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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!

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.

 

 

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!

The Dangers of a Sewer Leak

A sewer leak is one of the most dreaded household plumbing malfunctions. Though most modern homes have preventative measures already in place, pipes can degrade or get damaged over time, creating prime conditions for a leak. If you regularly experience household mold, strange odors, slow draining, extra foliage growth with no alternative explanation, or cracks in the foundation of your home, it’s time to call a plumber. You may be dealing with a sewer leak.

The unpleasant eau de excrement odor aside, a sewer leak can be quite dangerous to your health and your home alike. The consequences of neglecting a leak, aside from being unsanitary, can lead to some serious issues for your home and well-being. Read on below to learn more about some of the most common dangers of a sewer leak.

Most Common Dangers of a Sewer Leak

Poisonous Sewer Gas

When human waste breaks down, it forms a byproduct known as sewer gas. Sewer gas is composed of several chemicals, including ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. This smelly gas is often identified as smelling like rotten eggs – but is it toxic?

The answer is yes and no. In low concentrations, sewer gas is foul but not necessarily harmful. At higher concentrations, or if you are exposed for a long period of time, you may experience symptoms of sewer gas poisoning. Left unchecked, these symptoms can lead to serious health issues for household residents, including pets. This is why, if you suspect a leak, it’s crucial to call a plumber immediately.

Ammonia is a toxic chemical at high levels. Low to moderate exposure can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. High levels of ammonia can cause death in humans.

Hydrogen sulfide is one of the main components of sewer gas. Research shows that hydrogen sulfide is toxic to the organ systems of the body – meaning that exposure can lead to organ damage and death.

While carbon dioxide and methane are not inherently harmful to humans, you do not want these gases hanging around in the air that you breathe. Methane alone is highly flammable. In combination with ammonia (which is also flammable), these gases are a serious fire hazard.

If you suspect sewer gas exposure, contact a medical professional and an emergency plumber immediately.

Contaminated Water

Old or damaged pipes can crack, rust, degrade, and eventually seep into nearby groundwater. This worst-case scenario can contaminate your water supply. What’s worse, if your neighborhood uses aquifers for groundwater, contamination can occur on a much larger scale. An entire neighborhood could suffer poisoning from one cracked line.

The health consequences of drinking water contaminated with sewage cannot be understated. Even healthy individuals may experience disabling gastrointestinal problems, stomach cramping, dehydration, developmental problems, reproductive problems, or death. Such consequences can be avoided by having your plumbing checked approximately every two years. It’s just not worth the risk of skipping essential maintenance.

Home Damage

Sewer leaks can cause the foundation of your home to crack as well. As water or sewage leaks pool in various areas of your home, it can cause the ground to shift. All of this erodes at your home’s foundation from the bottom up, which can cause cracks in the foundation and even buckle your patios or driveways.

Water damage is also a common side effect of a sewer leak. If your septic tank is located close to your home, or if the leak is severe enough, you may experience flooding and water damage to your house. Water alone can cause serious structural damage to a home, but the chemicals and hazardous byproducts from natural waste can make that damage much more severe. Drywall can give out, mold can form, and, ultimately, supports can even become unstable. A bad leak can leave a house almost uninhabitable if left alone for long enough.

Unwanted Critters

If you choose to neglect your leaking sewer, you may as well tape a sign to your window that declares “PESTS WELCOME.” Sewer leaks can attract a host of unwanted vermin. Rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, possums, and chipmunks naturally search for hidden sources of water away from prying eyes. Drippy pipes are naturally enticing. If you provide a convenient water source in the form of a leak, expect to see (or hear) some crawly new friends.

That includes insects! Cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, and termites are just a few of the insects that are commonly attracted to standing water and sewer leaks. These sneaky insects often build whole colonies before they’re ever noticed. Maintaining your pipes is an easy way to prevent such animals and insects from invading your home.

Increasing Water Bill

If your water bill has been steadily increasing and your house smells funny, you may be paying for a sewer leak. All of that water not only damages your home, but it can put a serious dent in your wallet too. A moderate water leak can cause you to waste 6,000 gallons of water per month. That’s an incredible waste of water and money.

And remember – all of that leaking water is seeping into the foundation of your home, creating the prime conditions for mold and mildew.

These serious dangers are not something to put off. Neglecting your leaking sewer can cause damage to your home and your health. The best way to avoid these problems is to solve them before they arrive by way of prevention. You should never attempt to fix a serious plumbing problem on your own. It could be a real safety hazard and you may accidentally cause more damage. A licensed plumber will have the proper equipment and expertise to repair your sewer. Additionally, a licensed plumber should regularly inspect your home’s plumbing system at least every two years, and more often if problems arise.

When You Need a Plumber

Here at Palo Alto Plumbing, our licensed plumbers can solve anything between a drippy faucet and a cracked sewer pipe. Our detail-oriented and knowledgeable plumbers can ensure your household’s health and safety by providing quality services. Don’t let a fixable leak destroy your home. Contact us at 650-405-3052 or fill out a contact form on our website to chat with one of our representatives about all of your plumbing needs!