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Top 9 Things People Do that Cause Plumbing Problems

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Top 9 Things People Do that Cause Plumbing Problems

1: Leaving hoses connected during winter.

Los Angeles Plumbing - Drain Cleaning & Repair

Drain Cleaning & Repair


This is a classic plumbing error and unlike holiday lights, hoses can cause damage when left out all year: they can lead to freezing the outdoor faucet or its water supply pipe and cause bursting pipes.

2: Using vent pipes for anything other than venting.

Vent pipes aren’t just there for their bad looks, they not only provide air to drains inside the house, to prevent a suction effect that inhibits drainage; they also get rid of sewer gases that come up from the city’s sewer main. If you cut a hole in your vent inside the house, you’re tapping into an endless supply of your neighborhood’s sewer air.

3. Using too much drain cleaner.

When used correctly, drain cleaners can be effective and relatively safe for drains. When used with incorrectly, they can corrode some drain materials, and they can actually make clogs worse.

4. Pouring chemicals (and other bad stuff) into a septic system.

You must think twice about using chemicals like drain cleaner, chlorine bleach, paint and even anti-bacterial soaps in your septic system. These chemicals kill the essential waste-eating bacteria in the septic tank, and can cause sewage backups into your home.

5: Screwing, nailing or cutting into a wall with hidden plumbing pipes.

Always be careful of hidden wall pipes when doing any kind of screwing or sawing into your drywall.

6: Joining two different metals in piping.

DIY plumbers beware: When dissimilar metals, such as copper and steel, are touching, a process called galvanic action leads to corrosion. Corrosion leads to leaks. Such joints must be made with a dielectric union or other approved fitting.

7: Pouring grease down the kitchen drain.

If you’re in the habit of pouring bacon grease down the kitchen-sink drain, you should stop this immediately. Grease is one of the best things for clogging drains.

8: Putting everything else down the kitchen drain.

Even if you’re not guilty of grease disposal, you might be one of those folks who thinks a garbage disposal in your sink can handle any food waste. Be weary of  flour, rice, potato peels (and some other veggie peels) and many fibrous foods such as asparagus and chard because they can quickly clog your drains.

9: Using the toilet as a trash can.

Flushing one improper item down the toilet ultimately can stop up everything in the house. The bottom line is, only human waste and toilet paper should be disposed of in your toilet.

5 Funny Noises from Your Plumbing and How to Stop Them

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Los Angeles Plumbing TipsDon’t take your home’s plumbing for granted. Faucets, fixtures, and pipes often need repair or replacement and when they do, they usually make their presence known loud and clear. Here are 5 funny noises you might hear from plumbing which is in distress and a warning sign that it is time to call a local plumber in Los Angeles.

Faucet Drip, Drip, Drips
A faucet that drips on and on and on when it’s supposed to be turned firmly off is definitely annoying. In addition to the aural irritation, the noise is a reminder of the quantity of (expensive) water that you are involuntarily wasting. Most likely all that’s required is a new washer, but if the sink or bathtub hardware is more than 20 years old, you may be ready to replace your faucet, especially if you’ve been through this drippy story a few times before.

Another type of bothersome dripping may occur in your kitchen sink sprayer. Instead of gushing up like Old Faithful, your sprayer might gasp out just a trickle of water. When this happens, it could be that the diverter valve (which is located in the faucet handle) needs cleaning. Take it out and give it a good soak in a white vinegar solution before replacing. If this doesn’t do the trick, it might be time to call a local plumber in Los Angeles.

Faucet Squeaks
A squeaky faucet is another relatively minor problem that nevertheless has incredible nuisance value. Fortunately, this kind of faucet repair can generally be taken care of with a minimum of fuss or expense, via a washer change or an application of plumber’s grease to faucet handle stem threads that have worn down. Once again, though, a faucet which has outlived its useful lifespan may need replacement, rather than repair. If a replacement is needed, it might be time to call a local plumber in Los Angeles.

Pipes Screech or Whistle
While it may be annoying or even frightening, pipes that whistle, screech, squeal, or howl like a banshee when you turn on the faucet are not usually a major trouble spot. The main difficulty is in pinning down the precise source, as there are quite a few possible causes for the racket.

You may have air in your pipes. This is an easy DIY fix. Close the water shutoff valve and turn on the faucet full force until it drains dry. Then reopen the valve. You may have a bit of debris or other obstruction in your pipes. Flushing the system with water can help.

The pressure may not be turned up high enough. Short-term fix: turn on the faucet to full pressure every time. Longer-term repair: replace faucet washers or valve stem. Adjust your water pressure regulator. The water flow rate to individual plumbing fixtures may need adjustment.

Shower Whooshes or Rumbles
A disturbing whooshing or rumbling sound when you try to take a relaxing shower is probably caused by a buildup of mineral sediment (aka “lime scale”) in either the water heater or the pipes, common in regions with very hard water. Flush your water heater once a year to remove the scale. If the problem is in the plumbing pipes themselves, you may need to have them professionally cleaned by a local plumber in Los Angeles. In either case, consider installation of a water softening system to reduce this type of issue in the future.

Pipes Rattle
Sometimes a bizarre noise connected to your bathroom or kitchen fixtures may not be coming from the inside of your plumbing system, but rather the outside. For example, if your pipes have a tendency to shake, rattle, and roll, they may simply be loose. Securing them firmly in place could be all that is necessary to calm them — and you — down.

5 Easy Ways to Save Water During Drought

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As a local plumber in Los Angeles, we know first hand just how difficult this historic drought has been for our community. Last year, we offered some drought tips to help you improve your water conservation. Unfortunately the drought still persists. Because we care about the environment and helping our customers save water and money on utility bills, we’ve come up with more tips to help save water during this drought. Feel free to call your local plumber in Los Angeles, JB Plumbing and Rooter, any time you have questions or need some advice.

Do Laundry and Dishes on an As-Needed Basis
You would be shocked at how much water you can save by wearing a pair of jeans or another item of clothing at least twice before doing a load of laundry. You can also wait to do a large load of dishes instead of running the dishwasher for just a few dishes.

Upgrade to a Water-Saving Toilet or Low-Flow Faucet
Many homeowners who have older toilets see a substantial difference in their water bills once they upgrade to a low-flush toilet. Installing a low-flow toilet or faucet is especially important during this drought season because most of the water in the bowl comes from our local fresh water supply.

Find Ways to Use the Last of the Water in Your Water Bottle
If you usually pour out that last ounce of water in your water bottles once it gets warm? Instead of pouring it down the drain, use it to water a houseplant, or pour it into your pet’s water bowl.

Use Re-claimed Water for Your Lawn and Garden
While drought season may not be the best time to use a rain barrel, you can use a rain barrel during the times of year when water is plentiful. Then store it in 5-gallon containers to use on your lawn and garden during the drought season.

Make Sure all Faucets are Completely Shut Off
Although it may not seem like a lot, dripping faucets can add up in the long term. When you take a shower or use the sink, be sure that the faucet is completely shut off when you are finished.

Summer Is The Home Buying Season

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Summer is the “home buying” season. Many new homebuyers find out too late that their dream home is riddled with water leakage or a poor plumbing system. Many new owners need to call a plumber within one year of purchasing their home.

Here are some great tips to check before you buy:

  • Water stains on the walls or ceiling could be a sign of leaky pipes.
  • Check for leaky or loose tiles by pressing on the walls where they come in contact with the bathtub. If the walls are soft, water may have created damage behind the tiles. Leaky pipes don’t have to be expensive to fix, but if they’ve already done some damage, the repair costs could stack up. 
  • Check for lead pipes: Lead is an environmental hazard. Period. Homes built prior to 1998 often have lead or galvanized plumbing, so keep this in mind when considering home prospects.
  • Make sure you’re on the lookout for moldy spots, as well
  • If the home has a basement, check exposed piping for signs of leaking or recent repairs.
  • A rusty water tank is a sign of pending problems.
  • Survey the inside of cabinets (with a flashlight) for signs of water damage, warped cabinet bottom or stains. Make sure that traps and supply tubes are not leaking.
  •  One way to determine how the water pressure might work throughout the home is to turn on the shower farthest away from the water source. If that upstairs shower has great water pressure, it’s likely that the rest of the home does, too.

It’s a good idea to call a plumber BEFORE you buy. Call Us: (323) 559-3053

Drought Tips: How to Improve Your Water Conservation

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Remarkably dry conditions have lead many to call this the worst drought in our state’s history. Last month, the city of Los Angeles started a program in which you can now be fined for excessive use of water.

While everyone knows the basics of water conservation (shorter showers, watering the lawn less frequently), there are some innovative methods you might not have considered. As a Los Angeles plumber, we feel obligated to share them with you.

Re-use shower water

Most know that you can reduce the amount of your shower, but you can take it further! Instead of letting all of that water go down the drain, save it! Just put a bucket on the shower floor to catch your runoff. Then use it to water your garden. You can easily save yourself a few gallons of water!

Check for outdoor leaks

As a Los Angeles plumber, we really encourage this next method. Outdoor leaks can drive up your water bill and even make you a target for the officials tasked with finding restriction violators. To make sure you’re okay, perform a weekly check of your outside fixtures. Or if you feel uncomfortable doing this, J.B. Plumbing can help! Any nozzle or sink that drips should be attended to. If merely turning it off doesn’t work, you could have a larger problem. If so, it’s time to call the best plumber Los Angeles has to offer, J.B. Plumbing!

Live / vacation off the grid

While this may seem a bit intense to some, many people have found that being exclusively accountable for their own home and utilities is profoundly rewarding. As an alternative to traditional water mains, off-the-grid residents draw their water from wells. A professional can dig into the ground and tap into the water supply that exists naturally in the sub-surface. If you’re drawn to the solitary lifestyle but not sure you want to commit to it full time, try a short-term vacation. At the very least, you’ll save a little water in the meantime.

And just remember JB Plumbing and Rooter, your Los Angeles Plumber, is an amazing 24 hour, 7 days a week provider of plumbing in Los Angeles. So if you find yourself in real leaky trouble in the middle of the night, JB Plumbing can help by quickly dispatching one of our skilled plumbers right to your door. Rest assured that JB Los Angeles Plumbers will be there for you when you need us.

Does Your Plumbing System Have A Leak? Here Are The Signs.

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It’s not always easy to know if a leak exists in your plumbing system. As a trusted local plumber in Los Angeles, we know what to look for and we want to share with you some helpful tips. First, when it comes to leaks, most of the time, at least one of the signs that you have a leak is clearly visible or audible. You simply need to be on the lookout for it.

Here are some of the signs to be on the lookout for:

– The sound of dripping water behind walls.
– Wet or damp walls, ceilings, or floor.
– Bad odors coming from a specific area of the home where water pipes are located.
– Unusually high water meter readings or bills, particularly if you have been away on vacation.
– Visible signs of damage to any area where water pipes are located.

Its important to keep an eye for these signs because leaks can cause damage. Even a minor leak can cause structural damage to your home. Continual dripping of the water can lead to staining, foul odors, cracks, discoloration, and the breakdown of your floors, walls, and foundation. So don’t hesitate if you see one of these signs. Call your trusted local plumber in Los Angeles. JB Plumbing and Rooter.

Know Whether to Replace or Repair a Water Heater

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Sudden, unexplained icy shower? Or maybe you found unexpected giant puddle in your basement or garage. It would seem that your water heater not operating normally. You now have to decide: Repair or replace? Which ever choice you go with, you’ll need a local plumber in Los Angeles that you can trust. That’s were JB Plumbing and Rooter comes in.

Most storage-tank water heaters have a life span of about ten years. If your water heater is only a few years old, repair may be the best option.

Because water heaters contain few moving parts, only a few things can go wrong and repair is straightforward. For gas water heaters, the pilot light can flicker out. For electric heaters, the circuit breaker could be tripped. Also, the thermostat could break or the valve sticks.

But if your problem happens in the latter years of the life span or if the unit is leaking, replacing your water heater is probably the better option.

If the tank is over ten years old, or if it is leaking, a new water tank is likely in your future. Over time, water minerals react with steel, corroding water heater tanks. Once a water heater tank springs a leak, it has to be swapped.

Newer water tanks are twenty percent more efficient, thus saving you money over the life of the water tank versus keeping an older water tank. New glass liners make tanks less prone to corrosion. Manufacturers now inject foam insulation between the tank and the outer shell, resulting in higher heat retention.

You can also replace with a tankless, heat pump, or solar water heater. These options are more costly upfront, but they offer a longer lifespan of up to thirty years.

Some replacement jobs might be just as simple as taking out the old heater and installing the new. You may have to also replace the mount, venting system, drain pan, or supply pipes as well.

Whether you repair or replace your water heater, they will last longer and perform better with regular maintenance. You can have a local plumber in Los Angeles come out and check your unit periodically.

At JB Plumbing and Rooter, we can help you solve these problems no matter which option you choose.

Common Household Items to Keep Out of Your Drain

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It is not rare for household items to be flushed down the drain because they seem risk-free. However, it’s imperative to understand that drains are designed for handling water only, and even small items can cause clogs that back up your home’s plumbing. Which means giving a call to your local plumber in Los Angeles. Remember, even if some of these products claim to be flushable, it’s best to dispose of them in a trash bin rather than down a drain.

With the convenience of washing down everything from mouthwash to spaghetti noodles, it can be easy to rely too heavily on the drains. JB Plumbing, you local plumber in Los Angeles would like to help educate people about not using the drain one of the places to discard old food and waste, so here are five common household items to keep out of your drain:

1. Hair
It may seem harmless to wash hair down the drain after shaving or cleaning out a hairbrush, but the strands are difficult to break down and can cause plumping problems. Opt for throwing it in the trashcan instead.

2. Coffee Grinds
Coffee grinds are one of the most common household items that are washed down the drain, but gradually build up and block pipes. It also causes small particulate matter to develop and should be tossed in the trash to prevent clogs.

3. Toys
It may not seem like a big deal to have small toys in the bath for your kids, but the products are one of the top items that clog drains and are difficult to retrieve once they go down. Opt for sticking to larger toys that don’t fit down the drain.

4. Flushable Wipes
Although flushable wipes are a popular household item because of how easy they are to dispose, it doesn’t mean that they’re meant for your plumbing system. If you place the wipes in the toilet or sink, you’ll quickly find yourself calling a company like Alberta Water Services to relieve the clog due to the thick material that is unsafe for sewers and septic tanks. Stick to using toilet paper or throw out the wipes manually.

5. Vegetable Peels
Vegetable peels may be biodegradable, but it doesn’t mean that they’re meant to be tossed down the drain. The thick texture and size of the peels make them difficult to wash down, which can cause other food particles to build up with time.

There you have it. Are you concerned about sluggish drains or other home plumbing problems? Then call JB Plumbing and Rooter, your local plumber in Los Angeles. (323) 559-3053. You can find out more about how to protect and maintain your home’s plumbing on our blog.

Los Angeles Plumber: 4 Ways How to Lower The Cost of a Plumbing Emergency

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Notice a leak, clogged drain or other plumbing problem but hesitant to call a Los Angeles plumber. We know, no one likes calling the plumber for a visit. But most plumbing repairs should only be done by a plumbing professional.

Don’t worry though, just because you have to call a Los Angeles plumber doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck paying a large bill. In fact, here are some steps you can take to make sure your repair bill is as small as possible:

Condense Several Jobs
Plumbing emergencies often happen at the most inopportune times. But, if you do have some forewarning, you should try to pool several repair jobs for your Los Angeles plumber to tackle during one visit. You often pay for travel time and gas mileage for your Los Angeles plumber to come to your house, so make the most out of that visit by having several problems taken care of at the same time and save a substantial amount of money.

Inspect Each Season
Spring is almost here! The turn of the seasons can be your cue to check out your plumbing and make sure everything is in working order. You should check pipes for cracks, turn on faucets and flush unused toilets to make sure your plumbing is working. If you do find a problem, you can have it fixed before it becomes an expensive disaster. By prepping ahead of time and stopping unnecessary issues, you can limit how much you spend on repairs each year.

Prevent Clogs
Clogged drains are probably the most common reason for plumbing emergencies, but they’re extremely easy to prevent. If you prevent the plumber from coming at all, you’re already saving money. Talk to your household about what can and can’t be flushed – a worthy rule of thumb is to only flush toilet paper and matter that was food first – and install drain covers to catch hair in your bathtubs and showers. That way, you won’t need to call the plumber for an issue as slight as a clogged drain.

Reduce the Plumber’s Time
Plumbers often charge by the hour, which means you’re on the clock as soon as he reaches your home. Through proper preparation, you can maximize your appointment so that the plumber is actively working on your problem the entire time. Clear the workspace, such as under your sink, for easy access, and keep kids away from where the plumber is working so he doesn’t need to take more time waiting, cleaning and prepping the area before going to work.

Securing Your Home With A Earthquake Gas Shutoff

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EarthquakeValveAs a local plumber in Los Angeles, we know that earthquakes are a very real threat. Part of the danger is that they can cause vast damage to your home’s water lines, gas lines and electrical system. In particular, gas lines pose a hazard to your home because of fires or explosions. With an earthquake gas shutoff valve you can rest assured that your home might be safe from that threat during an earthquake.

What exactly are earthquake gas shutoff valves? Well, your gas line runs from the street, through your utility company’s meter and into your home. If you ever need to turn off the gas to your home, like in the event of a gas leak, you can head out to your meter, find the switch and turn it off. However, earthquakes are normally very sudden which means that your home’s gas lines may still suffer damage because you simply didn’t have time to get to them. An earthquake gas shutoff valve is able to detect seismic activity and automatically turn off the gas coming into your home.

Because you have to cut open the gas main coming into your home, earthquake gas shutoff valve installation should always be performed by a professional local plumber in Los Angeles plumbing specialist. Additionally, laws require any work done on a gas line to be done by a licensed local plumber in Los Angeles. JB Plumbing and Rooter is completely licensed to perform any work on your home’s gas lines. Our expert plumbers can perform any kind of earthquake gas shutoff valve installation in Los Angeles.

Because your earthquake gas shutoff valve probably doesn’t get a whole lot of use, it might be a good idea to get it inspected on a regular basis. You need local plumbers in Los Angeles that offer total earthquake gas shutoff valve maintenance in Los Angeles. Call us today to talk with one of our plumbers about setting up regular visits for your shutoff valve.