3 Common Plumbing Emergencies Homeowners Should Know About

plumbing repairsAs a homeowner, one of the worst things you can imagine is a plumbing emergency that not only costs you money but can cause significant damage to your home. Plumbing problems are stressful, and it can be difficult to figure out what to do when one occurs. So to help you be prepared for possible plumbing problems, this article is going to discuss some common plumbing emergencies.

Leaky Faucets: While leaking sinks, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures may not seem like a big problem, they can quickly escalate. Many homeowners mistake that leaking bathroom sink as a slight annoyance. However, even the smallest leak can quickly rack up the water bill. In fact, the average home in the U.S. can save almost 10,000 gallons of water each year if simple leaks are fixed. So while it may be tempting to just ignore a leak and avoid easy plumbing repairs, homeowners should get leaks taken care of to prevent excessive water use, rust formation, and mold growth.

Broken Water Lines: Water lines can become broken or damaged due to tree root growth, natural disasters, and even poorly planned yard work. Of course, water lines are underground, so it can be difficult to know when something is wrong. One sign of a broken water line is when the surrounding yard area becomes soggy and unusually wet. Broken water lines can lead to poor water quality and very little to no water pressure. This can become a serious problem when homeowners aren’t able to properly shower or wash the dishes. Because water lines are underground, this is one of the more serious plumbing repairs and should only be handled by professionals.

Burst Pipes: If you live in a climate that gets especially cold in the winter time, your pipes may be prone to freezing. Frozen pipes or any other type of damage or pressure can cause the pipe to burst. If this happens, homeowners will be facing a flooded area very quickly. If you’re dealing with a burst pipe, it’s important to turn off your home’s water supply to reduce the amount of water that comes out. After that, it’s important to contact a plumber for emergency plumbing repairs. Flooded areas can cause serious damage to your home and belongings so it’s crucial to get this taken care of as soon as possible. Fortunately for residents of Anaheim, California, frozen pipes aren’t a major concern.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with any of these plumbing problems. However, if you do find yourself facing a plumbing emergency, it’s important to contact a plumber as soon as possible. This will allow you to limit structural damage and water bill expenses.

La Habra History & Your La Habra Plumber

Interested in La Habra History? Here’s the scoop from your local La Habra Plumber!

La Habre PlumberMariano Reyes Roldan, was a council member of the young city known as Los Angeles. Roldan received a large acreage of land known as Rancho Cañada de la Habra in 1839. He would use this land to farm and grow crops until he sold the land to another rancher. This new land owner, Stearns, would soon be one of the most prominent ranchers in Southern California. Abel Stearns was not only a rancher but a trader and successful land owner. Stearns would own Rancho’s Los Coyotes, San Juan de Santa Ana, Bolsa, Bolsa Chica, Jurupa, and Sierra. A devastating series of droughts and freezing temperatures would cause Stearns to eventually sell many of his estates.  

La Habre Plumber
W.J. Hole Ranch, La Habra Heights

The land was overrun with sheep in the late 1800’s. Sheep grazed and roamed all over the hillsides and slopes for many decades until Willits J. Hole showed on the scene and began making the foundations of what would become the city of La Habra. Years later, the Union Oil company would come to own much of Hole’s property. Consequently the city of La Habra really took off. Homes, schools, and stores began to populate across the rich soil that once was home to thousands of fruit trees. Those fruit trees would lead La Habra and many other surrounding cities to incorporate into the county known as Orange County.

The area was full of more than just oranges. Additionally, walnuts may have been the most abundant crop in the area. The La Habra Walnut Association would yearly ship out nearly 300 tons of walnuts. Orange county was also popular for its watermelon, lemons, peaches, and apricots. The legend is that the name Orange county was the result of a bet. A few of its founders got together to vote on the name. They created a list of choices from the crops grown in the area and oranges came out on top. Certainly, Apricot County just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

plumber La Habre
John A. Smith House in La Habra Heights

 

The boom in these fruit orchards was due in large part to the formation of the La Habra Water Company and the California Domestic Water Company. The farmers in the area owned part of these companies and installed pipes all through the valley and beyond. Consequently water was pumped into their farms and fields. A share in the company back in the 20’s was about $100 dollars and quickly rose ten times that by the 1940’s. Protecting and maintaining those pipes that brought that precious water was imperative. A few decades later, one who eventually services and maintains some of those pipes would emerge from that very town. A La Habra plumber named Mitch Clemmons.

 

Looking for a La Habra Plumber

Mitch Clemmons plumbing career got started around 1992. Mitch established himself as a La Habra plumber before later expanding to the surrounding areas of:

  • Brea
  • Fullerton
  • Buena Park
  • and Anaheim.

Because many of the homes in the area are older, a lot can show up in the pipes! Many of the homes that exploded across the landscape of La Habra are still in use today. Some have the same plumbing dating from the early 30s, 40s, and 50s. In addition, many of these homes have old galvanized pipes which have seen their fair share of corrosion and build-up.

plumbing jobLooking for a La Habra Plumber?

When it comes to plumbing problems, Mitch Clemmons, your local La Habra plumber, has seen it all. Consequently, replacing old pipes is one of the many things that are done well at Mitch Clemmons Plumbing. Here’s why:

  • They offer high-quality copper or high-density PEX piping
  • Can customize a piping system to fit your home specifically
  • Ability to install new pipes while being able to use existing fixtures
  • They use the most advanced equipment and latest in plumbing technology
  • Mitch Clemmons Plumbing technicians are all expertly trained and licensed

So if you’re one of the 60,000 residents of La Habra and you’re in the need for a La Habra plumber who’s home grown and knows his stuff, give us a call.

Related Links

 

Map of Fullerton 1950

The History of Fullerton, CA by The Fullerton Plumber

Fullerton PlumberThe History of Fullerton, CA by The Fullerton Plumber

In 1837, the area known as Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana was a part of a land grant to Juan Pacifico Ontiveros. Ontiveros was the Foreman of the Mission at San Juan Capistrano. The cities of Anaheim, Placentia and Fullerton would develop from this land.

Fullerton would grow to become a noted college town with 3 institutions of higher learning; CSUF, Fullerton College, and Hope Int’l University. Its downtown are would eventually become an incredible night-life destination due to its SoCo District.  But it would not surpass the fame earned by its sister city, Anaheim and the magic kingdom—Disneyland. Yet, Fullerton is still one of the coolest and historic towns in all of Southern California.

Fullerton Orange Groves, Guitars, and Greats

Fullerton, at end of the 1800’s, had more orange groves than any city in the entire country. It is also consider the birthplace of the electric guitar. Leo Fender opened his Fender Radio Service in Fullerton in 1938. After building and repairing amps and PA systems for bands and musicians Fender created the iconic Telecaster around 1950. It’s home to one of the most successful collegiate baseball teams in the country in the Cal State Fullerton Titans.

plumbing in FullertonTrains are also a rich part of the history of Fullerton.  In fact its name is due to the grand expansion of railroads through Orange County. The Amerige Brothers, George and Edward bought some land in northern Orange County and said they’d name the place after the George H. Fullerton if he ran his tracks through it. Consequently, he did and they did. They laid their claim on the corner of Harbor and Commonwealth near the main train station where Amtrak and Metrolink trains are in service today.

Prior to this the area of Fullerton was home to some prehistoric creatures. There’s bones and other artifacts to suggest the Mammoth and saber-tooth cats roamed the terrain in and around modern-day Fullerton. Ralph B. Clark park is woodland recreation center that stretches from Fullerton to neighboring cities Buena Park and La Mirada. It houses amazing fossils found in Fullerton including a 9,000,000 year baleen whale skeleton.

Early Fullerton

Find Your Fantastic Fullerton Plumber

Now, Mitch Clemmon’s Plumbing hasn’t been around that long. But since about 1992, Mitch Clemmons has been working as a plumber serving this same area where Mastodon’s and Smilodon’s ran free. While these prehistoric creatures and landmarks have left their mark in Fullerton and the surrounding area, Mitch has done the same with quality service, expertise, and affordable prices. He started out first laying sewer pipes for residential homes to servicing large commercial properties today. Therefore, the Mitch Clemmons Plumbing that legacy continues. The breadth of services our team provides range from:

  •     Rooter services to break up tree roots or large blockages in your plumbing.
  •     Leak detection to discover foundation or slab leaks that are difficult to find.
  •     Upgrading, replacing or installing gas or electric water heaters.
  •     Whole-house water filtration and water softener system installation to provide tap water that’s better than bottled water.
  •     Switching old pipes to oxidation resistant copper or the highly advanced PEX piping.
  •     Clearing drains and pipes with the super efficient, non-toxic and versatile pressurized system of hydro-jetting.

All these services provided by a Fullerton plumber come by way of extensively trained technicians using highly advanced equipment and products. So from using high density PEX tubing to or our efficient electronic leak detection system we have you covered like the tracks of the old Santa Fe that ran though downtown Fullerton. Give us a call!  (562) 242-3218

Fullerton Plumber – Related Links:

Mitch Clemmon Plumbing Bios

Fullerton Plumber – Plumbing Terms Made Easy

Services Our Fullerton Plumber Provides

 

Toilet vs Toilette

Ah the French!

So sophisticated, so timeless, and the language!. Many French words have found their way into the English lexicon that we American’s, and many others, use today. Now we know this article is about new toilet installation but stay with us…. this is a great story.

Let us examine the word “toilette”…

Today when anyone uses this word it’s usually at the end of the phrase “eau de toilette”; which simply means toilet water. This is how we categorize our fragrances used by men and women. Did you know that eau de toilette is stronger than eau de Cologne. but not as strong as eau de parfum? Yet, the word toilette meant something different long before it had anything to do with washing, rinsing, or making yourself smell pretty. Back in those days what they wouldn’t give for a new toilet installation!

new toilet installationSo what’s the history of the word toilet?

Early on a toilette was merely a table that had some fancy decorations and maybe a nice tablecloth that adorned it. It may have held articles that a woman would be needing as she put on her attire for the day. However, towards the early 1900’s it became to mean a personal grooming station. It could include garments and apparel. Frequently it included irons, brushes, lotions, powder, make-up, and other morning essentials.

Then some time after the Great Depression, a couple World Wars, and Woodstock, the toilette became the toilet.

This is where it gets interesting…

Now, this was an entire room that contained a sink, maybe a vanity mirror, bath tub or shower and another French word, a commode. The commode was basically a chair, fashioned with a bowl, that you sat on to relieve yourself. Similarly, the word commode, much like toilette, in the 1700’s was any piece of furniture that made living in an area more suitable or more convenient. It’s where we get our word “accommodations” from. Isn’t that fascinating?

This brings us to 2017 where the word toilet or commode both refer to the ceramic bowl where we do our “duty” or handle some “business”. If you’re interested in a new toilet installation in your newly created or remodeled bathroom or replacing an old one there are several types to choose from:

  • Two-piece Toliet: The most common toilet for homes, apartments, and small offices. These also tend to be the least expensive and easiest to maintain.
Woodbridge Dual-Flush Toilet With Soft-Closing Seat
  • One-piece Toliet: Fashioned from one piece of ceramic, the one-piece toilet have the tank and bowl fused together. This version is very easy to clean and its minimalist design makes it easier to fit in certain spaces. However, if one part cracks you’re replacing the entire unit.
  • Smart Toilets: Yes, there are such things as “smart” toilets. And why not? You have TVs, phones, and cars that have “smart” variants why not your toilet? And as you could imagine these intelligent toilets can do a number of things. From seat warming to self-cleaning, these units can auto-mate a number of functions. Some are tankless and others come with settings that can conserve water. Yet don’t expect to conserve any money, not at the outset at least. These toilets are usually quite expensive and can be costly to repair. If you can afford the initial investment they can be worth it.
  • Wall-Mounted Toilet: If you really need to save some space, this is the unit of choice. The tank is usually behind the wall and the bowl is sits off the floor. This design can save a lot space and bring a very sophisticated looked to your bathroom.
  • Elevated Toilet: These are taller toilets usually for those who have a tough time sitting or getting up. Usually installed in homes for those that are elderly or have a disability making trips to the bathroom with lower toilets quite the hassle.

Where should I put my new toilet?

One thing remains a necessity when it comes to new toilet installation, where you put it. Designing the most accommodating facilities typically involves the placement of your tub, sink, and toilet. Now if you’re building your bathroom from scratch you have the opportunity to make installing these pieces very easy the first and each time after that. If it’s an old house from 1925 and the toilet is so close to the door that locking it is not only for privacy but for self-defense, then you have some other things to ask yourself:

How much space do I need for your toilet?

  • If you have a large space and can separate your bathtub from your toilet that can leave you with tons of options for your new toilet installation. Yet, what if all three have to go in the same space?
  • Do you change out the full bathtub for a stand-up shower? How easily can you install a wall-hung toilet in this space? If you have to have the toilet in the same area, how can you make sure it’s well-ventilated?

What kind of water source do I need for my toilet?

Your ideal bathroom may be a blank canvas or you may have all kinds of constraints that hinder that. For example, you may be challenged by where the water enters your property. Of course, there are numerous ways to re-route water to suit your needs but determining that first can save time and money for your new toilet installation. Therefore, take the time to map these things out before deciding on your toilet system.

What is going to be the function of my toilet?

Functionality, at the end of the day, is paramount when considering your new toilet installation. Depending on who and how many people will be using your bathroom may determine if you go with an elevated seat for the grandma or one with a flusher that’s easy for a child to flush.

Cost of a new toilet

Of course if money is no object you can go wild with toilets of different materials including steel, marble, porcelain, gold. You can also get one with a remote and some are touch-less. If you’re on a budget there are a number of options to meet just about any need. One word of caution, don’t go cheap. You will definitely find some cheaper units that seem to be just fine. Nevertheless, this purchase is not one you want to make again soon and certainly not one you want to have make because of an emergency caused by you trying to save a few dollars.

New Toilet Installation

After you’ve determined which toilet works with your space, decor, and overall use of your bathroom expect the unexpected. You may begin the new toilet installation process and find out there’s way more going on in the floor or behind the wall or with the pipes than you realized. If you aren’t sure what do next call us Mitch Clemmons Plumbing at (562) 242-3218. We will provide an estimate that not only includes the cost of installing your toilet but the repairs or adjustments needed to make sure your new toilet works appropriately and efficiently.

If the whole process seems a bit daunting well we can come and give your bathroom a proper inspection. Then we’ll advise on the best approach to replacing your toilet. If it feels like your toilet is about to give way soon, call us quickly.  (562) 242-3218 That toilet water isn’t the kind you want your home smelling like.

Check out our service and repair page for more info.

local plummer

Looking for a local plummer in the Fullerton area?

Some people search for “plummer” instead of “plumber”.  We wanted to make sure you can still find quality plumbing services from a reliable local plummer!
CALL US! (562) 242-3218

local plummerNeed a Quality Local Plummer?

We are very picky about who we hire as our plummers and helpers.  Each plummer we hire we train and monitor to make sure they are providing excellent plumbing service and that they keep your home clean. Each and every day we send our plummers into the field to do small to large plumming jobs. You can count on a Mitch Clemmons local plummer to get the job done right the first time!

How Did I Become a Local Plummer?

I became a plummer about 25 years ago. I, too, was trained by great plummers that came before me.  In 2003 I started my own company so that I would offer quality service to my local community and cities like Fullerton, La Habra, Anaheim, Buena Park, La Mirada and everything in between. My goal is to provide quality plumming services to my clients, no matter how they spell plummer.

Why Would You Hire a Local Plummer Like Me?

Most companies will tell you that they offer quality work, fair pricing, say they will take care of your homes, and stand behind their work. However, with us you can verify that it is true!  We service our customers well and we hold very high standards. 

What do Others Say About Using Mitch Clemmons Plumbing as Their Local Plummer?

One of the best ways to find a local plummer is to read what others have said about them. Mitch Clemmons plumbing feels confident that you will feel good about this local plumber once you read our reviews. We do our very best with each and every ‘plumming’ job we do.

Are You Interested In

CALL US! (562) 242-3218

Check our “plumming” reviews on:

hydrojet

The Hydrojet vs The Hydroplane

Wondering how hydrojet pipe cleaning relates to the hydroplane?

Well… Man has always had a love for by speed; whether in the air, on land, and even on water. Since the 20’s many have used the laws of physics to skirt the waves of the ocean in order to achieve extreme rates of speed. Using the idea of “planing” to glide along the water to avoid the drag of the water’s surface. Hydroplanes gained much notoriety in the May issue of Popular Mechanics in 1935.

The hydroplane’s success only encouraged our need for speed. With each decade the water speed record seemed to be falling at greater and greater speeds. In 1978, Ken Warby of Australia set the record at 317mph and it still stands to this day.

hydrojetNow the “hydrojet” sounds like it would be the heir apparent to the hydroplane. Yet this hydrojet would only be successful in cleaning said vessel. High-pressure water cleaning has been around for nearly a hundred years but only recently has it been a method for clearing out pipes in your home’s plumbing system.

The most common method for clearing out blockages or clogs in your pipes has normally been the tried and true plumber’s snake. So why has the hydrojet become a go-to for plumbers today?
Here are a few reasons why go with hydrojetting over snaking or rooting:

  • Hydrojetting Provides Complete Cleaning

    Hydrojetting is a very comprehensive way to clean your pipes. The high-pressure water is able to remove limescale, grease, soap build-up, hair, rust and mineral deposits, and various types of debris. Some hydrojets are even powerful enough to cut through tree and plant roots.

  • Hydrojetting is Cost-effective

    Since hydrojetting is such a thorough way to clean your pipes it can often save you money. It does this by removing the need for other services down the road. Maybe you need to just clear a large hair clog? Consider that since hydrojetting is powerful enough to clear out those tree roots why not knock them out while you’re in there?!

  • Hydrojet Nozzles Have Excellent Accessibility

    The old school plumbing snake has changed and adapted over the years. One such adaptation includes various nozzles and tubing of a hydrojet can reach places a bit easier than a cumbersome auger. Also, shoving a metal snake down some pipes can damage older or fragile pipes. Hydrojets have an easier time navigating up and around pipes that bend at severe angles.

  • Using Hydrojet Cleaning on your Drains is Environmentally Friendly

    Not many things can be safer to use than pure water. Hydrojetting uses the force of high-pressure to remove stubborn build-up instead of harmful chemicals or solvents. Many of which run down your drain and out to the ocean, filling up the very waters you may be fishing later this summer. Not only does it not require the use of harmful agents it also can remove them like residue bacteria from foods and liquids.

Mitch Clemmons Plumbing offers advanced hydrojetting along with Camera Inspection Technology. This helps our plumbers to know exactly where the blockage is and attack the issue efficiently and accurately. Call us today for an inspection.

Fawcett vs Faucet | Leaky Faucet?

Leaky Faucet or Farrah Fawcett? The surname Fawcett is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from several different variations. In the early 1200’s, Faxide, Fausyde, Facit, Fagheside, Fawsyde all seem to mean the same thing – “a brightly colored hill side” or “a fox on a hill side”.  The first record of any version was in 1189 when Aedmundus de Fayeside was as a witness to the granting of Tranent Church. Several centuries later the first Fawcetts left Europe for the States in 1654.
 
Leaky Faucet La HabraThen, in 1947, the most famous Fawcett of all-time is born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Farrah Leni Fawcett was a blonde bombshell that catapulted out of southern Texas to international stardom. She was the star of the, arguably, the most famous poster in history. It was the 70’s and this fox would do her namesake well by posing for a poster in a brightly-colored bathing suit that would sell over 20 million copies. Farrah would later appear in the hit TV show Charlies Angels. She went on to become one of the most iconic symbols for beauty.
 
Now, your home has faucets in and around it. They may even be leaky faucets. Some may be bright and beautiful others… not so much. The faucet out in your garden probably isn’t looking nearly as gorgeous as the one in your ornate master bathroom. This version of “faucet” comes from the old French word fausset. It’s the same word we get the musical term falsetto from. When someone sings in falsetto it sounds like a melodic high pitch shriek. This is probably how the tap or spigot came to get it’s French moniker. Often when you turn off the tap it makes a squeal, kind of like a someone singing falsetto—badly. While this is quite common it’s probably not really a cause for alarm. However, a constant and consistent squeal when your turning your faucet off can be a sign of wear.

Here are some other things to look for when it comes diagnosing a problem with your faucet including a leaky faucet: 

  • Leaky faucets: If this is problematic it’s usually going to be a simple o-ring replacement. These wear out quite often and will cause other problems if not taken care of.Leaky Faucet
  • Faucet screeching: Again, replacing the simple rubber washing inside of the faucet often can do the trick. If doesn’t help consult your manual or click here.
  • Water comes out of faucet slowly: This could be a issue with blockage or a crack in your pipes. It also could be as simple as turning up your water pressure. If it is your faucet, it may just be the aerator filter or screen at the opening of the faucet. This is usually easy to remove and clean.
  • Water no longer sprays or streams: If you have a faucet that allows you to change to different types of flows and now none of them seem to work, this could be due to the diverter that is in the faucet. Taking a part the faucet and cleaning the diverter in a natural cleaner like vinegar might help. You can also try to call the manufacture for a replacement part. 
  • Faucet is rattling: This can be something that is deeper within in your pipes or could also be a crack in your faucet. If it’s a complex, multi-function faucet it may have parts that you can address directly and purchase. Yet, this may not be an option if it’s a simpler, seamless piece.

Can’t fix your leaky faucet? No problem! Call the experts at
Mitch Clemmons Plumbing at (562) 242-3218.

Interested in replacing your old leaky faucet with a new brushed nickle faucet but need help installing it? No problem! Give Mitch Clemmons Plumbing a call to have it done right. (562) 242-3218 or fill out our online form.

Pipe vs Pipe and Copper Pipe

Whether it’s in music, cooking, or tools to smoke various leaves the word pipe can mean so many things to many people. If your kid is being a bit unruly, the old phrase “pipe down” might be useful. Some say this was an old sailing term used to tell soldiers to traverse down a ladder or staircase to retire for the night. Or how about when your food is “piping hot”? Most believed the whistle of a tea pot when water has reached its boiling point is where the term came from.
 
Hundreds of years ago the Baluka tribe of the Congo established a tradition in Africa of using large gourds as smoking pipes. The tradition traveled to Europe and helped develop the use of the Calabash gourd to fashion the style of pipe portrayed in the Sherlock Holmes stories. Then there’s piping used to make various woodwind instruments like flutes and recorders. Now if you look at a hollowed squash and a brass piccolo, you would never confused the two. Yet they both can be consider pipes.
 
Wood, ivory, bone, cane or other various metals are options for musical pipes or smoking pipes. Your plumbing pipes are typically of copper or a new material called “PEX”. For centuries lead was the metal of choice for plumbing because of its malleability; a metal’s ability to be shaped and formed. In our previous blog we mentioned where the term “plumbing” originates; lead in Latin is the word plumbum. The use of lead for porting water took a sharp dive after World War 2 when lead poisoning cases rose dramatically.  

Galvanized (zinc coated steel) pipingcopper pipe

Many years ago galvanized (zinc coated steel) piping took over as the more common choice for indoor plumbing after growing lead poisoning concerns. Galvanized pipes can last about 70 years but eventually give way to rust from the inside out. This can happen quicker or slower depending on the minerals and other elements in the water. 
 
Back in the 60’s the use of galvanized pipe began to decline. Other types of metal pipes began to find favor because they were easier to work with.

Copper Pipe

That brings us today’s metal of choice for plumbing – copper pipe. Copper pipe has several advantages and benefits over the older metals used.
  • Copper pipe is light and rigid needing less fittings and supports and sag less over time than heavier metals.
  • Copper’s ability to handle high temps makes easy to adjoin copper pipe therefore there’s no need harmful chemicals or adhesives when installed.
  • Being easier to install, needing less material can make an fully-copper installation much cheaper than pipes made of cheaper material.
  • Copper pipe is a natural metal that actually inhibits bacteria growth and is naturally corrosive resistant. This helps lessen concerns about mold or disease growing behind your walls or underneath your sink.
  • Copper pipe can handle extreme heat or cold conditions.It can also with stand more than a 1000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

PEX Pipes

Then there’s PEX pipe. PEX is the newest technology in plumbing. PEX stands for PolyEthylene with cross-links (X). Cross-linking is the bonding of one polymer (plastic) chain to another. All PEX pipe come with specifications and classifications. Prior to PEX, PVC (polyvinyl choride) was the most used plastic piping. Yet, PEX pipe holds several advantages over its older cousin and even over copper pipe.  
  • Easiest to install: PEX pipe requires even less fittings than copper pipe. It also requires no soldering or welding of metals. 
  • Most Flexible: Both PVC and Copper require elbows to maneuver around beams and corners. PEX tubing can bend, contort, and run along walls and edges with greater ease.
  • Cost: Since PEX pipe needs less space, material, and equipment it can cost considerably less than both Copper pipe  and PVC.  
  • Life Expectancy: While Copper pipe is highly resistant to extreme cold and heat, PEX pipe is even more so. PEX pipe is the most resistant to freezing, cracking, or bursting from extreme conditions and pressure.
Now while PEX pipe to seem to have more benefits than it’s alternatives it does have some drawbacks that one would need to take into consideration.
 
First, it is plastic. So that means there is often an after taste and smell that accompanying using PEX pipe. It can and usually does go away after some time but the initial odor and taste can be an issue.
 
Secondly, as with any synthetic polymer there can be chemical concerns. Recent reports and studies have shown no conclusive evidence of PEX piping causing any health issues yet some builders and environmental groups are still hesitant to embrace PEX as alternative.
 
Lastly, some insects find it tasty! Certain insects can in fact puncture PEX piping if left to chew at it long enough. Most notably the Western Conifer Seed bug of the Rocky Mountains. 
 
So what’s right for you, your residence, or building can be depend on a number of different things. Whatever your piping needs may be, Mitch Clemmons Plumbing can help you determine what suits your budget, environment, and daily needs best.
 
Call Mitch Clemmons Plumbing today for your Galvanized, Copper pipe, or PEX pipe consultation.

Plumb vs Plum and Homeade Drain Cleaners

Plumb vs Plum and Homemade Drain Cleaners

The word plumb is quite interesting. Originally, it meant a lead weight attached to the end of string to determine when something was truly straight. It also helped determine how straight and deep something could be.

Then there’s Prunus domestica which we know as the plum. One of history’s first domesticated fruits. While we think of dried plums as prunes, Prunus is the actual scientific name of the plum. Did they come to get their name from their dark color and high metallic mineral content of manganese and copper? Since plums were one of the first domesticated fruits, I wonder if they got their name from how they hang? Like a plumb bob.

So how does the word plumb correlate with a plumb-er? The Latin word for Lead is plumbum. In ancient times, it was used in making roofs, drains, conduits, pipes and baths. The term “plumber” could apply to anyone who worked with lead. Nowadays, lead is a no-no in pipes. Yet the term plumber remains.

So really, though you’re not working with lead, if you’re working on your pipes, drains or fixtures, you’re essentially a plumber!

home made drain cleanersHomemade Drain Cleaners

The first step when you need to clear your drains is to manually get any hair or other material out of the drain area. You can use a specially made hook they sell at the hardware store or even a hanger that you set up so it will go down the drain and clean out whatever is in there.

The second step to is to clearing any clogged pipe or drain is to use a store bought drain cleaner. Whether it’s Drano or Liquid Plumr, you can find a number of chemical-based liquid products you can pour down your sink to help loosen and break-up hair clogs, grease and oil build-up, and food deposits. But, with those products there can be some issues to take note of:

  • Chemicals can be damaging to your pipes, fixtures and finish.
  • Most are quite toxic and fumes can be harmful to you, your family or pets.
  • Once flushed through your septic system they can prove hazardous to the environment.
  • Some are ineffective. The actual issue may be something else but now you have a tub full of hazardous fluid.

A better alternative would be a more natural homemade drain cleaner that is just as effective but not nearly has harmful.

Here’s one you can try:

Materials:
1-2 cups vinegar
2 cups of Baking Soda
1 Large Pot of Boiling Water

Drain all the water from the sink, bowl, or tub. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain. Then, pour about half of the what boiling water down into the drain. The mix of baking soda and boiling water should start eating at the build-up in the pipes.

Next, pour 1 more cup of baking soda down the drain along with 1 cup of white vinegar. You should plug the drain right after pouring in the vinegar.

Once you start hearing bubbles and fizzing you’ll know somethings happening. When the bubbles and fizz stops–pour the rest of the boiling water in.

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Keep using this homemade drain cleaner as much as needed.

plunger to clear drainsWhat if liquid drain cleaners don’t work?

The next option could be using a plunger to pull and push the clog. This often times can help move the clog along. But remember, a plunger is meant to bring the stuck stuff back up, not pushed down! You want to get out whatever is blocking the pipe.

It can also be fool’s gold. If you do push the material down further into the drain, the clog may move out of the way temporarily or partially break apart enough for water to pass.

What if a plunger doesn’t work on my clogged drain?

Another option is using a “snake”. A plumber’s snake is basically an auger with a flexible bit. Now these can be effective in drilling through and attaching to some clogs. Then reverse action of the auger would pull the clog out. Problem with snakes is the damage they can do to pipes if the pipes have cracks, rust, or are brittle. The bit can also do damage around the entry. But plungers can be very effective as a drain cleaner.

How can I prevent a clogged drain and therefore avoid these drain cleaners?

Ultimately the best thing would be to avoid habits that cause clogs and engaging in routine maintenance that would help clogs from forming.

clear drainsThese steps can included:

  • Use mesh screens in your sinks to catch food, hair and other objects.
  • Use your garbage disposal less. Save food waste for more environmental use like a compost pile.
  • Don’t think of your sink as a trash can. Much easier to replace garbage bags versus a bathroom sink.
  • Pour boiling water and baking soda down your drains once a month.

Encouraging and educating your household on the importance of properly disposing of waste and actively taking these steps will lessen your chances for clogs greatly!

If you have a clogged drain that you want cleaned correctly and thoroughly call the professionals at Mitch Clemmon Plumbing!
Your very best drain cleaner!
(562) 242-3218

 

Clogged Drains – Clog vs Clog

Clog Vs Clog

The good ole Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “clog”as a “thick piece of wood” or a “wooden soled overshoe.” Though they took the fashion world by storm in the 80’s they’ve been around since the 13th century.  They’ve inspired dancing known as “clogging” and even the ever-classy tap dance owes its popularity somewhat to the clog. Now, the Oxford Dictionary has another entry that states a clog as “an encumbrance or impediment.” It also lists a clog as a verb meaning to “block.”  However, this clog has never been embraced quite like the great pine loafers from Sweden. Nowadays, when we hear the word ‘clog’ we think clogged drains! No fun!
Rooter Services Fullerton
Plumber unclogging a tub drain with an electric auger.

The history of this “clog” dates way back. In previous blogs we’ve mentioned that indoor plumbing dates back to 3000 BC. You can bet that clogs are just as old. And the things that caused clogged drains in the ancient world are many of the same things that are causing clogs today. So lets take a look at some of the most common reasons for clogs:

Design Can Cause Clogged Drains

Improperly designed and installed plumbing may be why you are experiencing clogged drains or slow drains. Therefore, if clogged drains are constantly plaguing you it could be a design issue.  Both drain pipe venting and slope affect how well drains work.
 
When an substantial amount of air is entering the vent, the water and waste will drain properly.  For example, when you flush your toilet it will swirl and empty quickly when the air vent is installed and located properly. Clogged drains caused by a poor installation of a vent can cause odor and therefor distress to the homeowner.

clogged drainsHair Can Cause Clogged Drains

As long as teenage girls have been washing their hair in a bath, shower, or sink, subsequent clogging has occurred. Nowadays we might even have a Lhasa Apso rinse causing some minor blockage.  There are many ways that hair can be removed from the sink. We do not recommend heavy chemicals that can damage pipes. Get your clogged drains cleaned out properly by calling a professional.

Oils Can Cause Clogged Drains

Whether it’s a large industrial galley on an ocean liner or a small kitchen in a studio apartment cooking grease can wreak havoc on pipes.  Wait for oil to cool after cooking and then dispose of it in the trash. Pouring oil into your pipes is a surefire way to cause clogged drains.

Garbage Can Cause Clogged Drains

Are you using your toilet as a typical bathroom trash can? If so, that may be the reason why your toilet is becoming clogged. People throw items meant for the garbage into the toilet and that will cause toilets to back up. Whether it’s feminine hygiene products, cotton-tipped swabs, dental floss, diaper wipes, paper towels, or food. Only throw toilet tissue down the toilet… everything else needs to go in the trash! 

Soap Can Cause Clogged Drains

After water, soap may be the one thing that washes down your drain most frequently. When combined with dirt, skin, hair, and other particles soap “scum” can a myriad of issues on your pipes. Many people think that soap will clean out the pipes but soap leaves an oily residue that causes clogged drains. 

Here are some tips avoid clogged drains:

  • Since hair is commonly the cause of many drain clogs, especially in showers and bathtubs, place strainers in those drains. And then make sure to clean them periodically.
  • Be careful of things you wash down your sink. Motor oil, paint, lacquer, and wax can harden in pipes and cause clogged drains with severe blockage.
  • Cooking oil, grease, or lard should not be wash down your kitchen sink. These items will cling to your pipes and cause other things that  go through your pipes to grab ahold as well. To avoid clogged drains, make sure to put all used cooking fluids into a garbage can. 
  • Hair products like shampoos and conditioner often wash down a sink with no issue. Yet, if your washing out dyes or coloring products those can cause problems. These can leave a residue that builds up causing clogged drains. Running hot to boiling water immediately after using any hair substances will help to keep that build up to a minimum.
  • There’s lots of things that should and should not go down your toilet. The only thing that belongs in a toilet other than waste, is toilet paper. Make every effort to place everything else in a trash can. A clogged toilet can be a real problem.
Make sure to follow these tips to keep your pipes clear and running smooth.
If you do run into clogged drains or a stopped up toilet call the professional plumbers  serving La Habra, Fullerton, Anaheim and surrounding areas. Call us today at (562) 242-3218