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Clogged Drains? Here Are A Few Tips To Avoid Them

Sunday, December, 31st, 2017 at 7:18 pm

About 20% of our phone calls are for clogged drains in San Diego. Most of these phone clogged drains could have been avoided. There is a big misconception that you can put whatever you want down your drain pipes and they will be ok. This is very untrue. Below we will go over our most common drain calls and what could have been done to avoid them

1. Clogged Toilet

Toilets now days don’t use as much water as they used to. Generally they use 1.28 Gallons Per Flush (GPF). Back in the old days they would use 3.5 GPF. Why is this bad? Because the less water that is being used to flush, the less water that can take the solids and toilet paper down the drain pipe. This is especially problematic in older homes with older drain pipes. So what can you do to avoid this? If you are going #2, flush the toilet several times while you go. This will ensure that you are getting enough water to go down the toilet and into the drain to carry the wastes away.

2. Clogged Sewer Line

Sometimes a clogged toilet will be the symptom of a deeper issue, a clogged sewer line. The sewer line is the main drain pipe that all the drains connect to in the house. If this pipe is backed up, then generally nothing in the house will drain. The most common cause that we see of clogged sewer lines are feminine products being flushed down the toilet. These products do not dissolve like toilet paper do and since there is not enough water with the new low flow toilets to carry them down the drain pipe, they will sit in the drain pipe, collect and cause a stoppage. Unfortunately it is best to just throw them in a trash can

Wipes are the next thing we see that clog up a sewer line. Even if the package says that they are flushable, they do not dissolve like toilet paper does and they will have the same effect that feminine products do. They will sit in the pipe because there is not enough water to take them down and this will eventually cause a buildup and a clog. Again, it is best to just use them and throw them in the trash

Clogged Sewer Line San Diego

The third most common problem that we see with clogged sewer lines is tree roots. This is especially common in older homes in San Diego. These older homes have older metal sewer pipes that have a tendency of leaking water. Since trees need water to grow, the tree roots will naturally go where water is. This will cause tree roots to invade the sewer line and sometimes completely collapse it. So how do you fix this? There are strong chemicals that you can poor down the drains, but they are dangerous to use and often only solve the problem for a short period of time. You can either have regular maintenance done to your sewer line to continually clear out the roots, or the other more expensive alternative would be to replace or line the sewer line.

3. Clogged Kitchen Drain

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot put anything down your garbage disposal. While the garbage disposal itself can grind up many things, it is the drain pipes that cannot handle anything. Specifically stringy things like carrot peels, celery and potato peelings. Egg shells are another thing you want to avoid putting down the drain. These tings will stick to the walls of the drain pipe and eventually cause a buildup. You also want to avoid putting grease down the drain. Grease is heavier than water so it will tend to just sit in the drain pipe as opposed to washing out. It’s better to put the excess grease in the trash can. So what can you put down the kitchen drain? We recommend as little as possible, but table scraps are fine. Put as much as you can into the trash can.

4. Clogged Bathtub Or Shower

The most common cause of this is excess hair down the drain. There are two things you can do here. The first being, put a strainer to collect the hair over the drain. You can get a cover like this at Home Depot or Ace Hardware. This will catch the hair before it goes down the drain, then you can clean it as you need to. The second thing you can do is when you are washing your hair and some hair comes out, stick it on the wall of the shower. Then when you are done with your shower take some toilet paper and grab the hair off the wall and put it into the trash can.

5. Clogged Sink Drain

Another common issue here is hair down the drain. Follow the same steps above for collecting hair. The second common cause for a clogged sink drain is shaving cream build up. Once you are done shaving in the sink, fill up the sink to the top with hot water and dump it. Do this twice. The hot water will help break down the shaving cream that sticks to the walls of the drain pipe and the head pressure from filling up the sink will help to blow out the excess.

If all these things fail, we are here if you need us.

Click here for a $50 off coupon toward drain cleaning services


Plumbing Prevention Checklist For Your Summer Vacation

Thursday, May, 25th, 2017 at 4:40 pm

We get calls all of the time from people who just got home from being on vacation, or from the neighbors of those people who are currently on vacation. The calls are usually for plumbing emergencies. Most of these situations can be prevented if the homeowner follows our plumbing emergency prevention vacation checklist.

Turn The Main Water Off To The House

This can be done at your main shut off valve near the house (usually in the garage or front yard) or at the water meter. Look for a lever type or round handle with a pipe connected to it usually just above ground level. If you do shut the water off at the water meter, it will usually shut off the water to the sprinkler system, so you may want to just shut the water off at the house

Set Thermostat On The Water Heater To The Pilot Setting

This will keep the flame active on the water heater but will not completely shut the system off. This will save energy by not having the water heater constantly heat up hot water while you are away. When you get back home turn  the dial from pilot to on. It will take about 45 minutes for the water to heat back up.

Turn Thermostat Down On Your AC / Furnace System

We recommend setting the temperature of your AC system to 70 degrees for most areas of the country. This is cool enough to keep the house from getting stuffy and killing any indoor plants. Anything above or below this is just a waste of energy.

Make Sure All The Lights And Appliances Are Turned Off.

This is more important if you live in a house with old aluminum electrical wiring. House fires can start from overuse of old electrical circuits. They tend to get too hot, and if they are close to a surface that is easily ignitable, the house could catch on fire.

Have A Close Friend Or Family Check In On Your House

If you are going to be gone for more than a week, have a friend or neighbor check on your house once or twice a week. This is especially important if you live in a condo or apartment building where the plumbing pipes are shared. We have seen all sorts of things happen from a neighboring unit flood and go into the other unit causing damage. Sewage back up’s from a top floor unit backing up in to a bottom floor unit, just to name a few

Making sure your house is vacation ready before you leave shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes of planning. It is a good idea to use our plumbing prevention checklist but make a check list of these things of your own and include any other items you think could be a problem while you are gone. Review the checklist before you leave and when you get back from vacation to make sure everything is back to normal. If you need help with your own plumbing prevention checklist, you can always call your San Diego plumbing company, Colepepper Plumbing and we would be happy to help – (619)838-1322!

How to Pick a Good Water Heater

After a tiring day at the office or taking care of errands and house chores, all you need to relax is a nice, soothing, warm shower. But what if you get a sudden splash of ice cold water in the middle of your relaxation time? We’ve all been there, getting a sudden awakening that ruins the entire bath time – it’s not pleasant at all. How about weak water pressure or funny smells, not to mention, leaks? In order to prevent issues like this and spare your nerves, all you need is a good water heater.

When it comes to water heaters, everyone has a different opinion. Some may say that the electric ones are the best, while others show the advantages of an old fashion water heater. Some choose tankless ones, other prefer solar water heaters. And when you take a trip to your local home improvement store, you leave more confused than ever – so many brands, so many different possibilities. This article will tell you how to pick a good water heater in San Diego.

If you’re having issues with your water heater, it’s time to replace it. Water heater repair in San Diego is affordable, but if your device is too old you might face issues like corrosion and leaking. The best thing to do is simply change it with a brand new one. Take it from your water heater experts in San Diego – when it comes to choosing the most suitable water heater for your San Diego residence, you should consider a few things, like fuel type, size, efficiency and overall costs.

Most homes in San Diego have a gas powered water heater – compared to other types, this one is more cost effective, taking up less energy than an electric one. They also heat up the water more quickly and need less recovery time. Moreover, you don’t risk anything if there’s a power outage and they are less expensive to repair. Gas water heaters in San Diego are amongst the popular preferences – most neighborhoods have access to gas so it’s a convenient choice.

Regarding electric water heaters in San Diego, they’re usually preferred by those who are concerned with water heaters safety – they’re less likely to cause a fire since there is no open flame. They are also cheaper, easier to install and much quieter, but overall they are less cost efficient if you calculate on a yearly basis. They have a longer lifetime but the parts cost more in case something breaks. However, they are a good choice if your house is not heated with gas.

The third possibility is going tankless – it’s the new trend for hot water in San Diego trend. They will run a little more as any other water heater, but they’re smaller in size and use a lot less energy, saving you a good amount of money over time. On the plus side, they don’t accumulate rust or mineral deposits like most water heaters, which makes is a convenient choice

We recommend using Bradford White water heaters if you are going to go the traditional tank type, and Noritz if you are going to go with a tankless option. Talk to one of our professional San Diego Plumbers about what will need to be done in order to upgrade to a tankless.

We had received a call last week about a slab leak at a home in Santee. If you are not familiar with a slab leak, it is plumbers lingo for a leaking water pipe under the concrete slab of your home. Most homes in San Diego are built on concrete slab as opposed to a crawlspace, and the water pipes are buried underneath. If a leak were to happen, you can either jackhammer up concrete around the leaking water line, or re-route the water line overhead in the ceiling. At this time you can either find a reputable San Diego Plumbing company, or attempt the repair yourself.

Whichever route you go, it is going to cost a lot of money and time. In this particular instance, the harsh minerals in the water had eaten a small pinhole leak in the hot water line. The hot water lines typically wear out quicker than the cold lines to due the increased friction that heat creates as the water moves through the pipe.

This particular customer had a slab leak in a different location before and we were told that he was ripped off by one of the big companies in San Diego. He said that he was overcharged for the work that was done, so this is why he attempted to make the repair himself.

The customer had done everything right so far. He shut the water to the house and drain all the water out of the system. He then pulled back the carpet from the concrete, masked off the walls with plastic to avoid dust from the jackhammer getting everywhere, and he rented a jackhammer from Home Depot. He located where the water was coming from in the hallway and started jackhammering up the concrete. Everything was going smoothly until he removed a piece of concrete, only to find that he had pierced a part of the copper water line with the jackhammer.

Since the type of copper that was used was soft copper, it was bent to make the turn in the wall. The customer was not able to make a new piece fit in because of the bend in the pipe as you can see in the picture. He searched out San Diego Plumbing company’s on the internet and came across. We were able to get out quickly and replace the pipe in a timely fashion. The customer was very happy and decided to patch the concrete himself.

There are a few things you as a homeowner can take away from this:

  1. Although the job may appear easy and straightforward, there are always hidden things that you can’t account for before the job starts
  2. There is no replacement for experience.
  3. If you are attempting a repair yourself and are unsuccessful have a San Diego Plumber picked out that you can trust. This will save time trying to find one last minute.


How To Pick A Good Kitchen Faucet

Do you live in or near the city San Diego, California? Do you happen to be in the market for a new, good quality kitchen faucet? If your answer to both of the above questions just happens to be “yes” then you should definitely take a few moments to read this article on how to pick a good kitchen faucet.

First of all, why are you looking to purchase a new kitchen faucet? This is primarily the first and foremost question you truly need to ask yourself before you even begin your search for the right kitchen faucet. Is your current faucet still working properly? If the kitchen faucet you are currently using is still in proper working condition, but you are looking to change and/or upgrade to a different and/or better style of faucet, you may be wondering whether or not it is a wise decision to try and have your current kitchen faucet repaired, as opposed to replaced.

How serious of a problem are you having with your current faucet? If the problem you are currently experiencing with your faucet is a minor one, and you feel that your current kitchen faucet is worth saving, you may want to consider hiring a San Diego plumbing contractor to do the job for you. However, if you happen to be experiencing more than one or two minor issues with your current kitchen faucet, it may ultimately be a wise decision to replace it, rather than hiring a San Diego plumbing service repair company to fix it.

Once you have made the decision to replace your kitchen faucet, it is now time for you to start shopping around for a new one. As with any purchase, the single most important part of shopping for a good kitchen faucet is the size of your personal spending budget. What kind of budget, if any, are you on? If you are on a considerably tight budget, your options will, of course, be more limited. Alternatively, if you are not at all concerned with the cost of the kitchen faucet you are looking to purchase, you will literally have a plethora of options when it comes to selecting the perfect one for you. You can go the Home Depot route, and have your favorite plumber install it, however most companies will now warranty the faucet if you purchase it your self. An alternative would be to have your plumbing contractor who is familiar with the styles in the San Diego area, supply one for you.

Since kitchen faucets are available in so many different makes and models and shapes and sizes, deciding which one is the best one for you can be a daunting and somewhat difficult chore. However, if you decide to hire the services of a professional San Diego plumbing contractor, this would make the process much easier and less time-consuming.

There are a vast number of professional plumbing services in San Diego that you can contact for a quote on the cost of installation for your kitchen faucet. Choosing which San Diego plumbing contractor to install your kitchen faucet should not be based solely on whichever San Diego plumbing service offers you the lowest quote.

Once you have made your installation decision, you are pretty much all set.

Consider picking a faucet that has a pullout spray and that swivels. This makes it very easy to wash dishes, especially deep pots. These faucets are also particularly good if you ado a lot of cooking . It makes it easy to washing meat and vegetables under the faucet, and there are different spray features for different activities.

Our favorite brand of faucet is Grohe or Kohler. These faucets are built more durable and typically last longer than other makes. Feel free to contact us to discuss replacing your faucet or if it would be more cost effective to just repair it.

How to Shut Off the Gas to Your House

It sometimes happens that you need to shut off the gas to your house. Whether it’s gas smell or strange pipe noises that indicate a gas leak, everyone should know how to shut off the gas supply. San Diego Plumbing Company, Colepepper Plumbing is here to tell you how to.

Most houses in San Diego are heated on gas, so gas leaks in San Diego are bound to happen. The same goes in case you’re leaving for a long trip, for example. If you’re planning to leave your house empty for quite a while it might be a good idea to shut off the water and gas before you go, so there wouldn’t be any issues or accidents while you’re gone. You should also know how to shut down the gas for different appliances that work on it. However, never attempt shutting off the gas unless it’s absolutely necessary.

If you want to shut down the gas source completely for the entire house, you need to know where the gas isolation valve is. The gas meter and gas service valve can be located either outside, on the side or front of the building or in a cabinet enclosure. If you can’t find it there, try the garage, under the stairs or beneath the kitchen sink for some older houses. Facing the meter, you should see a pipe from the ground to the meter. The shut off valve is usually parallel with the gas pipe – you need to turn it ¼ in either direction until it’s crosswise to the pipe.

For safety reasons, gas fueled appliances also have their own shut off valves. The kitchen stove, for example, is the most common when it comes to gas leaks. If you suspect any gas leaks, look behind the stove – you should be able to see the valve between the wall and stove if you pull it a bit to get access. Make sure you’re not moving the gas pipe when pulling the stove then simply turn it ¼, crosswise to the pipe. Afterwards, make sure you find an affordable plumbing service in San Diego and check the leak.

Gas leaks in San Diego can also come from water heaters – if you smell a leak, look behind the water heater. You should be able to quickly locate the valve and turn it ¼ to make it crosswise to the gas pipe. Make sure you don’t keep any flammable substances or combustibles near the water heater, just to prevent any damage in case of gas leaks. Once again, affordable plumbing in San Diego is easy to find – make sure you call a trustworthy plumber to check any possible leaks.

If you think you’re having gas leaks, don’t hesitate to call a San Diego plumbing company right away to check and fix any issues there might be. In fact, you could call a San Diego plumber just to make a yearly inspection of your gas and water installations, to prevent any accidents or damage. The sooner you have an affordable San Diego plumber check your pipes, the better!

Why Is The Water So Bad In San Diego. Ask A Plumber!

Monday, February, 23rd, 2015 at 4:58 am

San Diego is quite an arid region – everyone knows that. However, nobody can complain about the lack of water. We shower a few times a day, we drink, we cook, we water our lawns, we wash our clothes, our children and our pets – we use water for so many different activities that we don’t even think about it, we simply take it for granted. But have you ever wondered about the quality of the water we use each and every day? The results can vary if you have a Whole House Water Filtration System. San Diego is full of stories about skin disease, viruses and other issues that water may carry that you don’t know what to believe anymore.

Hard water in San Diego is a common issue – just like it is in 85% of American homes. When water travels through soil and rocks, it picks up bacteria and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and iron. Hard water is high on dissolved minerals. San Diego hard water is not necessarily a threat for health, but it does impact the way it reacts to soap and detergents, the way it feels on your skin and also the taste of tap water. San Diego hard water can dry and harden the skin and it also forms salts with soaps, which are hard to wash off.

This is one of the reasons for Whole House Water Filtration. San Diego has many homes without these systems. The city of San Diego has three water treatment plants that make use of different treatment processes to provide safe drinking water – Alvarado, Miramar and Otay. The San Diego water treatment “cleans” the water and sends it to the public. Although they receive treated water, many people in San Diego prefer purchasing water treatments for home use, in order to remove possible toxins and purify it as much as possible. Chlorine, for example, is inexpensive and keeps the entire water system cleaner, but then needs to be removed by proper water filters.

However, you may receive perfectly good water, but if your pipes and plumbing system have any issues, you can still risk possible damage caused by the water. After all, all the water you use has to go through the pipes. If you ever looked at pipes, you know they’re not the most sanitary places, and yet all the water we use goes through them. That is why San Diego plumbing service can be called for inspection of the installation – even if you don’t have any visible pipe issues, there might still be corrosion, for example, which can affect the water quality or water tank deposits, algae and bacteria.

In order to prevent any water quality loss, make sure to maintain your piping and plumbing well taken care of. A yearly inspection from a San Diego plumbing service is a good start to prevent any possible pipe damage. If you notice any weird smell, unusual water color or pigmentation, it’s a sign there might be an issue with the plumbing system. Don’t hesitate to make use of a San Diego plumbing company for any possible issue you might have with the water.

Luckily for most homeowners in San Diego, plumbing in these houses are built on concrete slab. This means that your house does not have a crawlspace that the plumbing can be in. Rather, all of the plumbing pipes are underground underneath the concrete slab. This is good/bad. If there is a leaking pipe, there is no crawlspace to flood. However, to fix the problem pipe you either have to jackhammer up the concrete to access the pipe, or re-route the pipe overhead.

With a crawlspace, all of the pipes are exposed, which means if you have a pipe leak, the water will go into the crawlspace. If it is just a small leak, the ground will absorb the water. If it is a big leak, or even a small leak that has gone unnoticed for a month or two, your crawlspace will quickly fill up with a foot or two of water. Most of the older homes in the San Diego area have crawlspaces.

In the above picture, at a older home in Point Loma, part of the copper water line had come apart and was leaking badly. The homeowner was elderly and could not hear the pipe leaking. She also does not get outside very much and did not notice the water poring out of the crawlspace door.

The owner figures that the leak had been going on for a month or two. She noticed that her water bill was around $1,000 per month but could not figure why so she called us out.

Pin Hole Leak Point LomaUsually in these cases, we work with a restoration company that will first extract the water and dry out the crawl space before we enter to make the repair. Due to complications with the customer’s insurance company, this was not going to be possible. Luckily our top plumber and San Diego Plumbing Specialist, Mitch Kenney, entered the crawl space and was able to make the repair while submerged in 1′ of water.

The elderly customer got her back water on and the restoration company came the next day to dry out the crawlspace.

Now, how could this have been prevented?

The customer at some point 20-30 years ago had the house re-piped with copper water lines. Her old galvanized water lines which were original to the house were corroding from the inside out, and she had poor water pressure. She had several quotes at the time and decided to go with the cheapest plumbing company.

The San Diego plumbing company did a terrible job of re-piping the house.

The problems I found:

  • The pipes were undersized, so there was inadequate flow thorough the faucets
  • The pipes were not supported as per code. The pipes were hanging and sagging everywhere
  • Where the pipes were strapped, they used a metal nail to wrap around the copper pipe. Since this is a dissimilar metal from copper, this created electrolysis which eventually ate a hole through the pipe which caused the leak
  • There was no permit pulled

The lesson to be learned here is, don’t go with the cheapest company. When something is cheap, quality is usually lacking. If you wan’t quality, you usually have to pay for it.

Often times the San Diego Water Department will refund your money if your high water bill is a first time occurrence. They will usually request a receipt showing that the leaking item has been fixed, then they will give you a full or partial refund of the excessive water bill.


Many of us do not know what to expect when to call a plumber. In some industries, where there is little to no competition, it can be common for companies to be rude and have very poor customer service skills. In San Diego, there are many plumbing companies to chose from, so to stand out from the crowd, San Diego plumbers must find ways to stand out from the competition.

Below is two lists. The first list describes what should be standard from any San Diego plumbing company you hire, whether it is a one man shop or a large 150 employee operation. The second list is what a great plumbing company would have in addition to the standards. We will call them ‘extras’.


1. They should be licensed. In the state of California a plumbing contractor is required to carry a C-36 plumbing license for jobs over $500

2. They should be bonded. California requires a minimum surety bond of $12,500. This bond protects the homeowner in case the contractor fails to fulfill his duties in the contract

3. General liability insurance. If you are a homeowner and have small repairs done, you should expect your local plumber to carry at least $500,000 in liability insurance. This will cover you incase the plumber accidentally catches your house on fire or causes a flood.

4. They should answer the phone immediately or call you back within 1 hour. Many small plumbing contractors cannot yet afford to hire office staff to answer the phone. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them. Small contractors can often give you better service and lower rates because they are trying to grow their business. 

5. A minimum of a 1 year warranty on any repair or replacement that the plumber performs. 

6. The plumber should have a minimum of 4 years experience in the field. The state will not give out a license unless the plumber candidate can prove at least 4 years journeyman level experience. Obviously the more experience the better. However a plumber with 4 years of experience generally has a great deal of knowledge. It San Diego, plumbers with 2 years of experience and less are often seen working in homes all over the city. Don’t hesitate to ask the call taker how many years of experience the technician they are sending out has. 

7. You should be provided a written contract. Whether the company is charging flat rate prices, or time and material, everything must be in writing. 

8. There should be a local phone number that you call. If the plumber has an out of state or a different cities area code, there is a very small chance he won’t be around to honor his warranty if something were to happen to your plumbing after you left. 

9. The plumber should have all of his tools to do the job. He should not be asking you for wrenches, drop cloths or paper towels.

10. He should show up when he says he does. It is common for plumbing companies to schedule in windows due to the uncertainty of work during the day. Most companies will schedule in 4 hour windows. This give us plenty of breathing room to get to the next call in case we get stuck on a job. If the plumber is running behind it should be expected that you receive a phone call letting you know he will be late, and if service has to be re-scheduled for another day, a discount or coupon should be offered for the inconvenience. 


1. The plumbers will wear shoe covers into your home. This accomplishes two things. One, it is a sign of respect. If the plumber is willing to put on shoe cores to protect your flooring, then he is willing to do perform excellent work on your plumbing system. Two, it keeps your floor clean. You never know the last job your plumber was on.

2. The plumbing company should offer extended warranties. You will have to pay extra, but if your plumbing has high use, then the extra money is worth it. For example, the average life of a water heater is 6-8 years old. We offer lifetime warranties. So this could pay for itself very quickly.

3. You should look for a few internet reviews. Although there are still a lot of great plumbing companies out there that are old school and refuse to be on the internet, the majority have jumped on board and can be found on the internet. Not having any reviews is not necessarily a bad thing, however if there are good reviews, you can be a little more certain that you are hiring a good company.

4. Do they have discounts? You can check their website for coupons and ask if they have discounts if you are a: Senior Citizen, Military, Police, Firefighter, Teacher etc. Common discounts for these people is 5% off the total bill.

5. What brands does the company put in? If they say Glacier Bay or Pegasus, chances are, you don’t want to hire them. These two brands are very poorly made and often installed by shady contractors. Stick with the brands that have been around the longest. For example we install: TOTO, Grohe, Kohler and Moen

6. What trade organizations does your plumber belong to? The local chamber of commerce, PHCC and the BBB are all good examples. This shows that your plumber is actively trying to better his business by being a part of these organizations.

7. Your plumber accepting credit cards is a plus. There are many small shops that don’t accept credit cards because they can’t afford to pay the fee. A sign of a great plumbing company is that they will accept checks, credit cards and cash

8. The technicians are neatly groomed and well dressed. Everybody feels more comfortable around somebody that takes pride in their appearance. Chances are if your plumber dresses good and smells good, he will be a great plumbing technician for you

9. The plumbing company will have their plumbers drug tested and back ground checked. If you are a stay at home mom, this should be a top priority. Plumbing is the number one trade learned in the prison system, and the trade attracts a lot of knuckleheads. Make sure you know who is coning into your home

10. You should receive a courtesy phone call after the plumber leaves to see how his visit was. If there was an issue during your visit, it can be hard to confront the plumber. It is usually easier to let somebody else know what the problem was and how you would like it resolved. It is not uncommon to receive a small discount or a coupon for your next service call. 

We have all been guilty of flushing something down the toilet that we shouldn’t have at one point or another. Myself included. I have flushed dental floss, paper towels, and food just to name a few things. Not because I didn’t know not to, but because I was being lazy.

Just the other day my wife flushed 2 baby wipes down the toilet with a  little bit of poop in it, and it clogged up the toilet. She called her favorite Emergency Plumber In San Diego : Me. Lucky for her, my fee was a good dinner, and a beer which she later provided. I found it incredible though that these 2 small baby wipes were enough to clog the toilet.

The one product that caught my eye, which inspired me to write this article was Dudewipes. I found out about it from my friend at Pipespies in Littleton, CO. Products like Dudewipes, baby wipes and feminine products all claim to be flushable products. However speaking from experience they are not. I have been on countless calls where I have had to come out and auger the toilet. The “flushable” product did not make it through the bend in the toilet, the power from the water gravity flush itself is not enough to push it up through the internal trap in the toilet and back down.

Even in the rare case that these “flushables” will make it through the toilet and into the drain pipe, they will usually get stuck in the main sewer line somewhere in your front yard. The flushable itself usually won’t be enough to clog the pipe, however it will get stuck in a low or rusted out section of the old sewer pipe, then toilet paper, tree roots and any other solids will start to build up on it, which will lead to a main sewer clog.

The only thing we recommend to put town the toilet is………………………


We do not recommend flushing large amounts of toilet paper at once either. This can still clog the toilet. We recommend to make multiple flushes with not much toilet paper to play it safe. Even with the advances in technology to the newer low flow toilets, they still are not powerful enough or have a trap way large enough to remove large balls of toilet paper or waste.

If you don’t feel like looking for an emergency plumbing service in San Diego to help you unclog your toilet, and you feel you want to tackle it yourself, we suggest you use a toilet auger such as this one, over a plunger. Plungers often times will create enough suction to pull loose the wax seal at the base of the toilet. This wax seal, which acts as a gasket from the toilet bowl to the drain or floor flange on the floor, must be water tight to avoid toilet water leaking on the floor.

Using a toilet auger can be a little bit of a trick if you have never use done. There is a rubber coating at the base of the auger. This prevents the steel cable from scratching the toilet bowl. You want to have the auger at about a 45 degree angle while auguring the toilet. This will best help to avoid scratching the bowl. You will need to turn the handle with one hand, while holding the middle of the auger with the other, all while pushing the auger down. It can take some time and finding the right angle to force the cable through the bends of the toilet.

You will want to push all of the cable through. This will push whatever solids that are in the toilet bowl into the drain, if the spring at the end of the cable doesn’t attach on to it. You can flush the toilet with the auger still in the bowl to test out and see if it was a success. If you do see the water in the bowl rising, then quickly shut off the water to the toilet. You can also manually close the flapper in the tank of the bowl. This will quit letting water into the bowl.

TOTO is our favorite brand of toilet. They have a 100% glazed internal tramway. This helps the solid to flow easily through the trap and into the drain. You can read more about our TOTO toilet review here.

Augering a toilet can be tricky. If you don’t feel like tackling it, we are always here. You can schedule service at 619-838-1322

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  • We don't leave a mess for you to clean up!
  • We treat our customers fairly, with respect and a smile.
  • We honor our warranties and provide quality products.
Our Mission:

We promise to create exceptional plumbing craftsmanship and to protect the health and wellness of the homeowners of San Diego

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