My Drain Company Blog : Archive for February, 2014

Why You Should Get an Estimate Before Plumbing Installation Begins

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Plumbing installation is a big job, and requires a lot of planning and foresight on the part of the homeowner. A proper installation can enhance your home for years or even decades to come, while a poor installation means leaks, burst pipes or worse coming far sooner than you would like.  Here in Glendale, plumbing installation also needs to account for earthquakes and shifts in the ground. These are only a few of the reasons why you should get an estimate before plumbing installation begins.

The most important ones involve money. A proper estimate will itemize all of the expenses and explain them to you before you sign anything. That way, there’s no surprises along the way and if additional, unexpected work required, the service can’t simply tack it onto your bill without your knowledge. And just as an estimate protects you, so too does it protect the installing technician by ensuring that all work is okayed beforehand.

Beyond that, however, it also buys you peace of mind. With an estimate, you can see how the project is going to come together and understand all of the pieces involved. If something seems out of place, you can speak to the plumber about it, but otherwise, you’re left relying on whoever you’ve hired to do the job properly. An estimate acts as a piece of insurance against that, allowing you to relax while the plumber sets about his task.

Good plumbing services know why you should get an estimate before plumbing installation begins, and work with the homeowner to provide that. Plumbing installation services of all sorts are provided by the expert Glendale, CA plumbers at My Drain Company. We’re fully insured, our plumbers are all trained and licensed, and you can request an estimate from us anytime on our website. Beyond that, our staff works with only your complete satisfaction in mind, and we will go the extra mile to make sure you leave the experience happy. Give us a call today to set up and appointment and discuss your options. You’ll be glad you did!

How Does a Drain Snake Clear the Clogs?

Monday, February 17th, 2014

You may have seen drain snakes for sale in the local hardware store for use in unsticking clogged pipes, and you might own a dilettante’s model yourself for those times when your plumbing backs up. You might also have seen mechanized models used by plumbers and/or drain snakes with fitted heads for use in clearing up very specific drain issues. Generally speaking, you should leave the use of drain snakes to the professionals; for homeowners, our in Glendale plumbing repair experts are on call to do the job right. But how does a drain snake clear the clogs exactly? The answers can help explain why it’s best to use a professional in all but the mildest drain clogs.

Clogs can be created by any number of materials, from soap and hair to vegetable peelings and cooking grease to scale build-up in the pipes themselves. Snakes serve two basic functions in dealing with them: breaking them up so they can be washed safely down the drain and pulling them out so that they are out of the plumbing system entirely. In both cases, a snake requires the force to wedge itself safely into the clog and a properly shaped head to both hold the clog and remove it (or break it up) properly. The plumber sends the snake down the pie until it reaches the clog and then either pulls it loose by slowly retracting the snake or twisting and turning the snake in an effort to break the cog into smaller chunks which can then be washed safely down the pipe.

In the case of professional plumbers, that’s fairly easy. They can use motor-driven snakes to apply the proper force and fitted heats tailored to the precise nature of the clog to make sure the process doesn’t damage the pipe along the way. In Glendale, plumbing repair services like My Drain Company can clear the clogs with a drain snake specially fitted to do the job. Don’t trust a one-size-fits all snake bought over the counter. Give us a call today and leave it to the professionals to do the job right!

The Original Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

Friday, February 14th, 2014

It’s hard to imagine Valentine’s Day without the traditional greeting cards, whether accompanying a gift of flowers and candy, or sent between children in a school room. For commercial greeting card companies, February 14th is as important to them as the December holidays, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love predates printed greeting cards by a few centuries. In fact, the reason that sending romantic greeting cards became popular was because of the most un-romantic thing you can imagine: a reduction in postage rates.

In 1765, Parliament authorized the creation of “Penny Posts” that used a uniform rate of one old penny per letter throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Printers took advantage of the ease with which people could send letters to each other on Valentine’s Day by crafting cards with love poems on them. Many of these verses were collected in 1797 in the book The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which was a resource for the lover with a romantic soul but not the most confident poetry style.

By the mid-19th-century, the Valentine’s Day greeting card was flourishing across England. Although people still followed a tradition of creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards from lace, ribbons, and flowers, commercially produced cards now overtook them. In 1835, the English post office mailed 60,000 valentines. As production expenses dropped, the English card manufacturers branched out creatively with humorous and sometimes vulgar cards… many of which we would find startlingly familiar in the 21st century. One of the common jokes on these cards was to design them to look like marriage certificates or court summons.

Across the Atlantic, the United States was slower to embrace the popular British custom. It wasn’t until 1847 that a U.S. printer mass-produced greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. Only two years later, American journalists noted how rapidly people in the country had embraced the tradition, turning into a fad that has never died down. The woman who printed the first U.S. Valentine’s Day card, Esther Howland, is today recognized by the Greeting Card Association with the annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.”

The greeting card industry certainly has reason to thank Ms. Howland. Her idea of going into business printing romantic greeting cards, which came to her after she received a traditional English valentine when she was 19 years old, now sells 190 million cards in the U.S. every year. That number doesn’t include the smaller exchange cards used in elementary school classrooms, which would swell the number to 1 billion. (Who receives the most Valentine’s Day cards each year? Teachers!)

Whether you send out Valentine’s Day cards—handmade, store-bought, digital—or not, we at My Drain Company hope you have a happy February 14th.

Reasons to Get a Sump Pump in Glendale

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

A sump pump is placed in your basement and acts to keep your home safe and dry in the event of flooding. As water seeps into our basement, it gathers in the pit holding the sump pump, and the pump can then move it safely out of your home via a drain pipe. It’s very useful in places prone to flooding, and here in Glendale, plumbing services can install one quite easily.  But that doesn’t cover why you might need a sump pump here in traditionally dry Southern California. Believe or not, you do. Here are some reasons to get a sump pump in Glendale.

The biggest reason entails the suddenness and ferocity of our rainstorms and the way they can result in flooding. Our sewer system can’t always respond to a sudden deluge of rain, and when our local hillsides have lost vegetation due to wild fires, a little rain can turn into an ugly mudslide very quickly. Homeowners in Glendale can often be caught flat-footed by such development, precisely because they’re a winter phenomenon and we don’t need to worry about them for the rest of the year. When those moments come, however, a reliable sump pump is worth its weight in gold.

Then there’s the threat of burst pipes and similar damage, which again isn’t normally a concern here in So Cal since we don’t get a lot of freezing temperatures. We do, however, see our share of earthquakes, and even a mild one can rupture your plumbing with little or no warning. When that happens, you can use the sump pump to quickly remove the flooding water before it can cause much damage. It beats bailing your basement out with a bucket by a long shot.

Other reasons to get a sump pump in Glendale include improving the resale value of your home and helping with potential costs of homeowner’s insurance. If you live in Glendale, plumbing services like My Drain Company can install a sump pump safely and with a minimum of fuss. If you’re interested in a sump pump in your home, pick up the phone and give us a call today.