My Drain Company Blog

The Steps Involved in Plumbing Installation

February 5th, 2015

There are plenty of guidebooks and online forums which claim to offer universal advice for the average homeowner to install any particular plumbing fixture, appliance, or even pipes. But it should be noted that every home plumbing system is different, and you may face unique challenges while attempting to install a system on your own that could lead to some costly repairs. At My Drain Company, we recommend choosing experts for any major or minor plumbing installation in Chatsworth. The steps of installation can be tricky, and we’ve detailed some of the challenges in this guide.

  • Choosing a new pipe or fixture – First, your technician must work with you to select the plumbing installation you want or need in your home. However, the part must be compatible with your existing plumbing system or else some remodeling will be necessary.
  • Shutting off the water – Your technician knows all of the many configurations and locations for shutoff valves in a home. It’s imperative to cut off the water supply before beginning work or to turn off the water only at a point of entry, as there are occasionally built-in shutoff valves at the location of fixtures and appliances. Be aware that homeowners may accidentally mistake other valves like saddle tee fittings for a shutoff valve instead.
  • Checking local codes – A plumber must make sure that the planned installation complies with all local codes. In some instances, you’re required to submit your plan in writing to your municipality for approval before work can begin.
  • Removing the previous fixture – Now this is a job that’s going to require quite a bit of heavy lifting and some serious tools. Prying up a toilet, for example, is never easy, and requires special tools and materials to remove large bolts and wax seals.
  • Sealing the fixture – Cutting pipes apart and sealing them into place involves purchasing and utilizing a reciprocating saw and a soldering torch. A professional also needs base knowledge of and access to professional-grade sealants to prevent leaks.
  • Inspection – Finally, a technician is best suited to inspect the fixture for leaks and ensure that the fixture, pipe, or appliance continues to work as needed and that leaks are not expected in the near future.

Call My Drain Company and let our experts take care of your new sump pump, garbage disposal, toilet, sink, piping, or nearly any other plumbing installation in Chatsworth.

Why Do I Need Clean My Drains Regularly?

January 30th, 2015

Clogged drains are a frequent and frustrating problem for homeowners everywhere. They can be caused by a wide variety of factors, depending on the location of the drain. Regardless of the type of clog, however, none of them are good for your plumbing or your peace of mind. A lot of people hold off on hiring a plumber until the drain really starts to back up. While you probably don’t need to hire a plumber every few weeks, you should be cleaning out your drains yourself on a fairly regular basis. Let’s take a look at why you need to clean your drains regularly.

An Ounce of Prevention…

Cleaning your drains to prevent clogs is all about preserving the health of your plumbing, which also saves you money. A clog can cause a great deal of damage, depending on how bad it is. If a clog crops up that you can’t handle, which will happen if you don’t clean your drains regularly, you’ll need to hire a plumber to deal with it. The plumber will often be able to unclog the pipe using special equipment. However, the problem can sometimes necessitate replacing an entire section of pipe, which is a cost you don’t want to accrue.

Cleaning your drains on a regular basis also drastically lessens the frequency of major clogs occurring, saving you a call to the plumber and increasing the lifespan of your drains.


So, how to you actually clear out your drains without the specialized knowledge and tools that a plumber possesses? Well, there are a couple of different ways to do it. The most popular way is to pour about half a gallon of hot or boiling water down your drains. This flushes out any detritus that might be building up on the walls of your pipes. Baking soda and vinegar are also quite popular solutions, and are excellent at removing grease and oils from the drains.

If you do have a clog that you can’t seem to get rid of, call My Drain Company and schedule an appointment with us today. We provide professional drain cleaning services in the Glendale area.

Signs Your Plumbing System Is Worn Beyond Repair

January 23rd, 2015

Plumbing materials are made to be durable, but they don’t last forever. Depending on the age of your home and when your plumbing was installed, you may have plumbing in your Chatsworth home with a lot of miles on it. The good news is that new plumbing repair can help bring your plumbing fully up to date, making it more efficient and giving it a new lease on time. Not sure if you are seeing the signs of worn-out plumbing? Here are a few to be aware of:

  • Problems with multiple leaks – have you had to repair multiple leaks in various areas of your home’s plumbing? This can be an indication that your plumbing is wearing out in different areas and may be best replaced instead of constantly being repaired.
  • Signs of corrosion – are you seeing brown or yellow water coming through your faucets, particularly after being away for a few days? This can indicate that there is rust on the inside of your plumbing, which means there is corrosion present.
  • Flakes, dimples and other corrosion on pipes and/or tubing – any kind of significant corrosion on the outside of your piping indicates the presence of corrosion; let a trained professional tell you how much corrosion there is and whether or not repair or replacement is better.
  • Age – as mentioned above, the age of your plumbing can play a significant role in whether or not you need to replace failing plumbing.
  • Constant clogging – as with multiple leaks, if you are experiencing constant clogging from multiple drains, you may want to compare the cost of repair calls versus replacement.
  • Poor water pressure – if the various faucets in your home are all exhibiting signs of poor water pressure, this can indicate that your pipes are no longer up to the task of supplying you with needed water.

It is better to stay ahead of worn out plumbing than wait for a significant leak or other major plumbing problem to develop before making the decision to replace worn piping. If you are in need of professional plumbing repair in Chatsworth, call My Drain Company today and schedule an appointment with one of our plumbing experts.

How Do Professional Plumbers Detect Leaks?

January 14th, 2015

Leaks are very often out of sight, making them difficult to locate until they create such a mess that you can’t miss them. No one wants to wait until serious water damage has occurred before finding out about an existing leak, so how do you go about finding one? Hire a professional plumber to perform leak detection and repair for your Glendale property.

Signs of a Leak

First, let’s take a look at signs that can indicate you’ve got a leak somewhere in your home:

  • Your water bill is unexpectedly high – has your water bill risen significantly but your water usage hasn’t? Water leaks are notorious water-wasters, so if your bill is suddenly sky-high, it is likely a leak has developed somewhere in your plumbing.
  • Sound of constant running water – are you hearing the sound of running water when there are no open faucets? Running or dripping coming from unknown parts mean water is escaping from somewhere, somehow.
  • Decrease in water pressure – your plumbing system needs to maintain a level of pressure inside it to help push the water to where it needs to go. A noticeable drop in water pressure means the air inside the system is no longer balance, and it is likely from a leak that is allowing the air to escape.

Finding Leaks

As mentioned above, many leaks are not readily visible to the eye. This is why professionals use different tools to help them locate leaky plumbing:

  • Audio equipment – professional plumbers have specialized listening equipment that allows them to hear the smallest drip through drywall, plaster, cabinets and even concrete. This equipment allows the plumber to pinpoint the exact location of a leak and commence repair.
  • Infrared detection – infrared technology can detect areas of moisture by temperature. Typically a leak will be cooler than the air that surrounds it, so infrared can be a fast, efficient way to find the source of a leak.
  • Video – using a camera placed on a fiber optic cable, professional plumbers can look deep into any plumbing system. The camera sends back real-time video of the inside of the piping, and many cameras are equipped with dye injectors that can help pinpoint any other additional leak problems.

As you can see, accurate leak detection entails training and using professional equipment that most homeowners simply won’t have. If you suspect you have a plumbing leak, call My Drain Company today and schedule an appointment for professional plumbing repair in Glendale.

Signs You Have a Slab Leak

January 9th, 2015

Many homes are built on what is known as a slab – a concrete block that serves as the foundation for the whole house. It isn’t unusual for certain piping, including your main water line, to be embedded in this cement for protection. However, cracks can develop with the piping, usually due to poor installation or damage, and these cracks can create a leak inside your slab – aka, a slab leak. It isn’t all that easy to spot a leak inside a block of cement, so to help you, the experts at My Drain Company have put together a small list of signs that can indicate you have a slab leak.

Constant Sound of Running Water

Unless you have a stream on your property, you don’t want to hear the sound of constantly running water while you are in your home. This does not include the sounds of water running from a tap or faucet; instead, this would be a trickling sound coming from an unknown location. If you are hearing this sound, and can’t locate its origin, call an expert for help.

Significant Drop in Water Pressure

If you have noticed a uniform drop in water pressure throughout your home, and have no other plumbing issues of which you are aware, there is a chance it could be a slab leak.

Significant Increase in Water Bill

Seeing a large increase in your water bill when you haven’t changed your level of water usage is usually indicative of a leak somewhere; let an expert determine where the leak is so a plan can be made for repair.

Foundation Shifts

If the leak has been there long enough, or is big enough, it can cause shifting in your foundation. This is because the soil beneath the slab is wet and unstable and as a result of the weight from your home, is causing the concrete to shift and even crack. This is a serious problem and should be handled immediately.

Slab leaks are serious business; allowing one to continue can cause tremendous water waste and even damage to your home’s foundation. If you are seeing the signs of a slab leak, call My Drain Company today and schedule an appointment for slab leak repair in Glendale.

When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

January 1st, 2015

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at My Drain Company you have a wonderful 2015!

Why Do We Hang Up Mistletoe?

December 24th, 2014

Of course, you probably know part of the answer to this question already. You hang up mistletoe so that the people standing underneath can share a romantic holiday kiss! But what you may not realize is that the origin of this longstanding ritual predates many of the other holiday traditions we celebrate today. Why would a plant that has many poisonous varieties (most types sold for use in the home have few negative effects, but you can wrap it in netting to prevent children from consuming any fallen berries or leaves) be used as a symbol of holiday affection?

There are a couple of ways to explain the positive associations of (potentially hazardous) mistletoe. For one, this semi-parasitic plant has long been hailed as a treatment for illnesses and pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to cure cramps, epilepsy, and more. Even today, mistletoe extracts are one of the leading alternative medicines studied for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. And because the early Celtic Druids saw it as a sign of healing and life, they may be the first to bestow upon the plant its romantic associations, deeming it worthy of treating the infertile.

But it is Norse mythology that is likely responsible for a majority of the modern traditions associated with this small hanging bunch. One of the powerful Norse god Odin’s sons, named Baldur, was said to be invincible due to an oath his mother took to protect him from harm. But Loki, a god who often set out to make trouble for the gods, set out to find the one thing that could do some damage, and eventually discovered that Baldur’s mother Frigg had never included mistletoe in her invincibility oath. When mistletoe was finally responsible for her son’s demise, the grieving Frigg vowed that the plant would never again be used to hurt another living thing, and that she would plant a peaceful kiss upon anyone who walked underneath it.

And that is one of the reasons that, today, kissing under the mistletoe is viewed as a source of good luck. From our family to yours, we wish you a safe holiday season, and we hope that you and your family are full of joy and good fortune—mistletoe or not! Happy holidays from My Drain Company!

Don’t Make These 3 Simple Mistakes with Your Garbage Disposal

December 19th, 2014

The garbage disposal is a wonderful invention, and has succeeded in making the lives of homeowners quite a bit easier over the past decades. Despite its tough reputation, however, a garbage disposal does have its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. If you want your garbage disposal to live a long, productive life, don’t make these 3 simple mistakes.

Putting Bones in the Disposal

This should be a no-brainer, and yet we still run into people every year who insist on putting small bones in the garbage disposal. The misperception is that the garbage disposal is strong enough to handle bones as long as they are small and relatively thin. This is false. Bones splinter and crack when they come into contact with the garbage disposal blades, but they won’t be ground up finely enough to be washed away without a problem. Instead, they are more likely to break your disposal by jamming it.

Oils and Grease

It’s always a pain to get rid of oils and grease. When dinner is over and you’re trying to get the dishes done in a timely manner, it is very easy to just pour it all down the disposal. If you want to preserve your garbage disposal’s health, however, you’ll abstain from doing this. When oils and grease get into the garbage disposal, they harden and clog the drain. This causes the disposal to fill up with waste that can’t drain properly, causing your kitchen area to smell as well as needing a plumber to clear it out.

Vegetables and Fruits

Now, this last one really depends on the kinds of fruits and vegetables you’re putting down the disposal. The two kinds you’ll want to avoid are hard ones and fibrous ones. Putting something like a potato down the disposal can cause it to overheat, as it will require more work than the disposal is designed to do. Fibrous fruits and vegetables like celery can tangle the blades, causing the disposal to jam.

If you’re having issues with your garbage disposal, call My Drain Company. We provide garbage disposal services throughout Glendale.

Steps You Can Take at Home to Prevent Drain Clogs

December 12th, 2014

Drain clogs are never a fun thing. They make your water appliances unusable, send up gross backflow, and it’s just a pain to get rid of them. So, how do you stop them from happening? That depends on the drain, but in general the idea is pretty simple: don’t put things down the drain that can get stuck down there. Let’s take a look at some specific locations, and the things you can do to stop them from getting clogged.

Shower/Bathtub Drains

These drains get clogged less than other areas of the house, but it still happens often enough to warrant some precautions. The number one cause of shower and bathtub drain clogs is hair. One or two strands here or there is no big deal, but over time hair can catch in the drain and accumulate until it becomes a problem.

The first thing you want to do is check your drain periodically. Hair that makes it past the cover over most shower and bathtub drains often collects on the crossbars below. It may be gross, but you can just pull out most of the hair with your fingers if you spot it on the drain itself.

You can also try pouring boiling water down the drain every couple of months or so. This loosens anything that might otherwise be building up inside the drain. Run some warm water for a few minutes afterwards just to make sure that everything is cleaned out.

Sink Drains

Clogged sink drains are usually caused by a clogged garbage disposal. With all the junk that most of us put down there on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that it gets clogged sometimes. The best way to avoid a clogged sink drain is to be careful what you put down the garbage disposal. Never put grease of any kind down the disposal, as it can solidify and gum up the drain. Bones and other hard objects are a bad idea as well. As long as you’re careful, it should be fairly easy to avoid a clogged sink drain.

If you have clogged drains, call My Drain Company. We provide plumbing services throughout Glendale.

When Should I Call a Plumber for Leak Detection Services?

December 5th, 2014

Leaks can be difficult to find, which is why it’s important to call an expert if you suspect you have a plumbing leak. Not sure whether or not it’s time to call for help with leak detection?

Here are some examples that may help:

  • Decrease in water pressure – the water in your plumbing flows easily due to a level of pressure in the system. Should a leak develop, the water pressure is decreased and can cause a noticeable reduction in flow.
  • Sound of running water – if are hearing the sound of running water and you are not operating a dishwasher, washing machine or haven’t recently used your bathroom, it is likely that you’ve developed a leak. Water left to run can cause serious water damage, so if you hear running water for no reason, call for assistance.
  • Soggy ground – are there areas of ground around your home that are always soggy and wet, even in dry weather? This can indicate that an underground pipe is leaking and the water is seeping into the surrounding dirt. It’s important to have this repaired as this kind of leaking can affect your home’s foundation if the leak is close enough.
  • High water bills – if you have noticed that your water bill has increased significantly, yet your water usage hasn’t changed, it is likely a leak has developed somewhere in your plumbing.
  • Wet spots in strange places – are you seeing wet spots in places like ceilings or on flooring that haven’t been caused by a spill? This can be an indication that a leak has developed and is seeping into your home’s building materials. Water damage and mold growth can be a result of these kinds of leaks, so it’s important to call for a plumber as soon as you detect an unusual wet spot.
  • Increase in mold growth – mold needs moisture to grow, so if you are noticing an overwhelming smell of mold in a particular area of your home, it’s worth having the area inspected for an existing leak.

The trained experts at My Drain Company can handle any kind of plumbing repair in Glendale, so if you have a leak, call us today!