The plumbing specialists at The Drain Doctor Covina are your problem-solvers for the most common plumbing issues. From traditional plumbing fixes like leaky or clogged pipes to bathroom remodeling, and boiler or water heater replacement, our specialists can handle the job. Not only will we provide the most trusted services, but we’ll also answer any questions or concerns you have along the way
Some plumbing questions tend to come up quite frequently, so we’re delving into some of the most common plumbing questions. There are some plumbing challenges you may be able to tackle on your own, but we’ll distinguish when it’s time to call the professionals and the damage that can be caused by attempting a DIY job or leaving the problem unattended.
The Drain Doctor Covina team is here to guide you through the basics of plumbing and provide easy-to-understand answers to your pressing questions. As industry leaders serving as professional plumbers in Covina, CA, we want to provide helpful tips that you can use in your own home or business. From your toilet to your underground pipes, we’ll help explain how to extend the life of your system and the best solutions for your recurring drain and pipes issues.
Do I need to call a plumber for a clogged drain?
DIY drain cleaning methods are often much more harmful than Covina homeowners realize. Store-bought liquid solutions or even drain cleaning methods from YouTube can potentially damage your pipes. Your drains are an essential part of your property that should be taken care of with precision and accuracy. Using at-home methods of drain cleaning involves unnecessary guesswork that only temporarily masks your plumbing problems instead of solving them all together.
Solutions like drain snaking your drain with a wire hanger and pouring harsh chemicals down your drain never come without consequence. These solutions only reach surface clogs and blockages and not deeper ones within your pipe that could be causing the actual problems. In addition, chemical drain cleaners use toxic ingredients that create slime and sludge within your pipes that speed up the pipe corrosion process, causing more damage in the long run. Instead of trying to fix your plumbing problems on your own, call your trusted Covina, California plumbers at The Drain Doctor Covina.
What are some of the most common plumbing issues I may experience?
From the master bathroom to the garage drain, plumbing issues can occur at any point in your plumbing system. While it’s important to be on the lookout for any abnormality in your plumbing, these are the most common problems you may face:
- Clogged toilet
- Clogged bath or shower drain
- Faulty water heater
- Jammed garbage disposal
- Leaky faucets
- Leaky pipes
- Low water pressure
- Running toilet
- Sewage smell in the home
- Sewer system backup
- Slow draining sink
- Toilet Backup
- Tree Root Invasion
My toilet is leaking. Do I need to call a Covina plumber?
For small issues, like a failed flapper, it’s safe to handle those problems yourself. For more severe issues, it may be time to call in the pros. Determine where the toilet leak is located. If water is coming from the base, try tightening the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. If that doesn’t help, you’ll need to remove the toilet from the floor and replace the wax rings that sit under the bolts. If the toilet is leaking from the tank, ensure that you have no cracks and that the hose is secured to the base of the toilet. Depending on the age of your toilet, it may be time to replace it, which our team at The Drain Doctor Covina will happily do for you.
When should I replace my toilet?
Age and continuous use are the two main reasons homeowners must replace their toilets. A few signs that it’s time to upgrade the stool include:
- Age (toilets 10 years or older aren’t energy efficient)
- Continuous clogs
- Multiple flushes after each use
- Ongoing leaks
Can I clean my pipes myself?
There are daily steps to take to prevent heavy buildup in your pipes, but a thorough pipe cleaning needs to be performed by professionals. Hydro Jetting is a chemical-free way to rid your pipes of clogs, debris, and invasive tree roots.
To avoid major drain clogs and sewer line backups:
- Avoid certain foods in the garbage disposal (coffee grounds, bones, grease, fruit peels)
- Run cold water when using the garbage disposal
- Utilize a drain strainer if you don’t have a garbage disposal
- Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain
- Run hot water to clear grease residue after washing dishes
- Clear drain stoppers in tub and shower
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can - waste and toilet tissue only
- Have the septic tank pumped every two to three years
What is Covina Drain Cleaning?
Professional drain cleaning can be completed in an environmentally friendly way without disrupting your property. Hydro jetting services offered by The Drain Doctor Covina will ensure your pipes and drains are clear of years of debris and buildup. By forcing water through your pipes at nearly 4000 PSI, The Drain Doctor Covina team can remove buildup, debris, and tree roots. The water is sprayed at extremely high pressure and flushes away the debris, allowing water and waste to flow through your plumbing freely. Hydro jetting can be used on any pipe material.
What are my plumbing pipes made of?
Determining the pipe material in your home and beneath the ground is best estimated by the age of your home. As professional plumbers began to take note of how long material lasted, changes were made in pipe material choices. See our guide to determine your pipe material:
- Copper: These bronze-colored pipes were frequently used for plumbing systems in houses built from the 1970s into the early 2000s. As they age, copper pipes will slowly fade to deep rust or brown color. Copper pipes last about 50+ years.
- Galvanized Steel: Leading up to the 1970s, plumbing systems were often built from galvanized steel pipes. The material was used less when builders discovered it only lasted for about 40 years.
- PB (polybutylene): These pipes are flexible and usually marked with “PB2110.” PB pipes are typically gray, black, or blue.
- PVC (polyvinyl-chloride): The white plastic pipes are most commonly seen under your kitchen or bathroom sinks used as drain pipes.
- PEX (cross-linked polyethylene): Plastic tubing that is usually white, red, or blue and used to indicate hot and cold lines. Plumbers use this type of material because of its flexibility.
- Cast Iron: This pipe has a black finish and was used in homes through the mid-1960s.
When should I replace my water heater?
How long your water heater lasts will depend on the style. Tankless water heaters can last for up to 20 years, while most traditional units have an 8 to 12-year lifespan. No matter the style, routine maintenance will help extend the life of your water heater. If you have a traditional tank, draining the water heater once yearly will help rid the unit of sediment and minerals that can settle at the bottom. Call our water heater repair company if your unit shows signs of trouble but isn’t advanced in age. A simple repair or draining could restore the unit to optimum performance.
What’s the best temperature for a hot water heater?
The EPA recommends a water heater temperature setting between 120 and 140 degrees, but several factors will play into the exact temperature of your family’s unit. If your home typically has many different water sources running at once, you may position the temperature closer to 140. If the temperature is set too high, however, you’ll waste energy and risk scalding burns with water usage. For homes with only one or two residents, 120 degrees should suffice. It’s important to not go below the 120 settings, as bacteria can grow in water that is too cool, threatening your family’s health.
How can I tell if tree roots are invading my plumbing?
Invasive tree roots can cause leaks in your underground plumbing resulting in a high water bill and low water pressure. If left untreated, tree roots climbing into your plumbing can cause extensive damage. The fastest way to determine if your plumbing problems are caused by tree roots is through a sewer camera inspection. The Drain Doctor Covina team will feed a high-definition camera through your pipes to locate the root problem.
Is burst pipe damage covered by homeowners insurance?
Nearly all home insurance policies will cover the damage of a burst pipe as long as the damage was not preventable. There are steps you can take to avoid broken pipes or leaking appliances:
- Ensure tubs and showers are caulked and sealed properly
- Inspect for leaking faucets indoors and outside
- Insulate pipes if you live in a cold climate
- Routinely inspect appliance hoses on your dishwasher or washing machine and replace as needed
How do I prevent pipes from freezing?
Prevent frozen pipes by following these pipe insulation steps:
- Run the heating cable along the pipes before covering with insulation. The cable will keep the pipes at a constant temperature.
- Inspect the outside of your home looking for visible cracks near the foundation or basement. Use spray foam or caulking to fill cracks.
- Shut off the water valves to your outdoor faucets. Allow excess water to drain then cover the faucets with an insulated dome to prevent freezing.
- Allow the warm air in your home to reach the pipes beneath your sinks by opening the cabinet doors.
- Have your HVAC system checked annually to prevent your heating system from crashing during the winter months. The freezing temperatures can quickly affect your pipes.
- Allow a small, slow drip to come from your faucets. Running the water even a minimal amount will help prevent frozen pipes.
What causes low water pressure?
Low water pressure isn’t an uncommon problem, but it can be caused by several different issues. Low water pressure in Covina, CA pipes can cause daily activities like washing dishes and showering to become prolonged chores. The problem causes more water waste and a higher utility bill because each activity calls for you to leave the water running longer. The Drain Doctor Covina team will inspect the most common reasons for the dip in water pressure and fully explain how we can resolve your issue. The most common causes of low water pressure include:
- Clogged Pipe: A clogged water pipe can contribute to low water pressure. Attempting to unclog a water line yourself could lead to water contamination in your home. Hire a professional Covina plumber to handle the job.
- Faulty Pressure Regulator: Every faucet in your home will be affected if the pressure regulator attached to the pipes outside your home fails. Our team can test the regulator to see if it is the problem.
- Mineral Buildup: Over time, your pipes, faucet nozzles, and showerheads will be affected by mineral buildup. If the change in your water pressure happened gradually rather than all at once, having the buildup professionally removed could solve the issue.
- Old Pipes: Old iron pipes are especially susceptible to corrosion and can inhibit the flow of water. These pipes corrode from the inside out, so it would be impossible for you to identify this as the problem without a camera inspection from a plumber.
What are the benefits of a professional pipe inspection?
A professional pipe inspection should be completed once a year. A sewer camera inspection is the best way to determine what is happening inside your plumbing system if you suspect something isn’t working properly. A thorough inspection will reveal common plumbing problems, like why your drains release slowly, why the water pressure is low, and what makes the garbage disposal constantly smell like sewage. A high-resolution camera is used during the inspection process and can help detect and prevent future plumbing issues.
The Drain Doctor Covina is a team of professional plumbers that take the time to thoroughly inspect your issue before suggesting a repair option. Whether you’re facing a basic plumbing issue or need extensive work on your system, our professional technicians will explain each problem and offer the most reliable plumbing services.