Sewer Problem Location (incl. Camera)
Water Heater Replacement & Repair
Water Repipes/Slab Leak Location & Repair
Troubleshooting leaks and clogs in sinks, toilets,faucets, bath tubs, sewer pipes
Repair/Replace/Install Plumbing Fixtures
Water Piping Repair & Installation
Residential & Commercial San Diego Plumbing Service
Water heater Replacement
When we replace a water heater, we use a Reem water heater. In our experience, these are the most reliable and have fewer problems. Water heater replacement usually includes an earthquake or seismic strap, reconnecting or replacing the water heater vent, replacing the water heater flexes, reconnecting the temperature and pressure relief valves. If the water heater is in a closet in the middle of the house, building code requires a Watts B-210 valve which automatically shuts off the gas to your water heater if the thermostat fails and the water temperature is too high. We also take the old heater away to recycle.
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters can be a great way to save you money. They can also be a large expense that can take a long time to pay for itself. They are great if your house is set up for it and installed close to your plumbing outlets. It has an unlimited source of instant hot water if it is close to where the water is used. Dolphin Plumbing recommends Noritz tankless water heaters.
Garbage Disposal (Replacement)
For garbage disposals, we have found that the best brand is Insinkerator (Badger 5), and we believe most San Diego plumbers would agree. If all the drains and traps are in good condition, they are usually not replaced. When the defective disposal is a different brand, it sometimes requires that the drain, located under the sink, must be reconfigured or replaced. Some disposals are hard wired (no plug) and require a connection that we also install.
For any kind of faucet replacement, the hardest part is often to get the old faucet off. They can be fused to the sink and need to be cut off. At Dolphin Plumbing, we carry several selections of kitchen and bathroom faucets of various grades of quality and we stock them in our trucks. If you prefer, you can buy your own faucet and have it ready for installation. We typically recommend Moen faucets. But be cautious when picking an off brand, as the parts need to be available and easily found in case it develops a leak down the road. Too many times, faucets do not have the brand name written on them, making it very difficult to identify and repair. At the time of replacement, it is important to make sure that the angle stops and flex connectors below the sinks are operable and in good condition. It can become very expensive if, in case of a leak, the water cannot be shut off quickly, to prevent flood damage. Dolphin Plumbing uses only Dahl brand solid brass angle stops, which is a very high quality product. Most of the less expensive angle stops are made out of chrome on the outside but the entire internal working parts are plastic.
Shut-Off Valves and Pressure Regulators
Once a year, it is recommended to turn the shut off valve (where the water piping enters your house), to ensure it still works. Accessibility is very important. The same should be done with the angle stops. The longer they sit without use, the more they tend to seize up. At Dolphin Plumbing we only use ball valves when installing the shut off valves. The old style gate valves can break off, permanently turning the water on or off, depending upon which position it was in when it broke. This is a piece of equipment that you don’t want to be cheap about. The ones from China are not the right ones to buy. They tend to have pot metal handles and after a few years in the weather, the handle will often just snap off.
The water pressure in the street before reaching your property can be 150-160 p.s.i. A regulator is needed to bring it down to 70 so that the plumbing system inside will sustain the pressure, and not explode! It then can regulate the pressure to 50-75 p.s.i. It is usually set to 75, the maximum safe pressure. Preferably, the shut off valves and regulators are installed above ground. They last longer and are more accessible.
Kitchen Drains - Drain Cleaning San Diego
Rice, egg shells, shrimp shells and anything similar can expand when it gets wet. Grease also can affect pipes. If a drain is full of grease, the snake cable, used to unclog the drain, goes down and through it but the grease stays in the pipe, the drain remains clogged and needs to be hydro jetted out by the clean-out outside the kitchen, or from the roof is there is no clean-out. The cost of the work depends upon the location of the clog, and which size snake is required. Commonly, older houses have cast iron drain piping and it will eventually have to be replaced. The gradual buildup of grease and food hardens over the years and eventually there is no opening left. The drywall under the sink has to be cut in order to reach and replace the cast iron pipe and santee.
Tub and Shower Valves
Most tub and shower valves, if identifiable, can be repaired, and most valve cartridges are not that hard to replace. When the valve body finally is unrepairable, the entire valve behind the wall needs to be replaced. Dolphin Plumbing recommends Moen brand tub and shower valves. It can usually be done without damaging the tile.
Sewer Replacement and Dig Ups
A major and common plumbing problem is root invasion of the sewer. In older properties, there is often no clean-out. Too often, a large tree or bush is planted directly above the sewer, making it easier for the roots to invade the sewer and clog the drain. At the early stages of root invasion and sewer clogs, it is still possible to clear the drains with a mainline snake. If there is no clean-out, it is usually possible to go on the roof and get into the drain system through the roof vent. A clean-out is better to do this - less expensive and more effective. Up until last year, the home owner was responsible for the property drains only up the property line, where there should be a clean-out. From the property line out to the middle of the street and beyond was the responsibility of the city of San Diego. Now, it is the responsibility of the home owner. The city only takes care of, and repairs, the mainline to the middle of the street. The insurance companies have just recently covered this problem. It is recommended to obtain that coverage. A sewer camera can be put down the drain to view the condition of the sewer, where the roots and the collapsed line are, in order to find the problem and repair it. Wherever there is a root invasion, the pipe is cracked or broken. The drain can be snaked but the roots will always come back. Another common problem with sewer clogs is tampons. Even though the directions on the box say they are disposable, it is a lie. They should never go into the plumbing system. Toilet paper breaks down and disintegrates into almost nothing, but tampons, paper towels and swiffer rags do not, and can be the cause of major problems.
Toilets - Clogged Drains
This problem can usually be solved with a toilet auger, a device designed to go down the toilet trap to grab, pull or push through what is clogging the drain. Tampons, too much toilet paper and often toys are the usual culprits. If the toilet auger cannot clear the clog, the toilet has to be pulled off the floor. Depending on where the clog is, the toilet can be unclogged using a drain snake or, in some instances, the bowl and the toilet have to be replaced. Dolphin Plumbing sells a toilet that can actually flush tennis balls.
A small tub drain snake can usually clear tubs in newer houses. In older houses with cast iron traps, the clearing can become quite difficult. It sometimes requires blowing it out with pressure or using sulfuric acid, and in some cases, the replacement of the waste and overflow, and the trap.
Plumbing Remodels in San Diego
When it comes to remodels we can do any of the plumbing that you need done. We are experienced with drain, water, and gas piping. Whether the work is above ground, below the concrete floor or under your house, we are very experienced and can handle any of your plumbing needs.
Kitchens. tubs, showers, toilets, bath room sinks, washers, dryers, and dishwashers. If it is possible we can do it.
Water Repipes - Plumbing Repairs SD
If you have a water leak above ground we can fix it. If you have a copper leak below the slab we can fix it also. We have a leak detector which can trace the copper pipes below the concrete and locate where the leak is. Then we discuss with you the options of digging where the leak is and repairing it, rerouting the line above ground by passing the leak, or repiping the water system. 90% of slab leaks are on the hot water side. Many times a good option is to repipe only the hot water.
When you need a gas leak repair in San Diego, a normal instinct is to call SDG&E. If they determine that you have a gas leak, most of the time SDG&E will shut your gas off and lock the meter until you have a plumber repair the gas leak. This can be quite stressful in mid winter, with no hot water. If it is a simple leak above ground, this is usually no big deal. Sometimes on older homes the entire gas system has to be replaced, because the pipes and fittings will no longer pass the minimum pressure test for a city inspection. If SDG&E shuts off your gas, you will have to get a permit, find the gas leak, and fix it, test it for the city inspector, have SDG&E release your meter, and then reconnect your water heater, stove, dryer etc. It gets to be quite a process. Best to call Dolphin Plumbing right away.