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This is the Los Angeles Plumbing Blog of JO-MI Plumbing and Solar! Here we talk about all things plumbing, heating, solar, and more. Thanks for stopping by, and please give us a call for all your plumbing and heating needs!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Installing A Water Purification System In Your West LA Home Can Save You Money

How Clean Is Your Water?

Tap water can have a rusty, hard, and otherwise unpleasant aftertaste. If you have this issue installing a home water purification system can help. While minerals in water can be a good thing, in extreme quantities you will notice it in the taste of your water. The presence of residual chemicals from the local water purification plant can also add to the unpleasant taste of water. With a purification system in place in the home, water tastes like it should.

Natural ground water and tap water are not as clean as claimed by water manufacturers. They are usually contaminated with certain natural impurities, such as nitrate, radon, bacteria, arsenic, and other trace metals. Consuming these natural impurities can cause negative effects on your health

Alternatives to purification are costly and detrimental to the environment. Bottled water poses hazards you might not have known about. Bottled water may leak chemicals from the bottle into the water, and then into your body when you drink it. The chemicals in the plastic bottle also end up polluting the environment during manufacturing and after the bottle is discarded. The use of so much plastic is a drain on remaining petroleum sources.

If you are interested in installing a water purification system in your home, give us a call today. Our professionals will ensure quality service and provide you with the clean and healthy water you and your family deserve. Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on water purification systems.

Friday, November 29, 2013

When Shopping For New Bathroom Fixtures Find Out What Is Best For You

If you are thinking about remodeling your bathroom, but don't have a lot of money to spend, think about the improvements that make an impact on a budget. New fixtures can improve the aesthetics of the bathroom as well as the functionality. The amount of wear and tear put on fixtures is pretty high. Think about it. Every time someone goes in the restroom you can expect a minimum of one fixture to be used, if not all. So, over the years the pressure and leverage applied to the fixtures eventually weaken their integrity. This is not only aesthetically disparaging, but it can cause plumbing difficulties as well.

When shopping for new fixtures, do a bit of research and find out what is best for you. Consider the size and shape of your sink and bathtub. Do you prefer a knob or a lever?

When you do decide on fixtures, give us a call. We will install them with excellence and care. Our professional plumbers will maximize the life of your new fixtures, improving your home's aesthetic and functional quality. Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on replacing your home’s currant fixtures with modern and efficient ones.

The Most Important Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Solar Water Heating Systems

Solar water heating systems are becoming an increasingly popular clean energy option all across the globe. Let's talk about the most important advantages and disadvantages of using solar water heating systems:

By using sunshine to heat your water, you can cut your water heating bill in half. This means you can save $140 annually or $2,900 over the lifetime of the water heater. Certified solar water heaters can cut your carbon dioxide emissions in half, the equivalent of not driving your car for four months out of the year.

The average life expectancy of certified solar water heating systems is 20 years, much longer than standard gas or electric storage water heaters.

As the use of renewable energy continues to grow, the value of your home may increase as well, as more buyers seek out energy-efficient houses. A higher perceived value translates to a higher asking price when you are ready to sell your home.

Give us a call today for a thorough consultation. Once installation has happened, you will see an immediate difference in efficiency and money saved. Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on installing a solar water heating system in your home.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

When To Repipe Your Existing Plumbing With Copper

If the pipes in your home are 20 years old or older, chances are a repipe of your home’s plumbing is on the horizon. In the past, homes were built with galvanized plumbing. This deteriorates and rusts over time. Some telltale signs are if your appliances are filling up more slowly then they used to, or maybe it’s the lack of pressure in the shower. Another telltale sign is a brownish color to your water. Eventually this can lead to water that is undrinkable and unsafe.

The reason why this happens is over time, the diameter of the galvanized pipes will slowly decrease from rust and debris. Over time, you may notice a less than pleasant odor and low water pressure. You may even notice leaks springing up, which could result in mold and further damage to your home and even health.

The solution to this problem is a repipe of your existing plumbing with copper. While this job is no small feat, it will drastically improve the quality and safety of your home. Putting off a repipe for too long can result in disastrous consequences.

Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on replacing your home’s currant plumbing with long lasting copper piping.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Save Money And The Environment By Switching To A Tankless Water Heater

With Fall in full swing and the holidays around the corner, you'll likely be spending money on presents and holiday preparations. Below are 5 reasons to install a tankless water heater before the holidays.
  • A standard water heater uses a lot more energy then a tankless water heater. While your initial investment may be more, you will be saving more money in the long run with a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters can pay for themselves in the savings you'll incur in as little as four years. 
  • If you're tired of losing precious space that could be better used storing holiday ornaments, a tankless water heater is the way to go. Tankless heaters take up no floor space because they are affixed to a wall. 
  • Standard water heaters are constantly running to keep the water hot, compared to a tankless water heater which only runs when hot water is needed. By switching you're saving money and helping the environment. 
  • A tankless water heater can outlive a standard water heater by 5 to 10 years. 
  • Imagine piping hot showers for the whole family each morning without being blasted by ice cold water. You won't run out of hot water with a tankless water heater, unlike a standard water heater. 
Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on installing a tankless water heater in your home before the holidays.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Installing A Solar Water Heater In Your Home

Thinking of going green? Consider installing a solar water heater in your home today. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), there are currently 1.5 million solar water heaters already in use in U.S. homes and businesses. Solar water heater systems can work in any climate and EESI estimates that 40 percent of all U.S. homes have sufficient access to sunlight. That means that 29 million additional solar water heaters could be installed right now.

According to the EESI, residential solar water heater systems cost between $1,500 and $3,500, compared to $150 to $450 for electric and gas heaters.With savings in electricity or natural gas, solar water heaters pay for themselves. Another benefit of solar water heaters is that they last between 15 and 40 years.

Solar water heaters work by installing thermal panels on an unshaded, south-facing portion of your home's roof. These panels then collect heat from the sun's rays to warm a liquid that moves through pipes connected to the panels. This liquid is either the home's water itself, or a heat-transfer fluid like anti-freeze. If a heat-transfer fluid is used, the fluid flows through a heat exchanger in the water heater, warming the water just like an electric or gas heater would.

Solar water heaters are greener, less costly overall, and far more efficient. Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on installing a solar water heater in your home.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Information On Hydronic Heating Systems

Fall is upon us and cooler weather is just around the corner, even for Los Angeles. This means that it's time to think about updating your home's heating efficiency through the use of a hydronic heating system.

Hydronic heating systems use water to move heat from where it is produced to where it is needed. The water within the system is neither the source of the heat nor its destination. The water is only its "conveyor belt." Heat is absorbed by the water at a heat source, conveyed by the water through the distribution piping, and finally released into a heated space by a heat emitter.

Hydronic (liquid) systems are the most popular and cost-effective radiant heating systems for heating-dominated climates. Hydronic radiant floor systems pump heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. The cost of installing a hydronic radiant floor varies by location and depends on the size of the home, the type of installation, the floor covering, remoteness of the site, and the cost of labor.

Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing today at 310-473-8111 for more information on saving money through the use of a hydronic heating system.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Is High-Pressure Pipe Jetting?

What is fiber-optic pipeline video inspection?

This is a diagnostic process whereby a high-resolution fiber-optic video camera is inserted in a pipeline to view the pipe from the inside. It takes the guesswork out of diagnosing a pipeline problem and can pinpoint exactly where a problem is and exactly how to fix it in the most cost-effective manner.

What is high-pressure pipe jetting?

This is the most effective method of completely cleaning the inside of a pipeline. Water is pumped through a nozzle at up to 4000 psi to scour the inside of a pipe, removing roots, scale, grease, dirt, and other obstructions.

I have an unusually high water bill but I have no apparent leaks. What could cause this?

If you've checked all faucets and tub or shower spouts for leaks and have found none, the next step is to see if your toilet is leaking. This is done by checking the water level to ensure no water is leaking from the tank through the overflow pipe. The fill valve should only fill the tank to within 1" of the top of the overflow pipe or to the "fill lever" stamped on the inside of the tank. You may have to adjust the fill valve if the water level is too high. Next, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the water bowl changes color within 15 minutes of the toilet not being used, the toilet is leaking.

Found a leak or have a clog? Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing at 310-473-8111 for assistance with all of your plumbing needs.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What Steps To Take If A Pipe Bursts In Your Home

The words "plumbing" and "disaster" should not ever be uttered in the same sentence.
If you come across a plumbing problem it implies two things: damage to your property and money out of your pocket.

Here are 3 plumbing disasters you don't ever want to encounter:

1. A backed up toilet overflowing onto your bathroom floor. Can you imagine the mess and stench that this leaves behind? However, if this occurs be sure to call a professional. Tree roots, incorrect plumbing drain inclines, or a foreign object could be the culprit. One thing is for certain, if you ever have a backed up toilet overflow in your home you will definitely do whatever you can to prevent this in the future.

2. Some plumbing problems have absolutely nothing to do with pipes, toilets, or water. Instead, they are connected to "do-it-yourselfers" who break something along the way. This can be anything from breaking tiles when removing a toilet to putting your foot through the ceiling of a lower level room when trying to access piping. If you don't know for certain that you can take care of a plumbing job yourself you must hire a professional.

3. If a pipe bursts, regardless of the reason, you are going to have one big mess on your hands. The faster you can shut off the water supply the better, but even then, some damage is sure to be done. Although there are times when you may not see this coming, if you do, make sure to call an expert plumber sooner rather than later. We know the best ways to cope with a burst pipe. And we can surely, help your situation if the damage has already been done.

Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing at 310-473-8111 for assistance with your plumbing disasters.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Safety Tips For Kitchen Sinks And Garbage Disposals

Summer time fun means more dirty clothes and towels to wash! Be sure to check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks, cracks or anything that may compromise the integrity of the water flow. Remember to remove drier lint regularly, it could be a fire hazard if not done. Also, move your machine at least four inches from the wall to prevent hose kinking and damage. Never leave your home while the washer is running. If a flood occurs, timing is of the essence. Washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years.

Be mindful of what you put down your kitchen sink and into your disposal after your cookout. Most disposals are not equipped to handle coarse items such as corn husks, celery, banana peels, and other fibrous or "stringy" foods. The fibrous foods are nearly impossible to break up and can tangle in your disposal. Some other items to stay away from are fats and cooking oils because they form clots in the pipes. It can be detrimental when it solidifies. To help prevent future clogs, run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after you put anything down the disposal. This will flush it through without causing any fats or oils that did make it down your drain to melt and then solidify on the walls of your pipes. Never put instant stuffing, potato mixes or similar "just-add-water" foods down the drain-they'll create an instant clog when you add water. Just adding water causes expansion.

Save money and energy when you go on vacation. Turn down the temperature of your water heater.

Sewer line backups are common this time of year due to summer rainwater entering sewer pipes via cracks. New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots are drawn toward the sewer line as a source of water and nutrients. Have one of our qualified plumbers inspect your sewer line to let you know if you are susceptible to sewer line backup problems or if damage has already occurred. In either situation, your plumber will be able to help you determine the best treatment option for proper drain cleaning.

For more summertime tips for your plumbing, contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing at 310-473-8111.

What Are The Benefits Of Installing Hydronic Heating?

What is a hydronic heating system? Hydronic heating systems use water as a medium to move heat from where it's produced to where it's needed. Custom configurations paired with modern technology will allow for the exact comfort settings to be experienced by the user, quietly and efficiently.

The following are a few of the benefits to having hydronic heating installed in your home:
Homes with hydronic heating systems result in lower heating energy, use, and cost than other homes of the same size with forced-air heating systems. Studies show that homes with forced-air systems had air leakage rates 26% higher and used 40% more energy compared to hydronic heating systems.

Hydronic heating provides virtually unlimited possibilities to meet the comfort needs, budget, aesthetic tastes, and usage of any home. Just a single hydronic heating system can supply space heating, hot water, and pool heating. This reduces the cost and eliminates the redundancy of having multiple heat sources, electrical hookups, exhaust systems, and fuel supply components.

A common issue with forced-air heating systems is the dust, pollen, and smoke that moves throughout a building or home. Places where the air-filtering is poorly maintained, dust streaks around wall and ceiling diffusers are apparent. Very few hydronic systems utilize forced-air circulation. The hydronic systems that do, create room air circulation vs. building air circulation. This minimizes the distribution of airborne particles. This is a major benefit in homes and buildings were air cleanliness is crucial, such as for people with allergies, or poor health.

Another benefit of hydronic heating includes quiet operation. A properly installed and designed system can be virtually noiseless. For more information on installing hydronic heating in your home, contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing at 310-473-8111.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Installing A Tankless Water Heater Reduces Pollution In Southern California

When you purchase a water heater, you're making a decision that affects the environment and your health. When a tankless water heater is properly and professionally installed you will use less energy, less water, reduce pollution, and make your local landfill happy.

Reduce Energy Consumption and its Environmental Impacts

The energy you use to heat your water comes from a variety of sources: coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. So when you use less energy by using a tankless water heater you'll make a positive environmental impact in the following ways...

No harmful waste bi-products

No expensive remediation costs

No depletion of the natural resource base, 
wildlife habitat loss, and biodiversity threats. 

You Can 

Reduce Pollution

Pilot lights on traditional water heaters are a very dirty source of pollution. When you think about it, pilot lights are polluting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That's why organizations like the Southern Californian Air Resources Board are pushing so hard for tankless water heaters-reducing pollution by eliminating millions of standing pilot lights in the nations second largest city, Los Angeles. 

Reduce CO and Nox Emissions

Some tankless models receive approval for low emissions (CO, Nox). Tankless units are almost entirely recyclable. The materials in a tankless are very different from a traditional water heater. Every year more than 7 million used traditional water heaters are taken to landfills in the United States. A tankless water heater is, for the most part, recyclable, so they don't end up in your local landfill. It is estimated that if people replaced their traditional units with tankless there would be a savings of millions of gallons of oil each year, millions of gallons of propane, and billions of kilowatt hours.

Your Health

Believe it or not, hot water heaters have been associated with Legionnaire's disease-a bacterial respiratory disease similar to pneumonia. The bacteria is sometimes found in hot water systems that stagnates; like shower heads, water heaters, and faucets. Anytime there is a reservoir of standing water there is always a danger of bacteria and mold presenting themselves.

Upgrade your traditional water heater for a tankless one today. Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing at 310-473-8111 to start saving money and the environment.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Does The Average Household Spend On Energy Costs According To The California Energy Commission?

According to the California Energy Commission, the average household spends $1,900 a year on energy costs. Here are a few helpful tips to lower your utility bills all while conserving energy: 
  • Avoid using your stove and oven as much as possible. Cooking with your microwave uses two-thirds less energy than your stove and won't heat up your kitchen in the process. 
  • Today's dish-washing machines are far more efficient then older models and thus use less water than washing dishes by hand. Letting dishes air dry will cut energy costs even further. 
  • Keeping your fridge packed with food actually helps your fridge to work less hard to stay cool. 
  • Set your air conditioner to 78 degrees when you're home and 85 degrees or higher when you're away. Be sure to use room fans and drink plenty of water! 
  • Washing laundry in cold water can save as much as 4% on your bill. 
  • Hang drying clothes can save as much as 5% on your bill. 
  • Setting your pool's vacuum to only operate four to five hours at a time during off peak hours can save you 1-2% per hour of reduction. 
  • When you're not using them, turn off your appliances, lights, and anything else that can be turned off. This can save you 2% in energy costs. 
  • By unplugging electronic devices when they're not in use you can save 1-2% on your utility bill. 
  • Have an extra fridge in the garage? You can save as much as $150 per year just by unplugging it. 
Looking to upgrade old plumbing fixtures and appliances with newer, more cost efficient models? Contact Los Angeles area JO-MI Plumbing at 310-473-8111.