Author Archives: Top Shelf Plumbing

How do you find a gas line leak?

gas line clearly labeled

What are the signs of a gas leak in your home?

Homeownership has many caveats and facets, some are easy, some are challenging, and others are outright scary. In that last group, natural gas leaks would be at the top of the list. If you smell a gas leak in or near your home, you may need a gas line repair and get this addressed immediately. 

The first rule of thumb with natural gas is if you smell natural gas, check all your natural gas-powered appliances they are turned off. If you still smell natural gas, call the emergency line of your natural gas company immediately. If the smell of natural gas is strong, evacuate the house of everyone, including pets. Then make that phone call after everyone is out. Never turn on any appliance or lights when you smell natural gas.

As an affordable, reliable, and safe energy source, natural gas is excellent. When used in a well-ventilated space, it is nontoxic. However, a slow leak of this colorless, odorless substance can be dangerous, making the need for any gas line repair a priority.

It is important to understand that while natural gas is safe, but it is carbon monoxide poisoning. Knowing how to prevent a leak from happening is essential, but more important is knowing the indications of a possible gas leak and how to react is lifesaving, especially following through with any gas line repairs needed. 

Signs and Symptoms of Natural Gas Leak:

  • Monthly gas bill is high in non-winter months
  • Appetite loss
  • Breathing difficulties, Irregular breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Dead plants
  • Depression
  • Dizziness or light-headed
  • Drowsiness
  • Ears ringing
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Nose bleeds
  • The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur

Who is responsible for gas line repair?

The natural gas company is responsible for gas line repair and installation is not on private property. For gas line repair on your property or within your home, as the homeowner, you are 100% responsible. 

After you have called the gas company about smelling gas, they will turn the gas off, do a preliminary inspection for a gas leak on their end. If they find something that is their responsibility, they will make any gas line repair needed, then turn the gas back on.

If the gas leak is on your property, inside or under your home, you will be responsible for any gas line repair. The gas company will not turn the gas back on until those repairs are done, and the gas line repairs have been inspected by the city or local governing municipality and/or the gas company.

You can head off possible gas leak issues with these prevention steps:

  • Have Inspections Performed: Annual inspections by a professional will find any small issues and fix them before they become a dangerous gas leak. This inspection should include all gas appliances like a cookstove, furnace, and water heater. This inspection should include your chimney, flues, gas lines, and vents as well.
  • Proper Ventilation: All gas appliances and equipment should be kept clean and free of any blockage to assure an ample amount of airflow. Without ample airflow, natural gas cannot circulate through the vents and will buildup.
  • Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Every floor of your business or home, especially in the bedrooms, should have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Proper Storage of Household Chemicals and Flammable Materials: All household chemicals, auto chemicals, and all flammable materials should never be a store near gas appliances.
  • Install Fire Extinguishers: No business or home should be without at least one fire extinguisher in your home or place of business.
  • Keep Children Safe: Educate your children about natural gas dangers and safety is important. Keeping children away from all-natural gas appliances is more important, especially if they are too young to understand the dangers.

Who do I call to fix a gas line?

Once the gas company has turned off the gas, they will check for the source of the leak. When they have pinpointed the problem, they will advise you of the area. However, any gas line repair needed, you must hire an outside source like a professional HVAC or plumber.

There is no charge by the gas company for their service all. Safety is their priority. If it is an easy gas line repair for the HVAC or plumber you call, the job could be nothing more than tightening up a connection, install some gas line repair fittings or use gas line repair tape. These will have a minimal charge if the leaks are where they can easily reach them.  

However, if the gas line repair is more in-depth and requires them to dig holes or trenches, crawl under your house, or more, it could get costly. This is not an optional repair though – if you have a natural gas leak, a gas line repair is a must for the safety of your home and others around you.

Is a tiny gas leak dangerous?

Each year, 17 people die from gas leaks and explosions caused by gas leaks. The number of people that become ill from gas leaks is countless. The symptoms of a natural gas leak exposure can be major or severe, depending on how much gas is leaking.

A large natural gas leak is highly combustible and can cause an explosion or fire. The smallest thing can set this off if it encounters a gas leak, such as turning a light on or the television. A tiny gas leak most likely won’t cause an explosion or fire, but the danger to your health can make a lasting impact if gas line repair isn’t completed promptly.

gas powered stove

Does homeowners insurance cover gas line repair?

Homeowner’s insurance may cover a ruptured gas line sometimes. For instance, if a rupture gas line is caused by a contractor working on your property, such as a landscaper. Another instance would be if a gas line rupture is caused by a utility company.

The concern over who is responsible for a gas line repair should be secondary compared to the safety of those inside your home and those around your home.  A gas leak that causes an explosion will affect more than just your home – all the homes nearby, maybe even for blocks, will be affected. Do you need gas line repair in Huntington Beach, CA? Dial 714-588-2406 today for the experts at Top Shelf Plumbing!

How Do You Find a Plumbing Leak?

A Copper Pipe Leaking.

How to Detect Plumbing Leaks

Have you noticed that your water bills are higher than usual but you are using the same amount of water as you normally do? There is a possibility that you might have a plumbing leak. There could be a leak or your high water bills could be because of something else, but its worth checking just to make sure. So how do you find plumbing leaks? One of the easiest ways to determine if you have a leak is to check your water meter. These are the steps you can take to find out if you actually have plumbing leaks.

  • Don’t Use Any Water: You will want to make sure no water is being used inside your home or outside of your home.
  • Check Your Water Meter: When you check the water meter, take a look at the flow indicator. If its moving then water is flowing.
  • Turn Off the Water: Turn off your water at the main shutoff valve. This will make sure no water can come through faucets, showers, or other taps.
  • Inspect Flow Indicator: When the water is totally turned off, you’ll want to see if the flow indicator is moving. If its moving after the water has been shut off, then there is a leak.

If there is a plumbing leak, there is chance that it could be located inside or outside of your home. People will ask, “How do you find a water leak in your home?” To find out if the leak is inside, you will want to shut off the water and wait a few hours and check the meter. If you come back to the meter and the meter number haven’t change or the flow indicator has stopped, then there is a leak inside of the house. Another thing people will ask is, “How do I find a water leak underground?” you will want to do the same thing and turn off all the water and wait a couple of hours. Once a few hours have passed, then check the meter. Change in the readings or a flow indicator that is moving means there is leak outside. When someone has a leak, they typically ask, “Can plumbers detect leaks?” and the answer is yes. They have special leak detection tools to find plumbing leaks outside or inside your home. So you can either try to find the leak on your own or have a plumber come out and find the leak.

How Do I Stop My Plumbing From Leaking?

If you know for a fact that you have a plumbing, you may wonder,
“How to stop plumbing leaks?” Well the best way to ensure that water doesn’t seep through damaged pipes or systems is to turn off the water completely; this way there is no chance of leaks since the water is off. However, you can put epoxy putty where the leak is coming from, use a pipe clamp to create a seal over the leak, or use a slip coupling to stop the leak. If you don’t have experience working with plumbing pipes or other plumbing systems, then we don’t recommend that you try to stop plumbing leaks on your own. The best thing you can do is turn off the water all the way, then call a water to come out and fix the plumbing leak.

Plumbing Leaks Causes

The most common plumbing that leaks are the pipes. Many people ask, “What causes pipes to leak?” And there are several reasons why our pipes leak. The first reason a pipe can leak is when there is corrosion to the pipe. Corrosion usually happens due to the age of the pipe. Older pipes will start to rust which can eat away at the pipe and cause the pipe to leak. Another reason that pipes leak is due to high water pressure. When there is intense water pressure in your pipes, it can cause them to burst and leak. Clogs are also another reason why a pipe might leak. Clogs can get bigger and expand–with no place to go, they can create leaks. Lastly, if there is a sudden decrease or increase in the temperature, the expansion and contraction of the pipes can cause them to crack and burst, which leads to leaks.

Are Plumbing Leaks Covered By Insurance?

A Woman Fixing a Plumbing Leak Under the Sink.

Does Insurance Cover Leaks?

If you developed plumbing leaks in your home, you’re probably wondering if your home insurance will cover the cost of repairs. It will depend on what your policy covers, but it will also depend on if the plumbing had lack of maintenance. If the adjuster at your insurance company finds that plumbing leaks occurred because they were neglected, then they will not cover the cost of repairs. However, if there are leaks due to a burst pipe because it froze overnight, then they might cover the cost of repairs. If you have plumbing leaks in Huntington Beach, CA and need plumbing repair, call Top Shelf Plumbing! We are able to use leak detection to determine where the leaks are and repair it right away. If you have water damage due to a plumbing leak, then you might call someone for water damage restoration. Contact us today at 714-588-2406 to schedule an appointment.

Where to Start Kitchen Remodel

A Kitchen With Marble Countertops.

In what order do you remodel a kitchen?

Never rush into kitchen remodeling without a plan in place. Once you have an idea of how you want your kitchen to look you may want to prepare a kitchen remodel to do list as a guide.  On that to-do list you may want to start your project by hiring a general contractor, which can be easier, and possibly cheaper than doing it yourself.

Other steps in the process include:

  • Dismantling current kitchen: You’ll start by removing cabinets, appliances, and remove paneling.
  • Replacing the plumbing: Update any old plumbing and add new connections.
  • Replacing the wiring and installing lighting: Any new wiring or lighting will be added, and electrical upgrades made to accommodate appliances.
  • Hanging drywall and mudding the joints: Once the wiring and plumbing are in place, the drywall can go up. Add the joint compound, or mud, to reinforce the joints.
  • Painting walls and ceiling: After you have new walls up, you’ll need to paint them, as well as the ceilings.
  • Installing the flooring and baseboards: As your kitchen shapes up with freshly painted walls and ceilings, you’ll follow up by adding the flooring and baseboards
  • Installing the cabinets: While taking down old cabinets may be easy, you may want to hire a professional to install the new cabinets. 
  • Installing countertops and matching backsplash: Countertops are some the most appealing portions of kitchen remodeling projects. Add the backsplash around the countertops after the countertops are installed, unless you are using the same material. Then you can add the backsplash in at the same time. 
  • Installing hardware like knobs on cabinets: The final pieces like knobs are fitted onto cabinets as the project is wrapped up.

When you are adding new plumbing, make sure quality products like PEX piping are used to ensure your new system lasts a long time. This piping requires minimal maintenance. For all your plumbing services, including installing PEX piping, in Huntington Beach, CA, rely on the professionals at Top Shelf Plumbing. Call 714-588-2406 to schedule services.

Before and after a remodel make sure your kitchen, and the rest of the house, stays cool with AC maintenance in CA

What is considered a kitchen remodel?

Kitchen remodeling can involve anything from replacing everything in the kitchens to just adding in new cabinets or flooring or appliances. Remodeling is different from a renovation. When you’re remodeling, your altering the kitchen in some way. You might add space by tearing down a wall or give it a new look with an island and matching countertops. 

A renovation, on the other hand, is using the materials you have at hand, and restoring them to look new or improve them. With a kitchen renovation, you might paint your cabinets, or repair the countertops. You could install new light fixtures or upgrade appliances without adding space or making any other alterations.

Kitchen remodel with island

One of the most common kitchen remodeling projects is adding a kitchen island. Kitchen islands add more cabinet space to the kitchen without adding more cabinets or counter space. Islands are very versatile. They can be built to accommodate any size of kitchen, and can include spaces for meal preparation, or even serve as a space to serve food. Tall chairs or bar stools are often accessories of kitchen islands. Some are made to be mobile to free up kitchen space as needed.

What will it cost to remodel my kitchen?

When preparing your kitchen remodel budget you’ll generally need to plan to spend anywhere between about $12,500 to $33,000 or more. Much of the costs will depend on what materials you use, and how elaborate your design is. You’ll also have to factor in the length of time the project takes, and any expenditure on general contracting, electrical, or plumbing labor. Other expenditures may include hiring an architect or certified kitchen designer to help you with the design and planning.

What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?

Installing new cabinets is usually the most expensive part of a remodel. Cabinets can cost up to $15,000 or more. New appliances run a close second. Depending on the appliances you add, you could spend on average as much as $8,200 on new appliances. Kitchen countertops are the next most expensive item, averaging about $6,000.

How can I remodel my kitchen for cheap?

Kitchen remodeling, even for a small kitchen, can be costly. Here are some possible remodeling ideas that may not break the bank:

  • Paint cabinets: Instead of replacing cabinets, which can run about $15,000, you can give your old cabinets a fresh look with a new paint job.
  • Check online for deals: You can find some great deals online for everything from countertops to cabinets.
  • Go retro: If you like the look of your kitchen, you keep some of the original materials, and renovate them instead, and update other areas to fit with the old look.
  • Make minor changes: You may not need to do the whole makeover all at once. Even just adding overhead cabinets can improve a kitchen’s look and add storage space.
A Man Installs Kitchen Cabinets.

Kitchen remodel vs home value

One of the main reasons for kitchen remodeling, outside wanting something fresh and different for your home, is to improve the home’s value. People often remodel kitchens before any other space in the home. Almost 80% of homebuyers, according to recent surveys, place kitchens on top of their list when it comes to what makes a home appealing. If you budget and plan well, a kitchen remodel could prove to be a selling point if you put your home on the market.

If you need plumbing services for your kitchen remodeling in Huntington Beach, CA, call 714-588-2406 for the professionals at Top Shelf Plumbing. We pair quality services with quality materials for all your plumbing needs.

How Does Repiping Work?

PEX Piping On the Ceiling Of A Basement

How Long Does It Take to Repipe a House?

In order to truly gauge how long it takes to repipe a house, there are a number of considerations that must be undertaken. A standard repiping project is broken up into three phases. The first part of the project is the prep work. The actual project is the act of replacing the entirety of the water supply system in the home. Because this is the case, holes must be cut into the drywall and sometimes in other areas of the home. Cabinets and vanities must be carefully placed aside. Next, the sections of drywall will be removed and necessary coverage of surrounding furniture enacted. After the repiping takes place, permits must be obtained from the city. A city inspection will take place. A good plumbing company will take care of this, relieving the homeowner of this important responsibility. Overall, the process should only take about two and a half days.

Whole house repiping is an extraordinary task for any plumber. Yet, with the qualified plumbing contractors of a local variety, this project may be accomplished successfully and well.

How Much Does it Cost to Repipe Your House?

The cost to repipe the house water supply lines depends upon the size of the home, and also upon the area of the country. Homeowners should account for the basic labor cost as well as the supplies that will be needed for the job. It is recommended for homeowners to receive a number of different quotes for their whole house repiping. This is because the quote estimates will differ based upon large operations versus smaller ones. Verify the services, background, and material for each prospective job. After all, the money homeowners can save can be administered for other worthy household projects.

Stacked Copper Piping

What Does Repiping a House Entail?

For homeowners experiencing problems with leaking or broken pipes, the typical solution that is stipulated is to have only the faulty pipes replaced. When a whole-house repipe is in order, it is usually because not only are some pipes experiencing clogs, leaks or other signs of disrepair, but the pipes are much older. Houses built before 1970 usually have galvanized steel plumbing. Steel was the most popular choice for many decades in previous generations. Unfortunately, steel suffers from corrosion over time and lacks the durability of modern options such as copper, PEX, or CPVC piping. With a whole house repiping, homeowners will receive an entirely new system. While these jobs can be expensive and all-encompassing, once they are finished, these new pipelines should last a lifetime.

What is the Best Pipe to Use for Plumbing?

While there are many different types of pipes that are available for repiping your home, it is important for homeowners to consider their best and most cost-effective option. Plumbing pipes such as PEX, copper, and PVC are typically used depending upon their application. PEX piping is a flexible plastic piping that has become a popular selection in homes and businesses. Although PEX has a slightly higher initial cost, it also possesses the admirable appeal of minimal maintenance. Due to its seamless nature, PEX piping is preferable to copper piping. PEX piping is not recommended for outdoor use because UV rays can damage the exterior plastic layer.

Copper pipes are traditionally used for whole piping use due to their extensive duration and lovely reliability. Customization of copper piping is necessary, however, as copper piping needs to be soldered together by a plumbing expert.

Repiping for House

Although repiping for the home can be a minimally invasive operation, homeowners should still be prepared for a low-level construction site being initiated in your home. Once a local and trusted plumbing company has been contracted for the job, a solid work schedule will be discussed for the proposed repiping process. After a safe space to work has been inaugurated, a new pressurized potable water system will be put in place for the duration of the operation. The changeover is the longest step of the process. The old system is turned off, and all tie-ins from the water service line to the house will be unplugged and replaced. The new system will then be put in place. While considering your repiping options, it should be fairly easy to incorporate a bathroom remodeling project with your local, trusted plumber at the same time.

Alternatives to Repiping

With regard to pipe replacement, it is certainly true that there are alternatives. Homeowners should take care to carefully weigh their options with regard to not only their alternatives but with respect to how effective these alternatives will be. One of those alternatives is epoxy pipe restoration. This process entails that epoxy resin will be installed in each of the pipelines, providing a new liner. While this process is potentially far less expensive than a whole-house pipe solution, it may not resolve long-standing issues with the plumbing system.

Repiping with Pex

Many homeowners debate whether copper piping or PEX piping is the right pipe for their home. To be sure, PEX comes with a long list of advantages, and with them, some disadvantages. For instance, PEX will not corrode or rust and does not require fittings in long pipe runs, which reduces the number of potential leaks. The seamlessness of this operation also improves water pressure. PEX piping can be used with PVC and copper piping and is resistant to the scale buildup caused by hard water. On the other hand, PEX is not recyclable and is vulnerable to UV light, making it impossible to use outdoors. Due to the composition of PEX, it may allow the contamination of water if pesticides and other contaminants come into contact with it.

Repiping a House with Copper

It is true that copper has set the standard for plumbing for decades. It is a proven pipe solution that many plumbers have come to rely on. Among the many advantages that copper has come to offer, it is important to note that copper is a fully recyclable product that resists corrosion under normal circumstances. Copper is also bacteriostatic, which means that it resists and inhibits the growth of bacteria. While repiping a home in copper may be an excellent choice, other options are available for the discerning homeowner. Please consult the following list to determine your pipe options and comparisons.

  • ABS. ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. ABS pipe looks very similar to the PVS pipe, except that it is black and slightly softer. These pipes are good for underground exterior use.
  • PEX. PEX is also known as cross-linked polyethylene. PEX is only used to supply water and is rigid enough to withstand the pressures of water supply but flexible enough to weave throughout walls, ceilings, basements, and crawlspaces.
  • PVC. Moderately easy to install and requires low labor costs.

Lining vs Repiping

It is important to know that epoxy lining is a general term for a variety of different plastic resins used on hot and cold water supply pipes, sprinkler lines, HVAC piping, gas lines and certain drain, waste, and vent piping. There are some known limitations for the commercial application of epoxy resin, such as the long-term implications of hot-water exposure. It is also important for homeowners to be aware that copper can corrode aggressively from the exterior, making a lining solution ineffective at helping save the pipe. With this known, a whole house repipe may be the only solution for property owners.

Do you have a whole house repipe on your agenda? Our staff at Top Shelf Plumbing are ready to take your phone call at 714-588-2406. Receive an accurate estimate for your whole house repipe in Huntington Beach, CA!

What Constitutes a Plumbing Emergency?

Man in home under an umbrella and hold a pot to catch a leak with a silly expression of horror.

Troubleshooting Plumbing Problems

A plumbing emergency is a shock like a splash of cold water on the face. In some cases that just might be what was happening when you found out you were having a leak with one of your drain pipes. When a plumbing emergency happens, it can often lead an individual to feel a combination of emotions from sheer confusion, annoyance and a feeling of panic. Don’t go screaming to the hills, a plumbing emergency can often be handled with grace and ease as long as you know some essentials on how to stem the flow of water or alternately lessen damages until a qualified plumbing contractor can make their way over to conduct the necessary repairs. Here are some things you may need to know depending on various scenarios involving a plumbing emergency!

Types of Plumbing Emergencies

  • Broken/Burst Pipes
  • Blocked Sewer Line
  • Clogs & Overflowing
  • Drain or Pipe Leaks
  • Gas Leaks
  • Water Heater Leaks

An overflowing toilet is that dreaded event one hears much of but doesn’t expect to happen to them. Yet with most homes, the likelihood of this plumbing emergency happening can be higher than other scenarios! In order to avoid that icky gunk from invading your nice tiled floors, the first step that should be taken into mind can actually be a universal step for any unexpected water flow (like with leaks or what have you.) This step is to shut off the water valve. With toilets, this device is located at the side of the toilet at the bottom of the water line. With other situations of unexpected water flow like leaks, you’ll most likely have to turn the water shutoff valve next to the water meter in an area of your homes like the basement, backyard or garage. As of such, for a toilet, be sure to completely turn the knob counterclockwise until you see that the water flow has stopped. Usually, the cause of an overflowing toilet falls under the category of a clog or faulty float mechanism or sensor. With basic clogs you may be able to clear out the line with a plunger, other more severe cases will usually require the assistance of an auger to pull out the debris lodged further down the line. With a float mechanism, you can reset them or replace them for a newer device.

With leaking pipes it’s important to approach the situation by first finding out the location of where the leak is originating from (if at all possible to do so without risking or aggravating the situation.) With that being said, with drains or exposed pipes, this would simply involve taking a look at it. Yet with leaks behind walls or underground special tools would be needed to locate the leaks as can be seen with cameras or leak detection devices. With exposed pipes, simple fixes could be just tightening connective areas like joints with a wrench and voila your problem is solved. Another simple fix could be placing a rubber patch or waterproof tape over the leak. However, know that through time any pinholes or cracks will widen from mineral corrosion and it may be best to keep pipe replacements in mind.

Interior flooding of nautical themed living room with a paper boat, couch and life saver that's hung on the wall.

Increased Water Loss

Another instance of heavy water loss can be a situation of having a burst pipe. Burst pipes can release up to 100 gallons of water during the time span of 8 hours! This can wreck your water bill greatly in the month while also damaging your property’s integrity depending on the location of the pipe! As with other water loss situation, the first step to take is to shut off the water supply, this at least will stop the flow of water so you can salvage any furniture or appliances from further damages. A burst pipe often occurs through a pipe wearing out as is seen with heavy corrosion or even freeze-thaw situations As these damages can’t be reversed, this type of situation would call for a professional to engage in pipe replacements with new piping materials.

Water Appliances

If the source of your water behavior issues is a malfunctioning water heater than make sure to contact a professional as issues from water heater heaters can have a wide range of problems. For example, if the cause is a leak than more pervasive damages are usually known to be occurring inside the tank. Over time your water heater is more susceptible to leaks and other damages as their lifespan is typically limited to 10 years. If you’re seeing water discoloration, odd smelling water or noises coming from your heater then your water tank’s efficiency and water quality are at stake and replacements may be necessary. Issues with your sump pumps can be due to defective parts like blocks in the propeller due to debris or a faulty float switch. There can even be issues with the pump not getting enough electricity. Just like with water heaters, malfunctions with age can occur, with sump pumps if it’s been running for a longer period of time than it may be shutting down from thermal overloading. Ultimately, issues with appliances, units and other plumbing areas on your property should be professionally inspected so the best course of action can be taken without guesswork. Just contact your local plumbers and you’ll be able to get your problems cleared up in no time!

For Plumbing Emergency Services in Huntington Beach, CA call 714-588-2406 with Top Shelf Plumbing!