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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.

www.911plumbingservice.com

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.

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.

Why Tankless Water Heaters Are More Energy Efficient


 

Have you ever opened you electric bill and thought that you were paying way too much? I would bet the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!” Did you know that a significant portion of your monthly utility bill is directly attributable to your water heater? If you are one of the millions of people that are still using tank design water heaters, you are wasting money every month. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are better alternatives on the market and, in this case, the better option is a tankless water heating system.

Now before we look at why tankless water heaters are more efficient, you have to realize that tank water heaters are actually very good at providing the hot water that is needed in most homes. They are also very reliable with a life span of 10 years or more. But they were originally designed almost 100 years ago. Much progress has been made to improve the efficiency of the design but the design is fundamentally flawed.

The flaw in the design relates to how the water that enters the tank is processed and heated prior to use in your home. The water supply will fill the tank and then the heating takes place. But if the water is not used quickly enough, then it will slowly begin to cool and require reheating prior to being used. This heating and reheating cycle is repeated again and again and again until the contents of the tank are used and then it starts all over with the new contents of the tank that replaces the water that was just used.

The answer to this flaw is a design that can heat the water on demand and only heat the water that is being used. That is the design of tankless water heating systems. It has been estimated that a tankless water heating system will lower the water heating portion of your utility bill by half. That is some significant savings!

As an added bonus, tankless systems are very small compared to tank units. You will save a lot of space by replacing a tank based water heater with a tankless model. These ultra compact units are usually mounted on a wall and are about the size of a medicine cabinet.

That having been said, we live in a world where energy efficiency is a necessity and you have to be very careful about how much energy you are using and wasting. So, while not for everyone given the cost constraints, buying water heaters that will save energy will not only help you lower your expenses every month but also the environment at the same time. If you have any questions about tankless water heaters, give 911 Plumbing Services, Inc. a call: 888-959-1911.

Choosing An Energy-Efficient Dishwasher

Saving money by using energy-efficient appliances is simple. All a homeowner has to do is make a wise purchasing decision when choosing one and then you can sit back and enjoy the savings for years to come. In the case of your dishwasher, the largest cost of operation is the cost of the electricity used to heat the water that will be used during the washing process. It might surprise you to know that if you have a large family or if you wash dishes often during the course of the day, you might actually save money by using an efficient dishwasher rather than washing them by hand. However, for many people, the question isn’t whether or not to hand wash your dishes, but which dishwasher to purchase. So when looking for our next dishwasher, we need to be looking for a model, make sure to choose one with a great EnergyGuide rating, selectable cycle settings, and a booster heater.

The standard for appliances in the United States is the EnergyGuide ratings established by the Department of Energy. This is the tool that consumers can use in determining which unit is the most efficient in its use of energy. These ratings are attached to the units in the store and are pretty easy to read. But this number alone is not enough for a consumer to make his purchasing decision. Beyond that, the actual usage is equally important. The two main categories of dishwashers are compact and standard. While compact models tend to be labeled as the more energy efficient models, they will hold fewer dishes meaning you may have to use it more often than a standard capacity dishwasher. When deciding which model is right for you and your family, keep the wash size and frequency in mind.

When you are looking at the various models available, look for a model that will allow you to select from multiple cycle settings. When a unit will allow you select shorter cycles, you will use less water to wash your dishes. This results in less hot water being used which means more savings for you. Additionally, you get the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are conserving water as well.

If you want to get the best savings possible, take a look at dishwashers with a booster heater built into it. This clever addition will heat the water as it enters the dishwasher which means that you can lower the temperature setting on your hot water heater and save energy. These will cost a little more but the energy savings will be more than worth it over the long run.

We all have to purchase new appliances over the course of our lives and when we do, it is important for our wallets that we make good choices. One of the most widely used appliances in our homes is the dishwasher and by making an energy-efficient choice, we can save energy and money year after year. So, buy an energy-efficient model and, of course, be sure to always wash full loads.

Water-Efficient Showerheads

Water-Efficient Shower heads

In these days it is very important and crucial how we use water. As all resources are scarce, the same applies to the water that we use every day for many different purposes. 911 Plumbing Services recommends to minimize the water usage by using  water-saving shower heads which typically range from 1.5 gpm to 2.0 gpm and that  itself represents a 20% or greater water savings.

The Water-Efficient Showerhead by Delta® uses proprietary H2Okinetic Technology® to operate at 1.5 gpm, which delivers 40% less water than a standard showerhead, while providing a satisfying shower experience. It has won numerous awards, including a 2007 Stevie Award, a 2007 silver ADEX award and a 2007 Most Valuable Product (MVP) Award from Building Products magazine. Here, at 911Plumbing Services we are ready to take over your problems and give them an optimal solution. Feel free to give us a call at: 888-959-1911