As Malibu plumbers, we see our fair share of beautiful homes. Whether they’re large estates perched on the bluffs of The Pacific Ocean, or cool bungalows nestled in The Santa Monica Mountains, this coastal town is home to some of Los Angeles’ best houses – and worst plumbing problems. While pinhole leaks affect homes in every county, Malibu residents seem to get hit with them more than most areas.
If you’re not familiar – pinhole leaks are tiny, pin-sized holes that develop in copper pipes. They tend to sneak up on you as their damage isn’t immediately apparent. Because of their size, pinhole leaks affect your walls slowly over time. But often the effects are severe and require significant repairs.
Here are some things that all homeowners should know about these small but damaging leaks.
Most copper pipes eventually corrode. When the corrosion reaches a certain point, it starts to eat away at the pipe wall from the inside. As a result, small leaks begin to form. One of the most frustrating aspects to these leaks is that you may never even know you have them. Corrosion doesn’t always manifest itself in any obvious way. In extreme cases, your tap water may become slightly discolored or have an off smell, but most of the time, signs of corrosion are subtle if non-existent.
When it comes to pipes, copper is a commonly used material. New developments along The Pacific Coast Highway may use alternative materials such as PVC or PEX, but copper remains a go-to choice for many contractors because of its durability. But the material is not without its problems. When copper ages, it tends to weaken and become susceptible to corrosion. In addition to leaks, many residents worry about the effects of corrosion in their drinking water. Copper may be durable, but it’s not necessarily ideal for those seeking higher levels of safety and reliability.
Repair or replace the pipe
If you or a plumber determine that you have pinhole leaks, all is not lost. True, you may have to account for any resulting water damage, but you can stop the problem from getting worse. If you’re particularly handy, you may try repairing it yourself. Otherwise, you’ll need the help of the most skilled plumber that Malibu has to offer. Torrance Plumbing & Heating services homes from Zuma Beach to Point Magu State Park, and in addition to fixing clogged drains and sewer lines, our trained technicians will repair your pinhole leaks. We can cut out the affected section of pipe, or replace it altogether.
Install a water filter
If you live in a home with older pipes and want to stop a pinhole leak before it starts, you can try installing a water filter for the home. Many people are familiar with filtering through refillable water pitchers, but there is a more holistic solution. A trained professional can install a filter directly on or near your home’s water main. This way, the water pumping into your pipes will already be free of debris and other materials that cause pipes to corrode.Continue Reading
Los Angeles residents, what’s your water heater really worth? It’s essential to your daily life, and without hot showers and clean dishes, your home would become uncomfortable pretty fast. But it’s hard to know if it’s operating at maximum efficiency. Water heater leaks may be hard to detect, especially since they stay hidden most of the time. As a result, you could be paying more for your water bill than you should.
Luckily, there are a few easy ways to tell if you’re getting the most out of it. You may have to pay a little bit for the oversight, but the peace of mind – and lower monthly water bill – will be worth it.
Temperature is obviously key to a successful water heater. You want your water to stay hot enough for your household demand. On a typical morning, you and your family may all be getting ready for work and school, and all need to take showers. Your heater will need to stay hot to meet the demand – but you don’t want it to be too hot.
Many models allow you to set limits on the temperature, which you should do. Anything above 120 degrees Fahrenheit is too high. It will consume excessive amounts of energy, which will in turn drive up your energy bill.
Culver City homeowners know that, as with any major appliance, you should have a water heater serviced regularly to ensure its performance. Most manufacturers recommend that a trained technician take a look at your model once a year. For the best plumber Culver City has to offer, call Torrance Plumbing and Heating.
Whether you live near Sony or along the hip stretch of Washington Blvd, our team of experts can clean your tank, as well as ensure the pipes and wires around it aren’t corroded. We can also test the tank’s safety valve, which prevents it from excessive pressure. Temperature-wise, this will keep it under 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most common form of maintenance is a flush. If you’re especially handy, you may try it yourself. Otherwise, leave it to the plumber who’s performing your annual maintenance. Either way, a flush is the best way to reduce the amount of natural sediment that collects in the tank over time. If left untreated, buildup can diminish efficiency and even clog the lines. You can easily flush while you’re also testing the pressure-relief valve. Just make sure you turn off the electricity to the heater.
Even if water heaters are treated regularly, they can still begin to fail with age. However, you can significantly slow the aging process (something Los Angeles excels at) by installing an anode rod. Made from aluminum and steel wire, rods can help your tank from excessive rusting.
Just make sure you keep an eye on them. As time goes by, the outer coating will wear off, exposing the steel wire. This is when it’s time for a replacement. You may need to switch it out once a year, but the cost pales in comparison to that of a new water heater.Continue Reading
One of the best ways to increase your home’s value is through renovation. Whether it’s an added-on room, an enhanced garden, or new landscaping, there are myriad ways to take your house to the next level.
But you don’t just have to build extra space. Many people opt for taking an existing room and transforming it into an entirely new, special place. In Los Angeles, it’s becoming increasingly popular to take an older, shabbier home and make it over, rather than investing in a new property.
From Downtown to the Carson, homeowners have turned to remodeling in droves, and many start with perhaps the biggest focal point in the house: the kitchen.
Having a nice kitchen is essential. You want it to feel like an inviting place to cook and spend time with your family. But giving it a facelift is no easy task. Even if you’re comfortable with DIY projects, there’s one very important thing to consider before you get started.
Call a professional
Some cities actually require you to use pro contractors when taking on a project of this size, which makes sense. Depending on the scale of your remodel, you’re going to be altering your home’s fundamental plumbing and wiring. If the work goes sideways, you could end up inflicting serious damage for which you’ll be on the hook.
For jobs like this, you want the best plumber Los Angeles has to offer. Torrance Plumbing and Heating knows how to handle projects of this size and scope. Whether you live near Madrona Marsh or by the harbor, we’re no strangers to homes in the South Bay. We can help you determine the steps necessary to improving your kitchen.
Plan your fixtures
While we can’t advise you to take on a kitchen remodel on your own, we believe you should familiarize yourself with the basics before moving forward. As you decide on a design, you’ll want to make sure that the new layout can correspond with the existing piping and electrical.
Will your new sink simply replace the old one? That would be the easiest way to do it, but what if you envision a bigger, tub fixture that’s on the other side of the room?
Likewise, many people opt to add an island complete with sink and dishwasher, but this might require that you re-locate or extend some pipes, which can get costly. Make sure that you’ve considered these issues as you plan.
Know your pipes
When it comes to your kitchen’s plumbing, it’s important to remember that not all pipes are created equal. Drain-Waste-Vent (DWV) pipes are perhaps the most critical, and are typically laid first because of their size. They’re usually made from plastic of PVC, but it’s a good idea not to mix them since they expand and contract differently, which could lead to leaks.
As a general rule for remodeling, it’s recommended that you always use the highest quality piping and plumbing supplies in order to avoid problems in the future.Continue Reading
Now that winter is finally gone and summer is on the horizon, it’s a great time to start spring cleaning.
For some of us, it’s the one time of year when we take our normal cleaning to the next level by sweeping out every corner of the house, dusting every nook and cranny, and of course, finishing all those projects we may have been putting off.
If not this year, you’ve probably come across some plumbing issues in the past. They’re inevitable given the amount of water we use. If you let them go too long, an inconvenience can become a major disaster.
Luckily, a lot of problems can be fixed on your own, if you’re inclined to summon your inner handyman.
Of course, if you’re wary of getting in over your head, or if the issue is just too big, we recommend you contact a real professional. For the best residential plumber Los Angeles has to offer, call Torrance Plumbing and Heating. We’re experts in all manner of jobs, and are always happy to help, whether it’s a DIY project gone awry, or a major repair.
However, if you choose to break out your own toolbox, here are a few common jobs you can do yourself.
Toilet seat replacement. First, know what kind of toilet you have. Most modern toilets use a 5 ½ inch bolt spread. If you can’t unscrew the mounting bolt to the seat by hand, simply use a screwdriver to remove it. Once you’ve set aside the old seat, replace it with the new one, and reinstate the mounting nut. Once you’ve screwed on the new seat, you’re all done!
Trip lever replacement. If the flusher isn’t working on your toilet, it may be the result of a faulty trip lever (i.e., the part inside the tank that’s connected to the flusher). To remove the lever, unhook the toilet flapper, and unscrew the old lever by hand. Replace it with the new lever and using a wrench, tighten the lever only slightly (you don’t want to crack your tank).
Clean your shower head. If your shower head is losing power or appears to be clogged, it probably needs to be cleaned. First, unscrew the nut between the shower head and the arm. Place the shower head in a bucket full of warm vinegar (vinegar is a great, safe cleaning agent), and let sit for about half an hour. Then wipe it with a rag. If the mineral deposits don’t come off, try using a toothbrush for scrubbing.
Unclog a drain. If your kitchen or bathroom sink is backing up, and plunging it isn’t doing the trick, it’s time to clean the trap. After locating the J-shaped trap under your sink, place a bucket underneath to catch any water. Unscrew the nuts on either side of the “J”, remove the trap and the O ring. Clean the trap of any debris, and replace all the parts in the order they came out. Remember not to over tighten the nuts; that may crack the trap.Continue Reading
Let’s face it. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of plumbers in this Los Angeles. It’s no wonder; plumbing is a great profession.
According to a recent New York Times article, plumbing is experiencing a boom right now. If you’re properly trained and have been on the job for a while, you can make a good living while providing a valuable service.
However, many of us have probably encountered plumbers who were less than talented. They probably looked shabby, and worked dirt cheap because they lacked the skills needed to properly handle the job.
When we hire someone to work in our homes, we want it to be hassle free. If the worker is untrained or inexperienced, a simple pipe repair could snowball into a flooded kitchen (or worse), costing you extra time and money.
On the other hand, some of the more esteemed handymen inflate their prices just because they can. So where do you turn for the right balance of credibility and savings?
The answer is really not that difficult. For the best Los Angeles plumber, Torrance Plumbing and Heating has a dedicated team ready to serve you.
For almost one hundred years, we’ve provided this city’s most trusted plumbers. Think about that. Even in the early twentieth century, we offered the tools necessary to deal with people’s water-related needs.
Of course, the everyday plumbing problems in 1917 weren’t exactly the same as they are today. At that point, tap water had only been available for about thirty years, and was still relatively new in homes.
Likewise, the cost of producing valves, fixtures and fittings had recently gone down. Rich people and the poor alike could now afford to have reliable plumbing in their homes, while bathrooms were also becoming more streamlined for everyone.
Previously, there was a division between the bathrooms (or water closets) of the rich, which were large and lavishly decorated with big bathtubs – and those of the poor, who basically had to use small, uncomfortable closets.
Development in plumbing in Los Angeles was particularly swift, as the city underwent a huge population growth in the mid twentieth century. The weather and allure of Hollywood brought people here in droves, which meant houses needed to be built – houses with working water.
Of course, through all of this, Torrance Plumbing and Heating met the needs of the swelling city. As residential infrastructure became more efficient, we kept up with the times.
Flexible water supplies increased the versatility of indoor plumbing. Connecting a faucet to a home’s water supply became easier, and allowed all homes to adopt proper plumbing.
We like to consider ourselves as always staying ahead of the times, which is why we’ve been around for so long. Our team adapted to the newest developments in plumbing, and was quick to employ them.
It didn’t take long for residents and companies to figure this out. Ours became a name you could trust, and it remains that way today.Continue Reading