My Pilot Light is Out. What Do I Do?

It’s not unusual to experience a pilot light going out in your home, especially if you use gas appliances. When this happens it can be difficult to know what to do and where to start. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take that will help you get the problem fixed quickly and safely. 

In this blog post we’ll discuss why pilot lights go out, how to tell when yours has gone out, and how you should approach fixing the issue. We’ll also provide tips on how best to maintain your pilot light so that it remains lit for as long as possible. By following these steps, you’ll be able to get your appliance back up and running in no time at all!

Why pilot lights go out

There are several reasons why the pilot light on your gas appliance may go out. One common cause is simply a gust of wind blowing through an open window or door and extinguishing the flame. 

Another possibility is that there may be a problem with the gas supply line to the appliance, which can cause the pilot light to flicker or go out entirely.

In some cases, a dirty pilot tube or burner can also cause the pilot light to go out. This can be caused by debris or soot buildup within the tube, which can inhibit the flow of gas to the flame. Similarly, a malfunctioning thermocouple can also cause pilot light issues, as it may not be properly sensing whether the flame is lit or not.

Additionally, if your gas appliance is older, it may be more prone to pilot light issues due to wear and tear. Over time, the components within the appliance may become corroded or damaged, which can lead to pilot light problems. 

How to tell when yours has gone out

To determine if your pilot light has gone out, there are a few signs to look out for. The most obvious indication is that there will be no flame present when you try to ignite the appliance. If you hear the gas flowing but don’t see a flame, then it’s likely that the pilot light has gone out.

Another way to tell if your pilot light is out is to check the color of the flame when it’s lit. A properly functioning pilot light will produce a strong blue flame, whereas a weakened or struggling flame may indicate that there is an issue with the pilot light. If the flame is yellow or orange instead of blue, this could also be a sign that the pilot light is failing.

In some cases, you may also detect a distinct sulfur or rotten egg smell when the pilot light goes out. This odor is caused by a chemical called mercaptan, which is added to natural gas to make it easier to detect leaks. If you detect this smell, it’s important to turn off your gas supply immediately and call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

It’s worth noting that if your pilot light keeps going out, then there may be a more serious problem at play. In this case, it’s important to have your appliance inspected by a qualified technician to ensure that everything is functioning as it should..

How you should approach fixing the issue

If you find that your pilot light has gone out, there are several steps you can take to fix the issue. First, you should turn off the appliance’s gas supply and wait several minutes to allow any accumulated gas to dissipate. This is important for ensuring that you don’t accidentally ignite any gas that may have built up around the appliance.

Once you’ve waited for a few minutes, you can relight the pilot light. To do this, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific appliance. In most cases, you’ll need to locate the pilot light assembly, which is usually found near the gas supply valve. Once you’ve found the assembly, you will need to press down on the control knob and light the pilot light with a long lighter or match.

It’s important to note that if you’re not comfortable relighting the pilot light yourself, or if you’re unsure of the proper technique, it’s better to enlist the help of a qualified professional. A professional technician can ensure that the pilot light is lit safely and correctly, and can also inspect the appliance to ensure that there are no underlying issues that may be causing the pilot light to go out.

If you’ve successfully relight the pilot light but still experience issues with it consistently going out, there are a few additional steps you can take. First, you should check the pilot tube and burner for debris or soot buildup. If you detect any buildup, you can clean the components using a soft-bristled brush or compressed air. Similarly, if you suspect that the thermocouple may be malfunctioning, you can replace it following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips on how best to maintain your pilot light

Maintaining your pilot light is key to ensuring that your gas appliance operates safely and effectively. With a little care and regular maintenance, you can keep your pilot light burning brightly for years to come. Here are some tips to help you get started.

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that your gas appliance is installed correctly. This includes ensuring that the gas supply line is correctly sized, that all fittings are tight and secure, and that the appliance is properly ventilated. If you’re unsure about any of these installation factors, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional technician.

Another important aspect of pilot light maintenance is cleaning. Over time, debris, dirt, and soot can build up around the pilot light, causing it to become weak or go out entirely. To prevent this buildup, it’s recommended that you clean your pilot light every six months to a year, depending on usage.

To clean your pilot light, turn off your gas supply and allow the appliance to cool completely. Once it’s cool, remove any covers or shields that are covering the pilot light assembly. Next, use a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush or paintbrush, to gently remove any dirt or debris around the pilot light assembly. If the buildup is particularly heavy, you may also use compressed air to blow it away.

Once you’ve cleaned the pilot light assembly, test the pilot light to make sure it’s burning correctly. If it’s not, you may need to relight it using the manufacturer’s instructions.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to have your appliance inspected by a qualified technician on a regular basis.

 During these inspections, the technician will check for proper ventilation, gas pressure, and any signs of wear or damage. They can also clean the inside of the appliance, which can help extend its lifespan.

Finally, it’s important to be aware of any signs that your pilot light may be malfunctioning. These signs can include weak flames, unusual odors, or a pilot light that continually goes out. If you detect any of these signs, turn off your gas supply immediately and call a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, pilot lights are an important safety feature for gas appliances. If you find that your pilot light has gone out, it is essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions and contact a professional if necessary. Taking these steps can help ensure that your appliance will be working safely in no time! Remember to always take proper precautions when attempting any repairs on home appliances, especially those related to gas or electricity. Safety should always come first!

If you’re experiencing issues with your pilot light or gas appliances, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Expert Plumbing. Our trained professionals have years of experience in diagnosing and fixing problems related to gas appliances while prioritizing your safety above all else. 

We understand the importance of having well-functioning appliances in your home, and we’re here to ensure that your appliances are working to their full potential. Our services are affordable, reliable, efficient, and we’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. So why wait? Contact Expert Plumbing now and let us help you get your appliances back in working order!

The Real Reason Why Fixing Sewer Leaks Is Important

Sewer leaks can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Not only can they wreck your floors and furniture, but they can also create an unhealthy environment for you and your family. It’s important to fix sewer leaks as soon as you notice them so that you can avoid these problems.

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The consequences of not fixing a leak can be devastating. If left unaddressed, the water damage resulting from such a leak can cause significant structural damage to your walls and floors and compromise the health of those living in the home. Not only this, but it’s important to note that failing to address sewer pipe problems can result in higher water bills due to the extra water usage associated with these leaks. If these leaks are not caught early enough, they can eventually lead to costly repairs when mold or mildew sets in and spreads throughout your home.


One of the most important things you can do to protect your home is to check for signs of leaking on a regular basis. The most common indicator is a foul smell coming from the toilet, sink, or drain. Learn more about what causes sewer gas smells in this blog post. 

In addition, other telltale signs include:

  • Wet spots on walls and floors.
  • Stains on ceiling tiles or wallpaper.
  • An increase in your water bill.

If the problem persists after taking preventive measures such as checking pipes for cracks and replacing worn out fixtures, it may be time to call a professional plumber to properly inspect the issue.

The Real Reason Why Fixing Sewer Leaks Is Important

Common Causes

One of the most common causes is water pressure. When a sewer line is not properly installed, it can cause the pipes to become cracked or broken due to excessive pressure from water traveling through them. Other causes include:

  • Corroding pipes that are made from older and less durable materials like cast iron or clay
  • Poorly designed plumbing systems that lack proper support structures or connections
  • Misaligned joints between pipes where there are gaps or cracks
  • Improper installation techniques, such as failing to use enough sealant upon joining two pieces together. 

Finally, improper maintenance can also lead to problems with sewage lines; if they aren’t cleaned regularly, it can lead to grease build-up, increasing the risk of blockage and eventual leaking.

Water Damage

If you notice water damage in your home due to a sewer pipe problem, it is important to take immediate action. The first step is to locate the source of the leak and turn off the water supply to prevent more damage from occurring. Once that is done, contact a professional plumber as soon as possible to assess the problem’s extent and determine what repairs need to be made. Having a reliable plumbing system is key in keeping your home safe from further damage due to sewer problems and other issues related to water damage. Unsure if you have a water leak? Here are six signs to look for.

Trenchless Sewer Repair

When it comes to leak repairs, there are almost as many solutions as there are leak types. One of the solutions is trenchless sewer repair. This is the process of repairing pipes without digging up and replacing them, making it a much more efficient and cost-effective option than traditional repairs. It’s beneficial for homeowners and businesses alike since it saves time and money compared to the labor involved with digging trenches for traditional pipe repairs. Trenchless sewer repair consists of two main processes: open-cut excavation and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). The open-cut excavation method involves digging up the damaged pipes, inspecting them, and replacing them with new ones. This method requires the most time and effort, but offers the best possible results. CIPP, on the other hand, involves inserting a flexible resin liner into existing pipes to form a seal over any holes or cracks that may be present. It offers less disruption than open-cut excavation, as there is no need to dig up the pipes, but it can still provide equally effective results. The benefits of trenchless sewer repair are numerous—not only does it save time and money by avoiding costly excavations and installations, but it also reduces environmental impact due to minimal disruption of land surfaces.

Additionally, trenchless methods can often fix problems that were previously too difficult or expensive to address through traditional methods without having to replace entire lines of piping or systems. This method can lengthen the life expectancy of existing systems because fewer parts are being replaced altogether. By taking advantage of these modern techniques for repairing your pipes quickly and effectively, you’ll be able to save yourself both time and money in the long run!

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Final Thoughts

Sewer Leaks can cause many problems, from damage to the home, health concerns of the occupants, and sometimes a very high price tag to resolve. However, a trenchless repair is often a very good solution. And for Santa Cruz City residents, you’re in luck! Here at Expert Plumbing, we’re not only one of Santa Cruz City’s Certified Sewer Inspectors. We specialize in trenchless sewer repair. While fixing a sewer leak can take some time and require professional help, it’s an invaluable part of maintaining a healthy plumbing system for years to come.

Why Trying to Fix Your Own Water Heater Can Create More Problems

A water heater is a device used to heat and store hot water for a variety of uses, such as washing dishes, doing laundry, bathing, and more. There are several types of water heaters available on the market today, each with its own set of components that must be maintained and serviced properly in order for them to function correctly.

The most common signs that indicate you need to repair your water heater are unusual noises, low hot water supply, and/or an unusually high energy bill. Other indicators of a possible problem include an unexpected increase in the amount of time it takes for hot water to be produced, as well as any visible rust or corrosion on any parts of the heater.

DIY Repairs vs Hiring a Professional Plumber

While there are YouTube videos and “quick-fix” articles that can provide you with guidance on how to repair your own water heater, the truth is that attempting to do so can actually lead to more problems down the line.

Here are a few things to think about when considering hiring a professional plumber or DIY-ing the repairs yourself:

The Complexity of the Job

Water heaters are complicated pieces of machinery, containing a variety of components that must be serviced correctly in order for them to function. Thus, attempting DIY repairs on a water heater can be difficult and time-consuming, and often requires special tools and knowledge that the average person does not possess.

Safety concerns and potential for further damage

Failing to take safety precautions when working on a water heater can be dangerous, as they often contain combustible elements that could cause serious injury. Furthermore, attempting repairs without the proper experience or training may lead to further damage and costly repairs down the line.

Costly mistakes that could result from doing it yourself

Attempting DIY repairs could lead to costly mistakes, due to the complexity of a water heater and the lack of experience or training required to properly diagnose and repair any issues it may have. Therefore, it is usually best advised to leave this type of job to a professional plumber who has the necessary experience and knowledge in order to safely repair your water heater.

Guaranteeing the quality of the work done

When you hire a professional plumber, you are guaranteed that the repairs will be done properly and safely. This is because professionals have experience and training in the correct procedure for repairing water heaters, as well as access to special tools which may be necessary in order to complete the job correctly. Professionals usually offer warranties on their services, meaning that if any issues arise, they can be quickly addressed without additional costs.

Water Heater Repair - Aptos - Santa Cruz - Expert Plumbing

Benefits of hiring a professional plumber

When it comes to repairing water heaters, hiring a professional plumber is usually the best option. Professionals are experienced and well-trained in servicing water heaters, meaning that they know exactly what needs to be done in order to get your water heater working properly again. 

Here are several benefits to hiring a professional: 

Assurance that all safety measures will be taken during the process   

When you hire a professional plumber, you can be sure that all safety measures will be taken during the process. This is because professionals are trained in proper safety procedures when working with combustible elements, so you don’t have to worry about any potential dangers while they work on your water heater. 

Ability to provide you with an accurate diagnosis of the problem   

A professional plumber will be able to accurately diagnose the problem with your water heater and provide you with the best possible solution for repairing it. This is because they have access to special tools and equipment that may be necessary in order to properly diagnose any issues, as well as experience and training in how to correctly repair a water heater. 

Our professional plumbers are highly experienced in a wide range of specific plumbing-related tasks, including specialty projects!

Knowledgeable and experienced technicians familiar with water heaters   

When you hire a professional plumber, you can rest assured that the technician is knowledgeable and experienced in working with water heaters. This means that they will be able to correctly diagnose any issues as well as quickly and efficiently repair your water heater without causing further damage or creating costly mistakes. 

Fix Water Heater - Santa Cruz County - Expert Plumbing

Guaranteed quality workmanship   

Professional plumbers provide guaranteed quality workmanship, meaning that any issues with your water heater will be quickly addressed without additional costs. This is because they have the experience and training necessary to properly repair a water heater, as well as access to special tools and equipment which may be necessary for certain repairs. Many professional plumbers also offer warranties on their services, so you can rest assured that your water heater will be repaired properly and safely. 

DIY hot water heater repair in Santa Cruz

Attempting to repair your own water heater can create more problems than it solves. Not only are you likely to make costly mistakes, but you could also be putting yourself in danger if you don’t take the proper safety measures when working with combustible elements. Attempting DIY repairs may lead to further damage being done to your water heater and result in even more costly repairs down the line. It is usually best to leave water heater repairs up to a professional who has the experience and training necessary for properly servicing a water heater. 

When you hire a professional plumber to repair your water heater, you can be sure that all safety measures will be taken during the process. Professionals have access to special tools and equipment which may be necessary for certain repairs as well as experience and training in how to correctly repair a water heater. Lastly, when you choose to hire a professional plumbing service you are guaranteed quality workmanship with any issues addressed quickly and efficiently without further costs. 

Contact Us – We’re in Santa Cruz County

Looking for help with your water heater? We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you get your water heater up and running quickly and safely.

What are the Differences Between a Traditional Water Heater and a Tankless Water Heater?

When you’re from Santa Cruz, the beach is just minutes away. But even then, there’s no better feeling than stepping into a hot shower after a long day and washing away all your cares – but what’s not fun is when your water goes from hot to not. And that can indicate an issue with your water heater and potentially needing a new one. So what are your options? What types of water heaters are available? And what’s best for you? But first, let’s discuss what goes into a water heater.

The Anatomy of a Water Heater

What goes into a water heater? There are several different parts to a water heater, but the most important ones are the tank, the heating element, the thermostat, and the anode rod.

The Tank

The tank is the most important part of a water heater. It’s where the hot water is stored, and it’s usually made of steel. The size of the tank depends on the size of the water heater. Smaller water heaters have smaller tanks, and larger water heaters have larger tanks.

The Heating Element

The heating element is what actually heats the water in the tank. It’s usually made of copper or stainless steel, and it’s located in the bottom of the tank. The heating element is controlled by the thermostat.

The Thermostat

The thermostat is what controls the temperature of the water in the tank. It’s located near the top of the tank, and it has a dial that you can use to set the desired temperature.

Our professional plumbers are highly experienced in a wide range of specific plumbing-related tasks, including specialty projects!

The Anode Rod

The anode rod is a metal rod that’s located in the tank. Its job is to protect the tank from corrosion. The anode rod needs to be replaced periodically to keep the tank in good condition.

Now that we’ve discussed the different parts of a water heater let’s dive into the two different types of water heaters.

NOTE: The anatomy of a tankless water heater has the above elements except an anode rod.

Traditional Water Heater Versus Tankless Water Heater 

There are two different types of water heaters: tankless and traditional water heaters. Both have their pros and cons, but tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular because of their energy efficiency and space-saving design.

Traditional Water Heater

A traditional storage tank water heater has a tank that holds a specific amount of hot water and they use either gas or electricity to heat the water. The size of the tank varies, but it typically ranges from 20 to 80 gallons. As water is used, more cold water flows into the tank and is heated. This means that there is always a supply of hot water, but it may not be enough if you have a high demand. For example, if you’re running the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time, you may run out of hot water.

The advantage of this type of water heater is that it’s less expensive up front. They’re also available in a wider range of sizes to accommodate different needs. However, tank water heaters are less efficient than tankless water heaters because they have to continuously heat the water in the tank, even when you’re not using it. This means that they’re more expensive to operate over time.

Tankless Water Heater 

A tankless water heater, also called a demand-type or on-demand water heater, doesn’t have a storage tank. Instead, it heats water as needed. When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water flows into the unit and is heated by either a gas burner or an electric element. 

The advantage of this type of heater is that it doesn’t run out of hot water. It’s more efficient because it only heats water when you need it. You’ll always have a supply as long as there’s a flow of cold water. This makes them much more efficient than traditional water heaters. In fact, here in Santa Cruz County, tankless heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters. This can save you money on your energy bill over time. 

The disadvantage is that tankless water heaters are more expensive upfront. They also require more maintenance than traditional water heaters because the heating elements need to be descaled periodically to prevent mineral buildup.

Are Tankless Water Heaters Electric?

A question we receive from our customers in Santa Cruz a lot is “Are tankless water heaters electric?” Most tankless heaters use gas, but there are also electric tankless water heaters. Electric tankless heaters are less expensive to install than gas tankless water heaters, but they’re also less efficient. That’s because electric tankless water heaters have to heat the water more slowly than gas tankless heaters. As a result, electric tankless heaters have higher operating costs.

Ready for a New Water Heater? 

The average lifespan of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. So, if your heater is reaching the end of its life, you might be wondering whether to replace it with a traditional storage tank water heater or upgrade to a tankless model. 

If you are considering a new water heater for your home, and you’re looking at a tankless heater, tankless water heaters are efficient, and can save you money on your energy bills. They also take up less space than traditional water heaters and have a longer lifespan. Plus, they provide an endless supply of hot water. While there are pros and cons to each type of water heater, tankless water heaters are generally more efficient than traditional water heaters.

Ready to update your water tank? Or if you need tankless heater repair or tankless heater service, we’d love to help. Here at Expert Plumbing, we specialize in water heater installation and repair. We’ll help you choose the right type of water heater for your home, and we’ll make sure it’s installed properly. Give us a call today to get started.

What Causes Sewer Gas Smell in Your House

There are many things homeowners will experience, some good and some bad, but one certain thing is that you’ll experience some odd smells. 

There will be a time when sewer gas starts to seep into your home, and it won’t be pleasant. Imagine rotten eggs or cabbage. Not only is it a nuisance in smell, but it’s also quite dangerous and can indicate a bigger problem – like a leak. Fortunately, not all gas backups are serious and may be fixable without calling in reinforcements! In this article, we’ll go over what sewer gas is, its dangers, its causes, how to fix it, and how to prevent it in the future.

What Is Sewer Gas?

So, the big question is – What is sewer gas? Sewer gas is a generic term that refers to a combination of different gasses that are produced by the decomposition of human waste. Sewer gas is produced when water and waste products are not properly disposed of. These gasses include methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. While most of these gasses are odorless, hydrogen sulfide is responsible for the signature “rotten egg” smell associated with sewer gas. However, many of these gasses are dangerous and can be a health risk.

The Dangers of Sewer Gas

While the smell of sewer gas may be unpleasant, it can also be dangerous. Inhaling high concentrations of sewer gas can lead to headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and even death. Additionally, sewer gas is flammable. If there is a build-up of sewer gas in an enclosed space, it could ignite and cause a dangerous explosion. So it’s important to take precautions if you suspect there may be a problem. 

If you smell sewer gas in your home, immediately open windows and doors to ventilate the area. Next, try to identify the source of the smell, and if needed call a plumber to inspect your plumbing to identify and fix the problem.

What Causes Sewer Gas Smell - Expert Plumbing

What Causes Sewer Gas Smell in Your House?

There are several possible causes of sewer gas smells in your house.

One possibility is that there is a leak in your home’s sewer system. This could be caused by a cracked pipe or a faulty seal around a pipe joint.

Another possibility is that your home’s plumbing vents are blocked. Plumbing vents allow sewer gasses to escape from your home, so if they are blocked, the gasses could build up and cause a smell. Vents can become blocked by snow, debris, or even animal nests.

Finally, another possibility is that you have a dry trap. A “trap” is a U-shaped section of pipe designed to hold water and create a seal that prevents sewer gas from entering your home. If the trap becomes dry, it will no longer be able to create an effective seal and sewer gas can escape. This can happen if the trap is not used often enough or if there is a leak in the pipe.

In the next section, we’ll review ways to fix gas leaks. 

Fix Sewer Gas Smell in Santa Cruz - Expert Plumbing

How to Fix Sewer Gas Smell in Your House

If you have a sewer gas smell in your house, there are ways to fix it at home. The first step is to identify the location and that helps decide how to fix it. Here are a few places to check and solutions if that’s the sewer gas culprit! 

First, check all of your home’s plumbing vents. Make sure they are clear of debris and snow. If not, clear it out. You may need to use a ladder to reach the vents on your roof.

Next, check all of the traps in your home’s plumbing. If any of them are dry, try to pour some water into them to see if that solves the problem.

Finally, sewer gas can enter your home if there is a gap or crack in the foundation. This is pretty challenging for someone to identify, so if you still notice a smell after taking the first two steps, we recommend calling a plumber to inspect your pipes and make any necessary repairs.

Once the source of the sewer gas smell has been identified, it is important to take steps to fix the problem. In some cases, this may be as simple as fixing a leaky pipe or sealing cracks in your plumbing. In other cases, more extensive work may be necessary. If your home has an outdated sewage system, it may need to be replaced. This is a major project that should be done by a professional.

Preventing Sewer Gas Smells

The best way to deal with sewer gas smells is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This can be done by properly disposing of water and waste products, and by keeping your plumbing in good working condition. The best way to prevent sewer gas smells is performing regular maintenance to identify problems before they become serious.

If you do smell sewer gas in your home, take action immediately to ventilate the area, inspect your home for anything you can fix on your own, and call a plumber to inspect your plumbing.

Sewer gas can be a nasty surprise. But by taking some simple precautions, you can prevent it from becoming a problem in your home.

Your Can Trust Santa Cruz’s Expert Plumbing To Help with Sewer Drain Repair

Smelly sewer gas is not just bad-smelling, it’s also dangerous. We’ve reviewed what causes sewer gas smells, how to manage and remove them, and how to prevent them in the future. However, if the problem persists, you may need to call a professional plumber for help. Professionals will be able to quickly identify the cause, fix it, and keep your home safe. 

If you’re suffering with sewer gas smells or any other plumbing issue, we’d love to help. Contact us today!

How to Unclog a Bathtub

One thing every homeowner will experience is a clog. One minute everything drains smoothly, and the next, a pool of water rises in your tub and your bathtub won’t drain!

When our bathtub does this, it can feel pretty gross. All the dirt, germs, and soap scum you cleaned off your body are now floating around your feet and ankles. It can feel unsanitary. Additionally, the standing water can also make your tub dirty! 

If you’re struggling with a clog, whether it’s in your shower or your sink, it causes a lot of pressure on your pipes and leads to severe damage and flooding if it’s not fixed right away. 

Thankfully, there are ways to remove the clog yourself, especially if you catch the clog early. Below, we’ll expand on how to diagnose a clogged bathtub and five ways to fix it yourself! 

Bathtub Drain Stuck in Santa Cruz

Diagnose a Clogged Sewer Line 

There are a few different ways to diagnose a clogged sewage line, starting with the most obvious: your bathtub won’t drain. If you notice that your bath or sink water isn’t draining as smoothly as before, this could indicate a clog. A clogged sewer line can lead to contaminated water and should be diagnosed quickly. 

Some common symptoms of a clogged drain are: 

  • Sulfur (egg) smell
  • Prolonged water drainage in your sink, bathtub, and other water fixtures
  • Toilet sinks or showers are gurgling and bubbling when water drains
  • Water in toilets and sinks is rising very quickly

If you notice any of this, there may be a blockage in your sewer line. Dealing with a clogged sewer line is unpleasant, but there are preventative measures homeowners can take to avoid serious sewage clogs, DIY or at-home fixes for minor clogs, and plumbing companies to help remove even the nastiest of clogs.

How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain with Standing Water 

Now that you’ve diagnosed a clog, how do you fix it? 

The answer: It depends. 

While there are at-home fixes for when a bathtub drain is stuck, it’s not always possible and depends on the severity and location of the clog in question. 

If it’s a minor clog, you can absolutely fix these at home, and we’ll outline a few of those ways in the next section. 

If you need help with your water pressure, be sure to let us know and we can help!

5 Ways to Unclog your Bathtub Drain 

Boiling Water 

Our showers experience so much product build-up. From shampoo and conditioner to shaving cream – it can cause a very gunky residue to build up that can cause a clog. By pouring boiling water slowly down your drain, you can soften a lot of that build-up, and eventually, it’ll dissolve and drain down, removing that clog.  

This method won’t work for all clogs. For example, if there’s something solid blocking your drain, like matted hair, boiling water will not push that down. 

Boiling water is a good first step in remedying a clogs drain. It dissolves soap, and residue build-up quickly; if it doesn’t work, you can assume something more solid is causing the backup.


Plungers are popular tools. We’ve been using them for ages to unclog toilets, and many people have them available in their homes. If you opt to use a plunger to help unclog your drain, remember that its success rate depends on the type of clog and the size of your drain, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work. 

Baking Soda & Vinegar 

This is a natural solution and two things we typically have around the house. People have used baking soda and vinegar as a natural cleaning substitute, but it’s also an effective drain cleaner. 

This mixture works really well on mild clogs, it activates quickly, and dissolves that gross drain build-up. 

Start by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain and letting it settle of a few minutes. Then, pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain. You’ll notice a bubbling or fizzing noise, but it’s ok; that means it’s working.

Afterward, you can pour boiling water down the drain to help clear out any additional residue.

Plumbers Snake 

Plumber snakes are inexpensive clog-removing tools that you can find at almost any hardware store. 

To use a plumbing snake, you slowly push it down your drain until you feel the blockage and then twist the snake to bring it out of the drain. Once done, you can run some water to test the removal. 

Unclog Tub in Santa Cruz

Manual Removal

This last removal process is more hands-on, and it’s to remove it manually. 

To manually remove a clog, remove your drain cover and look inside to see if you can identify the clog. If it’s within reach, put your fingers down and pull out as much as possible. We highly recommend wearing latex gloves because it can get pretty gross!

Final Thoughts 

It’s important to keep in mind that untreated clogs can damage your pipes and require more costly fixes. The best thing you can do for your home is to ensure that you have preventative habits built into your cleaning routine. 

This can be: 

  • Using drain covers to capture large items 
  • Cleaning your tub regularly to prevent the build-up 
  • Having a shower head with a built-in filter to soften the water 

Even with this preventative maintenance, you’ll still experience clogging, so we hope these options help you remove clogs quickly and efficiently. If you still can’t remove the clog – that’s ok. We recommend calling a professional plumbing service like Expert Plumbing & Drain. We offer drain cleaning services and plumbing assistance. We’re here to repair even the worst of drain clogs quickly and safely! Contact us today

Our professional plumbers are highly experienced in a wide range of specific plumbing-related tasks, including specialty projects!

Discount on Tankless Water Heater Installation

All About Water: undersink Water Heaters, Water Pressure & Water Conditioning

Did You Know?: Under Sink Water Heaters

Undersink water heaters are compact and efficient water heaters that go under your sink. They are so small that they take up little space under the area of your sink. These types of water heaters are not considered replacements of the traditional water heaters – but, actually, they work in conjunction with central heaters. Under-sink water heaters are designed to provide you with fast, instant hot water in your kitchen or bathroom sink when washing dishes or your hands.

Under Sink Water Heater - Expert Plumbing - Santa Cruz, CA

Save money on your energy bill and lower your energy usage by installing an under sink hot water heater. They are small electric units that are mounted under a sink to supply hot water directly to that faucet. These undersink heaters require less energy because they only heat up a small amount of water at a time!

Stay tuned because we’ll be going in depth about under sink water heaters in a later article …

How’s Your Water Pressure?

Having low water pressure can really get in the way of every day life. When you’re in a hurry and late for work or school, you just don’t have time to wait for your water pressure! It can be a huge inconvenience.

Fix Water Pressure - Expert Plumbing - Santa Cruz

Low water pressure is a very common issue in many homes today. It’s not something anyone wants to experience. Low water pressure can make it difficult to bathe, wash dishes, or do anything else around your house. If you feel like your water pressure isn’t where it should be, there are a variety of things that can be causing it.

Check If You Have Low Water Pressure

Here’s how to test it:

Step 1: Place a 1 liter measuring jug under your shower

Step 2: Turn the problem tap or shower on full

Step 3: Time how long it takes to fill the jug

Step 4: If it takes more than 6 seconds to fill the jug, then you have low water pressure.

If you need help with your water pressure, be sure to let us know and we can help!

What’s Whole House Water Conditioning Do?

A whole house water conditioner is a versatile water treatment system that gives you a broad range of benefits. A quality water conditioner may reduce water hardness and also provides a host of other benefits that you’d enjoy from a quality water filter. Think of a whole-house water conditioner as a more comprehensive water treatment product for your entire house!

Whole House Water Conditioning - Expert Plumbing - Santa Cruz

Here at Expert Plumbing, we’ve had years of experience in installing whole house water sediment filters. It helps to have an entire house water conditioning system – or at the very least a sediment filter. TRUST US.

A few benefits of having a whole house water conditioning system:

  • Protects your plumbing and fixtures
  • Provides you and your family with clean and healthy drinking water
  • Provides you clean and refreshing water to bathe in
  • Increases the effectiveness of your dishwasher and laundry machines
  • Improves the effectiveness of your soap, shampoos and laundry detergent – and makes you use less of them!
  • Reduces the risk of water supply related plumbing problems with your appliances and pipes

Our professional plumbers are highly experienced in a wide range of specific plumbing-related tasks, including specialty projects!

Have A Water Leak? Here are 6 Signs You Have a Water Leak

Are you certain you have a water leak? Some plumbing leaks are obvious to repair. But some leaks can be hiding behind your home’s walls or even the ceilings, making it difficult to find and – what’s worse – it can cost you thousands of dollars in damage if you don’t detect the leak before it causes an issue and a major headache.

And depending on the type of home you have – for instance, if your house’s foundation is built on a concrete slab, a water leak can be even harder to detect. Slab foundations typically have pipes running underneath your home and can develop leaks as the pipes get older.

Avoid Costly Damage To Your Home & Get Your Water Leaks Fixed Quick

Detecting a water leak early can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Here are 6 signs Santa Cruz homeowners like you should look out for when trying to identify and repair leaks ASAP.

1. Saggy Ceilings

A sagging ceiling is often caused by a leaking pipe or a leaky roof. You might see some discoloration paired with the ceiling sag. A saggy ceiling can be potentially dangerous and will need to be fixed immediately. We want to avoid a complete collapse of your ceiling, which can be extremely dangerous by putting you and your loved ones’ lives at risk, and it could be extensively expensive to repair.

2. Ceilings with Water Stains

As mentioned above, if you see spots or discoloration on your ceiling, this could be a sign of a water leak. The plumbing leak indicator could be telling you there’s a roof leak, but it could also possibly be a leak from your bathroom – if you bathroom is upstairs, and you notice the spot is directly below that bathroom.

However,  typically, you won’t see signs of a water leak on your ceiling until the leak has been accumulating there for a while. So we at Expert Plumbing suggest you address the issue as soon as you are aware of it.

3. Rusty Pipes

If you have an older home, your house might be fitted with galvanized steel pipes and/or drains. Unfortunately, galvanized steel will corrode and develop rust – which leads to water leaks.

Look at your exposed pipes. Do you notice any signs of rust? Discoloration or stains? Flaking? This could be a sign of corroded pipes! We suggest you replace those rusted pipes because complete corrosion occurs, leading to faulty pipes overall damage to your home.

4. Reduced Water Pressure

Low water pressure is a common indicator of a plumbing leak. Reduced water pressure can be caused by faulty valves, water leaks or a buildup of sediment in your pipes. Whenever you have this type of leak, there is simply less water that’s able to go through the pipe.

Are you noticing a sudden decrease in your water pressure? If you can rule out faulty valves and sediment buildup, then it may be pointing to a water leak somewhere in your plumbing system.

5. Mold and Mildew

Water leaks that persist will eventually lead to mold and mildew. Mold can be particularly toxic to both allergy and asthma suffers, but also to the average person who can develop upper respiratory conditions. Left unattended mold may turn into “black mold,” which is extremely toxic and should be looked at by a professional.

Mold grows as a result of standing water or moisture caused by the condensation from uninsulated pipes. Examples of this include water leaking into a basement, a leaky pipe, or a leaking hose from your washing machine.

If mold and mildew damage gets out of hand and has shown to be extensive, it is in your best interest to get the mold out as fast as possible. Typically, crews will wear complete protective suits in order to remove all of the mold and everything that is contaminated by it. It is important to check the surroundings near the mold that was found because mold can damage drywall, wood and other building materials. Taking expedited action in this situation is needed in order to keep your home safe and your family’s health protected.

A constant musty odor, for example, is often an indicator of mold growth. Growing and spreads molds emit gasses that give off a musty smell. It’s important that you don’t ignore seemingly small things such as this. Taking care of repairs like this as soon as possible will help prevent problems and costly repairs in the future.

6.  Peeling or Blistering Paint or Wallpaper

If your home’s wallpaper or paint is peeling or blistering, it may be a sign that there could be a water leak inside the wall. But by the time you see the wall begin to peel and blister, the leak has most likely been there for quite some time – and needs your immediate attention and action to prevent damage to your home.

Wood and drywall are great at absorbing moisture, but you don’t want them to do that! If there is a water leak in the wall structure of your house, it means the structure underneath your wall is most likely damaged and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Never Ignore Plumbing Issues

Whatever the case may be for your water leak, don’t ignore the signs. As your home ages, so does your plumbing. It needs to be taken care of, looked after and given a makeover from time to time. Fixing a water leak in your home is just part of the process, and every homeowner will need to fix at least one plumbing leak at one point or another.

Be sure to inspect all pipes, drains, valves and even washing machines for potential water leaks on a regular basis. Developing and having an awareness to signs that may indicate that there’s rust or corrosion in your pipes is an extremely important skills to have in your toolbox.

However, if you aren’t experienced in finding such leaks, or if you’re not sure about your plumbing skills on assessing whether something may or may not be a water leak, don’t hesitate to give Expert Plumbing in Santa Cruz a call right away! We’re no stranger to emergency plumbing and can help you right away!

You Can Trust Santa Cruz County’s Expert Plumbers

Don’t let a small water leak turn into something larger and, potentially, dangerous and costly. Call Expert Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs.

The Most Common Plumbing Problems And How We Fix Them

Common Plumbing Problems

Home, sweet home, can sometimes be the bane of our existence. Especially if there are issues with the plumbing. Luckily, Expert Plumbing can service everything from replacing your shower head to your fixing your washer hose

Clogged Drain

Clogged drains can go from “I can ignore this,” to “I need to call Expert Plumbing,” fast. If someone has really thick hair, Expert Plumbing can unclog the sinks and bathtubs with all that excess from trimming or brushing.  No matter the reason, don’t deal with standing water or buying cheap Drano that doesn’t work, anymore.

Toilet Repair

Whether it’s because of you or a visitor, a clogged toilet is one of the most frustrating things to deal with. Avoid the splashing from a plunger and reach out to Expert Plumbing. Whether it be an issue with the septic tank, the backflow valve, or overall sewer repair, Expert Plumbing will find out the issue and repair it immediately.

Dishwasher Repair

Are your dishes coming out with film? Are family members are leaving food on the plate and clogging it up? Is your dishwasher not turning on? Is your dishwasher leaking? These problems and more can be easily diagnosed and repaired by Expert Plumbing.

Garbage Disposal Repair

Garbage disposals are the best invention…until they don’t work. Sometimes a fork can get stuck, making noise as well as possible damage. Certain liquids like oils should not go down the drain, and that can cause a myriad of issues as well. Call Expert Plumbing if you need them to unclog a garbage disposal, or even make it quieter.

Aesthetic Repair

Have you bought a new home and are looking to upgrade the plumbing? Upgrade your home by calling Expert Plumbing to get a quote. They can even make visible plumbing unattractive. Whether you need one-and-done repairs, or monthly service, Expert Plumbing have the most comprehensive-background to do the best job in the area.

Appliance Repair

Large appliances are built to be sturdy and last a long time. But things don’t last forever, and repair or replacement will eventually become necessary. Expert Plumbing can replace a boiler, and check for hairline leaks, both things that can cost you thousands because of inefficiency. Water softener installation and repair can be done by Expert Plumbing as well. If it uses water, the service technicians at Expert Plumbing can fix it.