All Things Plumbing & HVAC: The Orange Coast Plumbing Blog

Need to know what’s an emergency and which problems can wait? Which problems you can solve DIY? The Orange Coast Plumbing blog helps you understand common plumbing, heating,  and air conditioning issues.

An exploding toilet

Backflow prevention may not be first and foremost in your mind, but it’s crucial for the safety of your home and family.

Imagine the horror of a toilet exploding or contaminated water flowing back into your clean water supply. It’s a definite damper on your quality of life and a recipe for health calamities.

That said, there are ways to mitigate backflow risks, which we’ll investigate in this blog.

A fill valve removed from the toilet tank

Does your toilet run constantly?  Is your toilet tank slow to refill?

The first place to check is the flapper, the toilet part that wears out most often. Next comes the toilet fill valve.

If you’re lucky, it may require an adjustment. Otherwise, it will have to be replaced.

A toilet in an idyllic setting

Low-flow toilets can save up to 2 gallons of water per flush or up to 20 gallons per day for a household of four.

Advanced low-flow toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush or 77% less water than conventional toilets.

Low flow is good.

Slow flow or no flow is, well, problematic. A toilet is the one genuinely indispensable fixture in your home. Plus, a malfunctioning toilet can lead to health hazards.

Ants at the base of a toilet

Water is scarce during Orange County, CA’s hot, dry summers. Imagine you’re a tiny ant whose only access to H2O comes from bathroom plumbing. From an ant’s viewpoint, your moist bathroom is an oasis in the Sahara.

This explains the ants in your bathroom, with its abundant water sources like sinks, showers, and toilets. Plus, bathrooms tend to be warm, making them an ant’s paradise.

A drain vent protruding through a roof

Have you ever wondered about that mysterious pipe sticking out of your roof? The one that seems to do nothing?

It performs essential work, like the office oddball who quietly keeps things running while others get the glory.

We’re talking about the plumbing vent, an unassuming but indispensable part of your plumbing system.

A woman holding a sink plunger to her ear

What are you going to do in a pinch?

Just as you should know first aid for medical emergencies, you should master some DIY plumbing fixes for household emergencies. With a solid DIY repair, you may not even need the plumber! Plus, do you want to call a professional every time Junior stuffs too much paper down the John? It adds up.

A water meter outside a home

Do you know your humble water meter is a secret weapon against leaks and water waste?

Unless you’re equipped with professional leak detection technology, like the good folks at Orange Coast Plumbing, you might want to keep an eye on it — not just to lower your bills but to nip plumbing disasters in the bud.

An old toilet flange

Is your toilet leaking at the base?

You may have a cracked toilet base, loose or corroded mounting bolts, or a deteriorated wax ring. Or it could be the flange that connects the toilet to the drainpipe. When the seal between the toilet and flange breaks, water can seep out each time you flush the toilet.

Mold in the corner of a bathroom

Your bathroom, that high-traffic part of the house, may suffer from more than wear and tear. And your family may suffer as a result without even realizing it.

Mold thrives in dank places and, though often visible, can remain hidden in the small cracks between tiles and grout, behind shower curtains, and inside walls. Its spores can trigger allergies and breathing problems in people and pets.

Left unchecked, it ruins aesthetics, undermines your home, and poses a health risk. The best way to deal with it is never letting it gain a foothold.

A dirty toilet tank

Cleaning a toilet tank is an unglamorous task.

It doesn’t make for exciting TitTok videos or Instagram posts. But neglecting this often-forgotten area of home maintenance can lead to unpleasant odors, stains, and even plumbing problems.

Tree root wrapped around a sewer pipe

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

For trees, that treasure is sewage.

Sounds disgusting, right? But think about it — sewage is packed with all those nutrients trees love. Your sewer pipe is like an all-you-can-eat buffet!

Inserting a plumbing snake

Dealing with a clogged drain is a frequent frustration for any homeowner with older plumbing. Or toddlers. Or teenagers who dump who knows what down the pipes.

Sometimes, a few pumps with a plumber’s friend will clear it, or even a concoction of baking soda and vinegar.

Other times, no amount of plunging or concocting will clear that stubborn clog. Even drain cleaning products may not work, and there’s always a risk of damage to your pipes.