My Drain Company Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Plumbing’

Common Signs that You Need Plumbing Repair

Friday, 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.

How Your Water Main Might Become Damaged

Monday, 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.

Reasons for Low Water Pressure in Your Bathroom

Friday, 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!

Water Savings from Low-Flow Fixture Installation

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Southern California is currently experiencing a severe drought, and this has placed focus on the importance of water conservation in homes. There are many ways to save water on a daily basis, but one of the best long-term solutions that will benefit both the environment and your utility bills is to arrange for the installation of low-flow fixtures in your home: toilets, faucets, showerheads.

WaterSense, a partnership with the U.S. EPA, certifies fixtures that make major reductions in water use while still maintaining high performance levels. When you arrange for a plumber to replace your old fixtures with WaterSense or other low-flow models, you can significantly lower your water use without needing to make sacrifices in comfort. Call the plumbing specialists at My Drain Company today to learn more about the benefits of these low-flow fixtures and how you can have them installed.

How Much Water Do These Low-Flow Models Save?

The amount of water you conserve using a low-flow plumbing fixture depends on how much water your current fixtures use. For example, toilets build before 1980 wasted an enormous amount of water with each flush: 6 to 7 gallons. Current models have lowered this to 2.2 gallons, a huge improvement. But WaterSense pressure-assisted low-flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush, a 20% reduction from current models and a 75% reduction from older models. Thanks to the air-pressure in these toilets, they do not lose any flushing power along with water reduction. Because toilets account for approximately a third of all indoor water use, replacing them with water-conserving models can mean around $2,000 off your yearly utility bills.

A standard bathroom sink faucets allow 2.2 gallons of water to flow through them a minute. A WaterSense faucet lowers that amount to 1.5 gallons per minute, and again there is no noticeable loss in performance. Using these low-flow faucets, and average family of 5 can conserve 700 gallons a water a year, which is equal to 40 showers. You can save water in the shower as well with WaterSense showerheads, which can save that same family of five 2,900 gallons of water a year.

There’s another way that you’ll save money with low-flow installations: less stress on your water heater. With less hot water used in showers and for washing, your hot water heater will need to work less, and you’ll receive savings on your power bills as well.

Low-flow installation costs more than standard plumbing fixtures, but as you can tell from the above information, you will soon make back the extra costs and can expect to keep saving money for many years. Call My Drain Company to talk about how we can set up your home with water-conserving and money-saving low-flow fixtures. If you need the services of a plumber in Glendale, CA, call us.

3 Signs of a Quality Professional Plumbing Company

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Finding a professional plumbing company to handle your repairs, new installations, or maintenance is easier now than ever before. Instead of using a phone book directory, you can simply type in a few words on search engine or say a phrase into your smart phone and receive a long list of local plumbing companies. How do you choose the best plumber in Burbank, CA from these lists?

It helps to have a set list of criteria of what you most want from a plumbing company. Below, we’ve put together three points you should definitely have on your list of necessary qualities for any plumber you are thinking of hiring. Once you’ve given this list some thought, we are certain that you will place My Drain Company near the top of the companies you want to hire.

Look For These 3 Signs of Quality In A Plumbing Company

  1. 24-hour emergency service: Plumbing repair issues rarely happen at a time when it’s convenient for you. If the time is also inconvenient for your plumber, then you have a serious problem. Make sure that the plumber you choose to hire is ready whenever your plumbing breaks with round-the clock emergency service. Check to see if the company offers same-day service for standard jobs as well.
  2. Fully licensed and insured: To make sure that the plumbing company you hire is truly professional, check that it is licensed with the State Contractors Board (the company will produce proof upon request) and has insurance so that you will not be responsible for repairs should the plumbers cause any damage to your home. (You won’t need to worry much about accidental damage from a professional company, however.)
  3. Many years in the business: A plumbing company that has only been around for a few years could have experienced plumbers on its staff, but you won’t have any guarantee about this. The more years a company has been in business, the more assurance you have that it employs excellent plumbers who have delivered numerous quality jobs that have kept clients coming back. With a decade or more of experience behind it, a company shows that it has earned the community’s trust.

My Drain Company goes above and beyond these expectations. We have served homeowners with excellent service for more than 15 years, we are fully licensed and insured, and offer 24-hour emergency and same-day service. When we send a Burbank, CA plumber to your house, you can expect he or she will get right work and deliver you the best service possible.


3 Signs of Leaky Pipes

Friday, July 11th, 2014

After drainage clogs, leaking pipes are the most common problem that home plumbing can encounter. And unlike clogs, which are almost immediately obvious when they happen, leaks often remain hidden from sight. The majority of residential pipes are concealed in flooring, walls, and seldom-visited sections of the house. Often a leak—even a large one—can go without detection until it has already caused serious, expensive damage.

Professional plumbers have special training and equipment to assist them in locating leaks, even through heavy concrete flooring (“slab leaks”). However, you need to know to call the plumbers in the first place, so pay attention to the signs below that will warn you that you may have pipes leaking in hidden spots of the house.

In Glendale, CA, call My Drain Company for 24-hour emergency service that can handle any size leak in your home. With more the 15 years of experience, we can solve your plumbing issues fast and right the first time.

Watch For These 3 Signs That You May Have Plumbing Leaks

  • Elevated water bills: Even the smallest leak in pipes can cause a tremendous waste of water that will show up on your monthly water bills. It only takes a single leak letting out three drips of water per minute to waste 70 gallons of water in a month—and that’s a difference you will recognize on your bills. Unexplained price increases require that you call a plumber to search for leaks… or whatever has caused the loss of water.
  • Decrease in water pressure: If you have a large number of smaller leaks, or one large leak, it will affect the pressure of the water throughout the plumbing. Although a change in water pressure can indicate a problem in the municipal system, it often points toward a serious issue inside your home’s plumbing that needs investigation.
  • Warped floorboards and other building material damage: A small leak will build up a pool of standing water, which will cause tremendous damage to building material over time. Wood rot will start to destroy floorboards, warping and weakening them. Mildew will begin to eat through drywall. If you notice lumps in the floor, spot discoloration on the walls, or notice the growth of mold and mildew inside your home, call for plumbers right away to perform leak detection and repairs.

Keep this in mind: there is no such thing as a “small” leak. No matter the size of the damage in the pipe, whether pinhole leaking or a major breach, water damage will accumulate that can endanger your home, waste water, and threaten your plumbing. At the first warning sign that you may have leaks in your plumbing, make the call to My Drain Company to schedule plumbing service in Glendale, CA. We can handle all your concerns for your home’s plumbing.

When You Should Consider Whole-House Repiping

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

All plumbing will need repairs at some point or another; the amount of work that the pipes in a home do on a daily basis means enough wear and tear to eventually cause leaks and clogs. In some cases, repiping is the best solution to these troubles. Plumber will remove the old pipes and replace them with newer material such as copper or one of the different kinds of plastic pipes (PEX, CPVC, etc.).

But there are times when a more drastic solution is necessary for a home’s plumbing: whole-house repiping. This may sound like an extreme measure, but for older homes it is often the best and most cost-effective way to solve numerous plumbing issues. If you hire an experienced company in Northridge, CA for plumbing work of this magnitude, the job should go fast and with little disruption to your life.

My Drain Company handles whole-house repiping. We can help you decide if repiping is the best solution, and if it is, we will take on the job and provide you with the best service possible.

When whole-house repiping becomes an option

  • You have a house with galvanized steel piping: For many decades, even through the 1960s, the main material used for home plumbing was galvanized steel, which was known for its durability. Unfortunately, what the installers at the time didn’t realize about galvanized steel was its eventual susceptibility to corrosion that would weaken it to the point of extensive leaking and eventual breaks. Copper has long superseded steel for this reason, and if you have a pre-1970s home, you should check to see if you have galvanized steel plumbing. If you do, or if you are encountering numerous corrosion leaks in an older home, it’s time for full repiping services.
  • Constant repair issues: Whether you have older steel pipes or poorly installed copper and plastic ones, experiencing continual plumbing repair issues is a good indicator that the material is simply not up to the task. These repairs don’t need to be just leaks; continually clogging is also a sign of deteriorating pipes that are keeping water from efficiently flowing. High water pressure is another sign of poor quality or deteriorating pipes.
  • Rusting: This is an issue that can strike galvanized steel pipes, but isn’t restricted to them. Copper pipes are rust-resistant, but not rust-proof, and the flux that seals the join pipes is susceptible to rusting. When rust starts to become a frequent issue, it usually means that you should replace all the piping in a home (usually with truly rust-free PEX plastic pipes).

You can rely on skilled Northridge, CA plumbing services to select the best material for repiping so that your home will have many decades of pipes capable of handling the stress you and your family will put on them. Contact My Drain Company today to schedule an appointment to look into the possibility of whole-house repiping.

How Earthquakes Can Damage Your Plumbing System

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Here in Burbank, plumbing companies have to deal with more than just leaky pipes and clogged drains. We’re living in earthquake country, and temblors are a regular occurrence throughout the year. Even minor quakes can shake up your property, and when it comes to plumbing, the damage can be much worse: breaches, leaks and even destroyed pipes in need of full-bore replacement.

Here’s A Quick Breakdown on How Earthquakes Can Damage Your Plumbing System

The big issue arises with the main water and sewer lines connecting your home to Burbank’s civic system. These are usually located underground, where they can’t be seen by the naked eye. Earthquake damage could cause a breach immediately, and it could also shift the ground around the pipe: avoiding an instant rupture but increasing stress at certain points along the line. That means a breach can occur days or even weeks after the quake, even though things look peaceful initially. Monitor your yard closely in the period immediately following an earthquake, and look for signs such as strange puddles of water, dripping sounds, or grass and shrubbery suddenly becoming much greener than the surrounding flora.

Inside the home, the damage is usually easier to detect. Beyond the obvious signs of a leak or a breach (i.e., water leaking out across you bathroom floor), listen for signs of leaking or dripping in your walls and pay careful attention to the water pressure in your various faucets. A good catch-all test is to check your meter, then wait two hours without using any of the water in your home. Then check the meter again. If the amount has changed, then you probably have a leak somewhere in the home.

The plumbers at My Drain Company fix all kinds of plumbing problems, and we know how earthquakes can damage your plumbing system. More importantly, our trained staff has the skills to repair the problem once it’s been detected, and can replace damaged pipes with speed and efficiency. If you detect any plumbing damage to your property after an earthquake, pick up the phone and schedule your plumbing services in Burbank with us. You’ll be glad you did!

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Low Flow Toilet

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Efforts at water conservation in Southern California have led to many homeowners installing low-flow toilets. These fixtures can reduce the amount of water used per flush by more than three quarters, thanks to their gravity assist and high pressure operation. This means substantial savings along with their environmentally-friendly water use.

We specialize in plumbing in Tarzana, CA that will make your life easier and more economical.

If you are ready to upgrade your house and downgrade the amount of water you use on a day-to-day basis, call My Drain Company today.

The low-flow toilet benefits

The water savings from a low-flow toilet can be tremendous. This will help your annual budget and it will contribute to water conservation efforts, which are always important in dry Southern California.

How much can you expect to save? It depends on your water usage, the amount of toilets in your house, the number of people who live there, and local costs per gallon. Here’s an example to give you an idea of what you might save: A low-flow toilet uses 1.7 gallons per flush, while a standard toilet uses 7 gallons. A toilet, on average, flushes 6 times a day. Over a year, with an average per gallon price of $0.04 (the baseline for So Cal), a standard toilet will use 15,000 gallons and cost $600. A low-flow toilet will use 3,500 gallons and cost $140. That’s a savings of $460 in one year! As an investment in savings and to benefit the environment, low flow toilets are a great choice.

The low-flow toilet drawbacks

Although low-flow toilets are designed to work through pressure or gravity to compensate for the reduced volume of water flow, they can have trouble with larger waste removal. They can run in particular trouble with paper-based waste and garbage. You should avoid using any toilet as a wastebasket, but with a low-flow toilet you could cause clog very easily. In general, you should expect increased clogging issues and should always keep a plunger handy in case. Low-flow toilets also cost more than standard models, but they should pay for themselves in less than a year.

Find out more about low-flow toilet installation

Installing low-flow toilets is a basic job for professionals. Call My Drain Company if you want to know more about how effectively a low-flow model can work for your home, as well as what you can potentially save. For your Tarzana, CA plumbing needs, look to our more than 15 years of experience.

Why Small Plumbing Leaks Are Still Damaging

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Here in Glendale, CA, plumber services are called upon to treat all manner of problems, and none of them are small. Even seemingly minor problems like small leaks have a way of turning into bigger ones very quickly. The sooner you get on a noticeable problem, the better off you and your plumbing system will be.

Here’s Why Small Plumbing Leaks Are Still Damaging

If left untreated, water will damage the materials surrounding your pipes. Wood and drywall can become swollen with moisture, leading to corrosion and rot. Electrical wiring could be damaged and in some cases the water may ultimately cause an electrical short. These problems don’t get better over time, and in fact small leaks may be more damaging than large ones because they can go for months before being detected, wreaking untold havoc in the process.

Furthermore, even small leaks can have a detrimental effect on your plumbing system as a whole. Pressure tends to drop when there’s a leak, even a small one, which makes it harder to clean dishes and can create comfort problems with your shower. More importantly, it often leads to higher water bills. You’re paying for all that water leaking out, after all, and even if it’s not a gushing river, it’s still money that you don’t need to be spending.

Finally, small leaks have a way of turning into bigger ones, especially if they’re caused by corrosion in the pipes themselves. A small leak could be just a warning sign of bigger things to come, and if you get on it, now, you could be saving yourself a create deal in unnecessary expenses.

The good news is that the Glendale plumbing experts at My Drain Company are here to help. We know why small plumbing leaks are still damaging, and we use the latest technological advances to pinpoint the exact source of the problem before fixing it. The longer you delay, the bigger the problem can become, so don’t hesitate! Pick up the phone and schedule a repair session today. Your plumbing system will thank you.