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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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3 Common Mistakes People Have About Polybutylene Piping

Polybutylene, otherwise known as ‘Poly­B’, is most common in homes from the late 70s to mid 90s and was used because it was inexpensive to buy and install. As time goes on, Poly-B deteriorates and can leak and cause flooding in the home if not replaced.

Learn more about Poly-B Replacement on our website.

The risks associated with Poly­B waterlines are flooding, increased insurance premiums, cancelled insurance coverage and costly deductibles, as well as mold infestations caused by undetected pinhole leaks within waterlines covered by drywall.

The more we talk to our customers, we learn that there are common mistakes or misconceptions about Poly-B. So, we’ve compiled this list to set the record straight.

  1. Replacing Poly-B is super expensive and hard to afford.

This is a common myth people have about Poly-B replacement. Replacing Poly-B is actually quite affordable, and definitely costs less than if you have a flood in your home to worry about! We know that it’s unfortunate to have to replace your pipes, but JJ’s Plumbing Experts will come up with an affordable solution for you: whether it’s replacing your pipes altogether, or repairing your existing pipes to prolong the lifespan of your Poly-B pipes until you can afford to replace them. Bottom line: there are affordable options and we can come up with one that works for you.

  1. Poly-B problems/leaks happen because of poor installation.

While it’s true that you want a good pipe installer (like us!), it isn’t typically the case that it’s the installation of Poly-B pipes that causes the leaks. Installation quality could contribute to leaks, but in most cases installation does not appear to be the primary cause. The most common reasons leaks occur are: the age of the pipes, water quality/chlorine levels and degeneration of piping.

  1. The Poly-B pipes in my home have lasted for nearly a decade, so they are just fine.

Thinking this way is just waiting for disaster to occur. Most of the time, it takes many years for Poly-B piping systems to leak or fail. Many leaks start to happen in 10-15 years from installation of the piping system, so if you’ve had them installed for a decade or longer, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.

 

Do you have Poly-B piping and would like to know if you should have a replacement soon? Call us at 604-479-2232 or email service@jjs.plumbing and we’ll help you find out.

 

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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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Give Your Bathroom or Kitchen a Facelift Before Christmas Company Comes Over!

Are you embarrassed of your rundown bathroom and/or kitchen? As the holiday season is fast approaching, it’s a time when family and friends come over to celebrate. BUT let’s face it… who wants to be ‘hostess with the mostest’ when you’re not too happy with the look of your kitchen or bathroom – spaces that your company definitely spends time in.

Are you in need of a new bathroom tub, toilet, or vanity? Or perhaps your kitchen sink and faucet isn’t looking too sexy these days. This is why you need to call us — JJ’s Plumbing is here to help.

A renovation of any size can feel overwhelming and like a big undertaking. Cost, disruption of schedule, and design decisions will be factors in how, when, and to what shape your renovation will take. We’re dedicated to helping you and ensuring that your reno is as stress-free and painless as possible.

Yes, JJ’s Plumbing is the heating and drainage experts, but we also set you up with well-known and recommended general contractors to work together on your project. We encourage our customers to demand: reliability, honesty, accredited experience, and daily communication from a contractor. We believe these characteristics are fundamental to achieving a stress-free renovation process and finished product that you can be proud of.

So… what are you waiting for? Christmas and New Year’s is just around the corner!

Give us a call at 604-479-2232 or email service@jjs.plumbing and we’ll help you with your reno project every step of the way.

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A Christmas Gift for you AND the Woman in Your Life – Kitchen and Bathroom Renos

Christmas and New Year’s is approaching, and your wife is planning for company to come over, but is on your case about how UGLY the bathroom is. She mentions how guests always mingle in the kitchen, but she’s embarrassed about the old kitchen sink and faucet.

You’ve heard these complaints for a long time now, so why not give her an early Christmas present and fix up the old bathroom and kitchen? It’s not a major reno, but something that you know deep down will make YOU feel better about your home as well.

Whether it’s a new bathtub, toilet or vanity, or a new kitchen sink and faucet, regardless of the reno size, we know that it can be overwhelming for you and disrupt your everyday life. This is why we’re here to make it easy on you, and give you what you need — within your budget.

We’re dedicated to helping you and ensuring that your reno is as stress-free and painless as possible.

Yes, JJ’s Plumbing is the heating and drainage experts, but we also set you up with well-known and recommended general contractors. We encourage our customers to demand: reliability, honesty, accredited experience, and daily communication from a contractor. We believe these characteristics are fundamental to achieving a stress-free renovation process and finished product that you can be proud of. Communicate your budget to your reno team and request frequent updates to ensure the project expenses are on track.

What’s left to think about? You know you’ll score big points with the little Mrs., and Christmas and New Year’s is coming up quick!

Give us a call at 604-479-2232 or email service@jjs.plumbing.

Read more about home renos with JJ’s Plumbing.

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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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Do You Have Poly B Piping in Your Home?

Polybutylene pipe, otherwise known as Poly B piping, is a particular kind of piping that your home may be utilizing. One way you can tell is by looking under your sink, and if you see thin, grey piping, then that is Poly B. Poly B was used in hot water heating systems and in constructing new residential homes throughout North America, mainly during 1978-1998.

First designed as an economical alternative to copper piping, Poly B was used in many homes throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley areas.

So what’s the big problem with Poly B piping?

Answer: Poly B piping has an abnormally high rate of failure. Lately, we have had a number of clients call us, saying that their home insurance companies have sent letters informing them that they will not renew their insurance, if their homes have Poly B. Because Poly B often needs to be completely replaced within 8-11 years of being installed, most insurance policies no longer cover Poly B. If they do, a high deductible is required to receive that coverage.

Yes, Poly B piping was cheaper and easier to install, but this didn’t mean that this was beneficial in the long-run. Within 10 years of Poly B installations, real-life horror stories started to surface, resulting in needing new piping to be installed.

Some of the repercussions of your house having Poly B piping are:

  • Leaks
  • Hairline cracks
  • Poor installment by plumbers: loose fittings
  • Water quality: irregular water pressures & chemical sensitivities (chlorine and mineral levels)
  • Mold issues
  • In-home flooding
  • Age of the pipe and fittings: degeneration of pipe fittings.

Homes with Poly B pipes are not so great for resale, either. If you’re looking to buy a fixer upper or sell your family home, check the piping under the sink first!

If you know that you have Poly B piping and want it replaced, or are unsure and want to find out, call the JJ’s Plumbing Experts at 604-479-2232 or visit us at jjs.plumbing to fill out our online form and get in touch for your free no-obligation quote today!

For a limited time, we’re offering $100 off your Poly B pipe replacement! Book for your free quote today.

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Need-to-knows on Replacing Your Water Main

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

JJ’s Plumbing Offering Picture Quotes for Comprehensive Services

Maple Ridge, BC – February 10, 2016 – Vancouver-based company JJ’s Plumbing is offering picture quoting services to give residents of Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam a simple, fast way to get a price range for work they need completed on their plumbing system.

For those that are still in the process of choosing a plumbing company to conduct their work, picture quoting is a great way to get a fast estimate and compare it to the other available options. Taking the time out of your day to have a plumber come and inspect your home can be time-consuming and inconvenient, especially when you aren’t sure of the price range of the company.

The staff at JJ’s Plumbing offer free picture quoting not only as a reflection of their confidence in their services but as a means of providing potential customers with a simple, effective way of finding the best plumber for their needs.

If you’re looking for reliable contractors to conduct your plumbing and want a free picture quote, take a look at their form here and get started. The experts at JJ’s Plumbing always provide quality service for a very affordable price. For more information, or further questions, give them a call today at 1-604-479-2232 and their staff will be happy to help you.

About JJ’s Plumbing

With over 7 years of experience in the field, the staff at JJ’s Plumbing can provide accurate quotes even through a simple picture. For more information, visit http://jjs.plumbing/.