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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.

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.

 

Issues To Look Into

In general a Los Angeles Plumber does more than just repair pipes and unclog drains and plumbers have to take years of training in a work to take care of the more challenging aspects of this industry. Even though it’s usually welcome to save a few dollars here and there while you are taking chances with your family security, it is well worth spending the cash to make certain that your house is secure.

Just to give you an example is the fact that, on one hand, a professional Los Angeles Plumber in this trade is well trained in setting up a hot water heater in the house,. On the other, If you as an inexperienced, in doing this type of job, and tried to do this yourself its highly possible you could be setting yourself up for disaster that could trigger serious consequences to the safety of you and your love ones. A major concern with this type of job is the fact that several times you are unable to find out whether you did it properly until it is too late. Having an expert care for this one specific area is important to keeping your house a healthy environment.

Dealing with various drainage issues is something there are very much connected with the plumbing trade. Another job is putting in what’s known as an ejector pump and it’s something that an expert must only deal with because if it’s done incorrectly and it has a poorly placed seal you’ll be able to have sewage flooding into your basement which will release strong foul odors into the air causing great difficulties for the entire household.

Speaking about drainage concerns, if you find you have a plugged drain, frequently many individuals will go to their local hardware store and buy what is known as a snake to try and save themselves a few dollars. If the issue is not all that bad you might not need a plumber for this but often what takes place is that based on the severity of your problem, if not taking care of and cleaned correctly it may result in further issues down the road. Problems such as a burst pipe or perhaps a huge leak for example that be very pricey and somewhat dangerous can take place. These are just a few examples where an expert in this trade can cut down on the health dangers within your home. 911 Plumbing Services, Inc. Los Angeles Plumber will be happy to assist you.

Pipe Location

The pipe location in your home is important for proper maintenance and water flow.

Many pipes are located in walls, floors and ceilings and are hard to locate.

If you have no idea where a leak is coming from, you’ll want to call a professional Los Angeles plumber who will have the equipment to locate the pipes in your walls, floors and ceilings.

Without having the proper tools, it can be very difficult to determine where pipes are actually located in your home.

Some older homes may have been built without the use of building codes, and if codes were followed, it’s possible that they were very lax. Today’s homes utilize stricter methods and require an adherence to building codes and statutes.

Our team of Los Angeles Plumbers have tools that will help them locate the pipes in your home. If a pipe has burst, you may waste precious time trying to find the pipe’s location when a professional Los Angeles plumber could find it very quickly.

Once the pipe location has been determined by the Los Angeles plumber, they can discuss the next course of action with you and whether it needs to be fixed in order to avoid future problems.

Rusty Hot Water

It’s alarming to see rusty water coming out of a home faucet.

However, rust in water is a very common problem.There are few places where rusty water could be coming from a one is a pipe itself or from the water heater.

It’s very crucial to determine the exact source of the rust whether its the pipe or water heater, so the situation can be corrected accordingly.

First course of action would be to clean out the water heater to remove any buildup of sediment at the bottom of the heater. This depends on the type of water heater that you have. Second, If the rusty water is coming from the pipes the only way to address the issue would be to do install new pipes.

If you are concerned about the safety of your water due to the amount of rust, it is best to have your water tested.

A professional Los Angeles plumber will be your best guide in addressing and solving this problem.