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.

Slab leak damage

Most Southern California homes and businesses are built on concrete foundations or “slabs.” Water and sewer pipes run through the foundations unnoticed unless something goes wrong.

That “something” is often a slab leak in or under a building’s concrete slab foundation.

Their location presents particular problems.

A well-trained cat

There are some items you should never flush or try to send down the drain.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: you outgrew the stage of flushing non-flushable items when you were still a toddler. You use common sense, so you shouldn’t have any issues. But the truth is that there are many items you might be flushing or putting down the drain today that you really shouldn’t.

Window AC unit

Condensation dripping off a wall or window air conditioner is nothing out of the ordinary.

We’re used to seeing it outside — a sign the AC unit is doing its job! But what happens when the dripping moves inside, onto the carpet or end table? It’s not so acceptable anymore.

Leaking water heater

When a water heater leaks, it’s usually from one of the places — the top or the bottom.

Leaks from the top are no biggie, usually involving a valve replacement or tightening of the water lines.

Leaks from the bottom are more concerning.

Gas water heater

If your hot water isn’t working, you may have a faulty gas water heater on your hands. Water that doesn’t get hot enough is also a sign of a gas water heater on the fritz. But, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top things to check when your gas water heater isn’t working properly:

Icy water pipe

A water pipe burst is a big problem, one that no homeowner wants to deal with. If you don’t want to deal with it, you need to take preventative steps to stop a water pipe burst from happening. You do not need to be a professional to ward off water pipe bursts in your home—you […]

A slow drain

Poor drainage is annoying at best and problematic at worst.

The problem never gets better on its own. Wishing it away won’t make it go away; you may end up with a complete blockage unless you take action.

The first sign of poor drainage is that it takes longer than usual for water to travel down the pipe.

Water may fill the sink, shower, or tub even when the drain is open or look different as it goes down.

Bathroom renovation

When you look around your home, is there anything you would replace or update if you had the chance? Most likely, there is at least a thing or two you would change to improve or modernize your home, whether you have plans to sell it or intend to live there for many years to come. […]

A clogged pipe

Trees have vast and complex root systems reaching about a third of the size of the tree itself.

A tree seeks oxygen, moisture, and nutrients in the soil, absorbing them through feeder roots and root hairs into the primary root and eventually the trunk, branches, leaves, etc.

During a drought, tree roots spread out wider than ever. They hone in on your sewer pipe like a honey bee seeking nectar.

Even in a treeless yard, roots in sewer lines can be a problem. The roots may come from shrubs or a tree in another yard.

Unusual toilet repairs

Don’t try this at home!

Except that people have used these unusual techniques — and more — to fix a leaky toilet until they could call a plumber or run to the hardware store for a replacement part.

Hey, you can manage without a kitchen sink for a day — there’s always takeout — or a shower, but the toilet? It’s the one plumbing fixture you can’t do without, especially if there’s only one in the house or apartment. There are no alternatives.

An old flapper that no longer seals, a broken or twisted flapper chain, or a malfunctioning float can cause untold misery for our good friend John, so here are just a few of the imaginative, funny, and sometimes crazy things people have done to keep him in the game.

Low water pressure

A long shower is one of the best ways to end the day after a hard day at work or to cool down after a strenuous workout. A hot shower on a winter night, or a cold shower in the blistering summer heat can be quite reviving. What makes the shower so effective is the […]

Evolution of plumbing

For much of our history, we threw waste out the window (if we had windows) and onto the heads of unfortunate passers-by.

So how did sewage treatment systems, specifically sewer lines and pipes, evolve?