Author Archives: On Call Plumbing

How Fix a Toilet That Keeps Running?

toilet in need of repair

What are the parts called inside a toilet?

The toilet – a basic fundamental fixture in every home. Seems simple enough, yet it can be the most complicated when you don’t know anything about toilet repair. When one is backed up or not draining, it isn’t always easy to get a plumber right then. So, every homeowner should have some knowledge of toilet repair basics. Believe it or not, there are some toilet repair tasks that anyone can do! 

The base of the toilet  attached to the floor with a wax ring and a flange. The wax ring is fitted in between the flange and the toilet base, creating a seal. Then two bolts are used to hold the flange in place. At the back, bottom of the tank is the water supply that is connected to the water coming from the wall. At this location, there is a shut off valve. 

A rocking toilet is typically going to be a toilet repair of tightening the two bolts at the flange, or possibly replacing the flange and the wax ring. Should the toilet be overflowing, the shut off valve on the wall at the back of the tank should be turned until a toilet repair is complete. 

This is all sounds simple so far, but now, we’re going to get inside the tank where all the working parts are, and it can be confusing and makes toilet repair seem overwhelming. The toilet flushes when the handle is pushed down. That causes the chain or trip lever inside the tank to raise up the flapper. With the flapper lifted, water is forced from the bowl to the sewer line and fresh water fills the tank once the flapper is down. 

The parts inside the toilet tank are: 

  • Trip lever: Inside the tank, you’ll see a metal bar connected to the flush handle inside the tank. This pulls the tank ball up and then the flapper is raised. 
  • The Flapper: There is a flat stop on the chain end that lifts each time the handle is pushed. The flapper keeps water from running constantly into the toilet bowl. 
  • The Fill Valve: Water comes from the supply line and flows into the tank through this fill valve. Water fills the tank and float rises with it. When that float reaches the fill valve top, the water stops filling the toilet.

How do you fix a toilet tank, can you replace the inside of a toilet?

Yes, toilet repair can be done by replacing each of the parts inside tank. They can be purchased in a kit or individually and should include instructions how to replace them. If not, you can always find a video online, and remember to always turn the water off at the shut off valve before starting any type of toilet repair.

For a  toilet repair without flapper that has water running nonstop, follow these steps: 

  • Step One: Remove the tank cover.
  • Step Two: Turn the water supply off to the toilet.
  • Step Three: Clean sludge from the drain valve by soaking it in vinegar for 30 minutes.
  • Step Four: Adjust the ballcock valve and float. 
  • Step Five: Adjust the chain length.
  • Steps Six: Adjust the water fill height by adjusting the float.
  • Steps Seven: Adjust the water level so that is below the overflow tube top. 

Can you replace just the tank of a toilet?

Yes, most toilet bowls and toilet tanks can be purchased separately. You want to make  sure you are getting the same manufacturing brand and style so that it has a proper fit and will function correctly. 

working toilet

How much water should be in your toilet bowl?

Most toilet tanks have a mark inside of the tank where the water level should stop. This is typically one to two inches below the fill valve and below the overflow tube.

With the information provided here and the may videos available today, a homeowner with basic DIY skills can do their own toilet repair and installation. Perhaps the easiest toilet repair, handle is easily replaced by detaching it from the trip lever and attach the new handle. This type of toilet repair can be done without shutting the water off at the valve. 

There are some toilet repairs that need the experience and skills of a professional plumber. However, by knowing the part and the small toilet repairs as we’ve discussed here, it will be easier on the pocketbook and in some cases, faster than waiting on the plumber. 

One toilet repair that you should always call a professional plumber is when you’re smelling gas or sewage odor coming from your toilet. This could be the wax ring has moved or it could be the sewage line. A busted sewage line isn’t something a homeowner should attempt to fix if they don’t have the experience. Call 661-201-6016 today for your toilet repair needs in Santa Clarita, CA.

When Is It Time to Repipe a House?

new pipes from repiping project

Why is home repiping a good idea? 

Before we get into the when of home repiping, let’s define what is home repiping first. Home repiping ca be done one of two ways:

  • Completely redo the entire plumbing system with new pipe. This is from the water supply line to the kitchen and all bathrooms. 
  • Replace a single piece of pipe with a new pipe. 

As a homeowner, there are several things you need to do that will keep your home healthy and in good condition. Keeping the HVAC filter changed or cleaned, keeping up with small plumbing drips and leaks, fixing banisters, and more. One thing that most homeowners do not think about as household maintenance is home repiping. 

Most people think that home repiping is only done in extreme needs, but there are a few benefits of home repiping that you may not realize you’re missing: 

  • Pipe Upgrade: Surprise, surprise!  The plumbing pipes in your home won’t last forever. After a few decades, they start deteriorating. This typically applies to homes that are over fifty years old because that is when most plumbing pipes start reaching their end-of-life expectancy. With two exceptions: Copper piping can last up to 80 years and galvanized steel pipes can last up to 100 years.  However, just because they seem to be good condition doesn’t mean the water quality is still good. Al these years, those pipes have had their share of plumbing problems and probably a good amount of chemical cleaners going through them. Home repiping may be something to think about. 
  • Replace Materials: If your home was built between the 1970s and the 1990s, the plumbing pipes are probably polybutylene. During that time frame, the concern for using lead pipes was a big issue, and these pipes were an affordable and popular option. Yes, polybutylene pipes aren’t going to endanger you and your family with lead, but they aren’t sturdy either. In fact, they are susceptible to breaking and cracking. Maybe you haven’t had any problems yet, but you can almost put a bet on it that you will. A home repiping now may not be in the budget, but a busted water pipe later won’t be either. 
  • Color and Water Pressure: If you’re running water in the kitchen and somebody starts a shower, creating a water pressure change, or the water in your has color to it sometimes, you probably need a home repiping job. Plumbing pipes will corrode and being to flake after some time. This will create a rust color to the water or affect the water pressure, sometimes both. 
  • Leak & Water Damage Protection: There is no need to not do anything because nothing is wrong when it comes to plumbing.  If you know your home’s plumbing is older, as we’ve discussed here earlier, then you know that sooner or later, something is going to start to leak, that leak will lead to damage, and then you’re in ankle deep water. Today, one of the best options for home repiping is using PEX, a flexible type of plumbing that contractors and plumbers are in love with. It is durable, sturdy, and best of all from their standpoint, flexible. 

What is involved in a whole house repiping project?

Home repiping is a labor intensive job that should be done only by a licensed plumber. This is a general idea of the steps they will take: 

  • Cover flooring, furniture, and other personal items in plastic
  • Mark the areas where pipes are located behind walls with special tools
  • Cut those areas out to gain access to the pipes
  • Any pipes in the floors will be accessed from the basement or crawl space
  • After old pipes are removed, new pipes are installed
  • Plumbers and helper will clean up, patch up, retexture, and paint walls

You may want to consider replacing your water heater and upgrade the fixtures to low-flow styles while your home repiping job is taking place. 

Should you repipe your house?

So, maybe you’re thinking home repiping sounds like a good deal, but you’re wondering, “When should I repipe my house?”. If you notice any of the following issues with your home’s pluming, this may be the time to schedule home repiping job: 

1. Aging and Unsafe Pipes 

There are several factors that will affect your home’s plumbing. From basic wear and tear and cold-weather,  but the average age that home repiping is good timing is at fifty-years-old or older.

At that age, they’re probably lead pipes which are outlawed for new install now so the sooner you get them out, the healthier your home will be. If you have polybutylene pipes, after a few years, those will break, crack, and begin leaking. What if your home has galvanized steel pipes? They are probably already eroding. If your plumbing clacks, clangs, rattles or makes other noises, time for home repiping! 

2. Leaking Pipes 

Leaking pipes are not something to ignore. If you know you have a small leak in your plumbing, you’re setting yourself up for disaster if that isn’t fixed soon. If you have had several leaking pipes over the past year, then home repiping is the best way to stop that from happening. 

3. Visible Corrosion 

If you can see corroded plumbing pipes, they’re discolored, flaking, indented, or rusted, home repiping is the best way to get that fixed. In this case, you may be able to get by with a portion of home repiping instead of the entire plumbing system. 

4. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be caused by several factors with the most common being corrosion and sediment buildup. These issues will block water from flowing, put pressure on other areas, causing them to burst. 

5. Discolored Water 

If the water is coming out of your spigots is brown, red, or yellow, your pipes are full of rust and sediment  and home repiping is needed, sooner than later.  Why the rush? Because you are bathing, cooking, and consuming this colored water, which is rust and sediments. These can become health hazards. 

6. Bad Smell and Taste

If the water in your home is smelling or tasting bad, it is probably because the pipes are in bad condition and you may need a home repiping job. Have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing and advise you accordingly, because it could be something outside of your home causing this issue. 

7. Fluctuating Temperature

Fluctuating water temperature could be the water heater going out or it could be the pipes. Either way, you should have a professional plumber check both out and advise you accordingly. 

Should I repipe my house with PEX?

This is something that the plumber you choose to work with can advise, but most plumbers prefer working with PEX for several reasons, one being that it is flexible. They are able to work it around in tight corners and spaces. PEX plumbing piping is freeze resistant, doesn’t degrade like copper and is less likely to burst. It is also cheaper, which will make your home repiping a little cheaper too. 

How long does it take to repipe a whole house?

This will depend mostly on the size of the house. The average repiping home size is completed in two days. Larger homes may take a full week to complete the home repiping job. 

broken plumbing

Does insurance cover repiping?

No, probably not, but you should review your homeowner insurance policy or check with your agent.  Most insurance companies consider home repiping to be a homeowner responsibility in preventing possible plumbing problems. However, if your home has a water break that floods and damages your home, your insurance will like cover the damage that is done. 

Home repiping isn’t something that you will need to do every year. Chances are, you’ll do it once and never need it again. You can relaxing knowing that all of your plumbing is brand new and possible plumbing problems are doing to be avoided. Call 661-201-6016 today for your repiping project in Santa Clarita, CA.

How effective is trenchless sewer repair?

digging for plumbing repair

Is trenchless sewer repair cheaper?

When a homeowner had a sewer line issue, they knew that not only would it be expensive, but it was destructive and intrusive. The plumber would bring in large equipment like backhoes and have to dig the yard up until they found the problem. Today, that destruction is a thing of the past with trenchless sewer repair system. 

What is trenchless plumbing repair? This is a fairly new method that allows plumbers to repair sewer lines without destroying a homeowner’s landscaping and lawn. There is no need to jackhammer the foundation and flooring or tear into walls with trenchless sewer repair procedures. Not only is it less destructive, but it is faster too. 

Because the trenchless method and process is complex, the equipment used is a new technology, like anything new, it takes some time for it to pay for itself. So, it may be as much as the traditional method of sewer line repair or even more. A trenchless sewer repair can cost up to $2,500 and for trenchless sewer replacement, $3,500. Some factors that affect the cost are: 

  • The Trenchless Method: There are different methods of trenchless technology that can affect the price you’ll pay. CIPP is the Cured in Place Pipe Lining technology that uses an epoxy pipe lining, which has a higher price tag. The Pipe Bursting technology is less expensive but will require the plumber to dig more holes.
  • The Sewer Pipe Size: The diameter size of the sewer pipe is a factor in material costing, the larger the more expensive.  How deep your sewer pipe is in the ground will affect the cost because he deeper the more the plumber will need to dig down. 
  • The Accessibility: Depending on where the trenchless sewer repair is located, under a patio or the house, if there is landscaping to work around, are things that can affect the cost of a trenchless sewer repair.
  • The Current Pipe Condition: The existing sewer line may be destroyed, making the trenchless sewer repair method impossible to take place. A cast iron pipe will need to be descaled before the plumber can proceed with the trenchless part of the job. This takes more time and could cost you if you’re paying by the hour. 

How does trenchless water line repair work?

Before any type trenchless plumbing work begins, the plumber will do a thorough inspection. Then a epoxy coated tube that has been cleaned by hydro or mechanically method is installed into the existing plumbing or sewer line.  The epoxy coated plumbing trenchless pipe replacement hardens and forms the new line. Essentially, this process is creating a new pipe within the existing pipe, completely sealing the existing and eliminating any previous issues. Including any channeling, cracks, deterioration, holes, scaling, or tree root intrusions. 

After the new lining has been installed, the plumber will use specialized robotic technology through the existing branch line pipes and reopen them. This new technology consists of cameras and a small television type screen where the plumber watches what is going on inside the sewer lines. This is all operated by a remote control. 

This tube that is inserted is flexible as it is inserted, allowing it to be navigated around any bends and plumbing connections while adjusting to any changes in the pipe diameter. After a period of curing (hardening), this liner becomes 100% solid and sealed, giving you up to 50 years or longer life expectancy. 

Can trenchless sewer repair fix a belly?

Not at this time, the trenchless sewer repair technology is adaptable to repairing a belly. The sleeve will follow the existing pipe only to end up with a belly. The belly repair requires the plumber to dig up at the belly and install new pipe.

Do I really need to replace my sewer line?

Well, it depends on what condition it is in and what kind of problem you’re having. Some indications that will tell you that sewer line repair is needed are any of the following: 

  • Gurgling noises in the toilet.
  • Shower, sink, or tub  drains become terribly slow.
  • Sewer smell in or outside your home.
  • Dark green, thick patches of the lawn are sinking.
underground sewer pipes

Is a broken sewer line dangerous?

What goes through a sewer line should answer this question. The raw sewage that passes through a sewer line from a residence is anything that is flushed down a toilet or poured into the sinks. This includes but not limited to the following: 

  • Human excrement
  • Beauty and hygiene
  • Detergents, soaps, cleaning products
  • Food waste

These things will mix together and create gas hazards, dangerous pathogens, and bacteria. The natural reactions of microorganisms that are inhabited in residential sewage is definitely hazardous.

If trenchless sewer repair is something you’re interested in for your home, you’ll want to call several plumber contractors and inquire if they know how to do trenchless sewer line repairs.  This isn’t a brand new technology, but not all plumbing contractors have taken any training and won’t have access to the equipment.  The last thing you need is a novice plumber trying something they aren’t experienced or trained to do and make your sewer line problem worse than it is already. Call 661-201-6016 today for trenchless sewer repair in Santa Clarita, CA.

How Do You Unfreeze Frozen Pipes?

frozen pipe

How Do You Unfreeze Frozen Pipes?

Would you like to discover more as it pertains to unfreezing frozen pipes? According to leading online experts, getting out your hair dryer is actually a welcome step to the process. Heat from a direct source will help unfreeze frozen pipes. You can also use a heat lamp or a portable space heater. Another alternative method is to use towels that have been dipped in hot water and to wrap them around the pipe.

Will Frozen Pipes Thaw On Their Own?

Are you wondering if frozen pipes will thaw on their own? From leading online experts, it’s important to not let them thaw on their own. This is because you could have a burst pipe on your hands, and that can easily cost you thousands of dollars in damage. You will want to manually unfreeze your frozen pipes in order to mitigate further damage. To thaw your pipes, you can turn on your water faucets. Moving water will accelerate the thawing process. Your frozen pipes will usually be in an outside wall, in an unheated crawl space, or under a sink. There are several different methods that you can use to unthaw pipes. You can use electric heat pads, electric hair dryers, portable space heaters, and towels soaked in hot water.

What To Do With Frozen Pipes?

Are you wondering what to do with frozen pipes? In order to become better informed, let’s review the following list to discover more.

  • Locate the pipe or pipes.
  • Turn on some faucets to facilitate moving water.
  • The frozen pipes will likely be outside, in an unheated crawl space, or under a sink.
  • After the pipes have been located and water is moving, you can apply a heat source.
  • Your chosen heat source could be a heating pad, a hairdryer, or hot, wet towels. Inevitably, you will need to apply as much heat as necessary to thaw the impacted area.

A professional plumber is always a great resource when it comes to dealing with emergency plumbing issues.

How Long Does it Take for Pipes to Unfreeze?

Are you wondering how long it will take for your pipes to unfreeze? According to a leading plumbing authority, it can take anywhere from between thirty to forty-five minutes. This is if you use the assistance of space heaters, hairdryers, and heat lamps which are all common household appliances that can be used to thaw pipes. However, it is entirely important that you seek out a professional plumber if your pipes have burst from pressure build-up.

At What Temp Will Pipes Unfreeze?

If you are in the process of unfreezing your pipes, you will naturally want to understand a few basic parameters. For instance, how long will it take? At what temperature will your pipes be thawed out properly? For the latter question, the answer is twenty degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to have both hot towels, hairdryers, and heat lamps to assist the process if you want it to go at its fastest possible rate.

How Frozen Pipes Burst

Are you wondering how frozen pipes burst? It’s all due to the nature of water and how it reacts in a closed pipe. When water freezes, it expands in volume by nine percent. In the enclosed area of a pipe, the ice will displace the water which in turn, increases the pressure. For as long as the pipe is under pressure, the pipe itself is in jeopardy and could burst.

How Prevent Frozen Pipes

It is incredibly important to secure burst and frozen pipe repair as soon as possible when such circumstances arise. Furthermore, are you wondering how you can prevent frozen pipes? The first thing that you can do is you can insulate your pipes. There is specially designed pipe insulation that is available for you to purchase at hardware stores. Other things that you can do include keeping your garage doors closed, opening your cabinets, letting faucets drip, and keeping your thermostats consistent.

How To Thaw Frozen Pipes Underground

For thawing frozen pipes underground, you will want to connect your hose to the tap and begin running hot water into the pipe. You will want to slowly feed the hose through the pipe as the ice melts. After the pipe is completely thawed, you can remove the hose and repair the pipe as necessary.


How to Thaw Frozen Pipes in a Wall

The first thing that you will want to do to thaw frozen pipes in a wall is to locate the frozen section of the pipe. It will most likely be in a very vulnerable area that is exposed to the cold. After you have located the pipe, you can open the faucet associated with the pipe. Target a heat source, such as a blowdryer, to where the ice apparently is. Keep the water moving until the temperatures rise.

If you are worried about frozen pipes in Santa Clarita, CA, please feel open to giving our capable staff a phone call. You can reach us at 661-201-6016 today.

How Long Does it Take to Fix Water Damage?

water damaged wall

How bad is water damage?

Water damage repairs – words that no homeowner wants to hear. It seems like home upkeep is constant! If it isn’t the roof or the windows, then it is the foundation. For this to be the biggest and most important investment you’ll ever make, it is also the one that requires the most attention, money, time, and work.

It is important to know How to spot water damage as a homeowner, as you keep an ever present vigil attention on every part of your home. Then you next obligation is to do any water damage repair needed, or have it done by a professional, which is what it requires when the water leak is coming from the foundation. 

Water damage effects can be felt immediately, and it can come back to haunt you later, days, weeks, even months later. Those effects can be visible, and they can be hidden, which makes water damage more dangerous because you don’t know there is water damage repair needed, until it is too late. The damage that can result from lack of water damage repair: 

Mold Issues

One of the major things from lack of water damage repair is mold growth, and that takes place within days and weeks of the water breaks. The adverse effects are on your family’s health and wellness with irritating allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and other breathing issues. Mold requires water to survive, so if the water damage repairs are not made, the mold will keep thriving. 

The smell if mold will linger almost indefinitely, lowering the air quality of your home.  If you can smell it, it is damaging the structure of your home too.  The sooner water damage repairs are completed, and the mold removed, the better. 

Appliances and Furniture 

One of the components of your home that water damage will harm the most are the appliances and furniture. The wooden bed frames and wooden furniture, computers, televisions, and other possessions and valuables can be damaged within a few minutes. When wooden furniture is damage by water, it weakens the structures and allows mildew and mold to form and grow. 

Your electrical appliances that are water damage, repairs may not be possible, meaning you’ll need to replace those items. Electronics are typically totaled when they have become wet, exceedingly rare are these things salvageable. 

House Structure 

Like wooden furniture, water damage to the house can affect the structure of your home too. It weakens any wooden frame and the flooring. The longer water damage repair is delayed, the more damage it is causing the structure and the more mildew and mold will grow. 

How long does it take to repair water damage?

The first thing to water damage repair is allowing the damaged items and parts to completely dry, typically this takes up to 72 hours. A larger area can take longer to completely dry, so patience is of the essence. For the quality of any water damage repairs to be proven, allow things to completely dry before attempting repairs. 

Is drywall ruined if it gets wet?

It can depend on the amount and time the drywall was exposed to water. While it is a fairly sturdy material, the longer drywall is wet, the softer and weaker it becomes. After a length of time being wet, the structural integrity becomes compromised and may have to be replaced. If it hasn’t got that wet for exceedingly long period of time and allowing it to thoroughly dry out before making any water damage repair will be sufficient. 

How do you fix water damaged walls?

Water damage repair isn’t as complicated and daunting as you may think when you follow these easy steps:

  1. Clean: The water damaged area needs to be thoroughly cleaned before starting water damage repair. 
  2. Clear any buckled, cracked, or flaked area on the wall. 
  3. Apply a seal binder over the water damaged area. 
  4. Apply any filler needed to create a smooth surface then sand.
  5. Brush the sanding residue off and allow the area to dry.
  6. Apply a water-based primer and sealer and allow to dry.
  7. Paint the wall and decorate! 
dehumidifier in water damaged room

How much does it cost to fix water damage?

There are always going to be factors that can determine the cost of any home repair and water damage repair is no different. According to expert contractors, homeowners will pay on the average for Water damage repair and remediation between $2,500 and up to $5,000 or more.  Factors that determine the cost is the region of the country you’re in, the amount of water damage, and what caused the damage, like busted plumbing that will need repairing.

It is important to know what to do when you need water damage repair and know how to fix water damage yourself of hire a professional contractor immediately.  Contacting a contractor for inspection and estimates along with your insurance company should be the first thing you should do, and the rest will fall into place. Need water damage repair in Santa Clarita, CA? Call 661-201-6016 today!

Is a Clogged Drain an Emergency?

drain cleaning

What causes drain clogs?

Well, would you call a clogged drain an emergency?  If there were water running over and you couldn’t get the knob to turn the water off, yes. Definitely, that would be an emergency, but with knowledge for correct clogged pipe cleaning, done at the first sign of a clogged pipe, you wouldn’t find yourself in that position. 

This is what we’ll talk about today in this article.  What causes a pipe to get clogged and How to clear a clogged pipe. By learning about clogged pipe cleaning before you ever experience it, then it won’t become an emergency. It is still annoying, and if you’re wondering, ‘Can clogs be damaging?’, the answer is yes. Keep on reading! 

Problems with clogged drains can be serious if not addressed early on and can require the services of a  professional plumber. With proper clogged pipe cleaning practices, and avoiding the following list of items, this won’t happen. Fortunately, clogged pipe cleaning the issues that cause clogged pipes can be resolved easily by you with some basic tools. Here are the most common causes of a clogged drain. 

  1. Hair
  2. Soap
  3. Dirt
  4. Fat, grease, oil
  5. Food 
  6. Diapers and wipes
  7. Foreign objects
  8. Feminine products 
  9. Cotton swabs
  10. Cat litter
  11. Leaves, plants, tree roots
  12. toilet paper
  13. Mineral build-up
  14. Offset pipes

Can Coke unclog a drain?

Seems odd, but yes, coke can unclog a drain and is of several DIY remedies to try before you call the plumber. Keep in mind, if you keep trying DIY remedies and you’re not having any luck, the longer you wait, the worse that clog could be getting. You could also be doing more damage than good too, but it doesn’t hurt to try these two DIY  clogged pipe cleaning tricks: 

Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Both are hard on enamel as dentist warns. They are both excellent at defeating a clogged drain too because of strong dissolving agents.  How do you use these products for clogged pipe cleaning? 

  • Let a two liter bottle of either one become room temperature.
  • Pouring the whole bottle  down the drain
  • Allow it to fizz for two hours as it works its corrosive power
  • Run hot water for a few minutes

The phosphoric acid in these beverage will break down the buildup that causing clogged drains! This isn’t a DIY remedy that plumbers like everyone to know about because, well, it keeps homeowners from calling them!  An effective home remedy using a refreshing beverage! 

 A Plunger: When your bathtub or sink becomes too clogged for a Coke or Pepsi to clear, then get the old fashioned plunger out and try these steps. 

  • Completely cover the drain with the plunger
  • With rapid motion, press and pull for 30 to  35 seconds
  • If water slowly begins to drain, add more water then plunge another 30 to 35 seconds
  • If water begins to drain fast, you’ve conquered the clog

While these are good DIY home remedies, and if the plunger method didn’t work, then call your plumber. 

What to use to unclog pipes?

With the following techniques, you can do your own clogged pipe cleaning and save that money you’d pay a plumber for something more fun! 

Unclogging Tools: We’ve already covered the plunger method. Another tool is a drain snake that can be purchased at any home improvement store and is a great back up with the plunger isn’t doing a clogged pipe cleaning. This tool is a  flexible, long piece of steel called an auger and has a handle on the other end.  

  • Feed the auger end of the snake down the drain
  • Spin and twirl the auger as you insert it into the drain snake
  • After it has gone as far as it will, begin to pull it out slowly

 This technique will break-up the clogging debris, and sometimes takes two or three rounds of this process. 

 How do you unclog a drain pipe without a snake?

Non-Chemical Solution: No need to buy over-the-counter chemical products. Using baking soda, vinegar, and water is economical, eco-friendly, and effective at clogged pipe cleaning.

  • Pour one pot of boiling water down in the drain.
  • Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain
  • Let this sit for five  minutes.
  • Pour a solution of one cup vinegar and one cup boiling water. 
  • Let this sit for ten minutes.
  • Pour another  pot of boiling water down the drain
recently cleaned drain

How do I clean clogged underground drain pipes?

Gutters are a wonderful thing to have on your home, until they become clogged.  Underground gutter drains are attached to the downspouts to move water away from your home’s foundation underground. Even though you can’t see them, they need to be cleaned periodically and when they aren’t they become clogged.  The following steps will keep them clean and also get the clogged pipe cleaning accomplished. 

  1. Pull the underground drain away from the downspout.
  2. Place the auger end of the drain snake into the underground drain.
  3. Turn the auger handle clockwise, extending the auger.
  4. When the handle becomes hard to turn, you’ve found the clog.
  5. Now reverse the turning and slowly pulling the auger out.
  6. Repeat this process several times.
  7. Flush the underground drain with your garden hose. 
  8. If the water isn’t flowing out the other end, repeat the process again. 

As soon as you notice a drain isn’t draining, that is the time to perform one of the non-tool tricks we’ve discussed.  With weekly pre clogged pipe cleaning, you can avoid these panic moments. When you do have a clogged drain that can’t be cleared using any of these steps, calling your plumber is the best solution. Call 661-201-6016 today for your clogged pipe cleaning in Santa Clarita, CA.

How Do You Find a Plumbing Leak?

What causes a plumbing leak?

When you see a faucet dripping or hear water running in the toilet tank, you know you have a water leak of sorts.  Unfortunately, not all water leaks are as easily discovered and can go on for days, weeks, months, maybe years before any plumbing leak detection is made. Those types of plumbing leak detection and repairs are usually expensive and extensive. 

The first step in plumbing leak detection is finding the leak then determining what is causing the leak. If you notice a possible water leak and ignore it, the havoc it can cause is unlimited and unmerciful. The worst thing about an unaddressed water leak is flooding and the next worse thing is the black mold that can start growing. Last, but not least, the next worse thing to a water leak is your water bill.  

So, we have stated three things that are the dreaded results of a plumbing leak, let’s look at the things that can cause a leak: 

  1. Foundation shifting: When a house with a foundation settles and shifts, it can adjust the water lines. When those adjustments are exactly right, they can slightly disconnect or loosen pipes, causing them to start a slow leak. Or worse,  or maybe it would be better because you wouldn’t need professional plumbing leak detection, the shifting and settling can break pipes and create a massive rupture of water.
  2. High water pressure: Did you know you can often adjust your water pressure at the water meter? This would be more so in older homes, but if you’re having a constant water line break in a certain area, it can the water pressure is high. As water zips from the meter and through your water lines, if the pressure is too high, it can weaken and damage the pipes, causing them to break and bust. If that water isn’t just spewing upward, it may take professional plumbing leak detection to find where the leak is before it can be stopped.
  3. Tree roots: The job of tree roots is to find water to nourish the tree. Your water pipes could have the tiniest crack with the slightest of leaks and tree roots will find that water. When the0 tree roots sense moisture, they start growing towards that water and will force their way into those cracks. Before you know it, there is clogged sewer lines and/or busted water pipes. 
  4. Pipe Corrosion: This is more common in older homes were copper pipes or galvanized pipes were used the most. Metal piping is easily susceptible to rust and rust weakens the metal. Eventually the pipes break at that rusted areas and then there is leaking.
  5. Changing Temperatures: Areas where the weather can make extreme changes can cause water pipes to break. Ground is cold and the pipes are cold, then it heats up only to get cold again. Water pipes can only take so much back and forth in temperature before it wears them or their connections out.

How do you find a plumbing leak?

As much as we depend on water, it can be the enemy too when it comes to water leaks around the home. Your furnishing and the structure of your home can be damaged beyond repair.  Unfortunately, plumbing leaks are pretty common and there is a bigger chance you will experience one than you won’t at so point of homeownership. However, if you know ways to find a suspected water leak, you can get a jump on it before it becomes a problem. 

  • Monitor Your Water Bill: Monthly water bills are often the best plumbing leak detection. When they become extremely high for no obvious reason (like guests or watering the lawn), it is usually an indicator there is a water leak. 
  • Water Meter Watching: This is the next best plumbing leak detection tool. If you suspect your home has a water leak and you’re not finding any obvious signs, watch the water meter after turning everything off  that is water driven. With everything water using thing turned off, if the water meter moves, you have a water leak somewhere. 
  • Greener Grass Patches: A lush lawn is beautiful, but if there only one area, or a patch that is greener than the rest of the law, there may be a buried water line leaking. If there are puddles in that area and it hasn’t rained, then that is a great plumbing leak detection indicator. 
  • Appliances and Fixtures: Check under your cabinets, behind the washing machine, and around the toilets. Anywhere water is used, check for small leaks. If you find any, turn the water off to that appliance or fixture and if you aren’t a DIY homeowner, call your plumber. 
  • Toilet Testing: Another easy plumbing leak detection you can do is test the toilet for an interior leak with food coloring. The flapper could be brittle and worn, allowing a constant trickle of water. A few drops of food coloring in the tank and you’ll know when you see colored water in the toilet bowl.  This is a simple fix, but if you’re not comfortable with replacing that rubber flapper, call a plumber. 

Can plumbers detect leaks?

Yes, along with installing and repairing plumbing, leak detection is one of the main things they are trained for doing. They will use the same things we’ve discussed above, and they also have plumbing leak detection equipment. They have audio and visual tools to help them find leaks that are int the foundation, in the wall, and underground. 

Is plumbing leak detection expensive?

There are few factors that can determine the cause of a plumbing leak detection, beginning with where you are located.  Prices for anything can vary from city to city, state to state. Other factors that will affect the cost of a professional plumbing leak detection is finding the general area of the leak, where the leak is located and the equipment (if any) that is used by the plumber. Different plumbing contractors and company charge different rates also, so you may want to call around a get a few phone estimates before scheduling an appointment. 

How does plumbing leak detection work? 

A plumbing leak detection system can be installed inline to your home’s plumbing that will meticulously monitor the water flow  as it passes through the water pipes. When it detects an irregularity, it shuts the water off at the main point of entry. 

That irregularity can be a jammed toilet flapper or water left running in a sink or tub. It can be water pipes busting in the walls or under the house, anywhere that water shouldn’t be flowing for long, or at all, escalated water use signals to this method of plumbing leak detection and the water is automatically turned off. 

damaged ceiling due to water damage

Is there a tool to detect water leak?

We’ve all seen the old western movies where they used a Y shaped stick to find water, and we all know that doesn’t really work.  The most effective plumbing leak detection tool today is sound detection equipment. With headphones and a microphone, a plumber trained on this equipment can listen to your plumbing and find where that traveling water is coming from. 

As a homeowner paying a plumber to find a leak, you have to wonder how accurate is leak detection? Today, with modern plumbing leak detection technology available, plumbers are trained to know how to use plumbing leak detection and are able to determine the precise spot of a plumbing leak. The days of digging up your lawn or jackhammering the foundation are all but a memory. The methods available to plumbers today are non-destructive and non-invasive, and even better, accurate! Call 661-201-6016 today.

How do you fix a broken sewer line?

sewer line with damage

How do you know if your main sewer line is broken?

Homeownership is wonderful. You’re paying yourself each month by paying a mortgage instead of rent. That monthly payment is paying into an investment that one day you can either sell at a profit or pay it off and live your golden years rent-free. Or that is that American dream anyway. In the meantime, though, there are homeowner nightmares like roof damage, termites, and sewer line is backed up and sewer repair

Whether it is your sewer line or mainline that is backed up or broken can make this your nightmare or an inconvenience that can make the difference. If it is mainline, that is going to be the city’s problem and only an inconvenience for you. If the sewer line is collapsed, that is going to be your sewer repair expense and problem. 

No homeowner wants dysfunctional plumbing. It can often mean it is going to cost money, sometimes lots of money for sewer repairs. Because plumbing can be complicated, it can be challenging to know where in the sewer line repairs are needed. The warning signs that the problem you’re having is with your main sewer line are:

  • Backed up and blocked. Sewage backups will happen occasionally, but if every flush is backing up, it is probably in the main sewage line. Every drain in your home relies on the main sewer line, and if it is blocked, you’re going to have back up, and only sewer repair to the mainline is going to fix that.  
  • Foul odors and smells. The main sewer line that is intact will be airtight, and nothing smelly is escaping. So, when there are foul, nasty odor coming out, you have a main sewer line break. This issue isn’t an easy fix and will need a professional plumber for sewer repair.
  • Mildew and mold. If you’re noticing mildew and mold on the walls of your home, the culprit could be the main sewer line is damaged. A crack in the sewer line will allow water to leak into your home, and leaking water creates mildew and mold. It may not be your sewer line; it may be an incoming plumbing line. Either way, you need a professional plumber to inspect the situation. 
  • Slow draining. Slow drains are an ordinary plumbing matter, and usually, it is a clog that can be fixed with a drain cleaner or plunger. If those simple methods to unclog don’t work, it could be down in the main sewer line, and that deep of a clog will need professional sewer repair.  If you’re fortunate, the plumber may be able to fix the sewer line without digging, and with cameras and new technology today, they can do sewer repairs without tearing up your yard. 
  • Lush green grass in patches. If your lawn has an area of lush green grass, it could be a busted plumbing line that sewer repair is needed. 
  • Lawn indents. A lush green area in your lawn is just one indication. The other is an indention in your lawn, usually where the lush green area is located. Professional sewer repair is the only option.
  • Foundation cracking and sinking. When the main sewer line is damaged, it can be more than a nuisance. It can also damage the foundation and structure of your home. Broken sewer lines under the foundation are bad news, and that will require a professional plumber and possibly jackhammering the floor inside your home or digging underneath it – both options are expensive.
  • Wastewater pooling. If you are noticing wastewater pooling up around the exterior of your home and it has a foul odor, you probably have a busted main sewage line. 
  • Insects, critters, and pests.  A damaged main sewer line will attract things you don’t want around your home, like insects, rats, and other critters. Leaking pipes are an attraction, and they can make their way through any crack or gap and into your home. 
  • Constant common fixes aren’t working. If you are continually experiencing backed-up toilet and non-draining sinks, you need a professional plumber. 

How long does it take to repair a sewer line?

Several factors can determine the time it will take to complete your sewer repair. Among those factors are the pipe size, location of the problem, the condition of the existing pipes, and which method the plumber needs to use. 

The traditional method for sewer repair is three to five days.  If they can use the trenchless method, it could be done in one to two days.  Your plumbing contractor will be able to advise you which method when they inspect the situation. 

How often should sewer lines be replaced?

Sewer pipes are durable for the most part, but eventually, like anything that is used daily, and mostly when buried underground, replacement is needed eventually. How often is that depending on the type of pipe, the depth it is buried, and soil conditions? Clay sewer lines can last up to 60 years and cast iron sewer lines up to one hundred years.  PVC to date is timeless! 

new laid pipes

Who pays for a broken sewer line?

Unfortunately, the homeowner more often than not. The city is responsible for sewer repairs from the start of the main underground sewer pipe to the wastewater treatment plant. Otherwise, the sewer repair is on your side of the main. You’ll be responsible for repair and paying for the repair. 

Does homeowners insurance cover sewer line repair? Probably not, sorry. When it comes to the sewer line and sewer repair of those lines, homeowner’s insurance isn’t going to cover the expense of your plumber unclogging it and repair the line on your side of the main. However, if your home has any damage from a sewer line unexpectedly, that may be covered. You need to check with your insurance agent and your insurance policy to make sure what is covered. Call 661-201-6016 today.

Do All Frozen Pipes Burst?

A Burst Frozen Pipe.

Do all frozen pipes burst?

While frozen pipes are probably the last thing you’d think about in the middle of summer, this time of year is actually a good time to make sure your pipes are ready for colder weather. It’s a good time, for instance, to have your pipes inspected for any damage and prevent any potential problems before winter comes and you require frozen pipe repair. One thing to note: not all frozen pipes burst. Bursts often occur as the pipes thaw when the temperatures warm up after a freeze. You can also prevent frozen pipes by running a trickle of water from your faucets when a freeze is likely, along opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate. Also, when a pipe bursts, it may not cause a dramatic moment in which a spray of water bursts through sections of drywall.

In fact, burst pipes and the leaks that develop from might go undetected for some time. That’s why it’s good to have your pipes inspected regularly to make sure no damage is present. Once winter does come, however, and you do need burst and frozen pipe repair in Santa Clarita, CA, you can always rely on the professionals at On Call Plumbing. We can be reached for any plumbing services by calling 661-201-6016.

How do you know if your pipes froze?

In winter, if you’re wondering whether your pipes have frozen, the first thing to note is that it has to be freezing outside for the pipes to freeze. That means outside temperatures have to be 32 degrees or below before pipes can freeze. Of course, even if it’s below freezing, your pipes might not freeze. Some ways to tell if pipes have frozen include:

  • Frost appears on the outside of the pipe.
  • Nothing comes out of the faucets. If you can’t get water to come out of your faucet, your pipes are probably frozen.
  • Strange smells coming from the faucets or drains. When your pipes are blocked with ice, odors can’t escape down them, and so travel back up the pipes.

If you think your pipes are frozen, you’ll need to act fast to get them thawed. You don’t want to let them thaw on their own. This is most often when they’ll burst, and you’ll need frozen pipe repair. 

Will frozen pipes thaw on their own?

Yes, frozen pipes thaw on their own as temperatures get above freezing. This is actually more often the time when the pipes burst, as the melting water in the pipe begins to rush through the pipe. If you’ve discovered your pipes are frozen, you want them to thaw, but you want them to thaw slowly. To get them to thaw slowly and try to prevent them from bursting, you can try several methods like the following:

  • Wrap a towel around the pipe, from top to bottom, and pour hot water over the towel. This will slowly warm the pipes. 
  • Shut off the main water valve to keep any more water from coming down the pipe.
  • As a preventative measure, before winter comes, insulate the pipes with pipe sleeves.
  • If you know a freeze is in the forecast, leave a trickle of water running through the pipes before the freeze hits.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to keep the pipes under sinks warm.

If the pipes do burst, you will need to get a frozen pipe repair as soon as possible.

At what temperature do pipes burst?

Pipes can burst anytime they freeze. A freeze, of course, means any temperature 32 degrees or below. Ice that forms inside the pipes can cause it to expand and burst or as the ice thaws, and the water warms and begins to flow again, the pipe can burst.

Will pouring hot water down drain unfreeze pipes?

You can actually pour warm water down a frozen pipe to get it unfrozen. This can only be done a short time after the pipes have frozen. After several hours, you risk bursting the pipe. You’ll want to heat the water on the stove to bring it almost to boiling, then slowly pour the water down the drain. Frozen pipe repair will be necessary if the pipe bursts.

Freezing pipe to repair it

While having your pipes freeze is never a good thing, some plumbers actually freeze pipes intentionally to repair them. This repair technique requires a special kit that uses refrigerants like CO2 to freeze pipes. This type of repair is usually performed when there is a lack of shutoff valves to make a normal repair. It’s a repair technique that is best left for professionals.

Is frozen pipe covered by insurance

When it comes to frozen pipe burst repair and insurance you may or may not have coverage from your insurance. The water damage from a burst pipe is normally covered, especially if the pipe burst suddenly. These repairs typically include any repairs to walls caused by the water repairs to carpeting or drywall, and water removal efforts, especially to prevent mold growth. The frozen pipe repair itself or other plumbing damage might not be covered. Certain stipulations, however, might apply. The water damage might not be covered, for instance, if the pipe burst is a result of negligence, such as poor maintenance or preventative measures hadn’t been taken to keep the pipe from bursting. Individual policies will vary, so check with your insurer before filing a claim.

A Man Calls In a Burst Pipe.

Frozen pipe repair near me

If you’ve had frozen pipes burst and need fast, effective frozen pipe repair in Santa Clarita, CA, you can always count on the team at On Call Plumbing. We are experienced plumbing professionals offering a full range of plumbing repair solutions. You can reach us at 661-201-6016 for any service you need.

What is considered a plumbing emergency?

plumbing and water damage in house

Is a clogged toilet a maintenance emergency?

What is deemed an emergency in any scenario can vary from person to person. For some of us, it could be running out of coffee and for others, it could the DVR didn’t record that football game. Then there are those that the entire house would have to be engulfed in flames before they felt they had an emergency. In this piece today, we’re going to discuss when the right time to call an emergency plumber

We will review what is and isn’t a time to get emergency plumbing help and when a plumbing emergency repair is needed and when something can wait until the next business day. Why would you wait until the next business day if you can get an emergency plumber today? Because plumbers charge overtime. Anything after 5pm and before 8am, on a holiday, or a weekend is considered an emergency and the hourly rate is often doubled or tripled, plus parts. 

If you’re the one that just flushed it and your waste isn’t backing up and overflowing to the floor, yeah, that may be a clogged toilet emergency. In the world of plumbing, no, it is not a reason to call an emergency plumber. Unless there is only one toilet in the house, this could change the outlook. 

Your toilet is no doubt an important part of your home, it gets used every day. When the only toilet in the house is clogged, most of the time, it will unclog itself. Toilets haves a natural system where there is internal pressure in the tank that work with gravity, so in most of the time, it will take care of its own clog. Do not keep flushing it hoping for better results!  Give some time and before long, you’ll hear the toilet flush itself own through, clearing the bowl. 

If you were to call an emergency plumber service, they will likely walk you through some things to try, such as plunging the toilet. If you do not have a plunger, it is worthwhile to make that investment (under $5) and have it on hand.

However, there are times that a clogged toilet doesn’t unclog itself or keeps getting clog after clog.  This could indicate more than a clogged toilet issue, something like the sewer line could be clogged, or even broken. Emergency plumbers will advise homeowners to have a routine of pouring a mixture of one cup baking soda with two cups of vinegar in the toilet bowl. 

The mixture will break down blockages so that they can flush on through to the sewer pipe. If you don’t have those items on hand, you can use two cups of dish liquid which may loosen the blockage and allow it to flush on through. 

However, if none of these steps are working, you definitely need the services of a professional plumber, hopefully you can wait until business hours to avoid that additional cost for overtime for an emergency plumber. A professional plumber will be equipment with the proper tools that get to the source of the clog and get your toilet flowing again. This may require replacing damaged or old pipes, or other types of repairs, like the sewer line. 

Is a leak an emergency?

There are particular signs that make it clear you need an emergency plumber. Such a sign would be if the plumbing problem can cause damage to your home or has placed you and your family in danger. A good rule of thumb is if you can contain the problem can in a bucket or temporarily thwart the problem until an emergency plumber arrives, like the next day, then you do not have an emergency plumbing issue. Some plumbing emergency examples would be: 

  • Damaged or leaking water pipes
  • Hot water not adhering to the water heater settings
  • Bathroom or kitchen sink overflowing 
  • Water heater leaking
  • Sewage backing up in drains, showers, toilets, or tub
  • Water pipes frozen 
  • Water pipes shaking or vibrating
tightening a hose or fitting

What is not an emergency?

Because we depend on our plumbing to be at our beck and call, it can be too easy to go into panic mode when something isn’t working right. Yes, it can be inconvenient, but calling for an emergency plumber can be costly.  

Before you dial that number for an emergency plumber call out to help, ask yourself this question: Does the benefit of an emergency plumber service outweigh the potential expense, or can it wait until normal business hours? Here are some examples that is not a true emergency plumber worthy issue:

  • Your Inconvenienced: If you can use a wrench yourself to temporarily fix the issue, then wait until normal business hours to make that emergency plumber request.
  • A Risk of Danger: Does this plumbing issue pose a risk of danger to you, your family, or your home? If you have a gas leak, sewage waste is coming into your home, or there is cause for concern of a fire or poisonous carbon monoxide, by all means call an emergency plumber service.  
  • Future Development: A plumbing problem may not be putting you or your family at risk right this minute, but if it isn’t taken care of soon, how quick can it become a health or safety issue? Or if your plumbing system becomes unusable at all, don’t wait days to call a plumber. 

How long do emergency plumbers take?

There is no set time frame for an emergency plumber service call because of all the potential problems that they may need to address. For instance, an emergency plumbing and drain problem could be addressed inside the house within an hour. 

However, if the problem is under the house or in the sewer line, this could require digging, trenching, and maybe jackhammering the foundation. Those type of repairs can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. 

Hopefully, our article has clarified for you what should constitute making an emergency plumber call and when it is something that can wait. Calling a plumber for an emergency when it isn’t deemed an emergency upon their arrival isn’t the same as calling 911. If you feel it is an emergency, it is your home and your bank account, by all means, make that call. For your plumbing emergency needs, call 661-201-6016 today.