Worst Emergency Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems are as unavoidable as taxes, but you can reduce the odds. It’s not difficult to avoid major, expensive problems if you know what to look for and get professional help to nip them in the bud. This is where Murphy & Sons Plumbing, the emergency plumbers in Orange County, will help. Below are listed the top nine plumbing problems people often encounter:

1. Broken Water Lines

By far the worst pluming emergency is a burst pipe. Water everywhere and a panic to find the emergency shut of valve. Meanwhile, water is ruining your floors, your furniture, and maybe more. If you’re lucky enough to have this happen when your home, the damage should be minimal, if your not home when it happens, you’ve got problems, and will need to have a company with blowers and dehumidifiers do the dry out in order to avoid mold setting in.

2. Slab Leaks

You hear water running but everything is off. Nobody is taking a shower, no toilets filling, and no sprinklers on yet you still hear the water running. Or maybe you see a wet spot in the side or back yard, perhaps a wee bit of water is always flowing into your gutter. Or worse, you suddenly find a large wet spot on your floor! If this happens, you probably have a slab leak, as so many homes in Orange County have pipes running through the slab of the house. Luckily, plumbers can do a simple reroute of your pipes, and go through the ceiling or walls, avoiding an actual repair to the slab itself.

3. Clogged Sinks

Your sinks and drains work constantly— doing dishes, brushing teeth and washing hands to name a few. Sinks clog from food, soap scum, and dirt down that go right down the drain. First you notice the water slowing down but may not do anything until the sink overflows. You can’t ignore this anymore! And when the plunger or liquid plumber don’t work, it suddenly becomes an emergency plumbing problem!

4. Blocked Drains in Bathtubs/Showers

A strange gurgling sound comes from the drain of a blocked bathtub or shower. A buildup of hair and soap scum are invariably the culprits. If you’re lucky, one of those plastic hair clog removers will remove what is clogging your tub or shower, if that doesn’t help, try a few pots of boiling water. If it’s still clogged, give us a call anytime.

5. Clogged Toilets

A blocked toilet will make weird noises, leak, flush improperly, and get clogged. And a blocked toilet is an emergency. Many people try chemicals, snakes, plungers, even coat hangers. Don’t. DIY solutions often cause structural damage to the toilet; the result is raw sewage backing up—a health hazard! A clogged toilet and blocked sewage line? Time to call us for professional assistance.

6. Leaking Pipes

You just noticed a wet spot on your wall, ceiling, or floor. Or maybe you hear a drip drip late at night. Leaky pipes can cause the most damage, as they often go unnoticed for a long time. Whether it be wood damage like dry rot to mold and mildew, slow water damage over time is one of the most expensive problems around. Although your insurance company may not pay to repair the pipes, they may pay for damage and repairs to your property. If this is the case, be sure to use an emergency plumber who does insurance work, as you can often recover thousands of dollars in costly repairs.

7. Burst Water Heater

You can’t do without hot water for showers, laundry, and dishes. Check your water heater now and then. If you see water flowing from the tank, a big problem may be brewing. A leak means paying for water you’re wasting, and, even worse, water that can damage your house and furniture. Leaks can be caused by bad heater valves or corrosion from rust. You may need overflow repair or a new thermostat. Or if the old heater is toast, it can be replaced with a tankless unit. Call one of our plumbing professionals to find the cause of the problem and discuss the best solution with you.

8  Main Line Stoppage

Various things can cause a main sewer line stoppage, most often tree roots. Large soggy areas in the yard result from broken water lines; poor water quality and insufficient water pressure are other results. Broken
water lines also bring with them bad smells and unpleasant mud, and these are health issues. Call us if you suspect a broken line, we offer free camera inspection and free leak detection.

9. Broken Sewer Line

You may not realize that your sewer line is cracked, but if you do, your nose might be the first one to notice. If you aren’t sure, find a plumber in Orange County who offers free leak detection. We are happy to come and help you solve the problem and get things flowing again.

10. Water Pressure is too high

You may not think this to be an emergency, but when too much pressure persists over a long time, eventually a pipe is going to burst. Might be the refrigerator or washing machine, or most likely one of the pipes in the wall. For this reason, many houses have a water pressure regulator installed somewhere near where the water line first goes to your house. This will keep the pressure from getting to high and damaging your water pipes or appliances. Be sure that yours is functional and your pressure isn’t to high.

Plumbing problems perplex? Murphy & Sons Plumbing to the rescue! We are one of few emergency plumbers in Orange County available 24/7. We can fix any plumbing problem and give you peace of mind.

Call us anytime at 800-545-1792.



Tips to Increase the Life of Your Home’s Plumbing System

Virtually all homeowners face plumbing problems at some point. This is because all piping systems and fixtures eventually wear out and require replacement. Fortunately, there are things Female Plumberhomeowners can do to increase the longevity of these items. Below are some excellent tips from our licensed plumbers on how you can increase the efficiency and lifespan of the plumbing system in your home:

Always Handle Grease Properly

Never put grease, whether hot or cold, down the kitchen sink. No one can avoid tiny food particles or minuscule amounts of grease going down the drain occasionally. However, if you refrain from pouring considerable amounts of greasy substances down the sink, you significantly reduce your chances of ending up with blocked pipes. One great preventive measure you can take is to flush some dish detergent and the hottest water available down the drain of your sink for approximately two minutes once a week. This is a quick and cost-effective way to flush away grease before it has a chance to build up.

Keep an Eye on Youngsters

Many children, especially those who are very young, go through a phase when they become fascinated with water and may decide to flush toys, clothing, or wads of paper towels down the toilet. If you have youngsters in your home who are going through such a phase, a toilet seat lock is an inexpensive device that can prevent substantial problems if they flush the wrong things down the toilet.

Inspect Your Washing Machine

If you are like most homeowners, you probably make an effort to always run balanced loads in your washing machine. One of the reasons for this is that unbalanced loads result in strong vibrations during the spin and rinse cycles. Over time, this movement loosens plumbing connections, ultimately leading to damaged fixtures and pipes. Costly repairs are typically the result of this problem. Make sure loads are balanced and avoid overstuffing your washer to eliminate these issues.

Detect Toilet Leaks Early

The best way to discover a leak in your toilet before it becomes a major problem is to keep an ear out for strange sounds. Hissing or lisping sounds that occur for more than half a minute or so may be a sign that a leak has begun. You can check this easily by placing an inexpensive dye tablet in the tank. If the toilet bowl water turns the color of the dye, water is being wasted, and the toilet is in need of repair.

Locate Valves

Knowing where your plumbing valves are situated in your home is essential. In particular, it is important to find the main water valve shutoff. This is because being able to turn off the water to your entire home may be crucial if you are faced with a situation that could cause flooding. Even one inch of standing water can result in structural damage to your home. The main water shutoff valve is typically not found in the house, however. Instead, it is usually located on the periphery of your property. A qualified plumber can help you find this valve if you are having trouble locating it on your own. Additionally, you should find the valves for individual appliances such as your toilet, sink, and washing machine. Regardless of which valve it is, turning it clockwise stops the running water.

Knowing When to Call a Professional

While it is true that minor issues can often be fixed without the help of a professional, major repairs do not make good do-it-yourself projects. Rather, get in touch with one of our qualified plumbers who can complete the work in a professional, timely, and cost-effective manner.

How To Locate Your Homes Water Shut Off Valve

Like most homeowners, you may eventually need to shut off the water supply to your dwelling. There are several reasons why this action may become necessary.  For example, you may be leaving for an extended period and want to make sure everything is turned off before you go. You may also be remodeling the kitchen or bathroom and need to stop the water supply until the project is complete. Unfortunately, there is another reason you may need to take this action, and that is a plumbing emergency. The latter is often a particularly stressful situation. For this reason, you do not need the added anxiety of not knowing the location of the shut-off valve. This is why our plumbers in Orange County recommend locating this device and making note of where it is for future use.

Many people are under the impression that shut-off valves are always installed in the same place, but this is not true. Because there is no universal location for such valves, do not assume it is in the same area as it was in your last home, as you may be in the middle of an emergency when you find out this is not the case. Ultimately, the location of the water shut-off valve depends on a variety of factors, such as the source of your water, the structure of your home, and the home’s geographical location or which city you live in.

Locations of Different Shut-off Valves

There are several types of shut-off valves in your dwelling. For example, there are valves to specific areas, such as your water heater, dishwasher or toilet. This type of shut-off valve is typically a knob that is situated behind or under the appliance and turning it to the right will stop the water from flowing to that area. However, only one valve shuts off the water supply to the entire house.

Water Shut Off Meter

Water Shut Off Meter

City Water Shut-Off Valve

If your water comes from a municipal source, the home’s main water line probably goes from the street directly to the foundation. In most cases, it is located between the street and the house, somewhere in the front yard closer to the street or sidewalk.  Look for a large metal water meter cover. This kind of valve is quite large, and usually has an on/off valve located close to its base before any other pipes branch off. Locating it is sometimes difficult, however, as it may be covered with dirt, grass, or shrubs, particularly if it was rarely used. One of our professional plumbers can easily locate this valve for you if necessary.

Water Shut Off Valve

Well Water Shut-Off

If your home’s source of water is from a well, look for two shut-off valves. The first is usually found between the pressure tank and the well itself or may even be located underground in a small utility box. The other valve you should look for is located between the pressure tank and your pipes. Either one can be turned off, but if you are not sure about which valve you need to shut off, contact a plumber who can advise you based on the specific issue with which you are dealing. Water can do a lot of damage to a home, and therefore it is essential to know the location of the valves in case of an emergency. Finally, do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions or concerns about shut-off valves or any other component of your plumbing system.

House Shut-Off Valve

In addition to the main water shut off meter, many houses have a smaller and easier to use shut off valve.  This is usually located at the closes point to the house before the main line goes into the house. Sometimes it is adjacent to the sprinkler system, utility room, or garage.  If you do not have one of these, you may want to consider having one installed by a local licensed plumber.  These valves are often easier to turn off, and in an emergency plumbing situation, this time could save your house from additional water damage.

House Shut Off Valve


Six Warning Signs Your Toilet Needs Replacement

Similar to other household items that are used on a regular basis, toilets must eventually be replaced in order to avoid major problems in your bathrooms. Fortunately, there are some obvious signs that indicate it is time to call one of our plumbers in Mission Viejo and embark upon this project. Below are six signs that your toilet should be replaced:

  1. Leaks

Leaks are always unpleasant; however, a leaking toilet can be potentially disastrous if it is ignored. Thankfully, whether leaks are internal or external, they usually give you enough warning so that you can contact a professional before a catastrophe occurs. For example, internal leaks often make a hissing or dripping sound that is not particularly loud, but is something you know you should not be hearing. External leaks are even easier to diagnose, as the water can be seen around the base of the commode or another area that should normally be dry.

  1. Wobbling or Shaking

If your toilet wobbles or shakes whenever someone takes their seat, it may simply be due to some loose screws on the base of the bowl. Obviously, this is an easy problem to remedy by simply tightening the offending screws. Unfortunately, a toilet may also wobble if the floor underneath has sustained water damage. If this is the case, the toilet should be removed and the underlying area examined by a plumber in Mission Viejo to determine the exact type of repair that is needed.

  1. Continuous Clogs

If your toilet is constantly getting clogged and you find yourself reaching for the plunger on a regular basis, it is probably time for a new toilet. One or two random clogs are common and are usually not cause for alarm. However, if they happen frequently, it is typically a sign of a larger problem and should never be ignored.

  1. Cracks

Most toilets are made from porcelain, which is a durable substance. Nevertheless, like everything else, this material wears down over time. Cracks–even small ones–in the toilet’s porcelain base can lead to leaks and small puddles around the bottom of the commode. This constant water flow can result in damaged floors and higher water bills as time goes on, making timely repairs the more cost-effective option.

  1. Continuous Running

A very common sign that a toilet may need to be replaced is if it keeps running regardless of how hard you jiggle the handle or implement other techniques to settle it down. You will be pleased to discover that sometimes there are simple reasons for this constant running. For instance, it may be nothing more than a worn-out rubber flapper. Other times, it may be a sign of a broken fill valve in the tank or something else that indicates the need for a new unit.

  1. Age Related Wear

Sometimes, a toilet has simply reached the end of its lifespan. You can usually tell when this is the case if multiple parts of the toilet have ceased to function properly or there are several different problems that occur on a regular basis. Efficiency is also an important factor to consider.  If you want to decrease your long-term water bill or if you are simply environmentally conscious, consider changing to a low-flow toilet.

Regardless of what problem you may be having, if you think one or more of the toilets in your home need replacement, contact one of our professional plumbers in Mission Viejo for an expert analysis.

How to Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger

man fixing toiletAlthough plunging is the usual technique for clogged toilets, you may be wondering what to do if you find yourself with a clog on your hands and no plunger in the house. Fortunately, our plumbers in Laguna Niguel have some helpful tips you can try to eliminate the problem until you can visit the hardware store. The following are some ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger:

Stop the Water Flow

Before implementing any of the tips outlined below, you must stop the water flow to the toilet. This is easily accomplished by removing the lid and pulling up the float. After you have done this, turn the water off completely by using the shut off valve, which is typically located at the base of the toilet.

Slowly Pour Hot Water Into the Bowl

A few cups at a time, pour hot water into the toilet bowl to coax clogs to dissipate. When using this method, however, our plumbers in Laguna Niguel caution that the water should only be hot, rather than boiling, as boiling water may cause damage. If the toilet bowl is approaching its capacity, you should first find a cup, bucket or other device to lower the water level to avoid the risk of an overflow. After this is accomplished, fill a cup with very hot water and slowly pour it into the bowl. Wait a few minutes and repeat this action and the water should eventually help to eliminate the clog.

Add Shampoo or Dish Soap to the Hot Water

Adding a surfactant, such as dish soap, shampoo, or even small pieces of bar soap to the hot water can enhance its ability to break up the clog. First, remove as much water as possible from the toilet bowl, then add a generous amount of soap or dish detergent. Next, pour in the hot water in the manner described above. This combination usually helps lubricate the pipes and the clog itself so that the water can once again move freely. 

Remove the Clog Manually With a Wire Hanger

Similar to the way a plumber Laguna Niguel “snakes” a toilet, you can physically remove a clog by bending a wire hanger into the appropriate shape and pushing it through the clog to break it up and get it moving. You may wish to follow up this step with the use of a toilet brush. Use the brush to “plunge” the toilet with a few forceful pumps, similar to the way you would use a traditional plunger. If the other remedies had a positive effect, this may be all the pressure you need to completely break up the clog and move it through the pipes. 

Once the clog is eliminated and water is draining freely, turn the valve back on and flush the toilet. If soaps or shampoos were used, flush it a few more times to remove any remaining residue.  Do not forget to invest in a plunger or two so that you are prepared if you face a clog in the future. Finally, do not hesitate to contact one of our expert plumbers in Laguna Niguel for a regular service call to ensure your entire plumbing system is in good working order.

Seven Ways to Pet Proof Your Plumbing

If you have any pets, whether large or small, you know they can damage various things in your home if you’re not careful. Our master plumbers in Laguna Niguel will tell you that pipes and fixtures are no exceptions to this rule. However, many homeowners are unaware of how to “pet proof” their plumbing. Fortunately, it is not as difficult as it may at first seem. The following are seven ways to protect your plumbing and avoid costly repairs:

Take Bath Time Precautions 

Fur and mud are a deadly combination for your plumbing system. For this reason, when it is time to bathe your dog, “pre-rinse” your furry friend while you are still outdoors in order to eliminate the worst of the muck. If washing your dog outside is not a viable option, at least wipe or rinse your pooch prior to placing him or her in the bathtub. You can also use a strainer or drain stopper to catch leftover grime, mud and hair. 

Cover Exposed Pipes

Similar to children, pets are very curious. Dogs and cats love to pry open cabinet doors to find new and interesting things to chew on. Because you do not want their newest toy to be your plumbing system, cover up any exposed pipes or wires to prevent a costly trip to the vet or an expensive service call from a professional.

Store Chemicals out of Reach

If you have children, you likely have all your cleaning formulas already stored out of reach. If not, it is time to think of your pets as children, as they could make themselves extremely sick if they partake of these non-food substances. For instance, cats have a tendency to scrape their faces against inflexible items, and they could inadvertently get cleaner residue near their eyes if they push their face along the top of a bottle of bleach or other cleaning agent. Always keep these substances on high shelves or locked away in a cabinet.

Cover Floor Drains

If you have small animals, such as hamsters or a tiny puppy or kitten, be aware that they can easily fall into floor drains. If this happens, retrieving your pet unharmed can be a costly undertaking. Make sure all drains in your home are securely covered to avoid such an accident. Our plumbers in Laguna Niguel can give you tips on how to do this effectively if you are unsure.

Hazards of Digging

Even though dogs are born to dig, this habit can lead to problems in your underground piping system, as certain water and sewer lines are a mere 18 inches beneath the ground. Any large dog can eventually tackle such a digging excursion and quickly find exposed pipes. At this point, damage can quickly occur, and costly repairs may be necessary. For this reason, it is wise to contact the appropriate person or office to determine exactly where your pipes are, and subsequently make sure Rover is trained not to dig in those areas.

Never Flush Cat Litter

Although numerous cat litter commercials claim their products are flushable, many companies also made those claims about “flushable wipes,” the latter of which caused many homeowners problems in the past. Never flush cat litter, as it builds up over time and can clog and clump and eventually damage your plumbing system. Flush only waste and toilet paper and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Sometimes, despite all your preventative planning, your family pet may cause a plumbing problem. If this is the case, contact one of our plumbers in Laguna Niguel who can quickly remedy the situation and get your system back in top-notch working order.

Helpful Tips on Maintaining Your Water Heater

man working on a water heaterOur plumbers can verify that your water heater is an essential part of your home, and needs specific care to ensure it performs properly on a regular basis. Even though the average lifespan of a water heater is a little over ten years, there is a good possibility it will not make it that long if proper maintenance is neglected. Below are some helpful tips you can easily implement to keep your water heater functioning at peak efficiency for as long as possible:

Check the Temperature

Paying attention to your water heater’s thermostat is a simple action that can pay off significantly in the future. This is because certain manufacturers preset the water heater’s temperature to 140°F and consumers never change this initial setting. However, our plumbers recommend setting the temperature at approximately 120°F, as this temperature is sufficient for virtually any household. On the other hand, elevated temperatures can result in corrosion in the pipes, accelerated mineral buildup, and even scalding. Additionally, the lower temperature of 120°F goes a long way toward helping you save money on your energy bills and may also prevent tank damage over time.

Flush the Tank on a Regular Basis

You may experience water line clogs and a reduction in the energy efficiency of your water heater if sediment and debris are allowed to build up in the tank. Therefore, you should flush the unit twice a year to prevent these problems. However, it is only necessary to flush out approximately 25% of the tank. This is easily accomplished by shutting off the cold water supply, attaching a garden hose to the drain valve and then allowing the water to flow until it runs clear.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

You should conduct a pressure relief valve test regularly in order to clear out debris and check the unit’s pressure. This is done by simply raising and lowering the heater’s test lever. When the lever is raised and lowered, a burst of hot water is dispensed into the drain pipe unless the valve is not functioning properly. If the valve is not releasing a substantial burst each time it is tested, call one of our professional plumbers who can give you an estimate on having a new one installed. 

Insulate the Heater and the Pipes

Insulating the pipes and the heater itself is also a good way to protect the unit and increase its lifespan. However, you should never cover the tops of gas or oil heaters. If you are unsure about how to complete this task or any of the others mentioned above, always contact an expert  plumber.

Knowing When to Call a Professional

A water heater is a somewhat complex appliance that requires regular maintenance and attention to keep it running properly. If you discover an issue you know you cannot solve on your own, reach out to one of our licensed plumbers and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing the task is in the hands of a professional.


How Do I Replace A Showerhead?

removable shower headThere is no reason to keep showering under an old, unattractive showerhead. If you want to save on your monthly water bill and improve the look of your bathroom, consider replacing your current showerhead with an energy efficient, low flow model or other new fixture of your choice. However, even though showerhead replacement is not a difficult process, mistakes are always a possibility. Therefore, following the advice of a professional is important. Below is a step-by-step procedure recommended by our expert plumbers in Laguna Niguel:

Removing the Old Showerhead

Your old showerhead should be removed with a wrench, but in order to avoid twisting the fixture and breaking it off the wall, keep a tight grip on the shower arm while completing this task. Inspect the shower arm threads and remove any old plumber’s tape, defective gaskets, and all dirt and debris that may have built up over time. After this, you should use Teflon or plumber’s tape to wrap the threads of the pipe.

Replacing the Shower Arm

If, upon removing the old showerhead, you discover that the shower arm is leaking or damaged, our plumbers in Laguna Niguel recommend following these steps to replace it:

Take a firm grip on the shower arm and unscrew it in a counterclockwise direction. Find the female fitting within the wall and clean out any debris or dust that may have coagulated in or around the opening. After this, wrap plumbing tape around the male end of the shower arm and screw in the new arm using a clockwise motion. Do not overtighten the arm, as this may cause it to break. 

Installing the New Showerhead

If the model you selected is a fixed-mount, it can typically be screwed on by hand. Simply position the new showerhead on the arm and turn it clockwise until it is secure. If you plan to install a hand-held model, screw the new shower head mount to the shower arm in a clockwise direction and then attach the shower hose to the mount. Regardless of which model you choose, you should closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will provide additional details.

Our plumbers recommend checking for seal leaks at this time. If leaks are discovered, wrap the area with Teflon tape and tighten it carefully with an adjustable wrench until the leak stops.

Rain Showerheads

If you are considering a rain showerhead, make sure you find out in advance if your shower is large enough to accommodate its dimensions. You must also angle it appropriately when mounting it onto the arm. This is because water will only come out on one side if it is installed incorrectly. If you have concerns or questions with regard to showerhead replacement or want to have the job completed by a professional, contact one of our plumbers in Laguna Niguel who will be happy to assist you with this project or any other plumbing task.

Ten Tips to Help You Avoid Expensive Plumbing Repairs

Man tightening pipe with wrenchLike most homeowners, you probably need the services of a professional plumber from time to time. However, there are several things you can do to head off plumbing problems in advance. Below are 10 tips to help you avoid costly repairs: 

  1. Never Place Garbage in Drains

You should never put vegetable or fruit peelings, bacon grease, coffee grounds, starchy foods like potatoes and rice, or any type of food debris down your kitchen sink. Substances of this kind are virtually guaranteed to clog your pipes. When in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for your disposal to know exactly what the unit can and cannot handle.

  1. Keep a Plunger on Hand

Having a high-quality plunger on hand is one of the best things you can do to avoid clogs in sinks, toilets and drains. Well worth the investment, such plungers can save the day and head off a serious clog in virtually any drain in your home.

  1. Never Ignore Leaks

Although it is tempting to take the approach of “ignore it and it will go away,” you should never turn a blind eye toward leaks. As many as eight gallons of water may be wasted per day due to a leaky faucet, while a leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day. It is much less expensive to call a professional plumber in Laguna Niguel and have the problem resolved.

  1. Beware of Pipe Damage When Doing DIY Projects

If you’re making renovations and subsequently planning to pound nails or drill holes in the floors, walls or ceilings, you must first make sure there are no drainage or supply pipes close to your work area. If there are, it is easy to puncture them accidentally, resulting in a hefty repair bill.

  1. Beware of “Flushable” Items

Never use your toilet bowl as a garbage can. Your system can easily become backed up if you flush items such as baby wipes or feminine products, even if they are advertised as “flushable.” To be on the safe side, flush only toilet paper. 

  1. Unclog Your Sink with a Vacuum 

Use a wet dry vacuum to dislodge clogs caused by objects such as a small child’s toy or a toothbrush. This is because a plunger will work against you with regard to this problem: it will simply push the object deeper into the drain. For this reason, it is much more effective to suck the object out with a vacuum.

  1. Learn How to Use Plumber’s Tape

Also referred to as Teflon tape, plumber’s tape is primarily used to seal pipe threads around fittings and joints, and ultimately prevent leaks until repairs can be made. As a general rule, wrap three layers of plumber’s tape around the pipe to seal it properly. 

  1. Avoid the Urge to Over-Tighten Fittings

Over-tightening fittings and connections is a common mistake made by many homeowners. It eventually leads to stripped screws and broken bolts. Hand-tight is sufficient for virtually any type of plumbing fitting, so avoid putting unnecessary pressure on bolts and screws.

  1. How to Check for Leaks

Even professional plumbers in Laguna Niguel occasionally overlook small leaks. Therefore, after completing any type of plumbing project, run water through the system to check for leaks. 

  1. Locate Shut-Off Valves

Finally, always locate the main shut-off valve for your home. Getting acquainted with sewer line access points is also a good idea. If you need help with finding these locations, professional plumbers can assist you. 


Why Sewer Lateral Inspection is Essential Before Buying a House

Sewer Pipes with Root ClogInspections are commonplace when someone is planning to purchase a home. However, the sewer line is often overlooked by prospective buyers, even though sewer repair is one of the most expensive projects you may encounter as homeowner.

Obviously, the best time to discover if a sewer line has been damaged or needs replacement is before you purchase a home, not after the fact when it is too late to negotiate. Fortunately, there is a foolproof way to have the sewer system properly evaluated, and that is to schedule a sewer camera inspection with a plumber in Laguna Niguel.

Benefits of Sewer Lateral Inspection

There are numerous benefits associated with a sewer lateral inspection, especially if you are considering a dwelling that is over 20 years old. Such an inspection gives the plumber a substantial amount of information about the condition of your sewer line. This information includes:

  • The kind of material from which the pipe is made
  • The pipe’s overall condition
  • The presence of mineral deposit buildup or sludge in the pipe
  • Root intrusions
  • Failed connections
  • Breaks or cracks in the pipe
  • The length and depth of your sewer line

Knowing if the aforementioned problems or other issues are present is imperative before purchasing your new home. Imagine buying a house only to discover weeks later that sewer system problems have been present all along and now you are stuck with the repair bill.

You should also avoid falling into the trap of assuming that just because a home is relatively new, sewer issues will not be present.  A camera inspection may expose the fact that even a sewer line that is only ten years old may already be damaged by roots or clogged with debris. This may be due to the builder using cheap materials or the result of faulty installation. However, it is never wise to assume that any home is immune from sewer line problems.

How a Sewer Line Inspection is Performed

A sewer camera is an innovative piece of technology. Such a device operates with fiber-optic technology, similar to that of a closed-circuit TV. In most cases, pipes must have a minimum diameter of three inches in order for the camera to safely pass through to the other end.

When it is determined that the pipe is the appropriate diameter, the plumbing technician inserts a snake attached to a small video camera and pushes it through the pipe. The preferred starting point for the process is your sewer line’s clean-out, which is usually four inches in height and sticks up through the ground in the front or at the side of the home. It typically has a cap on the top, which is obviously removed for the inspection. From there, the camera travels all the way to the septic tank or baffle and the images can be watched on the monitor.

As the camera travels along, the plumbing technician comments on a variety of things, such as the condition of the pipe itself and whether the sewer line is clogged or clear. It is a simple process that can uncover a wealth of information that is imperative to you as a prospective home buyer.

A house is a significant investment. For this reason, we urge you to listen to our plumbers in Laguna Niguel, and take the time to schedule a sewer camera inspection can assist you to make an informed decision and ultimately help you spend your money wisely.

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