher and it leaks, you may experience a short-circuit in your electrical system. This short-circuit will lead to power outages in your home. It can also damage your appliances with corrosion or rusting. If your dishwasher has an electric motor, then the leak could stop it from working correctly and it will burn out faster than expected. It could also affect the safety of your appliances, causing them to burst into flames or overheat. The issue could be so severe that an appliance catches on fire or explodes when you’re using it.

Water leaks can damage walls

Drywall will get swollen with moisture and start to split when the walls are exposed to water for an extended period. This can lead to dangerous structural issues that could cost thousands of dollars in damages. It’s best to avoid this situation altogether by having a professional check out your home for any potential leaks before they occur.

Water leaks can cause wood rotting

Water leaking can cause rot and decay in the wood that your home is made out of. Even if you don’t see any signs of wetness, the rotting process still has started.

Signs include:

-Pitting on the exterior side walls

-Sagging ceilings and floors

-Creaking noises in certain parts of your home

-Rust around windows and doors

If you have a noticeable leak, do this now

Here are two simple ways you can take care of minor leaks now while a professional is on their way:

  1. If a pipe in your bathroom or kitchen is leaking, install a drip pan under your sink so you don’t have to worry about leaking onto other surfaces.
  2. If a water leak has occurred because a pipe has burst, shut off your water now so you don’t have to worry about flooding your home.

Ways to prevent leaks

Here are some ways you can prevent most leaks.

First, make sure your pipes aren’t old. Old pipes have small gaps that allow water to seep into your basement or crawl space. With new pipes, these gaps are eliminated so you can prevent leaks.

Second, use a rubber stopper at the bottom of your toilet tank to avoid cracks and uneven surfaces in the tank.

Third, install an aerator in the toilet’s fill valve to reduce air bubbles and prevent clogs from happening.

Fourth, use a water meter with leak detection features to ensure that you catch any leaking water before it gets too big an issue for your home.

Fifth, check your faucets for leaks and make sure they aren’t dripping after only five minutes of being turned on.

Sixth, seal off any holes in walls or ceilings as soon as possible if you notice any evidence of leakage.

The Importance of Checking for Leaks

Often, homeowners are too busy to check for leaks on their own, or they might not be sure how, which can be costly and inconvenient. So why not call in the professionals at Palo Alto Plumbing? We will be able to detect any leaks that may go undetected by homeowners or are easily missed to the untrained eye.

Professional companies like Palo Alto Plumbing will also have the expertise and equipment necessary to execute leak fixes effectively and efficiently without wasting time or money. We can identify the source of any leaks quickly and make repairs quickly to eliminate future issues.

Call Today

Water leaks are a common cause of damage to your home, and it is essential to know how to identify where a leak might be occurring. If you suspect you have a water leak in your home but don’t know where to start, give us a call at Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air by dialing 650-405-1460 today for all of your heating, air conditioning, and plumbing needs! You can also contact us here.

7 Plumbing Mistakes Homeowners Make

As a homeowner, there are many things you can do to maintain your plumbing system and prevent issues like a sewer leak, but it’s easy for homeowners to make mistakes that cause problems with their plumbing systems later on. This blog post will go over some of the most common plumbing mistakes homeowners make and how they can avoid them.

Quick Tips

When you’re dealing with plumbing problems in your home, it’s usually important to act quickly. The longer the problem goes unfixed, the more damage it can cause, and the harder it can become to repair. If you have a burst pipe or a sewer leak, for example, shut off the water immediately before further damage occurs. Then call a plumber as soon as possible. But how do you avoid these types of situations in the first place?

These are a few of the most common plumbing mistakes that homeowners tend to make:

1) Trying to DIY Projects

The reality is that most homeowners don’t understand how their plumbing works beyond turning on a faucet or flushing the toilet. There’s simply no reason for most of us to have a broader understanding of how many things work in our homes, like how electricity functions, or all the intricacies of a gas furnace. That’s what experts are for. After all, who has time to get into the wide ranging technical aspects of total home maintenance? So let yourself off the hook for once, and instead of trying to DIY your plumbing to save a few bucks, go ahead and call a local plumber. Honestly, it will save you time and money in the long run. Not to mention, if you have a messy sewer leak on your hands, trying to DIY a plumbing fix can even be a health hazard.

2) Failing to Fix Leaks Right Away

One of the most common things homeowners tend to put off for later is taking care of things like leaky faucets. Whether you’re wasting water by leaving the faucet dripping around the clock, or have hidden leaks in your pipes, not addressing these issues can result in higher water bills, or even worrisome damage to your property.

One sign of a sewer leak is an unusual green patch in your yard. Such waste water can fertilize the surrounding area, so unusual plant growth is a clue that there may be an underlying issue to blame. It’s essential to note that leaks can disturb your home’s foundation over time, and also lead to mold growth, which poses health hazards as well.

3) Flushing The Wrong Things Down the Toilet

Plumbing systems are more delicate than many homeowners realize, so there are certain things that should never be flushed down your toilets. Be sure that things like trash, paper towels, baby wipes, and sanitary products are always thrown in the trash instead. If you have children in your household, it’s also important to teach them what can and can’t be flushed down the toilets. Otherwise, pipes can become clogged, leading to expensive plumbing repairs, or even emergency plumbing services.

4) Using Chemical Cleaners to Clear Clogs

While this seems like a cheap and simple solution, it’s not. Unfortunately, using chemical cleaners can eat away at your pipes. They also emit toxic fumes that can be dangerous to your eyes as well as your respiratory system. Some chemical cleaners are advertised to be able to clear a drain blockage with just one application, but, in actuality, this is seldom effective. Unfortunately, you’re actually more likely to damage your plumbing with these “quick-fix” products.

5) Placing Grease or Food Down the Sink

One of the most common plumbing mistakes that people make is putting grease or food waste down the sink. This is generally disastrous because it ends up clogging the pipes, even if you have a garbage disposal. It’s important to remember to always dump food waste in the trash or in a special container used for grease, etc. Certain types of food can’t go down your garbage disposal. For example, it’s just not designed to take on heavy-duty substances, like fruit rinds, despite the fact that we’ve all been told to freshen things up with a lemon.

Tip: It’s also very important not to put food waste in your dishwasher because it can get stuck and cause clogs. There isn’t really anywhere for it to go.

6) Not Scheduling Plumbing Maintenance

One of the best ways to save money on plumbing repairs or to prevent major issues, like a sewer leak, is to schedule regular plumbing maintenance for your home. Rather than waiting for there to be an emergency plumbing problem, it pays to take a more proactive approach. Our advice is to have your system looked over at least once a year by a trusted plumbing company.

7) Not Hiring an Experienced Plumbing Company

Before hiring a plumber to come to your home, you really need to do a little research. You don’t want to put yourself in a frustrating position by relying on someone who doesn’t have enough experience to take care of the problem. It’s better to spend some time learning more about a plumbing company before you make up your mind. A reputable plumbing service should have reviews or testimonials on their website or social media pages. It’s also important to ensure that they’re licensed and insured so you aren’t putting yourself at financial risk if they’re somehow injured on the job.

Need Help?

Like any other system in your house, you have to take care of your plumbing to make sure it lasts a long time. If not, you risk dealing with expensive plumbing repairs or even water damage and mold. These mistakes can wreak havoc on your home, and take money and energy to fix! We hope this blog post helps you better understand your home’s plumbing. If you have any questions for us at Palo Alto Plumbing, or would like a free estimate, please give us a call at (650) 856-3400. Our friendly staff is here to help.

7 Signs of a Sewer Backup

Are you worried you might have a sewer backup? From laundry to the kitchen sink, all wastewater drains to the same municipal pipe. This is why it can be so tricky to figure out just where the problem is originating from. The most important thing is identifying the issue early on, before it becomes a mess that ruins your day.

But how do you know that a sewer backup is developing? Palo Alto Plumbing is here to help. Below are the top signs that you have a plumbing emergency.

Top Signs of a Sewer Backup

1) Foul Odors

Bad smells are one of the earliest signs of a sewer problem. Sewer-related odors may smell like mold, sulfur, or even waste. You should note that not all bad smells mean that there’s a problem with your sewer line, but if there’s no clear reason for them, it’s worth having checked out by a professional. If odors persist, there’s a good chance that a sewer backup is imminent.

A properly functioning sewer line shouldn’t smell bad. It’s designed to carry waste and associated smells away from your home. This is a sign that a blockage might be forming. Contact a reputable plumber who can get to the bottom of the issue.

2) Your Drains are Slow

How are your drains behaving? Is the wastewater flowing away at the rate it should? Slow drains in your home are another indicator that there’s already a sewer backup, or one pending. This is caused by a buildup of materials, debris, and other waste in your sewer line. Similarly, tree roots are notorious for breaking pipes in search of water. This eventually causes your sewer to back up. Many homeowners turn to chemical drain cleaners when this occurs, but that’s the wrong choice. In fact, these harsh chemicals can cause more damage to your pipes and are generally ineffective. They can also seep into the area surrounding the broken pipe and cause hazardous effects.

It’s always best to call a professional plumber when you notice sluggish drains and suspect a sewer backup.

3) Clogged or Overflowing Toilets

Trouble with a clogged or overflowing toilet is inconvenient but usually fairly easy to resolve, so don’t panic. But if the toilet starts to consistently backup without an apparent cause, it should concern you. A toilet that regularly gives you grief can be a sign you have a sewer backup that needs to be fixed by a plumber.

This situation is unsanitary, messy, and a real hassle to clean up. If you notice recurrent clogs and backups in your toilet, enlist the services of a professional as soon as possible. An expert plumber will be able to inspect and help determine the main cause of the issue and put a stop to it.

4) Unexplained Lush Spots in Your Yard

Have you recently noticed plants growing in your yard that weren’t there before? Are they healthier, greener, and growing noticeably faster than the rest of your yard? If such changes appear along your sewer pipes, it should be cause to worry because it’s possible that you might have a broken sewer line. The lushness could be a result of a water leak. The fractured sewer pipe may eventually allow debris and other forms of dirt in as the cracks widen.

If you notice a situation like this, it’s a sign that a problem with your sewer line might be in the works, so give a plumber a call for your peace of mind, and to avoid ending up with waste overflowing into your house.

5) Bubbling and Gurgling Noises

Another sign to look out for is strange noises coming from your tub, faucets, or toilets. These can be due to a blockage or a breakage in your sewer line. Usually, strange noises, like bubbling and gurgling, appear when you flush the toilet, pour something down the drain, or even turn on the water.

This happens because the water can’t flow where it should, and the air is getting in where it should not. Don’t ignore these sounds just because they aren’t bothersome to you. They may be a sign of an underlying problem. Prompt action can help you avoid a bigger problem that would cost more money to fix.

6) Marshy Patches

Have you noticed the emergence of pools of fetid waters on your property? This is a strong indication that your sewer line has cracks in it and is seeping water. These Puddles show where the sewer is leaching underneath your yard. This is a real problem, so don’t put off calling an expert.

Have you noticed the emergence of pools of fetid waters on your property? This is a strong indication that your sewer line has cracks in it and is seeping water. These puddles show where wastewater is collecting underneath your yard. When leaks appear beneath yard fixtures, like sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways, it can cause sinking and structural damage that’s expensive to fix.

7) One Plumbing Fixture Acts Up When You Use Another

Is your toilet filling with water when you turn on your faucet? Or is water backing up in your sink drains when you start your washing machine? These kinds of bizarre occurrences are an indication that you have a clogged sewer line. This is usually a result of blockages in the pipes, and can be caused by a number of things. Enlisting the services of a plumber can help prevent the spread of germs that the sewer backup can cause.

Contact Us

Wastewater can be infested with harmful toxins, bacteria and pathogens that cause illness. As a homeowner, it’s important to be proactive for both the sake of your health and your wallet. If you notice any of the above signs, seek experienced plumbing services as soon as possible. An expert can assess, diagnose and repair your sewer backup using professional tools for the job.

If you’re having issues with your plumbing, we can help. Call us at 650-405-3052 or fill out a quick contact form by clicking here.

At Palo Alto Plumbing, we pride ourselves on providing excellent plumbing services. Our two decades of experience serving clients in Palo Alto and the surrounding communities make us the preferred local choice. We can handle all of your emergency or run-of-the-mill plumbing problems. Give us a call today and let us take the problem off of your hands.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

Are you wondering if you need an emergency plumber right away or if the problem can wait a little while longer? This is a common question for homeowners to have. After all, what if something seems like a minor issue, but it turns into a real mess that’s twice as expensive to fix? Not to worry—these are some times when you can be sure it’s critical to call a plumbing expert without delay.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

A Burst Pipe

If a pipe has burst in your home, stop reading and contact an emergency plumber immediately. Depending on the situation, it doesn’t take very long for gallons and gallons of water to flood your home. Water can cause damage to furniture, flooring, cabinets, and even your home’s insulation and wood framing. If you know how to shut the water off, do that first. Otherwise, give us a call at Palo Alto Plumbing, and move your valuables and electronics to a safe area.

Sewage Backup

It goes without saying that sewage is a health hazard. If you have a backup, talk to an emergency plumber right away. A backup in the sewer line can be caused by things like invasive tree roots, a break in the pipe, or some kind of blockage. A sewage backup is inconvenient but it can also be dangerous. Raw sewage emits fumes and can spread pathogens.

Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet can also be an emergency. If you can’t easily resolve the issue on your own, talk to a plumber as soon as possible. The water is contaminated with bacteria, making it a health risk. If you aren’t sure of the underlying reason for the problem, a plumbing expert can help you sort it out.

You’re Without Water

If you suddenly find yourself without running water, this is cause for concern. It impacts your ability to cook, clean, or even use the bathroom. These days, most of us don’t rely on the tap for drinking water, but a lack of running water is still an emergency plumbing problem. Talk to an expert about resolving the issue.

Flood Risks

A variety of plumbing problems can pose a flood risk. Call a professional right away to prevent the need for costly repair work to your home. Water damage can also lead to other issues. For example, mold growth. This can become a real issue in and of itself because mold can be a major health hazard. A burst pipe or a failed sump pump can lead to flooding, as well as a water valve that fails to shut off.

Clogged Drains

Only a plumber will be able to tell you if there’s a hidden reason for your clogged drain. If a drain keeps getting clogged, you likely have a bigger problem on your hands than you realize. This is especially true if there’s something stopping up more than one drain in your home. Don’t risk rising water. Give a pro a call to make sure you don’t have a sewer problem.

Water Heater Failure

Another common plumbing emergency is when your water heater gives up the ghost. Discolored water is one clue, but the most obvious sign your water heater has failed is a freezing cold shower in the morning. Another thing you might notice is that your water has taken on a strange smell. Be sure to call a local plumbing service to take a look at your water heater. You don’t want to put this off because a faulty water heater can actually have hidden leaks. The last thing you want to do is spend hours mopping up all the water from its tank.

Leaky Faucets

You might not think about it, but old hardware can cause leaks too. Even if that isn’t the case, a dripping sink, shower, or toilet can really add to your monthly water bill costs, especially in the long run. Standing water is also an unpleasant mess to clean up. It often smells bad and can cause both mold and rust. Additionally, pests are drawn to water too.

DIY Plumbing Mishaps

DIY plumbing can also lead to some costly mistakes. Some of them require emergency plumbing services. Here’s a list of the most common DIY plumbing mishaps…

Forgetting to Turn Off the Water

One of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to home plumbing projects is that people often forget to turn off the water before they start taking things apart. Forgetting to turn off the water will most likely lead to water spraying from the loosened connection. What’s worse is that  you probably won’t be able to stop the flooding by putting things back together until you turn the water off at the source. If you don’t know how to shut the water off, it’s hard to think clearly when you’re in a panic and water is pouring into your home.

Too Much Drain Cleaner

Chemical drain cleaners can actually do more harm than good, especially if you use them on a regular basis to deal with clogged drains. For one thing, they’re hard on your pipes. Their toxic fumes can also be a hazard to your health.

Incorrect Toilet Placement

Incorrect toilet placement is another issue we regularly see. While this might seem like a simple project you can handle on your own, it still requires specialized knowledge. Often, the new toilet doesn’t quite fit right, or the replacement bowl is the wrong shape. This can come down to incorrect measurements. For example, older homes have a different standard than more modern designs, which is something to be aware of.

Talk to an Emergency Plumber

Here at Palo Alto Plumbing, our licensed plumbers can solve anything from a drippy faucet to a cracked sewer pipe. Our detail-oriented and knowledgeable plumbers can ensure your household’s health and safety by providing quality services. Contact us at 650-405-1460 or fill out a contact form on our website to chat with one of our representatives about all of your plumbing needs!

How to Handle an Emergency Water Leak

Dealing with an emergency water leak is not generally one of the average homeowner’s preferred activities, but sometimes plumbing emergencies happen and require immediate intervention.

The worst part about water leaks? They’re sneaky. A leak isn’t always as obvious as the alarming gush of water from a broken pipe. They can show up as a slowly growing puddle of water on your floor. Perhaps a leak has formed a bubble under the skin of your wall paint, slowly expanding like a water balloon ready to burst. Leaks can start out small and grow gradually bigger, all the while dripping into the foundation of your home, collecting mold and attracting unwanted pests.

The least pleasant leak situations involve issues with the main sewage line. If you’re experiencing urgent problems, such as sewage backups, burst pipes, or flooding, you’re bound to feel a bit of panic and confusion: Where is all this water coming from? How bad is it? How do I stop it? This is not how I planned on spending my morning!

Take a breath and get moving. Signs of a severe water leak require immediate attention. If you find yourself with a water leak, acting quickly and intentionally can help prevent lasting damage to your home.

Act Fast: Turn Your Water Off

If you are able, immediately locate your water meter and turn off the water to your building. This step is crucial to stopping even more flooding from occurring. It is also a good idea to unplug electronics and appliances. If necessary, some may prefer the precaution of turning off the whole circuit breaker. However, should accessing the circuit breaker require you to stand in wet areas, wait for a professional. Water and electricity are a deadly combination that you don’t want to risk.

Clean Up the Mess

Clean up the spillage immediately. Still or standing water can cause serious damage to floors. If left to sit for too long, dampness can cause wooden planks to expand, grow mold, become uneven, develop stains, and buckle. These unsightly symptoms of water damage are also hazardous to the health and safety of those that live in your home, especially if the leak is coming from a broken sewer pipe.

Wear protective gear, such as boots, gloves, and goggles, and grab a mop. To soak up larger amounts of water, you’ll need towels and anything absorbent that you can spare. After you clean the water from the floor, wash and sanitize the parts of the house that the water has touched to prevent contamination. It’s best to use a dehumidifier and fans to dry out a room after it has been flooded. Leave these running overnight and keep the area ventilated, otherwise you risk mold and mildew.

Call a Professional Plumber

Serious water leak emergencies could be a symptom of a problem with the sewer main line. To prevent guesswork and fix the problem before the damage worsens, it’s best to get a professional assessment. Licensed plumbers will have the equipment and expertise to find the root of the problem quickly and perform the required maintenance. Do not try to independently fix a plumbing issue that caused flooding—you may unintentionally cause more damage.

Search for the Source

While you wait for plumbing services, play detective and try to find the source of the water leak. See if you can find where the flood originated from by listening for dripping or hissing sounds. In a pinch, silicone tape can temporarily patch over smaller leaks until a professional arrives. If the source comes in the form of a faulty sink or a clogged toilet, don’t worry—you’ve already turned the water off, so no additional flooding will occur. If you’re stumped about where the leak could be coming from, wait for your plumber. They will be able identify the cause and source of the leakage.

Dealing with Damage

The best piece of advice for dealing with water damage is to prevent it in the first place, but sometimes emergencies are inevitable. Do what is in your power to ensure that you deal with the original spillage in the moment. Deep clean and dry all rugs, furniture, and floor pieces that were soaked. If you have already incurred damage on your drywall, insulation, walls, or flooring, these may need to be removed and replaced. Dispose of damaged items that are no longer safe to use.

Keep Monitoring

Especially in the first few months after flooding or leakages, pay attention. Is your water bill abnormally high? Is there any new wall discoloration developing? Do you hear hisses or drips anywhere in the house? If you find that the answer is yes to any of these questions, you are likely dealing with another leak. Address any new plumbing problems promptly.

Make Maintenance a Habit

Regular plumbing maintenance helps prevent emergency problems like severe water leaks. Even after you receive plumbing services and get any obvious leaks repaired, it’s important to schedule regular plumbing maintenance checks at least every two years. Taking care of your home’s plumbing system decreases the chances of plumbing emergencies, and it also ensures that your systems stay safely up to code.

Making sure that your plumbing system is routinely inspected decreases the chances that leaks will sneak up on you. Plumbers can detect problems before they start. Catching small issues early on might require a little extra preparation on your part, but it will save you from emergencies, damage, and much larger bills down the road.

Contact Us

If you’re experiencing a water leak, we can help. Call us at 650-374-0868 or fill out a contact form by clicking here to get connected with one of our representatives.

At Palo Alto Plumbing, we pride ourselves on providing excellent service. Our two decades of experience serving clients in Palo Alto and the surrounding communities make us the preferred local choice for quality plumbing services. We can handle all of your emergency or run-of-the-mill plumbing problems. Give us a call and let us take the problem off of your hands.