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

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.

So you’ve heard that replacing your water main is something you should consider, you may have seen some signs that it should be done, but you aren’t quite sure, you don’t know how it works, and you don’t know where to start. Well, start with us and a trenchless water main replacement! Here are “need-to-knows” on replacing your water main, and how JJ’s Plumbing takes care of the job.

First off, why replace your water main?

Your water main may use polybutyelene piping. If this is true, you will want to replace your water main before anything happens. Polybutyelene is a type of plastic resin that was used in water supply piping between the late 70s and mid-90s. If your house was built during this time, chances are, you have polybutyelene piping. So why repair it? Oxidants in water supplies, like chlorine, react with polybutyelene piping, which can cause them to flake and become weak/brittle. The result can be thin cracks in the piping, which reduce the strength of the water main. The piping system can end up failing without any warning, leading to flooding and damage to your household and property.

Another reason for replacing your water main is a burst or leak in the water line. It is best to replace the whole line, versus patching it.

Signs to look for when suspecting a water main leak

Here’s what to notice if you suspect a leak:

  • Your lawn is mushy or wet
  • There is running water from the ground
  • There is water seeping through concrete cracks/your foundation
  • There is water leaking into your basement.

Steps to take if you suspect a water main leak

Contact JJ’s Plumbing immediately, or call the city so the water can be turned off from the city shut off.

So… how does the process work?

JJ's Plumbing Trenchless Water Main Pull Diagram

Here are the steps we take for a water main replacement:

  • JJ’s Plumbing will come over, investigate the leak and give a free, no-obligation quote
  • When the quote is accepted, we will book your appointment and make another visit to take care of business!
  • JJ’s Plumbing will dig around the city shut off, at approximately 3-5 feet near the location
  • We will use a jackhammer to create a 6-inch diameter hole around the water line entering the house and main shut off (in the mechanical room)
  • We will cut the water line below the main water shut off, and after the city shut off
  • Then, we will fish an airline cable through the existing water main from the inside to the exterior
  • We will attach the new water line and have a tow truck pull the new line through the existing line
  • We will reconnect the new water line to the city shut off, as well as to the interior plumbing
  • Finally, we will backfill the hole we created near the city shut off.

There is minimal mess near your property with our trenchless water main pull!

For a limited time, we’re offering $100 off your water main replacement service! Book for your free quote today.

JJ's Plumbing $100 off trenchless water main pull

Our last blog article explained the importance of staying on top of your drainage system so those beastly plumbing monsters don’t clog them up! As promised, we’re now going to dive into the specifics of how perimeter drain cleaning works, and what you can expect.

There are two kinds of perimeter drains: Interior and Exterior. Let’s begin with interior.

Interior drains run from your toilet, shower, sink, washing machine, dishwasher, and so on. The drains run the risk of getting clogged by debris (food, hair, etc.). To avoid clogs, we recommend every so often mixing vinegar and baking soda down every drain in your home. After 10 to 15 minutes, follow this by pouring boiling hot water down each drain. View the “Clean Your Drain” video here: http://jjs.plumbing/plumbers-about-us/diy-videos/.

If your drain does get clogged, we do not recommend using products such as Draino, to unclog. Instead, use a plunger. If the problem persists, this is when you call us!

Now onto exterior drains. It is extremely important to maintain your exterior drains. These drains are run off from your gutters and the water runs into your drain tiles. Debris, tree roots or settling of your land can cause blockages and even structural damage which may cause cracks in your foundation, leading to water working its way into your home. As explained in the last article, flooding in your basement and/or crawl space can cause damage to drywall, flooring, furniture, electronics and so on. This is why proper maintenance of your exterior drains is so important. We recommend cleaning them every 2-3 years, and we can help you through this process.

How?

Typically, we inspect your drains (both interior and exterior) with a camera to get an up-close-and-personal look at your pipes (to see what kind they are), and if cabling (snake) or hydro-jetting is the best service to provide you with.

The first way, through a power auger or cable machine (snake), is our “step 1” to clear the blockage, if it is fully blocked. Once cleared, we often recommend using a Hydro Flushing machine (hydro-jetting) to restore the drain line back to full health.

Reminder: You can call us 24/7 at 604-479-2232. Our quotes are free because we believe that the best thing our customers can do is call us. We’ll come in and check things out while answering any questions you may have, educating you on the specific plumbing situation.

Contact JJ’s today for a free quote or fill in our online form at jjs.plumbing/contact/.

Let’s face it – Vancouver, regardless of the season, receives a lot of rain. And when there’s a lot of rain, you run the risk of one of those angry plumbing monsters clogging up your perimeter drains.

If your perimeter drains are clogged it causes the water levels to rise around the house which adds pressure to your foundation. Excess water brought on by moderate to heavy rain can end up cracking cement and even breaking through cinder blocks. If you don’t take action quickly, this can lead to serious problems for your home, and serious dollars spent to fix the damage.

One of the first things that a new homeowner should learn is how important their drainage system is. With your plumbing equalling an average of 15% of the value of your home, your drainage system should be one of the first priorities that every homeowner should maintain. “Water is your enemy,” because there are so many ways that water can destroy your property.

Water damage can lower the value of your house, be expensive to fix, and even lead to health concerns for you and your family. Water and moisture can work its way into your house, flooding your basement and/or crawl space, causing damage to drywall, flooring, furniture, electronics and so on.

Never fear, JJ’s Plumbing is here!

Maintenance is an important part of drainage. Clogged drains may develop slowly, and creep up on you (beware of the creepy sludge that the plumbing monsters leaves behind). It is important to uphold your drain tiles by properly cleaning and maintaining them every 12 to 18 months. If you haven’t hired a professional to do this and you believe there is a drainage problem to your property, you can call us anytime at 604-479-2232 and receive a free quote or fill out our online form at jjs.plumbing/contact.  Don’t be afraid of what the plumbing monsters have done. We are qualified professionals and can help you through the problem and fix it.

Learn more about drainage on the website at jjs.plumbing/residential-plumbing.

Stay tuned for our next blog article where we get into the details of how perimeter drain cleaning works, and what you can expect.

Has your front lawn turned into a swamp? Have you experienced a loss of water pressure? This may mean that your home is in need of a water main replacement.

We know what you’re thinking… that the plumbing monsters are starting to lurk around your home and are going to make a massive mess of your landscaping. Homeowners are often afraid of having water main replacement done for this exact reason.

Don’t fret! This is where JJ’s Plumbing comes in: We are the experts in plumbing monster hunters, and are here to ensure that your main water line replacement doesn’t make a monster mess of your home and yard.

You may be envisioning the inconvenience, cost, and time it will take to dig up the pipe, and replace it or fix the area that is causing the problem. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be done that way. We understand that people don’t want their landscaping to be ripped apart and their home to look like a monster disaster. So, what to do?

The solution (because there is always a solution): Main water line replacement with trenchless technology.

“What’s trenchless technology?” you ask. Well, here’s what you can expect:

  • No digging to repair pipe (no monster chaos)
  • Minimal mess, efficient and quick
  • Upholds your landscaping, driveway, patio, lawn, etc.
  • Permanent repairs meeting industry standards
  • Saves time and therefore cost.

For more technical information, and to answer any questions you may have, contact us, and we’ll be happy to guide you through the process. You don’t need to drastically let the monsters take over your property, turning it into a construction zone. Let us help and get in touch with JJ’s Plumbing today.

One of the best ways to keep your home’s plumbing systems in check is to keep on top of drain maintenance. Although getting expert help on a regular basis is highly recommended in order to get a professional opinion, there are many things you can do yourself in order to make maintenance cheaper and less frequent.

Drain Maintenance

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A great safe and environmentally friendly way of keeping your drains healthy is by pouring baking soda and vinegar down every drain in your house – this means kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs and shower drains. Around 10 to 15 minutes later, dump boiling hot kettle water down each drain; repeat this process once a month and you will help maintain the integrity of your drains and prevent any detrimental blockages.

Sink Plunger

Always keep a sink plunger on hand and take advantage of it when you notice your water flow begin to get backed up. Start by plugging the stoppers over the drain and then filling the sink with three to four inches of water. Afterwards, remove the stopper and replace it with the plunger – a few good plunges should be enough to clear the drain and get rid or any blockage.

Food Residue

One of the most common causes of clogged drains is food residue and the simplest way to avoid this is by clearing off all of your plates of food on a regular basis. Use a sieve to strain any residue from your pots and throw any leftover food into the garbage, even if it’s just small pieces.

Drain Tile Maintenance

Every 12 to 18 months, every homeowner should clean and maintain their drain tiles in order to avoid problems such as debris blockage and structural damage stemming from root growth and land settling. Failing to properly maintain your drain tile system can lead to water rising from your ground water table, leading to a cracking in your foundation. Some of the damages that can result include:

  • Flooding
  • Drywall damage
  • Damaged personal items

Following the above tips can help you maintain healthy drains and keep your homes’ plumbing in top shape. Of course, even those that keep up on their drain maintenance can still face clogs – if this happens, feel free to contact us and we can help you decide on the best next steps. If you’re having any drain problems and are located in the Vancouver, Maple Ridge or Coquitlam area, our team at JJ’s Plumbing can find the right person for you. Give us a call today at 1-604-479-2232 for a free quote.

Although there are plenty of do-it-yourself (DIY) drain cleaning services that can help you keep your drains in shape, sometimes you will face a problem that requires the assistance of a professional plumber. Take a look below at the benefits of hiring one of our contractors.

Clogged Drains

Fixing your drains using DIY methods is great for simple clogs or when you just need to tide the health of your plumbing system over until a professional arrives.  But for bad clogs, these kinds of solutions will only result in a temporary fix. Sewer drain cleaning is a necessary procedure to fix serious clogs and prevent them from returning in the future and our professionals can ensure that our services will keep your drains in peak shape well into the future.

Slow Drains

If you notice the drainage system in your toilet is running slow, it’s a sign of underlying problems. Although it could stem from a clogged drain, it could also be a problem with the drainage pipes or main sewer line. Slow drainage can lead to sewer odors spreading throughout your home so if you notice any signs, make sure to call a professional as soon as possible.

Plumbing Fixtures and Pipes

Sewer build-up can lead to overflowing and other serious problems, making clean plumbing fixtures and pipes a top priority. This is especially important for basements, as they are the most susceptible areas to flooding.

Drain cleaning is an important procedure and skimping on maintenance can lead to numerous other problems. For Vancouver, Maple Ridgeor Coquitlam residents that require a reliable plumber to conduct comprehensive drain cleaning services, give us a call at 1-604-479-2232 and our staff at JJ’s Plumbing will be happy to help you.

Do You Know How To Properly Use A Plumbing Snake?

Sometimes Drano or Liquid Plumber is just not enough to completely clear that stubborn clog that has been building up in your drain. Before you give up and call a plumber, there is one more highly effective method of clog removal you might want to try. It’s actually a very simple and inexpensive way to keep all of your pipes clear and running smoothly (even the toilet!). A plumbing snake is a long metallic cord that can be extended down your drain and rotated in the pipe to remove clogs. They vary in size, being anywhere from 8 to 20 feet long, and are available at your local plumbing or hardware store. Knowing how to properly use the plumbing snake is a very useful skill to have when dealing with troublesome clogs throughout your house. Simply follow these steps and you’ll have clear drains in no time!

 

Wear Work Gloves

This may not seem like a job that requires work gloves, but it can actually save you some grief when trying to grip the snake as it is extended down the drain. You may also want the gloves regardless, since cleaning a drain can be a pretty messy job.

 

Extend the Plumbing Snake

Be sure to have a clear working space before you start to lower the snake into the drain. You want to hold the snake straight over the drain, and lower the end with the metal coil down into the pipe. Keep lowering until you hit some resistance. If you meet no resistance, but the drain is still clogged, you may need a longer pluming snake.

 

Spin the Plumbing Snake

Now that the snake has been lowered and is touching the clog in the pipe, use the handle at the top of the snake to turn the metal coil in the pipe. This will act as an auger which digs out the clog and loosens any other material that has built up. You may want to pour some water down the drain while you turn the handle to monitor how much the clog has been broken up.

 

Remove the Plumbing Snake and Clean Up

Once the water is draining steadily from the sink or toilet, slowly pull up the snake from the drain. Make sure not to do this too fast, as you can damage the inside of your pipes, or splash some dirt from the drain onto a clean surface in your house. Be sure to clean up any dirt that does emerge with the plumbing snake and put the tool back in its case.

There you have it. Now that you know how to properly use a plumbing snake, taking care of any clog in your house will be a cinch! For more helpful tips or information, visit our website or check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

 

JJ’s Plumbing is offering $40 off of drain cleaning services until April 3rd, 2015.

 

Drainage is a very important aspect of owning your home, doing proper maintenance and repairs can save you costly plumbing bills in the future.

 

Our services range from cleaning and repair, to replacement of broken or clogged pipes, as well as sewer connections/replacements and perimeter drain installation. While JJ’s Plumbing can you help you with in-home or outdoor drain cleaning, you should keep in mind that your outdoor drain tiles should be cleaned every 12-18 months. We will do everything we can to help you avoid seeing ‘Phil The Flood’!

Call JJ’s Plumbing before you have a monster problem!