Plumbing Blog

Smart Water Shut Off Valve: Kelowna Homeowner’s Guide

Posted in Plumbing Repairs

Smart Water Shut Off 101

Are you nervous about leaving your water supply running while you’re away from home? Many property owners in Kelowna do choose to shut off their supply while they’re away so that they don’t have to worry about the consequences of an unexpected plumbing problem. A local plumbing company will probably tell you that it’s a good idea to do so. However, that’s not always the best choice—especially if a family member may need to use your water supply while you’re away, or you’re nervous about the potential for valve failures and pipe damage. Luckily, there’s another option available for homeowners in Kelowna: smart water shut off valves.

As experienced Kelowna plumbers, we know the last thing anybody wants to see is the damage caused by an unexpected—or unnoticed—water leak. Property owners that choose to install a smart water shut off valve in Kelowna won’t have to worry about that destructive flow of water causing damage while they’re away. With the recent water meter distributions in Kelowna, local homeowners are also more focused than ever on their own water usage. Preventing unnecessary waste caused by sudden emergencies is just another benefit that comes with installing a smart water valve in Kelowna.

Most Kelowna plumbing experts and property owners agree that preventing a plumbing repair problem is much better than having to fix the problem after it appears. Quick, effective responses are only possible if you spot the early warning signs of problems like a potential leak or burst pipe. So why not choose to install a piece of equipment that will keep a constant watch? It’s easy to get busy or distracted and fail to see serious warning signs. With a smart water shut off valve installed, your entire home plumbing system—and therefore your entire home—will be more safe and secure against sudden bursts, leaks, and other kinds of plumbing problems.

As your local plumbing experts, our team at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. is here to answer any questions you might have about installing or owning a smart water shut off valve. Kelowna property owners and residents can always rely on us for expert advice and guaranteed, lasting solutions to all their plumbing problems.

What is a Smart Water Shut Off Valve?

They are an advanced form of leak detection and protection system that are installed in your main water supply line to monitor your plumbing system and shut it off in the event of a plumbing emergency. In simpler terms, they’re an automatic water shut off device. You may also hear them referred to as an auto shut off valve or auto leak detection system.

They work by using a sensor that measures the pressure, temperature, and water flow rate inside your supply pipes. As they take measurements, these smart systems will create records that they use to establish a pattern of your routine usage. Any time they detect unusual activity—like the kind that could result in catastrophic water damage—they send you an alert and prepare to close, thereby shutting off your entire water supply and preventing serious damage.

A smart water valve relies on an electric motor that operates the mechanism and also connects to your property’s Wi-Fi. Most systems also have an app that you’ll need to install on your mobile device too. That app is where you can monitor your home’s pipes yourself and receive alerts about any unusual activity or emergencies.

Will it Work During a Power Outage?

Yes. Not all systems are the same, but many of them come with a built-in battery backup so that they will continue to monitor your supply line and activate their safety measures if a leak sensor detects an issue during a power outage. Although they do often use a nearby power outlet as their main source of electricity, that battery backup will activate in the case of a power outage. Be sure to carefully read the features of your chosen system and choose one with a battery backup for the maximum level of protection.

Is there a Monthly Fee?

That depends on the type of system that you choose to install. Some of them do require a monthly subscription, while others offer an optional subscription with additional features. Some of those features are relatively new—or still being developed—but they include special insights like an analysis of your average consumption measured for all your individual plumbing fixtures, which allows you to see exactly how you’re using water—and where.

Some subscriptions also include additional protection, such as a reimbursement of the deductible you pay to your insurance company in the event of water damage. It will cover a specific amount, provide extended warranty protection for the device and send customized letters to your insurance company to help you qualify for a reduction in insurance premiums—if that’s something your insurance provider offers.

Can You Install Your Own Smart Water Shut Off Valve in Kelowna?

As with most complicated types of plumbing repair and installation, it’s not recommended. It’s necessary to cut into your main supply line in order to install a smart water shut off valve. Kelowna plumbers are really the only people that should be engaged with that kind of work. Attempting to do it on your own could result in a more costly repair as a result of improper installation.

Another good reason to hire a professional plumber for installation in Kelowna is that you won’t have to worry about applying for proper permits. Plus, any insurance premium reduction you’re hoping to receive may require proof of professional installation completed by a licensed plumber.

How Else Can You Shut Off The Water Supply to Your Home?

For immediate emergency responses, your best option will always be a smart water shut off valve. Kelowna homeowners don’t need to rely on those systems though. It’s important to remember that this equipment is supplemental. It’s meant to add extra protection and provide deeper insight into the status of your existing plumbing system, but it doesn’t replace your home’s primary shut off valve or the services offered by your water provider.

Where Is the Main Shut Off Valve in Your Home?

If you’re not sure where the main water shut off valve is located in your property, now is a great time to find it. In an emergency, that primary water supply valve will shut off all the water to your entire home, just like a smart water shut off valve. The biggest difference is that it won’t work automatically—you must close it yourself.

In most Kelowna houses, the main shut off valve is located near the perimeter walls, on the opposite side of the wall from your water meter, or the area where your main supply line enters your home. That may be on ground level near the floor, in your basement at eye level or higher, or behind an access panel.

If you own a unit in an apartment building, condo, or townhouse that is part of a larger block of homes, you may not have access to the primary valve for your specific unit. In Kelowna properties like those, valves are sometimes located together in a single unit or a shared utility access area.

If you’re unable to locate your main valve but still need to shut off your water supply, you may also have the option of calling your utility provider to temporarily pause your service. However, finding your primary shut off valve and closing it yourself—or installing a smart water shut off valve—are much better options. Remember that in the case of a plumbing emergency, you should also call a professional plumber as soon as possible and follow any instructions that they provide.

Why Should You Install a Smart Water Shut Off Valve in Kelowna?

There are many benefits that come with choosing to install a system that allows you to remotely control and monitor your Kelowna property’s supply line, but the most important is peace of mind. A remote water shut off valve will ensure that you never have to worry about a plumbing disaster occurring while you’re away. Whether you’re away for the winter or just away for the day, your property will always be safe and secure against leaks and bursts when you have an automatic water shut off valve—even during a power failure.

Frozen Pipes:

Freezing is one of the greatest threats against pipes in Kelowna. Smart water shut off valves ensure that if your supply line freezes and bursts during a winter storm, you won’t have to worry about additional property damage caused by that frozen pipe.

As soon as the pressure reading indicates a change, it will close your valve, preventing  damage. In some cases, that emergency response could even prevent serious water damage or flooding in your home.

Usage Monitoring Features:

Don’t forget that some smart water shut off valves provide access to extra analytics on your daily usage patterns. If you’re trying to reduce your utility costs by using less, this is a great option for getting the information you need about where you may be overusing.

Those usage insights could also alert you to other unnoticed repair issues, especially if you’re able to view patterns for all the plumbing fixtures in your property. For example, if you see that a particular toilet seems to be using an unusual amount of water, you may need repairs to fix a constant leak. Likewise, if you notice that a particular faucet has high numbers, you may have a constant drip that needs to be fixed.

Auto Leak Detection:

Sometimes, pipes inside Kelowna properties will simply wear down. Their joints may weaken, older piping material may start to deteriorate, or some other source of damage may increase your pressure beyond safe levels. When that happens, slow leaks start to form around joints, fittings, and other vulnerable areas. If those leaks go undetected, you may find your utility bills steadily increasing with no obvious cause.

The water monitors inside these systems will prevent that from happening by providing instant alerts as soon as they detect a change in your flow rate or pressure levels. With a smart home product constantly monitoring your plumbing system and completing automatic leak detection checks, you’ll have more peace of mind against all kinds of hidden leaks and undetected issues.

Quick, Effective Emergency Responses:

Nothing will respond more quickly to an emergency in your supply line than a smart water shut off valve. Kelowna property owners with these systems can sleep easy knowing that their permanent home or vacation property is well protected against potential emergencies—no matter where they are at the time.

With instant alerts about any changes or emergencies, you’ll always know what’s going on with your water supply, and you’ll be able to respond more quickly should the need arise. You may already be relying on someone else to periodically keep an eye on your property while you’re away. Still, they may not spot a problem right away, which means that the necessary response from a professional plumber could be delayed—and that’s only if you have someone coming in to check on your property at all. With the right smart home technology, you’ll never have to worry about a problem getting out of control.

Having a smart water shut off valve in Kelowna means that you can sleep easy every night. If something does go wrong with your property’s pipes, you’ll know immediately and can call a professional plumber for emergency plumbing services. You won’t have to worry about shutting your main supply valve.

Are You Interested in Getting Professional Installation for a Smart Water Shut Off Valve in Kelowna?

Our experts at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. can answer all your questions about smart water shut off valves in Kelowna, and provide installation services to ensure that your property is better protected against leaks and pipe damage. Whether you’re curious about what kind of effect this equipment will have on your water pressure or you’re curious about which type we recommend for property owners in Kelowna, we’re happy to help! We can even answer your questions about other types of additional plumbing fixtures or equipment, such as a backflow device or water softener.

911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. always provides guaranteed, lasting solutions, and our honest, skilled technicians always provide courteous customer service. Your comfort and satisfaction are our top priorities. Whether you want an appointment for emergency burst pipe repair or installation service for a smart water shut off valve in Kelowna, you can rely on our experienced, local, trustworthy plumbers.

Call 250-801-0911 to schedule an appointment with our team or learn more. We proudly serve Kelowna, West Kelowna and nearby areas like Lake country.

How to Tell If You Have a Cracked Pipe in Kelowna, BC

Posted in Damaged Pipes, Plumbing Repairs

Common Signs That You Have a Cracked Pipe in Kelowna

Cracked Pipe Kelowna BC

Is there something wrong with the plumbing system in your Kelowna home or commercial building? If you suspect a cracked pipe, you need professional help from a local plumbing company immediately. Whether it is your water lines or your sewer lines, a crack in your plumbing pipes can cause extensive damage in a very short amount of time.

You may think you know exactly what a cracked pipe looks like—water spraying everywhere and a flooded floor. However, the symptoms of a water leak caused by a cracked pipe can actually be a lot less obvious and more difficult to spot. If you know the signs of a cracked pipe, you can catch it early on and call a Kelowna plumber for pipe leak repairs before it spirals into a huge headache that will require stressful and costly water damage mitigation.

The plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. have found and repaired numerous hidden leaks in both water and sewer lines in Kelowna and nearby areas such as West Kelowna and Peachland. We have the skill and experience to repair or replace your cracked pipe with efficient, long-lasting repairs so you can get back your peace of mind.

Cracked Pipe in Kelowna: Water Line Symptoms

A busted water pipe is a serious problem that can cost you a lot of money on your water bill, and even worse, it can contaminate your clean water supply. Everyone needs access to ample clean water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Therefore, contaminated water supply pipes are more than just an inconvenience, they can cause a serious hazard that jeopardizes the health of you and your family. Here are some of the key signs that indicate you are dealing with a cracked pipe somewhere in your Kelowna water line.

High Charges on Your Water Bill

Does your bill seem a lot higher than it was last month or a few months ago, even though you are using around the same amount of water as before? This is a big red flag that indicates there may be a leaky pipe in your supply lines. Instead of throwing money down the drain, your pipes are letting it seep away into the soil—or worse, somewhere inside your house.

One way to confirm this is by checking your water meter. Turn off all plumbing-related appliances and fixtures right before you go to bed, and note the position of the indicator on your meter. In the morning, before flushing the toilet or using any other water, check the meter again. If the indicator is moving or has moved position overnight, there is a strong possibility of a cracked pipe.

Discoloured Water

Your water should, of course, be coming out of your pipes completely clear. It may look cloudy at first from the pressure of your faucet, but it should quickly settle. If it has a brown or yellowish tinge, or you can see particles of rust or dirt in it, something is not right. It could be a cracked pipe, or it could be corrosion on the inside of the line. Either way, it needs plumbing repairs or replacement pipe service from a plumber who deals with cracked pipes in Kelowna.

Fluctuating Water Pressure

When the water pressure coming out of your fixtures doesn’t seem as strong as it used to be, or the pressure fluctuates randomly, it isn’t necessarily the fault of Kelowna’s water supply. It may be an indication that there is a cracked pipe causing pressure changes, which is really rough on your pipe fittings and can cause a lot of undue wear and tear, not to mention leaks.

Puddles Under Sinks

If you find a big puddle of water under or near your sink, the obvious conclusion is that there is a leak coming from the visible pipes or the fixture itself. If you do see a visible leak on an exposed pipe, put a bucket underneath it and call a professional plumber. Stopping up the leak with some duct tape or even a towel wrapped around the pipe won’t last long, but it is better than nothing until your plumber arrives. However, if you have inspected the accessible pipes thoroughly and can’t figure out where the water is coming from, take a close look at the wall near the pipe cover plates. It is possible that water is seeping through the wall and making it seem like it is coming from the fixture.

Dripping or Running Water Sounds

Most people find the sound of a dripping faucet irritating—but it is nowhere near as bad as hearing the sound of dripping or running water coming from behind your walls. This does not always mean you have a cracked pipe because there are some situations where dripping or running water may be audible while it is still contained inside an intact pipe. But if the sound just started recently, it should definitely be checked out by a licensed plumber to rule out the possibility of a cracked pipe or some other issue.

Moisture Damage on Walls or Ceiling

Signs of moisture damage on your walls or ceiling, such as brown stains, softened drywall, bubbling drywall tape, or peeling, flaking paint, indicate a severe problem that should be taken seriously. It is likely happening because of a cracked pipe, though it could also be rainwater seeping in from a damaged roof or siding. A cracked pipe inside your walls can cause gradual damage and encourage the growth of wood rot, which softens timber and causes structural instability. If you can see visible signs of moisture damage on a wall, there is probably mould and mildew lurking behind it as well.

Cracked Pipe in Kelowna: Sewer Line Symptoms

The signs of a broken sewer pipe are different from the symptoms of a busted pipe on the water line, and the resulting sewer line damage affects your property in different ways. If you get the news that you need sewage pipe repair or replacement, you may be dreading the thought of having a huge trench dug across your lawn to access the pipes, but don’t panic! 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. uses trenchless sewer line repair and replacement techniques that, as the name suggests, eliminate the hassle and damage of digging a trench to fix cracked pipes in Kelowna.

Slow-Moving Drains

One of the most common household issues is clogged drains, which you can tell mainly by slow drainage, whether it is a sink, shower, or bathtub drain. It’s obnoxious and frustrating, but it isn’t a sign of a cracked pipe—right? It’s true that water taking forever to drain out of fixtures is sometimes just a run-of-the-mill clog. But, it could indicate a cracked pipe in Kelowna, too, especially in combination with other signs that there is trouble coming down the pipe. Even if it is just a clog, it is making your kitchen or bathroom experience a lot less pleasant and needs to be dealt with.

Frequent, Stubborn Clogs

You plunge until your arms ache, pour entire bottles of harsh chemical drain cleaners down the drain, and even try a little prayer—but that nasty clog just won’t budge. Or, you think you’ve got it plunged away, only to have the fixture clog right up again the next time you use it. This aggravating problem could be related to a cracked pipe in Kelowna, and no amount of plunging is going to fix it. Frequent or incredibly stubborn clogs are often caused by tree root intrusion, and they’re best eliminated with an appointment for a professional drain cleaning service in Kelowna. It’s the best preventative maintenance for any type of pipe clog and minimizes any risks of leaks. We recommend that you check the pipe joints for any leaks; chances are the fittings and connectors are loose or damaged.

Foul Odours

If there is an unpleasant sewage stench wafting up out of your drains, or you smell sewage in your basement or yard, it’s not just gross; it is a big warning sign that you have a serious problem with your sewage lines. Bad smells are often one of the earliest symptoms of a problem, so it is a good idea to get it checked out as soon as possible before the issue (and the smell) gets worse.

Sewage Backups

If you see visible sewage backing up into low-lying fixtures or drains such as toilets, showers, bathtubs, and floor drains, or actually spilling out of fixtures onto the floor, well… it will come as no surprise to you that it isn’t a good thing. Sewer backups are disgusting and unsanitary and pose a serious health hazard. Your local Kelowna plumber will know what to do to get your plumbing system back in safe working order.

Cracked Foundation

It is fairly normal for concrete to suffer cracks over time from normal wear and tear, but if you notice new cracks in your concrete foundation or exterior basement wall, especially if they are concentrated along one wall or in one specific area, it could be a sign of a hidden leak. When a cracked pipe leaks underneath a concrete foundation slab, it erodes the soil that is supporting the concrete, and the building begins to slowly sink, which causes stress cracks on the concrete. While it can be difficult to detect a leak that is buried under a concrete slab, the expert plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. have specialized leak detection tools such as infrared cameras and acoustic listening devices that help us pinpoint the location of any cracked pipe in Kelowna.

Puddles or Lush Spots on Lawn

If you stroll across your lawn only to discover a huge, soggy wet patch in the grass, or you notice that the grass on one area of your lawn is suddenly a lot more green and lush than the rest of the yard, you should be suspicious. Unusual puddles and sudden lush spots are both signs that there is a cracked pipe buried under the yard that is leaking sewage—or, as your grass sees it, fertilizer. Aside from being unsanitary and probably not smelling too great, this can cause environmental destruction, sinkholes, and even structural stability issues with your foundation.

Rodent and Insect Infestations

Are rodents and insects invading your home? While they may not be getting in through a cracked pipe, it is certainly a possibility. Rats can squeeze into surprisingly tiny crevices and get into your house through a damaged sewer line, and insects can be attracted to a cracked pipe by the smell of sewage, which provides a breeding environment for them, along with easy access to your house. Once one pest finds a way in, dozens of their little friends will soon follow.

What Caused the Cracked Pipe in My Kelowna Plumbing System?

While we can’t say what caused your particular cracked pipe situation without investigating in person, it may be the result of one of these common causes:

  • Tree Root Intrusion: Even if you don’t have any trees in your yard, far-reaching roots from your neighbour’s trees can wrap themselves around your underground pipes and constrict as they grow, eventually creating enough pressure to crack the pipe. Once the roots touch moisture inside the pipe, they begin to grow rapidly and partially or completely block the flow of sewage and wastewater.
  • Frozen Pipes: When cold weather hits and your pipes aren’t adequately insulated, the water inside them freezes and expands, and the pipe bursts under the pressure of the expanding ice.
  • Not Maintained Properly: Clogs can build up slowly over time inside your pipe, and if they aren’t removed with regular drain cleaning services, they can block the flow inside and expand to the points where they actually cause a cracked pipe.
  • Old Age: While sewer lines are meant to last a long time, they don’t last forever. Over the decades, normal wear and tear takes its toll, and the pipe can eventually crack.

Worried About a Possible Cracked Pipe in Kelowna? Call Your Local Plumber at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd!

Have you noticed one or several of the above signs of a cracked pipe around your Kelowna property? Don’t let the problem fester and get worse, costing you time, stress, and money! Call the experienced plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. to get your broken pipes back in perfect working order quickly and efficiently.

Give us a call today at 250-801-0911 to schedule a service appointment. Need emergency service after hours or on the weekend? No problem! We are available 24/7 for emergency repair services.

Step-By-Step Guide to Unclog Drain Blockages in Kelowna, BC

Posted in Clogged Drains

Got a Clogged Bathtub or Kitchen Sink Drain in Kelowna? We Can Help!

Are you standing ankle-deep in dirty water by the time you finish your shower? Or waiting for what seems like forever for water to move through slow-flowing drains in your kitchen or bathroom sinks? Clogged drains affect everyone sooner or later—but that doesn’t make them any less of an aggravating, unsanitary nuisance. Luckily, your local Kelowna plumber is always here to help!

If you’re trying to figure out how to unclog drain jams in your shower, sink, or bathtub, you’ve come to the right place! This expert advice from your local plumbing company will help you get the water flowing freely again so you can use your plumbing system without worry.

When you need help with a clogged drain or a full range of other frustrating plumbing problems, call on your friendly neighbourhood plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. Whether you’re in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, West Bank, or another nearby area, we’re ready to tackle your plumbing system and get the water flowing smoothly again. We are honoured to be Kelowna’s first choice 24/7 plumbing company; count on us for any plumbing emergency, no matter if it occurs day or night!

What Are the Telltale Signs of a Clogged Drain in Kelowna?

You may think you know exactly what a drain clog looks like in your Kelowna home—the water doesn’t go down the drain—but the need to unclog drain blockage is not always that blatantly obvious. Whether you deal with a clogged bathtub drain or a clogged shower drain, you will notice specific warning signs that call for immediate attention.

Here are a few symptoms that indicate you need to unclog your drain fixture in Kelowna:

  • Water takes a long time to drain out of fixtures
  • Toilet gurgles or bubbles when you use the sink
  • Water is backing up into fixtures
  • Puddles of water forming under or near fixtures
  • Strange noises from drains, such as gurgling and sucking
  • Leaky pipes under the sinks or in the utility room
  • Foul odours from drains that smell like sewage, sulphur, or rotting food

What Commonly Causes Drain Clogs in Kelowna?

We won’t know for sure what caused your clogged drain until we’re able to inspect it in person. But the most likely culprit in Kelowna is foreign objects or substances that weren’t supposed to be washed down the drain and made their way into your pipes. Technically, there are only three things that should be going down your drain: human waste, water, and toilet paper. Anything else is a stubborn clog waiting to happen.


Fat, oil, and grease are among the worst things that you could pour down your drain. They’re so bad they have their own acronym in the plumbing industry: FOG. While FOG substances may be in liquid form when you pour them into the sink, they quickly solidify and coat the inside of your pipe. It becomes a thick, sticky layer that catches and holds anything that follows it down, creating a nasty mess that could totally block off water flow.

Harmful Materials

The main villain in Kelowna’s bathroom sinks, showers, and bathtub drains is a build-up of hair and soap scum, while kitchen sink drains are commonly plagued by food particles that shouldn’t have been washed down, along with all that fat, oil, and grease we just mentioned.

You shouldn’t really be letting any food go down your drain, although you might get away with some food scraps if you have an in-sink garbage disposal. Always avoid substances that will be ground into a sand-like texture, such as coffee grounds and eggshells. Even your garbage disposal can’t deal with stuff like that effectively. The need to unclog drain fixtures in your Kelowna home is already bad enough without adding a jammed garbage disposal to the problem.

Step-By-Step Guide to Unclog Drain Blockages in Kelowna

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get that drain unclogged? Here’s a five-step guide from the Kelowna plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. to walk you through the process.

Step 1: Prepare the Area (and Yourself)

The very first thing you should do is take some basic precautions that keep the mess to a minimum because—we’re going to level with you here—there could be some splashing of nasty substances that occurs while you unclog drain jams.

Putting down some old newspapers or rags around the fixture you’re working on should make cleaning up a lot faster and easier. We also recommend changing into old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and putting on some rubber gloves that cover your forearms (trust us on this one).

Step 2: Try to Pull the Clog Out

Before you start plunging away, check to see if it’s possible to simply unclog drain jams by pulling out the debris with your hand. If an item has fallen down the drain or there’s a big clump of hair in there, it might be pretty close to the surface.

You’ll need to remove the drain cover if there is one. Then, with your rubber gloves on, reach into the drain opening and feel around for anything that may be blocking water flow, like a chunk of soap or a clump of hair. If you don’t find anything, it is worth a try. If you pull something out and the water begins to drain properly, congratulations, you’ve done it! That was easy.

Step 3: Use a Plunger

Now it’s time to try a classic method used by many plumbers and homeowners to unclog drain blockages: the plunger. But first, you need to make sure you’re using the correct plunger. Many people aren’t even aware that there are different plungers for different purposes. Using the wrong type might be totally futile.

For flat (or flattish) drains in sinks, bathtubs, and showers, you need a cup-shaped plunger. The kind that forms a seal around drain holes. Bell or ball-shaped plungers with a flange at the bottom and accordion plungers are both for toilets only.

If you’re plunging one side of a double sink or a fixture with an overflow drain, plug up the other side’s drain or the overflow with a rag. There may already be standing water in your clogged fixture as a result of the blockage. But if there’s not, you should also pour water into the fixture until it’s an inch or two deep.

Then, place your cup-shaped plunger head over the hole. Push down and pull up steadily to create a vacuum that pulls the clog up out of the pipe. Start slowly to make sure it’s suctioned on, and then just plunge… and plunge… and plunge some more.

Don’t get frustrated if nothing happens at first. It could take quite a bit of elbow grease, but it’s often possible to unclog drains in Kelowna simply with consistent plunging. If you hear a squelching sound and the standing water begins to drain, that means your clog is gone! Success!

Step 4: Use a Drain Snake

No luck with the plunger? There’s one more thing you could try to unclog drain backups—it’s time to go fishing. Not the fun kind of fishing; this is the kind where you retrieve a big, nasty clump of mystery clog out of your pipe.

You may not have an actual plumbing snake (which is also called an auger) just lying around, but that’s okay. You can buy a simple, inexpensive plumbing auger at most Kelowna hardware stores. Or you could just make your own out of a regular wire coat hanger by straightening it out and bending one end into a long, narrow hook.

Lower your plumbing snake into the drain until you feel resistance from the blockage, then push the hook through the clog until you don’t feel resistance anymore. Then, slowly pull the snake up and out. Hopefully, the blockage will be dangling from the hook, and your pipe will be free and clear. To confirm that you won’t have to unclog drain backups again soon, run some hot water in the fixture to wash away any remnants and ensure your system is back in good working order.

Step 5: Call Your Kelowna Plumbers

If you’ve tried everything we listed above and that difficult clog refuses to budge (or if you’ve tried none of the above and don’t intend to), it’s time to call your local Kelowna plumbers at 911 Plumbing Drainage Heating Ltd. We have the equipment, experience, and know-how to help unclog drain blockages of all types.

Dealing with a Kelowna plumbing emergency after hours or on a holiday? No problem! We provide 24/7 emergency service, so you never have to struggle with a clogged drain or any other plumbing issue on your own.

Keep in mind that when you’re not able to unclog drain pipes—or you get one unclogged, and then the same thing happens again right away—the problem may be bigger than just a standard blockage. For example, it could be something like tree root intrusion in your sewer line.

Even trees that are relatively far away have far-reaching roots that can wrap themselves around buried pipes and constrict, squeezing the pipe until it cracks. Once the roots get inside and touch water, they begin to grow rapidly and partially. Once they completely restrict the flow of water, there’s no amount of plunging that is going to fix that issue.

911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. has advanced technology, such as video camera inspection equipment, that allows us to pinpoint the problem and come up with a repair solution that gets your plumbing system back in perfect working order.

How NOT to Unclog a Drain in Kelowna

If you’ve been searching for “unclog drain” online because your bathtub won’t drain, you’ve probably come across a few homemade solutions that recommend pouring substances you already have in your kitchen down the drain, such as:

  • Baking soda and a cup of white vinegar
  • Cup of dish detergent
  • Cola
  • Pot of boiling water
  • Harsh chemical drain cleaner

It’s true that baking soda and vinegar can create an explosive chemical reaction in a closed environment like a capped bottle, but your pipe is not closed. Those DIY drain cleaning mixtures normally just fizzle harmlessly for a minute while the gas escapes—and your drain will still be clogged afterward. The truth is, none of these substances are going to work, as well as plunging and snaking. In all likelihood, they won’t have any effect at all. By using them, you’ll likely just waste your own time—and add more material to the clog.

Harsh chemical drain cleaners can be more effective when used to unclog drains than dish detergent or cola. But if you use them too frequently, their corrosive components can seriously damage your pipes. This means they’ll need to be replaced sooner rather than later. Those chemicals can also seep into Kelowna’s groundwater and make their way into our rivers and lakes, which is also terrible for the local environment.

Carrying a pot of boiling water from your kitchen to your bathroom is just plain dangerous (not to mention largely ineffective). Don’t scald yourself trying to unclog a drain and risk melting your pipes; just call 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. to take care of it for you!

How Do You Avoid Having to Unclog Drain Obstacles in the Future?

The best way to avoid any issues with your pipes, such as nasty drain clogs, is regular drain cleaning by a professional plumber. We have advanced tools such as hydro jetting that will leave your pipes sparkling clean and help to prevent clog-causing substances from building up in the future. Proper plumbing maintenance will also extend the lifespan of your pipes. You can prevent the need for a costly replacement, and it’ll remove the stress of having to unclog drains.

That being said, there are a few steps anybody in Kelowna can take that will help prevent having to unclog drain jams.

  • Say No to FOG: Never pour fat, oil, or grease down your drain! It should be disposed of in the trash in a closed container or Ziploc bag to prevent dripping.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Use a hair catcher in your shower and bathtub to prevent long strands of hair from washing down the drain and forming a big, knotted clump in your pipe.
  • Take the Strain: Cover kitchen sink drains with a sink strainer so scraps of food and other debris can’t fall down the drain.

Trying to Unclog a Drain in Kelowna? Call Your Local Plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd Today!

Whether you’re in Kelowna or a nearby area such as West Kelowna, Lake Country, or West Bank, you can rely on the Kelowna plumbers at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. for expert service. Our experienced team will get your plumbing system back in great condition quickly and efficiently.

Give us a call today at 250-801-0911—or contact us online—to schedule an appointment and find out why we’re Kelowna’s top choice for reliable plumbing services!

Looking for “Plumbers Near Me” in Kelowna? Here’s What to Do

Posted in Clogged Drains, Damaged Pipes, Plumbing Repairs

Help! How Do I Find the Best Plumbers Near Me in Kelowna?

Are you tired of searching “plumbers near me” and sifting through page after page of search results that aren’t telling you what you really need to know? If you’re experiencing trouble with your Kelowna plumbing system, you’ve got enough to deal with already — you don’t need the added hassle and risk of hiring a plumber who isn’t capable or honest.

But how do you find out which Kelowna plumbers will not only avert disaster by restoring your plumbing system to fully functioning condition, but also make you feel at ease by treating you and your property with respect? That can be a challenge, but it’s worth it to build a lasting service relationship with a plumber you like and trust, so you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll get the help you need when something goes wrong with your pipes or plumbing fixtures.

This guide outlines five steps you can take that will make it a lot easier to find the “plumbers near me” who will be able to get your water flowing again with long-lasting repair solutions while always communicating honestly and clearly with you so you know what to expect at every part of the process.

Want to skip straight to the part where you have a friendly, capable plumber on your Kelowna doorstep as soon as possible? No problem — at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. we pride ourselves on fast response times from experienced professional plumbers. Give us a call right now at (250) 801-0911, any time of the day or night, to find out more about what we can do for you.

5 Steps to Find the Right Plumbers Near Me

The first thing you need to do is narrow down your search to a short list of possible candidates. These five steps will help you find Kelowna plumbers and plumbing companies who may fit the bill, and trim down your list to a manageable size before you start calling.

1. Ask for Referrals

Start by turning to the people you trust to offer honest, unbiased opinions and referrals: your friends, family, and neighbours in the Kelowna area. Every homeowner needs plumbing services at some point, so there is a good chance they will be able to tell you about their experiences with local plumbers and point you in the direction to someone who will be a good fit to get your problem resolved. You may even be able to view the results of plumbing work in their homes and judge for yourself if it is up to your standards. Questions you can ask to get a clear picture of their experiences include:

  • Did they arrive on time for your appointment?
  • Did they behave professionally and make you feel comfortable?
  • Did they take the time to answer your questions and clearly explain their recommendations?
  • Were you satisfied with the results of the plumbing work?
  • Did they go above and beyond in any way?
  • Were the scheduling and billing processes handled smoothly?
  • Is there anything you wish they’d done differently? If so, did you address it with them? How did they respond?

2. Check Online Reviews

Once you’ve spoken with friends and family in Kelowna to get their opinions on the best local plumbing company, it’s a good idea to head to the computer and check out some online reviews from local people in the Kelowna region. Detailed reviews, whether they are negative or positive, can be extremely helpful in the search process — and it’s even better if they provide photos to help prove their claims.

Speaking of proving their claims, how can you tell if a review is truthful? Some negative reviews are planted by rivals to make a company look bad, or are written by the type of person who’s never satisfied. On the other hand, some dishonest businesses will write their own positive reviews in an effort to make themselves look better. The best way to figure out which reviews are genuine and honest is by consensus. If it’s mostly terrible reviews with a few suspiciously great ones in the mix, that’s a warning sign to stay away. But, if you see many 5-star reviews with a couple bad apples thrown in, it is a positive indication that you’ll be pleased with the service as well.

3. Confirm They are Licensed

Before you go any further, you should ensure that you’re considering a licensed plumber. When you hire licensed professionals, you know they have the certification and ongoing training to provide safe, capable service that meets all building code requirements. It’s also an indication that they’ll be aware of technological advances in plumbing and safety, so they can use the current methods and techniques on your system and ensure their approach to plumbing repair services is up to date.

4. Make Sure They Offer the Plumbing Service You Need

From a leaky pipe or a sewer backup to a running toilet or nasty drain clogs, there’s a lot that can go wrong with your plumbing system — and not every Kelowna plumber is equipped to deal with all the potential issues that can come down the pipe. You can pretty much count on any plumber to provide the basics such as faucet installation or drain cleaning services, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be willing and able to offer more advanced or specialized services such as sump pump replacement or hot water heater installations.

Check for a list of plumbing services on their website to confirm that they offer the type of professional service you are looking for. If you’re in need of an unusual or highly specialized service, it may not be listed on their site, and in that case it’s best to call and confirm. If they offer a comprehensive list of options, they’re more likely to be able to handle your project as well. 

5. Find Out If You Are in the Service Area

Finally, it’s a good idea to check and make sure you are within the service area for any plumbing service provider you are thinking of hiring. If you’re outside their service area, they may not be able to help you or may charge extra to compensate for the additional travel time. Checking where the company is located in relation to your home will also give you a sense of how long it will take them to reach you, which can be good to know in an emergency plumbing situation. 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. proudly serves Kelowna and surrounding areas such as West Kelowna, Lake Country, West Bank, and Peachland.

What to Ask Before Hiring Plumbers Near Me

Now that you’ve narrowed down your list to a couple of possibilities, you’re nearing the end of your search for Kelowna’s best plumbing experts. It’s time to pick up the phone and ask your potential plumbers near me some questions that will help you determine if they are the right fit.

Any company who is proud of the work they do should be pleased to answer, so don’t hesitate to ask! The way they answer these questions will give you a good sense of how they’ll handle service calls. Grab a pen and jot down some notes so you can compare.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

If a company has only been in business a short time, that’s not necessarily a bad thing — after all, they can still hire experienced, competent employees. But if they’ve only been operating for a few short weeks or months, it’s a potential red flag that could indicate they’re a scam looking to take your money without completing the work. Also, a business that has been operating for longer will be more practised with making sure processes such as scheduling, billing, and customer service go smoothly. That doesn’t necessarily impact the plumbing work, but will make the experience a lot better for you.

How Much Experience Do You Have With This Plumbing Issue?

Plumbing is skilled work, so it stands to reason that the more practice they’ve had, the better. Not all plumbing tasks are created equal, so it can be helpful to find out if they have previous experience dealing with the particular problem that you need addressed.

How Long Do You Think This Will Take?

You want to get an idea of how long the plumbing service is going to take so you can plan accordingly by taking time off work or making provisions for the water being turned off — but keep in mind that it is just a rough estimate. A qualified plumber can tell you how long the work would generally take, but they won’t know all the details of your particular situation until they investigate and assess the problem.

Do You Offer Free Estimates?

Some plumbing services will charge you just for offering a basic cost estimate, yet in our books, that’s needed information that helps you choose the plumbing professional who is right for you. They should be willing to offer a free estimate with every call. Again, keep in mind that an estimate is just that. Once they’ve had the opportunity to assess your plumbing system in person, they should be able to offer a quote in writing for a reasonable price.

What is Your Payment Structure?

Find out if they accept the type of payment you prefer to use, whether that’s credit, debit, cash, e-transfer, or another method. Some companies don’t accept cash, or avoid credit card transactions due to the processing fees. Also, ask how the payment will work; do you need to pay a deposit or hand over the entire fee upfront? Or will you be billed after the service is provided? Knowing what to expect in advance will help the payment and billing processes go more smoothly.

Do You Offer Any Discounts?

No one wants to pay more than they have to for home services, and that includes plumbing. The company you’re speaking with may or may not offer discounts, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. On top of the affordable rates charged at 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd, we also offer coupons that you can take advantage of for extra savings.

Who is Responsible for Supplying Parts?

Most plumbing companies will supply parts needed for repairs. Since they’re the experts they are going to have the best idea of what’s needed, so it makes sense. However, there are some situations where you may need to supply or at least select parts — if you’re having a new toilet or faucets installed, for example, you will need to choose the style. Either way, it’s a good idea to understand the expectations of who will be supplying what.

Will You Clean Up After Yourself?

Plumbing work is messy, and someone has to clean up after the work is done. Ideally, that person will not be you. When you hire 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. you can count on our expert technicians to clean up the mess from their work and leave your home in better condition than they found it.

Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services?

You may not be dealing with an emergency plumbing situation at the moment, but this is still a helpful question to ask in case you encounter a future plumbing emergency. If you get service now that you are pleased with, you’ll have an emergency plumber on speed dial when disaster strikes. It’s reassuring to know that you’ve got a 24-hour plumber who can assist you at any time of the day or night — even on a holiday long weekend!

Stop Searching for “Plumbers Near Me” in Kelowna and Call 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd!

Whether you’re in Kelowna or a nearby area such as West Bank or Peachland, you can rely on 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. for expert plumbing services in Kelowna BC, 24 hours per day and seven days per week.

Give us a call today at (250) 801-0911 to speak with our friendly customer service representatives about how we can enhance your plumbing system and make your life easier!

8 Situations When You Should Call a Kelowna Plumbing Company For Help

Posted in Plumbing Repairs

Are you staring at a clogged sink or a slow leak spreading out from your hot water tank? Both of those plumbing issues could be fixed by an experienced professional. Kelowna homeowners are confronted by similar problems nearly every day. If you know when to call expert plumbers, you’ll never have to worry about those frustrating circumstances again.

There are many problems people can solve on their own, but sometime there are signs that you should call a local Kelowna plumber for help. 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. is here to make sure you know all the warning signs that might appear. Even small issues with your kitchen sink or bathroom plumbing are cause for concern. Many serious situations that require emergency plumbing repairs could be avoided, if you know when to contact a Kelowna plumbing company.

1. Clogged Drains

If you have a clogged drain in your kitchen, bathroom, or utility room, you’re not alone. Many Kelowna homeowners deal with frustrating, stubborn clogs. Some types of blockage are easy enough to clear away with a good plunger and a large supply of elbow grease, but not all clogs are so considerate. Some debris just sticks around, despite your intense effort to send it away. If that happens, don’t worry. Your local Kelowna plumbing company can get rid of those unwanted drain clogs!

Even if you never flush an ounce of grease, sewer blockage is unavoidable. Kelowna has been known for high quality drinking water in the past — and the city doesn’t have particularly hard water — but even trace amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium contribute to limescale and other types of build-up along pipe walls. Kelowna’s water isn’t especially hard, but at approximately 110 mg/L, it’s certainly not soft either.

You also can’t avoid the effects of other daily debris, like soap scum and hair. There are ways to protect your plumbing from hair and clean out soap residue, but those problems aren’t outright avoidable. Eventually, those small amounts of regular debris create a clogged drain — unless that grime is regularly cleared by professional plumbers from a local company.

Professional drain cleaning is one of the most essential services for every homeowner. Your amazing Kelowna plumbing company provides outstanding drain solutions. Not only do drain cleaning services clear clogs, but they also stop them from coming back! With equipment like augers and pressurized hydro jets, your pipes will look — and work — like they were just installed! 

Your Drains Should be Cleaned If:

  • Your sinks take too long to empty
  • Shower, tubs, or sinks regularly back up
  • You hear gurgling sounds & other odd noises
  • There are unpleasant, rotten odours coming from your drains
  • Frequent clogs appear in toilets, sinks, or other drains
  • Fruit flies often appear near your sink 

2. Leaking Fixtures

Dripping faucets, running toilets, and other leaking fixtures are all problems that plague people in Kelowna. Those issues seem like little inconveniences, but even small leaks have enormous repercussions for people that don’t fix them as soon as possible. Nobody wants higher bills or property damage. A leak could cause both of those problems. Every drop that escapes a faulty faucet may as well be a dollar rolling down your drain.

All skilled plumbers know leaks are no joke. Faucets and toilets that run all day are certainly annoying nuisances, but that’s not just because of the constant sound you hear. Unaddressed leaks always increase utility bills. More insignificant leaks, like a faucet that just started dripping, might only cost an extra $20 every month, but that adds up to over $200 by the end of the year. That’s just for occasional drips. Something that runs constantly could cost double — or triple — that amount!

The key components of all fixtures wear out naturally over time. That’s why it’s so important that you take advantage of reliable maintenance and inspection services from your Kelowna plumbing company. When an O-ring or a washer starts wearing down, replacing that ruined part with timely repair services will protect you from more serious complications.

3. Hidden Leaks

Not all leaks are as obvious as a dripping faucet. You won’t always find puddles or hear the sounds of failing fixtures. Pipes run through walls, between floors, below ground, and even underneath the foundation of your home. All those locations are potential spots for a leak. Unless you’re paying attention, you might not know you have a hidden leak until it’s too late to stop it.

By the time a hidden leak becomes obvious enough for someone to call a local company, it generally would have already resulted in substantial costs. Water bills soar if even a pinhole sized leak isn’t fixed. Even an opening as small as a ball bearing could cost as much as $130, in just one day. That doesn’t include what some people pay in landscaping fees or restoration costs to fix property damage.

Leak detection is an important service in every Kelowna plumbing company’s list of professional plumbing services. How do they stop a sneaky leak or buried burst pipe? There’s a wide array of services and advanced equipment designed specifically for finding issues in hard-to-reach areas. With those solutions, plumbers find leaks — and fix them — while limiting any potential property damage.

You Might Have a Hidden Leak If:

  • Your water bills shoot up for no reason
  • The meter attached to your house won’t stop running
  • Moisture stains appear on your ceiling, walls, or floor
  • There are cracks in your foundation
  • Isolated puddles keep appearing in your lawn
  • Small sinkholes show up above buried lines

4. Jammed Garbage Disposals

Many houses in Kelowna have a garbage disposal, and many homeowners will tell you they need special attention. Out of every plumbing system in your kitchen, your garbage disposal — a.k.a garburator — is likely the most delicate. Some people find that surprising, considering what a garbage disposal does, but it’s true. Many plumbers know that garburators are problem prone — especially when they’re used incorrectly.

For a device that’s supposed to add convenience, garbage disposals sure create a lot of inconvenient situations. One reason why so many people find themselves with a sink full of dirty water and a whining garburator is lack of information about what should — and should not — go in a garbage disposal. 

What Jammed Your Garbage Disposal?

It could have been:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Peanuts
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bones
  • Oats
  • Potato peels
  • Peach pits
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Paint
  • Fruit stickers
  • Fats, oils, & congealed grease

Certified plumbers are the best option for dealing with any kind of broken garbage disposal. Few people feel comfortable fiddling with something designed to destroy debris, and we don’t blame them. Not only could amateur plumbing repair end in injury, but poor repairs could also result in additional damage. A professional plumber from your trusted local company will fix that jammed disposal, and any other plumbing system in your home.

5. Frozen Pipes

People call their Kelowna plumbing company every winter as frozen pipes appear in homes throughout the Okanagan Valley. They’re more common during cold snaps, but even regular winter weather freezes pipes that aren’t properly insulated. Ice inside your pipes reduces water pressure, but that’s not the only problem you should worry about. Wherever frozen pipes go, a burst pipe may follow.

A pipe freezing shouldn’t be ignored. It may also break if that expanding ice puts enough pressure on its walls. When a busted pipe is caused by a pipe freezing during winter, it often remains undetected — until that ice melts and everything inside starts spraying out. It only takes a few hours to transform your frozen pipe into a burst pipe.

How Do You Know if Pipes are Frozen?

Low Water Pressure: The most obvious indication of freezing is low pressure from your taps. If less liquid comes out of your faucets during winter — or if nothing comes out at all — your pipes may be frozen. In either case, you should test multiple faucets. An issue with one faucet may be isolated to the pipes that connect directly to that fixture. An issue with multiple faucets may indicate a problem with your main supply line.

Frost & Condensation: If frost, ice, or any kind of condensation shows up on the outside of your lines, the inside is probably frozen solid. This effect is most common on vulnerable lines that run through your outer walls, between your floors, and in your basement.

Sewage Smells: If your sewer line fills with ice, you could smell something unpleasant coming from your drains. All sewer blockage creates clogged drains. You should make an appointment with a Kelowna plumbing company if you think ice is in your main drain line.

Unusual Sounds: As ice forms, it may bang around inside your lines, creating loud sounds. That could also happen as it melts and moves through your plumbing system.

Cracks: Cracks are a common consequence of winter plumbing problems — especially when people use unsafe heating methods to quickly fix their pipes. It’s always best to rely on the quality services used by your certified plumber to avoid accidental damage.

6. Failing Hot Water Heaters

No home in Kelowna should ever be without hot water. That situation should never be your reality. With routine maintenance and timely repairs, it won’t be. Unfortunately, many homeowners skip their regular maintenance. Those unlucky people find themselves calling a company for water heater replacement far sooner than they should.

Regular repairs and maintenance aren’t just essential for extending the limited lifespan of hot water heaters. Professional service from a licensed company is often a requirement for maintaining your warranty. Even tankless water heaters need routine maintenance.

Water heater repair is something that most people dread, but not because of the repair service itself. It’s the need for replacement that strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners. Water heater installation is more costly than some people expect, which is why everyone in the city should use their Kelowna plumbing company for routine maintenance and repair services. Quality plumbing solutions from an experienced team extend the life of all fixtures and keep you informed about your possible replacement needs.

Are You Suffering from These Issues?

  • Hot water heating too slowly — or not at all
  • Leaks coming from below your hot water tank
  • Discoloured hot water
  • Boiling, banging, popping, or whining noises
  • Leaky valves

Your courteous plumbing professionals are here to make sure your life doesn’t include challenges caused by the need for water heater repair. Whether you have a tankless water heater or a conventional hot water tank, the expert solutions used by your local Kelowna plumbing company will keep your heating service sustained all year.

7. Plumbing Renovations

Your local Kelowna plumbing company isn’t just a great resource for plumbing repair appointments, clearing a clogged drain, and 24/7 emergency services. Your dedicated plumbers would also love to help you complete the bathroom renovation or kitchen remodeling project of your dreams. Plumbing installation is one of the most important residential plumbing services for any homeowner.

When people think about peace of mind in the context of plumbing, they usually focus on the situations that cause stress and dissatisfaction, but not all Kelowna plumbing services are meant for bringing back your peace of mind. Your reliable company would also love to be part of what creates serenity in the first place.

You could create an amazing oasis in your own home with just one appointment for bathroom sink installation, or toilet replacement, or steam shower installation services. There’s a wide range of options for everyone in Kelowna to perfect their plumbing system. Your local plumbing company is an excellent resource for making that dream come true!

8. Sewer Issues

Every drainage outlet in your home is affected by issues with your main sewer line. That one line is responsible for removing every ounce of waste from your toilets, sinks, and other drains. A plugged sewer line will send all that waste back. Clean, clear sewer lines take it all away without complaint.

Harmful materials like grease and wet wipes often create sewer issues, but tree roots, temperature fluctuations, and even nearby construction are all additional causes of mainline damage. Even issues with connected municipal systems could cause problems for your home.

Any time a plumbing problem occurs on municipal property, it’s the city’s responsibility. Any time a problem happens inside your own property lines, it’s your responsibility to fix it. A professional company can help with that.

Collapsed sewer lines are a serious problem that should always be handled by efficient, licensed plumbers, but even a plugged sewer needs immediate attention. It won’t take much for that blockage to become a burst!

Is It Time to Call Your Kelowna Plumbing Company?

911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. is ready to help with all types of plumbing problems, from a dripping faucet to a ruptured sewer main. As a locally owned company, we proudly serve all of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, and many nearby areas! 

We provide 24-hour emergency plumbing service and convenient appointments with our respectful, courteous, plumbing experts. If you need help from a Kelowna plumbing company, call (250) 801-0911 today!

15 Essential Kelowna Plumbing and Heating Tips

Posted in Plumbing Repairs

Do you know all the responsibilities that come with property ownership in Kelowna? Your plumbing system requires special attention — from you and your professional plumbers. Those skilled professionals have all the necessary tools and expertise required for any plumbing situation. Do you?

Kelowna homeowners don’t need a professional level of plumbing expertise. That’s what your local Kelowna plumbing company is for! We’re also here to help you understand all the basic requirements for your pipes and fixtures. With just a small amount of simple knowledge, you’ll be more protected against the nasty effects of plumbing disasters — and you’ll be better prepared for emergency plumbing situations.

If you’re missing essential knowledge about the pipes running through your own walls, you’ll benefit from the information we’ve collected here. Even if you know the bare necessities already, there might be information here you haven’t heard before. Nobody provides better Kelowna plumbing and heating tips than a local Kelowna plumber!

1. Buy a Plunger

If you’ve just bought a new home in Kelowna, make sure you have at least one plunger. If you’ve lived in your home for over a year and you still haven’t bought one, now is the time to visit your local hardware store. No plumbing toolkit is complete without a plunger, and every homeowner with a clogged toilet is glad to have one.

There are four types of plungers. Make sure you pick something that works for all your drains. A standard cup plunger is the most versatile, but you could supplement your toolkit with a toilet plunger or accordion plunger, which are specifically designed for clearing toilet clogs. Taze plungers are usually only used by plumbing professionals for removing blockage in larger lines.

2. Never Flush FOGs

What are FOGs? Fats, oils, and grease. Those are actually just three items from a long list of waste that you should never flush, but Kelowna plumbing and heating experts draw particular attention toward FOGs because of how sneaky they are.

Fats, oils, and grease flow easily when they’re hot, but they don’t stay that way. After they’ve seeped deep into your drains and coated all your pipe walls, they cool and solidify, creating the type of bad blockage that could cause a plumbing emergency.

What Else Shouldn’t You Flush?

  • Wet wipes — even “flushable” wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Tissue paper
  • Dental floss
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Bones
  • Produce stickers
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Medication
  • Kitty litter — yes, even “flushable” litter
  • Hair
  • Bleach
  • Paint
  • Dirt, soil, & gravel
  • Excessive amounts of toilet paper

3. Know what Can — & Cannot — Go in a Garburator

Having a garbage disposal in your kitchen doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about flushing harmful materials. Many of the items listed above could also create a plumbing issue if they enter your garburator. That whirling drain appliance is capable of destroying some smaller food waste, but there are several specific items you should never put inside. 

What Shouldn’t Go in a Garbage Disposal?

In addition to all of the harmful materials that are bad for drains, you should also avoid:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Nuts
  • Vegetable skins & peels
  • Stringy, fibrous produce 
  • Fruit pits

4. Clear Your Slow Drains

Did you buy a plunger? Good, now is the time to use it. Out of all the possible Kelowna plumbing and heating problems you might encounter, slow drains are one of the most common. There are many possible causes, depending on which drain is slow and what it’s used for, but in most cases, your trusty plunger should work.

If your plunger doesn’t solve your plumbing troubles, you might want a drain snake — or you might want professional plumbing services. Slow drains are an early warning sign of more serious issues down the line. If you aren’t capable of dealing with slow drainage on your own — or if that problem keeps coming back — consider calling a local plumber for drain cleaning services.

5. Don’t Ignore Talking Toilets

When we refer to “talking toilets,” what we mean is any toilet that gurgles or makes strange noises when you flush it. Those odd noises are pleas for help. If you ever hear cries coming from your porcelain throne, think about getting a full plumbing inspection from your trusted Kelowna plumbing and heating experts.

Most toilets in Kelowna connect directly to their sewage mainline. That means they’re the first fixtures to warn homeowners when blockage causes mainline problems. If that sewer blockage isn’t cleared, it might come back up into your home. That toilet gurgle might be caused by minor blockage in your p-trap, or it could be caused by major tree root penetration in your mainline.

6. Watch Out for Standing Water

Pay attention to your tub, shower, and all your sinks — even when they’re not in use. Standing water is a sure sign of a clogged drain. Clearing that blockage is important if you don’t want to be standing in your own dirty water when you take a shower, but it’s also important for confirming that you don’t have more serious damage in your sewage pipes.

If you experience backups in your shower, tub, or kitchen sink, your first response should be inspecting and cleaning your drain cover. A tangled clump of hair or food debris might be the cause. If you don’t find anything under your covers, you’ll need a plunger or drain snake for more thorough cleaning. Quality plumbing services like drain cleaning are also an excellent option for dealing with standing water.

7. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance

Drains, pipes, fixtures, and hot water heaters all require routine maintenance. Professional maintenance from certified heating specialists is often a warranty requirement for new hot water heaters. A regular appointment for exceptional plumbing services with a reliable Kelowna plumbing and heating company will keep your systems working well — and protect you from the serious complications that arise from unaddressed wear.

8. Always Fix Running Toilets

Troublesome toilets don’t just talk to their homeowners. Sometimes, they let a constant stream pass through their tank and into the bowl. A leaking toilet tank — also known as a running toilet — is a particularly common problem with older homes in Kelowna. As the components inside a toilet age, worn flappers lose their seal, fill valves start wearing down, and toilets start running constantly.

Running toilets raise utility bills. They also increase your risk of flooding, because even a toilet bowl that’s slowly filling with water may overflow. A toilet that takes longer to fill up after you flush it, or one that seems to fill randomly, is the most common sign of a running issue.

If you want an extra level of confirmation, try dropping a little food colouring into your tank. Does that colour appear in the bowl without you flushing your toilet? If so, consider scheduling an appointment for professional plumbing repair and inspection services.

9. Keep an Eye on Your Hot Water Heater

Many homeowners forget about their heating unit, until it fails. Few people don’t use hot water every day. Sadly, even fewer people take proper care of their heating units. Not only do most warranties require regular maintenance, but that regular protection is also vital for extending the lifespan of your current heater and avoiding sudden failures.

No matter which Kelowna plumbing and heating expert you ask, they’ll all tell you that water heaters have a limited lifespan. Most units last between eight and twelve years. Routine maintenance and timely water heater repairs could extend that lifespan even further, but failing to take advantage of that plumbing service will definitely make a heater’s life shorter.

Signs You Need Plumbing Service for Your Heater:

  • Leaks & puddles near hot water tanks
  • Odd sounds coming from inside your hot water tank
  • Systems that take too long or don’t heat enough water
  • Discoloured hot water

10. Get a Tankless Water Heater

If your current heating unit is reaching the end of its life, and you’re thinking about replacement instead of repairs, consider switching to a tankless heating system. They do often have higher installation costs than conventional tank systems, but the benefits that tankless heating models provide are worth a higher upfront price. If you own a small or medium-sized home, consider swapping to a tankless heating system. Many homeowners are glad they made the switch!

The Advantages of Going Tankless:

  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Lower energy bills
  • More space in your utility room or laundry room
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Longer lasting heating units

11. Look Out for Leaks

Even a small leak is a big problem. Dripping faucets drain money with every drop. A larger leak will drown your bank account if you don’t stop it soon enough. Take the time to fix your dripping faucet, leaky pipes and worn valves near your heating tank — or get repairs from a local Kelowna plumbing and heating professional.

You should also learn the signs of hidden leaks, and make a prompt plumbing appointment if you ever see them. A leak inside your wall, under your foundation, or below your lawn could cause catastrophic damage to the rest of your home. Every second you wait for professional leak detection and reliable repairs increases your risk for costly complications.

Leak Warning Signs:

  • Higher bills
  • Sagging, warped floors
  • Condensation on your walls
  • Brownish-yellow moisture stains
  • Liquids dripping through your ceiling or walls
  • Puddles seeping up into your lawn
  • Unpleasant odours
  • A constantly running meter

12. Watch Your Meter

Your water meter is a powerful tool for detecting problems before they become serious, if you think to check it. Meters that run constantly are common signs of leaks somewhere in your system. If your meter runs when nobody in your home is using water, you might have a leak. 

Meters also help you find the general location of hidden leaks. If you suspect a pipe on your property may be leaking, turn off your main supply valve. Is your meter still running? That means your issue is located somewhere between the meter and your supply valve. If the meter stops when you close your supply valve, your plumbing problem is probably somewhere in your home. Is your heating system leaking? What about your toilet?

13. Replace Your Steel Pipes

When moisture and oxygen meet steel, corrosion is sure to take place. If you have older, galvanized steel pipes, your home is at risk for a serious plumbing problem. Modern copper and PEX pipes don’t rust easily, but galvanized steel pipes do. Corrosion eats steel pipes from the inside out, which means some people don’t even know they have a rust problem until liquids start shooting into their basement.

Repiping is an essential service provided by most Kelowna plumbing and heating companies. Replacing all the pipes in your home might seem expensive, but the costs of catastrophic damage from a corroded steel pipe are often much higher.

Signs of Rusted Steel Pipes:

  • Brownish-red water that tastes like metal
  • Drain odours
  • Frequent clogs
  • Frequent leaks
  • Low water pressure

14. Keep Your Pipes Insulated

All Kelowna plumbing and heating companies know that winter weather is particularly problematic for pipes — in both residential and commercial plumbing systems. The chemical composition of ice and water are identical, but only one of them will ruin your pipe. Keeping all your lines fully insulated will ensure expanding ice never blocks your supply pipes or creates a bad burst. 

All outdoor lines and every pipe that runs near your exterior walls needs insulation. Without a protective temperature coating, that line will be vulnerable to freezing — and you’ll be vulnerable to the problems that develop from frozen plumbing.

15. Use Your Bathroom Fan 

Bathroom fans are important for fighting the effects of moisture and humidity. Hot showers are a common source of both, and so is the climate of the Okanagan Valley. Whether you live in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country or anywhere else near the Okanagan, always run your bathroom fan during showers. Flipping that little switch today will save you from bigger problems caused by humidity and moisture later on.

Do You Want More than Plumbing Tips?

If you need service from a Kelowna plumbing and heating company, call 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage Ltd. Our experienced team is available 24/7 for routine maintenance, plumbing repairs, and emergency services throughout Kelowna and nearby areas like West Kelowna or Peachland

If you need a plumber, call (250) 801-0911 today!

Common Signs You Should Reinstall Pipes at Home

Posted in Plumbing Repairs, Sewage Backup, Water Wastage

Changing the pipes and installing new ones can be challenging enough if it involves your home’s overall pipe system. It may show subtle changes to understand that it is time to change the pipes; else, it can result in severe problems.  If a small repair can do, there is no point in reinstalling new ones.

The plumbing service you hire should have the correct knowledge to guide you and help you know when it is the right time for repiping the whole pipe system of your home. Plumbing pipes last for a long time before you need to replace them. Before it results in large wear and tear, hire professional plumbers.

When living in and around areas like Kelowna, West Kelowna, you are sure to come across plenty of plumbing services in Kelowna.  However, not all of them can offer professional guidance, and therefore, it is better to go the plumbing service’s reputation. Let us take you through some signs to understand it is high time to hire the team.

Check Safety of Pipes

The lifespan of pipes varies as per different external factors, and it is necessary to have safe pipe material. Depending on the pipe material, it may leak, and therefore, it requires routine checkup. There is a high chance of pipe erosion owing to adverse conditions. So, make sure that pipes are in a safe condition to have for a long time.

Pipes are Leaking

It is not good to go with leakage in the pipe, and its condition may change when there is a change in weather. It is better to choose quality material that would last for a long time. To avoid any costly and recurring expenses, it is better to choose to install quality ones.

Visible Corrosion on Pipes

Visible corrosion is pipe, flaking, and discoloring of the pipes on its surface, and these are common problems. The corroding pipes may leakage quickly, so it is better to get it checked on time. This is one such situation that requires repiping routinely to avoid any adverse problems. This type of plumbing repair is vital, and you can search for plenty of plumbing services in Kelowna and around areas like West Bank Kelowna and Peachland.

Color of Pipe Changes

If water tends to follow in yellow color or others, it is an indication that there are sediments or debris stored inside the pipe. This may happen after you return from a vacation, and you have not used the water system for a long time. This is when repiping can fix the issue and install quality pipes with the help of the expert team at 911 plumbing.

So, without any further delay, it is better to get in touch with the experts of 911plumbingheating Drainage, Ltd. With years of expertise, the plumbing service has the correct knowledge of handling the pipe discoloration and repiping problems. You can approach our team to deal with problems of low water pressure inside the pipe. Correct and on-time servicing will resume smooth water flow through the pipes.

How to Maintain Hassle-Free Performance of Your Water Heater?

Posted in Uncategorized

You are using a water heater at your home without even thinking whether it’s functioning correctly. But this should be your concern to check its operation on time to avoid major issues. When it stops suddenly, we fail to realize that it has not been maintained in recent times. But it requires timely repair from a reliable plumber who can offer suitable help.

When living in areas like West Kelowna, West Bank Kelowna, and others, you are sure to come across plenty of them, and one of them is 911 plumbing. Its years of expertise in the field help prevent emergencies and routine maintenance from functioning correctly. Some maintenance tips can help you better, but you need to hire the right team for the desired results and services.

Try to Flush Water Regularly 

Regular maintenance can prevent sediment collection at the base of the heater as it may result in corrosion and reduce the efficiency of heating water. This is a task for which hiring a plumbing service can be beneficial. If it malfunctions during odd hours, switch off its power to avoid any major issues. Following this, you should try to hire the plumbing service at the earliest.

Importance of Water Pipe Insulation 

It is necessary to insulate the water pipes and install durable and quality ones to reduce energy costs. When the inner temperature of the heater is perfect, it will function properly. This requires timely pipe insulation and its annual examination for hassle-free functioning. So, to avoid any unforeseen issues, get plumbing repair frequently.

In addition to this, insulate the main tank and try to maintain fuel sources properly. It also prevents condensation during winters and helps in proper functioning. It is better for professional touch in work to hire the correct team who has correct knowledge for plumbing work. If you have any query, it is better to discuss them with the team and solve it.

What to Include in Annual Inspection?

The annual inspection is necessary to help the water heater function smoothly. It should include checking leaks, corrosion, rod replacement, burner assembly, and replacing the exhaust and others. The technician should have the correct knowledge of checking the water heater before they can diagnose the heater’s actual problem. So, it requires hiring a suitable team that can deliver better service.

Wrapping it up 

To hire an expert team of Kelowna plumbers in Peachland and Kelowna areas, it is our experienced and trained team to cater to your requirements. The team has the correct expertise to check the rods and valves, and it should be free from debris and rust. This will help the machine function correctly and heat water correctly.

Also, check the temperature of the water heater and ensure that it is functioning correctly. If not, you have to check it properly before you operate the heater. So, regular maintenance can prevent malfunctioning of the heater incurring unexpected expenses.  For repairing, maintenance, and replacement service, our team can ensure professional tips and guidance.

Common Plumbing Issues in Bathroom that Plumbers Can Handle

Posted in Plumbing Repairs, Sewage Backup

A bathroom is commonplace for every household where one or the other plumbing issue is persistent. Drain clogging and leakage of faucets are the minor ones, though it can upset the bathroom’s daily smooth use. But the list of issues is a never-ending one, and you need to address them at the earliest. Let us take you through some of the common problems you need to solve with assistance from an expert plumbing service near your house.

Problem with Poor Ventilation

Improper ventilation can bring in huge problems, and therefore, it is important to repair damaged fans, and ventilation is in the bathroom. The moisture residue tends to collect on the walls resulting in a stain on walls and other problems. With too much humidity and improper ventilation, it requires immediate plumbing repair. If you are upgrading your bathroom beyond plumbing repair and upgrades, your local bathroom remodeling expert will be able to advise on humidity, ventilation and other local codes. When looking for plumbing services in Kelowna, you are sure to come across plenty of options. Try to choose the one as per its experience.

Slow Running of Water through Drains?

The water may slow down while passing through drains resulting in water clogging in the bathroom. This is one of the common and annoying problems, and due to this, it is better to get in touch with a reliable source of a plumber in Kelowna to offer you professional assistance. If the team has the correct expertise and reliable one, it should be ready to offer emergency plumbing repair. It gives complete peace of mind, and the team should be ready to attend to your problems during odd hours.

In this regard, you can approach 911 plumbing to get timely and efficient service in and around areas like Kelowna, West Bank Kelowna, and Peachland. To prevent the bathroom issues from severe clogging and other problems, hire an efficient team for assistance. Try to hire a team whom you can connect in times of emergency and help you with recurring bathroom and other plumbing repair problems.

Insufficient Water Pressure in Bathroom Shower

This is another problem to face due to insufficient water pressure in the water lines. This can also happen if the shower is not in use for a long time. To solve this, the team should rescale and then replace the showerhead for suitable results. In case there is any rusting issue in the shower, the team can suggest the shower replacement and make it work perfectly.   

For correct advice and plumbing service in the budget, our plumbing team will hire for suitable results. Other than this, running toilet, clogging of the toilet, foul sewer smell is common issues that need to be addressed soon. By overlooking it, you may invite major problems for your home.

The Closure

So, when in search of a Plumber in Kelowna or West Kelowna, get in touch with 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage, Ltd. for professional help. There are different packages for clients’ convenience, and you can choose the one that suits your problems the best. You can ask for emergency help, and our team will be available to resolve the issues.

Step by Step Guide to Replace Damaged Kitchen Tap

Posted in Damaged Pipes

A broken or faulty kitchen tap could affect your daily activities. It could put a break on your routine tasks and cause inconvenience to you. You can hire a plumber in Kelowna for repairing the tap. Or, you can also replace the tap of your kitchen with little planning as well as the right tools. Before you plan to replace the tap ensure you have all the necessary tools and material. Once you have all the required items, follow the given steps

Step 1: Turn Off Water Supply

Look for the isolating valve of the pipe to turn off the water supply. Turn the valve and try running water to check whether you turned off the supply properly. In case there are no independent valves in the system, consider turning off the supply from the main stopcock.

Step 2: Prepare the Space

Lay the towel beneath the sink and keep all the instruments you require for the job. In case you have the instruction manual of the kitchen tap, keep that with you. You might require that while removing the tap. Else you can check the online videos of Kelowna plumbers removing old tap.

Step 3: Disconnect Tap from Mains Water Supply

There are two kinds of pipe connections i.e. flexible and standard. Using an open-handed spanner, you can loosen up the screws of the standard hose system for disconnecting the tap. After disconnecting, some water might come out. For the flexible connection, you can unfasten the nuts from the isolator valves or mains connection. Over time, the nuts get tighter. It might take time to loosen the nuts.

Step 4: Remove the Faulty or Broken Tap

Grab the tap and loosen the nuts that attach the tap to the surface. While pulling out hoses, be careful as sharp or pointy edges could cause cuts. In case you find it difficult consider hiring a plumber. Once the tap is removed, clean the nasty buildup or residue from open main connections below the sink.

Step 5: Mount the New Tap

To install a new tap, lower threads and wrap 5 layers of tape in a clockwise direction. Once tapping is done, you can fit the new tap. Most of the models come with pre-fitted hoses. In case you do not have one, check the manual provided by the manufacturer for connecting them. You can take the help of someone to hold the tap.

Screw the nut with your hand and using pair of adjustable pliers secure the nuts tightly. In case you doubt that the new tap is heavy, you can consider installing a tap brace. This would save you from trouble.

Step 6: Reconnect Main Supply

To connect the main supply begin with threads using hands. When you start the thread, ensure you tighten that. Screw-in the nuts to fitted isolator valves or mains pipe connection. In order to eliminate excess pressure, ensure to hold on to the valve or connector.  

After installing everything, turn on the water supply. Turn on the tap to check hoses for drips or leaks. In case there are leaks, consider hiring a plumber. In case you wish to hire a knowledgeable plumber, 911 Plumbing Heating Drainage, LTD is the right place. Our trained as well as experienced plumbers serve several areas including Kelowna, West Kelowna, West Bank Kelowna and Peachland.   Our experts would help to resolve the recurring issues and provide maintenance tips also.

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