Do You Need to Strap Your Water Heater?

Posted on: February 3rd, 2017 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

There are some homeowners who are not quite sold on the idea of securing their water heaters.  Why strap water heater, they say.  It is not like someone is going to walk in and take it away, right?  However, the strapping of water heaters is based on the premise of safety.

After all, you wouldn’t want the water heater to fall over and rupture water and gas connections.  But, are there other reasons why strap the water heater?

The History

In 1982 the Uniform Plumbing Code mandated the use of seismic safety straps for use with water heaters.  This is to try and prevent fires, explosion, and water damage in case an earthquake topples the water heating unit.

During the 1990s that requirements for strapping were upgraded so that strapping shall be done at points found on the upper third and lower third of the water heating unit.  The requirement was to use 2 straps without explicitly saying the manner of strapping and the materials that the straps should be made from.

The state legislature under the California Health and Safety Code offered the following standards in 1989:

  • All water heaters sold in the state must be braced;
  • Manufacturers are responsible for providing seismic strap installation instructions; and
  • Generic installation instructions will be prepared by the Office of the State Architect to include illustrations for minimum standards for strapping.

Strapping Recommendations

Strapping the tank is easy, the question is whether it is strapped correctly.  The modification of the strapping procedures covering water heaters is based on the experiences from the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes.  Because of these, there are 2 recommendations put forth:

  1. The top and the bottom portion of the water heater tank must be secured; and
  2. Heavy-gauge metal strapping should be used because it is stronger compared to the brittle plumber’s tape.

Adequate Strapping Standards

The original guidelines set by the code was to ensure that water heaters are anchored or strapped so that it would not be displaced by the horizontal movement resulting from an earthquake.  The standard of installation was never discussed nor the methods of attachment and the hardware type that must be used.  This left a lot to the discretion of the installer.

In 1992 adequate strapping standard were defined to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness.  The guidelines mentioned that:

  • All water heaters, regardless whether gas or electric must be strapped;
  • One strap should be placed at the upper third of the fixture and the other at the lower third;
  • A half-inch diameter metal conduit or at least 24 gauge plumber’s tape must be used for the straps;
  • The straps should go all the way around the water heater’s body;
  • The straps must be secured to the adjacent wall as well as from opposing directions; and
  • Lag bolts that are quarter inch in diameter and 3 inches long must be used to secure the straps to the wall.

Costly Mistake

If you fail to follow the recommended strapping guidelines or ignore it completely, it would be a costly mistake on your part.  Why?  For one, replacement of an earthquake damaged water heater can well be over $500.  The repair of the damage from flood and fire will cost you thousands more.

Make sure that you verify with the local Building Department the requirements in your area.  You should also be aware where the main gas and water valves are located so you can turn it off immediately once a plumbing problem occurs.

If you live in California, the law dictates that the water heater must be braced during the time of sale or when it is installed.  The brace must be securely attached to the wall using studs.

The bracing kits are widely available in most home improvement centers, but you need to make sure that a professional plumber does the strapping.

So why strap water heater? Because aside from safety, it is the law.

Signs to Replace Your Water Softener

Posted on: June 11th, 2014 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

There could be times that you are wondering if it is a good idea to replace your water softener. Of course if you just recently installed this unit, you don’t want to have it replaced. If it experiences some problem, have it repaired by an expert. So when do you call for a replacement? Learn more below.

Water Tastes Bad

When your water softener would not function well, it could result to unwanted taste of water. When this happens, there is a big possibility that the water conditioner needs replacement. Though this part of the unit does not work like the water filter, it still helps in making sure that water is free from impurities.

The moment water tastes bad it’s time to replace the water conditioner immediately. If the unit has been working for a long time already, investing on a new water conditioner is a good idea but if it is just a few years old, you might as well ask an expert to check it for a better solution aside from replacement.

There are cases where an expert could find other ways to deal with this problem. An example is through adding some additional filtration or doing some simple repair on some parts of the water softener.

Hard Water Stains

The purpose of having this unit is to get rid of hard water in your faucet and other fixtures. So when you experience that your detergent does not work well or your soap does not lather like before, it might be due to the increase in impurities in the water.

You could also see some build-up of stains in the bathroom, faucet and other areas that uses water. Hard water could also cause some damages on water appliances so if these become less efficient, you could suspect that the softener unit is not anymore doing its job.

Doing some fixes on this kind of problem might only be temporary. That is why it is a better decision to simply go for the replacement of the unit.

You’ve Had Enough of Salt

If ever you are tired of using salt, you now have other options. Most of the old water softeners use salt to do the purification of water. Using salt would also require you to monitor its level. Good thing there are now models of water softener which are salt-free.

Going for replacement of your old water softener is definitely a good idea since the latest units today are more efficient and reliable. It will not cause you that much trouble and it does not need too much maintenance.

For your water softener installation or repair needs, go for the service of Newport Beach Plumbing. Our plumbers are professional and well-experienced when it comes to doing this kind of job. We have been trained to make sure that high quality service is offered to clients.

Signs you need Professional Water Leak Detection

Posted on: June 11th, 2014 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

Most plumbing systems experience leak but only a few homeowners are able to detect it on time. If homeowners fail to do water leak detection early, it could mean high expense on repair and severe damages in the property. Below are some signs that there is leak in your home so you could act fast.

Mushy Ground

If it has not rained for a couple of days, of course the ground should be dry. However, when you see that a part of your yard is mushy, it could be due to a leak below the ground.

Try also to walk around your flooring and observe the temperature. If there is a cooler area, water could be causing it. When you experience mushy ground, immediately consider calling the experts for a thorough investigation.

Sudden and Unexplained Increase in Water Bill

There is no doubt – there is a leak is in your water lines if you suddenly experience a surge in your water bill while water consumption in your home is still the same as the previous months. If ever your water bill is doubled compared to last month, it’s definitely a leak.

Prior to calling the experts, try to check all your fixtures that uses water for any problem. Also check visible pipes for leaks and if there is any, immediately deal with it.

Sound of Running Water

Most homeowners know the sound of running water in the toilet and on the dishwater. Since it is quite a normal sound that homeowners hear, it becomes hard to determine if this is already caused by a leak.

If you hear the sound of running water especially when you are sure that no one is using water fixtures and appliances, immediately check the toilet. When you see that there is no visible problem, it could be a leaking water line on your foundation.

Moving water meter

To check your house for a leak, turn off everything that could use water in your home. Then, after a couple of minutes check the water meter. If the indicator in the water meter is still moving, it is a sure sign that there is leak and you need a plumber to deal with it.

Musty Smell

If you suddenly smell a musty odor in your home, it could be due to a part of your home that is moist. If this is underground, it could be a big problem. If you could not find the source of this unwanted odor, it is best to get the service of an expert to help you find the source. This moist smell in the air is not only annoying but it could also be a problem for allergic people.

If you need professional water leak detection service and repair, we at Newport Beach Plumbing is ready to help. Contact us now and we would immediately get a plumber ready to deal with the plumbing issues you experience in your home. We give the assurance that we will arrive on time and do professional service.

Make your Home Energy Efficient with Tankless Water Heater

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

If you are looking for a way to save money with your electricity bill, it would be ideal that you replace your conventional tank type heater to tankless water heater. This tankless type is definitely made to be energy efficient so you could be sure that it would help decrease your electricity bill.

Common Issues with tank type heater:

  • Water is heater even when not used
  • Water stored in the tank could lose heat and needs to be heated again
  • Needs enough space for the tank

For homeowners who are already tired of using the conventional way of heating water, now is the right time to try tankless heater.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heater

This water heater only works when there is a need for hot water. The opening of the faucet would be the signal that water needs to be heated for use.

The heating of the water is done in the heating coil where water would flow.  Since there is no need to store heated water, it is definitely energy efficient.

It could be used on various water sources and the good part is that it could provide hot water in seconds. You could now use hot water without worrying about your electricity bill.

Various uses of hot water:

  • Shower
  • Washing clothes and dishes
  • Cooking
  • Coffee

How does it work?

When water in the faucet is turned on, the flowing of the water will signal the start of the heating process. You don’t need to worry about the hotness of the water for you could set the temperature in the level of your preference.

There are components in the heating system that will check the temperature of the incoming water with the temperature you set. A burner is ignited which will heat the water and it could be powered through gas or electricity.

When the faucet is shut off, it also signals the end of the heating process. It will be on a standby mode until hot water is needed again.

Buying guide

Due to the way it provides hot water, this device is also called on-demand water heater. It certainly suites right its capacity to deliver hot water at home.

The tankless water heaters you could find in the market would vary in weight, size look and safety features. Just be sure that the one you purchase comes with warranty terms.

For homeowners who want some professional assistance in the purchase and installation of their water heater, Newport Beach Plumbing could help. We have been in business for a long time so you could be assured that we know how to do the installation professionally. Our many years of experience in the business make us a good choice.

Some Information about water heater replacement

Posted on: January 5th, 2014 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

You certainly don’t want to experience any inconvenience when it comes to using hot water at home. With this, it is necessary that you know when water heater replacement should be done. When water heater system is about to fail, no hot water will be a common experience. This is certainly a sign that it already needs replacement especially when your heater has been with you for a long time.

See to it that you know the signs that your water heater is bound to fail. In order for your family to use water heater without any inconvenience, it is necessary that you know the signs that the heater needs to be replaced.


You need to know the lifespan of your water heater. Most of the time, a heater could last about 8-10 years. During the early years, your heater would surely be in top condition. However, as it age, you could expect that some problems would slowly show up. If ever your heater is nearing its expected lifespan and experience constant troubles, its best to have it replaced. Repairing it would only be a waste of money.

Weird Looking Water

Dirt and dust in your hot water is also a sign that something is not right in your heating system. It could be due to rusting in your tank. This could also be due to the accumulated sediments in your water tank. As we all know, water carries different sediments and this usually would settle at the bottom of the tank.

It is possible to clean the tank on your own, but make sure that you know how to do it. Never perform the cleaning if you are hesitant with what you will do.

Corrosion in your tank is a serious problem. Often times the best way to deal with it is to replace the unit. When the tank starts to rust, time will come that it would break, so it’s better to have the entire system replaced with a new model.


Moisture around your water heater is also a sign that it needs replacement. This moisture could mean that there is a leak slowly surfacing in your water heater. Do not anymore wait for the problem to become worst before you have it replaced. It’s best to have your system assessed by a professional to know the best option for you.

If you need the service of a professional plumber to check your entire water heating system or to have it replaced with a new one, Newport Beach Plumbing could help. We have been in the business for many years already. With this, you could expect that we know what to do and how to do it professionally. It is our goal to provide you with fast and high quality service.

Finding the right Plumbing Contractor for a Pump Service

Posted on: November 27th, 2013 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

Pumps in your home would most likely experience problems in time. No matter how hard you maintain your pumps it will have problems due to wear and tear. If this problem is not addressed fast, it would not be good for your pump. Good thing there are now a lot of plumbing companies that offer reliable pump services.

Today, there is an increasing number of plumbing companies that aims to provide customers with high quality pump service. Even though its good news that plumbing companies in your place is increasing in number, it also means that you have to be careful with the company you choose. There are simply companies which are better than the others.

Looking for Affordable Service

Quality is still more important than cost. This is what homeowners should keep in mind when looking for a pump service. The problem with unprofessional service is that it has to be done again by other reliable plumbers. You definitely don’t want to pay twice for the pump service you need.

The scope of the plumbing service you need would also determine its cost. If the job is complex it would certainly cost higher. However, for minor plumbing jobs, it would not cause you that much. Just make sure that you know the average cost of the plumbing service you seek so that other plumbers could not take advantage.

Know your Options

Do not be in haste when you seek for a plumbing contractor in your place. Before plumbing issues surface, it is best that you already have an idea on which company could provide you with efficient service in a good price. The first thing that you can do is to use the internet to find known plumbing contractors in your area.

When you go online, seek for reviews and testimonials about the company. This would speak a lot regarding their capacity to do their work. If the company got a lot of positive feedback, you could expect that they could do their work well. It would be better if you could speak to one of their previous clients to know more about them.

Certified Plumbers

Check if the plumbers are licensed and certified. Make sure that the plumbers who will do the pump service are competent to do their job. If not, they might even cause some damage on your pump. Even though all plumbers usually know how to do their stuff, you would be more relax and confident in a certified plumber.

Guaranteed Work

Seek for a company that could offer a guarantee to their work. This would show that they are confident enough on the capacity of their plumbers. It would also be a good way to protect you from spending for nothing.

When you need your pumps at home to be repaired or maintained, Newport Beach Plumbing could help. Just give us a call and we would immediately be right at your door steps.

Types of Water Heater Available for you

Posted on: November 18th, 2013 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

Today, water heater is a vital part of the home since it provides a lot of convenience to home owners. However, this convenience could not be enjoyed when the heater does not meet your needs or does fail constantly. To have a consistent supply of water heater at home, it is best that you know the type which would work well for your home. When choosing a water heater, it is best to go for quality rather than cost.

Different types of Water Heater

  • Electric
  • Conventional tank
  • Gas-fired
  • Tankless
  • Solar

In choosing your water heater, make sure that you consider various factors. Do not just choose a water heater because a lot of people in your community use this type of water heater.

Below are some of these factors.

  • Needs of the family
  • Preference
  • Location

Conventional Tank Heater

A lot of houses today use a tank-type water heater. The concept of this type is using a water tank to store ready to use hot water. With this, anytime you need hot water, you could instantly get it flowing in the faucet. The capacity of the tank would depend much on its size, there are small and large sizes of this water thank.

For people who are planning for this option, it is necessary that you prepare enough space for the heating system and the tank. Proper ventilation is also required for this unit.

Gas Heater

A tank-type water heater could be powered by natural gas or propane. The good thing about this option is it’s cost effective. As we all know natural gas is cheap. So when this is how you fuel your heater, it could help you save a lot of money. The problem with this option is that using propane gas could easily damage your tank.

Electric Heater

In this type of heater, electricity is used to fuel the system. The problem with this option is the cost of electricity. As we all know, electricity cost is very high today. The good thing with this option is that water in the tank could always be heated efficiently.

Tank-less Heaters

There is also an option where you do not have to rely on tanks for hot water. This is a more energy-efficient option since water is only heated when needed. The water is heated as it passes through coils which provide the heat. Most of the time, this option is powered by natural gas. With this option, no hot water becomes unused.


The power of the sun could also now be used to fuel water heaters in your home. Proper installation of panels should be done by the experts only to properly connect it to your water heater system.

If you are troubled which type of water heater is right for you, call New Port Beach Plumbing now. We could really help. A thorough inspection on your property would be done to make sure that the type you choose would bring you convenience that you are seeking for.

Effectively Detecting a Slab Leak

Posted on: November 8th, 2013 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

Below the concrete foundation of your house lies a sewer line which takes the waste out of your home and pipes which brings water insider so you could have something to use for drinking, bathing and washing. There will come a time that leaks would happen on these lines and that is what we call slab leak. The water that gets out of these lines could cause expensive damages on your property. Early slab leak detection could help you avoid this expense.

Sudden Increase in Water Bill

If you experience increase in your water bill even though your water usage as the same as last month, it could be caused by a leak. A small leak could lead to wasting gallons of water every day. When you experience this, immediately check visible pipes for leaks.

If visible pipes are free of leaks, most likely the pipes located underground are causing the problem. This is the time that you have to call the service of the experts. They could easily find the leak and address it immediately.

Less Water Pressure

Another sign that there is leak is weak water pressure. When there are leaks in your pipes expect that water pressure would go down. As this leak gets bigger, the lower your water pressure would become. Water will not anymore be used easily in faucets for it would find its way into the ground.

When you experience sudden drop in your water pressure, see to it that you get the service of a professional plumber to perform the inspection. This way, any major damages and big expense could be avoided.

Puddles in the Floor

If you observe puddles in the floor, it could also be an indicator of a slab leak. Check where the water is coming from and if you could not find out the cause of the water, then most likely it came from under your foundation.

When you experience this, most likely the damage of the slab leak is getting serious as it already found its way into your flooring.

When a slab leak is detected or even if it is just a suspicion that there is a leak, do not ever hesitate to call the experts. There are now a lot of households that got serious damages due to slab leak problems.

Seeking for Professional Service

When you seek for professional service, see to it that you check the background of the plumbing company if they offer high quality service. Also check what their previous clients have to say about their work.

If looking for dependable plumbing service, consider Newport Beach Plumbing. Our service is available 24/7 so anytime you detect that there is slab leak in your home, you could immediately call us and we will be with you fast.

How to Unclog a Drain

Posted on: October 7th, 2013 by newportbeach-plumber No Comments

No one is spared from a clogged drain problem once in a while. You know how suffering and tough that is to experience it as it brings inconvenience and hassle for everyone in your home. Today, we offer some good news as you can solve the problem by yourself performing these simple methods of unclogging your drains.

  • You can solve it using a mixture of white vinegar and water. Get half a cup of baking soda and pour it over your drain. Then, get a cup of white vinegar and pour it over the drain, too. Leave it and wait for at least one hour.  If possible, leave the mixture overnight. Flush the mixture with hot water. See if it works!
  • You can also fix the issue by using a hanger. Get a screwdriver to take out your drain. You can check the inside of the drain for anything that clogs it. Straighten the hanger and stick it down on the drain. Start to pull it out.  Check if it solves the problem.
  • Another option is using a plunger. You can make a seal around the drain plunger. Put a little Vaseline around the edges of your drain. If you would find your tub to be overflowing, then plug it with a washcloth. Fill your tub with water until the plunger head is entirely covered. You can put the plunger over and start to unclog the drain. If you cannot solve the problem using a plunger, then this solution may work. Get your garden hose if you have a drain snake. You can start to run the hose down to the drain. Power on the water hose at max pressure. Whatever that is clogging the drain, it will sure be washed away.
  • When these solutions do not work, then it is about the time to use a chemical opener for your drain. You can get a Drano or Liquid Plumber. You should make sure that your area is well-ventilated before you perform the action. You can turn on the exhaust fan or open the windows.

These are some of the solutions you can apply when unclogging the drain. On the other hand, if you need expert help to entirely solve your worries, then you can call Newport Plumbers as we are around 24 hours a day and even on the holidays or weekends. We can get to your place for an emergency plumbing help anytime!

Call us today!


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