Posts

Plumbing 101: 4 Common Reasons the Storm Drains Becomes Clogged

Your storm drains play a critical role in protecting your roof, your home, and your property. When it rains here in the Bay Area, your roof drains—also known as “gutters” or “downspouts”—safely carry the water off of the roof structure and down to the ground, where it goes into a storm drain that carries the water to the local sewer. This process prevents excess water from pooling on the roof, which can lead to a number of problems for your shingles, tile, and underlayment.

This roof's gutters are clogged with fallen leaves, which may prevent water from properly draining off the roof into storm drains.

This roof’s gutters are clogged with fallen leaves, which may prevent water from properly draining off the roof into storm drains.

However, this system does require regular upkeep, maintenance, and cleaning. If not regularly cleared out, downspouts can fill up with leaves, branches, and bird nests. This effectively forms a dam, preventing water from traveling down the spout. The result can be damage to your roof. If your storm drains are not cleaned, water will have nowhere to go once it gets to the ground level.

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, our plumbers specialize in indoor drain, sewer line, storm drain cleaning. If you have a blockage deep in your storm drain, let our team clean it out. Need storm drain cleaning in Hayward, San Jose, and other parts of the Bay Area? Contact our team today to have an experienced plumber come out to your home.


Read our other Plumbing 101 articles:

SIGNS OF SEWER LINE CLOGS   •   CAUSES OF SEWER LINE CLOGS   •   CONSERVING WATER IN YOUR HOME   •   WAYS TO AVOID EXPENSIVE PLUMBING REPAIRS


Here are the 4 reasons why your roof drains and storm drains may be blocked

1. Natural Debris

 

This residential storm drain is starting to become clogged with fallen leaves and other yard debris.

This residential storm drain is starting to become clogged with fallen leaves and other yard debris.

Storm drains can be clogged due to the buildup of leaves inside the drain pipe. This is particularly the case in autumn and spring. In addition, sometimes the roots of trees or shrubs head straight to the drains, resulting in a blocked drain.

This is commonly the case with willow trees, boxwood shrubs, oak trees, magnolia, gum trees, and palm trees. Here’s a guide to the best trees to plant around sewer lines and storm drains.

To reduce the risk of blockage of the drain due to the buildup of natural debris, you should keep the areas around the drain clear of all kinds of natural debris. If the leaves or roots get into the drains, it could prevent water from getting to the sewer, leading to a backup in your yard.

2. Broken Storm Pipe

Storm pipes can fracture due to general wear-and-tear. The roots growing inside the pipes can also fracture the pipes. Once it becomes fractured, the drain pipe is susceptible to blockages. The fractures are not easily visible. The professional plumbers from ABC will closely inspect the pipes for damage and then repair the fractured storm pipe.

3. Improper Installation

Improper installation of the storm pipe can also lead to drain blockages. This is usually the case when the pipes are installed as a DIY project. Improper installation will either result in fracture of the pipe or reduced water to flow from the pipe. That’s why it’s essential that you have a licensed plumber install drain pipes around and inside your home.

4. Heavy Rains

The storm drain can also become blocked due to heavy rains. Most of the household drain pipes are not manufactured to take the full impact of heavy rains and storms. This leads to overflow of the drain pipes that can buildup on your home’s roof. Since we live in an area where heavy rains are common, you should consider installing a larger drain pipe to weather the storm.

Blocked drain pipes can be a great inconvenience. What’s worse is that a blocked pipe can result in water accumulating on the roof of the house. Eventually, the accumulated water will drip down and leak from the ceiling inside the house. This can also do major damage to the foundation of the home, posing major risk to individuals.

Have ABC work with your storm drains

That’s why it’s essential that you have the storm drain cleaned regularly by an experienced plumber. If you want to avail the services of an emergency storm drain cleaning company in the Bay Area, call our team at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Our plumbers use specialized tools to quickly remove all kinds of blockages from the outside drain pipes.

Make the switch to a new demand-type water heater

If you are considering a water heater replacement, you should think about the numerous demand-type water heater advantages you can benefit from. If you are not considering a replacement, perhaps you should be.

In this blog, we’ll run through the advantages of switching to a new tankless system. To get started, contact our team.

Is it time to replace your old water heater?

How can you know if you need to replace your water heater? Here are some important indicators:

  • Your current water heater is 10 or more years old.
  • Your energy bill has gone up without significantly increased use.
  • Your hot water supply runs out more quickly than it used to.
  • There is visible damage to the water tank, such as a crack.

If any one or more of these things is true for you, a new water heater would be a wise investment in the near future, and ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here to help you make the transition.

The advantages of going tankless

If you haven’t already made the switch to a tankless water heater, now is the time to do it. Instead of storing hot water in a tank that must refill itself before use after it is emptied, tankless water heaters provide hot water continuously, heating the water as it flows. You won’t run out of hot water, even when multiple people are using it at once.

Here are some other demand-type water heater advantages for you to consider:

  • Fewer risks to your home – A tank in an old water heater can experience malfunctions or sustain damage that can lead to flooding or other problems in your home. Tankless water heaters have no tank to burst, and don’t endure the massive amounts of water pressure that can lead to issues.
  • Savings on your energy bill – Tankless water heaters are far more energy-efficient, which means you won’t need to spend as much money heating the same amount of water. In fact, you could cut your bill by more than 20 percent!
  • Longer-lasting equipment – Demand-type water heaters have roughly twice the lifespan of a water heater with a tank. They also have many replaceable parts, so repairs are easier and cost less.

Call ABC to learn more about a demand-type water heater

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we understand your desire to make the best decisions for your home, family, and finances. With our services, we offer fair pricing and full satisfaction to all our customers.

If you’re ready to upgrade your old water heater to a new demand-type system, contact us today for a quote.

Hard water and lime scale: the dangers they pose to your plumbing

Plumbing catastrophes: nobody wants them, but sometimes they’re just kind of a fact of life. From a burst pipe or leaks to no hot water, we’ve all dealt with something like this and it can pretty easily ruin someone’s day.

One thing that can gradually be doing damage to a plumbing system without a homeowner’s knowledge is lime scale and mineral buildup. Having a water softener installed by ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing may help to minimize harm that could be done to your home’s plumbing and appliances.

Pictured: Sink drain with some rust and lime scale deposits.Hard water basics

Hard water is water that contains an elevated concentration of mineral salts like calcium and magnesium, which are dissolved. It is a relatively slow but sure process, and over time these minerals build up inside pipes and drains as what we call lime scale. It is not something that can be avoided, but it is a challenge that must be addressed.

Hints of hard water issues in your home

It can be exceedingly difficult to detect hard water damage. Luckily, there are some helpful clues that can signify a lime scale problem:

  • Increase in the amount of soap scum in tub or washing machine
  • Dripping facets
  • Decrease in the availability of hot water

When hard water is causing damage to your pipes, it also decreases the efficiency at which your appliances are running, so an increased amount of soap scum in your washer or bathtub can be a sign of hard water problems, and so can difficulty getting hot water.

If there are facets in your house that don’t turn off all the way, this can sometimes mean that it’s trying to compensate for lime scale buildup. That is to say, don’t ignore these discrepancies; it is probably a good idea to have them checked out and consider having a water softener installed.

A reputable company for your plumbing needs

If you’re seeing signs of hard water problems in your house, then call ABC Cooling, Heating and Plumbing today at 510-471-8181. We will be able to promptly send dependable professionals to install a water softener to protect your pipes from lime scale.

In fact, you can trust us to handle all your plumbing repairs with proper care and expertise, because we will go above and beyond what a regular plumber could accomplish.

What are reasons to buy a tankless on-demand water heater?

The tankless on-demand water heater is becoming increasingly popular in Bay Area homes—and for good reason.

Often known as “on-demand” heaters, or just “tankless” water heaters, these systems have multiple advantages over standard water heaters.

In this blog, we’ll review some of the differences that set on-demand systems apart. For water heater installation, contact the pros here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

An on-demand water heater can save you money

Yes, that’s right! Most people believe that since tankless water heaters make use of technology or a gas burner in order to heat water, they are probably not energy efficient. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Since an on-demand water heater heats water only when necessary and a tank of hot water is not filled constantly (as with standard water heaters), a lot less energy is used in supplying hot water using a tankless water heater.

As a result, up to 27% to 50% of the energy normally spent heating water can be saved with the use of a tankless water heater.

They have a longer lifespan

Most traditional water heaters may last between 8 and 12 years—more, if you’re lucky and you call a company like ABC for upkeep, maintenance, and repairs.

However, on-demand water heaters have much higher life expectancies. Most tankless water heaters last between 12 and 15 years. However, with proper maintenance, tankless water heaters can even last up to 20 years without any significant problems, and keep on going.

They are convenient and efficient

Convenience and efficiency are some of the most sought-after qualities in home appliances. Fortunately, tankless water heaters do not disappoint on either front. In addition to providing you with a constant supply of hot water, tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional water heaters with tanks.

For example, standby heat loss is not a problem with tankless water heaters. In terms of convenience, they often take up much less space than traditional water heaters, which makes it easy for them to fit just about anywhere.

Since they do not require a large amount of space, it is even possible to install them closer to the most frequently expected points of use. This will result in even greater energy savings.

Another great advantage of tankless water heaters is that since they do not have a tank which needs to be filled with water, the possibility of flooding due to damaged tanks and other similar problems are minimized almost completely.

Call ABC for information about an on-demand water heater

If you’re convinced that a tankless water heater is right for you and your home, let our team of professionals install one in your home. Give us a call at (510) 471-8181 or contact us online.