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.

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.

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.

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 […]

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?

Most Southern California homes sit on a concrete slab foundation. Much of their plumbing runs directly through pipes in the slab.

If this sounds like the recipe for a plumbing disaster, it can be. Leaks in the slab are difficult to detect and even harder to repair.

Whether you are a DIYer because you like to save a bit of money or because you enjoy fixing and improving your home yourself, be sure you are making smart decisions when you are working on your plumbing. Stupid DIY plumbing decisions usually lead to a costly emergency plumber visit. Or worse, it can devalue […]

Chemical drain cleaners are a go-to DIY plumbing solution for homeowners with blocked or slow drains.

However, they come with risks and can damage your pipes and septic systems if you don’t know what you’re doing.

A hot water recirculation system moves heated water around your plumbing so that it arrives in a fraction of the time.

At the heart of it is a recirculation pump installed on your water heater. It pumps heated water from the heater directly to plumbing fixtures. When the water in your pipes begins to cool, the pump kicks in and sends it back to the water heater to be reheated and recirculated.

The system includes a bypass valve, allowing you to control how much hot water goes into your plumbing and when the pump turns on. You can turn off the recirculation and save energy if you’re away from home.

A plumbing disaster, if you’ve ever experienced one, is unforgettable. Even traumatic.

Imagine your panic when the living room floods at 10 PM and the shut-off valve fails to stop the flow. Many plumbers offer 24-hour service. Still, they may not arrive in time to prevent damage to your furniture and walls.

Studies show that “green” homeowners are more likely to perform routine maintenance on their equipment.  They thereby avoid many accidents and mishaps that would cause them to file for policy claims.

Insurance companies also know that many updated materials and systems are more efficient, cost-effective, and durable.  This helps avoid huge insurance claims typical of homes that use outdated or inefficient materials.

Toilets clog for all kinds of reasons.

Sometimes, it seems like they clog out of spite.

More likely, someone put too much paper in the bowl, or the sewer pipe is getting long in the tooth and working at reduced capacity.

Most toilet clogs are minor and need nothing more than a DIY repair. But you need the right tools and knowledge for the job.

There’s a leak in the line connecting the toilet to your home’s water supply.

A visual inspection tells you the problem stems from the threaded connection between the water line and the bottom of the toilet tank.

Or the problem may lie with the threaded connection at the other end, between the supply line and the shut-off valve at the wall.

Those treaded connections! What’s a resourceful DIYer do? Run to the hardware store and waste an afternoon replacing the leaky connections?

Not when there’s Teflon tape lying about, an indispensable tool for any homeowner with more than a modicum of DIY repair ability.

It can certainly stop the leak, but you have to know how to apply it.