3 Causes of Slab Leaks

April 18th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Slab leaks are plumbing leaks that take place in a decidedly inconvenient spot: underneath the concrete slabs of your porch or home foundation. In the old days, they required a great deal of time and effort to fix, though technological advancement has cut down on the time and expense of such repairs. When it comes to plumbing repairs in Tustin, CA, there are a number of companies that can repair slab leaks, but are you sure you have the ones that can do the job? Here are 3 causes of slab leaks: the sort of thing that a quality service can hunt down with confidence and assurance.

  • Old or inferior piping
    Most plumbing in California is made of sturdy copper materials which should last a long time. In some cases, however, they can be made of inferior materials, and even the solid piping can wear down over the course of several decades. In these cases, the bad piping will need to be replaced if you want any repair job to last.
  • Hard or corrosive water
    We often experience problems with hard water in Tustin, brought about by a combination of desert atmosphere and our proximity to the sea. Metals like calcium and magnesium (as well as salt from the sea water) can get into our water system and while the city does a comparatively good job of clearing them out, a certain amount of hard water invariably gets through. Over time, this can corrode your piping, leading to a breach or leak beneath the concrete.
  • Earthquakes
    We get earthquakes all the time in Southern California, and while mild temblors are usually nothing to get concerned about, they can shift the ground around your piping: increasing pressure and friction, and often causing breaches. If you detect a drop in water pressure of similar sings of trouble after an earthquake, you may have a slab leak.

Detecting the causes of slab leaks is the first step a good plumbing service takes. The next is to fix it as quickly as possible while causing as little damage as possible to the home itself. In matters of plumbing, Tustin has a proven expert in Saddleback Plumbing. Give us a call today and let us take care of that slab leak for you!

Installing a New Furnace: What You Need to Know

April 17th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Installing a new furnace can be a big investment, and before you pull the trigger you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row. If set up properly, your new furnace can provide years of problem-free service and may even save you money on monthly repairs to boot. Here in Mission Viejo CA furnace replacement makes a lot of sense this time of year, when heating season is over and you won’t need to warm your home for a while. A good technician can explain the specifics to you, but here’s what you need to know when installing a new furnace.

  • Get it properly sized
    By the size of the furnace, we mean its heating power, which needs to match the specifics of your home (square footage, sunlight exposure, the amount of insulation and other factors which will influence its heating needs). If the furnace isn’t powerful enough, it won’t do the job. If it’s too powerful, it will cycle on and off rapidly throughout the day. Either way, the results will increase the wear and tear on your system, as well as costing you more in monthly bills.
  • Aim for efficiency
    Furnaces measure efficiency with an AFUE rating, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the furnace. If possible, you want to get a new furnace at least as efficient as your old one: more so if you can afford it.
  • Consider bells and whistles
    If you have an older thermostat, this is a good opportunity to install a new one with features such as smart technology and remote programming from your phone. You might also want to install a zone control system that lets you turn off the heat in parts of the house you aren’t using.

For more on installing a new furnace, or for further details on what you need to know, contact the experts at Saddleback Plumbing. We work throughout Mission Viejo, CA, furnace installation is a fundamental part of our heating system services, and we’ll work with you to ensure that you get exactly the furnace you want. Give us a call today to make an appointment!

Watch for Water Line Breaches after an Earthquake

April 11th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Earthquakes are a serious concern here in Southern California, and in Laguna Hills, water lines can often be breached following a significant temblor. As the ground shifts, rocks below ground might move, sinkholes could form, and other pressures may be placed on your pipe that weren’t there before. The good news is that there are plumbing services in Laguna Hills with experience repairing water line breaches. The bad news is that breached water lines are usually located below the ground, which means you need to look for subtle signs rather than expecting it to announce itself. Here are a few tips to help you watch for water line breaches after an earthquake.

  • No water
    This is the most obvious sign that something is wrong. If you turn on the faucet or flush the toilet and no water comes back, you likely have a serious breach with the line.
  • Puddles
    Another good sign that you have an underground breach is the appearance of mysterious puddles of water in your yard. Check your year and other parts of your property such as the basement after an earthquake to make sure those puddles aren’t forming.
  • Odors
    A bad odor can indicate a breach in the sewer line, but also a fracture or a back-up in the water line as well. If you small something strange emitting from your kitchen sink or other pipes, it’s time to take some action.
  • Sounds
    You may hear running water in a nearby storm drain or even in parts of your home, despite the fact that there’s no apparent source of the water. That’s usually a good sign that you’re looking at some serious problems.

If you spot water line breaches after an earthquake, call the experts at Saddleback Plumbing for help. We work in Laguna Hills, water lines are a part of our service, and we know how to move quickly when there’s an emergency. After an earthquake, the first thing you need to do is secure your family and your valuables.  We can be a major part of that, especially in the event of water line damage. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

How to Address Leaks in Bathroom Plumbing

April 4th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Leaks are a sad inevitability in most homes. No matter how well maintained your plumbing system is, sooner or later, you’ll have to deal with a breach or a leak. This is especially true with bathroom plumbing, which sees the heaviest use and often experiences the most damaging leaks. Here in Irvine, bathroom plumbing doesn’t undergo the same pressures as it might in colder climates, but seals and connectors can still wear down, as can the pipes themselves in the most extreme cases. Here’s how to address leaks in bathroom plumbing.

Detection is key, which means you should always look out for signs of drips or water running where it shouldn’t. Check under your sink for drips and puddles on a regular basis, and look for signs such as odd noises and gurgling sounds for those pipes that aren’t readily visible. Once you spot it, shut off the water to that section of your plumbing if you can. If you can’t, simply take care not to use the fixture or appliance in question, most bathroom plumbing fixtures don’t have constantly running water, so refraining from using the sink or shower until you can get the leak addressed will prevent the water from puddling up in inappropriate locations.

In a few cases, you can treat a leak yourself with epoxy or a similar sealant. In most cases, however, you should contact a qualified plumber to deal with the leaks. He or she can replace the damaged component, tighten the loose fittings and otherwise address the leak in a substantive fashion. More importantly, most reputable plumbing repair services offer a guarantee on their work, which means you won’t need to worry about the leak returning anytime soon.

Professional plumbing repairs in Irvine is offered by the professionals at Saddleback Plumbing. We stand by our work with guaranteed services and proudly cite our affiliation with reputable groups such as the Plumbing Heating & Cooling Contractors as proof. Most importantly, we know how to address leaks in bathroom plumbing with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone today and give us a call. You’ll be glad you did!

Benefits of Hydrojetting in Drain Cleaning Services

April 3rd, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Hydrojetting is the practice of using high-pressure pulses form a specialized hose to clear out clogs and build-up in your plumbing. The practice entails specialized equipment and requires a trained plumber to operate (you’d be surprised how much damage a little water can do), but it’s become a staple for drain cleaning services. If you have a clog or a build-up issue, hydrojetting may be the best way to deal with it. Here a short list of the benefits of hydrojetting in drain cleaning services in Trabuco Canyon.

  • Thoroughness
    Snakes, cleaners and similar solutions may only deal with a single clog, or even just part of a clog. Hydrojetting is designed to clear the entire pipeline, getting rid of not only the clog in question, but also any other clogs that may be building up along the line. That provides extremely good value for the money, as well as keeping the problem at bay for some time to come.
  • Safety
    Chemical cleansers can be quite dangerous, especially if they interact with something unexpected down in the drain. Hard items like plastic toys or even organic components can interact poorly with the cleanser and create toxic fumes. While hydrojetting can be dangerous if used by inexperienced personnel, at the end of the day, it’s just water, making is a safe and environmentally friendly solution as well as an effective one.
  • Efficiency
    Hydrojetting can cut through just about anything, including tree roots and mineral deposits. At the same time, it does its job without damaging your pipes at all: the pressure involved is calibrated so that your system can handle it perfectly. With hydrojetting, there’s never any question of whether the problem is getting dealt with.

Here at Saddleback Plumbing, we understand the benefits of hydrojetting in drain cleaning services. More importantly, we have the training and experience to do the job right. If you live in Trabuco Canyon, drain cleaning will eventually be a part of your home plumbing maintenance.

Give us a call today and schedule your next plumbing repair for your Trabuco Canyon home with Saddleback Plumbing. Let us make sure that the job gets done right.

Effects of Sea Air and Water on Plumbing

March 28th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

When it comes to getting plumbing installed in your home, the residents of San Juan Capistrano and other coastal towns face a unique series of challenges. The proximity of the pacific means that salt water becomes more of an issue than it might further inland, and while our civic filtration systems do a good job, it remains a concern. Salty air, too can create problems with your plumbing, since it has a higher salt content than air in inland communities. Plumbing service experts in the area need to be aware of the effects of sea air and water on plumbing in order to help correct the issue. Here’s a brief primer on the specifics involved.

Metal of all sorts is vulnerable to corrosion, which is facilitated when water and air interact together on the metal. A chemical reaction oxidizes the metal and creates rust, which breaks it down and ultimately requires its replacement. The salt in sea air and water speeds up this process, making it more difficult to keep the system maintained and resulting in a constant battle against the elements. These conditions tend to affect stainless steel, iron and brass more than other forms of metal.

The good news is that plumbing pipes tend to be made of rust-resistant material as a matter of course, and while that can’t stop the increased rate of corrosion, it can at least slow the process down. Copper has been used in ship design for centuries because it resists the process of corrosion, and PVC and other forms of plastics also make a strong bulwark against the forces of nature.

The bad news is that corrosion still happens, even with plumbing systems formed from materials. Starting with the initial plumbing installation in San Juan Capistrano, residents should keep an eye out for signs of corrosion and other effects of sea air and water on plumbing. When you spot them, call on the experts at Saddleback Plumbing for help. We can replace corroded parts quickly and professionally, as well as providing advice on how to keep your plumbing safe from the effects of sea air. Give us a call today to set up an appointment, and let us show you what we can do!

3 Reasons to Install a Water Treatment System

March 21st, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Here in Irvine, water treatment systems are a natural fit for homeowners interested in quality water. The system filters out minerals and impurities for your whole house, providing cleaner clearer water for all manner of activities. Irvine’s civic water treatment system does a reasonably good job, but considering our proximity to the ocean and the high mineral content of our semi-desert soil, a water treatment system makes a lot of sense. And that’s far from the only benefit. Here are 3 reasons to install a water treatment system in your home, demonstrating the advantages that such a system provides.

  • Healthier drinking water
    By filtering out impurities, a water treatment system provides tastier and healthier water not only for drinking, but for cooking as well. You can see objective evidence of this by performing a little experiment. Fill an ice cube tray with tap water, then a second tray with bottled water (ie., filtered water) from the store. When the ice freezes, you’ll be able to see the difference in clarity and crispness, a fact that will translate in terms of taste.
  • Softer clothes
    Hard water can be tough on clothes, even when you run your laundry on the gentle cycle. Filtered water helps them feel softer and more comfortable to wear, as well as keeping the colors brighter and ensuring that the clothes last longer.
  • Better showers and baths
    Chances are, you can find hard water build-up on your shower or faucet head: a crusty white deposit that can clog the shower if you let it persist. Imagine that same build-up pounding on your skin as you bathe. It’s not dangerous, but it can leave your skin feeling raw and irritated, as well as a little filmy when you’re done. Filtered water is much gentler on your skin, and helps disperse soap scum as well to eliminate that film you may feel at the end.

For more reasons to install a water treatment system, or to discuss other plumbing services in Irvine offered by a qualified professional, give Saddleback Plumbing a call. We’ve had many years of experience serving the people of Irvine, water treatment systems are standard for us, and we’re ready to give you the best possible treatment in all a stages of the operation. We’re eager to show you what we can do, so pick up the phone and contact us today!

Why Schedule Heating Repair Services Now

March 20th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

We’re coming to the end of another winter, and while no one cries too hard for us here in sunny So Cal, we’ve still had our share of cold nights. Area furnaces and heaters have seen regular use, and with the weather growing warm again, that use is dropping as we focus on our air conditioners instead. Ironically, that makes the best possible time to plan for heating repair service from a trained professional. Here in Laguna Hills, CA, heating systems can be repaired by the same companies, but why should you schedule heating repair services now? In short, because there is no better time.

Not every problem with your heater announces itself with a full-bore breakdown. In many cases,  the problem simply leaches energy from your system. It still runs, but it costs you more in monthly costs than it should and increases wear and tear on the system overall. Not only are you paying more every month than you need to, but the chances of a more serious repair issue increase every  day the initial problem goes unsolved. You might not be able to fix it during the winter, when the eater may see use every day, but with temperatures rising, your unit can afford to be out of action for a day or so in order to handle it.

In addition, that reduced need gives you the flexibility to schedule repairs at your leisure instead of scrambling to react to an immediate problem. We all lead busy lives and increased flexibility can be a boon when juggling your schedule. The spring is the best time to make these plans, before the needs of your air conditioner take center stage.

If you know why you should schedule heating repair services now, the next step is to call the experts at Saddleback Plumbing to help. We professionally handle heating system repairs in Laguna Hills with the same high levels of quality that you’ve come to expect. Give us a call today to set up an appointment and let us show you what we can do!


Plan for a New Heating Installation before the Fall

March 12th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Heating season is winding down and our heaters are slowly being turned off in favor of our air conditioners. AC issues tend to take a front-row seat here in sunny Southern California, but we still need our heaters during the winter months. If you have an older heater and are thinking about replacing it, you may want to plan for a new heating installation before the fall. When it comes to heating installation, Ladera Ranch CA has the resources to help you out, and you can get it done well before the next chilly day arrives.

As heaters age, they become less efficient, which can result in higher energy bills each month and an increased need for repairs to boot. In many cases, these kinds of issues aren’t enough to cause your heater to stop: it just costs you more to operate it, a sort of “installation tax” you have to pay until the unit gets replaced. Good maintenance can keep those issues at bay, but the longer your heater goes on, the more likely it is that you’ll need to have it replaced.

And when you do, it’s far easier to do it before the fall than in the middle of heating season. An old heater with a lot of problems is just asking or a breakdown. If you wait, you run the risk of a serious heating repair or replacement issue in the middle of heating season when you need it to function the most. That means a lot of scrambling, emergency service calls and general discomfort as you scramble to get the new unit online as quickly as possible. Contrast that with a spring or summer installation, which you don’t need your heater and have the luxury or planning it during a time when your schedule is free.

If you want to plan for a new heating installation before the fall, then the experts at Saddleback Plumbing are here to help. We can set up your heating in Ladera Ranch, CA, which is part of our service area, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Give us a call today to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

Plumbing Repair Problems Caused by Earthquakes

March 7th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Here in Irvine, plumbing repair services must handle all manner of emergencies, from leaky pipes to ruptured water heaters. Repairing your home plumbing caused by earthquakes, however, are often the most extensive and require the most work. Earthquakes can shift the ground, which can wreak have on water mains and sewer lines as well as the plumbing within your house. Luckily, we haven’t had a major earthquake in a while, but the longer we go, the better the chance that the next one will be huge. Proper preparation and an understanding of what earthquakes can do to your plumbing will serve you well when the next temblor hits.

The concern usually isn’t with the earthquake itself. The concern is what happens with the damaged components, which can cut off service to your house, wrench off their fittings and even cause leaks or flooding crawlspaces and other hard-to-reach places in your home. This is more than a nuisance; in an emergency, it can actually be a source of danger. This comes on top of ancillary plumbing concerns such as the release of unlit gas when your water heater is damaged.

A plumber can usually correct the problem, depending upon the extent of the damage and the wherewithal to make repairs. In some cases, it will involve wholesale replacement of all or part of your plumbing system. In others, only minor repairs may be needed. But whatever the issue, it’s important that you contain the damage first before calling in a repair service. Shut off all water to your home with the main valve, and turn off the gas as well. Then call in a service technician to inspect the property and determine the extent of the damage.

Plumbing services in Irvine can be handled by Saddleback Plumbing. We can handle all manner of plumbing repair problems caused by earthquakes and can even help you with preventative measures such as emergency earthquake shut-off valves for your gas lines. You never know when the next quake will hit, but you can ensure that the right people are on the ground to help you afterwards. Our trained experts are standing by, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!