As the annual Oscars ceremony approaches this weekend, Los Angeles residents are undergoing major preparations. Viewing parties are being organized; fans are catching up on everything they haven’t seen (don’t forget those documentaries!); and of course, we’re all planning to steer clear of Hollywood. Angelenos would actually do better to simply hole up in Santa Monica for the weekend, and get as far away from The Dolby Theater as possible.
Now that we’ve inspired you to plan a fun stay-cation along The Pacific Ocean for the next few days (you’re welcome), join us as we consider the role of plumbing, plumbers and other water-related events from the movies. Is any of it depicted accurately? Let’s take a look at some films.
Despite a seemingly massive budget and at least one certified movie star, Noah was largely snubbed by the academy this year. Whether or not this was earned is hard to say as we haven’t actually seen it. However, we do know that the movie depicts the classic story of Noah’s Ark. We’re less concerned with the quality of the film (reviews were mixed) than we are with the treatment of the flood in the movie.
According to the trailer and promotional imagery for the film, the flood looked like what we as plumbers would describe as a “hellish nightmare.” We’ve seen our fair share of burst pipes and flooded homes and businesses in Los Angeles. The really disastrous jobs make us wish that all we had to do was build a giant ark and find 2 of every animal to occupy it. Yikes! In this regard, Noah is a success.
The Super Mario Brothers
As Santa Monica plumbers serving a variety of customers and properties, we see all kinds of unusual problems. But we can’t say that we’ve ever had to deal with inter-dimensional portals, dinosaurs or mushroom people as is the case in The Super Mario Brothers movie. Plumbers / brothers, Mario and Luigi don’t actually do a whole lot of plumbing in the film. Rather they spend most of their time traveling to other dimensions and trying to save a girl… We think. The plot is surprisingly complicated for a kids’ movie.
However, the bros are forced to deal with exposed pipes, which set off the main action of the movie (it’s a long story). This is something we can actually relate to. As the most experienced plumber in Santa Monica, Torrance Plumbing & Heating knows how to repair busted pipes, and identify old copper lines in need of a fix. From Montana Ave to Santa Monica Place, we’ll protect your property from leaks, floods and clogs (though we make no promises about dinosaurs).
Okay, this move isn’t about plumbing. Not even a little bit. However, the force of JK Simmons’ performance in this Oscar-nominated film as an unconventional and borderline abusive drum instructor reminds us of what it’s like to deal with a true plumbing emergency. Dangerous, powerful and unruly – these are all qualities that can describe both the character and a busted sewer line, burst pipe, and especially a natural disaster. Sometimes we show up to a job and water is spewing uncontrollably, soaking kitchens, bathrooms and yards, and requires skill and confidence to stop and repair it. We imagine this is similar to being Simmons’ student.Continue Reading
Earlier today a major explosion rocked an oil refinery in Torrance. Reportedly, the incident caused a major fireball and was felt by residents in nearby areas of this Los Angeles neighborhood. Minor injuries were reported but thankfully no one was seriously hurt.
According to an interview with one of the employees at the refinery, workers escaped harm after the explosion due to a rehearsed and well-executed safety plan. Rather than scattering and all trying to evacuate the premises at once, they followed their emergency protocol, and met at a designated location.
Most Los Angeles residents aren’t susceptible refinery fires, but in the event of a natural disaster, gas explosion, flood or even a burst sewer line, it’s always a good idea to have a disaster plan in place. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare for the fall-out of an emergency.
Have a designated meeting spot
No matter the type of disaster, you should know what to do as soon as it’s over. In extreme cases, your reaction time can mean the difference between finding safety and suffering from the aftermath. Always know where to go as soon as you can safely move from your area. Perhaps designate a safe, out-of-harm’s-way destination in your home. Of course, in the event that we experience of LA’s infamous earthquakes, this safety spot may change, depending on whether or not it’s been damaged in the shaking. So have a second destination in mind as well.
Co-workers at the Torrance refinery made it out safely in part thanks to communication. It’s important to communicate with your family, roommates, friends, etc., after a disaster. If a fire breaks out at home, talk to each other. Alert people to danger areas and update the status of your safety. If you get caught in a water main break such as those that exploded recently in Westwood, Hollywood and other neighborhoods, identify a safe place of refuge and alert authorities immediately.
Of course, you can always minimize the chance of an emergency at home by taking preventative measures. Plumbing disasters in particular can be avoided with a simple inspection from the best plumber in Los Angeles. Torrance Plumbing Co can oversee your home’s old pipes, check the stability of your water main and even flush your water heater. Whether you live near Walt Disney Concert Hall or in Santa Monica, our team of technicians will ensure plumbing stability, and can even help in the event of, say, an unexpectedly burst pipe.
Follow the news
Odds are that, if there’s a major incident like the Torrance oil refinery explosion, the news will provide you with updates. Stay current with the events as they develop. In addition to disseminating information, television, internet and radio can give you vital warnings about road closures, danger areas, and general fallout. You don’t want to venture into the wrong place before the problem is fixed. Not only are you likely to get trapped in traffic jams and crowds, you may be subjecting yourself to further harm. An earthquake could cause buildings in certain areas to become unstable; nuclear power plants can release toxins into the air. Follow the news to avoid the aftermath of a disaster.Continue Reading
Are you doing your home more harm than good? When a repair needs to be done around the house, many Beverly Hills residents want to try to fix it themselves. Most of us don’t like to feel helpless, and have probably had a little home improvement success in the past. Why shouldn’t we be able to at least give it a shot?
The trick is knowing when you’re out of your depth. A clogged toilet might be easily plunged, and a stuck drain is often fixed by some simple un-screwing and cleaning. But what about the big household problems? The ones that flood your home or put your life at risk. These should be the exception to any homeowners’ DIY dreams.
For a list of issues that should always be left to a professional, check out this list:
Gas leak repair
Among all potential home emergencies, a gas leak is perhaps the most dangerous. At best, they can be repaired by an experienced plumber or utility company without incident. At worst, they can lead to an explosion that destroys your home. The stakes are high, indeed, which is why you should never try to patch a leak. If you smell gas, gather your family and evacuate the home. Many people make the mistake of poking around, trying to locate the source of the leak, but this could prove to be a fatal error. In serious circumstances, just using electricity can provide the necessary spark to cause an explosion. Always call a professional.
Sewer line replacement
Sewer lines run underground on your property and serve an essential function. As you might guess, they facilitate the back-and-forth flow of waste water for your house. While these are generally stable and don’t break often, a burst sewer line qualifies as a stop-everything-and-call-a-plumber emergency. Often, your yard may flood with noxious sewer water, saturating the lawn and creating awful odors.
If this happens to you, call the most skilled plumber in Beverly Hills for immediate service. Torrance Plumbing Co will repair the disrupted or clogged line. Whether you live near Rodeo Drive or The Four Seasons Hotel, we’ll use minimally invasive procedures to return your pipes and yard to normal.
Make no mistake – mold is deadly serious. An outbreak may look innocent enough. Typically, it reveals itself via a collection of gray or black spores, which might seem like an easy fix: remove the affected part of the wall or just scrape them away. However, these solutions just won’t work. While minor outbreaks can be resolved on your own with the right cleaning solution (always wear protective gloves and mask), anything beyond a minor incidence requires the work of a professional.
Mold tends to spread through areas of excessive moisture, like bathrooms, walls and floor boards adjacent to pipes, and more. Because it’s toxic, it can cause serious allergies, infections, and in the case of black mold, possibly even death. If you’re unsure whether or not your mold outbreak can be self-treated, it’s best to just call a plumber. Better safe than sorry.
While crime in Hermosa Beach is reportedly fairly low, residents shouldn’t be caught off guard. By nature of living in a big city like Los Angeles, homeowners and renters alike always need to take a little extra precaution, and those who live in our beautiful beach community are certainly no exception.
But in order to adequately protect your home against burglars, you need to think like a burglar. The truth is that those who desire to break in to your residence are smarter than you think. Experienced thieves, in particular, size up your house and plan their crime ahead of time.
To help you better protect your home and its belongings, here are common questions that burglars ask, according to security experts.
Does the home look unattended?
It’s important to maintain your residence’s curb appeal. A well-maintained yard gives improves the value of your house, sure, but it also send a message to crooks that you’re keeping an eye on the property. Consider the alternative: yards with overgrown grass, weeds, and unattended tree growth suggest a lack of oversight, which may also mean a lack of security.
To add more of a presence to your yard, call the best plumber in Hermosa Beach to install a sprinkler system. Torrance Plumbing Co can bring your lawn and gardens back to life, whether you live near The Hermosa Beach Pier or The Comedy and Magic Club. Active outdoor plumbing will ensure the appearance of a healthy, thriving lawn that’ll turn thieves off.
Are people present?
Do you work long hours or go on frequent trips? If so, you may want to consider ways to create more human presence at home, even if it’s only virtual or suggestive. Determined burglars often try to figure out how much time you spend at home, and what hours you’re typically away. While it might be unrealistic to constantly change up your schedule, you can re-create the appearance of activity while you’re away. Connect your outside lights to timers, so that your home never looks dark and un-occupied. Additionally, if you’re going away on a trip, ask friends to house sit. This way, you never have to worry about the vulnerability of your home, valuables, or high-value fixtures and appliances.
Is the mail piled up?
This simple and seemingly irrelevant question can mean the difference between business as usual, and invasive break in. Despite their reputation, some burglars are actually savvier than you might guess (with the consequence of jail time, they go to lengths to plan their crime).
One of the details they look for when scouting your home is an excessive amount of mail. If letters, magazines and packages are overflowing out of your mailbox for more than a day, it’s a sign that the owners are away. While this isn’t necessarily a deciding factor when considering a break in, it definitely informs their decision. To avoid a mail pile up, check your mailbox daily, especially if you, like many of us, receive bulky junk fliers. Additionally, if you’re going to be out of town for more than a couple days, ask a neighbor to pick up your mail.
Culver City residents have a knack for style. The once sleepy residential community was known as the home of Sony Pictures Studios and not much else. That all changed over the past decade though, as the neighborhood began to transform into a destination for cool bars, chic restaurants, and exciting art galleries. Now it’s one of the most desirable neighborhoods on The West Side, and a magnet for tourists and Angelenos from other zip codes alike.
If you live in Culver City and want to keep up with area trends, here are some fun and stylish upgrades for the home.
These days design trends favor large showers. Gone are traditional tubs and curtains. In their place: big glass doors that open to floor to ceiling tile. In fact, along with open kitchens, a big shower has become many homeowners’ priority when it comes to remodeling, or purchasing a new residence. Additionally, many people choose to add a high-powered, overhead showerhead to create a natural rain effect. Throw in some high-end, attractive tile, and you can completely transform your whole bathroom.
Tankless water heater
Water heaters have never exactly been a marquee attraction. No one ever showed them off when new visitors came around. Older models are big, clunky and not the most attractive appliance in the home.
However, newer tankless models are sleek and thoroughly modern. In place of a large tank, they now take the form of a small mountable box that heats water on demand, and with the help of the most skilled plumber in Culver City, they can be easily installed. Torrance Plumbing Co will gladly help you upgrade your home, whether you live along Washington Boulevard or near The Kirk Douglas Theater.
Thermostats in the shower
One of the newest trends in luxury design is the thermostat-enhanced showerhead. Sometimes nailing the perfect temperature is no easy task. It’s either a little too hot or excessively luke warm. But with a thermostat, you can control the exact level of heat for maximum comfort. In additionally, certain models offer even more dynamic shower solutions. With specific models, you can control the amount of water used in every shower. It’s the perfect perk for those of us who want a high-performance shower but don’t desire to waste water.
If ‘handspray’ sounds fancy, well, it’s for good reason. Many remodelers now include these ergonomically comfortable showerheads – for the kitchen. That’s right, you can get the power of a showerhead in your sink. However, you don’t always have to use the power spray feature. Many models allow you to switch back and forth between shower and normal power. You get to choose, depending on whether you’re washing vegetables, cleaning dishes, or just rinsing your hands. Additionally, the handsprays have detachable heads, which allow you to position it exactly how you want.
As 2014 comes to a close, it’s a good time to take a minute and reflect on your home improvement work for the year. Whether you painted the house, put in sprinklers, or even hired a plumber for trenchless sewer repair, take stock of the ways in which you augmented your home’s value…
…and then focus on what’s next. 2015 is right around the corner, which means you’ll need to start thinking about the projects in your queue. It seems that a Santa Monica homeowner’s job is never done, so if you haven’t already made a list for upcoming repairs, it’s time to get started. If you’re wondering what to focus on, here are a few common ideas among residents in our area of Los Angeles:
Unless your home was built within the past 10 years, your pipes are most likely made of copper. While copper is still used today for its durability, more and more contractors are instead using PEX or even PVC for new homes. These modern pipes are lighter, easier to install, and according to some plumbers, preserve the integrity of the water. It’s said that copper can rust and corrode, leaving sediment or creating off colors in your tap water as a result.
No one wants to drink reddish-brown water, so if you have old, copper pipes, consider replacing them in 2015. If you’re handy, you may even be able to do it yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable removing and replacing pipes, don’t hesitate to call the best plumber in Santa Monica. Torrance Plumbing can efficiently and quickly repair your lines, and add necessary value to your home.
As plumbing becomes more and more environmentally efficient and popular, it’s now easier than ever to replace your plumbing fixtures. For example, a water-saving showerhead is a great way to maintain or improve your water pressure, while preserving California’s dwindling supply of H2O (plus, who doesn’t want a better shower experience?). Additionally, adding a new, efficient toilet is a fairly easy project. Whether you do your own work or hire a pro, a new, efficient toilet is a good way to update your home. It’s predicted that the government will mandate the use of high-efficient fixtures in the near future anyway. Why not get ahead of the trend?
Perhaps the most popular home improvement project that we see these days is a bathroom remodel. Homeowners used to focus on the kitchen as the home’s marquee attraction. While fixing up kitchens will never go out of style, bathrooms have temporarily surpassed it as many homeowners’ number-one choice for a remodel.
Is your bathroom right for a remodel? Do you want to update the toilet, faucet and sink, or completely renovate and add a walk-in shower? Whether you’re on a budget or want to invest in luxury, bathrooms can be a relatively easy way to spruce up the home.Continue Reading
Make no mistake – Los Angeles and the state at large is still in a drought, despite recent rains. Our record dry conditions are expected to continue through 2015, although last week’s storms suggest that Angelenos are in for a very wet winter. Heavy rain recently flooded areas near The Pacific Ocean, and as far east as Glendora. Fortunately, Torrance didn’t experience any serious damage or reported road closures, but if more storms like the ones that recently struck our city return as expected, local residents may not be so lucky next time.
Ask any storm victims and they’ll tell you: evacuating your home is not a pleasant experience. The next time we experience another bout of heavy and disruptive rain, here are some tips that everyone should keep in mind.
Elevate the furniture
The reality is that your home could very well flood during an extended period of heavy rain. So before the next storm hits, create a checklist of things to take care of ahead of time. At the top of the list you’ll want to include securing the furniture, as nobody wants to have their nice sofas, love seats, tables and chairs ruined by flooding water (in addition to being an inconvenience, it’ll hurt your home’s re-sale value). Generally, the rule of thumb is to keep them about a foot above the expected flood zone. The same goes for all of your important appliances. Whether it’s a water heater or washing machines, raise any appliances off the ground that may become shorted-out by water. Using cinder blocks or bricks (as well as the help of family and friends), lift your furniture and appliances onto the blocks, safely out of harm’s way.
Secure the home’s exterior
Torrance Plumbing Co doesn’t specialize in safety expertise, but as a plumber that Los Angeles can trust, our company knows a thing or two about how to deal with flooded properties. We can fix leaky faucets and clogged toilets, but we can also advise you on how to protect your home against the hazardous effects of heavy rain. For example, sand bags do a pretty good job of separating your home’s exterior from rushing H2O. The best part? They’re totally free. All you have to do is go to your local fire station and request them. Simply fill them about half way, and place them on the ground against the house. It’s also important that you fold the top flap, and place them flap-side down.
If your home is standing in the path of rushing water and you haven’t officially been ordered to evacuate, it can be tempting to wait it out. You want to do everything you can to protect your house. However, sticking around is potentially dangerous. You’re putting your life at risk, and at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do if water does make its way into your home. But in the event that you’re around for a flood, always seek higher ground. Get out of water’s way. It may look innocent enough, but often rushing tides can be deceptively powerful.Continue Reading
For the most part, the plumbing problems facing most Torrance residents are fairly easy to deal with. Whether it’s a clogged toilet, leaky pipe or even a sewer line repair, these issues can be fixed either through simple DIY solutions, or by calling a professional. However, the reality is that certain damaging and potentially deadly problems can occur as a result of your plumbing.
Mold is perhaps the most dangerous water-related plumbing problem your house can possibly face. It’s been known to cause serious health risks, and in extreme cases even cause death among those who become exposed to it. All of this is to say, if you see it in your home, don’t shrug it off. To make sure that you know how to identify it, and what to do if you see it, check out these essential questions every homeowner should ask himself.
What causes it?
Mold spores are caused by the presence of water, i.e. moisture. Outbreaks occur wherever there’s excessive moisture build-up and little ventilation. Fortunately, Los Angeles has fewer cases of mold because of our normally dry climate. But as you may have noticed lately, our Fall and Winter seasons come with heavy winter storms. True, they don’t produce as much rain overall as many other parts of the country, especially in the Pacific Northwest where mold is a common problem, but they can soak our properties and homes enough to cause problems. After several months of accumulated rainfall, it might be a good idea to check your home for mold.
Where is it located?
As we said, mold outbreaks tend to surface in places of heavy moisture with a lack of ventilation. Common areas include bathrooms, attics and garages, but outbreaks can also happen in less obvious places as well. If you have a leaky pipe, the area around may very well be susceptible to mold. A little bit of accrued moisture probably won’t be a problem, but if the pipe has been spewing water for some time, you may want to inspect the surrounding zones (and repair the pipe of course). The identify mold, look for black and gray spotting on the wall. Occasionally mold will even appear brown, but that’s only in more rare cases. If you see clusters of spots in a designated area, you may very well have a mold outbreak on your hands.
What can you do about it?
Torrance homeowners are fortunate enough to have the right tools handy to fight mold should it occur in their homes. From Manhattan Beach to Hermosa, residents can call a plumbing professional to inspect, assess and recommend the right course of action. For these services and more, call the best plumber that Torrance has to offer. Torrance Plumbing Co can quickly show up at your house and identify whether or not you have mold. If you see what looks like mold, don’t try to handle it yourself. Call a professional, and perhaps even consider vacating the premises.Continue Reading
In Torrance, the real estate market is very competitive among a certain demographic. Located just outside of uber-expensive Redondo Beach, the gem of The South Bay is highly appealing to homeowners looking for a good house at a reasonable price in a great location.
However, with all of the competition, owners who want to sell need to step up their game. It’s just not acceptable to become apathetic during the selling process. Buyers will simply move on to the next prospect if your home looks shabby or worse, has a host of incomplete repairs or other problems. Fortunately, there are a few key things you can do as a seller to separate your home from the herd. Check out these guaranteed tips to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Maintain curb appeal
It’s almost a cliché, but curb appeal is what can instantly make or break a sale. As in life, first impressions go a long way. If buyers are turned off just by looking at an unkempt exterior, then they’ll simply move on. Whether it’s peeling stucco, a torn up yard, or sad garden, one eye sore can seriously undermine a sale, even if the interior is sparkling and ideal for the buyer. It’s easy to put time into curb appeal when you first put your home up for sale – it can even be exciting. The trick is to maintain it throughout the course of selling your house. Don’t get lazy. Make sure you stay focused on the exterior day in and day out.
Disclose all plumbing problems
Every home faces its share of problems at some point. But plumbing issues in particular can scare people off. It’s not uncommon for sellers to reduce the price of a home in exchange for transferring an unfixed repair over to the buyer. However, common sense dictates that if you can fix that leaky pipe, showerhead, or sewer line without breaking the bank, you should. Caring for all plumbing problems – or any issue requiring the work of a contractor for that matter – will not only improve your home’s value, but it’ll make you appear more trustworthy and careful in the eyes of the buyer. Even if buyer and seller never meet in person, relationships are important to the process, so you want to build trust by repairing or at least disclosing any water-related issue.
Repair everything – even the small stuff
Speaking of repairing things, you’ll want to cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s, so to speak. Major issues such as roof replacement or driveway repair should be considered, but even fixing cracks in a window frame or old caulking can help assure potential buyers that your home is a safe bet. And for those long-suffering plumbing issues, contact the best plumber in Hermosa Beach. Torrance Plumbing will restore your home to full working order, whether it’s a clogged drain that you’ve put off, or copper repiping that finally needs to be completed, our team of experts will make sure your house is fully repaired and ready to sell.Continue Reading
What’s your favorite Los Angeles neighborhood? We admit to a little bias, but we believe that the South Bay is the city’s best. From Manhattan Beach to Torrance, we have the best beaches, the most comfortable weather, and some of the friendliest residents in Southern California.
Every year it seems that more and more people move here. Buying or renting a house in Hermosa or Redondo is exciting, but you should also heed all of the potential hidden problems that come with moving into a new place. General inspections are usually mandatory before you move, but they don’t always catch everything.
Here are a few issues to be aware of as you transition into your new home.
To an untrained professional, leaks can easily go un-detected. In the most extreme cases, they’ll result in a flood, but often they happen out of eye site. Actually, your home was built so that you wouldn’t necessarily be aware of the location of your pipes, which is why they’re stuck behind the walls or under the floorboards. A leak could potentially go on for a while before you know it, and cause untold damages in the process.
It’s important to research your pipes before signing on the dotted line of your new home. Older pipes should probably be replaced by an experienced pro. For the best plumber Hermosa Beach has to offer, call Torrance Plumbing and Heating. We’ll inspect your pipes and evaluate their sustainability. For example, if they’re made from PVC, you can expect a much different performance than if they’re 80 years old and built out of copper.
Faulty sewer lines
As you research the pipes, it’s a good idea to take inventory of other plumbing networks as well. If neglected, sewer lines can become a major headache for the new homeowner. Like the home’s pipes, the survival and strength of outdoor lines depends on their age. Recent advancements in piping guarantees that most sewer lines will last a very long time, but if yours wasn’t inspected or repaired in more than, say, 30 years, you should definitely consider an inspection. Otherwise, you could possibly have to reckon with a smelly plumbing emergency.
If you’re reluctant to do a full, official inspection, one warning sign to heed is the presence of trees in your yard. Large, older trees may have deep, wide-spread roots. These can potentially interfere with and even burst an underground sewer line.
A clogged drain may seem like an unforeseen problem that has more to do with recent events versus a long-term issue with the home. However, barring any large foreign objects that may have fallen down your pipes, clogs usually happen as the result of build-up over time.
Debris can collect inside of a sink’s drain, for example, and after so many years, it will cause the water to back up. The solution is simple. Run a preliminary check on your home’s drains. As you move from room to room, just let the water run for a minute to make sure it properly drains.Continue Reading