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What if you can Do it Yourself!

Every homeowner experiences a clogged drain at some point, and it’s usually at the least convenient time. Whether it’s your kitchen sink, bathroom basin or the guest shower, you’ll need to address it as soon as possible. The first step is to determine whether you need a professional to come in and do plumbing repairs in Los Angeles or if you can resolve the problem yourself.

Use an Auger

If the plunger doesn’t work, you’re moving on to step 2. Homeowners who are fairly handy with plumbing tools can try using a cable auger next. To do so, you’ll need to get down under the clogged drain pipe and remove the sink using a pipe wrench. Tip any water and dirt from the trap out into a bucket and check the trap itself to see if that’s where the problem is. If it’s clear, push the cable auger into the section of drain pipe in the wall until it touches debris.

Try a Plunger

That trusty tool of every homeowner and plumber, the plunger is the first thing you should try. Fill the sink part of the way with water to create a vacuum, then position the plunger over the outlet and work it up and down rapidly. If you have a double sink, you’ll need to block the drain outlet for the other side tightly with a wet rag to prevent the blockage bubbling back up. The same applies in a bathroom tub or sink, where you need to plug the overflow outlet before attempting to clean the drain using a plunger.

Use Drain Cleaner

For those who aren’t in possession of an auger, you can try commercial drain cleaner to clear your clogged drain before calling a plumber. These products usually contain a form of acid and can be dangerous if you get them on your person. If you’re going to try this, clear the surrounding area of any people and pets, then follow the instructions for the particular product you’ve purchased.

Typically, you pour the substance into the drain while taking care not to inhale the fumes. Leave it to seep through the mass for 30 to 60 minutes, and it’s a good idea to close the door while you do so because it has a fairly unpleasant odor.  The advantage of this method is that it helps to clear the drain of bacterial pollutants at the same time, which can be a risk to your health.


Flush with Water

Regardless of the method you use to clear a clogged drain, it’s useful to follow it with rapidly boiling water poured into the drain. Send several buckets of water down as long as it’s flowing, to flush out any debris that might be left behind. If you made use of any products containing acid, watch out for splash backs and fumes that might be harmful to you or your family.


If you have any doubts about your ability to perform these tasks, it’s best to call your local Los Angeles  plumber to deal with the clogged drain.


Is there a need to replace a Building Trap?

The City’s old houses are cozy or large, but they can be a nightmare for plumbers in Los Angeles. The old-fashioned fixtures and fittings are often very old and have lasted well beyond their intended life cycles.  Modern building codes require plumbers in Los Angeles to implement certain standards, and houses that still contain the original water pipes and drains cause headaches for many homeowners. Building trap replacement is one of the essential tasks for the owners of these homes, because the existence of traps is a major problem.

What is a Building Trap and  Why You Need to Remove It!

The building trap is a U-bend clay pipe that builders would install on the exterior sewer line of houses built before the use of modern plumbing fittings. The purpose of the trap was to stop odorous gases entering the home from the sewer, and it worked by “trapping” a small amount of water in the bend – just like the S-bend under your kitchen sink does. You can check whether your home has a building trap by searching in your front garden for a cast iron “cap” in the shape of a mushroom. It’s usually located on a pipe close to the surface.

Building traps cause a range of plumbing problems for Los Angeles homeowners, such as

  • Blocked drains, caused by the accumulation of waste in the bends of the trap. Because the trap essential consists of two 90-degree elbows, it’s not possible to clear it with modern plumbing equipment.
  • Sewer leaks, caused by cracks in the clay pipe that the U-bend is made from. This allows sewer water to leach out into the surrounding soil, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and odors.
  • Root infestation, which happens when tree roots detect the presence of water within the clay pipe and penetrate to access it. This causes a catchment area for loose debris, which eventually clogs the entire drain.

Modern building codes prohibit the use of building traps, which are no longer available. This means that any renovation of your Los Angeles home needs to include a building trap replacement.

Replacing the Trap

If you find your property has a building trap, check to see whether it’s inside or outside your foundations. Exterior building traps are typically removed by excavating near to the foundation, which is usually fairly simple. Interior traps, however, require lifting of the basement floor. When plumbers in Los Angeles remove building traps, they typically replace them with two-way cleanout that provides access to both directions of the drain. If necessary, they also install a backflow prevention valve to help prevent the sewer from backing up into the home.

If your home is built prior to 1970, contact your local plumber and get an assessment of whether you have a building trap that needs replacement. It costs much less to replace it before you experience problems than it will when you have extensive damages to repair and clean-up costs to add to the process.

4 Reasons You Might Need An Emergency Plumber For

Just imagine yourself waking up one day in chilly day and you’ve overslept. You have a 9 am meeting and there’s just enough time to take a quick shower and grab coffee on your way to the office. You turn on the faucet with one hand while brushing your teeth with the other. Yikes! No hot water! What now? This is the time when you need to know how to find emergency plumbers in Los Angeles, without having to go through the entire telephone directory trying to get someone out to solve the problem.

Ok, let’s face facts: Nobody is going to be able to get you to your meeting on time. Not showered, anyway. But do you really need to spend the whole day sorting out your plumbing issue? Let’s look at the reasons for needing emergency plumbing services, and see how having your local Los Angeles plumber on speed dial will help.

Frozen Pipes

The scenario described above can happen anytime if your hot water cylinder stops working properly. No hot water is one thing, but no water at all is another problem altogether and that’s what happens if your inlet pipes freeze.

You’d think in a place like Canada most homes would have their water pipes installed out of harm’s way. There are still many incidences of water pipes installed in unheated basements, however, as well as against concrete block walls that are exposed to cold winds. In some cases, previously protected pipes are exposed after recent renovations.

Whatever the cause, it happens, and it’s on the coldest winter days that emergency plumbers in Los Angeles are at their busiest.

Blocked Drains

Put simply, a blocked drain is a nuisance. In Los Angeles, it can be much more than that, and a backed-up drainage system can trigger a flood. It’s even worse if the blockage causes waste water to back up, because that can cause sewage to flood your basement unless you get emergency plumbing assistance. Blockages can be caused by the failure of your sump pump, by tree roots that have grown into the drainage system, overflowing eavestroughs or plugged downspouts. And if you get a blocked drain on a rainy day, the problem suddenly becomes much worse. Make sure you have easy access to contact details for emergency plumbers in Los Angeles.

Water Pipe

Water pipes have a handy knack of choosing really inconvenient times to burst, as was the case last year April in Mississauga when a hot water pipe burst in a 30-storey condo building. More than 1,000 residents were evacuated when a broken pipe on the 6th floor flooded the complex with boiling water. Everyone from the 6th floor downwards had to be accommodated elsewhere overnight while the complex brought in crews of plumbers to help. If something like this happens in your home or condo building, you’ll be very glad to have details for emergency plumbers in Los Angeles that you can call on to fix it.

Clogged Toilet

Many Los Angeles homes still have only one washroom, as do the majority of apartments. So what do you do when your only toilet becomes clogged? Wait until the next day? Not likely.. At times like this, you not only need the fastest-acting emergency plumbers in Los Angeles, you need 24-hour plumbers, because you can’t wait until the next business day to get the toilet fixed. And how much better can the service be if the plumber knows you?

Contact your local plumber now for a free consultation and the next time you need emergency plumbers in Los Angeles, you’ll know who to call and we’ll come right out to fix your problem.

How to protect your home from flooding

During the heavy rains that we face often in Los Angeles area, the basement flooding problems start arising. That are range of options that homeowners can use to try and reduce their risk. Backwater valve installation is just one of the ways in which you can do so. Backwater valves stop waste water from flowing back into your home from the sewer and storm water drains. In some cases this is enough to protect you from future problems, while in others you might need to take additional steps. But what does this mean for you financially? Well, it can save you quite a bit, actually!


Better Insurance Cover

Flooding happens. We know it, you know it. During Los Angeles’s spring showers, it’s a regular event, and insurance companies also know it. Because of that, homeowners’ insurance for Los Angeles typically covers damage caused by only certain types of flooding. And the way insurance works, if you’re under-insured you could get back less than you need to cover a claim. A standard homeowners’ insurance policy doesn’t include cover for flood damage caused by conditions originating outside the home, which means you aren’t covered unless you take out special flood insurance protection.

Lower Premium Payments

Since flood damage insurance is a separate policy, getting the cover you need could be pretty expensive.

  • This is an additional premium you have to pay over and above your existing insurance.
  • Without a backwater valve installation, either your flood damage insurer is going to hike your premiums, or
  • Your cover is going to be compromised, as we spoke about earlier.

So you need comprehensive insurance that covers your home for every possible situation and doesn’t contain a whole list of exclusions, and getting a backwater valve installation means you eliminate one of the insurers’ favorite exclusions and non-payment tactics.

Reduce Flood Damage Costs

And then, there’s the cost of repairs. Even if you have the right insurance policies, there are hidden costs that no amount of insurance can make up for. The inconvenience of basement flooding, for example, includes having no access to your basement while you get it cleaned out and repaired. The cost of storage for whatever you can salvage while repairs are being done. The loss of items that have sentimental value, such as

  1. Old photographs, books and music
  2. Mementos from your children’s baptism or first day at school
  3. Your mother’s wedding dress

All the items we typically store in the basement, which are irreplaceable with any amount of money!

Don’t do this to yourself and your family!

Get your local plumber in Los Angeles to do an inspection before the Spring rains begin. Check whether your backwater valve installation is in good condition, if you have one. If it needs attention or you don’t have one at all then schedule your backwater valve installation well ahead of time.

Hiring a Plumber In Los Angeles

While Los Angelesians are busy enjoying what has so far been a mild winter, many homeowners are planning home renovations in spring. If you’re in this category, you’ll probably need to start sourcing contractors soon for the various aspects of your project, and a qualified plumber is an important one. Hiring a plumber in Los Angeles is fortunately not too difficult, as long as you follow few basic guidelines to make sure you find the right person for the job.

Find a Service Specialist

No matter how good a local Los Angeles plumber is at clearing drains, that’s not going to help you when you need someone to install new kitchen plumbing. As with any other industry, hiring a plumber in Los Angeles depends on finding a contractor with specific experience in the work you want to be done. Using a specialist might cost slightly more than simply hiring the local handyman, but chances are you’ll get a much better quality of work as well.

Where to Start

Begin by searching online for plumbers in your area of  Los Angeles. The GTA is pretty big, and many only work in certain parts of town. Search specifically for those who offer residential plumbing options such as water service installations and drain installations, because this experience is vital to ensure quality work during a renovation. Once you find a list of potential plumbers, you can call them all for quotes on the work you want done.

Check References

It’s not enough to simply go by written testimonials on a plumbing website, because these can easily be created by anyone. When hiring a plumber in Los Angeles for an important project, you need the reassurance that comes with knowing you’ve done your homework before making a selection. It’s essential to verify that the plumber you choose has the skills and experience you need, as well as to find out whether the company is reliable and trustworthy in terms of getting the job done.

Comparing Prices

Plumbers come in all shapes and sizes and so do their prices. It isn’t always easy to compare the prices offered by one contractor with another, because they could use different methods to estimate. When you’re hiring a plumber in Los Angeles, you might find one company quotes separately for labor and parts while another provides an all-inclusive proposal. Some plumbers may prefer you to purchase your choice of fittings, but others believe this part of the job should be left to professionals. Go through every quotation you receive carefully and make sure you understand exactly what is included in each. And remember, cheap isn’t always the best choice!

Avoid DIY Plumbing

Unless you really know what you’re doing, avoid choosing DIY plumbing projects over professional renovations. This is particularly relevant when it comes to skilled trades such as plumbing and electrical, which can have serious repercussions if they are not done correctly. Not only can you end up with a half-finished project because you got too busy halfway, but you could incur huge repair costs that aren’t covered by your insurance. This usually applies to repairs to water damage, particularly if the job was not done by a qualified professional.

There really aren’t any “short cuts” to having your plumbing projects well executed. Hiring a plumber in Los Angeles remains the best and fastest way to get quality work done, and provided you do due diligence it’s also the most cost-effective way. Contact your local plumber 911 Plumbing Services for an estimate on your spring Los Angeles project now – before the season takes off and everyone is busy.

Get Ready For Winter Time

We all know how the time passes so fast, that in a blink of an eye there would come winter. There are some tips that can be used in order to help keeping your property safe against winter cold. Most people have vacation homes in areas that snows. For those people, Plumbers In Los Angeles are highly recommending to use plumbing antifreeze for outdoor pipes to help keep the water flowing.


Tip # 1: Turn off Outdoor Water Supply Line

The chances are good your outdoor pipes will suffer when the temps hit zero or below. It’s a fact that when water freezes inside a pipe it expands, and the pressure exerted is more than 2,000 lbs per square inch. This can cause residential plumbing pipes to burst. As soon as you’re done watering your plants for the year, unhook the garden hose, empty it out and stow it indoors until Spring. At the same time, close the indoor faucet that controls your outdoor water supply. This is usually located in your basement, somewhere close to the hot water heater. Then, go outside to the garden faucet and open it fully, emptying the water pipes between the indoor and outdoor faucets.


Tip 2: Winterize Garden Sprinklers

By the end of October, you’ve likely finished watering the garden. If you have an expensive sprinkler system servicing your plants, it needs professional winterizing to survive intact. This includes turning off the water supply, then blowing compressed air through the system’s lines to evacuate any water in them. This is a good time to have your sprinkler system inspected, too, and note any damaged lines or sprinklers that will need repair before you start using them again in the Spring. If the cold arrives suddenly and you aren’t able to winterize the system in time, shut off the backflow prevention device, insulate it by wrapping it in foam insulation or other material, and purge the sprinkler lines by turning them on until they run dry.

Tip 3: Protecting Exposed Pipes

Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t always possible to shut off all water pipes that are located outside of your outdoor sections. It is possible, however, to insulate them in most sections, wrapping them first with electrical heating tape and then with foam water insulation. Do this for all outdoor pipes as well as indoor pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, basements and crawl spaces. Make sure all adult members of the household know where the residential plumbing’s main shut-off valve or faucet is in case any of the pipes burst.

When the GTA expects an Arctic cold front and the temperature could drop rapidly in a few hours, open faucets to outside pipes slightly and let the water drip gently – even a trickle can prevent the water in the pipe from freezing. If you leave the house for an extended period, for example to go on vacation to the warm shores of Mexico or the Caribbean, set your thermostat at 12 degrees C or higher and open all the cabinet doors to prevent any uninsulated water pipes under sinks from freezing.

Residential plumbing is a luxury that has become an essential part of our lives. Protect yourself from unexpected costs by taking steps to ensure that your plumbing system is safe during harsh weather. Contact 911 Plumbing Services, Inc. Los Angeles Plumber if you need plumbing services, help or advice..

How to Save Energy in Winter Time

The following information is mostly addressed to the people that reside in areas that temperature goes below normal level. In areas that people experience low temperature it is very important to consider the fact that it requires more energy in order to keep the hot water flowing through the pipes. There are few useful tips that can help you to keep your energy cost level low.


Using Insulating Blanket

First, we will start  from the water heater.  Older hot water tanks have less efficient insulation of their own. In order to test whether your water heater is loosing heat or not, put your hand against the outside of the thank, if it feels warm to your touch, then it means its own insulation is inadequate and the heat is transferring through the tank’s outer layer. Insulating blankets can be used in order to keep the water getting cold due to the outside temperature.

Wrap your electric tank in a hot water cylinder jacket available from Home Depot or Lowe’s. The jackets are made from sheet-plastic-covered insulation foam and come with an R-rating. Los Angeles Plumbers recommend using a jacket with an R-11 rating, which range in price from $25 to $60 depending on the size you need.

For gas-fired hot water heaters, you need to make sure the areas around the pilot flame remains clear of the insulating blanket, or this could catch fire. It’s best to get your local Los Angeles Plumber to install the blanket on a gas heater, unless you really know what you are doing.

Cover the External Pipes

It’s not just the hot water heater itself that benefits from insulation, but the pipes as well. Plumbers In Los Angeles recommends, that you insulate at least the first three feet of pipes leading to and from the tank, as well as any pipes that run through parts of your home that are unheated (such as an unfinished basement). Using insulate tape wrap, or snap on tubular foam insulation that fits around the pipes. The tubing is available from your home hardware store for around $10 per 5 inches of foam.

Reduce the Temperature of Your Tank Water Heater

Ok, so you like it hot. We get it, we really do. But it’s unnecessary to set the thermostat on your hot tank water heater so high that it’s boiling. Keeping the temperature between 55 C and 60 C will give you a warm enough bath or shower and make it necessary to add less in the way of cold water to get it right. It also helps to keep mineral buildup and pipe corrosion to a minimum, meaning both the heater and the pipes will last longer. Don’t forget to turn the hot water heater off or down to a very low temperature if you’re away for a few days – there’s no point in spending money to keep water hot if nobody is home!

Benefits You Can Gain

All these steps lead to a surprising number of benefits. You can realize cost savings in the short term by using less energy, and in the long term by protecting your hot water heater and pipes better and reducing the need to spend money on maintenance and repairs. Any form of saving on energy usage minimizes your impact on the environment, and we all know that Americans are fully supportive of Eco-friendly solutions. If you’re serious about protecting the planet, consider installing a solar or tank-less water heater when spring comes around. Contact 911 Plumbing Services, Los Angeles Plumbers, to discuss the feasibility of this in your situation, and the potential cost savings this could bring you.

3 Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems During Fall

Fall has arrived and what’s slightly less intriguing for the homeowner, however, is the problems caused by those leaves when they drop into the drainage system. The backup they cause in the pipes can lead to a variety plumbing problems, both in your kitchen and bathroom sink. Here are our 3 top tips for preventing Fall plumbing problems.

Tip #1: Clean Up Regularly

Keep an eye on falling leaves and take notice of where they come to rest. They don’t just fall on the ground below the tree – wind, rain and traffic can cause them to migrate en masse to hollows found in your yard such as:

  • Eavestroughs
  • Basement window wells, and
  • Gutters

If you find leaves collecting in a particular area, there’s a good chance it’s an escape route for water from somewhere, and that could mean it enters the drainage system. A blockage in the drainage system can cause sink plumbing to clog, so rake up the leaves at least once a week and bag them immediately, to prevent them being distributed across the yard a second time.

Tip #2: Fit Drain Covers

A variety of covers is available for keeping leaves and other debris out of your drains. Some covers are specifically engineered to catch fallen leaves, for the express purpose of preventing sink plumbing problems. Whether you fit a solid cover manufactured to fit your particular type of drain, or a DIY solution made from some wire mesh weighted down with rocks, as long as the material is dense enough to stop even the smallest leaves and seeds from entering the drain it will work. In instances where you need to do regular drain cleaning and inspections, a DIY cover might be easier to remove when necessary.

Tip #3: Get an Inspection

Most plumbers recommend regular inspections of your drains and plumbing, and Fall is a good time to schedule one. Before it gets any colder, arrange to have your local Los Angeles Plumber do the following:

  • Conduct a camera inspection and identify any cracked or leaking pipes
  • Check your hot water heater for full efficiency,  and
  • Conduct  any faucet repair you might need

Check your sink plumbing throughout the home, too, because once everything is frozen outdoors it can be challenging even for the best-equipped professionals to gain access.


Warning! Seepage Around Your Kitchen Drain Can Cause Odors

Have you ever noticed a musty smell in the cabinet beneath your kitchen sink? Is there warping or discoloration of the floor  or signs of moisture or mildew anywhere? As problematic as the kitchen drain can be, this isn’t usually caused by a water leak.  Before assuming its a plumbing problem there are few recommended steps to take in order to assist you in determining whether it is a plumbing issue or not.

Check for Leaks

  • Take a close look at the pipes in the cabinet leading from the faucet to the kitchen drain.
  • Use a flashlight to check for any signs of water on or around the pipes.
  • Take a dry cloth and wipe down the hot and cold water lines as well as the inside of the cabinet to make sure there is no residual moisture present.
  • Line the floor or shelf below each section of pipe with paper towels and leave them there for 24 hours.

If the towels show any dampness by the time you remove them, then you may have a water leak.

Examine Seals

Once you’ve established that none of the lines serving your kitchen drain have water leaks, it’s time to look for other reasons for the problem. Often, water in the sink splashes on the surrounding surfaces, and gets in through the holes containing your faucets and other fixtures such as door handles. If these fittings are not thoroughly sealed, the water takes the path of least resistance and seeps in under the surface of the cabinet top. Seal the entry points around the fittings with a squirt of silicone sealant, in the same colour as your cabinet.

Replace Gaskets

Many of the fittings and fixtures for your kitchen come with rubber gaskets, which get worn and inefficient over time. If your inlet pipes or the outlet to the kitchen drain have valves, these also have rubber seals or gaskets that may need replacement. Check to see if the gaskets are an even thickness, or if they have become thinner in some places. If so, this could be the source of the moisture and you can repair this by replacing the gasket or using silicone sealant around the joint.

Know When to Call for Professional Help

While it’s simple enough to add a squirt of sealant around a faucet or the sink itself, it’s not wise to try replacing the gaskets in valves unless you know what you are doing and have the right tools for the job. Once you’ve determined the source of moisture, call your local Los Angeles Plumber if any valves or gaskets need changing, or the actual kitchen drain requires attention. When the problem has been resolved, leave the kitchen cabinet open for 48 hours and place a portable fan in front of it to help dry out the mildew.

For more information on getting rid of mildew in your home, contact Your Local Plumber In Los Angeles for advice, free inspection or an estimate for your needs.



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Los Angeles Plumber

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