Winter Plumbing Tips for Victoria & Lower Vancouver Island

With winter on the horizon for Victoria and surrounding communities on Lower Vancouver Islands, it’s time to make sure your plumbing, home, property and even your car are prepared for what Mother Nature could throw our way. While Victoria and this part of BC enjoys the warmest temperatures in the nation, we are of course not immune to winter weather. That’s why it’s best to be prepared for snow, freezing rain and temperatures that can dip below the freezing mark and even stay there for a spell. Winter’s Effect on Pipes, Taps & Outdoor Plumbing Accessories One of the primary concerns of the effect of cold weather on the home is the potential for freezing pipes. While the threat of frozen pipes or burst pipes in Victoria homes isn’t as large or looming as other parts of Canada, it can happen during those occasions when the thermometer drops below zero. The most frequent culprit of frozen pipes or (even worse) burst pipes is outdoor taps not being properly shut off. With our relatively mild climate, many homeowners in Victoria and around Lower Vancouver Island have a habit of leaving their hoses hooked up into or even through the winter. While it might seem like a convenience, this practice also poses a hazard. You see, when temperatures drop and stay below zero for several hours (or maybe a day or more, depending on the weather conditions), the water in both the hoses and the outdoor taps can freeze – and expand in the process. Eventually there’s nowhere to go, and the result is a burst. If you’re lucky, all that will happen is that a cosmetic section of the hose system breaks, such as the hose spray gun, the sprinkler assembly, etc. The damage could, however, be much worse. Worse Case Winter Scenarios for Victoria Plumbing What you really want to avoid when it comes to plumbing in the winter is a burst pipe. When water turns into ice, it expands. That expansion can push out of whatever vessel it happens to be in. Pipes, whether PVC or metal, only have so much tolerance for expansion. Eventually the pipes will burst. A burst pipe at the exterior of your house can cause flooding in your yard and/or onto your foundation. This can be a costly matter. Even costlier and more damaging is what happens if the pipes burst indoors. This can lead to flooding in the home, a very messy recovery project that can run up hefty bills in the form of cleanup, contractors for remodeling, etc. – not to mention higher insurance premiums should you have to make a claim. Instead of waiting for a leaky pipe or burst pipe to occur, why not up for peace of mind with proactive measures. Prepare Your Pipes, Taps & Accessories for the Winter When the cold weather approaches, turn off all outdoor taps and water lines. Empty all water in the pipes, hoses and accessories. Should a power outage occur during sub-zero [...]


5 Tips to Prevent Clogging Your Drain

Have you ever experienced a clogged drain? If so, you know what a challenge it can be – both unclogging the drain and getting rid of the mess that’s caused on either end of it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. That’s why, in this edition of the Drain Pro Victoria Plumber blog, we’re bringing you 5 Tips on How to Prevent Clogging Your Drain. Preventing Clogged Drains in Your Kitchen Sink Kitchen sinks are one of the biggest culprits in the house when it comes to clogged drains. That’s because we tend to put all kinds of things down the kitchen sink, from food (in many shapes, sizes and states) to grease/oil to drinks and more. There are a number of easy but valuable steps you can start taking today to prevent clogged sink drains in your kitchen. Don’t Throw Food Scraps Down the Drain – Avoid Clogged Drains with Composting Instead of putting food waste down the drain (even if you have a garbage disposal attached under your kitchen sink), why not collect it in a compost bin instead. In fact, food composting is highly encourages by the City of Victoria BC, which offers a compost collection as part of the Victoria garbage collection program. This way, you’re diverting food scraps and waste away from the sewer system, and you’re virtually eliminating the risk of clogged drains. The Victoria and Lower Vancouver Island community thanks you, and so will your family and your wallet when you don’t have to call on a Victoria plumber’s clogged drain services. Collect Grease & Oil, Too In addition to diverting food waste away from your kitchen sink to prevent clogged drains, another effective step is collecting grease and oil. Any oils you cook with, you can collect in a grease trap or jar, etc. – the same goes for grease runoff from bacon, steak and other meats. Kitchen Sink Stopped to Prevent Clogged Drains This one’s so easy. Buy a metal mesh stopper – more like a strainer – at the dollar store. Get a few, in fact. Then use these religiously in your kitchen sink. Any food that is collected in the stopper/strainer, you can then throw into the compost bin. It’s a cheap, easy & highly effective way to prevent clogged drains in the kitchen sink. Preventing Clogged Drains in Your Bathroom (Tub, Shower, Toiler & Sink) Aside from the kitchen, another part of the home where clogged drains occur is the bathrooms. Bathroom clogged drain potential exists in toilets, bathroom sinks, tubs and showers. Here are some tips to avoid clogged drains in the bathroom: Flush only toilet paper down the toilet (do not throw tissue paper or anything else!) Use a pop-up stopper in the bathroom sink (good for collecting hair, make-up residue, etc.) Get a flexible, rubber or plastic mesh stopper/strainer for the shower floor(s) Avoid letting hair get into the drain in the tub or shower (collect it on [...]


The Differences Between Hot Water Tank and Tank Less Water Heater – Which One Is Right for You?

It is no secret that water heaters are costly investments. It’s important to consider their efficiency, cost and longevity, whether it’s for replacing an old model or equipping your new home. At Drain Pro, we provide quality and reliable plumbing services for both residential and commercial clients in Victoria and surrounding localities. Our experienced team is specialized in hot water tanks, drain cleaning and other plumbing fixtures. In this blog, we have put together a comparison of tank less water heaters and hot water tanks. What Are Hot Water Tanks and Tank Less Water Heaters? Most water heaters are insulated storage tanks that hold 20 to 120 gallons with either gas burners or electric heating elements. They segment hot water at the top and cold incoming water at the bottom, enabling you to consistently get hot water. In tank less water heaters, high-powered burners are used to heat water as it moves through a heat exchanger. The water gets directly delivered to your shower without storage. Factors to Consider Before Purchase Know your fuel source: The three main water heater fuel sources are electric, natural gas and propane gas. Determine the most efficient one for you before purchasing. How much hot water your household needs: It’s important to choose a water heater that provides enough for your whole household. An undersized one will need to work more than it needs to, which results in a shorter lifespan. The dimensions of your unit: It should have ½’’clearance on the sides, 18’’ off the floor and 12’’ on the front. While replacing, keep in mind that the new one may be larger and require more insulation to meet federal energy standards. Get the installation done by professionals: Installation of water heaters can be dangerous and it’s best to let professionals help. They will be equipped with the necessary skills and awareness of safety procedures. Why Is Hot Water Tank Right for You? Since a significant volume of water will be stored on the basis of stratification, hot water tanks can provide hot water for a complete household without needing fuel to heat the water. Hot water tanks have relatively small burners and where a half-inch-diameter gas line is adequate. This means that the rate of combustion can be fairly modest, saving on fuel expenditure. Electric tank less heaters large enough to serve a whole house needs a huge amount of current. The multiple breakers and wiring required in homes are highly expensive. Flow rates Certain tank less water heaters have a flow rate as high as 0.6 gallon per minute, meaning they won’t function at lower flow rates. Simplicity Hot water tanks are simpler and easier to use than the tank less variety. This simplicity also results in easy and low-cost repairs. Let Drain Pro Help Many things could go wrong with a water heater. It could be a gas leak, water leaking from the tank, a non-functioning pilot light or more. Our experienced staff can aid in all kinds of repairs, replacements and installations for hot water tanks. [...]


6 Signs You May Have a Problem with Your Toilet

If you notice any strange noises or smell coming out of your toilet, it could be an indication of a major underlying issue. Overflowing and leaking toilets not only cause water damage to your house but may also significantly increase your utility bills. You can let experts help you determine the issue and fix it immediately to prevent it from worsening. If you want to get a clogged toilet fixed and are looking for professional plumbing services in Victoria, Drain Pro can help. We serve both commercial and residential clients. We also offer hot water tanks and excavation services. Toilet Plumbing Issues Here we have listed a few toilet plumbing problems you shouldn’t ignore: Clogged Toilet Although a common issue that can be resolved with a plunger, constant clogging may indicate a bigger problem such as the accumulation of waste in your drainage pipes. Flushing of toilet paper and sanitary pads down your toilet should be avoided. Sometimes, the age and condition of your plumbing can also cause problems. Most of the clogs occur in the trap area of the toilet. This may slow down or block the flush completely. Running Toilet Running toilets lead to a waste of water and can increase the water bill significantly. This problem can occur due to a lot of reasons, such as an old flapper or overflow. If the water seeps around the flapper and into the bowl, the flapper might not be sealing properly. It can also be caused by a leak in the fill valve. Cracked Tank Lid The porcelain lid of your toilet tank is brittle and can be easily broken. It cannot be fixed and you may have to replace it. Cracked Toilet Seat There is no way to fix a broken toilet seat; you just have to install a new one. This is easy as you just set the seat in place and tighten the nuts. However, removing an old seat can be very difficult and best left to the professionals. Overflowing Toilet If there is a serious clog in your drain pipes and the water is unable to push through, it may just flood your bathroom. Apart from leaving behind a bad odour, this can also have serious health effects on you. If you don’t have a proper venting system in your house, you may notice air bubbles rising up your toilet bowl or the water level rising and falling continuously. You can use a plunger to get rid of the clog. If it doesn’t work, use a toilet snake or get the help of plumbers. Leaks at the Toilet Base Water may sometimes seep out around the base of the toilet bowl and onto the floor to form a puddle. This is usually caused by problems in the wax ring that seals the base of the toilet to the drain opening. The toilet has to be removed to replace the wax ring. This can be a problem as the water is dirty. It is better for you to not use the toilet [...]