What is a sump pump and how does it work?

installed sump pump in basement

Benefiting Your Home in the Best Way

If you’ve never heard of a sump pump, you wonder what it is and What is the purpose of a sump pump installation. If you live in an area where basements are a common part of a home, you know what the purpose of a sump pump. If you don’t have one but have experienced a flooded basement, a sump pump installation is probably on your things-to-do list. 

A sump is a pit that is carved below the surface of a basement floor to remove water. In the pit, also referred to as a basin, sump pump installation includes valves that can sense rising water level or pressure. When the water reaches a certain height or pressure that the valves recognize, the sump pump begins automatically, pumping that excess water out and away from the property through an effluent or drain line to a designated area.

What is a sump pump used for?

Homes with a basement, flooding is often an issue when it rains. Once water gets in a basement, it can be difficult to remove, and we all know what standing water can do, right?  In this case, water in a basement not only will begin to mildew, begin having mold growth. When the standing water gets above the foundation water table, it will rot and weaken the walls of the basement, jeopardizing the structure of the basement and the house. 

A sump pump installation is typically for basements that regularly flood to help remove that water and the dampness.  The sump pump then sends that water away from the house and to a dry well or municipal storm drain so that it isn’t a problem anymore.

A sump pump doesn’t operate continuously. A sump pump installation is done so that when there isn’t water in the basement, the pump goes on standby mode until the water reaches that above table level again. When it does rain and becomes a heavy rain can oversaturate the ground around the house, and that excess groundwater is funneled towards the sump pit. Once the sump pit has collected enough water, the valves of the pump sense the water level and activate the sump pump. 

A sump pump installation is designed so that excess water fills the sump pit and drains into a nearby storm drain, detention period, or dry well, preventing the groundwater from filling the basement, causing it to flood. You can consider having a sump pump installation as another type of flood insurance.

Do sump pumps smell?

No, a sump pump does not smell unless there hasn’t been any rain in a while. If there is any water inside the pump, it can stagnate. This standing water inside the pump will breed bacteria, mildew, mold, and more, all of which create an odor. You can rid this quickly by adding diluted bleach to the pump, which leads us to the next question: Do sump pumps need maintenance?

After you have a sump pump installation, it knows when to pump and when to remain idle. That doesn’t mean that the homeowner doesn’t have any responsibilities, A sump pump is quite reliable, but like any vital appliance or equipment in your home, it needs regular maintenance to keep it ready to activate when needed.

The following quarterly and annual sump pump maintenance routine will keep your sump pump ready to go when needed: 

Quarterly Maintenance 

  • Unplug the pump and empty any standing water from the sump. 
  • Clean any debris from the sump basin and clean the pump inlet screen.
  • Plug the pump in, then add five gallons of water to the sump basin to test the pump, making sure it is activating when needed and turns off as intended. 

Annual Maintenance

As a homeowner, after you have your sump pump installation completed, you can perform the following tasks or hire a professional contractor, the same theory as hiring a professional HVAC contractor for annual inspection and cleaning. 

  • Check your owner’s manual for what is recommended to lubricate and what type of lubrication to use. 
  • Clear any debris from the sump basin.
  • Return the pump to the sump basin and plug it into the power outlet.
  • Add five gallons of water into the sump basin and watch the pump action, making sure the float switch is activating. Once you have verified that the pump is moving the entire travel range without binding, and the pump turns on and off as intended. 
  • Outside your home, check the discharge pipe, making sure there isn’t any obstruction and is draining entirely and doesn’t have any residual water. Checking this is extremely important during the winter when the water can freeze and rupture the pipe.
sump pump

How long do sump pumps last on average?

Sadly, this additional flood insurance, aka sump pump installation, the unit won’t last forever. The average lifespan of a sump pump is ten years. The following are factors that determine that lifespan: 

  • Use frequency.
  • The distance the pump carries water to discharge.
  • The electrical supply.
  • The pump quality.

Are houses with sump pumps bad?

No, but if you purchase a house where a sump pump installation has been done, you want to have it inspected by a professional to assure it is working condition. 

Why get a sump pump?

A sump pump installation can provide the right type of house great benefits. What is the right type of house? If your home matches any of the following, a sump pump installation may be worth checking into: 

  • Rain or snow climate: Thenortheast can benefit from a sump pump installation, more than the western desert area. 
  • A flood-prone property: If your home is on a property with poor drainage, or there are hills and mountains all around, the groundwater level is like to rise during heavy rain, snowstorm, or during spring rain runoff.
  • Previous flooding problems: A history of basement flooding is always a good reason to have a pump installation done. 
  • A finished basement: Maybe your basement has never flooded, but if you have invested in finishing it out, a sump pump installation will give you peace of mind. 
installing a sump pump

Pumping To A Close: Sump Pump Advantages

There are some significant advantages to having a sump pump installation in your basement: 

  • Provides flooding defense
  • Protect paint, wallpaper, or any wall coverings 
  • Keep appliances in the basement safe from corrosion 
  • Reduce fungus, mildew, and mold growth
  • Discourage critters, insects, and rodents
  • Indoor air quality improvement
  • Keep the foundation intact
  • Keep the basement dry and comfortable year-round
  • Peace of mind
  • Help lower homeowner’s insurance risk for flood coverage

Dial 818-574-8522 to connect with our team today about a sump pump installation for your Sherman Oaks, CA home.

What is High Recovery Water Heater?

high recovery water heater

What is High Recovery Water Heater?

Are you in need of high recovery water heater repair? If so, it will be important for you to get in touch with a reliable plumbing professional. Those who aren’t familiar with high recovery water heaters may have some relevant questions pertaining to what exactly high recovery water heaters are. If so, such readers are in store for some valuable information. Most manufacturers who produce water heaters produce two different kinds. These two different kinds of water heaters are standard and high-recovery. A standard water heater has a recovery rate of approximately forty gallons an hour. A high-recovery unit recovers 55 gallons of water an hour. From these two recovery rates, we can deduce that high recovery water heaters are great for homes with many occupants or families. 

What is a Good Recovery Rate for a Hot Water Heater?

Are you wondering what a good recovery rate is for a hot water heater? Generally speaking, if you are achieving forty gallons per hour, that is a good rate of hot water recovery. There are some heavy-duty water heaters that achieve a recovery rate of fifty to sixty gallons per hour. Some residential water heaters are specially designed with powerful burners that enable recovery rates of one-hundred-forty-two to one-hundred-fifty-nine gallons per hour.

How Long Does it Take for a 50 Gallon Water Heater to Run Out of Hot Water?

If you have a fifty-gallon water heater, it will be important for you to know how long it will take for your water heater to recover. Apparently, it can take approximately one hour and twenty minutes for your water heater to fully recover and administer fresh hot water.

What is the Most Reliable Water Heater?

Many homeowners who are in need of a new water heater desire relevant research pertaining to which water heater will be the most reliable in their home. If you are desirous of such knowledge, please review the following bullet-pointed list of water heater brands to find out more.

  • EcoSmart
  • Navien
  • Noritz
  • Reliance
  • Rinnai
  • Stiebel Eltron
  • Takagi
  • Whirlpool

What is the Longest-Lasting Water Heater?

According to the latest water heater innovations available on the world wide web, Rheem has an award-winning water heater known as the Marathon water heater. It is apparently the most durable electric water heater ever made. With purchase, it comes with an industry-best warranty that makes it a very smart purchase.

High Recovery Water Heater

If you are a homeowner who is vacillating between the purchase of a standard water heater and a high-recovery water heater, it will be important to weigh the usage of either water heater. High recovery water heaters are great for properties that have big families or large-scale applications. If you have a small family or are living alone, you probably don’t require a high recovery water heater. If, however you have a family of six or more, you may want to seriously consider a high-recovery water heater if your current water heater is not meeting your hot water needs.

High Recovery Water Heater Reviews

If you are seriously considering a high recovery water heater, one of the things that you should do is look over the reviews for each brand and product. Through reviewing what the buyers think about their purchase, you can make a more informed decision concerning which water heater  brand you will eventually settle on. You will also want to speak with your local, licensed plumber/water heater technician. He or she will be able to discuss your options and recommend a brand based on performance and productivity.

High Recovery Water Heater vs Regular

As mentioned previously, you may want to seriously consider a high recovery water heater if you have many people in your household. Surprisingly enough, there are many different considerations to choose from when it comes to your high-recovery water heater. For instance, would you like to move forward with gas or electricity-powered water heater? Will you want a standard tank water heater or an on-demand tankless variety? Your local, licensed plumber will be able to discuss all of your options with you, and hopefully find one that fits your home’s budget.

high recovery water heater

Best High Recovery Water Heater

Are you looking for the best high recovery water heater? Thankfully, there are many excellent brands that produce good water heaters. The top five brands that plumbers tend to use are AO Smith, General Electric, Kenmore, Rheem, and Whirlpool. It is important to consider that Whirlpool is a subsidiary of AO Smith. The best decision you can make with regard to your high-recovery water heater is to select one that fits your budgets and the needs of your household.

If you need repairs for your high recovery water heater, it will be important for you to find the experts you can trust. Please give us a call at 818-574-8522 to reach a courteous member of our staff.

Can You Fix Your Own Sewer Line?

sewer line repair

Can You Fix Your Own Sewer Line

Are you wondering about whether or not you can complete your own sewer repair? If so, it’s time to take a big step back and think about all the negative consequences that can occur. A licensed, certified, and insured plumbing professional is always the best person to call if your plumbing is experiencing significant issues, as is the case with sewer line disrepair. A plumber will understand how to diagnose the issue, and what actions to undertake.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Sewer Line?

Broken sewer lines can be extremely expensive for homeowners to pay for, which is why it is important for you to research your financial options. If you are under the impression that your sewer line replacement or repair can be covered by homeowner’s insurance, you may be mistaken. Homeowners insurance rarely covers sewer line repair or replacement. The only exception to that rule may be that the sewer line was damaged by another party.

What are the Signs of a Broken Sewer Pipe?

The signs of a broken sewer pipe are fairly straightforward, but in order to identify them, you should have some awareness of what the signs and symptoms are. Please review the following signs, listed in bullet point form, to find out more.

  • If there are sewage backups and blockages. This is a fairly common problem probably stemming from the fact that there has been a problem with the sewer pipe that has recently increased in magnitude.
  • If there is a sewer gas odor. The smell of sewer gas is unmistakable. If you have experienced odd smells, it will be important for you to get them addressed as soon as possible.
  • If there is a mold problem. Mold problems can come from a variety of sources. Nonetheless, it’s important to find the problem at its source.
  • Unsettling brown patches filled with water in the lawn that do not go away. Perhaps one of the most significant ways you can determine if you have a broken sewer pipe is by observing this tell-tale sign of a broken sewer line.

How Do I Know if My Sewer Line Needs to Be Replaced?

If your sewer line needs to be replaced, the repairs necessary will outweigh the cost of a new sewer line. Usually, a broken sewer line will lead to an extensive array of plumbing issues. These plumbing issues range from a slow drain of water from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs, to lower water pressure in your sink or shower. If the wastewater and sanitary sewer backups and blockages are happening daily, it will be another tell-tale sign that it is necessary for you to get sewer line replacement. Generally speaking, it will be important for you to contact a plumbing professional if there are extenuating problems with your pipes. Homeowners are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and replacing the sewer line that runs from the house to the center of the street.

How Far Am I Responsible for My Sewer Line?

The lateral or sanitary sewer line that connects the home to the municipal sewer system is inevitably the responsibility of the homeowner. This may seem unfair, but it’s actually because when the municipal sewer system connects to the sewer line, it’s on the property of the homeowner. That means that when it comes to maintaining, repairing and replacing these lines, the homeowner is wholly responsible.

Main Sewer Line Repair

If the sewer line is ruptured or broken, the sewage will understandably have a problem navigating from the property to the sewer line. This will lead to constant backups. If an old sewer line is corroded, it will make the pipe break or collapse. If there are leaking points in the pipe, it will allow the water to escape into the ground and grass. The same is true of any sewage that is located in the pipe.

How Does Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Work

Trenchless sewer line repair is an exciting procedure that has revolutionized the sewer line repair industry. Trenchless sewer line repairs involve soaking a felt or fiberglass pipe liner in an epoxy resin and threading it through the existing sewer pipe. It will take 24 hours for the pipe to cure.

Sewer Line Repair Services

Whenever sewer lines are clogged, damaged, or broken, it is urgent for homeowners to act quickly and responsibly. There are a number of different companies that are available for sewer line repair services. It is important for homeowners to select a professional company that will act in the interest of their customers. Licensed and insured professionals are best for serious plumbing work like sewer line repair.

sewer line repair

Sewer Line Repair Covered by Insurance

As mentioned previously, it is unlikely that your sewer line repairs will be covered by insurance. To find out a more conclusive answer, you can turn to a professional plumber.

If you think you need sewer line repair in Sherman Oaks, CA, your best pathway forward is to contact SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc.. We can be reached at our phone number, 818-574-8522.

Are electric tankless water heater worth it?

electric hot water heater

Do electric water heaters use a lot of electricity?

One of the most common water heaters, electric water heaters have presented themselves as a reliable form of heating the water coming into homes across the country. With several advantages over traditional water heaters like tanked water heaters, the tankless system grew in popularity and became a modern improvement for homeowners. When getting a tankless water heater, residents often realize their water heating improves by a wide margin thanks to the on-demand nature the electric system applies as opposed to a tank that is heated. Furthermore, after installation the improvements the system brings to the home can almost be noticed instantly. 

Versus other water heaters traditional and modern, all an electric water heater runs on is electricity. While it can be said for certain a larger system will use more electricity, it cannot be absolutely stated as a matter of fact what the price upfront and monthly would be unless you were to speak with a technician on the subject of the exact model. However, it can be agreed upon that the system helps modernize your home and makes it far more efficient with the water you use. To get the best electric hot water heater services in Sherman Oaks, CA, trust SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc.. Call 818-574-8522 today to set up an appointment.

How do you know a Water Heater is Going bad?

Like other parts of your home that either defend it or service it, there tends to be a lifespan. The same is true for a water heater, which when needing a replacement will show signs that require attention. When it is time to replace your old water heater and perhaps get a newer electric water heater, the signs of the former may appear in the form of:

  • Rust in the water
  • Excessive noise or rumbling from the water heater
  • Leaking occurring constantly
  • Lack of hot water

For the best answer overall, if your water heater still has the manufacturer’s label then one can simply by looking up the serial number. Most traditional water heaters last between eight to twelve years while an electric water heater will last ten to fifteen years on average. While being able to pass twenty years of age and still work, it is recommended that a person start being more aware of problems arising at ten years of age. Signs of needing a replacement are similar to those above, being that the water heater is connected to your water and will need a replacement when showing similar signs. When well cared for, a person can get a long lifespan out of their water heater and enjoy it for decades.

What is the Downside of a Tankless Water Heater?

Aside from the initial upfront cost of installation and needing a slight amount of space around them, electric water heaters are known for having a few disadvantages and several advantages to them as a system that widely improve your home. Being one of the most improved systems for a home, the water heater does not take up as much room as a tanked water heater would do to being far smaller in form. Other benefits include:

  • Far lower risk of leaking
  • All around safer
  • As mentioned: longer lifespan
  • Quick activation for hot water
  • Does not require venting

When it comes to saving money by fully turning off the system, that is a possibility, but with a requirement. Take care to use caution when turning off your hot water heater so that it does not cause any sort of minor or major damage to your plumbing system. While it will assist in saving on the energy bills, it is not recommended until you carry out the right process which should be found through consulting your plumber for the best route on how to do so.

electric hot water heater

Can a Water Heater Explode?

While a rare occurrence often caused by a malfunction or by constantly setting the pressure too high, it is remotely possible for your hot water heater to explode. The more common, but still rare happening is with gas heated water heaters due to the gas. When a gas leak is present, the ignition flame may light the gas aflame and be the source of a damaging explosion that will possibly send the hot water heater on a projection instead of bursting on the spot due to how it is built. A way gas and electric water heaters will explode on the spot or rocket off is if the water pressure builds up to dangerous levels. However, it should be understood that with how both modern gas and electric water heaters are built that is a highly unlikely threat. The reason being is that modern water heating systems tend to release the pressure or shut down to some degree before getting too dangerous of levels. With either water heater, trust professional plumbers and installers like those found at SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc. to carry out water heater services while also educating you further on them. Call our main location in Sherman Oaks, CA at 818-574-8522 to set up an appointment.

Can You Fix a Broken Pipe?

A Plumber Repairs a Broken Pipe.

Can you fix a broken water pipe?

Broken pipes often cause leaks, and leaks cause your water bill to skyrocket. If a pipe has burst or broken behind a wall or under your foundation, this can be a major fix requiring a plumber. Temporary broken pipe repair, in some instances,is possible, as long as you have the skills, tools, and right material. For many modern homes, your pipes will probably be made of PVC material. To make a temporary repair on PVC pipes you can follow the steps below:

  • Buy a PVC slide repair coupling designed for the same size of piping in your home.
  • Since you’ll probably have a leak because of the broken pipe, you’ll want to turn off the nearest water supply before you ever get started on the repair. Switching off the water supply is useful even if you have a plumber coming out and can speed up repairs.
  • Make sure the affected water lines are drained once the water is shut off. 
  • The slide coupling is then attached to the piston end of the slip fix and compress it. 
  • To determine where you need to cut the broken pipe, place the slip fix against the pipe and mark the pipe at either end of the fix.
  • Use PVC pipe cutters to remove the damaged section of pipe.
  • To soften the PVC, apply PVC primer to the piston end of the slip fix and slip coupling.
  • After the primer is applied, solvent cement is applied to the slip coupling and slip fix.
  • Push the slip pieces together until they are flush, and then turn the coupling ¼ of the way around the piston end. Hold the pieces together for 4 to 5 seconds, and wipe off excess solvent with a rag.
  • Apply the primer and solvent to the coupling and one end of the repair pipe.
  • The coupling is installed over the repair pipe.
  • Repeat the primer and solvent process on the other end of the repair pipe and connect the piston end to this end of the pipe.
  • Let the solvent dry and then flush the water lines.

Without the right tools and materials busted, rusted and broken pipe repair in Sherman Oaks, CA can be overwhelming. When you need expert plumbing professionals to repair your broken pipes, give SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc. a call at 818-574-8522.

Broken pipe repair kit

It’s always good to have tools and materials available for broken pipe repair. A quick, temporary repair can make all the difference, and maybe save you from costly repairs later. Even wrapping duct tape around pinhole leaks can save you in a pinch until a plumbing professional can arrive for a full repair. Other materials you may want to keep around are epoxy putty and pipe repair clamps. Couplings and materials like resin permeated fiberglass tape are also handy to keep around. Also, make sure you have a good wrench and pipe cutters available. 

How to repair broken pipe in wall

One of the common places where pipe breaks occur is behind a wall. It’s usually best to get a professional out to make the broken pipe repair because the wall will have to be removed to make the repair. A plumber will have the right material and tools to make the repair. If the leak is severe enough, however, to have burst through the wall, one of the first things you can do to spare yourself further water damage is to cut off the water and drain out the lines. You may want to wrap a sheet around the pipe to find out the exact location of the leak and place a bucket or other container under the pipe to catch anything that drips out.

How to repair broken pipe in slab

Another common area where leaks often occur and broken pipe repair is necessary. Most of the time these repairs require a professional to repair. Usually the repairs require the plumber to dig through the foundation after detecting the leak and making the repair, or the plumber can tunnel under the slab after locating the break. If the foundation has to be dug through, it will have to be repaired as well, and the flooring replaced. Finding the leak is one of the more difficult aspects of the repair. Plumbers often use specialized listening devices to listen for air escaping after water is forced out of the pipe. Plumbers may also use special cameras or thermal devices to locate the leak. Without the right equipment, it’s rare that such repairs can be made by yourself.

How do you fix a broken pipe outside?

Typically when a pipe breaks outside, it’s either a main water line or a sewer line. Broken sewer pipe repair is a difficult task. Plumbers usually have one of two options to make the repair. You can either dig up the pipes, find the leak and repair the pipes, or you can perform one of two types of trenchless pipe repair. With trenchless repair, the damage pipe doesn’t need to be exposed through digging. All that’s required is one or two access points need to be dug. Then the broken pipe can either be relined by sending an epoxy-coated flexible pipe down the old pipe, and allowing the epoxy to dry and solidify or a new pipe can be pushed through the old pipe, bursting it, with the new pipe replacing it.

How long does it take to fix a broken water pipe?

The amount of time it takes for broken pipe repair will vary. It depends on the severity of the break and the location of the pipe. A broken pipe under the sink might take less than an hour to repair. A main water line could take anywhere between four hours or up to a day or more, depending on where the pipe is located. Once the pipe is repaired, you’ll also have to repair walls or foundation or landscaping that has to be removed to make the pipe repair.

How much does it cost to repair a broken water pipe?

Costs for broken pipe repair will vary depending on the location and severity of the break. A simple leak could cost anywhere between $50 to $250, whereas a leak under your home’s foundation could cost as much as $4,000. If you have older piping, you may want to repipe the whole house, which could cost as much as $15,000.

Does homeowners insurance cover pipes that burst?

What homeowners insurance covers when it comes to repairs can be complicated. Many home repairs like roof repairs fall under the category of covered perils, such as hail or fire. In the case of broken pipes, the repairs normally will be covered if the pipe burst suddenly. On the other hand, if the pipe has broken because your plumbing system is old or in disrepair, it won’t be covered. Check with your insurance company to find out exactly what’s covered in your policy.

A Plumber Tightens a Pipe.

Call for Services

Whether you have a small leak or a pipe has suddenly burst, when you need broken pipe repair in Sherman Oaks, CA, count on the reliable professionals at SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc.. We offer a full range of plumbing repair services. Find out how we can help or schedule services by calling 818-574-8522.

What causes a water main break?

pipe damage causing a water main break

What to do when the water main breaks

When you come home and find water gushing uncontrollably from somewhere in your house, you’ll panic. All that water is creating a hazardous and unsafe area, not to mention the damage that it is causing to your home. Then, quickly, you realize that the water needs to be turned off, and that is possible if the water is coming from the water supply within your home or property, like a main water line break

When the uncontrolled gushing water is from a water main break, who is responsible? Well, if the water main break is on the city’s side of the meter, they’ll be responsible for the water main break and repair. This also means you’ll need to contact them to shut the water off. If it is after working hours, on a holiday or weekend, it could take some time for them to arrive, depending on how big of a city or town you live in and how busy the emergency crews are. 

However, if it is on your side of the water meter, the good news is that you can turn the water off yourself. The bad news is, you’ll repair the main water line break at your expense. This also means the whole time the water is gushing, your water meter is running, and your water bill is increasing, rapidly. Some cities and towns will give a customer a discount if the meter reading indicates an extraordinarily high bill the next month if you have advised them of having a main water line break within a short time of the break.

Where is the main water line? 

Typically, the main water lines are approximately three feet deep and enter your house in a direct line from the water meter.  In zones where the weather is warmer year-round, the main water line is sticking up from the ground on the exterior of your house and enters at that point.  It is here that you’ll find a turn off valve, usually in an underground box. There should be a hose bib and a backflow preventer. In colder zones, the main water line is buried deeper below the ground level, going into the basement. Close to where the main water line enters your house, there should be a valve. These valves are in place in case there is an emergency main water line break on your side of the meter.

How does a water main work? 

Water is a natural resource, and it is a complex series of equipment, pipes, and pumps, all operated by trained people that are employed by the city or local water The Co-op.  That water is usually from a nearby lake or river.  It is the job of those employed with the water division to make sure the water system works properly so that the water we get from our water taps is safe.  They also make sure the waste and water we run through the drains or flush are removed safely from the intake water.  

How do you turn off water supply? 

There are typically three valves installed by the city or town where you live before the main water line valve in your home. You should locate this valve now before you have an emergency main water line break, so you know where to go when you do. It is normally located in the basement or outside on an exterior wall of the house. If you have an emergency main water line break, turn this valve clockwise to turn the water to the house off. There are two designs for this shutoff valve: 

  • A Ball Valve: If your house has copper or plastic main water pipes going into your house, this is known as a full-flow ball valve. You must use a pipe to close or open it.
  • A Gate Valve: This is the most reliable valves and lasts for years, but if they aren’t turned very often, they get hard to operate. It is advised to turn it off and back on every so often to keep that from happening.

After closing and opening the valve, the valve stem may leak. You can stop this by tightening the packing nut that holds it in place. 

Whenever you have had to turn the water, let the pipes drain and unscrew the aerators on the faucet ends before turning the water on again. This will keep any small bits of scale that come loose inside the pipes from clogging the aerator.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover water main line?

Every homeowner’s insurance policy is different, but most will cover any emergency and unexpected water damage caused by plumbing malfunction like a main water line break.  However, if upon inspection they determine there has been a constant, slow leak that was not repaired, it will not pay for that damage. 

It is important to know that most homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for damage sustained during any regional flooding. If you live in a flood-prone area, it is recommended to take an additional flood insurance policy.

a repaired water main with new pipe

How do you turn the water off at the street? 

Where your water meter is located, there is a shut-off valve inside the same box. Using an adjustable wrench, also called a crescent wrench, you can shut the water off by turning the valve clockwise.  Big box home repair centers have a water meter valve key you can purchase at different lengths. Many homeowners that have had emergency main water line breaks recommend making that purchase before you need it.

Water is a natural resource that we should take every effort to preserve. The moment you notice a leak in your home or at the outside spigots, make the repair right away. The water that is dripping slowly from the showerhead or a toilet that runs after flushing and refilling is wasting that natural resource. Unfortunately, we don’t always notice a main water line break right away.  Most water main lines are under the pavement today. Main water line breaks are common in extremely cold weather when the ground has frozen for several days, which increases the external stress on the water lines. Call 818-574-8522 today for your main water line leak repair in Sherman Oaks, CA. Our team is always available to assist you.

Why did my garbage disposal suddenly stop working?

a garbage disposal unit

Garbage Disposal in your home

The garbage disposal is a modern-day invention. It is rare to find one in homes over 40 years old unless it was installed “aftermarket”, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a new home built without one.  A Wisconsin architect, John W. Hammes invented this kitchen appliance in 1927. It would be 1935 before he received his 1935.

It was 1940 before he put his invention on the market under the company name of InSinkErator, but GE would dispute it as being the first garbage disposal, with claims that their disposal was first introduced in 1935. Either way, whether it was Hammes or GE, the garbage disposal has become a mainstay in many, if not most, American homes.

Today, if you have a garbage disposal or not, most of us take the garbage disposal for granted. So much so, that when it isn’t working, we may panic, especially if we’re amid cooking a big dinner. While most of us can’t live without this kitchen appliance, we know little about them, and with that, we will answer some commonly asked questions, like: 

How does garbage disposal work?

The garbage disposal is mounted under the cabinet, attached to the drain. It is powered by electricity and with the aid of water flowing into the drain, enabling it to grind up food scraps that are put in the drain. Today, local safety codes require the electrical switch for a garbage disposal to be so many feet away from the water source.  When you consider electricity and water are not a good combination, this makes sense. 

Inside the garbage disposal is a grinding chamber consisting of shredding blades that break down food. Then there is an impeller arm that uses centrifugal force to force the ground particles and liquid down through the drain which is shared with the dishwasher. This shared drain allows the large food particles to be ground up thoroughly before reaching the drain.

Do I need a plumber to install a garbage disposal? 

If you are a handy DIY person, there should be instructions that come with garbage disposal. Also, there are many YouTube videos available that can walk you through the installation. However, calling a licensed plumber is recommended. This will assure that it does the job and if there are any incidents with the existing plumbing, you’ll have the professional on-site already. If local building codes require a GFCI outlet for the electrical part of a garbage disposal, you will need to call a licensed electrician before the plumber can do their part.

How long does a typical garbage disposal last? 

The life expectancy for most garbage disposal units depends on the size of the motor and the usage. The average lifespan with normal usage is between 8 years and 15 years, not as long the life of your roof, but for several years. The more it is used, the quicker the blades wear out, or the motor quits. There are 8 food items that can damage a garbage disposal and make it necessary to replace it before it has reached its life expectancy.

  • Fruit Skins & Vegetable Peels: The peeling and skins from apples, mangoes, onions, and potatoes can get caught around the disposer blades and prevent the garbage disposal from working. If you do use the unit to dispose of these, experts recommend cutting in small pieces and only process a few at a time.
  • Pasta & Rice & Tea Grounds, Tea Leaves: Pasta, rice, tea grounds, and tea leaves stick to the blades and pipes, creating a clog in the sink.
  • Celery Stalks & Stringy Vegetables: Celery is rubbery and has strings, spinach is stringy, and both can cause the same effect as apple skins and potato peelings inside the garbage disposal.
  • Bones & Shells: Bones and shellfish shells can break and dull the blades in a garbage disposal, causing it to jam and thwart the blades from functioning. Over time, this will eventually burn out the motor.
  • Fruit Seeds & Pits: Cherry, durians, nectarine, and peach seeds are hard and typically large. They can blunt the blades over time and can even cause the garbage disposal to freeze up.
  • Fats, Grease, or Greasy Foods: Foods that are fat and greasy, or direct fat, grease, or oil will coat the blades with a film and reduce their effectiveness. In time, that grease film will putrefy, causing the garbage disposal to smell the entire kitchen with a pungent odor, perhaps the entire house. In addition to this smell, the pipes get clogged and the grease will harden inside the drain, which will keep it from working properly.
  • Egg Shells: A rumor got started somehow that eggshells sharpen a garbage disposal blades, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. There is a stringy membrane layer inside eggshells that become wrapped around the shredder ring. While they will grind up to a consistency like sand, over time, it will clog the pipes.

Additionally, if it isn’t a food item, it doesn’t belong in the garbage disposal! Professional plumbers have found some items in non-working garbage disposals that have no business being there to start with, such as:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Fabric
  • Plant clippings
  • Pull tabs
  • Rubber bands
  • Sponges
  • Spoons
  • Twist ties

These are things that cannot break down in a garbage disposal and will only end up clogging the drain after it burns the garbage disposal motor.  If something accidentally gets in the garbage disposal, you’ll know this by the garbage disposal is humming loudly, like a dishrag or utensil, UNPLUG the unit before you attempt to remove it. If you can’t easily remove it without pulling on it, thus risk bending the blades, call a plumber.

Will a garbage disposal cut you?

Garbage disposals fling inserted debris with centrifugal force, bouncing it around until it is broken up or chewed up. A garbage disposal doesn’t have a downward suction, so pushing a hand down inside the unit before turning it on, will yes, cut it, maybe break your fingers, but it won’t pull your arm in. 

Why does my garbage disposal smell so bad?

Theoretically, garbage disposals are self-cleaning. However, from time to time, gooey and sludge will build up inside them and food particles stick to the grinders. When this happens, a phantom odor will overtake your kitchen, maybe your whole house. No need to panic though – your garbage disposal simply needs to be flushed. 

You can do this yourself by plugging the drain, filling the sink with hot water, and then adding a good amount of dish liquid. Turn the garbage disposal on, then pull the stopper out so the water can flush through the unit. 

For the next step, drop some ice cubes and a half cup of kosher salt in the drain where the garbage disposal is and turn it on. The ice will knock any stuck-on food off and the salt will scrub the sides. Repeat the process for good pressure but add grounded lemon peels (remember to ground them up!).

recycling peels and food waste

Grind with Care

Your garbage disposal is an awesome kitchen assistant, but like any other component of your home, it needs to be taken care of. Starting by not abusing it with items and products that it isn’t meant to grind up. Doing the cleaning part that we described at the end of this article on a monthly basis will keep it from smelling, and the ground up lemon peel will make the whole kitchen smell fresh. For garbage disposal repair in Sherman Oaks, CA, call 818-574-8522 for SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc..

How Often Should Water Heaters Be Inspected?

A Plumber Inspecting a Water Heater.

Do Water Heaters Need to Be Inspected?

Water heaters are essential to any household. They offer hot water so we can clean, wash clothes, and bathe. Its a complex system and a lot of things can go wrong with the tank if its not properly serviced. If you have a water heater and you want to extend it’s life, then getting a water heater inspection is crucial. Water heaters are constantly working, so if they aren’t examined from time to time, they can develop issues that can result in repairs or a complete replacement. Not only can water heater inspections extend the life of a water heater, but it is also a great safety measure. Some water heater issues like leaks can be dangerous; if water comes into contact with anything electrical or water develops into mold, this can be very dangerous to you and your family. A lot of people ask, “How often does a hot water heater need to be serviced?” Water heater inspections should take place at least once a year. Other times you should schedule an inspection is if your water heater is displaying issues that are not normal or water heater inspection after installation to make sure the installation was done correctly. On top of safety reasons and extending the life of the water heater, there are other reasons why water heater inspections are necessary.

  • Comply with Codes: By getting a water heater inspection, you can make sure that your water heater is in compliance with building codes.
  • Conserve Energy Efficiency: You can save money in the long run by getting an inspection as examining the water heater will determine if its energy-efficient or not.
  • Prevent Issues: Water heater inspections are able to detect issues before they turn into major problems.
  • Lower Potential Damage: Water leaks and other damages to the water heater can cause property damage–but with an inspection, you can make a conscious effort to avoid this from happening.

How Do You Service a Water Heater?

Many people who are in need of water heater inspections typically want to know what it entails. There might be a water heater inspection checklist through your city, but mostly you can find checklists online that show you what a plumber will do when they are inspecting your water heater. Things that will be looked at during an inspection is whether the manufacturer installation instructions are attached to the water heater, if it has flue clearance, venting, a pressure or temperature relief valve, or sediment trap, where the shut off is. Mostly inspections will depend on what type of water heater you have, gas, electric, tank, or tankless, and where it is located (the garage, attic, or closet). Those things can really determine how an inspection will go since there are different variables for these specific things. For example, if a gas water heater manufactured after 2003 is located in a garage, the water heater must be elevated. A lot of people ask, “Why does a water heater need to be elevated?” it is due to fire safety purposes because of the ignition source.

How Do I Get My Water Heater Inspected?

If you are in the market for a water heater inspection, then you might be wondering who does water heater inspection services. Plumbing companies are who you want to call if you need your water heater inspected. They will be licensed and insured to work on your water heater and know exactly what to look for and how to repair or replace it if there are damages. Just like you wouldn’t call anyone but an HVAC technician for Goodman service, you shouldn’t call anyone but a plumber for water heater inspections. A lot of people assume that electricians can inspect water heaters, but because they deal with a water system, a plumbing contractor will be able to handle the inspection.

Water Heater Inspection Cost

An Up Close Picture of a Plumber Inspecting a Water Heater.

Call Us Today!

Depending on who you go to for a water heater inspection will depend on the cost. Not every plumber is created equal, some will charge a lot and some will be pretty cheap. You don’t want to go too cheap as they might not inspect everything you need inspected but you don’t want a plumber who is going to charge you an arm and a leg for an inspection. If you need water heater inspection in Sherman Oaks, CA, contact SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc.! We are able to offer affordable water heater inspections for your home. We can inspect typical gas or electric water heaters or water heating systems like a high recovery water heater. Whatever type of water heater you have, we will be able to inspect it. If we find any issues with your water heater while we are inspecting it, we can be the ones to repair it. The cost of repairs will be dependent on where the repair is located, the age of the water heater, as well as the extent of the damage. To learn more, call us at 818-574-8522!

Is a Sewer Inspection Necessary?

A Plumber Connects a Sewer Camera.

What does a sewer inspection consist of 

While a sewer inspection is not pretty, it’s a necessary part of plumbing maintenance. Most issues with sewer lines are not obvious, until you suddenly find your bathroom or other areas of your home flooded with raw sewage back-up. When you get a sewer inspection, a qualified plumber can search for major problems like clogs, tree roots, collapsed lines, cracks, or leaks. With a sewer inspection, you get an overall picture of your sewer’s condition. These inspections are most often provided when people are buying a new home, but recommended if you’ve had problems like clogs with your sewer.

In the past a sewer inspection may have required the plumber to dig up lines or crawl under the home, and do a lot of guesswork. Today, with sewer camera inspections, the plumber and homeowner get an accurate look through all the whole sewer line. With this type of inspection, the plumber sends a camera attached to a flexible rod through the line, while watching the results on an HD monitor. This camera gives the plumber the clearest view of the sewer system available. The camera is the primary sewer inspection equipment used by plumbers.

If you are buying a home, or have problems with your sewer line, call SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc. for an expert sewer camera inspection in Sherman Oaks, CA. To schedule your inspection, call 818-574-8522.

Sewer line inspections are as important as HVAC maintenance when it comes to maintaining your home and ensuring all systems are working properly. 

What is a sewer scope inspection?

A sewer scope inspection is the same thing as a sewer camera inspection or sewer line inspection.

How much is a sewer line inspection?

Sewer line inspections on average cost between $250 and $500. The costs will vary depending on the length of the pipes and whether or not other work such as a sewer inspection and cleaning is done as well. Sewer cleaning involves sending blasts of high pressure water down the line to clean it, a technique known as hydrojetting. Other work may include repairs to leaks or clog clearing services, or even replacing damaged pipes. It may require excavation of lines or removal of tree roots, one of the leading causes of back-ups.

Call 818-574-8522 to request an estimate on our sewer line inspection services. We offer the most affordable rates in the Sherman Oaks, CA area.

How do I know if there are roots in my sewer line?

You should be concerned about tree roots in your sewer line if you have trees growing near the line. Tree roots are the primary cause of back-ups because they can get into the lines and cause them to collapse. As with other clogs, with tree roots in the line, you may notice that your drains are slower, or your toilets may stop flushing as well as normal. While unpleasant odors coming from your drains and toilets may be caused by grime and soap scum in your pipes, it’s also possible sewage is not draining properly because of a blockage.

Trees roots aren’t the only objects plumbers find causing trouble for your sewer line. Here are some other things a sewer inspection can find in your sewer line: 

  • Blockages caused by other materials
  • Mud and sediment
  • Broken pipes
  • The type of pipe used in the line
  • Systems connections like fittings and tees 

What does a septic inspection consist of?

If you manage your waste with a septic system, it’s recommended that you have a septic inspection at least once a year. If you get a full system inspection, the inspection involves not only a visual inspection of the full tank, but an inspection of the tank after it is pumped.

With a full septic inspection, the liquid levels are checked first to see if the tank is leaking or if it is too full. If the level is normal, then water is sent through the system to ensure it is flowing from the house to the tank and then to the absorption area. Following this, the tank will be pumped to check for backflow from the absorption area. The flow is checked again to make sure there are no blockages in the plumbing or sewer line. Some inspections will use a camera to examine the system. Inspections may also include a dye test, in which dye is added to the plumbing to track the flow of waste.

How long does it take to do a septic inspection?

Generally, a septic inspection will take anywhere between 45 minutes to 3 hours. Much of this will depend on the complexity of the system, as well as the findings the inspector makes. A written report is usually received by the end of the next business day.

Tree Roots in a Drain Pipe.

Sewer inspection companies

While there are plenty of companies offering sewer inspection in the area, when you want a thorough sewer inspection in Sherman Oaks, CA, you can rely on the expert services from SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc.. Call us today at 818-574-8522 to schedule an appointment.

Should I Repipe My House?

Copper Pipelines In A Home

How Long Does It Take to Repipe a Whole House?

For homeowners contemplating a whole home repiping, it is important to consider the ultimate timeline for such an endeavor. Whole-home repiping usually takes between two days to an entire week to complete. Ultimately the process will vary depending on the size of your home and the type of piping system that is already in place.

How Much Does it Cost to Repipe a House with PEX?

Whole home repiping can be accomplished utilizing the innovative PEX material. For those who are looking into replacing the plumbing pipes in a home, homeowners should expect to spend between $2,000 and $8,000 for PEX piping. In contrast, copper piping can cost far more – between $2,500 and $15,000, including labor and materials. The estimates will vary and be smaller depending on the size of the job. For instance, repiping a small bathroom with PEX piping can cost from $2,000-$3,000.

What is the Best Pipe to Use for Plumbing?

There are many different pipes that homeowners can use for their plumbing. Here is a list of the potential pipes that homeowners can utilize for their whole-house repiping.

  • Stainless steel. If cost is a consideration, and for many homeowners it is, stainless steel is expensive. This type of pipe is typically used for areas subject to corrosion and near coastal zones. It is important to note that stainless steel pipes are different from galvanized pipes.
  • PEX. PEX piping is known as a flexible plastic piping that can be utilized for residential and small business applications. Important considerations include the fact that PEX requires minimal maintenance and incorporates a fast installation process.
  • Copper. Copper pipes are usually the most traditional plumbing pipe used due to their extensive duration and reliability. Copper pipes are incredibly resistant to corrosion and can be used for hot and cold water.
PEX Piping In The Basement Of A Home

Does Repiping a House Add Value?

Let’s break down exactly what whole-house repiping entails. Whole house repiping involves installing new water lines to replace the old ones. Having a functional plumbing system is integral to the daily life of a home. Water is used for toilets, washing dishes, and doing laundry. At the end of the day, whether or not a home provides the basic function of providing hot and cold water to a household is important. Certainly, repiping a home will add value, as it eliminates the need to repipe the home for many years to come. For those who are considering kitchen remodeling in CA it is highly likely that the value of your home will escalate. As in many states, a kitchen remodel breathes efficiency and design into the home in a way many potential homebuyers will appreciate.

How Long Does PEX Plumbing Last?

In general, the durability of PEX piping is estimated to last fifty years or more. Plumbers consider PEX piping to be far more durable than copper piping. PEX piping is used for an incredible number of applications. This range of applications includes radiant heating systems for residential and industrial plumbing. As with many home appliances and architectural elements, with routine maintenance and care, PEX piping can last longer than the typical estimate.

Home Repiping With PEX

For homeowners who are considering repiping their home, usually, they are faced with the dilemma of choosing between copper and PEX piping. The difference between the two materials is not only cost but related to a number of other factors. Pex piping is a flexible material that’s easy for a plumber to install. Pex piping has fewer joints, which makes the installation process easier for plumbers. Pex also possesses the admirable quality of being resistant to breaking down during cold weather, making it less likely to burst due to its flexibility.

Complete Home Repiping

Sometimes it can be difficult for homeowners to determine whether or not their home requires whole-home repiping. It is important to understand that replacing all the pipes in the home is a major task, and is probably the largest plumbing repair that can be undertaken for a residence. Homeowners should consider a whole house repiping if their home is older than fifty years old if water pressure is dropping and clogs are increasing. Finally, homeowners should also consider whole-home repiping if regular maintenance has determined that the targeted problems underlying a pipe issue are too big for a repair or patch.

Repiping a Home

For homes that are older than sixty years old, homeowners should make it a habit to check all exposed pipes. This means checking in basements, crawlspaces, and utility rooms for any irregularities. The tubing should be checked for discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, or flaking. Each of these symptoms is a sign of pipe corrosion. During this time, please keep a watch for leaks. Small ones can be repaired, however, if a large leak has occurred, it is possible that a whole-house repiping is in order.

Home Repiping Process

While this blog has discussed that the process for a whole home repiping usually takes between two days to a week, it’s also important to understand the process that is involved. Most of the plumbing work involved revolves around the complete water shut off that must occur. Furniture and carpet must be covered and removed. Cuts will be taken in the wall and drywall. After the new system is installed, the drywall and other materials will be repaired, patched and retextured to optimal effect.

Have you experienced a plumbing issue that has you considering whole home repiping? Our friendly operators at SAL Plumbing and Rooter Inc. are available now at 818-574-8522 to schedule your whole home repiping in Sherman Oaks, CA.