Cracked Pipe Calamity: Expert Plumbing Solutions to Salvage Your Plumbing System

The plumbing system is the unsung hero of any modern household. It ensures a smooth supply of water for everyday needs, keeps your home sanitary, and supports your garden’s irrigation. However, when a plumbing issue arises, it can quickly become a homeowner’s worst nightmare. From broken pipes and cracked lines to leaky faucets and irrigation line mishaps, these problems can lead to expensive repairs and water damage. This comprehensive guide will help you tackle your cracked pipe calamity and provide expert solutions to salvage your plumbing system.

Identifying the Problem – Types of Pipe Damage


Broken Pipes

A broken pipe is one that has suffered a complete rupture, usually due to external factors such as freezing temperatures, tree root intrusion, or physical impact. The damage is typically extensive, causing significant water leakage, flooding, or loss of water supply. Broken pipes require immediate attention to prevent further damage to your property.

Cracked Pipes

Cracked pipes develop hairline fractures that may worsen over time. They can be caused by various factors, including aging, corrosion, and shifts in the soil or foundation. Cracked pipes may not be as immediately noticeable as broken pipes, but they can still lead to water leaks and damage your home’s structural integrity over time.

Busted Pipes

Busted pipes usually occur when a pipe is damaged from the inside due to excessive water pressure, corrosion, or the presence of foreign objects. While not as severe as broken or cracked pipes, busted pipes can still cause leaks and compromise your plumbing system’s efficiency.

man in protective gear installing a pipe underground

Common Causes of Pipe Damage

Aging and Corrosion

As pipes age, they become more susceptible to corrosion and wear, which can lead to cracks and eventual failure. Regular maintenance and inspection of your plumbing system can help identify potential issues before they become a significant problem.

Freezing Temperatures

During winter, water in your pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack or burst. Proper insulation and monitoring of your home’s temperature can help prevent this issue.

Tree Root Intrusion

Tree roots can infiltrate your plumbing system, causing blockages, cracks, and even broken pipes. Regularly inspect your property for signs of tree root intrusion and consider professional root removal services if needed.

Soil and Foundation Shifts

Changes in soil composition, ground movement, and foundation shifts can all lead to pipe damage. If you suspect these issues may be affecting your plumbing system, consult a professional to assess your property and recommend appropriate solutions.

Signs of Plumbing Issues


Leaky Faucets

A dripping faucet is not just a minor annoyance. It can be a sign of underlying issues in your plumbing system, such as a cracked or broken pipe. Fixing a leaky faucet promptly can help prevent further damage to your plumbing system and save water.

Water Line Issues

If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, discolored water, or an unexpected increase in your water bill, these could all be signs of a water line problem. A professional plumber can help diagnose and repair the issue.

Irrigation Line Damage

A broken or cracked irrigation line can lead to poor water distribution, wasting water and causing your garden to suffer. Look for signs of uneven watering, puddling, or low water pressure in your irrigation system to identify potential issues.

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Expert Plumbing Solutions for Pipe Damage

Repairing Cracked Pipes

If you’ve identified a cracked pipe in your plumbing system, it’s crucial to act quickly to prevent further damage. In some cases, a professional plumber can repair the cracked section by applying an epoxy resin or using a pipe sleeve. For more extensive damage, the plumber may need to replace the entire section of the pipe. It’s essential to consult a professional to determine the most effective solution for your specific situation.

Fixing Broken Pipes

Repairing a broken pipe is usually a more involved process than fixing a cracked one. A plumber will first need to locate the source of the break and assess the extent of the damage. They may use a combination of methods, including pipe bursting, trenchless repair, or traditional excavation, to replace the broken section. Depending on the pipe material and location, they may recommend using a more durable replacement material, such as PVC or PEX, to help prevent future issues.

Addressing Busted Pipes

Busted pipes, while not as severe as broken or cracked ones, still require professional attention. A plumber will examine the pipe to determine the cause of the damage and recommend appropriate repairs. This may involve removing foreign objects, repairing any leaks, or replacing sections of the pipe if necessary.

Fixing Leaky Faucets

A leaky faucet may seem like a simple fix, but it’s essential to address the underlying cause to prevent further damage to your plumbing system. A plumber can help identify the issue, such as a worn-out washer, damaged valve, or cracked pipe, and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements.

Water Line Repair

If you’re experiencing issues with your water line, a professional plumber can diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action. They may use trenchless repair methods, like pipe relining or pipe bursting, to minimize disruption to your property and quickly restore your water supply.

Irrigation Line Repair

A broken irrigation line can be detrimental to your garden’s health and waste water. A landscaping professional or plumber with experience in irrigation systems can help locate the source of the damage, repair or replace the broken section, and ensure your system is functioning efficiently.

underground - a busted pipe exposed

Preventing Future Pipe Damage

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Scheduling regular maintenance and inspections for your plumbing system is crucial in preventing potential issues. A professional plumber can identify any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage and recommend appropriate solutions to keep your system in top shape.

Proper Insulation

Protecting your pipes from freezing temperatures is essential in preventing cracks and breaks. Ensure your pipes are adequately insulated, and your home’s temperature is consistently above freezing during the winter months.

Tree Root Management

Regularly inspect your property for signs of tree root intrusion and consult a professional if you suspect roots are affecting your plumbing system. They may recommend root removal, root barriers, or other solutions to protect your pipes from damage.

Monitor Soil and Foundation Shifts

If you suspect changes in your soil or foundation may be affecting your plumbing system, consult a professional to assess your property and recommend appropriate solutions. This may involve stabilizing the soil, reinforcing your foundation, or adjusting your plumbing system to accommodate the shifts.

Just Say ‘No’ to Cracked Pipes

Cracked pipe calamities can wreak havoc on your plumbing system and lead to costly repairs and water damage. By understanding the causes, signs, and expert solutions for these issues, you can take action to salvage your plumbing system and protect your home. Regular maintenance, proper insulation, and addressing any underlying issues are all essential steps in preventing future pipe damage and ensuring your plumbing system remains efficient and reliable.

How Does Hard Water Affect Your Pipes?

Hard water is a common problem in many households and can have major implications on the health of your plumbing system. It is important to understand what hard water is, how it affects your pipes, and what solutions are available to protect them from damage.

In this article we will explore the signs of hard water damage in your plumbing system, causes of buildup, effects on performance and lifespan, as well as solutions for preventing or removing existing deposits from pipe walls. We will also provide tips for maintaining a healthy plumbing system despite having hard water. 

With these insights into the effects of hard water on pipes you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions about protecting your home’s plumbing system from further damage.

What is Hard Water and How Does it Affect Your Pipes

Hard water is water that contains a high content of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. It is created when water passes through sedimentary rocks like limestone and chalk. Hard water can affect your pipes in a few different ways–from causing buildup to reducing their performance over time.

The most common issue caused by hard water is limescale buildup on the interior of your pipes. This occurs because of the mineral content in the water; when these minerals reach higher temperatures, they form small deposits on the walls of your pipes. The deposits reduce internal pipe diameter and increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing system, leading to clogs and other issues like decreased water flow.

In addition to limescale, hard water can also cause corrosion in your plumbing system due to its high acidity levels. The acidic nature of hard water causes metal pipes to corrode more quickly than normal; this leads to weakened structural integrity and even eventual leakage.

Finally, hard water can have an adverse effect on your home’s appliances due to scale deposits that build up over time. When choosing a laundry detergent or soap for cleaning dishes, it is important to select one specifically designed for use with hard water in order to reduce the chances of these deposits forming on surfaces within the appliance or even blocking drain lines completely.

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The Signs of Hard Water Damage in Your Plumbing System

Hard water can cause a variety of problems in your plumbing system, from decreased performance to corrosion and buildup. 

One of the most common signs of hard water damage is limescale buildup on interior pipes. The high mineral content of hard water causes these minerals to combine with other elements at higher temperatures, forming small deposits on the walls of your pipes. These deposits reduce internal pipe diameter, leading to clogs and decreased pressure throughout your entire plumbing system.

Another sign of hard water damage is corrosion in metal pipes caused by its acidic nature. Over time, the acidic content in hard water will corrode metal pipes, causing weakened structural integrity and eventually even leaking. This can lead to costly repairs or replacements as well as inefficient performance throughout your system.

Finally, hard water can cause scale deposits which build up over time on surfaces within appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Not only does this create an unsightly appearance but it also affects their performance by reducing their efficiency or completely blocking drain lines. 

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Causes of Hard Water Buildup in Pipes

Hard water buildup in pipes is caused by the high mineral content of the water. The minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, combine with other elements at higher temperatures to form small deposits on the walls of your pipes. 

Over time, these deposits can accumulate and reduce internal pipe diameter, leading to clogging and decreased pressure throughout your plumbing system.

 Additionally, the acidic nature of hard water can cause corrosion in metal pipes, resulting in weakened structural integrity and even leakage. This corrosion can lead to costly repairs or replacements and inefficient performance throughout your system.

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Effects of Hard Water on the Performance and Life Span of Your Home’s Plumbing System

Hard water can have a significant impact on the performance and life span of your home’s plumbing system. The limescale buildup caused by the high mineral content of hard water can reduce the internal pipe diameter, leading to clogs and reduced pressure throughout your plumbing system. This can cause issues like decreased water flow, which in turn can lead to ineffective performance from showers, dishwashers and washing machines.

In addition, hard water’s acidic nature causes metal pipes to corrode more quickly than normal, resulting in weakened structural integrity and even leakage. Eventually this corrosion can lead to costly repairs or replacements as well as inefficient performance throughout your system.

As for appliances, hard water scale deposits build up over time on surfaces within them creating an unsightly appearance and affecting their performance by reducing their efficiency or completely blocking drain lines. To avoid this it is important to use detergents and soaps specifically designed for use with hard water so as not to exacerbate these issues further.

Solutions to Prevent or Remove Existing Deposits from Pipe Walls

In order to prevent or remove existing deposits from pipe walls, it is important to practice regular maintenance and cleaning of your home’s plumbing system. This includes inspecting pipes for any signs of buildup and then taking the necessary steps to restore them as soon as possible. There are several methods that can be used in order to clean and maintain pipe walls including chemical cleaners, acid-based solutions, and mechanical scrubbing.

Chemical cleaners are the most widely used method for cleaning the interior of pipes due to their effectiveness in breaking down stubborn mineral deposits without damaging the pipe itself. These products typically contain compounds such as phosphates which help dissolve limescale buildup by breaking down minerals such as calcium and magnesium into smaller particles.

Acid-based solutions can also be used to break down limescale deposits, however these should only be handled by a professional due to their corrosive nature. If needed, an experienced plumber can use hydrochloric acid or similar substances to dissolve any stubborn mineral deposits within your pipes.

Finally, mechanical scrubbing is another option for removing hard water deposits from pipe walls. This usually involves using metal brushes or other tools that are inserted directly into the pipe in order to physically remove any buildup from its walls. However, this method should only be attempted with caution as it could potentially damage the pipes if done incorrectly.

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Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Plumbing System Despite Having Hard Water

Hard water can be a major issue when it comes to maintaining a healthy plumbing system, but there are several steps that you can take in order to mitigate its potentially damaging effects.

Firstly, consider installing a water softener which can help decrease the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water supply. This device works by using ion exchange to swap hard minerals for softer ones like sodium chloride, reducing the mineral content of the water and thus preventing limescale buildup from occurring.

Second, make sure to use detergents and soaps specifically designed for use with hard water. These products contain special agents which help break down mineral deposits, ultimately minimizing their accumulation on surfaces within your plumbing system.

Third, regularly inspect your pipes and appliances for any signs of buildup or corrosion as well. If any are found, then take the necessary steps to restore them back to their original condition as soon as possible. Chemical cleaners, acid-based solutions and mechanical scrubbing are all viable options for removing limescale deposits from pipes or appliances affected by hard water damage.

Finally, invest in professional plumbing services on an annual basis in order to identify potential problems before they become more serious issues down the line. An experienced plumber will be able to safely inspect your home’s plumbing system and provide recommendations on how best to maintain it over time despite having hard water present.

Final Thoughts On Hard Water In Your Pipes

Hard water can cause a lot of damage to your pipes if it’s not dealt with properly. Additionally, there are solutions available to prevent or remove existing deposits from pipe walls which will help keep your plumbing system functioning optimally for years to come. 

One such preventative solution to protect your pipes from hard water is with soft water conditioning. Soft water is free of any minerals that could cause scaling or chemical reactions in your plumbing system, resulting in fewer problems down the line. 

Expert Plumbing has years of experience dealing with hard water and softening systems, so they can help you install a quality water conditioning system to safeguard your home’s plumbing and keep it running smoothly for years to come. Not only will this ensure fewer problems associated with hard water, but it will also save you money by reducing repair costs and maintenance associated with these issues.

How A Drain Pipe Camera Inspection Can Help Prevent Damage to Your Home’s Pipes

Do you ever worry about the condition of your home’s pipes? If so, a drain pipe camera inspection may be just what you need –  especially with all of the recent rain here in Santa Cruz County, it’s important to know the health of your pipes. This innovative technology can help prevent costly repairs and disruption to your daily life by giving an inside look at the condition of your plumbing system. With this method, homeowners can detect potential problems quickly and take action to fix them before it’s too late. Read on to find out more about how a drain pipe camera inspection can benefit you!

Benefits of A Drain Pipe Camera Inspection

One of the main benefits of using a drain pipe camera inspection is its ability to detect potential problems with your pipes before they become more severe and expensive to repair. This type of inspection utilizes a high-resolution camera that is connected to the end of a flexible cable, which is inserted into each pipe. The video feed from the camera can then be used to identify any weak points or blockages in your plumbing system, allowing you to make well-informed decisions regarding maintenance and repairs. 

By identifying issues before they become too severe, you’re given the opportunity to address them promptly and prevent further damage from occurring. This can not only save you money in the long run but also help protect your home’s structure from serious water damage due to leaks or burst pipes. Furthermore, a drain pipe camera inspection can help ensure that no foreign objects are blocking your drains which could cause costly backups later on.

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Potential Issues That Can Be Identified

A drain pipe camera inspection can be used to identify a wide range of potential issues with your home’s plumbing system. These can include blockages in pipes, cracks and weak points in the pipes, foreign objects blocking drains, and any other damage caused by wear and tear or mechanical failure.

Additionally, a drain pipe camera inspection allows for a more thorough analysis of each pipe than visual inspections alone. By using high-resolution cameras connected to flexible cables inserted into the pipes, inspectors can get a much closer look at the interior of each pipe and detect even the smallest areas that may be blocked or damaged. They can also assess the integrity of each pipe by sending water pressure through various sections, allowing them to make more accurate recommendations on how best to repair any damages found.

In addition to detecting severe problems such as cracks or blockages, a drain pipe camera inspection can also help you identify small issues before they become more serious and expensive to repair. This is essential for avoiding costly repairs due to leaks or burst pipes caused by undetected issues, as well as guarding against damage to your home’s structure due to water damage.

Ways To Prevent Damage to Your Pipes

Using a drain pipe camera inspection is an effective way to detect potential issues with your home’s plumbing system, but there are other steps you can take to help prevent damage to your pipes. One of the most important things you can do is keep an eye out for any signs that there may be a problem. Regularly check for leaks or damp spots around your pipes and fixtures, as these could indicate that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is also important to check for discoloration on the walls and ceiling around plumbing fixtures, as this could indicate that water has been leaking from pipes inside the wall.

In conjunction with regularly inspecting your pipes, it is important to take care of them properly. Avoid using caustic cleaners or corrosive chemicals on your plumbing fixtures, as these can weaken metal parts and lead to corrosion or breaks in the piping. Keeping drains clear and free of debris will also help reduce the risk of clogs and blockages, which could cause backups and water damage. A plunger should be kept handy in case of any minor blockages, while professional services should be used for more severe clogs or blockages.

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Cost And Time Considerations

Cost and time considerations for getting a drain pipe camera inspection done should always be taken into account before taking the plunge. These inspections are generally inexpensive, but the cost may vary depending on the type of plumbing system, the size of the pipes, and any additional services that might be necessary to properly complete the inspection.

The amount of time it takes to complete an inspection will also vary depending on the scope of work needed and any potential issues that might need to be addressed. Generally, a simple drain pipe camera inspection can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two, depending on the complexity of your plumbing system and how long it takes to safely access all areas. However, if there are blockages or other issues that need to be addressed during the inspection process, then it could take longer.

Along with the cost and time, safety is another important factor when considering getting a drain pipe camera inspection done. If done incorrectly, these types of inspections can result in serious damage to your plumbing system, so it is important to make sure that they are performed by a certified professional who has experience with this type of work. This will ensure that all areas are accessed safely while reducing any risk of further damage occurring during or after the inspection process.

Tips On Maintaining Your Home’s Pipes After The Initial Check-up

  1. Inspect pipes regularly for signs of damage or leaks
  2. Make sure to clean any debris from the drain pipe system on a regular basis
  3. Use a professional plumbing service to check for clogs and other potential issues in your pipes
  4. Install pressure regulators if necessary to prevent water pressure buildup
  5. Insulate exposed pipes during cold weather months to avoid freezing and bursting
  6. Repair any broken seals or joints as soon as possible before they get worse 
  7. Invest in high-quality materials when replacing parts of your home’s plumbing system
  8. Hire an experienced plumber if you are unsure how to fix a problem yourself, rather than attempting it yourself without proper training

Final Thoughts

A drain pipe camera inspection is a great tool to help you identify any existing issues in your home’s pipes and take proactive steps to prevent further damage. With the help of this technology, you can quickly find out if there are problems that need attention before they become major plumbing disasters. Not only will it save you time and money, but also peace of mind knowing that your home’s plumbing system is functioning properly. If you have more questions about how a drain pipe camera inspection works or think one may be right for your property, contact us today. We’re here to provide expert advice on the best course of action for protecting your home from costly water damage repairs.

Signs to Help Tell If Your Sewer Line is Clogged or Broken

A clogged or broken sewer line can be a nightmare for any homeowner in the Santa Cruz area. Not only is it difficult to diagnose the issue, but it can also cost thousands of dollars in repairs. The good news is that there are some signs you can look out for which may indicate that your sewer line needs attention. In this blog post, we’ll discuss eight warning signs that could mean your sewer line is either clogged or broken and what to do if you notice them.

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Eight Warning Signs

  1. Slow Drainage: If your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets are draining more slowly than usual, this could be a sign of an obstruction or blockage in your sewer line. This is usually caused by a buildup of hair, grease, or other debris in the pipes.

  2. Unpleasant Odors: If you start noticing an unpleasant smell coming from any drains throughout your home, it could indicate a broken or clogged sewer line somewhere on your property. Sewer gasses can make their way back into your home through these faulty lines and cause an odor.

  3. Water Backups: If you start to see water backing up from any drains in your home – such as if the water level rises when using the shower – this could also be caused by a clog in the sewer line.

  4. Gurgling Sounds: Listen carefully for gurgling noises coming from any of your plumbing fixtures – such as toilets and drains – which could indicate air bubbles breaking through a clog in the pipe further down the line.

  5. Toilet Overflow: If you flush the toilet and it overflows instead of draining correctly, it could mean that there is an obstruction blocking the flow of water in the line leading away from the toilet itself.

  6. Foundation Cracks: If you start to notice small cracks forming around door frames and window sills – especially near bathrooms or other plumbing fixtures – this could be a sign that something is wrong with your sewer line. It’s best to call a professional for help diagnosing and repairing any foundation damage that sewage backup problems might cause.

  7. Soggy Spots In Your Lawn: Check for any damp patches in low-lying areas around your house. These soggy spots are often caused by leaking pipes underground due to either blockages or breaks in the main sewer line connecting to your home’s plumbing system with municipal sewers outside its perimeter walls (also called “lateral lines”).

  8. Foul-smelling Puddles On The Property: Lastly, look for foul-smelling puddles on your property that might indicate raw sewage has leaked out due to a broken pipe somewhere along its path between tanks and septic systems belowground (or even directly into city sewers if they are connected). Such leaks need immediate attention before they contaminate soil or nearby waterways with dangerous waste materials!


What To Do Next

If you notice any of the signs that your sewer line might be clogged or broken, it’s important to take immediate action to determine and fix the issue. Here are some steps to help you do so:

First, evaluate the severity of the problem. If there’s a noticeable smell coming from your drains, you can assume the clog is made up of organic material like food waste that can usually be cleared with a plunger or a drain snake. However, if multiple fixtures in your home are affected, or if water is backing up in showers or toilets, it’s likely an indication of a severe blockage deep in your pipes. In this case, calling a professional plumber would be the best course of action.

Second, if you want to try and tackle the issue yourself with a plunger or snake, keep safety in mind first. Make sure all children and pets remain clear while you work on clearing out the clog. Place rags over any drains nearby to prevent splashing. Wear gloves and protective eyewear when using chemicals, as well as other tools such as augers and plumber’s snakes, to ensure no physical harm comes to yourself during your attempt at DIY plumbing repair.

Thirdly, should you decide to call in a professional plumber, make sure they have adequate experience with similar problems before hiring them for the job. Ask them about their qualifications and whether they use modern equipment such as hydro-jetting machines for clearing out clogs and video inspection equipment for checking for cracks or leaks deeper in your pipe system before making your decision on who will perform repairs on your sewer line.

Finally, once repairs have been made, regular maintenance should become part of your home cleaning routine in order to prevent future blockages from happening again down the road: 

  • Make sure food particles are properly disposed of rather than being flushed down sinks and toilets
  • Install mesh screens over drain openings where applicable
  • Regularly check for signs of wear and tear, such as corrosion or shifting pipes
  • Perform annual inspections designed specifically for detecting issues before they become too severe
  • Use natural treatments such as baking soda mixes whenever possible instead of harsher chemical options
  • Always reduce water usage when possible by taking shorter showers and ensure that not too much water goes down drains at once

Doing all these things will help reduce strain on your sewer line while ensuring its longevity into the years ahead.

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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.

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!

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.