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.


Springtime Plumbing Services You Should Consider


With the warm weather approaching the Maple Ridge and Coquitlam areas, now is a good time to catch up on some maintenance on your home’s plumbing systems. Here are a few tips to help you get ahead of any major problems that might arise. For some of these tips, getting a plumbing contractor to provide expert service now can help you avoid high repair costs in the future.


Check Your Drains

Floor drains and any other drains that get used infrequently may require some attention. To avoid any unpleasant odours from occurring in the drain, pour a gallon (4L) of water down the drain to fill the trap. This will also help prevent any sewer gases from getting into your home.


Inspect Your Water Heater

The first and most obvious thing to check is the bottom of the tank for any leaks. Even a slow leak can lead to an increase in your water bill. Next, you may want to check the serial number on your water heater to see how old it is. The first four numbers represent the month and year it was manufactured. If it’s over 15 years, consider replacing it. Finally, to increase the lifespan and efficiency of your water heater, flush some water out of the tank to get rid of any sediment that can build up and cause corrosion.


Fix Any Running Toilets

Just like a leaking water heater, even a slow running toilet can lead to an increase in your water bill. While in most cases a running toilet can be repaired with replacement parts you find at your local hardware store, if you are unsure of what is causing the leak you may want to contact your local plumber for assistance.


Exterior Plumbing Maintenance

You can visually inspect any outdoor pipes or faucets for leaks or erosion that may have been caused by changing temperatures and ice buildup over the winter. With the rain and storms on their way it is also important to make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and intact. While you’re up checking the gutters, it is also a good idea to make sure your roof vents are clear of debris.


Test Your Sump Pump

To make sure your sump pump is draining properly, pour a few buckets of water into it. If your sump pump does not begin to drain the water right away, you should contact a plumbing contractor to inspect and replace a damaged unit.


Have Your Pipes Inspected

Most of the tips listed here are things you can do on your own. For peace of mind and to avoid bigger costs down the road however, it is a good idea to have the pipes and plumbing systems in your home checked by a professional plumber once a year.

Following these tips will keep the water in and outside of your home flowing properly, and will prevent any plumbing systems in your home from causing inconvenience in the future. Call JJ’s Plumbing experts before you run into any problems!

Picture Quotes are the newest time and hassle saver for our customers!

Have you ever tried explaining a drainage problem or plumbing issue over the phone?

Is it safe to say you were even more irritated and frustrated when you hung up than when you started?

Did you hang up with any idea how what it would cost to get the problem solved?

At JJ’s Plumbing, we know precisely how maddening that process can be… or used to be and we’ve built our business on making it as easy as possible for Vancouver home and business owners to deal with plumbing issues.

That’s why we’ve created a brand new way to get your issues fixed FAST.

With our new Picture Quoting service, all you have to do is snap a pic of what’s going on, send it to us, and we’ll put together an estimate ASAP.

We’re bringing plumbing into the 21st century… and we’re taking Vancouver along for the ride.

It’s all part of our commitment to offering the highest quality service in Vancouver. It really can be as simple as…

1. Snap a picture.

2. Send it to the experts at JJ’s Plumbing.

3. Get an estimate, right over the phone.

Once we’ve seen for ourselves what you’re dealing with, we’ll give you a cost estimate and set up the most convenient time for one of our trusted plumbing professionals to come out to your home or office and take a closer look.

Keep in mind, the number we give you over the phone is an estimate. We need to see the problem in person before we can give you a quote, but you can rest assured it’ll be the most competitive price in Vancouver.

At JJ’s Plumbing, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality maintenance and customer service in Vancouver. We want to make it easy to deal with your heating, plumbing, furnace repair, and polyb repairs.

As easy as 1, 2, 3.

That’s our guarantee.

Do you know how to change your furnace filter?

A clean filter is better than a dirty one, so you should replace your furnace filter as soon as it is dirty. Depending on the type of filter your use on your furnace, you might be able to do so on your own or you might need to hire a heating and plumbing company in Vancouver to do it for you.


What Is the Filter’s Purpose?

A furnace filter is supposed to keep dirt, dust, dander, hair, and small pieces of debris away from the blower motor, so that it continues to function properly. If the filter becomes too dirty, air cannot flow through, and the blower motor can overheat. If this happens, your furnace shuts down and requires repairs. If this happens too frequently, you shorten the lifespan of your furnace, because it is constantly being overworked to do the job it was designed to provide. In order to avoid costly repairs and/or replacement costs, you should check your furnace filter at least once a month and change it whenever it is dirty.


How Do You Know When It Is Time to Change Your Furnace Filter?

Many manufacturers provide an estimate as to how frequently you should change your furnace filter. While this guideline is helpful, the best way to determine whether or not your furnace filter needs changing is to remove it and look it over. Is it covered with dirt? If you hold the filter up to the light and you can’t see through to the light, it needs changing.


What Type of Furnace Filter Should You Buy?

The type of filter you need depends upon the brand and make of your furnace system. Most furnaces can use more than one type of filter, simply because various types are available, ranging from those of lesser quality to styles offering exceptional performance. More specifically, the best filters are designed to prevent most small particles from getting through to the blower motor, while filters of the lowest grade do not offer the same level of efficiency.

The least expensive furnace filters are crafted from glass fibers, and they do a good job in keeping dust and dirt away from the motor. Pleated filters are slightly more expensive, but they are designed to eliminate more airborne dust than non-pleated versions. Electrostatically charged fiber filters are also designed to remove high levels of airborne particles.

If you decide to install the filter on your own, just make sure that you put it in properly so that you maximize its efficiency. Typically, filters for furnaces have an arrow on their edges that should point toward the lower motor when installed properly.


Professionally Installed Filters for Furnaces

Highly efficient filters generally require the services of a heating and plumbing company to install them in your furnace. These filters are typically thicker than standard types, and so they are not as easy to install. They include electronic filter plate systems as well as mechanical air filters, both of which require specialized installation that the average Coquitlam homeowner is not trained to complete. Not only do the more expensive filters offer better performance than standard ones, but they also last longer.


Have more questions? Contact JJ’s Custom Plumbing today!


The world in a drop of water

With so much rainy wet weather it can be hard to remember that we need to conserve water in dry summer months. Yet summer isn’t the only time we should be paying attention to our water and energy consumption — by conserving water year-round you help save yourself and your city money and leave a more positive impact on the environment.

Conserving water, and therefore energy, means making an effort to not waste water and to use less water in and around your home. There are many ways you can do both, but these are some of our top tips:

  1. Use care when watering your lawn or garden. Pay attention to bylaws regarding watering restrictions, and follow them closely. Your lawn should only need one hour of sprinkling per week to stay green and healthy.
  2. Plant drought-resistant lawns and plants to avoid worrying over whether or not they’re getting enough to drink during summer months. There are a lot of beautiful plants native to BC that hold up perfectly in our climate.
  3. Ensure all taps and pipes, indoors and out, aren’t leaking. A slow leak can waste a surprisingly large amount of water over a season.
  4. Collect rain in a rain barrel to water your lawn and garden instead of using city water from the hose.
  5. Buy a water saving kit from your city, energy company, or hardware store. This kit can include low-flow faucet aerators, leak detection dye tablets, Teflon tape, energy and water-efficient showerheads, and a few other key items to save water and power around your home.
  6. Up to a third of water consumption comes from flushing toilets. By switching to low-flow toilets, and not using the toilet as a trash can, you can reduce the amount of water you use significantly.
  7. Try to take shorter showers. There’s nothing more relaxing in the evening or invigorating in the morning than a cleansing shower, but even four minutes uses 20 to 40 gallons of water. Any time you cut back makes a huge impact.
  8. Turn off the tap when you aren’t using it – this is especially true when you’re standing at the sink brushing your teeth.
  9. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of wasting energy heating the water. If possible, install high efficiency appliances in your home to further boost savings.

By making a few small changes in your day-to-day habits, you can make a large impact on the city’s water supply and your energy bill. Do you have any water saving tips we missed? We’d love to hear them in the comments!





We know that being a homeowner can be expensive. Repairs, heating, and general maintenance can take up time and patience, and even cause stress and strains in our relationships. Often we know what needs to be done around the house to make it more energy efficient and cost less in the long run, but taking that leap is just a little out of our reach.

Fortunately, Fortis BC aims to make household improvements a little more attainable with a series of rebates. Here’s a breakdown of three of the ways Fortis BC can help you improve your home’s energy consumption and reduce your monthly bill when you purchase and install ENERGY STAR® products.

$800 Furnace Rebate: When you replace your old furnace with a new ENERGY STAR® model, you’ll receive an $800 credit. You have to pre-qualify though, and this program is closing soon, so only those with a pre-qualification code can get the rebate. Learn more about the Furnace Rebate.

$500 Water Heater Rebate: As Fortis BC says, heating water uses up to 35% of your home’s energy use, and by installing a more efficient water heater, you can eliminate wasted energy and money. When you switch to an energy efficient hot water heater, you can qualify for a $500 rebate. Fortis BC breaks down the different types of tanks (and tankless systems) you can get. If you go with the Tankless Hot Water Heater, we will give you $500 Off too!

$1000 Natural Gas Rebate: Dubbed the “Switch ‘n’ Shrink” program, Fortis BC offers a $1000 rebate when you switch from an oil or propane heating system to an ENERGY STAR® natural gas heating system. Not only will you save money, you’ll be using one of the cleanest fuels and shrinking your impact on the environment, too.

These are just some of the ways you can earn money and save in the long run by switching to ENERGY STAR® products. To learn about more Fortis BC rebates for around your home, visit their website or give us a call, Your Vancouver Plumbing Contractor; and we can answer any questions you may have.

Lower Mainland: 778-285-0606
Vancouver Island: 1-250-586-7524

How Can You Beat Allergies With A UV Furnace?

UV Furnace Plumbing Vancouver

Did you know that mold and bacteria in our homes makes allergies worse and exposes you and your family to harmful diseases? When springtime allergies or wintertime cold and flu outbreaks start, we often blame circumstances outside our home for our itchy, watery eyes, or shaking chills and fever. But indoor air can be just as full of allergens, bacteria, and pollution as the great outdoors.

Mold, dust, and other irritants can hang out in carpets, furniture, clothes, and can even get stirred up when we try to clean by dusting and vacuuming. Even our air filters can be a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria!

One of the best ways to combat indoor air irritants is with an air filter, and there are quite a few options available to suit any need. One of the newest, and arguably best, options is a UV light installed directly into the heating and cooling system in your home or workplace.

Used by hospitals and government buildings, UV lights kill mold, germs, viruses, bacteria, and eliminate other allergens and irritants without using any chemicals. Easy to install, low cost, efficient, and quiet, the UV light plugs directly into a wall outlet and begins working immediately. They’ve even been proven to kill Influenza and Strep strains, leaving your home safe from dangerous, infectious illnesses.

To have an allergy and flu-busting UV light installed in your Home Furnace, contact us your Vancouver Plumbing Contractor, JJ’s Custom Plumbing, today for more information.

Lower Mainland: 778-285-0606
Vancouver Island: 1-250-586-7524

poly b

PolyB Is the Smaller Grey Pipe to the Left

If you own a home that was built between the 70s and 90s, you’ve probably heard about PolyB, or Polybutylene piping, and the leaking and insurance nightmares that go along with it. Poly-B is a type of grey pipe used in home plumbing and water heating systems in North America that rose to popularity as an alternative to copper piping. It took decades — and millions of dollars in lawsuits — before the pipes went out of use in the 90s over safety and performance concerns.

Although all pipes can and will fail and leak eventually, PolyB pipes are believed to leak at abnormal rates, and can cause nightmares for homeowners when it comes to mould, mildew, and insurance. Not all pipes will leak, however, and risk factors for PolyB pipes include connection failures, chlorine levels, poor installation, and proximity to heat sources. Many US failures have to do with piping being in attics, where it is heated excessively in the Southern sun. Far fewer incidents have been reported in Canada, although coverage by CBC Marketplace hints that the problem might be bigger than many think.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do if you face problems with the pipes in your home, or wish to have them replaced before they become an issue. Contact us, your Vancouver and Naniamo Poly B Replacement Experts, to get a quote on the best way to safeguard or replace your PolyB pipes before they become a headache!

Lower Mainland: 778-285-0606
Vancouver Island: 1-250-586-7524

Rainy season is approaching fast,  and during this season it is very common for houses to flood.  Help prevent water damage in your house by maintaining your drain tiles and make sure to have them cleaned every 3 years for most houses, and every 2 years for houses in marshland area’s.  By maintaining your drain tile system and ensuring that they are not blocked, partially constricted, collapsed, or have root growth in them, you can prevent the stress and cost of dealing with a flood in your basement or crawl space.  If your drain tiles are experiencing any of these issue’s, the water table will then be able to rise above the footing of your foundation, putting hydrostatic pressure on the foundation and water will eventually find the path of least resistance into your home, by saturating and seaping through the foundation or even worse causing cracks in the foundation. 

If you have just recently purchased a house or are looking to buy, we recommend finding out when the last time the drain tiles were properly inspected and cleaned.

If you would like to set up an appointment to inspect your drain tiles or would like some advice, please feel free to contact us.

Trouble Cleaning Your Garburator?

A quick and easy method for cleaning your garburator is the baking soda and vinegar trick followed by placing ice cubes in the garburator, turning on water and turning on the garberator.

Another option is to make ice cubes with vinegar instead of water and pour a bit of baking soda in the garburator, drop in the vinegar cubes, turn on hot water and the garberator.

The ice cubes will help to clean off the blades of the garburator, while the baking soda and vinegar will help to avoid any smells or fruit fly’s to come from the garburator.


And, if worse come to worse, you can always call your Plumbing & Heating specialists at JJ’s Plumbing 1-604-256-3514