My Drain Company Blog

Do I Really Need Storm Drainage in Glendale?

April 13th, 2015

Storm drainage systems are a basic part of many properties. These additional drains—such as trap drains, gutters, downspouts, and storm sewers—remove standing water from the property and carry it down to the municipal drain that removes it into the sewer system. This keeps flooding and standing water from damaging the property.

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The Dangers of F.O.G. (Fat, Oil, Grease) and Your Kitchen Drains

April 6th, 2015

Drain cleaning is a service that you should have done on a regular basis for your kitchen. Professionals will use a variety of high-end equipment, such as motorized drain snakes and hydro-jetters, to thoroughly cleanse the drains in the kitchen of built-up food particles. This will help keep your kitchen efficient and avoid trouble from slow drains and full clogs in the future.

For professionals drain cleaning in Glendale, CA, call My Drain Company Inc. We offer 24-hour emergency service for times when you have surprise clogs or other urgent plumbing repair needs.

Aside from arranging for routine drain cleaning from experienced plumbers, there are some important steps you can take to see that your drains stay in the best shape possible, for as long as possible. One of these is to avoid pouring F.O.G. down any of your kitchen drains.

Wait… what is F.O.G.?

The initials F.O.G. stand for “fat, oil, and grease.” These products of cooking, food preparation, and clean-up are one of the worst enemies your drains pipes and sewer lines have. Restaurants and other food service companies use special grease traps to prevent these substances from harming the plumbing and the sewer system, but residential kitchens usually aren’t equipped with these appliances, so you will have to take care that you keep F.O.G. out of your drains in the first place.

The reason that fat, oil, and grease are so problematic for a home’s plumbing is that in their hot, liquid form they appear harmless and often get poured down the drain or the garbage disposal without thought. They can infiltrate a long way down into the pipes before they cool down and start to transform from liquids into waxy solids. This is when they begin to create trouble.

Solid F.O.G. will coat the inside of drainpipes, significantly reducing the volume available for waste water. This will make it easier for clogs to up, and much harder to remove them. If F.O.G. gets into the garbage disposal, it will eventually jam up the flywheel and other mechanical components, requiring that the system receive repairs.

The best way to deal with liquid fat, oil, and grease is to pour it out into a separate receptacle that you remove to the regular trash. Clean off excess F.O.G. from plates with a paper towel and put the towel in the trash. If you do start to encounter problems due to fat, oil, and grease in your kitchen drains, call for a professional plumber to use hydro-jetting to cleanse it out.

My Drain Company Inc offers excellent drain cleaning service, and we will take care of any major clogs you may encounter. We have provided high quality kitchen plumbing services with the best equipment for over 15 years.

Common Signs that You Need Plumbing Repair

April 3rd, 2015

Plumbing systems are different from other home utilities in many ways, not least of which in the problems that they can develop. When something goes wrong with your furnace or air conditioner, it’s pretty easy to tell. Either the system starts acting strangely, making odd noises, or stops working altogether. While there are a few problems that can cause similar symptoms in plumbing systems (pipe ruptures, for example) most plumbing issues are much more subtle. This can become problematic at times, as most homeowners won’t be able to identify issues with their plumbing before they cause quite a bit of damage. Let’s take a look at some of the common signs that you need plumbing repair, so that you can react faster and mitigate the damage.

Loss of Water Pressure

If you open the tap and no water comes out, you don’t have a plumbing problem, you have a plumbing emergency. It is very likely that a pipe has burst somewhere in your plumbing system, which means you’ll need to get it addressed right away if you want to save your home from severe water damage. In most cases, however, things are not so dire. A leak in one of your plumbing pipes won’t lead to a complete loss of water flow, but it will decrease the water pressure if it is large enough. So, if you happen to notice that your water pressure is decreasing, you should have your plumbing checked.

Discolored Water

Modern copper plumbing is all but invulnerable to rust, which is why it is used in most new houses. However, in older houses iron pipes are still quite common. Iron can last for many years, but it almost inevitably rusts away in the end. If you’re living in an older house, and you notice brown or red water coming out of your tap, it’s a sign that there is advanced rust somewhere in your plumbing system. If you don’t have the pipe that’s rusting replaced, it could burst.

If you suspect that you may need plumbing repair, call My Drain Company. We provide professional plumbing services in the Chatsworth area.

What to do in Case of a Toilet Clog

March 25th, 2015

Of all the plumbing emergencies that homeowners may have to deal with, bathroom plumbing is probably the worst. Of those, the toilet clog is probably the most frustrating and feared bathroom plumbing issue. If your toilet does develop a clog, don’t panic! It’s actually a very simple thing to control while you wait for a plumber to arrive. You may even be able to solve it yourself. Let’s take a look at what you should do in case of a toilet clog.

Find and Close the Water Shutoff Valve

Every toilet has a water shutoff valve, located at where the toilet’s water line meets the wall. If you toilet is clogged and threatening to overflow, find the shutoff valve and turn it to the right. This should close the valve and prevent water from flowing into the toilet. If for any reason you can’t find the shutoff valve, you can also lift the back off the toilet tank and lift the float ball. This will prevent water from flowing into the tank. You’re going to have to find some way to secure the float so that it doesn’t drop again, but that’s the best solution for preventing the toilet from overflowing without shutting the water shutoff valve.

Plunge the Toilet

Grab a plunger and see if you can unclog the toilet yourself. Often, toilet clogs can be solved by plunging as long as you have a good quality plunger. If the toilet water level is too high, leave it alone for a while and see if it decreases enough for you to plunge it. You could also try skimming some of it off the top with a bucket, if you don’t want to wait. If the toilet is still clogged after repeated plunging, you’re probably going to have to call a plumber. Clear the surrounding area of any water that overflowed, and wait for a professional to arrive.

No matter what kind of plumbing emergency you have, call My Drain Company and we’ll take care of it. We provide comprehensive bathroom plumbing services throughout the Burbank area.

The Benefits of Installing a Grease Trap

March 20th, 2015

Grease and oil are very common in kitchens across the world, and are used in the preparation of thousands of different dishes. While they’re great for serving up all sorts of tasty foodstuffs, disposing of grease and oil tends to get a bit problematic. Though both materials are liquid when being used to cook, once they cool they congeal into a viscous, semi-solid state. This can present a huge problem for your plumbing system. Let’s take a look at how grease and oil can affect your plumbing system, and how grease traps can mitigate those effects.

The Effects of Grease and Oil on Plumbing

The plumbing system in your home, including your kitchen, is really only designed to handle liquid waste running through it. There are a couple of exceptions, like your toilet or the garbage disposal. However, the garbage disposal isn’t really suited to handle grease and oil any better than a regular kitchen drain. The problem is that the garbage disposal is supposed to render solid waste into small enough pieces that they can be washed down to the sewer. When oil and grease are poured down the disposal, however, they are already viscous liquids. This allows them to stick to the blades of the garbage disposal, as well as the walls of the drain pipe. Then, they harden into a type of muck that can gum up the disposal and clog the drains. This is why you should install a grease trap.

The Grease Trap and Its Benefits

A grease trap is a device that is designed to collect grease, oil, and any other materials that may cause problems if allowed to enter the sewage disposal system. They come in a variety of sizes, from individual kitchen models to one’s large enough to serve entire restaurants. For your own home, it’s best to consult a professional to determine the right size for your needs. As oil and grease are washed down the drain, they are collected in the grease trap instead of solidifying on the walls of the pipes. Once the grease trap fills up to a certain capacity, it must be removed and cleaned.

If you don’t have a grease trap installed in your kitchen yet, call My Drain Company. We install grease traps and offer other quality plumbing services in the Glendale area.

Signs that You Need Drain Cleaning

March 11th, 2015

Everyone knows that when your drain isn’t, well, draining, that you should call a plumber. Is that the only time that you should call for professional drain cleaning, though? In fact, there are a number of warning indicators that you should have your drains cleaned. Not all of them constitute a plumbing emergency. However, if you ignore these signs you may find yourself with a much bigger plumbing problem on your hands in short order. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you need drain cleaning.

Slow Draining

Most people first notice a problem with their drains when they become completely clogged. If you pay close attention, however, you can actually identify a problem with your drain long before it gets to that point. Drain clogs form from the outside in, as the material sticks to the inside of the pipe and begins to build toward the center. This gradually restricts the flow of water through the pipe, until it finally clogs up completely. So, if you notice that your drain seems to be draining more and more slowly, you should call for a plumber to inspect it as soon as possible.

Bad Smells

Your plumbing system is designed to vent sewer gases away from your drains and out of your house. Without this ventilation system, you’d have a perpetual miasma of stink wafting out of every appliance in your house connected to the sewer system. If this system becomes blocked or otherwise compromised, it can allow sewer gases to drift up through your drains. If you only notice bad smells coming out of one of your drains, then there’s a good chance that you need that drain cleaned or repaired. If the smell is coming from every drain in your house, the problem is rooted deeper in the plumbing system. Either way, you’re going to need to call a professional plumber.

These are just a few of the signs that you need drain cleaning. If you suspect that your drains might need cleaning for any reason, call My Drain Company. We provide quality drain cleaning services throughout Chatsworth.

Why Pinhole Leaks are a Serious Threat to Your Plumbing

March 4th, 2015

Decades ago, plumbers installed galvanized steel pipes throughout a plumbing system, as these were considered to be the strongest, longest-lasting material available for the job. Steel pipes corrode easily, as steel is an iron alloy and iron rusts when it is exposed to water and oxygen. Galvanizing the pipes involves coating them with a layer of zinc that helps to protect them from rust and corrosion. However, plumbers soon found out that that layer of zinc does not always last long, or that corrosion can start from the outside in.

Today, copper pipes are the norm, as these are far less likely to corrode. However, you may still run into trouble if your pipes develop pinhole leaks. Pinhole leaks are rare, but they can occur in any plumbing system without warning. Call My Drain Company today for kitchen and bathroom plumbing services in Tarzana, CA.

What Are Pinhole Leaks?

Pinhole leaks are a serious threat to both kitchen and bathroom plumbing systems. These are tiny leaks that develop from the inside out, causing water to drip out very slowly which often remains undetected for long periods of time. Unfortunately, experts are still unsure as to how pinhole leaks develop. Sometimes, an entire neighborhood is affected by this type of corrosion, and experts study the water chemistry to attempt to form an idea of how they occur so that preventive action can be taken. Unfortunately, no links have been found for certain as of yet.

Pinhole leaks can affect your plumbing and damage your home. These leaks are so minor, you may not notice them until water begins to seep through the walls. By this point, you have a major mess on your hands, as water may have already ruined structural beams and flooring, and several pipes may require replacement by this point.

If you want to make sure that the pipes in your home are in good shape, call the experts at My Drain Company. You should call us if you notice a drop in your water pressure, dark spots on the walls and ceilings, or if you simply want to make sure your kitchen and bathroom plumbing in Tarzana, CA is protected with a professional maintenance visit. Get in touch today!

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Leaky Faucet

February 25th, 2015

Everyone has to deal with the odd leaky faucet every now and again. It seems like such a trivial thing, though, that it’s almost a waste to call a plumber just to fix it. You may be tempted to simply tune out the dripping sound, let it keep going, and get on with your life. This is not a good idea. Leaky faucets waste a huge amount of water, and can eventually develop into bigger problems. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest reasons why you shouldn’t ignore a leaky faucet.

Leaks Waste Quite a Bit of Water

Even though a leaky faucet often leaks no more than a drop of water every few seconds, those drops really start to add up over the course of a year. The EPA has estimated that the average household’s total leaks can add up to over 10,000 gallons of water a year. Most of the leaks in a home are no larger than that of a leaky faucet, so it’s actually incredibly easy to waste a lot of water this way. Nationwide, those kinds of small leaks can waste 1 trillion gallons of water. Not only is this absurdly wasteful, it’s easily corrected by calling a plumber. Saving all of that water can have a measurable effect on your water bill, resulting in a decent bit of savings.

Leaks Can Get Worse Over Time

Leaks are usually either caused by corrosion in a pipe or a failed seal. A leaky faucet is a sign that a part somewhere in the system has begun to fail. The longer you go without fixing that part, the worse it’s going to get. As a leak progresses, you both waste more water and leave your plumbing open to more damage. A constant leak can cause corrosion in other parts of the system, as well as promoting mold growth in areas like the garbage disposal.

Ultimately, it’s just not worth leaving a leaky faucet alone. If you have a leaky faucet that needs fixing, schedule an appointment with My Drain Company. We provide quality kitchen plumbing services throughout the Burbank, CA area.

How Your Water Main Might Become Damaged

February 16th, 2015

We tend to take our potable water for granted, but the whole reason we have potable water in our homes is in large part thanks to the water main line. Water main lines are typically fairly long and consist of pretty heavy-duty piping, but they are not impervious to damage. Any damage your water line sustains is a serious situation as it can affect your home’s entire water supply. So what are some of the ways your water main can become damaged? Here are some scenarios:

  • Shifts in the ground – the ground can shift in subtle ways over the years, causing cracks and ruptures to develop in your main water line.
  • Age of the pipe’s metal – water main lines are made to last a long time, but the type of metal the pipe is made from can have a direct impact on its lifespan. Metals like copper have an average lifespan of 40-70 years while iron can last well over 100 years. If the water line is relatively new, you probably won’t have to worry about aging, but if it was installed 50 years ago, you may need to have it looked at by a professional.
  • Tree roots – tree roots are one of the main culprits of many water line problems, and you may be surprised at how much damage they can cause. Tree roots are very strong – so strong that they can wrap around the metal and break it over a period of time. The only way to rid your water of tree roots is to fully eradicate them, so it is necessary to have an expert take care of this kind of problem.
  • Corrosion – water lines are typically treated so that they don’t corrode, but this is not a guarantee that rust won’t develop. The main problem with rust is that once it takes hold, it’s hard to get rid of, and you won’t see the corrosion because the water line is buried in your yard.

If you are seeing the signs of water main problems, such as low water pressure, puddling in your yard or strange odors coming from your water, call the plumbing experts at My Drain Company and schedule a plumbing service in Encino today.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.


The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.


The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.


Here’s wishing you and your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day!