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.

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?

Cracks from a leak

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.

DIY plumbing

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 cleaner

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 burst pipe

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.

Pastoral homes

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.

Dynamite in toy toilet

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.

Teflon tape wrapped around a fitting

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.

A heat pump water heater transfers heat from the ambient air into your water tank instead of burning natural gas or electricity. An HPWH can be up to three times more energy efficient than traditional electric water heaters. It’s much quieter than conventional models; if you’ve ever been disturbed by the sound of your old unit at work, this can be a godsend.

So how much money can you save with an HPWH unit? According to the US Department of Energy, you might expect yearly savings of up to $330 and energy savings of up to 60%.