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  • Summer Plumbing Tips: Don’t Get in Hot Water this Summer

    I am highly anticipating the gradual transition from the rainy spring days into the sweltering heat of summer, just as my children anticipate breaking free from claustrophobic classrooms into a summer vacation full of outdoor activities. But before summer arrives, we have to prepare for the season; I need to buy sunscreen and bathing suits while the kids need to pass their final exams.

    Likewise, there are steps to take to ensure your plumbing is optimized for the season. Here is a list of things you should do to prepare your plumbing for the summer.

    1) Reduce the water temperature: Check your water temperature to make sure it is below 120 degrees. During the summer, it can be even lower, especially while on vacation.

    2) Check washing machine hoses for bulges: Clothes seem to get dirtier in the summer because everyone is playing outside and swimming. Make sure your washing machine can handle the extra workload by checking for kinks in the connections.

    3) Check outdoor faucets and hoses for leaks: The cold winter months can cause damage to outdoor plumbing, so inspect your hose before trying to water flowers or construct a homemade slip-and-slide.

    4) Conserve water: If you wake up early to water plants before sunup, or wait until after sundown, you will save water. Midday watering causes much to dissipate in the sunshine.

    5) Be careful what you put into garbage disposal: Garbage disposals were not designed to handle all food wastes. Stringy and fibrous foods, like celery and cornhusks, can wrap around the disposal blades. Never put down instant foods that expand with water, like mashed potato flakes, because they are almost guaranteed to cause a clog. This will ensure your summer BBQ goes off without a hitch.

    Have a fun summer and try to make decisions that will conserve water and save the planet!

  • Glossary of Commonly Used Plumbing Terms: Part 1

    I hate going to the car mechanic and having them throw around a bunch of jargon I don’t understand. In the end, I have no idea what I paid for and always leave feeling like I was ripped off. In order to prevent that from happening with Rooter Experts Plumbing in Los Angeles, here is a glossary of common terms.

    Apprentice Plumber: An entry-level person working to become certified. An apprentice will often be training under the watch of a professional.

    Auger: Used to clear clogs in toilets and drains, this flexible metal rod is a common tool for most plumbers as it can wind deep into pipes.

    CPVC: Short for chlorinated poly-vinyl chloride pipe, which is a plastic piping used for both hot and cold water.

    Energy Star: The international rating system for measuring energy efficiency; used on washing machines and dishwashers.

    Float Valve: This type of valve shuts down water flow at a certain level. The most common example is the hollow ball in the back of a toilet tank.

    GPM: Gallons per minute; a measure of how much water a fixture needs to operate.

    Hose bibb: The fitting on a hose that connects it to a spigot or faucet.

    Journeyman: A plumber who has completed an apprenticeship, but still requires more training to achieve “master” status, typically taking 4-5 years.

    Licensed, insured, & bonded: The three certifications that a plumbing company must possess in order to legally operate.

    Overflow: An additional drain that prevents a fixture from overfilling and causing flooding. As an example, the small hole located at the top of a sink.

    PEX (piping): A new and superior type of plastic piping, made up of hose barb connections and compression rings. It is easier to install around corners because it is flexible.

    Pilot light: The small gas flame used to ignite a burner when activated.

    Pressure gauge: A device used to measure the pressure in a water system.

    Pressure tank: This tank controls water pressure so that you receive water on demand. When a faucet is turned on, the pressure forces out the water and when the water level reaches a predetermined level, the pump is started to raise water pressure.

    Next week, we will continue part 2 of this glossary with additional terms you should know when hiring a plumber.

  • Rooter to the Rescue!: The Ugly Side of Valentine’s Day

    Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance… or at least that’s what it is supposed to be about. But last Valentine’s Day, Rooter had a different experience.

    We got the call around 6 p.m. on February 14, 2012 and quickly headed over to the apartment address. The tenant buzzed up our plumber and he expected the basic clogged toilet, but was completely surprised when the door opened.

    A male, around 25-year-old, was at the door, eyes red from crying. He sniffled and let in the Rooter Expert’s plumber, who said he immediately smelled a burning odor. As he was led to the bathroom, he saw a table set for a romantic candlelight dinner, except the food was spilled, plates were smashed, and the white tablecloth was scorched by the overturned candle holder.

    As they neared the bathroom, he could see water stains on the carpet near the door. The tenant opened the door, and the bathroom was drowning in an inch of water, dotted with Sweethearts candies.

    The plumber lifted the lid of the toilet and saw a white stuffed bear holding a heart, more candies, and roses crammed inside the bowl, which was slowly dribbling water over the rim.

    The fix was relatively simple; a quick plumbers snaking got everything unclogged and operating properly, so the plumber packed up his tools and wrote up the work order.

    As the tenant was signing it, still sobbing uncontrollably, our plumber couldn’t resist asking:

    “So, what exactly happened here?”

    “Um… well,” the tenant stuttered. “I gave my girlfriend a Valentine’s gift, and… ummm… it had the wrong name on the tag so she broke up with me.”

    OUCH!

    Hope the rest of you have a better Valentine’s Day than that!

  • Keeping New Year’s Resolutions: Go Green in 2013!

    Well, the Mayan Apocalypse came and went without any actual mass destruction, so 2013 is looking like it is really going to happen. Unfortunately, that means sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.

    American society sees the New Year as a way to shake the etch-a-sketch of life clean and start fresh. For most, that means working towards self-improvement, like losing weight. Another popular resolution is to help improve the environment and to leave a better earth to future generations. But how do we achieve this?

    Recycling, buying organic, and starting a compost pile are good ways to start, but Rooter Experts has another way to help the environment: Go Green plumbing services. We offer a variety of options that will reduce your energy usage, and cut down on your expenses at the same time.

    Tankless Water Heater Installation

    A tankless water heater works by running water through hot coils that warm the water, while a normal tank water heater continuously stores warm water. Of course, this means that a water tank must always draw electricity to function, whereas a tankless unit only needs to heat up when in use.

    Rooter offers tankless water heater installation at great rates. The initial unit and installation cost money, but provides long-term savings on energy. Plus, they free up space where you used to keep your tank!

    Bathroom

    The energy conservation movement has brought many advances in plumbing technology designed to reduce wasted water. Some of these Green items include shower heads, low-flow toilets, and energy-saving sinks and faucets.

    Kitchen

    Rooter offers dishwasher installation with water and energy saving units. They cut back on your water consumption while still getting dishes sparkly clean.

    There are also a wide selection of energy efficient refrigerators, sinks, and other appliances.

    Stay Strong

    Whatever your New Year’s Resolution was, we hope you are able to stay committed and not give up. Good luck!

  • Rooter Expert’s Most Popular Blogs from 2012

    Happy New Year!

    With hundreds of toilets unclogged, pipes repaired, and water systems installed, 2012 was a roaring success for Rooter Experts. We wanted to commemorate the year by reviewing our selections for top 5 blogs from the previous years.

    Check out these awesome DIY, plumbing tips, and informative articles from 2012, with lessons that still apply in the coming year.

    5) Do-It-Yourself: 5 Money-Saving Plumbing Techniques

    Everybody loves saving money and this article gives you tips just for that.

    4) Ten Totally Tremendous Toilet Trivia Tidbits!

    10 things you probably never knew about plumbing, such as the White House having 30 bathrooms and going through 636 rolls of TP per day.

    3) 5 Things You Must Know About Plumbing

    It is important to be an intelligent consumer, and these tips let you know when a plumbing problem could be on the horizon.

    2) Advantages of Going Tankless

    Tankless water heaters are gaining popularity for reducing energy bills, keeping water warm longer, and opening up space. Find out how this system could benefit your household.

    1) Plumbing Myths Debunked: The Simpsons & Coriolis Effect

    Was there ever any doubt that this would come out in first place?

    Published way back in March, this blog discussed the famous Simpsons’ episode, “Bart vs. Australia”. In it, Bart and Lisa argue over whether water drains in opposite directions in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Check out the article to find out which of the Simpson kids is right!

  • Decorate Your Toilet Like a Christmas Tree and Other Bathroom Tips!

    There is an old joke that a dog sees his owner decorating the Christmas tree and thinks, “Finally! Indoor plumbing!”

    Now hopefully your pup won’t make that mistake, but we do have some tips to make your bathroom more festive.

    Christmas has more decorations than any other holiday (although Halloween and 4th of July might have a solid counter-argument), but one room that gets overlooked is the bathroom. The exterior of the house is covered in lights, the family room has the tree, and the kitchen smells like gingerbread cookies.

    Meanwhile, your bathroom has the same-old scenery and scent. You walk out of a winter wonderland and into a public urinal.

    That’s why we have some bathroom decorating tips to add a little flare this holiday season. Check them out!

    • Scented candles – Find aromas like pine tree, spiced apple cider, or peppermint to treat your nose to some holiday cheer.
    • Dress your toilet like a tree – You can attach a felt or paper tree to the tank with ornaments and lights. That will add some flare!
    • Shower curtain – Buy a festive shower curtain to use during the season.
    • Christmas lights – Hang a strand over your mirror.
    • TPresents – Wrap the extra toilet paper rolls in Christmas paper, so people feel like they are unwrapping a gift whenever they finish a roll.
    • Music – Play a Christmas soundtrack in your restroom.

    However you choose to be merry, don’t forget about the bathroom. It should be a fun way to spice up the holidays, as long as Santa knows which tree to deliver the presents to!

  • Holiday Plumbing Tips: Preventing an Emergency

    Season’s Greetings from Rooter Experts!

    The holidays are a hectic time of year- full of shopping, baking, decorating, and celebrating- and the last thing you want is to call a plumber out to your house to deal with an emergency.

    With that said, we would like offer you some tips to prevent a disaster and keep your plumbing operation during the Christmas season.

    1) Make a List, and Check it Twice!

    One of the biggest contributors to toilet clogs is an increased amount of usage. During the holidays, when relatives are in town and parties are being thrown, the toilet get used far more often than normal.

    Go through your house and make a list of every appliance that may need preventative plumbing performed. Check for poor drainage, clogs, and leaks. You can do it yourself or hire a professional, but either way it is better to prevent a problem than have to fix it while your family unwraps presents.

    2) Using the Garbage Disposal for Trash = Naughty List

    Families do more cooking during the holidays, which can create more pressure to quickly whip out a big meal. Chefs take shortcuts, such as washing waste down the kitchen drain, rather than throwing it into the garbage can.

    The problem is that animal fats, grease, and oil can congeal in the disposal causing backups and the blades to stop rotating. Make sure you properly dispose of these products.

    Likewise, seasonal nuts are always a favorite, but the shells can damage garbage disposal blades. Put these in the trash or compost.

    3) Beat the White Christmas with a Warm Shower

    I know it rarely snows in Los Angeles, but that doesn’t change the fact that most people prefer a warm shower in the morning. With house guests, the hot water can get overworked and get cold quickly.

    Along with staggering showers to maintain hot water, you should drain your tank before the season. Sediment builds up in the tank over time, so an occasional draining will remove it. This will optimize your water heater’s performance,

    I Ho, Ho, Hope these plumbing tips keep your holidays full of peace and good cheer!

  • November 19th is World Toilet Day!

    Today is World Toilet Day! It is a day to celebrate one of mankind’s greatest inventions, the toilet- aka the John, the can, the bowl, the porcelain throne, the head, el bano, or the pot.

    It might sound like a silly commemoration, but there is a serious side to this holiday as well. Around 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to clean or sanitary toilets, putting their health at risk. Combined with overpopulation, that forces 1.1 billion people to defecate in public, in a field, bush, or plastic bag, rather than the privacy of a bathroom.

    Additionally, toilets that are clean and bathrooms that are safe increase the likelihood that a girl will stay in school. Between menstruation and waste removal, girls require sanitary conditions and many young females drop out of school in third world countries for this reason.

    In America, we often take our toilet for granted. Did you know that you’re only supposed to flush human waste and toilet paper, yet most humans use it as an extra garbage can? Stop abusing your John with these other tips to keep your toilet operational . On Worold Toilet Day, you owe it to those who are less fortunate.

    If you would like to learn more about World Toilet Day and find out how you can contribute to relief efforts, follow this link: http://www.worldtoiletday.org/index.php

    Today, let’s all recognize how much easier our lives are due to this seemingly innocuous, everyday invention.

  • 5 Things You Must Know About Plumbing

    If you stumbled onto our website, it is pretty likely that you’re looking for a plumber in Los Angeles to unclog a toilet, fix your pipes, or install a water system.

    While we understand that some people are exclusively “hands off” when it comes to plumbing, there are some pieces of information that are vital to learn.

    Remember when you finally moved out of your parent’s house into that new apartment and you suddenly realized that there were basic things you didn’t know how to do? Personally, I learned the hard way what happens when you use hand soap in the dishwasher. My whole kitchen was a bubble bath!

    You can let the professionals handle the big problems, but still have the know-how to fix the small issues with these 5 things you need to know about plumbing.

    You Must Know…

    1) How to read your bill and water meter. This is important so that you do not get overcharged and you can detect a leak. Check the reading on your water meter and make note of the figure to compare to next month’s bill. How much does your usage change each month? Does the bill payment match what you should be paying? Ask your local water company for more details.

    2) Where your main water sources are located and how to turn them off. You should have one or more water sources for your residence. Know where the main valves are located and how to shut them off in case of an emergency, such as a burst or leaky pipe.

    3) If your air conditioning condensation lines are working. AC units produce condensation when in use, which is extracted from the unit. If the lines are broken, the water could cause mold or building damage.

    4) How to shut off water to your hot water heater. When your hot water heater is broken or leaking, you cannot get warm water to wash your hands or shower. But shutting down the flow to the hot water heater, rather than the main valve, will mean that you can still have cold water usage for cooking, cleaning, and flushing.

    5) If your water pressure is under 80 psi. High water pressure is the main cause of leaks, so keeping it under 80 psi is crucial. You can buy a tool to take the reading for under $10 or ask your water supplier what your psi is.

  • Did the Mayans Invent Plumbing Before Europeans Arrived in The New World?

    It was long believed that the Spanish brought plumbing techniques to the Americas, then called The New World, but recent explorations have discovered the remains of plumbing fixtures in the Ancient Mayans civilization. Apparently they did more than simply predict the end of the world.

    I have previously written about the ancient Romans contributions to plumbing with public outhouses and the aqueducts, which you can read in our history of plumbing blog . Let’s take time to look over the ancient Mayans contributions to plumbing technology.

    Where was this ancient plumbing located?

    Located in the city of Palenque, current-day Chiapas in Mexico, evidence of pressurized water systems suggest that the Mayans may have had plumbing dating as far back as 250 A.D. Palenque was settled in 100 A.D. and reached prominence from 250-600. It was later abandoned around 800 A.D., but not before leaving behind a complex plumbing system, although not nearly on the scope of the Romans’ aqueducts.

    What were its main features?

    The landscape at Palenque made it very difficult to expand, forcing a tight-knit society. In order to support a big population, adjustments had to be made. One such advancement was redirecting streams through underground passages to city locations. The aqueducts also prevented flooding from nearly 10-feet of rainfall during the stormy season.

    The Piedras Bolas Aqueduct is located on a steep hill, where it collects up to 18,000 gallons of water at the top and lets it out at the bottom. The 20 foot decrease in elevation causes it to gain substantial pressure, allowing it to forcibly shoot out at the end.

    What was this water pressure for?

    Researchers are not certain about why they would need water pressure systems, but a few theories do exist. For one, it may have been used as wastewater removal to spray away waste. It could also have been inconsequential, and merely a side feature of the design.

    But one particular hypothesis is currently popular, that the water was used in a fountain. This would look attractive and allow anyone to access the water for personal use. There is evidence of a similar structure in the Palenque palace, further leading archaeologists to this conclusion