Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why a Corona Plumber with a Full Team Offers Better Emergency Service than a Solo Plumber

While you probably don't think about it very often, your home's plumbing system is a very important feature that you use and rely on every day. You wash dishes, do laundry, flush the toilet, take a shower and more, all the while probably taking your plumbing for granted and simply expecting it to work every time.

So what happens when your plumbing fails you? The only thing you're concerned about is getting it fixed as fast as possible.

Plumbing emergencies can certainly be a nightmare. You may be facing a flooded bathroom, kitchen or laundry room, filled with bacteria-contaminated water. You also know that letting the problem go untreated means it will only get worse in terms of wasted water expenses, damaged floors and walls and much more.

So, when an emergency strikes you reach for your phone book or do a quick search online for a Corona plumber who offers emergency services. But the important questions is this: who do you call?

Choosing the right plumber for the job may seem easy, as you probably think you should just hire the person who agrees to fix the problem for the least amount of money. Actually, just because a plumber offers the lowest price is no guarantee he or she will be the best choice for an emergency.

Plumbers who work alone and have only one truck usually offer the very best prices in town, but they have a very limited ability to handle more than one emergency at once. They can only be in one place at a time, after all!

In that case, you may be left waiting for hours with a mess and an entire room out of service.

A local Corona plumber with multiple trucks may charge a slightly higher price, but you have a much higher chance of getting the problem taken care of very quickly. These plumbers have a much greater service area than a solo plumber and they'll have someone available nearby to be at your home quickly.

If you're desperate for an emergency plumber in Corona, call Inland Empire Plumbing. Our team of professional plumbers are standing by 24/7 and ready to be at your home within the hour to get your plumbing issue under control!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to Remove Mineral Deposits from Fixtures

Rainshower shower heads are certainly a wonderful luxury, but what happens when you turn on your shower and water doesn't flow like it used to? The problem may not be your plumbing but the showerhead itself.

Household faucets and showerheads are designed to direct water flow in a specific direction. This means they do not have a very wide opening but instead have small screens or holes that let a jet spray through.

Most water in the United States (and everywhere for that matter) carries dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium through your plumbing system and through your faucets. When water evaporates, these minerals are left behind, where they build up on the outflow of the opening and around the opening. Eventually, these tiny crystals of minerals become a hard, scaly deposit that doesn't just look bad -- it may block your water flow.

To prevent and help reduce buildup, it helps to wipe down your faucets with a damp rag and dish detergent regularly. Make sure you put a lot of attention into the back of the faucet and underside of the spout.

For tough stains, lemons are the solution. Wipe own the lime deposits on your faucets with half a lemon or lemon juice. This mild citric acid will help to quickly dissolve those stubborn mineral deposits but it won't harm the fixture at all. It may be used on brass, chrome and copper faucets without worry.

If the stains remain, try using vinegar. Wipe a bit of vinegar onto a problem spot and let it sit for 3 minutes before rinsing it off. Combining baking soda and vinegar can also create a paste you can rub on the stain, which may sit for up to 90 minutes to get rid of the deposit.

If you have a showerhead that's clogged with deposits, you don't necessarily need a Corona plumber to fix the problem! Try pouring vinegar into a plastic baggy and tying it around the showerhead with a rubber band. Leave it for about three hours, then remove it and wipe away the deposits, scrubbing anything left over with an old toothbruth.

For faucets with an aerator installed, you can clean deposits away by twisting off this insert that holds the screen in place. Flush off any debris then use a toothpaste to get rid of deposits. You can also soak the whole aerator in vinegar if you're having trouble.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What to Do Before Calling a 24 Hour Plumber in Corona

Once you become a homeowner, you will probably discover at some point that plumbing emergencies can strike at any time. Still, do you know if the situation really requires a 24 hour plumber? At Inland Empire Plumbing, we can send out a professional Corona plumber at any hour of the day, but it may help you to know if the problem requires immediate action or if it can wait until the morning.

Imagine waking up at 3:00am to the sound of running water, only to discover your bathroom floor is covered in water. What do you do? Your first step should be finding where the water is coming from, whether it's the sink, the tub or the toilet. Once you identify the source of the water, you can turn off water to that particular fixture. If you can't find the source or you aren't able to turn off the fixture, you can just turn off the water supply to your entire home, but you'll now be without water everywhere.

Once the water is off, it's time to really assess your situation.

If it's only one item, like the toilet or sink, and you are able to turn off the water at the source, you can just wait until the morning to call for leak detection in Corona. With the fixture off and the water flow over, you can clean up the water in the area to avoid further damage. Just avoid using the fixture until you can get a plumber to take a look during normal business hours to avoid the service charge for 24 hour service.

If it's a real plumbing emergency that can't wait until morning, be ready when you make the call. Do your best to identify the source of the problem and try to figure out where you think the issue started from, what is working in the room and what isn't. The more information you can determine before calling, the more you will have to share with a plumber.

You'll want to give specific details, which will help your plumber assess the damage and determine what work must be done. You can also ask for an estimate, but remember that not everyone will give you a direct quote over the phone until the see the problem. If you know it's your sink, though, they can probably give you a good idea of what to expect. You'll also want to ask for the 24 hour service charge.

Make sure you're comfortable before agreeing to have a plumber visit. If you aren't happy with the first plumbing company you call, try another. With any luck, the problem will be relatively minor to fix and you'll be back in business before long.

At Inland Empire Plumbing, we believe in transparency and great customer service and we have qualified Corona plumbers standing by 24/7. If you're in a tight spot, give us a call and we'll get you taken care of!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Plumber or Drano: Which is Best?

You head to the bathroom to find your sink or shower has backed up again. What is the best thing to do? Should you reach for the phone and call your local Fontana plumber or head for the bottle of Drano under the sink?

These backups always seem to happen at the worst time, and you may be tempted to just go for the "fast" and easy approach to solving the problem, but it may not be the best fix. Dranos and other liquid drain cleaners can certainly work sometimes, but the real issue is what they may do to your overall plumbing system, and how they can hurt you down the road.

Think of Drano as a temporary band-aid, not a permanent fix to the problem.

If your toilet backs up and a plunger doesn't work, you might think it's easy to just pour in some Drano and let it handle the clog. The problem is toilets don't have the same draining system as your tub or sink. The toilet bowl fills with water and reciculates, so anything you put in will stay in the bowl for awhile. These harsh chemicals can settle into the porcelain and cause cracks, or even a mini explosion which forces you to replace not only the toilet but nearby fixtures.

Pouring Drano into a sink or tub can also cause serious damage, as these chemicals will actually eat away at not only the clog but your plumbing. Drano will eat through plastic piping as well as metal piping, although it takes a bit longer in the case of metal.

The next time your sink, tub or toilet isn't working properly, remember the possible downsides to using a chemical drain cleaner. Baking soda and white vinegar can be used together to sometimes eliminate clogs without the use of harsh and potentially damaging chemicals, although stubborn clogs may require the use of professional Fontana drain cleaning service to get you back in service.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Change Your Shower Head

Installing a shiny new shower head is one of the easiest and best ways to improve the look of your bath. If your old shower head is starting to look old, it may be time to grab a few tools and start replacing it today. The plumbing experts at Inland Empire Plumbing will walk you through this simple update with these steps.

Step 1: Prep Work

Make sure you have everything you'll need, including a damp paper towel, the new shower head, adjustable pliers, a wrench and Teflon tape. The water should be turned off and the area should be covered with an old towel to protect the surfaces while you work.

Step 2: Remove the Old Shower Head

With your adjustable pliers, remove the old shower head. It shouldn't be too hard, unless it's been on there a really long time and there's a lot of build-up. Once it's removed, use the paper towel to remove any extra dirt and dry the threads. If there's stubborn build-up, a bit of water and white vinegar on a rag should take care of it.

Step 3: Add the Teflon Tape

Before installing any new shower head, apply Teflon tape around the threads to make sure they're covered. Start at the base and work your way up in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 4: Install the New Shower Head

Now, simply screw the new fixture onto the clean pipe and tighen with your wrench. It should be tight, but not over-tightened. Our Corona plumbers recommend looking at the manufacturer's instructions first as some newer models can be tightened without a wrench.

Step 5: The Test

Now it's time to make sure everything's working! Turn the water back on and check for leaks. If any water is escaping, try tightening the fixture in small quarter-turns to make sure you don't over-tighten.

While switching out your shower head is pretty basic, you might be ready for a complete bathroom makeover. Our experienced plumbers in Corona can help you update old plumbing and fixtures, replace old faucets or even update the design and layout of your bathroom to give you a spa-like retreat to enjoy at the end of the day. Don't forget: bathroom remodels are one of the most practical investments you can make in your home with a mid-range bath remodel giving you a return on investment of about 102%!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Troubleshooting Your Gas Water Heater

Water heaters are usually very reliable appliances, but they do have problems sometimes that require the help of a Corona plumber. These issues may include anything from a lack of hot water to rust-colored water or a strange odor, or even water leaking around the base. Troubleshooting your gas water heater is something you can do on your own, which gives you a good idea of the cost of repairs, but you want to make sure you do it safely.

Problem: No Hot Water
This problem may be caused by one of three things: a faulty gas pilot, thermocouple or pilot control valve. Start by checking the gas pilot flame and pilot operation, then re-tighten or replace the gas thermocouple. The gas pilot control valve may also need to be replaced.

Problem: Not Enough Hot Water
One possible cause is the water heater is not large enough for the demand of your household. If this is the case, you may need to call a Corona plumber to replace the water heater with something larger. The problem may also be caused by broken dip tubes that allow the hot and cold water to mix together in the tank, or faulty plumbing crossing hot and cold connections. It may even be a problem with the gas supply or control.

Problem: Rusty Water
If your water comes out looking rust-colored, it may be caused by corrosion inside the glass-lined tank, or a sacrificial anode rod is beginning to fail. These rods will dissolve slowly to prevent rusting inside your hot water tank, so the rod may need to be replaced with a magnesium rod.

Problem: Odor of Rotten Eggs
If there's an odor of rotten eggs in your water, it is probably caused by bacteria in the tank sediment, which thrive on hydrogen gas from a decaying sacrificial anode rod. Possible solutions to this problem include contacting a plumber for Corona water heater repair to flush the water heater, treat the tank with a hydrogen peroxide solution, replace the anode rod or replace the water heater with one that has a plastic liner.

Problem: Popping Sound
If you hear a popping or rumbling sound, it's actually boiling water you're hearing. This is caused by an excessive build-up of sediment in the tank, which causes the bottom to overheat, boiling the water. The sediment must be removed by flushing the water heater.

Problem: Leaking at Base
Finally, if you find water leaking at the base of the heater, it's time to call for Corona water heater repair as soon as possible. Water around the base may be caused by a leak from nearby plumbing, a faulty temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve or a leaking tank from corrosion.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

4 DIY Plumbing Projects You Should Skip

When you own a home, everything that can break down will. From the plumbing and heating to the siding and lawn, you'll find yourself constantly tackling new projects to keep your home looking and working its best. When the plumbing in your house starts to malfunction, you might be tempted to try fixing it on your own rather than calling up a Corona plumber. If you're a licensed plumber, that's definitely a great idea. If you aren't, and you don't understand plumbing completely, you might just make the problem worse. You may even end up paying a lot of money for a professional to come in and fix your mistakes.

Here are 4 common DIY plumbing projects you should skip doing yourself.

1. Clogged Drains
If the drain is clogged with hair or something else that's easy to fix, you can try fixing it on your own without a great risk of doing further damage. If your problem is very severe, such as drains backing up throughout the house, you need to call a professional plumber in Corona to take a look. Your problem is definitely not something simple like hair and it may need professional plumbing equipment and experience, and maybe even pipe replacement.

2. Dishwasher Installation
If your dishwasher doesn't seem to be getting your dishes clean or performing at its best, taking care of the problem on your own might be a good idea. You may need to check the drain for clogs, or try cleaning the dishwasher by running a cycle with nothing but vinegar.

When you get into dishwasher installation, however, it's time to turn over the job to the pros. Dishwasher installation is a bit more complex than it seems, and there is a lot of work involved. Not only must your new dishwasher be installed under a cabinet near your kitchen sink, you also need to make sure drainage and water lines are installed correctly. One false move and you'll be left with a massive mess.

3. Pipe Replacement
Do you have a plumbing problem that requires pipe replacement? If so, call a Corona plumber. Even if it seems like an easy job to replace a small bit of pipe, you may not find leaks until it's too late. This is especially true for leaks behind your wall.

4. Water heaters and water treatments
Water treatment systems and water heaters should always be installed by a professional plumber in Corona. Water heater installation requires careful connection of gas lines or electricity as well as water lines, and water treatment systems require changing the main water lines as they enter your home. If you make even one small error, you may end up with water pouring into your whole house!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why Do I Have a Water Stain on My Ceiling?

Have you noticed a water stain on your ceiling? Are you wondering if it's a plumbing problem, a roofing issue or something else? Most large problems start out very small, but the sooner you catch them, the more likely you are to avoid very serious damage and expensive repairs. Whenever there's water involved, it's important to act very fast to make sure the problem is addressed before it gets worse.

There are a few reasons water is coming through your ceiling, and not all of them are related to your home's plumbing system.

Is the spot growing due to heavy rain? If so, you probably have an issue with your roof. You may have lost tiles due to high winds, or a vent has lots insulation that's intended to keep the weather out of your house.

Has there been heavy weather? Snow or ice build up will freeze and expand. When it warms up, the ice will melt and leak into the cracks. Blizzards combined with high winds can also cause snow to blow through the ridge vent, which will result in leaks or water spots when the snow melts. While this certainly isn't a common issue in the Inland Empire, it's one cause for water leaks in a ceiling.

If this doesn't sound like what you're dealing with, then it's time to consider plumbing-related problems.

Does the stain seem to grow larger at a specific time of the day? Maybe it grows larger when you go downstairs after your morning shower, or when the entire family gets ready in the morning. If so, the leak may be around your upstairs shower.

Try following the trail through your home to zero in on the root of the problem if you notice the water stain growing in size at a specific time.

Of course, it's always best to call in a professional plumber in Ontario to diagnosis the problem as soon as you notice a water stain. You never know where that trail will lead, or how serious the problem really is, but it's vital that you have it fixed ASAP to avoid problems later. Contact the professionals at Inland Empire Plumbing if you notice water leaks in your home and we'll show up fast and get to the bottom of it!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August in National Water Quality Month

Without water, life would not be possible, and entire ecosystems depend on this precious resource to survive. While the United Nations has declared 2005 through 2015 an International Decade for Action "Water for Life," the United States has declared August as National Water Quality Month.

This month is a time to remember that water quality is necessary for the survival of our entire race and without it, none of us could survive. This life-sustaining resource must be protected to ensure cleanliness, so it's a good time to learn more about how you can do your part to protect your city's water supply.

Installing Backflow Preventers

When you turn on your faucet, you expect your water to be safe for consumption, not dirty or contaminated. Unfortunately, backflow can happen if there is a sudden drop in your home's water pressure. Backflow is when used water is pulld back into your water main, which contaminates your clean water. A backflow preventer can ensure your home's water is always safe and clean by sealing shut when the pressure drops to prevent contamination.

UV Water Purifiers

Ultraviolet germicidal water purifiers are definitely one of the most important innovations in water quality control. Water supplies are at a serious risk of bacterial infection, and even major metropolitan areas have experienced outbreaks. A professional Corona plumber can install a UV water purifier to give you peace of mind and ensure your water supply stays fresh.

Testing Your Home's Water

If you want to test your home's water quality, you can buy a test kit from a home center or online that contains strips that react to the presence of many contaminants, including lead, bacteria, pesticides, nitrites or nitrates, chlorine, and pH. While these at-home kits aren't very accurate and don't test for everything, they can help you flag a problem.

Recommendations from Clean Water Action

  • Avoid antibacterial soaps or cleaning products
  • Do not flush unwanted medication down your drain
  • Do not put anything except water down storm drains
  • Fix leaks from cars and put a liner on your driveway to collect oil
  • Avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers
  • Use nontoxic household products
  • Pick up after your pets

If you're concerned about your own water quality, contact a professional plumber at Inland Empire Plumbing today. We can help you install water softeners, water conditioners to remove physical contaminants and offer germicidal protection, backflow preventers, UV water purifiers to reduce the risk of bacterial infection and much more.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do You Understand How Leak Detection Works?

It's true that there are some rare
leaks that are so slow they aren't detected, although many homeowners ignore known leaks, not realizing that even the smallest of leaks can waste thousands of gallons in a single year, and lead to serious and expensive damage. If water is finding a way out, experienced plumbers can use state-of-the-art equipment to find even the most concealed leaks, whether they're behind walls, in an irrigation system, under a concrete slab or asphalt or in the basement, saving you untold thousands in damage and water costs.

Detecting Leaks on Your Own

Many people have leaks without even realizing it. This problem is often revealed through increasing monthly water bills. Sometimes the problem develops over time when a pinhole leak develops into something larger, or it may come on suddenly with a burst pipe.

You may even hear the leak, rather than noticing your bill climbing. If you have copper tubing, you'll probably notice a distinct noise as copper conducts sound very well, while your faucet amplifies the noise.

If you hear a leak or find your water bill is higher than it should be, check all the valves in your home, including the hose faucets and toilets. If it's a toilet running, try turning off the supply stop to see if the sound goes away. Check your home for signs of water damage or moisture, including under the sinks and your water heater.

Isolate the Leak

If you determine on your own that you do have a leak, you can take the extra step of isolating it while you're waiting for a Corona plumber to arrive. Start by turning off your main water cut-off valve, then test it by opening a faucet to reduce pressure and drain the system.

If you hear silence at the faucet, the leak is under your home's floor. You can now control the damage by turning on water only when necessary until the problem is fixed. If the water to your home is shut off but you still hear water running, you probably have a leak in your outside water main.

How a Professional Helps

An expert technician will use a non-invasive leak detection system to locate leaks to save you money and avoid unnecessary damage to your home. Using electronic equipment, even the smallest leak can be accurately pinpointed, versus the old-fashioned trial-and-error method of digging holes in your floor and basement to locate the problem.

Electronic leak detection from the experts at Inland Empire Plumbing will save your home from unnecessary damage that's associated with hunting a leak down with jack hammers and pinpoint the exact location to complete the repairs.

Image: David Dames/Flickr

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Emergency Plumbing Advice

Plumbing emergencies can strike at any time and, if you aren't prepared, they can cause extensive damage and a huge mess to clean up. While you'll definitely want to get in touch with the expert plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing available 24/7, you'll want to do what you can to stop or reduce the damage before they show up. Here's some advice if you find yourself in trouble.
Turning off a Hot Water Heater

Is your water heater leaking? Start by turning off the gas supply or electricity to the appliance. If you have an electric model, look at the panel on your circuit breaker and find the breaker for your water heater and shut it off. For gas water heaters, find the thermostat knob and turn it to the "off" position.

Next, turn off the water by finding the handle at the top on one of the water lines. Shut it off by twisting clockwise. You'll also want to drain the water from the device to avoid damage. To do this, get a water hose and connect it to the drain faucet at the bottom of the water heater. Point the other end away from you and allow the water to drain somewhere safe.

How to Turn Off Your Main Water Main Supply

If you need to turn off water to your entire house, you have a few options. The first method is finding your main water supply valve and twisting it cockwise to shut it off completely. Then, open an external faucet to relieve pressure and remove the water still retained in the system, allowing it to drain outside the home.

You can also try shutting off the main terminal of your water supply. This water meter box provided by your water district is outside your home, usually near the street, but you may need a street key to access it.

If these options don't work or you can't do it on your own, contact the professional Norco plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing to take care of the problem.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Worst Things You Can Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are great at eliminating waste and scraps that can cause unpleasant odors, although they are prone to damage if you put the wrong food down your drain. Here are 10 of the most common problematic items that end up in garbage disposals, which often requires a call to an experienced Colton plumber.

1. Stringy vegetables

Stringy vegetables like celery act like potato or apple skin. With a rubbery texture, spinach and celery will end up clogging your kitchen drain.

2. Bones and shellfish shells

Shells and bones will dull and eventually break your garbage disposal's blades. They can also jam your disposal, preventing the blades from working properly. This will eventually burn out your motor.

3. Pasta or rice

Both pasta and rice stick to your pipes and the blades of your garbage disposal, eventually causing a clog. They will also bloat with water in your pipes, causing even worse backups.

4. Vegetable and fruit skins

Peels or skins from fruits ad veggies like apples, onions and potatoes will easily get stuck around the blades of your garbage disposal, preventing it from working. If you feel you need to put these items down the disposal, make sure you do it in small amounts and run cold water while you run the disposal.

5. Seeds and pits

Seeds and pits from fruits will dull the blades of your garbage disposal.

6. Coffee grounds

Never dispose coffee grounds down your garbage disposal because it will clog your pipes.

7. Greasy or fatty food

Foods that are greasy or fatty will leave a film on your garbage disposal blades, which reduces their effectiveness. Over time, this grease will also decompose and cause awful aromas. Never pour grease down a garbage dispoal as it will only harden and clog your pipes.

8. Egg shells

A lot of people think that egg shells sharpen the blades of garbage disposals, but this is simply not true. Egg shells should never be put down a garbage disposal as the stringy membrane on the shells will wrap around the shredder ring, while the ground shells will have a sand-like consistency that clogs pipes.

9. Tea leaves

Tea leaves do the same thing as coffee grounds and pasta, clogging your pipes and sticking to the blades of the disposal.

10. Non-food items

Never put non-food items into a garbage disposal, such as cigarette butts or plant clippings. These items will not be broken down well and they will get stuck in your drain.

Better Ways to Dispose of Food

While garbage disposals are effective and practical, they also introduce more algae-producing elements into treatment plants, which requires more cleaning and energy to treat waste water. The best way to eliminate food and scraps is making a compost heap to turn scraps into a nutrient-rich compost for your garden. It's also a good idea to add a strainer or colander to your sink to keep waste from going down the drain.

If you run into any problems with your garbage disposal, contact the experienced plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing for assistance.

Image: Sean Benham/Flickr

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Common DIY Plumbing Projects You Shouldn't Try On Your Own

It can definitely be tempting to try and fix a plumbing problem on your own. If you're a licensed plumber, that's a great idea, but if you don't completely understand your home's plumbing system, you may just be in over your head. Here's a look at a few common DIY plumbing jobs that you should avoid.

Plugged Drain

Drains clogged with hair or something else that's pretty easy to fix are good projects to do on your own. Sometimes, though, the problem is serious enough that it's backing up drains throughout your home, and this is when it's time to contact a professional plumber in Upland. In this case, the issue is not just hair stuck in the drain and it will require professional equipment, experience and possibly even pipe replacement.


Dishwashers may seem like an easy job, although there's more work involved than most homeowners think. Not only must the dishwasher be installed under a cabinet near your sink, you also have to ensure all water and drainage lines are installed properly and work well. A simple mistake here will lead to a leaking mess that will cost you a bundle to have repaired by a professional.


If you need to replace pipes in your home, leave it to a professional Upland plumber. It might seem simple enough to replace a length of pipe, but you might not notice leaks until it's too late. This is especially true of pipe replacements behind walls in your home.

Water Heaters and Water Treatment Systems
Both water treatment systems and water heaters are always best left to professionals. With a water heater, you may have gas lines to connect in addition to water lines, while water treatment systems require altering water lines as they enter your home. A simple mistake here and you'll end up with no water coming into your house.

While DIY plumbing projects can be a great way to save money and pick up some new skills, they can also quickly lead to disaster. Plumbing work is often messy and complicated, and may involve cutting into your home's drywall, cutting pipes and soldering new connections. You'll need the right tools and skills or even a simple project will become more time-consuming and expensive than just hiring an Upland plumber to begin with.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

6 Signs You Have a Water Leak Hiding in Your Bathroom

For many homeowners, a leak is a serious nightmare, capable of causing untold thousands in damage to floors, walls, paint and worse. While the signs of plumbing issues in your bathroom may be obvious, they aren't always. Keep an eye out for these signs that you may need to contact the professionals at Inland Empire Plumbing to fix a problem before it gets worse!

1. Damaged Wallpaper or Paint

If you notice your wallpaper or paint is blistering, you may have a water leak. Most of the time, steam from a hot shower shouldn't cause paint or wallpaper to loosen. Water or moisture getting behind the paint and the wall, however, will eliminate the bond and cause paint to rise off the wall and fall away, just like wallpaper. That adhesive that normally holds wallpaper to the wall will loose its stickiness when it comes in contact with water.

2. Damage to Your Wall

Warped or stained walls that are damaged for no apparent reason are a very clear sign you have a water leak. Drywall that gets exposed to water or moisture will get soft and bubble, and then warp and break. If the leak gets into the ceiling, it will cause sagging and some of the accumulated water may drip down.

3. Damage to Your Floor

Unless you allow water to pool on your floor, the floor in your bathroom shouldn't get water damage without a leak. If you notice buckling, cracks or stains with no cause, there may be a hidden water leak. This may be from a pipe under the floor, or water that has traveled from somewhere else. You may also notice a spongy or soft feeling to your flooring, or tiles that are easy to remove with noticeable water underneath. If you pull back the flooring, you will usually see your subfloor is damp.

4. Presence of Mold or Mildew

Regardless of how well yo keep your bathroom clean, mold and mildew can start to grow if there's a hidden water leak somewhere in your bathroom. Mold loves dark, moist areas and a leaking pipe offers the perfect environment.

A small amount of mildew is perfectly normal in the corners of your shower or other damp areas, but it should not be present on other walls or in the corners of your bathroom unless you have a leak. Remember: the longer you take to contact an Ontario plumber to fix the issue, the easier and faster mold will grow in your bathroom.

5. Ceiling Stains

For bathrooms on the second floor of your home, you may notice stains on the ceiling directly below the bathroom. Still, water does have a way of traveling very long distances so you may notice stains even farther away. Look for copper or brown stains on your ceilings, or sagging ceilings which shows that water is reaching this area.

6. Tell-Tale Smell

Finally, you may even notice that tell-tale smell of a leaky pipe. If you notice an earthy, musty smell after cleaning your bathroom, you might have a hidden leak that can never dry.

If you notice any of these signs of a hidden leak in your bathroom, contact a professional plumber in Ontario as soon as possible to keep the problem from getting worse.

Image: ClutterBusters/Flickr

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

8 Clogged Plumbing Drain Tips

Who hasn't experienced a clogged drain at least once? When the water starts pooling around the drain, you probably get that sinking feeling in your stomach. You may even be tempted to try fixing the clogged drain on your own before calling a Corona plumber to save some money. The good news is most clogged drains can be corrected on your own without calling a professional plumber.

Most homeowners can get a clogged drain cleared up in a few hours using one of these tips. If this doesn't work, though, you'll need to bring in a professional.

1. Before using powerful commercial chemicals to clear a clog, which may actually damage your plumbing, try this first: Pour 1/2 cup of salt down your drain and follow it with boiling water. Flush with hot tap water to see if the clog clears up.

2. Pour a cup of fruitless yogurt down your drain and let is sit for a few hours to see if it will break up the clog naturally.

3. If your drain is clogged from hair, Nair, or leg hair remover, may work. Try pouring a bottle down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes, then pour hot water down your drain. It will break down the hair further down the pipe as it moves through.

4. Try putting dish soap like Dawn down the drain, followed by hot water.

5. If you have a slow running drain, try shaking half a box of baking soda into the drain, then one cup of vinegar. This combination will foam up a lot so cover it with a towel and, once the foaming stops, flush it with hot water for two or three minutes.

6. If possible, acccess the drain pipe and open it. Put a water hose through the drain and turn it on. It may just wash out the clog without chemicals.

7. You can clear up the plumbing in your home with a plungers, which can be used on your sink and bathtub as well. Keep plungers designed for tubs, sinks and toilets in the house for those occasional clogs. To use a plunger properly, use a lot of force to press it over the drain. Wait one minute and see if the clog cleared up.

8. If none of this works, invest $30 in a drain clearing snake, which you can buy at a hardware store. Snakes quickly clear up many clogged drains with no chemicals by grabbing into the clog and pulling it out.

If all else fails, it's time to call a professional plumber in Corona to fix the problem for you. The clog may just be worse than you think and a professional will get to the bottom of the problem.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Why Grease Trap Cleaning is Necessary for Restaurants

While cleaning out grease traps is certainly not an enjoyable job, it's very important that these traps are maintained to prevent serious problems from occurring later. Everything removed from the grease traps also needs to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. This is why most restaurants choose to hire a reputable plumber or company that disposes of this trap waste in a licensed facility, so the grease can be recycled into something else.

Routine cleaning prevents the build-up of grease and allows the system to work efficiently and safely. A restaurant kitchen that ignores this important maintenance will face serious problems. All the grease and oil drain into the plumbing system, where they may create a blockage that prevents water from draining to the sewer system. Once this occurs, this simple, affordable maintenance turns into a very big expense.

Grease trap interceptors are designed to be added to commercial drains, which prevent this grease from draining into the public waste system, where it may clog lines and cause other issues. Commercial grease traps are designed to retain about 90% of the fat and grease, allowing liquid through. Ask any Upland plumber and they will tell you: these grease traps are your first line of defense against major sewer back-ups and other problems that lead to business down time.

This material is made primarily of fat, and it can't be disposed of normally. It will take a great deal of time to break down and decompose naturally, and during this it will become rancid and emit bacteria into the air, creating an unhealthy environment.

The best way to prevent a build-up is developing a relationship with a local Upland plumber. Always ensure the plumber is licensed and experienced in dealing with commercial drain cleaning and grease trap cleaning to make sure you get the best service.

Along with having a plumber in Upland clean your grease traps regularly, keep in mind that leftovers should always be scrapped off dishes to avoid allowing any fibrous material into the drain. Do not rinse hot pans or pots down the drain but instead scrap off the cooking fat and grease into an empty container, which can be thrown away. Do not use natural bacteria in your grease trap to decompose the oil and grease, as it will kill natural bacteria and inhibit the desirable separation process. Always contact a commercial plumber in Upland before using any chemicals to clean your traps.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Do You Have Sweating Water Pipes?

With summer underway, you're undoubtedly trying to find ways to keep cool. The days get humid and we begin to change out our wardrobe for summer, often placing our winter clothing and out-of-season belongings in the basement. But what happens when you go to retrieve your belongings later and find wet laundry and wet cardboard boxes?

You probably know just how a leaky water line can create substantial damage if it goes unnoticed for some time, but what about water damage that's caused when there's no actual leak? If your basement isn't flooded and the damage is minimal, the source of water probably isn't coming from inside the pipes but the outside.

This is known as sweating water pipes and it's caused by water condensation forming along and underneath your plumbing pipes. Condensation on your water pipes occurs when it's hot and the water inside the pipe is colder than the outside. This condensation will build up and actually drip just as if there was a small leak.

The good news is this can be minimized and controlled by insulating your pipes. You can contact a Riverside plumber, or do it yourself if you think you're up to it. Self-adhesive tape of pipe insulation can be wrapped around your pipes to catch these drips and control the moisture, although it needs to be applied correctly.

Before you apply the tape, make sure you dry your pipes as much as possible, and wind the tape to completely cover the pipe as well as the fittings. There shouldn't be any signs of sweating water pipes after this and your belongings will be safe.

If you find your basement still has excessive water, it's a good idea to call a plumber in Riverside to get to the bottom of the issue, as the sweating water pipes may have only been one problem, with something else lurking and needing to be fixed.

Image: polkadotcreations/Flickr

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

Unfortunately, too many homeowners learn too late that they need a sump pump when their basement floods after a heavy rain, leaving up to 15 inches of standing flood water, ruining their belongings.

Sump pumps are unique devices; you don't see them and you don't actually use them. If your home sits in an area with a water table high enough around your home to seep into your floor or foundation, a sump pump will automatically pump away water that collects in a pit in your basement and pump it away from your home. Sump pumps have a float switch, which works like the float in your toilet tank. This float turns on the motor when water in the pit reaches a certain level.

Not all homes need a sump pump. If your home is on high ground and the ground naturally slopes away from your home for drainage, and you've never had a moisture problem before, a sump pump is a completely unnecessary and expensive addition. If there's a possibility that heavy rain fall could seep into your home's foundation, though, it's important to talk to a trustworthy Ontario plumber, who will take a look at your home and decide if this is a worthwhile expense.

If there's a possibility of water seeping into your basement, you could wake up one morning to 6+ inches of water, with the risk of fire from short-circuiting appliances and long-term damage to your home. This water will harm not only your foundation but anything made from water or wood, destroying any belongings in the basement and breeding mold and mildew.

Sump pumps are the most effective way to prevent a flood in your basement, even more so than a waterproofing system. If you're still not sure if you need a sump pump, the answer is probably "yes" if any of these are true:

  • Your home has flooded before
  • Your home is in a flat or low-lying area
  • You live in an area with heavy rain fall

There are actually two types of sump pumps a plumber in Ontario can install for you: a pedestal pump or a submersible pump. Pedestal pumps have an electric motor with a column and an impeller in the sump pit. This type is usually fairly noisy. A submersible pump is designed to work under water and it's usually the best option. Along with being quieter, this type will usually last longer because it's waterproof.

If you're at all worried about a flooded basement, a sump pump is your best defense. Still, even these reliable devices can fail if they aren't installed properly or they're overwhelmed. To find out if your home needs a sump pump, contact the professionals at Inland Empire Plumbing.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Plumbing Myths that Cost You Big Money

Conventional "wisdom" with plumbing is one of those things that may be costing you big -- you just don't realize it. You may be guilty of some of these seemingly good ideas, which may sound great but can actually be harming your home's plumbing system. Here are some common myths about home plumbing systems and what to do instead.

1. Putting Lemons in Your Garbage Disposal Makes it Smell Better

Sure, putting lemons down your garbage disposal will give you a temporarily fresh smell, but the truth is that citric acid is corroding the metal in your disposal! A much safer and more effective option is using ice to polish up the blades in your disposal. While it's loud, it works like a rock tumbler that polishes rocks. You can then power wash the scum away from your drain without running your disposal.

2. In-Tank Cleaners Keep Your Toilet Clean

Those in-tank cleaners are supposed to make chores a breeze and reduce the time you spend scrubbing the toilets. What actually happens is these cleaners simply bleach the build-up on your toilet without removing it, and the build-up will eventually cause problems and have you running to the nearest professional plumber in Corona. The trick is to use vinegar down the overflow tube instead, which actually removes that build-up for a lot less money.

3. Running Water While Using the Disposal Helps

It seems like a great idea: allow the water to run while you use the garbage disposal to make sure the waste drains. Who hasn't done this? Actually, following the waste with faucet water doesn't help a blockage that forms. A better way to do it is filling your sink with 4:1 water to waste, allowing the waste to separate and flow down better.

4. Everything is Working if Everything Goes Down the Drain

Just because it's out of sight does not mean it should be out of mind. Many foods like rice and pasta will bloat with water once they're in your pipes, causing blockages and clogs that prevent water from passing through. Without enough water to rinse it away, waste will also build up in your pipes. Always use toilets, showers and sinks the right way. Fill basins with faucet water before draining and use a hair screen in your shower to prevent hair clogs.

5. Water Pressure Regulators Always Work

Water pressure regulators are important, but you can't always trust their readings. Make sure you check your water pressure on your own because high pressure is a huge cause of leaks and continuously running toilets.

6. Soap Won't Hurt Fixtures

Be careful not to leave soap and water on your fixtures or faucets, which causes corrosion, peeling and bubbling. Wipe your fixtures after every use as soap will actually void lifetime warranties.

7. All Plumbers Know What They Are Doing

Unfortunately, just because a plumber has this title does not mean they know what they are doing or are properly licensed. All plumbers should continue receiving education and additional certificates. If the plumber you choose installs something improperly, you'll need to call someone else to fix it. Use the state boards, BBB and online reviews to make sure you're hiring a qualified, licensed Corona plumber before you make that call.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

How a Small Leak Can Cost You Big

Most homeowners see a small leak in their home as a minor inconvenience and, possibly, a problem that can be put off until a more convenient time. The truth is small leaks are very serious problems that will not take care of themselves but only get worse over time. While you have no choice but immediately getting a broken faucet fixed, you may not be so quick to call a Corona plumber when you notice a small drip from your ceiling after the rain or a drip under your sink. This can come back to bite you!

1. Slow, Serious Damage to Your Home

The first way a small leak will end up costing you big is through the damage it does to your floors, walls and everything else it touches over the course of months. This damage can easily cost thousands by the time you notice and fix the problem!

2. Mold Issues

Small leaks in your home also lead to mold, a serious health hazard that can put someone you love in the hospital. If you allow the problem to go on, it may cost you thousands to have the mold professionally and safely removed once the leak is fixed and it will make your home impossible to sell until it's taken care of.

3. Poor Plumbing Performance

Finally, you may notice poor performance with your plumbing system if you have a leak. While this is the least of your problems, reduced water pressure can be a pain when you need to wash dishes or take a shower.

If you have a small leak in your home, realize that it will only get worse and bigger the longer it's ignored. As soon as possible, make that call to the professional plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing to have the problem identified and fixed right away. You'll end up saving money in the long run and enjoying the peace of mind that comes with taking care of a small issue before it gets serious.

Image: Rockinfree/Flickr

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Do I Need a Water Softener?

If you live in an area with hard water, you may notice mineral build-ups around your faucets and even in your pipes and appliances. Hard water can also leave your skin dry and irritated. If you're considering a water softener, a local Ontario plumber can help you choose a model and install it for you. Here's what you need to know.

What is soft water and do I want it?

Soft water is basically water that's been processed to remove high levels of dissolved minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and sulfates. Most people choose to have a water softener installed to get a richer soap lather and many proponents will tell you you'll save money with less soap and detergent. Whether or not this is actually true, you will find reduced build-up that can harm your pipes and hot water heater.

There are some downsides to soft water, though. Water softeners generally require both electricity and softener salts, which can get expensive. Soft water may also cause corrosion in your water pipes and, as there may be health risks to drinking water treated with a great deal of ionized salt, it's a good idea to make sure you don't have softened water supplied to your drinking faucets.

How water is softened

Softening water has four steps:

  1. First, the water softener has a tank filled with resin beads, which are coated with sodium ions. When hard water enters, these beads work like a magnet and attract magnesium and calcium ions and exchange them for sodium ions.
  2. The resin beads will, over time, get satured with the mineral ions from your water and need to be regenerated, which is done through a control valve on the tank.
  3. When the beads are regenerated, a brine solution is flushed through, re-coating the beads with sodium ions.
  4. This brine solution will also carry away the calcium and magnesium ions removed from your water and send them down the drain.

There are many symptoms that let you know you have hard water, including requiring a lot of soap to wash dishes, noticing stains or buildup on your faucets or finding your water has a strange taste or smell. If you're interested in having a water softener installed, contact the professional Corona plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing today!

Image: wdherron/Flickr

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Prevent Clogged Roof Drains

Sometimes leaky roofs aren't the roof itself but rather a clogged roof drain. Roof drains clog over time with debris that causes a back-up which may eventually flow into the flashing or your home's attic. From there, it's just a short time until you notice water leaking through your ceiling or down the wall.

The truth is many homeowners aren't even aware their roof has a drain! Regular maintenance of these drains is just as important as the ones inside your home. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Cleaning vs Replacement

Sometimes roof drains just need a proper cleaning, although sometimes the problem is just age. When these drains get old, a replacement is necessary to stop the problem for good. Only a professional plumber can tell you if the drain is simply clogged and needs cleaning or if it's time to replace it.

Inspecting the Drain

To determine if there's a clog -- which may be due to debris or small nests -- an inspection is the first step. Debris and leaves must be cleaned away and the cover needs to be removed. You can often use a flashlight to see if there's any obvious problem.

Snaking or Hosing the Drain

If there is a clog, a plumber will use a snake to clear away most of it. The snake is carefully fed into the drain until the clog is freed. In some cases, pressurized water can also clear the clog and flush it away. It's possible to snake a hose into the drain until it's resting right against the clog and then turn it on at full power.

Pipe Brushes

Sometimes pipe brushes are used instead to clear away a clog. The pipe brush may be run into the drain until it reaches the clog and then pushed until the clog is finally dislodged.

Cleaning your roof drain should be done regularly to prevent problems, especially if you have leaves falling onto your roof fairly often. Fall and winter are the most important times to perform maintenance as ice and snow can also clog or block the drian.

The moral of the story is this: if you have a leak in your roof, call a Riverside plumber first, not a roofing contractor. A plumber will pinpoint the problem and determine if the drain has become clogged over time and requires cleaning or replacement or if the problem is really your roof.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

7 Things You Shouldn't Flush Down Your Toilet

While toddlers flushing cell phones and cameras down the toilet is a big concern for many parents, those aren't the only things you should worry about ending up in your toilet. To keep your service calls from a plumber to a minimum, make sure you avoid flushing these things down the toilet.

1. Medication

Many people think flushing expired OTC and prescription drugs is a safe way to dispose of medication but all it's doing is dumping chemicals into the water system. Water treatment plants can't remove these chemicals from the water and the EPA advises that you get rid of medication by sealing it in a bag and throwing it in your trash.

2. Cat Litter

Kitty litter is a major cause of clogged pipes and even the flushable kind can cause problems. Toxoplasmosis, a parasite that's found in cat waste, can also hurt marine life and should stay out of the water system.

3. Tissues and Paper Towels

While tissues may seem just like toilet paper, they will not disolve like toilet paper does. The same goes with paper towels: every time to flush a paper towel down the drain, you're taking a risk that you'll end up with a clogged pipe and need to call a Corona plumber to come out to your house.

4. Cigarette Butts

While cigarette butts won't necessarily clog your pipes, they do introduce dangerous chemicals into the water system. Since sewage is treated and then recycled, it's important to keep public water as free of chemicals as possible.

5. Dental Floss

Dental floss is not biodegradable and it can easily wrap itself around toilet paper, which can then cause a serious clog in your pipes.

6. Food

If you don't want raw sewage to overflow into your home or onto the street, avoid flushing any food down the toilet, particularly food that's high in fat, grease or oils.

7. Hair

Hair is one of the most effective drain clogging agents and attracts oil and grease, eventually causing a major blockage.

Tips for Keeping Your Toilet Clog-Free

Do you store extra toilet paper, matchbooks or other odds and ends above your toilet bowl? If so, think about moving them to avoid anything from accidently getting flushed down the toilet. Here are some more things to keep in mind from a professional plumber in Corona:

  • Keep your toilet lid down! This is the best way to make sure unwanted items don't end up in the toilet.
  • While flushable wipes are designed to be fllushed, they can still clog toilets and they're made from thicker material than toilet paper.
  • In-tank toilet cleaners are made with a substance that may degrade the mechanisms in your toilet so consider using a natural product or just old-fashioned scrubbing.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Often Does My Septic Tank Need to Be Cleaned?

Regular maintenance is most important thing you can do to keep your septic tank working well for as long as possible. Unfortunately, many homeowners with septic tanks believe they don't need to pump out the tank or do anything, really, as long as the system seems to be working well. The truth is this can be a very costly mistake.

Over time, solid material will settle to the bottom, creating a layer of sludge, while lightweight material floats to the top as scum. A well-designed septic tank can store up to five years of sludge. If it's allowed to accumulate past this point, sewage doesn't have any room to settle before it leaves the tank and more solid waste will escape into your soil absorption system (SAS). When this becomes severely clogged, it can't absorb liquid as it enters your septic tank and your plumbing will back up and wastewater will start to come to the surface.

Reasons to Maintain Your Septic System

Maintaining your septic system is one of the biggest ways to save money as a homeowner as a failing septic system becomes very expensive to repair or replace and this is usually due to poor maintenance. Septic systems that become unusable or improperly maintained can even be a liability or lower your home's value. Maintenance also protects your health and the environment.

It's important to hire a professional Fontana plumber to regularly pump the septic tank. Ideally, this should be done every 3 years if you don't have a garbage disposal and every year if you do. Once you've hired a plumber, they'll need to send a copy of their report to your local Board of Health in most cases.

Other Tips:

  • Avoid adding products to your septic tank that claim to reduce the bacteria as septic tanks naturally breed bacteria. The best thing to do is have the tank professionally cleaned by a plumber as these products simply aren't effective in the long-run.
  • The worst thing to put into your septic tank is grease, which can cause clogs in your sewer pipes.
  • Have your septic system evaluated every year to avoid problems down the line.
  • Don't divert a basement sump pump or roof drain into your septic system as you want to put as little water into it as possible.
  • The more often you use your garbage disposal, the more often your tank needs to be pumped. Limit the use of your garbage disposal if possible.

Image: Sustainable Sanitation/Flickr

Monday, March 25, 2013

Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Most people deal with a garbage disposal problem at some point and this is just one of those downsides of home ownership. Common issues include clogs or dull blades and leaks and proper maintenance is the best way the keep many of these problems from ever occurring. If you have a simple problem, you may be able to fix it yourself or contact a professional plumber to take care of it for you. With serious issues, it's usually best to replace the whole unit.

My Garbage Disposal Won't Turn On

If your disposal isn't working at all, start by making sure it's receiving power. Check your circuit breakers or fuse box and then hit the reset button on the bottom of the unit. If the button is popped out, the motor may have overloaded, which is often caused by a jam or it was left on too long. Start by clearing the jam then press the button until you hear it click. If there's no jam and you're not hearing any noise when you turn it on, you probably need to contact a professional plumber to replace the garbage disposal motor.

My Garbage Disposal is Jammed

Disposals can become clogged from high-fiber foods, glass, utensils, bone or any number of things. You'll probably find a socket hole in the bottom of the unit beneath the motor so you can insert an Allen wrench and turn the masher plate to free the jam. Always avoid putting your hands into the disposal itself. If your disposal doesn't have a socket for an Allen wrench, turn the power off at the fuse box or circuit breaker and then use a mop or plunger handle inserted at the top opening to move the masher plate around and clear the jam.

My Garbage Disposal is Leaking

It's common to find a leak somewhere in your disposal system so start by checking your drain connections. If you notice the leak coming from the drain pipe, you can usually fix the problem by replacing the gasket. Next, make sure the ring around the sink flange is tight. If the leak is coming from the body of the disposal itself, you'll probably need to contact a plumber in Norco to replace the unit.

My Garbage Disposal Isn't Working Well

If the unit just doesn't seem to be chopping up food as well as it used to, the blades probably need to be sharpened. If they're just starting to dull, sharpen them by putting ice cubes down your sink drain. Very dull blades often need to be replaced or sharpened professionally.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Plumbing Emergency Tips to Save the Day

Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time, day or night, and sometimes without any warning signs. Whether you're renting a home or own it and whether the home is new or old, you'll encounter some plumbing problem at some point. Knowing the steps to take, however, can minimize damage and save you a great deal of trouble.

Where is Your Water Shut-Off Valve?

One of the most important things you should do when you move into a home is locate the main shut-off valve. If you get city water, it's probably near your water meter or by an exerior access area in your crawlspace. If you get water from a well, it's most likely near the well pump itself. If you're facing a plumbing emergency, you'll need to shut off the water supply and then call a professional Riverside plumber to fix the problem.

Is Hot Water Leaking from a Supply Line?

If you have hot water leaking from a faucet or supply line, start by turning off the main water supply and remember that the hot water tank will drain, too. You must turn off the breaker to cut off electricity to your water heater because, once the water drains, your heating element will burn out.

Do You Have an Overflowing Toilet?

This is a very common problem and the best way to prevent an overflow is catching it as soon as possible. If you see the water level in the toilet is getting too high, quickly turn on the cold water in a nearby bathtub. This may slow the water enough. Next, shut off the water at the supply line near the floor by the toilet so the clog can be fixed.

Is Your Toilet Running?

It's not uncommon for your flush mechanism to suddenly fail and cause the water to keep running or make the toilet flush on its own later. Fix this problem by turning off your water supply valve near the toilet and adjusting or replacing the flush mechanism. If you aren't sure what to do, call a professional plumber.

Are Your Pipes Frozen?

Finally, frozen pipes are one of the biggest reasons for panic among homeowners as they leave you without water and you face potential damage if the pipe bursts. Carefully use a space heater or even a hair dryer to thaw the pipes but don't leave a heater unattended. You should only leave the heater near the pipes for 10-15 minutes at a time and leave the nearby faucets open so the water can escape as it thaws.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tips for Maintaining Your Plumbing System

As a homeowner, home maintenance can often seem overwhelming and it seems like something is always breaking. While you have many responsibilities to keep your home running smoothly, plumbing is one of those things you need to maintain all year long. Did you know your plumbing system represents 15% of the value of your home? There is nothing in your home more valuable and used more often. The easiest way to do keep your plumbing system running smoothly is with a checklist that includes all of the appliances and pipes on the system, including laundry facilities, drains and toilets.

Signs of Leaks

First, check for signs of leaks in your exposed pipes, including where they run into your walls and fonudation. Signs of a water leak include watermarks on your walls and unexplainable puddles on the floors.

Signs of Corrosion

Corrosion can cause serious leaks if it isn't taken care of. Look for green stains on brass or copper pipes or fixtures and yellowish stains on steel pipes.

Test Your Water Pressure

This measures with how much force water comes out of the faucets in your home. Low water pressure may be due to sidement build-up or a sign of issues in your water line. High water pressure exceeding 80 psi can also be a serious problem that causes constant leaks. If your water pressure isn't ideal, contact a professional plumber in Riverside to install a regulator and inspect your plumbing.

Remove Showerheads

Check for an built-up sediment that may be causing low water pressure.

Check Drainage

Check the drainage speed in your sinks, showers and tubs. Slow drainage typically indicates a clog or a blocked vent pipe. There should be a full swirl during drainage . If there are gurgling sounds or bubbles, there's probably a problem.

Check the Toilet

Inspect the flushing handle and parts of your toilet and make sure each flushes properly. Look at the parks in the tank and check for rusted, broken or missing parts. Ensure the water doesn't keep running after flushing and there isn't any water on the floor.

Check for Cracked Tiles

Are there any cracked tiles in your shower, around the sinks or near any water pipes? Loose tiles is often an indication that something is rotting under or behind the tiles.

Check Your Water Heater

Check the burner chamber of your water heater and look for rust in the chamber. Check the flame, which should be completely blue. If the flame has any yellow, the jets may need cleaning. Drain your water heater to remove built-up sediment.

Check Washing Machine

Check the hoses of your washing machine to make sure they aren't brittle or leaking. Leaking washing machines are actually one of the most common homeowners insurance claims.

Check the Caulking

Finally, check the caulking on your tubs, sinks and toilets to make sure it isn't loosening. Look for signs of mildew, which indicates standing water was present and dried.

If you notice any problems during your inspection, make sure you contact the experts at Inland Empire Plumbing to get to the bottom of the problem and get it fixed promptly.

Image: Heypaul at Flickr

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pex Piping vs Copper Piping: Which is the best?

PEX piping has been used for years in radiant heating systems but this flexible tubing is now becoming a very popular choice for residential water supply lines because it's easy to work with, it's made from a superior material and there are fewer joints, which leads to a reduced risk of problems down the road. So, what is PEX piping really and is it truly a better option than copper? This is a question you'll want to ask yourself if you're considering repiping service from a professional plumber in Fontana or anywhere else.

What is PEX Piping?

PEX piping is cross-linked polyethylene pipe. It's able to withstand extreme tempetures without cracking as well as creep deformation from long-term stress. It also holds up very well to chemicals that may be in your water supply. PEX is a great choice for both hot and cold water lines, especially because it's so flexible and easy to install.

PEX has become one of the most popular plumbing materials among professionals because it's easy to install, flexible, has fewer joints to leak and it won't crack in the cold weather. Rather than using solder or glue, it's asembled with a barbed fitting and crimping ring which offers a watertight seal

PEX Piping vs Copper Piping

Copper piping has been used for decades and it was originally thought that it would last as long as the structure did, although we now know this isn't true. Copper is fairly flexible and durable and it's much easier to install than the old iron pipes. It also resists bacterial growth, corrosion and damage from UV rays so it can be used outside. PEX piping, on the other hand, is sensitive to UV rays.

While it's resistant to corrosion, copper pipes will eventually corrode from water with a pH that's too basic or too acidic. Copper has also become very expensive and copper pipes will freeze and break during the winter if you live in an area with extreme colds. Along with the high price of copper comes a more expensive repiping job as each joint of the copper pipes must be soldered.

While copper and PEX both have their advantages, many homeowners appreciate the benefits that a new PEX system can offer, especially those living in cold environments who are tired of dealing with leaking pipes every spring. To learn more about repiping and the advantages of PEX piping, contact the professionals at Inland Empire Plumbing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Signs It's Time to Replace Your Water Heater

It can be a little tough to figure out exactly when it's time to replace your water heater. After all, you want it to last as long as possible but you certainly don't want to deal with the aftermath of a water heater that's rusted through and poured water into your beautiful home.

In some cases, the first sign of trouble is a water heater that simply isn't producing anymore hot water, although there are some other subtle signs to watch for. Here are some things to keep in mind if you're thinking about water heater installation from an experienced Norco plumber.

Is Your Water Heater Getting Old?

Most water heaters only last 8-12 years, although the technology has advanced a great deal in the past couple of decades and modern units last longer than older ones. Keep in mind most water heaters only have a warranty of about 5 years so once the appliance starts to get up there in years, watch it carefully. If it's older than 10 years, consider replacing it with something more energy efficient -- and reliable. New models even have life spans of up to 20 years.

How Long Does Your Hot Water Last?

If you find your hot water isn't lasting as long as it used to, and some members of the household are waiting longer than usual for the water to reheat for a shower, this is a sign that it's time to get a new water heater installed by a professional plumber.

Are There Any Problems with the Seals or Joints?

Check any seals or joints going into or out of the water heater and check for moisture, pipe corrosion or other issues. Check the tank and fittings for leaks as well and make sure there aren't any puddles forming around or under your water heater. Your water heater should never have water on the floor! If it does, there's probably a hidden leak or crack that could be big trouble if you ignore it.

Do You Hear Odd Noises?

If you hear banging or popping coming from the water heater, there might be a mechanical problem. Try to figure out if you hear the noises at a certain time, such as when the tank is refilling, and contact a plumber to determine if it's best to have it repaired or replaced.

Do You Have Rusty Water?

Over time, rust and minerals will collect on the bottom of your tank and begin to affect water quality, especially if you have hard water. If you notice rusty water coming out of your tap, it's time to contact a plumber for an inspection and water heater installation.

Still not sure if it's time to replace your water heater? Contact the experienced plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing and we'll get to the bottom of the problem. We'll let you know if it's better to repair the unit or if it's just a better idea to install a brand new one. Either way, we'll have you back in hot water in no time!

Image: Ken Mayer

Monday, February 25, 2013

3 Ideas for a Great Bathroom Remodel

While your bathrooms are probably the smallest rooms in your home, they're also the most used (along with your kitchen) and they're the best place to get the highest return on investment. Most people today aren't just looking for a functional and practical bathroom but a comfortable sanctuary to escape the stress and just relax.

Your bathroom remodeling plans may be very basic -- such as switching out the toilet -- or even redoing the entire plumbing to install a new walk-in shower or soaking tub. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get your project underway -- and how a great plumber in Rancho Cucamonga can help!

Replacing the toilet?

If you're going to replace the toilet, make sure you carefully inspect the flooring underneath to look for water damage. You may not have realized it, but a leaking toilet could have been working its magic on the subflooring for years. It's important to have someone install new subflooring if this is the case before a new toilet is installed.

When it comes to installing a toilet, many homeowners think they can do it themselves but make one or two small mistakes that can lead to disaster down the road. For instance, over-tightening the bolts during installation can crack the base and a new wax seal must be installed before the seating is in place. Avoid these problems by hiring a professional plumber to install your new toilet for you.

Want a shower for two?

Showers build for two are all the rage today in master baths, most of which have dual showerheads and controls on each wall so two people can comfortably shower at once. Some people even choose to install an overhead rain showerhead in the center for a truly luxurious shower experience, or a build-in bench. Did you know a plumbing company like Inland Empire Plumbing can help you design and then install the shower of your dreams?

Updating your vanity?

The vanity in your bathroom is really the focal point and sets the theme for your whole bathroom. If you want a bathroom remodel that wows, think about replacing a boring and practical vanity with something more stylish. If you're getting a single vanity, you can easily afford to get fancy with marble countertops and high quality dark wood, or you can attach your vanity to the wall for a modern floating design to open up a small space. Either way, a great plumber can help you install a new vanity and take care of any changes to the plumbing that will make it work.

Image: Andrechinn at Flickr

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Problem with Untreated Slab Leaks

A slab leak can occur anywhere on your service line on a cold water supply line, a hot water supply line or a drain line. These leaks are enough to fill any homeowner will dread and you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance will cover the damages and how much you'll need to pay.

Unfortunately, these leaks often go on for some time before they're detected and you may not even realize you have a problem until you notice a wet spot on the floor. What's worse, homeowners insurance rarely covers the cost and you may be facing a cost upwards of $2,000 to fix the slab leak by hiring a plumbing company like Inland Empire Plumbing.

Still, these leaks do need to be fixed as soon as possible as the longer you wait, the worse the damages -- and cost. Here are some of the worst problems that can happen if you let the problem continue.

1. Damage to Your Foundation

Your home's foundation is basically just a piece of concrete with steel supports in it and damage will occur from a slab leak eventually. Slab leaks have been known to make your foundation crack, move or rise up, which compromises your home's integrity.

2. High Water Bills

Even a very small leak can cause you to waste thousands of gallons each month, potentially adding hundreds to your water bill every single month until it's addressed. While slab leaks can be expensive to repair, it can easily be more expensive to leave it untreated.

3. Floor Damage

With water leaking beneath your home's foundation, it will eventually run out of space and move upward. Slab leaks can destroy carpeting, cause tile floors to crack, make linoleum bubble and utterly destroy hardwood.

4. Mold Growth

Dangerous mold can become a real problem when water from the leak starts to get into your home. Drywall acts as a sponge, absorbing water from the leak and moving it through your walls, which is an ideal setting for mold growth. It takes only days for mold to start growing in the walls and mold spores can cause everything from asthma to an upper respiratory infection, or worse. Once it's in the walls, you'll also need someone who specializes in mold removal along with a Riverside plumber.

5. Musty Odors

Once the slab leak has been sitting for awhile, your home will take on an unpleasant musty odor. If the leak is in a sewer line pipe, you can just imagine how your home will start to smell in a week!

6. Destroyed Lawn

Slab leaks often occur in a sewer line or water main line and the leak could be under your lawn instead of your house. In this case, you can face thousands in damage from destroyed landscaping and dead grass. It can also cause structural damages if it occurs near a pool.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why Do I Have Banging Plumbing Pipes?

One of the most common home repair problems homeowners face is banging, noisy pipes, particularly when heating systems are used with the home's plumbing system. While a silent plumbing or heating system simply doesn't exist, loud banging noises usually indicate a problem that can be fixed. Noisy pipes are actually very common, especially if your home is older, and persistently loud noises may indicate anything from a worn-out washer to a blocked pipe or a leak. Here are some of the most common causes for banging pipes and how a professional plumber in Rancho Cucamonga can help.

Air in the Pipes

The most common cause of banging pipes is air in the pipes, which makes the pipes produce that tell-tale vibrating noise or short bursts of banging. This trapped air can be removed by flushing the line or installing a p-trap. This problem is easily mistaken for the second most common cause of noisy, banging pipes: water hammer.

What is Water Hammer?

Water hammer, or banging, may be a series of bangs you hear followed by a much louder bang, or you may hear a bang when you turn a faucet on or off in the home. If you hear the bang when you turn on a faucet, it's probably air in the pipes. If you hear it when you turn off water or your dishwasher changes its cycle, it's most likely water hammer. The most common fix for this problem is having a plumber in California install water hammer arrestors.

Do you Hear Squeaking or Banging in One Area?

If the noise seems to be isolated to a certain area of your home, it may just be that the pipes haven't been properly secured and need to be tethered to the wall or ceiling. They may also be expanding or contracting with temperature changes, which can cause them to rub together. In this case, they'll need to be re-spaced and tethered down again or the channel through which they travel should be widened.

What is Jackhammering?

This term applies to a rapid drumming sound you hear, most often when you're running a dishwasher or washing machine. It's typically a sign that the solenoid fill valve in the appliance needs to be replaced.

Pipes that Shriek, Whistle or Hum

These noises may indicate you have an obstruction or blockage somewhere in the pipe that's causing high water pressure. This may be a very easy fix that requires only replacing a washer or it may require replacing some of the pipes.