Author Archives: Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter

How Can You Tell if Your Water is Safe to Drink?

Water quality affects our health and well-being.

Water quality is important

Whether we’re drinking it, cooking with it, bathing in it or washing our clothes or dishes in it, clean water is essential for our health and well-being.  This is why water quality is essential to our lives.

How water quality affects health

Poor water quality can be detrimental to your health. Various bacteria and other organisms such as algae can cause stomach and intestinal illnesses, rashes, liver illnesses or even cause neurological issues. Chemicals like nitrates found in pesticides can cause serious illness or even death in children. Heavy metals like lead and mercury can be toxic in high concentrations and other chemical can affect development or even cause cancer. At the same time, good water quality will affect health positively. Besides being used for drinking, cooking and cleaning, high quality water may contain higher concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium that we need for optimum health and nutrition.

While there are national standards that regulate water quality, you can also improve water quality in your home with a water purification system. Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. provides high-quality water filtration systems in West Los Angeles, CA.

Water quality can also be improved when you improve the air quality in your home. To improve air quality in your home, you can have it tested.

Why do people test the quality of water?

Health and safety are the primary reasons people test water quality. Even if it appears clear, your water could have contaminants in it like coliform bacteria in it that can make you sick. Water can also have unsafe levels of chemicals like nitrates found in pesticides or metals like lead which can lead to illness.

Water quality criteria

The areas below have specific criteria that have to be met for water quality:

  • Drinking water
  • Recreational water
  • Farming and irrigation
  • Fish production and aquatic life
  • Agricultural and industrial processes

How do you test the quality of your water?

You can test your water quality with a home water quality test kit. Make sure the test kit has test strips for bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrites and nitrates, chlorine and pH. Each strip will have directions on how to use it and read the results. With most kits, you dip the individual strips in a glass of room-temperature water and hold it in for a set amount of time. The strips will change color depending upon what’s in the water and at what levels an element is present. Hazardous results should be retested to confirm and the follow-up results should be reported to the agency that handles water quality in your city.

Some tests can be done by smell, taste and sight. Particular odors like a rotten-egg, musty or bleach smell may indicate contaminants and poor water quality. Similarly, foul-tasting water may have contaminants. If it tastes really terrible, spit it out. Water with low pH or high concentrations of minerals may have a metallic taste to it, whereas a salty taste may indicate chlorides or sulfates possibly caused by industrial wastes or irrigation drainage. Report foul tasting water to your city or to the Environmental Protection Agency.

If your water appears cloudy or has visible particles in it, you may have poor water quality. Brown or red particles could be rust from pipes, while black particles may come from hoses. White or tan particles usually indicates high amounts of calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate. Brown, murky discolored water could indicate pollution, rusty pipes or a new water source. Any problems should be reported to proper authorities.

You can also check with your city, which must provide an annual water quality report. The report should be online and available from the city. Water companies can also provide you with the information. You can also get reports from the National Drinking Water Database.

County health departments or state-certified labs can test water quality.

Where can I get my water tested for free?

County health departments or a state certified laboratory may be able to help you test your water. Most tests will be for bacteria like coliform and for nitrates. To find an agency that tests water call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visit www.epa.gov/safewater/labs.

What are the factors to check the quality of water?

Water quality is determined by the presence or absence of a variety of factors. Among the factors that affect water quality are sedimentation and runoff, dissolved oxygen and pH, as well as temperature. Your water can also be affected by decayed organic material, pesticides, toxic or hazardous substances, oil, grease and other chemicals, as well as detergents and litter.

What is a good water quality?

Good water quality will mean the water you drink, bathe and wash your clothes and dishes in will be free of contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride and metals like mercury and lead, as well as free of harmful bacteria. Good water will have essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium needed for health, and have balanced pH so it won’t be too acidic or have too many alkalines.

Water quality and treatment

For good quality water, the water must be treated and tested for safety. With public systems within cities the water must be made potable or safe to drink, as well as palatable or pleasant to taste. Treatment facilities are tasked with the responsibility of making the water safe for consumption.

Those using private sources like wells are responsible for making sure their water is clean for their consumption.

Both public and private water supplies should be tested regularly to make sure the water quality is at an optimum.

Call today for water purification

Want to improve water quality in your home? Try a water filtration system installation in West Los Angeles, CA from Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc.. Call us today at __PHONE__.

What Do You Do When Your Toilet Won’t Stop Running?

Tools on Top of a Running Toilet

Running Toilet Repair is Much Easier Than You’d Think! Find Out How it’s Done.

What’s more irritating than a leak in your home? Whether faulty attic insulation allows extra heat into your home, or a busted dishwasher drips water onto the kitchen floor, the frustration feels the same. So is the need for a reliable, immediate fix.

Today, we’ll be talking about one of the most common frustrations in residential plumbing: a leaking toilet. Perhaps you’ve heard your toilet running randomly in the night. You may have even felt the effects on your water bill. Before you call the toilet repair plumber, let’s figure out what you can do to stop the running water!

Why Do I Hear Water Running in My Toilet?

When a toilet runs amuck, nine times out of ten the problem lies within the tank. There are two primary portions of your toilet tank that you’ll need to investigate: the fill valve and the flapper. The good news is any problems here can be fixed easily, without breaking the bank.

First Steps

How to Repair a Toilet That Keeps Running

If you need to shutoff the water immediately (to prevent the bowl from overflowing), you can always turn off the valve located beneath the toilet tank. However, you’ll need to understand the cause of the running water to understand how to fix it. To fix the problem in the back of the tank, you’ll either have to replace the flapper, adjust the fill valve, or replace the fill valve.

We’ll get into the details in just a little while.

Potential Options

Choosing Your Best Option

Many homeowners experience a running toilet at some point in their lifetime. While the porcelain around your toilet is made to last, the parts inside won’t always do the same. However, replacing the toilet altogether is rarely the practical (or cost-effective answer).

Toilet Repair vs Replacement

  • Repairs – you can fix the problem within a couple hours.
  • Repairs – costs are typically kept under $100, unless you hire a professional.
  • Repairs – you don’t have to go through removing and disposing the toilet.
  • Replacement – the toilet must be disconnected, disposed.
  • Replacement – piping may need to be adjusted to fit your new toilet.
  • Replacement – you have to purchase a new toilet and have it installed.
  • Replacement – you won’t have to deal with fixing a running toilet, for awhile.

Considering the ease of repairs and the amount of money you could save, fixing the toilet is typically the best option. However, if you are already looking to remodel, you could save a little money by skipping repairs and shutting off supply valve.

Troubleshooting the Water Problem

Bursts

Why Does My Toilet Randomly Run for a Few Seconds?

There is likely a problem with the flapper, which allows water into the toilet bowl. A damaged or debris-blocked flapper slowly allows water to seep into the bowl, until the water level reaches a threshold. The float arm or buoy drops in response to the lower water level and briefly activates the fill valve. Thus water rushes in to refill the loss for just a few seconds.

How do you fix a toilet that runs randomly?

First, confirm that the flapper is truly the problem. Examine the chain that lifts the flapper and make sure the tension isn’t too strong. This can cause the flapper to pull up when nobody’s using the toilet. There should be a little (and just a little) slack on the chain. You can make adjustments if necessary.

If pressing down on the flapper itself with a gloved hand or a tool stops the drip, you’v confirmed a deformity the problem is indeed the flapper. Shut off the water supply, drain the tank and replace the damaged part. You can bring it with you to the local store to ensure you get a matching replacement.

Constant Running

Why is My Toilet Running All the Time?

This is a costly problem that’s actually very easy to fix! If the water in the tank continues to climb until it spills into the overflow pipe, that means there is probably an issue with the water height setting. In rare cases however, the fill valve becomes too damaged to function properly and needs to be replaced.

How do I get my toilet to stop running?

To adjust the water level, you need to fix the settings on the float arm or buoy. On modern valves with the float buoy, you’ll typically find a screw on top of the arm connecting the buoy to the valve cap. On systems with a float arm, you’ll find the adjustment screw near the cap.

Should the whole fill valve require replacement, turn off the supply valve and empty out the tank. Family Handyman has a helpful video that shows you exactly how to do this! Be sure to take precautions to avoid spills when you remove the fill valve.

Schedule Your Toilet Repair!

That’s basic toilet repair for a running toilet! If you run into more complicated problems, or you have difficulties with completing the repairs yourself, our residential plumbing team at Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. would love to help. Simply give us a call at __PHONE__ and schedule your appointment!

How Do I Winterize My Water Heater?

A Picture of a Man Doing Water Heater Maintenance

Winterizing Water Heaters Keeps Them in Good Condition for the Winter Months.

With the winter months approaching, it is always a good idea to winterize the various systems and components in your home. Furnace maintenance is a great way to ensure your heating system is ready for the winter months, and the same can be said for water heaters. While the weather doesn’t get particularly cold in West Los Angeles, CA, it’s still a good practice to winterize water heaters. Performing this type of task can actually save you a lot of stress down the road, as water heaters that haven’t been winterized can have a lot of problems. This is because when it gets cold out, water heaters will expand and contract, which can lead to these type of damages

  • The system could leak.
  • The leaks from the water heater can cause water damage to other parts of your home.
  • The water heater could crack.

The reason that water heaters expand and contracts are because the metal is getting cold, not because the water heater itself has frozen. A lot of people do ask, “Can hot water heater freeze?” and the answer is no. If you were to turn on the faucet and no water comes out, the water heater isn’t the issue, it’s the pipes that the water runs through. The reason water heaters don’t freeze is that the burner or elements are constantly heating the water, so there is no risk in water heaters ever freezing. But because water heaters can crack and leak, it is still a good idea to winterize it. There are a couple of steps you can take in order to do this.

  • Turn Off Water Supply: Before you do anything, you will want to turn off the water supply leading to the water heater.
  • Turn Off Gas or Electrical Power Off: Unplug the water heater if its electric and then turn off the gas by turning off the gas supply line using the valve.
  • Drain the Water: Once the water supply and power is off, you will need to drain all of the water out of the water heater.
  • Remove Connections: The next thing you will want to do is remove the connections or pipes from the water heater.
  • Reverse Order: When all of the water has been drained from the water heater, you will need to attach the connections or pipes back to the water heater, turn the gas or electrical power back on, and then turn the water supply on.

Doing these things is going to decrease the chance of waking up during the holiday season to cold water. No one wants to only have cold water to bathe or wash clothes, especially when a lot of places are closed on weekends and during the holidays. Winterizing water heaters is a sure way to protect homeowners who want their water heaters to be in the very best condition during the winter months.

How Do You Maintain a Hot Water Heater?

A Picture of a Man Performing Maintenance On a Water Heater

Good Maintenance for Water Heaters is a Good Practice to Implement.

Winterizing water heaters might not be something you think needs to be done, but it is important to keep water heaters in good condition in order to extend its life. Because of this, many people ask, “How do I make my water heater last longer?” There are a couple of things that can be done in order to extend the lifespan of water heaters. The first thing that should be done is flushing water heaters. How often should you flush a hot water heater? It is recommended that water heaters are flushed every single year. A lot of people ask, “Is it good to drain your hot water heater?” and it is definitely good because it will increase the life of water heaters.

The second thing that can be done for water heaters is to see if the anode rod is corroded. The purpose of the anode rod is to make sure that the inside of the tank doesn’t rust. Checking this every year will ensure that water heaters don’t have to be replaced entirely. The third thing you can do is insulate water heaters. This question is always asked: Do new hot water heaters need blankets? and it is good because well-insulated water heaters can increase your energy efficiency. Lastly, you can make sure that water heaters have a good temperature. Setting the temperature on both gas and electric water heaters can ensure that the hot water that is being produced will actually stay hot for longer periods of time. While these are great ways to keep water heaters lasting a lot longer, is also good for another few reasons. Below are things that can happen when water heaters have a lack of maintenance.

  • When water heater not heating
  • When water heaters have inconsistent heat
  • When water heater makes noise
  • When water heater leaks
  • When the water heater is producing smelly water
  • When the water heater is producing water that tastes metallic like
  • When the water heater is producing brownish, reddish water

Making sure your water is maintained can prevent these things from happening, when can lead to repair service. If are good on maintenance but you are looking tankless water heater installation in West Los Angeles, CA, please call Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. at (310) 454-2010!

When is The Best Time For a Remodel?

New Remodeled Kitchen

Let Us Help You Plump Your New Kitchen.

There really isn’t ever a bad time for a remodel to be done on your home. If you want to make a change in your home, we say go for it! However, if you are ready to make some changes, big or small, there are a few good reasons to do so. One of them is if you are wanting to sell your home at top dollar price, you may want to make appropriate changes to reflect whatever price point you are having. Another good reason is if you’ve lived in your home for a while and no amount of decor is making you happy. This is usually a good sign that you need a major change. Think about changing your sink out to a farmhouse style or gutting your bathroom to add a bigger shower or bathtub. We offer remodel service that will help you along the way. Before you start busting down walls and ripping out toilets, you may want to take a peek at your roof to make sure you don’t need a residential roof repair before you get started.

What Can You Remodel?

Bathroom – Bathrooms are a great place to start. Though a bathroom remodel can be a major undertaking, it can really change the look of a room and clean up and old space.

Living Room – This is usually when a wall separates the living room from another room. Consider taking a wall down or adding a bar.

Kitchen – This is where most people choose to spend their money and for good reason. Even small changes like adding a new stove or plumbing for a dishwasher if you don’t have one, can make a space more functional.

Backyard – Consider adding a wet bar or extending the patio out here.

If you need help with a remodel service in West Los Angeles, CA, call Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. at 310-477-0772 and we will be happy to help you with your plumbing needs.

How CIPP Works

You Never Have To Deal With A Damaged Landscape Again With CIPP!

Leaks can be devastating to your home as they allow water to affect the structure, growing mold, mildew, and wood rot in your property. When you suspect a leak, you may consider calling for California roof inspections or for a plumbing inspection. At Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc., we are always available to get to work on your plumbing repair needs. We utilize CIPP to repair damaged pipes and get your plumbing flowing again. CIPP or cured in place pipes is technology that allows our plumbers to place and form a new pipe in your plumbing without having to damage your walls or landscape. We start with a camera inspection to identify the source of the leak. Once found, a felt liner is placed in the plumbing while an epoxy mixture is added between the felt and the plumbing wall. Once saturated, our plumbers use a bladder to let the epoxy and mat cure. It’s just that easy!

How Long Does CIPP Last?

A frequently asked question when it comes to these pipe liners is whether or not they last a long time. The good news is that they do indeed last for up to fifty years! This means that you can rest easy when you get a CIPP liner knowing that your plumbing will work for a long time. Need to get started on a leak repair or need a CIPP liner in West Los Angeles, CA? Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. is your source for quality plumbing repair. We offer a wide range of services designed to keep your plumbing flowing. Give us a call today at (310) 454-2010.

What To Do When You Have a Pipe Burst

There are a lot of things that can happen when you own a home, unfortunately, a pipe bursting, is one of them. This kind of problem doesn’t usually happen unless your pipes freeze. There are precautions that you can take though to make sure that you don’t end up having to have a pipe replacement. Not only is that a huge pain for you, but it can be an even worse pain on your wallet. These kinds of things can do a lot of damage and it is important to make sure that you take the proper steps to avoid this from occurring. If a pipe bursts, it can affect other parts of your home like your HVAC system, leaving you with major repairs or having to get an air conditioner replacement. If you’ve ever had a major cleanup to take care of, a pipe bursting in your home is no different and it will be a process to get cleaned up if you don’t put a stop to it as soon as you can.

The First Things To Do If Your Pipe Bursts

Pipe

Pipe Bursts Can Cause Damage Fast!

Turn Water Off – As soon as you suspect or see a sign of a pipe burst, turn off your water. This will at the very least keep more water from rushing into your home or flooding the ground.

Find Pipe – If you don’t already know, try to find where the pipe has burst so that you can tell the plumber.

Call a Plumber – You will want to call a professional plumber right away to get the problem fixed.

Cleanup Crew – If there is pretty significant water damage, you may want to consider calling a professional to clean up the water or buy a lot of towels.

When you need a professional plumbing team that you can count on in West Los Angeles, CA, call Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. at 310-477-0772.

3 Plumbing Repairs Even a Novice Can Complete

Most plumbing repairs are better left to the professionals. However, there are a few projects that even the most novice handyman can complete. These projects require few tools and usually come complete with easy-to-follow instructions.

Many Plumbing Repairs Can be Made Without a Technician.

Running Toilet

A running toilet is caused by one of only a couple of problems. Many times the float or float arm is bent or damaged. Replacing this simple part will eliminate the problem. Sometimes, the fill valve is leaking and will cause your toilet to run. Tightening the valve with the help of plumbing tape will help reseal it.

Leaky Faucet

If you have a faucet that’s leaking from the spigot, replacing the washer inside the cover will typically fix the problem. If your faucet is leaking from the base, it’s usually easier to replace the entire faucet. Multiple choices are available at home stores and come with easy-to-use instructions. Most faucets sold today come equipped with all the hoses and equipment you need.

Showerhead Replacement

If you have ever had a subpar shower head, you know how satisfying a new, updated model can be. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest plumbing projects to complete. Simply unscrew the old showerhead, reline the threads with plumbing tape, and screw on the new head.

While there are plenty of do-it-yourself plumbing repairs around your home, sometimes a professional is a great idea. Whether you are not DIY inclined or you simply don’t have the time, the Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. professionals are here to complete any type of plumbing service you need in West Los Angeles, CA. Call us today at (310) 454-2010.

3 Tips for Taking Advantage of Plumbing Inspections

Plumber Inspection

Use These 3 Tips to Get More Out of Your Regular Plumbing Inspections and Enjoy the Savings!

Are you a savvy homeowner? Then we have the perfect, untapped resource for planning ahead and potentially saving thousands of dollars: plumbing inspections. Most homeowners have no idea how how or when to use them. Here are three expert tips to help you take advantage of your next inspection.

Expert Tip #1: Exploit Your Serviceman’s Expertise.

Your inspector is the ultimate untapped knowledge source for the crafty consumer. Think about it: you already have a trained, certified, and experienced plumbing professional in your home. Why not take advantage of their expertise? Start asking questions about potential upgrades and upcoming repairs for your home. This way, you can start planning ahead and saving for water and energy-efficient fixtures, years in advance.

Expert Tip #2: Schedule Often; Don’t Wait for an Emergency.

How many Americans delay or indefinitely postpone their inspections until a plumbing emergency pops up? Too many. The smart consumer knows that inspections are preventative tools, not reactive. Start scheduling your plumbing inspection at least once a year, especially if your plumber offers them for free. You’ll avoid more major repairs this way, and prevent emergency repairs from diving into your pocketbook.

Expert Tip #3: Save Big With Second Opinions.

Have you ever had a repairman recommend an expensive replacement, only to have a second expert fix the problem with simple repairs? You’d be surprised how often it happens! If you think a plumber might be trying to take advantage of you, simply schedule a second inspection with a trusted plumber. You may find yourself saving hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Take these tips and become an even smarter homeowner! Tell us below if you’ve ever experienced a “big savings” moment by getting a second opinion. For questions about your plumbing, or to schedule one of our plumbing inspections, give our team a call at(310) 454-2010.

5 Simple Springtime Plumbing Tips

Springtime is the time for many homeowners to do a little “spring cleaning” and maintenance around the house. It is also the perfect time for homeowners to schedule an inspection and check their plumbing system. Keeping up regularly scheduled maintenance on a yearly basis is essential to protecting your home from leaks, water damage, and clogged drains. Here are a few simple tips from the pro’s at Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. to help keep your home’s plumbing system functioning at optimum levels.

Take Time To Inspect Your Home’s Plumbing System This Spring

Check Your Water Heater

Generally, plumbing professionals recommend maintaining your home’s water heater set at 120 degrees. Any higher temperature setting can result in scalding and shorten the lifespan of your home’s water heater. Water heaters last around 10 years, so if your water heater is older consider having your water heater repaired or replaced.

Also check your water heater for any signs of damage, leaks, rust or corrosion. Keep a lookout for water accumulation around the control panel and if you see any signs of wear, contact our team of experienced plumbers at Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc. by calling (310) 454-2010.

Inspect All Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers

With the temperature thawing, it is important to watch your outdoor pipes and sprinklers for possible signs of water leaks. If you turn on your hose and notice a water leak in your home this could be a sign that one of your pipes was damaged during the winter.

Examine Your Home’s Sinks and Supply Hoses

Get underneath your home’s kitchen sink and check all the supply hoses that run into your appliances, such as the dishwasher. Be sure to take note of any water puddles, mold, rust or other warning signs.

Test For Toilet Leaks

To test your home’s toilet for leaks, pour food coloring dye into the tank on your toilet. If the bowl water starts to turn the color of the dye within an hour, this could be a sign that your toilet has a water leak and will need to be repaired or replaced.

Call Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc.

At Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc., our team of professional expert plumbing technicians can repair any leaks, perform inspections, and maintain your plumbing system in the West Los Angeles, CA area. To schedule or make an appointment, contact us at (310) 454-2010 today!

Why You Need Backflow Testing

Backflow Testing

Extreme Backflow Can Lead to Discolored Water.

Backflow represents a serious problem with severe consequences for your health. Backflow occurs when the flow within your plumbing reverses. Instead of waste traveling out of your pipes, it begins to flow inward. When you turn on your faucet, you will receive water contaminated with any number of pollutants. Sometimes, the contaminants will enter as trace amounts. When this occurs, you may not even realize you’re drinking polluted water. To prevent this distasteful problem, schedule backflow testing in West Los Angeles, CA from the experts at Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc..

Benefits of Backflow Testing

If you have never scheduled backflow testing for your home, then you’ve performed a major oversight on your health and safety. Consider the following, and call us today to schedule an appointment.

Improved Health: As stated above, backflow can fill your water with contaminants that negatively impact your health. If you regularly suffer from ill health, polluted water may represent the reason. In particular, feces and bacteria can cause serious health issues. We recommend annual backflow testing to safeguard your health, as you may not even realize what your water contains.

Prevention Strategies: Testing for backflow allows us to determine whether a problem exists. If it does, then we can install a backflow preventer to protect you and your family. These devices prevent backflow from entering your pipes, an invaluable safeguard. Backflow enters your pipes due to abrupt changes in pressure. These can occur either within your plumbing, or in the main line that supplies your house. Either way, the preventer device recognizes the change and activates to prevent backflow from entering your potable water.

At Sunset West Plumbing & Rooter Inc., we are your local solution for backflow testing in West Los Angeles, CA. For any and all plumbing problems you have, give us a call today at (310) 454-2010.