My Drain Company Blog

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at My Drain Company, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

Reasons for a Leaking Toilet

November 21st, 2014

Leaking toilets can be more than irritating; they can result in serious water damage if left to leak for long periods of time. There are multiple reasons that can cause a leak to develop with your toilet, but no matter the cause, it’s important to take care of any toilet leak right away. For over 15 years, My Drain Company has offered comprehensive plumbing services in Glendale, and our expert plumbers can help with any kind of issue you may have. If your toilet has been leaking, give us a call today!

Why a Toilet Can Develop Leaks

Here are some common ways a toilet can develop a leak:

  • Problems with the overflow tube – the overflow tube in your toilet relocates the water in the tank should it start to overflow. However, if the overflow tube is obstructed or malfunctioning in any way, the water may not relocate as needed and instead overflow the tank.
  • Worn bolts/Issue with tank-bowl gasket – two large bolts and a three-inch gasket help keep the tank of your toilet attached to the bowl. Bolts can become worn or loose, creating a gap between the bowl and tank through which water can leak. Additionally, any problems with the gasket can also create a leak.
  • Cracked tank – any crack in the water tank of your toilet will cause water to leak. If left unattended for a long period of time, this kind of leaks can cause serious water damage. A cracked tank requires replacement of the tank.
  • Crack bowl – a cracked toilet bowl needs to be replaced immediately.
  • Corrosion – corrosion typically develops from water impurities and chemical reactions. Corrosion can occur on your toilet components or in the piping that supports your toilet. The main problem with corrosion is that it may not be seen right away, so if you are seeing any signs of corrosion, call for a plumber to review it.
  • Problems with the fill valve – fill valves refill your toilet tank and bowl after a flush. Fill valves can wear out or malfunction, causing issues with the water level.

A leaking toilet can result in serious water damage and gallons of wasted water that can increase your water bill. Repairing a leaky toilet as soon as possible can help prevent the development of these problems. Are you seeing the signs of a leaky toilet? Contact My Drain Company today and schedule an appointment with one of our certified plumbing experts.


Reasons for Low Water Pressure in Your Bathroom

November 14th, 2014

When you take a shower, you expect a certain amount of water pressure to make showering easier and more comfortable. A slow stream of water or a low trickle is off-putting and unpleasant, and simply will not do the trick in your bathroom. Your water supply is kept pressurized so that it can easily flow from the sink faucet or the showerhead. So when you notice low pressure, not only is it an inconvenience, but it also most likely indicates a serious problem.

Low water pressure is not an issue you can continue to ignore. It likely indicates a serious issue with your plumbing, and it may even result in damage to the structure of your home. Always rely on trained plumbers for any type of plumbing problem, like the professionals at My Drain Company in Glendale. These are just a few of the reasons your water pressure may dwindle.

  • Leaky Pipe: If the low pressure is localized in your bathroom, it could have to do with a leaky pipe in the walls behind the shower. If you let this go on for too long, water will begin to drip onto the walls and support beams. Mold can start to form, which poses a health risk for your family, and the damage can ruin the structure of your home, resulting in costly renovations.
  • Tree Root Infiltration: If the problem is in multiple areas of the home, your reduced water pressure may be caused by blockage in the water line. Tree roots grow naturally toward sources of water, and the water line underneath your property may be the perfect target. Tree roots can wrap around the pipe and force their way through at a weak spot in the pipes, causing blockage that won’t allow enough water to reach your home.
  • Scale Buildup: Scale is a problem that occurs when an excess of minerals collects inside of a pipe. If this occurs in your bathroom, a plumber will have to descale the pipes and may recommend further solutions to prevent the problem from occurring again.

Call My Drain Company at the first sign of plumbing problems to speak with friendly professional plumbers in Glendale today!

Two Different Types of Sump Pumps

November 7th, 2014

Are you prepared for a potential flood in your home? Here in Southern California, many homeowners don’t take the time to think about the effect of flooding on their home. In other areas of the country where storms and high water tables are common, people take the right steps to prevent flooding from damaging their property, ruining their belongings, and allowing the growth of mold and mildew. In our part of the country, we tend to neglect this possibility, which could easily prove to be a preventable mistake.

Even in our part of the country, flooding is a very real possibility. You read about it in the newspapers and hear about it from friends and neighbors: flooding does occur when a home is poorly suited to handle harsh whether and when pipes burst. And even a small amount of water can be a big issue. Water damages irreplaceable relics and eats away at the foundation of a home. A pool of water can be a breeding ground for bacteria or produce mold spores which your family members then breathe in, spurring illness and aggravating respiratory problems.

You can protect your home with a plumbing installation known as a sump pump. Sump pumps drain water outside before it becomes a problem in your home. We’ll go over the two types of sump pumps here: pedestal pumps and submersible pumps. Call My Drain Company to find quality plumber in Glendale for all of your plumbing installation needs.

Submersible and Pedestal Pumps: Similar Operation but Different Configuration

Both a pedestal pump and a submersible pump rely on the same principles to operate. First, a technician digs a pit, or “sump,” in the ground at the lowest point in your home. This may be in your basement, or at the lowest point of a crawlspace. In any case, a sump pump is placed in the sump and contains a motor. When water fills up the pit, the motor turns on and impels water out through a drain pipe that leads outside.

The only real visual and operational difference is the configuration of the pump. A submersible pump has a waterproof encasement so that it can be submerged inside of the basin. A pedestal pump is perched on a pedestal above the pit instead. In general, you’ll probably purchase whichever type of pump is best for the size of the pit; a smaller pit may only fit a pedestal pump. However, there are a couple of other considerations. A submersible pump may be safer around children and pets, while a pedestal pump is less likely to need repairs.

Do you want to protect your home from damage, increase the property value, and have peace of mind with a new submersible or pedestal sump pump? Call My Drain Company to speak with skilled plumbers in Glendale today!

How to Prevent Kitchen Plumbing Repair

October 24th, 2014

If you’ve ever had to call a contractor for unexpected repairs, you know that it can be a hassle. You need to take time out of your busy day to wait for a technician to be available. And if a plumbing problem poses a threat to your home in the late hours of the night, you may feel like there is no one you can call.

Luckily, there are plumbing companies that offer 24-hour emergency service, like the plumbers at My Drain Company. But before major leaks and clogs leave you rushing to call a plumber, try these 3 simple tips that can help prevent problems from occurring with your kitchen plumbing.

Don’t Put Extra Strain on Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals can process a lot of foods, breaking them down into smaller pieces so that they may move down the drain pipes easily. However, there are several foods your garbage disposal simply cannot handle. Of course, non-food items such as cigarette butts and plastic wrappers are simply off limits. These will not break up and may get caught in the drain pipe, leading to backup in your home. However, there are some foods to avoid as well. Harder foods like meat bones and corn cobs will not break down, while fibrous food like celery can wrap around the blades until the motor becomes stuck, leading to garbage disposal repair or replacement.

Avoid F.O.G.

F.O.G. stands for fats, oils, and grease, and these can be a real hazard to your drain pipes. Fat, oil, and grease seem fairly harmless, until your pipes become clogged and require professional drain cleaning services. That’s because melted fat and oil become solid as they cool down. When it moves down the drain, it can solidify in the pipes. Always run cool water when you use your garbage disposal so that it can break up any lingering F.O.G. and be sure to dump these substances in a separate trash container.

Schedule Annual Plumbing Maintenance

Finally, scheduling annual plumbing maintenance can help prevent problems from occurring. Plumbers will check the pipes and fixtures in every room of your home for leaks and clogs. You can also schedule professional drain cleaning with your visit, which means you may not notice any drain clogs for a very long time.

If you’re looking for skilled plumbers in Glendale, look no further than My Drain Company, with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Call us today!

What Not to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

October 17th, 2014

Without a working garbage disposal, cooking and cleanup would become far more difficult. Trash would accumulate quickly, and cleaning dishes would become quite the chore. The garbage disposal is a sturdy modern convenience you rely on nearly every day but it is certainly not indestructible. Like any mechanical fixture, a garbage disposal requires maintenance in order to continue working as it should. And one of the most important parts of garbage disposal maintenance involves knowing what can and cannot go into the drain.

Garbage disposals do not have sharp “blades” as you may expect. Garbage disposals break up food into smaller pieces, since large portions of food may become stuck in the drain and lead to backup in your sink. Take care of your unit and avoid frequent calls to plumbers as well as problems with your drainage system by disposing of the following items in a separate trash receptacle.

  • Non-Food Items: A garbage disposal can take on a lot of different food items, but materials such as paper, plastic, and glass simply do not belong in your drain. Similarly, avoid hard food items such as popcorn kernels and meat bones. Your system may become overworked attempting to process these, and they can severely damage your pipes.
  • Large Amounts of Food: Garbage disposals cannot process large amounts of food. You should break apart hefty chunks of food and scrape only a bit off of your plate at a time, running cold water while you do.
  • F.O.G.: Fats, oils, and grease seem fairly harmless, but these can cause major problems in your drain pipes and for your disposal unit. These substances solidify when they cool, clogging the drain pipes as other food items become attached as well. Furthermore, it can build up along the disposal, inhibiting performance. Running cold water may help somewhat with greasy foods, as the disposal may have an easier time processing F.O.G. when it is solid.
  • Fibrous Foods: Fibrous vegetables like celery will wrap around the blades of the disposal, keeping them from moving as they should and interfering with the operation of the motor.
  • Expandable Foods: Finally, foods such as pasta and rice can expand in the pipes, creating blockages that could allow food waste to back up through the drains.

For experienced, qualified plumbers in Glendale, call My Drain Company today!

How to Tell You Need Sump Pump Repair

October 10th, 2014

Thankfully, flooding is fairly uncommon in Southern California, but if a sudden flood does occur, it could ruin your belongings or the foundation of your home. The sewer system that services your house may be unable to handle heavy rainfall, especially in the hilly areas of Glendale. This combined with the possibility of burst pipes is why a sump pump is sometimes necessary.

Calling a plumber to install a sump pump is the best way to protect your possessions from unexpected water damage. This system is usually installed in the basement or the lowest point of your home. As water flows into the basin—the “sump” portion of the sump pump—a motor sucks it out so it can move into the drain pipes instead.

But even if you don’t get a lot of use out of your sump pump, you may need repairs from time to time. Keep an eye out for the following problems, and call on professional plumbers at the first sign of trouble.

  • Sump Pump Does Not Turn On: Of course, if your sump pump does not appear to turn on at all, it’s time to call for repairs.
  • Strange Noises: Strange noises may indicate a problem with the motor. A professional can assess the problem and decide whether you need a new part or a new system.
  • Does Not Evacuate Water Quickly Enough: You should make sure that your unit is capable of draining large volumes of water at a time. If not, it may not have been installed properly, or it may have a faulty component.

Unfortunately, you may not notice these signs until it is too late. It is important that you test your sump pump from time to time to make sure that it can handle heavy volumes of water. One way to do this is by simply pouring water into the collection pit. However, it’s also important to make sure an expert inspects your sump pump as part of your annual plumbing maintenance.

The professional technicians at My Drain Company have experience inspecting, repairing, and maintaining both pedestal sump pumps and submersible models. Whether you need sump pump repair, plumbing maintenance, or sump pump installation, professional plumbers in Glendale are here to help. Give us a call today!

What Causes Leaks in Gas Pipes?

October 3rd, 2014

If you suspect you may have a leak in your gas pipes, it’s important that you take action immediately. Natural gas is generally a safe way to fuel some of the appliances in your home as well as your heating system. Clothes dryers, water heaters, and gas furnaces and boilers all rely on a supply of gas in order to function. And depending on the cost of natural gas in your area, these gas appliances may save you money over time and could last longer than some electrical appliances.

But as soon as you believe a gas pipe leak threatens your home, you should evacuate immediately. You may notice the smell of rotten eggs or a hissing sound. Do not turn on any light switches or electronic devices or use matches and lighters, and call your utility company right away.

If you need gas piping installation or replacement, or for drain cleaning or plumbing repairs, be sure to call the experts at My Drain Company. We know the ins and outs of pipes, so you can be certain your gas piping is installed properly, preventing the need for repairs. So what causes leaks in the gas pipes?

  • Rust and Corrosion: One of the most common reasons for leaks has to do with faulty installation. If your gas line is near a water source or appliance that could have a leak, water may cause the pipe to rust and, eventually, to corrode.
  • Faulty Joints: As with your plumbing system, the pipes are connected with joints that may wear down over time, which is why it’s important to have the pipes inspected from time to time.
  • Loose Seals: The gas pipes are also sealed to your appliances, but these seals could also deteriorate someday.

Proper installation can keep your gas pipes from threatening your home in the future. The experts at My Drain Company also know what to look for to make sure your current system is not at risk for leaks. For anything from gas pipe installation to plumbing repairs in Glendale, give us a call today!

Common Bathroom Plumbing Repairs for Toilets

September 26th, 2014

One of the most common reasons homeowners call for bathroom plumbing services in Glendale is due to problems with the toilet. Toilets are usually rather reliable, but there are still many reasons a toilet can stop working. And in this day and age, no home can be without a toilet for long, so repair needs are generally rather urgent. DIY repairs may be difficult and many problems simply require the service of a trained professional. When you need professionals to look at your bathroom plumbing, be sure to call My Drain Company right away. In order to help you learn more about some common repairs, we’ve made the following list.

  • Leaking: You may notice a leak from a couple of different areas of your toilet. Unfortunately, some leaks are beyond repair. When the leaking occurs at the tank due to cracks or other damages, it may mean you’ll need to replace your entire tank. A plumber can help you choose a new toilet and get it set up as quickly as possible. But leaks that come from behind the toilet tank, where your plumbing system connects to your tank, will likely only need to be sealed.
  • Clogs: If you have a toilet clog, your first line of defense is usually a plunger. But if a plunger does not effectively loosen a clog, it means you need to call for repairs quickly. There may be a major clog deep within your pipes that requires professional plumbing equipment to remove or dislodge from the sewer line.
  • Water Running Constantly: If water will not stop running, it can be due to a variety of factors with the float assembly and flush valve. A float in your tank makes the water shut off, but if the flapper cannot shut as the float rises, water will continue to run.

If you’re experiencing these problems or any others with your bathroom plumbing, it’s important that an experienced plumber check out the problem to decide on the right course of action. When you need the job done right, trust the dependable team of plumbers at My Drain Company. To schedule bathroom plumbing service in Glendale, contact us today!

Drain Snakes: Why Plumbers Love Them

September 19th, 2014

If you have a drain clog, you need a plumber with the right tools to clear a potentially large obstruction. While some clogs may come loose with a household plunger, other clogs may be too large or too deep within the pipes for you to reach on your own. When you call for professional drain cleaning, a plumbing professional may use a variety of tools to clean and inspect your pipes, but the most popular of these may be the drain snake.

Most plumbers caution strongly against liquid drain cleaners because of potential dangers and because they simply do not work in many cases. Liquid drain cleaning agents, sold in many grocery and hardware stores, may be effective at removing some clogs and not others. For example, while most of these chemicals can dissolve hair, they often cannot do anything about most other solid obstructions. Besides, the harsh chemicals can be toxic, potentially injuring the skin or eyes and damaging the pipes.

This is why a plumber usually will not go near a chemical drain cleaner. Instead, plumbers come to your home equipped with an array of cleaning tools, perhaps most notable of which is the drain snake. Drain snakes, also known as drain augers, are either motorized or hand operated with a crank. A long wire with a coiled end is fed into the pipes, and the coiled end takes hold of clogs so that the plumber can pull the blockage back up through the drain. Some clogs, like tree roots, cannot latch on to this tool. This is why some drain snakes have multiple attachments to choose from, which may instead allow the plumber to break up a clog so it can flow down the drain with the wastewater.

In any case, drain snakes are one of the most effective ways to completely eliminate clogs without damaging your plumbing. When you call the plumbers at My Drain Company for professional drain cleaning in Glendale, CA, we’ll use drain augers and any other necessary means to clear your plumbing system, and we will check our work using the latest in video inspection technology. Talk to one of our plumbing experts today!