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50 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do, Including Plumbing Services

Owning a home brings both joy and responsibility. While some tasks require professional help, many maintenance jobs can be handled by homeowners themselves. Here are 50 essential skills every homeowner should master to keep their home in top condition, including plumbing services and tasks that will save you time and money.

50 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do, Including Plumbing Services

  1. Fix a Dripping Faucet

A leaky faucet wastes water and can be annoying. Turn off the water supply, disassemble the faucet, and replace the worn-out washer or O-ring. Reassemble, and your faucet should be drip-free.

  1. Clear a Clogged Toilet

A clogged toilet is a common issue. Use a plunger first, and if that doesn’t work, resort to a toilet auger to clear the blockage. For more complex jobs, you should outsource to plumbing services.

  1. Unclog a Sink

Avoid chemical drain cleaners. Instead, detach and clean the P-trap beneath the sink. Place a bucket underneath to catch any water or debris.

  1. Replace a Faucet

Upgrading a faucet is straightforward. Ensure the new faucet matches the existing hole configuration. Shut off the water, remove the old faucet, and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

  1. Install a Shower Head

Remove the old shower head, apply thread seal tape to the shower arm, and screw on the new shower head. Don’t overtighten to avoid damaging the threads.

  1. Replace a Toilet

Replacing a toilet may seem daunting, but it’s manageable. Disconnect the water supply, remove the old toilet, and install the new one, ensuring a proper seal with a new wax ring. For more complex jobs, you should outsource to plumbing services.

  1. Repair a Running Toilet

Fixing a running toilet can often be resolved by adjusting the flapper or the fill valve. Ensure the chain isn’t too long and the float is at the correct level.

  1. Install a New Thermostat

Turn off the power, remove the old thermostat, and connect the new one according to the wiring diagram. A programmable thermostat can enhance energy efficiency.

  1. Turn Off the Water Main

Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve, usually found where the water line enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise to stop water flow during an emergency.

  1. Clear Out the Gutters

Clean gutters twice a year to prevent blockages and water damage. Use a ladder stabilizer and tools like a leaf blower or wet-dry vac with special attachments.

  1. Change Furnace Filters

Regularly replacing furnace filters (every two months) ensures efficient operation. Turn off the furnace, remove the old filter, and install the new one.

  1. Care for Hardwood Floors

Use hardwood-specific cleaning products. Avoid excessive water, which can damage the wood. Regularly vacuum with a hardwood floor attachment.

  1. Locate Wall Studs

Find studs by knocking on the wall or using a magnetic stud finder, essential for securely hanging heavy items like shelves and mirrors.

  1. Hang Shelves

Ensure shelves are attached to wall studs or use appropriate wall anchors. A level is crucial for proper alignment.

  1. Paint a Room

Proper preparation is key: clear the room, protect floors with drop cloths, and tape off baseboards. Apply primer and paint in well-ventilated conditions.

  1. Rewire a Lamp

Replace the cord and socket of an unplugged lamp to restore functionality. Follow the wiring diagram carefully for safe reassembly.

  1. Install a Wall Sconce

Cut holes for the electrical box and switch, run cable from the panel, and install the sconce per manufacturer instructions. Always turn off power before starting.

  1. Hang Wallpaper

Prime dark walls first. Align wallpaper pieces for seamless patterns and start in an inconspicuous spot. Smooth out bubbles with a wallpaper brush.

  1. Replace Outlets

Turn off power, remove the faceplate and old outlet, and connect the new outlet following the original wiring. Test the outlet after restoring power.

  1. Use a Pressure Washer

Clean exterior surfaces by spraying from the top down. Avoid direct, close-range spray to prevent damage to siding or paint.

  1. Install a Ceiling Fan

Use a fan-rated electrical box. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring all connections are secure. Turn off power before installation.

  1. Change Ceiling Fan Direction

Adjust the blade angle and flip the switch to change fan direction: counterclockwise for cooling in summer, clockwise for warmth in winter.

  1. Build Raised Garden Beds

Construct a frame from wood, dig a trench, and fill with a mix of soil, compost, and manure. Raised beds improve drainage and soil quality.

  1. Make Compost

Create nutrient-rich compost from food scraps and yard waste. Balance green materials (food scraps) with brown (paper, dry leaves) for optimal decomposition.

  1. Repair a Screen

Replace damaged window screens by removing the old screen and spline, fitting a new screen, and securing it with new spline.

  1. Install a Storm Door

Measure your doorway, buy a prehung storm door, and follow installation instructions for added insulation and light.

  1. Scour Grout Clean

Spray grout with water, scrub with a hard-bristled brush, and use a baking soda and vinegar paste for deep stains.

  1. Service the Lawn Mower

Annual lawn mower maintenance includes sharpening blades, changing oil, cleaning the deck, and checking the spark plug and air filter.

  1. Prune Trees and Shrubs

Use hand pruners, loppers, and a pruning saw to remove dead wood and shape plants. Best done in late fall or early spring.

  1. Seal the Driveway

Clean and repair cracks in the driveway, then apply sealant in small sections. Let it cure for 24 hours before use.

  1. Clean Stainless Steel

Avoid bleach and abrasives. Clean with soapy water and a soft cloth, wiping in the grain direction. For stuck-on food, use a nylon scrubber.

  1. Install a Dimmer Switch

Turn off power, replace the existing switch with a compatible dimmer, and follow the wiring instructions. Test with the power on.

  1. Mulch Garden Beds

Spread mulch 2 to 4 inches thick, avoiding the base of plants. Mulch helps retain moisture and suppress weeds.

  1. Hang a Picture

Measure and mark the wall, use a level, and choose appropriate hardware based on the picture’s weight.

  1. Clean the Grill

Soak grates in soapy water, scrub with a wire brush, and clean the grill body. Regular maintenance prolongs grill life and improves food flavor.

  1. Wash the Windows

Wipe windows with soapy water, spray with cleaner, and dry with a lint-free cloth using a Z-pattern. Clean frames and sills too.

  1. Turn Off the Gas Main

Locate the gas meter, turn the valve 90 degrees with an adjustable wrench to stop the gas flow. Call the gas company to restore service.

  1. Reset a Circuit Breaker

Find the tripped breaker in the panel, switch it off, then back on. This restores power to the affected circuit.

  1. Seal the Deck

Clean and repair the deck, apply a sealant or stain, and let it cure completely to protect the wood from weather damage.

  1. Inspect the Fireplace

Before winter, clean the firebox, check for chimney cracks, and ensure the damper works properly. Regular inspections ensure safe operation.

  1. Mow the Lawn

Edge and trim before mowing. Mow in varying patterns and avoid cutting more than a third of the grass height to promote healthy growth.

  1. Clean the Sump Pump

Turn off power, remove the pump, rinse off debris, and clean the pit. Ensure the pump is dry before reinstalling. For more complex jobs, you should outsource to plumbing services.

  1. Deep Clean a Carpet

Steam clean carpets to remove deep-seated dirt. Allow carpets to dry completely before use to prevent mold growth.

  1. Build and Attach Window Boxes

Construct window boxes to fit your window frame, drill drainage holes, and attach them securely with brackets.

  1. Install a New Light Fixture

Turn off power, remove the old fixture, connect the new fixture following the wiring diagram, and secure it in place.

  1. Hang Curtains

Measure window width, install curtain rods, and hang curtains for a polished look. Ensure brackets are securely anchored.

  1. Propagate Plants

Grow new plants from cuttings. Place cuttings in water or soil and keep them in a warm, light place until roots develop.

  1. Clean a Dishwasher

Remove and clean filters, wipe down the interior, and run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner or vinegar.

  1. Fix a Garage Door

Lubricate moving parts, tighten hardware, and adjust the balance. Regular maintenance keeps the door operating smoothly.

  1. Maintain Home Safety Equipment

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, replace batteries annually, and ensure fire extinguishers are charged and accessible.

Mastering these tasks empowers homeowners to maintain and enhance their living spaces, fostering a more self-sufficient lifestyle and ensuring a well-kept home. If you’re up for the challenge, here is another list of 50 home improvement items to tackle as well.

Keep Your Home Flowing Smoothly with Palo Alto Plumbing Services!

Is your home experiencing plumbing issues? Don’t let leaks, clogs, or outdated fixtures disrupt your daily life. At Palo Alto Plumbing, we offer top-notch plumbing services to keep your home running efficiently and comfortably.

Why Choose Palo Alto Plumbing?

  • Expert Technicians: Our experienced and licensed plumbers are ready to tackle any problem, big or small.
  • Reliable Service: We pride ourselves on punctuality and reliability, ensuring your plumbing issues are resolved quickly and effectively.
  • Comprehensive Solutions: From emergency repairs to routine maintenance, we cover all your plumbing needs.
  • Affordable Rates: Quality service at competitive prices with no hidden fees.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we won’t rest until the job is done right.

Our Plumbing Services Include:

  • Leak detection and repair
  • Drain cleaning and unclogging
  • Water heater installation and repair
  • Fixture upgrades and installations
  • Pipe repair and replacement
  • Routine plumbing maintenance

Don’t wait until a small problem becomes a major issue. Trust Palo Alto Plumbing to keep your home’s plumbing system in top shape. Call us today!

Upgrade Your Home with Faucet Installation: A Step-by-Step Installation Guide

If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom or kitchen, one of the most practical and easy changes you can make is faucet installation. With the right tools and some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a task that most homeowners can complete in just a few hours. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to install a new faucet, including the tools you’ll need, the steps involved in the faucet installation process, and some tips for troubleshooting common issues.

Tools you’ll need

Before you get started, you’ll need to gather some basic tools and supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • New faucet
  • Basin wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Plumbers putty
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket or container to catch water
  • Rags or towels

New faucet installation prep

Before you begin your faucet installation, it’s important to make sure that you’ve turned off the water supply. To do this, locate the shut-off valves under your sink and turn them clockwise to shut off the water. Once the water is turned off, turn on the faucet to relieve any remaining pressure in the lines.

Next, you’ll need to remove the old faucet. To do this, use a basin wrench to loosen and remove the nuts that hold the faucet in place. Once you’ve removed the nuts, lift the old faucet off the sink.

Installing the new faucet

Now that you’ve removed the old faucet, it’s time to install the new one. Follow these steps to install your new faucet:

  • Clean the sink: Before your faucet installation, use a rag or towel to clean the sink and remove any debris or residue left over from the old faucet. This will ensure a clean, tight seal.
  • Install the gasket: Place the gasket on the bottom of the new faucet and press it firmly into place.
  • Apply plumber’s putty: Apply a small amount of plumber’s putty around the base of the new faucet. This will help create a watertight seal.
  • Insert the new faucet: Place the new faucet into the mounting hole on the sink. Make sure that it is level and centered.
  • Secure the new faucet: Under the sink, use a basin wrench to tighten the mounting nuts onto the new faucet. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage the faucet or sink.
  • Connect the water supply lines: Most new faucets will come with water supply lines already attached. If this is the case, simply connect the lines to the shut-off valves under your sink. If your new faucet does not have pre-attached supply lines, you’ll need to attach them now. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the connections.
  • Turn on the water supply: Slowly turn on the water supply valves under your sink. Check for leaks as the water flows through the new faucet.

Faucet installation troubleshooting

If you encounter any issues during the faucet installation process, don’t panic. Here are some common problems and solutions:

  • Leaks: If you notice any leaks around the new faucet, turn off the water supply and check the connections. Make sure that all nuts and connections are tight and secure. You may also need to apply more plumbers’ putty to create a tighter seal.
  • Uneven or loose faucet: If your new faucet is not level or wobbles, check the mounting nuts under the sink. Tighten them with a basin wrench to secure the faucet in place.
  • Low water pressure: If your new faucet has low water pressure, check the aerator. Sometimes debris can get stuck in the aerator, causing reduced water flow. Remove the aerator and clean it thoroughly.

Conclusion

Faucet installation is a relatively simple task that can have a big impact on the look and functionality of your bathroom or kitchen. With the right tools and some basic plumbing knowledge, most homeowners can complete this project in just a few hours. Just remember to turn off the water supply, remove the old faucet, clean the sink, install the new faucet with the gasket and plumber’s putty, connect the water supply lines, and turn on the water supply.

When shopping for a new faucet, make sure to choose one that is the right size and style for your sink and that has the features you need, such as a pull-out sprayer or a single handle for easy temperature control. If you’re not comfortable with the installation process, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for assistance.

In addition to improving the look and functionality of your bathroom or kitchen, installing a new faucet can also help you save water and money. Many modern faucets are designed to be more water-efficient than older models, which means you can enjoy the same great performance while using less water. This can help lower your water bills and reduce your environmental impact.

Overall, installing a new faucet is a great way to update your bathroom or kitchen without spending a lot of money or time. With the right tools and some basic plumbing knowledge, you can complete this project in just a few hours and enjoy the benefits of a new and improved faucet.

Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

If you’re in the Palo Alto area and looking to upgrade your bathroom or kitchen with a new faucet, toilet, or shower, Palo Alto Plumbing is here to help. Our team of experienced professionals can assist with faucet installation and a wide range of plumbing services including faucet installation or troubleshooting. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let us help you transform your home.

7 Essential Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

When it comes to keeping your home warm and cozy, nothing is more important than hot water. After all, you can’t take a shower or get clean in any other way. But traditional water heaters, compared to tankless water heaters, are energy-intensive appliances that use about 20% of the natural gas consumed throughout the country every year. Moreover, they are prone to maintenance issues and shorter-than-expected lifespans. So if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly alternative to a standard gas water heater, a tankless version might be perfect for you. In this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of tankless water heaters and show you how they work.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is a device that heats up water as it is being used. It doesn’t store water in a tank, so it can be an excellent solution if you have a limited amount of space in your home. It can also be a great option if you want to save energy and money because tankless water heaters use less energy than traditional models. A traditional water heater stores water in a tank until it’s needed. It then gives off that water at a steady temperature. A tankless water heater only heats up water as it is being used, so it can’t provide hot water for a group of people at once. But that could be a good thing, as it can reduce the risk of scalding accidents.

Pros of Using a Tankless Water Heater

– Smaller Footprint – Since a tankless water heater only heats up water as it is being used, it has a smaller footprint than a traditional water heater. This can be useful if you don’t have a lot of room in your home for appliances.

– Less Waiting Time – With a traditional water heater, you have to wait for the water to heat up before using it. You don’t have to do that with a tankless option. You can get clean water as soon as the heater starts heating up the water.

– Eco-Friendly – Traditional water heaters use natural gas, which releases carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide can trap heat in the atmosphere, which can cause global warming. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, uses electricity. Electricity can also contribute to global warming, but a tankless option uses much less electricity than a traditional water heater.

– Save Money – Traditional water heaters use a lot of energy, which can cause them to increase your energy bills. Tankless uses less energy, so it can help you to save money.

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

– Higher Initial Investment – Since a tankless water heater uses less energy than a traditional water heater, it doesn’t use as much electricity. That means it doesn’t generate as much money for your utility. To make up for that difference, the tankless water heater costs more than its traditional counterpart.

– Smaller Capacity – While a tankless water heater can heat water faster than a traditional water heater, it doesn’t have as much capacity. That means you will have to wait longer for enough hot water if you have a big family.

 – Can’t Handle Huge Amounts of Water – Some tankless water heaters can’t handle large amounts of water all at once. That could be a problem, especially if you have a big family. A tankless water heater simply can’t heat up that much water in a short period of time, so it might fail to keep up under the pressure.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Tankless Water Heater

– Amount of Water You Need – If you have a big family, you might need a tankless water heater with a large capacity. If you live alone or have small children, a smaller-capacity tankless water heater might be more than enough for you.

– Source of Electricity – If you buy a tankless water heater, you will want to make sure your utility provides electricity. If your utility uses natural gas to power your home, you won’t be able to use a tankless water heater.

– Plumbing – The plumbing in your home could be a problem if you decide to buy a tankless water heater. You have to have the right kind of pipes to make the tankless water heater work properly. Otherwise, it might not draw water properly and could break down.

How to Install a Tankless Water Heater

– Mark the Location of the Water Heater – The first thing you should do is mark the location of the water heater. In most cases, the water heater should be placed in a warm spot above the ground.

– Keep the Water Line Clear – Water tanks use a pipe to connect to the water heater. That pipe should be kept clear so that water can flow through it easily.

– Install the Water Heater – You can now install the water heater. Simply follow the instructions on the water heater box to do so.

– Connect the Water Line – You can now connect the water line to the water heater. If you’re unsure about how to do it, you can call a professional to do it for you.

Final Words

Tankless water heaters can help you save money on your energy bills. They also help to reduce water waste since they only heat up the water that is needed. However, you have to consider some factors such as the amount of water, the type of electricity, and the plumbing in your house.

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!

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!

Home Upgrades You Can Do in Just a Day

Many homeowners would like to improve their homes in one way or another, but oftentimes, the idea of making these improvements can seem daunting due to the time commitment involved. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered up several excellent home improvement projects that don’t take very long to complete.

Quick and Affordable Home Upgrades

Take a look at these easy home upgrades that you can do in only one day. With just a little planning and a free afternoon, you can make some small improvements to your home that will have a pretty big impact.

Easy One Day Home Upgrades

One Last Project: Annual Maintenance

This one is extra simple because you don’t have to do it yourself, let us take care of it for you! We believe that regular HVAC maintenance is the key to your indoor comfort and energy savings. Our technicians do a multi-point inspection, helping prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your system. Call us today to schedule your maintenance check: 650-856-3400.

What You Should Know Before You Replace Your A/C

Are you considering whether or not your air conditioner could stand to be replaced/? Maybe your A/c has quit working as efficiently, or you’re after a more energy efficient unit and and you think now might be a great time to get a replacement.  Or, maybe you’ve never thought twice about your A/C and have no idea what you should do.

Whatever your reason for considering upgrading your air conditioner, you’ll want to be prepared with the correct information before making a decision. Check out this handy post to ensure that you are making the right choice when it comes to A/C replacement.

Advice Before Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Advice Replace Air Conditioner

Still Have Questions? Call Us Today!

If you’re still unsure whether a new air conditioner is right for you, we can help. At Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air, our goal is to save homeowners money with better energy efficiency, exclusive savings on services, as well as financing and rebates. We don’t want finances to stand in between you and your comfort at home! Call us today to get in touch with an A/C expert to learn more about the variety of options you have when it comes to upgrading your home’s cooling system: 650-856-3400.

From Around the Web: X Excellent Infographics About Home Improvement

For many individuals, a home is one of the biggest investments they will make in their lifetime. That’s why it is so important for homeowners to understand their home improvement needs, including yearly maintenance and repair concerns.

We at Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air know how important it is for you to get the information you need to protect your home and keep it running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of informative infographics that help you better understand your home improvement needs.

Top Home Improvement Infographics

Whether you are a brand new homeowner or you’ve lived in your house for decades, it’s important to understand your home improvement needs. Use the infographics below to educate yourself on basic home improvement:

United States Census Bureau – Home Improvements

The U.S. Census Bureau gathers important data about the improvements that U.S. homeowners make to their homes. This infographic gives you more information about the top improvements that U.S. homeowners are making and how much they spend each year on home improvement. If you are planning your home improvement budget for the year, this infographic will give you a better idea of what most homeowners choose to focus on and how much you can expect to spend.

United States Census Bureau – Home Improvements

Home Improvements That Pay You Pack

Before investing in home improvement projects, it’s important that you consider your return on investment. Though any home improvement project may make your home a more comfortable environment, some projects are more worth your while because they tend to provide a higher resale value when you are ready to sell your home. This infographic gives a nice breakdown of the projects that will end up paying you back in the end.

Home Improvements That Pay You Pack

 

Drab to Fab: Home Improvements for Less than $1,000

Want to make some improvements to your home without breaking the bank? This infographic offers some awesome tips for affordable home improvement. It gives a simple breakdown of the costs for different improvements you can make in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. It also provides some general tips for saving more money on your home improvement projects. This is a great infographic for the budget-conscious homeowner.

Home Improvements for Less than $1,000

 

Want to find more great, informative content on home improvement topics? Each month, we update our blog with interesting posts on home improvement, HVAC, and energy efficiency topics.

 

4 Best DIY Accounts to Follow on Twitter

The DIY community is all about sharing their tips and tricks for tackling any project big or small. From how-to blogs to inspiring imagery, there is no short of great DIY content on the web. One of the best places to find informative and inspiring content on the latest DIY trends and fun projects is on Twitter. Though there are many DIY-focused Twitter accounts, there are a few that we follow regularly for new ideas, helpful information, and fun inspiration.

Best DIY Twitter Accounts

Whether you’re looking for a how-to video for crafting, a blog post with home improvement tips, or just home design inspiration, you can find it all on Twitter. Here are just a few of our favorite DIY Twitter accounts:

DIY Inspired

@DIYInspired

This Twitter account is brought to you by DIY and craft blogger, Dinah, from www.diyinspired.com. On this Twitter account, she shares links to her blog content which offers tips, tricks, and advice on DIY craft projects. She also shares links to inspiring Pinterest boards as well as helpful DIY craft how-to videos. If you love to get crafty and you are always looking for new ways to improve your home décor, this is a great Twitter account to follow.

DIY Network

@DIYNetwork

The DIY Network is known as the home improvement how-to network, and that’s exactly what it provides – information on how to do just about anything around your home. Their Twitter account offers updates and behind the scenes looks at all your favorite DIY Network programming like Tiny House, Big Living and Building Off the Grid. The social media account also offers links to informative content about how to tackle DIY projects around your home.

Lifehacker

@lifehacker

Lifehacker is a different type of DIY resource than the rest. This Twitter account shares fun and informative articles on all the best tips, hacks, and how-to’s for your home and general daily living. This site covers everything from simple tricks that make using a digital scale easier to answers to life’s biggest questions, like, should I exercise on an empty stomach? This diverse resource is great for those who like learning neat little tips and tricks for making life easier. Just beware of any HVAC hacks!

This Old House

@ThisOldHouse

This Old House provides a wealth of informative content on home improvement, home repair, renovations, and other DIY projects. The Twitter feed is full of great content on everything from how to grow your own garden to affordable upgrades for your home. This is a must-follow account for anyone who is a fan of This Old House programming, or any homeowner who likes to learn more about how they can make affordable and lasting improvements to their own homes.

If you use social media to keep up with the latest in home improvement, be sure to follow us on Facebook. We post regular content on home improvement and HVAC topics, as well as company updates and recent promotions to help you save on all of your Palo Alto heating and air conditioning needs.

What the Best Home Improvement Pros Do (And You Should Too)

What the Best Home Improvement Pros Do (And You Should Too)

Whether you just bought your first home or you’ve been enjoying your home for many years, one thing that never changes is that fact that you need to work to maintain your home. While some Palo Alto homeowners may hire experts to take on home improvement projects, others take these projects on by themselves to save a little money and make their home their own. Below, we offer some tips from the home improvement experts that can help you make your next home improvement project a success.

Pro Home Improvement Tips

If you’re ready to kick your home improvement projects up a notch, use this list of pro home improvement tips before you start your next project:

  1. Choose the improvements that add the most value to your home.

There’s a good chance that there are a variety of projects that you could take on around your house to improve the look and feel of your home environment. However, most of us just don’t have the time or resources to invest into every home improvement project that we’d like to take on. If you ask a pro, they’ll tell you that the projects worth taking on are those that will add the most value to your home. For example, adding a wood deck provides a higher return on investment than other remodels or additions, so this is a good project to prioritize.

  1. Get the right tools.

Once you’ve decided to take on any home improvement project big or small, it’s vital that you have the right tools on hand to complete the job successfully. Make sure that your home toolbox has the essential repair tools to take on any simple project. Universal toolboxes include basic tools like a screwdriver set, pliers, an adjustable wrench, claw hammer, and tape measure. For more information, check out this article from Lifehacker, which gives you the low down on how to properly stock your toolkit.

  1. If you can’t handle the project yourself, find a good contractor.

It’s important to recognize whether or not you have the knowledge and skillset to take on certain home improvement projects. Not only can working on a project that’s out of your league be dangerous, but it can also end up costing you even more in the long run as a professional will have to come in and fix the mess anyway. For any projects that you have decided you are not able to do-it-yourself, be sure to find a qualified, experienced, and licensed contractor to complete the job. Again, it may require a significant investment to hire a seasoned pro, but if you settle for a bargain contractor, you may end up having to pay even more down the line to correct the mistakes.

Do you like learning about home improvement? Check back on our blog each month for new content on HVAC, home maintenance, energy efficiency, and other helpful topics for Palo Alto homeowners. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you never miss an update from Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air.