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Winterizing Your Plumbing System and Signs of Frozen Pipes

As the colder months of the season are upon us, it’s good to take action with some do-it-yourself techniques to winterize your plumbing system. Winterizing your plumbing is a nearly cost-free alternative to frozen pipes. Further to that, we’d like to share with you the signs of frozen pipes and what to look for.

First, here are some steps on winterizing your plumbing:

Hose bibs:

  • Check all hose bibs and other fixtures for leaks.
  • If you find any drips or leaks, replace fixture. You may want to purchase a freeze-proof hose bib, as they are made to keep the water well back away from the end of the spigot.
  • Drain your outdoor faucets if you have a hose bib that is not freeze-proof (not necessary if you have a freeze-proof hose bib).
  • Purchase a hose bib cover – even if you have a freeze-proof hose bib. They are made of thick foam and keep most of the cold away from the valve.

Antifreeze:

  • Turn off the main shutoff valve or have the water company turn off the service to the house.
  • Starting at the top floor, open all faucets, both indoors and outside.
  • When the last of the water has dripped from the taps, open the plug at the main shutoff valve if possible (you may have to contact the water company), and let it drain.
  • Turn off the power or gas to the water heater and open its drain valve.
  • To freeze-proof the system, empty toilet bowls and tanks.
  • Remove the clean out plugs on all sink traps or remove the traps, if necessary.
  • Once emptied, replace them and fill with plumbing antifreeze mixed with water in the proportions specified for vehicles in your climate.
  • You won’t be able to drain the tub and shower taps. Instead, add at least a full quart of antifreeze.
  • Don’t put antifreeze into a dishwashers or clothes washer.
  • If your home has a basement floor drain or a main house trap, fill each with full-strength antifreeze.

Indoor Drains:

If you notice that an indoor drain is clogged, first check that the tub’s pop-up stopper is opening fully and is free of hair and debris. If the stopper isn’t the problem, then the drainpipe is likely clogged. First, try a plunger.

If this does not work, then you’ll need to clear the trap with a snake.

If you are confident in taking care of this on your own and have done so before, then great — but if you try it, and it still isn’t cleared, or if you aren’t comfortable snaking a drain, then this is what we’re here for! Give us a call, and we’ll come give you a hand to get your drain unclogged.

Here are some do-it-yourself tips for keeping your drains unclogged this winter:

  • The holiday season means lots of cooking, but be sure not to put the following items down your drain/garburator as they can clog your drain: coffee grounds, grease, fats & oils, hair, egg shells, and fibrous foods (celery, corn husks, potato peels).
  • The easy, preventative method: baking soda, vinegar and boiling water down your drains. Learn more!
  • Use tea strainers! Fit all of your tubs and shower drains with strainers to catch the hair (and other substances you don’t want going down your drain).

Lastly, here are some signs to look for with frozen pipes:

  • When the temperature is 0 degree Celsius or lower – this is when pipes can freeze and you should be taking the necessary precautions, as listed above.
  • Lack of running water – you notice that there is limited to no water running from your faucet.
  • You notice some frost on pipes that are visible.
  • Smelly! You notice that something smells bad coming from your faucet. This could mean a frozen pipe, because the only way the odor can escape is back up through your drain/faucet.

Drain cleaning is currently on special for $30 off the service! Give us a call at 604-479-2232 or email service@jjs.plumbing and schedule and appointment today.

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The Next Steps After a Drain Camera Inspection

With your plumbing equalling an average of 15% of the value of your home, your drainage system should be one of the first priorities. It is crucial to maintain your drain tiles by properly cleaning them every 12 to 18 months.

Our last blog post informed you of why having a camera inspection of your drain tiles was beneficial, before having your drains cleaned. The goal is to extend the life of your system, and be able to prevent emergency situations that cost a great deal of money to repair. We aim to save you money by knowing about potential problems and fixing them before they occur. But what’s next? What happens after a camera inspection?

There are two ways that we can clear and/or maintain your drains:

  1. A power auger or cable machine (i.e. snaking a clogged drain). If your pipes are fully blocked, a power auger or cable machine is used first. This is followed with the Hydro Flushing machine.
  2. A Hydro Flushing machine (i.e. hydro jetting). If your pipes are not fully blocked, a Hydro Flushing machine will be used to restore the drain line back to full health.

Here are a couple of real life examples with two of JJ’s Plumbing’s customers.

Customer #1

A customer wanted a camera inspection on her drain tiles. We did a full inspection of her entire surrounding pipes. We noticed that leaves, dirt and pine needles were gathering around her property where they fell from the gutters and roof, therefore increasing the chance of clogging her drains by going into the drain system with rain water.

We started the camera inspection and found a few points of concern with debris starting to form. The perimeter drains ran from one side of the house to the other, and eventually drained into the city piping. After going through with the camera inspection, and looking at what type of piping the customer had, and where the problem spots were, we were able to make a plan for cleaning them. We decided on using the hydro jetting as the customer had PVC piping for most of her piping. We flushed out the pipes by starting at the sump and shooting high power water through the system, therefore clearing out all of the debris within the pipe.

Customer #2

We just recently completed a job where we hydro jetted the lines — however, we did not perform a camera inspection. We had recommended one to the customer, as we always do, but the customer did not want to pay for the additional service.

All of the lines ran smoothly after we performed the hydro jetting, and we tested the lines for an hour — there were no back ups.

After we had completed our service, the customer ended up having her roof and gutters cleaned out, and then noticed problems with her drainage again. We performed a camera inspection, and learned about a soccer ball, as well as the pine needles that had gathered. They both clogged her drains, so we performed the hydro jetting again, removing the debris — and the ball! Amazing what you can learn from a camera inspection.

Soccer ball and pine needles inside the piping, being viewed by camera inspection.

Freed soccer ball!

 

Drain cleaning is currently on special for $30 off the service. Book your camera inspection and/or drain cleaning today and call 604-479-2232 or email service@jjs.plumbing.

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Think Smart: Have a Drain Camera Inspection this Fall

We had a record-breaking dry and high temperature summer in BC. With hot temperatures and dry conditions, tree roots seek out any water they can get, increasing the chance of them finding their way into drain tile systems. Now, as fall has arrived, you need to prepare for the expected weather condition of… you guessed it, RAIN.

Right now is the perfect time to schedule a drain inspection for your home. We know what you’re thinking: “Another added expense for just an inspection? But what if everything is A-Okay down there? Isn’t that a waste of time and money?” Let us provide you with some reassurance of why a camera inspection is a smart idea.

A camera inspection from plumbing professionals is a great idea because it prevents small issues that could be forming, from becoming large problems. Not to mention the process is quick and efficient. Inspecting your sewer and drainage system allows us to see the state of the drain tile. Wouldn’t you rather know the state of your drainage system, than be worried about it until something unforeseen happens?

The reasoning for a camera inspection is to extend the life of your system, and be able to prevent emergency situations that cost a great deal of money to repair. We aim to save you money by knowing about potential problems and fixing them BEFORE they occur.

What We Look for During a Drain Inspection

A camera inspection of your drainage system allows us to see if your drains are clear, clogged, broken or cracked. Build-up of blockages or debris can be seen with our closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras—or worse, we could discover structural damage due to root growth and/or land settling. The inspection permits us to see if there is any damage and potential of future problems.

Get in touch with the experts at JJ’s Plumbing to ensure that your drainage system is going to do its job during the fall, winter and spring seasons (or in other words, the rainy and wet seasons in our province).

Book your inspection today to ensure you are taken care of. Call 604-479-2232, email service@jjs.plumbing or fill in our online form.

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Need to Replace Your Water Main? Go Trenchless!

A damaged or broken water main is a problem that you have heard about. Your house is older, and you wonder if your property could be at risk. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your lawn is more wet and mushy than normal, your basement seems to be damper, or you’ve noticed water seeping through cracks in the concrete/foundation surrounding your home. These are all signs that may be telling you that your water main is damaged, and it’s time for a replacement before things get much worse, and therefore, more expensive and challenging to fix.

If you think you’re in need of a water main replacement, but are concerned about the time it takes, the mess it makes, and how much it’s going to cost, then the JJ’s Plumbing experts are who you should get in touch with.

We provide and recommend trenchless water main pulls. Our plumbers are licensed and fully certified, not to mention our customer service is second to none. We’re here to talk through the situation together and answer any questions you have about the process before getting started.

A trenchless water main pull requires zero—NO—digging, which means your front lawn will remain in-tact. This is a huge bonus for going trenchless, and also saves you money. Not to mention, for a limited time we are offering $100 off the service.

The benefits of a trenchless water main pull are:

  • No digging required – your front yard will stay in-tact.
  • Cost savings – less expensive compared to digging to replace the water main.
  • Time savings – JJ’s Plumbing experts not only do the job right, but remain on schedule and aim to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.

Still not quite sure about the process? See our diagram on how a trenchless water main pull works.

We have a special on now for $100 off a trenchless water main pull. Get your coupon and book today!

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Are you a Property Manager? Why JJ’s Plumbing Should be your Go-To Plumber

JJ’s Plumbing realizes that finding a reliable, knowledgeable, and cost efficient plumber can be hard to come by, especially being a property manager and wanting to go through the same plumbing company for your needs. JJ’s Plumbing offers reduced rates to property management companies to help successfully maintain your properties. Not only that, but we back all of our work with a one-year warranty on all workmanship.

Our team can assist with the plumbing, drain cleaning and Poly B replacement needs of one rental property or multiple properties anywhere in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

Here are four main reasons (in no particular order, because they’re all important!) why you should choose JJ’s Plumbing as your go-to plumber:

  1. CERTIFIED We only have certified field technicians that keep up with the latest trends and project management techniques with ongoing training. You can trust that we have the expert knowledge you require.
  2. COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE — We are committed to producing results that can be depended on. We strive for excellence and are committed to making property managers’ jobs (and therefore, lives) easier.
  3. UP TO DATE WITH TECHNOLOGY — JJ’s Plumbing is current with the most recent plumbing technologies. We provide efficient services at a great price.
  4. GREEN INITIATIVES — We provide paperless billing, water conservation tips, and we ensure that all waste from projects get recycled.

As a property manager, you have enough work on your plate, and many unforeseen issues that pop up on a day-to-day basis. Working with JJ’s Plumbing as your go-to plumber, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to trust that problems will be tended to in an urgent and professional manner. We won’t let you down and we strive to be counted on by you.

We look forward to connecting with you. Call us now at 604-479-2232, email service@jjs.plumbing or fill out our online form and we’ll prove to be your go-to plumber.

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Drain Tile Maintenance: Do it Before Having to Spend the Big Bucks!

Here’s a scenario: Bob has noticed the land around his house has become more soggy/marshy than usual. Betty, Bob’s wife, is sure to point this out to him. It’s been raining heavy the last few weeks though, so he doesn’t think much of it. He doesn’t want to add to his already full plate, and he doesn’t want to spend unnecessary money that he doesn’t have on something that probably is just fine. The next day, the rain stops, and it doesn’t rain for a week. The land dries out and things seem to be okay. Betty, asks him to pull out the Christmas lights from the crawlspace. Bob goes into his crawlspace and to his horror, the crawlspace is damp, with noticeable water leaks, and mold is starting to grow on some of Betty and his items being stored there. Bob is in for a discussion with Betty that he really does not want to have. The damage is huge, and mega dollars are going to be spent on fixing things.


With your plumbing equalling an average of 15% of the value of your home, your drainage system should be one of the first priorities and should not be ignored. It is important to maintain your drain tiles by properly cleaning them every 12 to 18 months.

JJ’s Plumbing will first determine what service/method is best with a camera inspection inside your drain line. There are two ways that we can clear and/or maintain your drains (also see illustration):

  1. A power auger or cable machine. If your pipes are fully blocked, a power auger or cable machine is used first. This is followed with the Hydro Flushing machine.
  2. A Hydro Flushing machine. If your pipes are not fully blocked, a Hydro Flushing machine will be used to restore the drain line back to full health.

Don’t put it off before it’s too late. Learn more about drain tile maintenance on the website or email us at service@jjs.plumbing.

snaking-a-clogged-drain hydro-jetting-a-clogged-drain

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Drain Tile Maintenance: Happy Pipes, Happy Wife… Ahem… Life!

You may be reading this article because you’ve heard from a girlfriend about a problem she’s having with clogged drain tiles outside her home and flooding now happening in her basement, and you don’t want it happening to your house — or by chance you’re noticing some symptoms around your own place and want to know what to do. Perhaps you’ve mentioned what you’ve seen to the man of your household and he has said that he’ll fix it himself, or he doesn’t think it’s an issue.

Well, we’re sure that you’ll be happy to hear that YOU ARE RIGHT and you’re doing the smart thing by learning more about drain tile maintenance. With your plumbing equalling an average of 15% of the value of your home, your drainage system should be one of the first priorities.

If you do not properly maintain your drain tile system, water pressure may crack your foundation and work its way into your house, flooding your basement and/or crawl space, causing damage to drywall, flooring, furniture, electronics and other personal items that can’t be replaced.

Here are the two ways that JJ’s Plumbing can clear and/or maintain your drains (also see illustration):

  1. A power auger or cable machine. If your pipes are fully blocked, a power auger or cable machine is used first. This is followed with the Hydro Flushing machine.
  2. A Hydro Flushing machine. If your pipes are not fully blocked, a Hydro Flushing machine will be used to restore the drain line back to full health.

JJ’s Plumbing will first determine what service/method is best with a camera inspection inside your drain line. Clean pipes do make for a happy life (and yes, wife)!

Give us a call if you have any further questions at 604-479-2232, email service@jjs.plumbing, or learn more about drain tile maintenance on the website.

snaking-a-clogged-drain hydro-jetting-a-clogged-drain

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3 Secret Tips to Keep Your Drains Clear that most Plumbers Don’t Want You to Know

Let’s face it – you’re a guy, and guys like to fix things on their own. JJ’s Plumbing gets that. We know that you’d prefer to try things yourself before spending money or having to call an external source for help.

This is why we’re sharing the following 3 do-it-yourself tips to help keep the drains in your home clear – what many plumbers don’t want to share with you!

  1. Do-it-yourself preventative method: baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. That’s it! Put about ¼ cup of baking soda and ¾ cup of vinegar down your drain. This forms a natural chemical reaction that will break up soap scum that has formed and traps food, hair and other substances in your pipes. Boil some water and allow about 10-15 minutes for the baking soda and vinegar to do their job. Once boiled, pour the water down the drain. This melts any grease build up, and sends it along the way. Need to see it for yourself? Watch this video.
  2. Put strainers in your drains. Use tea strainers, or any kind of strainer, to help your drains stay unclogged. Fit all of your tubs and shower drains with strainers to catch the hair (and other substances you don’t want going down your drain). Be sure to clean the strainers regularly (or ask the lady in your home very nicely to lend a helping hand).
  3. What NOT to put down your garburator, kitchen drain and toilet: coffee grounds, grease, fats & oils, hair, egg shells, and fibrous foods (celery, corn husks, potato peels) are some everyday items/foods that can clog your drain. Coffee grounds are as good as cement in pipes! And here’s a tip: Don’t put any other kind of paper other than toilet paper down the toilet. Toilet paper is specially made to break down when wet. Other kinds of paper, like paper towels and Kleenex are not! Sure, they’ll flush, but instead of disintegrating they can leave your drains clogged.

If you end up in a jam and need to get in touch, don’t hesitate. Our website has an online form, or email us at service@jjs.plumbing.

3-secret-tips-to-keep-your-drain-clear

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“Honey… I think I did it again.” – 3 Tips to Keep Your Drains Unclogged

You turn the shower on, wait for it to warm up, get undressed, step into the shower and… you’re stepping in a little puddle of water forming around your drain. Does this sound too familiar? Or how about this one: you turn on the kitchen sink to do the dishes, have not put the plug in the sink, yet the water is already filling up. The worst part is, this happens far too often, and you do not feel like telling your husband that it has happened again.

JJ’s Plumbing has got your back lady! We’re here to help by sharing the following 3 easy “do-it-yourself” tips so that you don’t have to have that painful conversation (or at least not as often).

  1. The easy, preventative method: baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. Nothing scary or difficult here! Put about ¼ cup of baking soda and ¾ cup of vinegar down your drain. This forms a chemical reaction (not to worry, nothing drastic) that will break up soap scum that has formed and traps food, hair and other substances in your pipes. Boil your water in a kettle or larger pot to allow for about 10-15 minutes for the baking soda and vinegar to do their job. Once boiled, pour the water down the drain. This will help melt any grease build up, and send along its way. Need the visual? No problem, watch this video.
  2. Tea-strainers! You can actually use tea strainers to help your drains stay unclogged. Fit all of your tubs and shower drains with strainers to catch the hair (and other substances you don’t want going down your drain). Be sure to clean the strainers regularly.
  3. What NOT to put down your garburator, kitchen drain and toilet: coffee grounds, grease, fats & oils, hair, egg shells, and fibrous foods (celery, corn husks, potato peels) are some everyday items/foods that can clog your drain. Also, don’t flush feminine hygiene products down the toilet. Yes, they’ll flush, but instead of disintegrating they can leave you with a clogged toilet and mess you won’t want to deal with.

We hope these 3 tips have been helpful to you and will help bring further peace to your home. But of course, feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions or need further assistance with your drains.

3-tips-to-unclog-your-drains-jjs-plumbing

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Don’t Ignore Your Drain Tiles!

As the summer has come to an end, and the wetter and colder weather is upon us, it’s time to remember the importance of cleaning your drain tiles.

Remember: maintaining your drainage system helps to prevent leaks and damage to the foundation of your home, preserving its structural integrity. It is important to properly maintain your drain tiles by cleaning them every 12 to 18 months, to avoid such problems as blockages from debris, or structural damage to your home due to land settling and/or root growth. You DO NOT want to be left with a monster flood problem!

Why is Maintenance so Important?

If your drain tiles become dirty, clogged, or broken, they will not redirect the water so that your retaining walls and foundation stay dry. The wetter the ground around the perimeter of your home becomes, the damper your basement is going to feel. You could even end up finding water in your crawl space and basement — the foundation has higher risk of cracking under the pressure of the water that is surrounding it.

Regularly scheduling drain cleaning extends the lifetime of your drainage system as well as that of your home. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary – so let’s keep it that way!

Get in Touch with the Plumbing Experts this Fall

If you know that your drain tiles haven’t been cleaned for many years, it’s best to give us a call for help. The more time that passes, the more challenging and therefore expensive the problem can be to fix. So don’t put it off until next year. Maintaining your drainage system by hiring a professional plumber to take care of any problems with your drain tiles helps while they are still small and affordable.

What are you waiting for? Call the JJ’s Plumbing Experts at 604-479-2232 or go to jjs.plumbing to fill out our online form for your free no-obligation quote!

For a limited time, we’re offering $30 off your Drain Cleaning! Book for your free quote today.