Home and garden

Selling Your Home? How To Prepare Your Plumbing For A Full House Inspection

Whether you are selling your home or simply getting ready for a property assessment, it is a good idea to know the value of your home.

A home inspection ensures that everything on your property is in good, working order. It helps you gauge the market value of your property, as well as figure out what needs maintenance and repair.

An important aspect of the full house inspection is plumbing. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your plumbing system and when problems do arise, they are often time sensitive emergencies. Your home inspector will check your plumbing to see if it is working effectively.

You will have an easier experience during the home inspection if you prepare for the inspection in advance. Check to be sure your plumbing system is in order and get repairs before the home inspection!

What Will The Home Inspector Look For?

The home inspector needs to be sure that your house is safe and functional. They will test all of your appliances, as well as check the age of your home and your recent upgrades. They need to be sure that your home is safe, functional, and viable for prospective buyers.

The home inspector will look for signs of deterioration and decay on the exterior of your home. Any outlying cracks or discoloration indicate signs of water damage or age in the home. These may need to be repaired before inspection, or after if it is recommended.

The home inspector isn’t out to find problems in your home, they simply are checking to be sure everything is working and safe. A key component to doing well in the home inspection is making sure your plumbing is in good working order.

How To Prepare Your Plumbing For A Home Inspection

The home inspector will not check your entire plumbing system, however, they will be looking for functionality in your plumbing. A general home inspection is different from a plumbing inspection, which is much more in-depth as it is just focused on plumbing.

It is a good idea, whether you are preparing for a home inspection, or a plumbing inspection, to be sure your plumbing is in good working order. The home inspector will check to ensure that all of your taps run and that the water drains at an appropriate speed.

They will check to see if all of the toilets flush properly and that all of the baths and showers are working and draining well. They will scan the home for common signs of water damage such as cracks, uneven drywall, and stains in the ceiling or flooring.

An easy way to prepare for your home inspection by keeping these things in mind. Home inspectors look for these signs when assessing your plumbing:

  • Be sure all drains are working
  • Check water levels
  • Be sure nothing is leaking
  • Check for water damage and have it repaired
  • Check to see that your shower drains work
  • Check your basement for mold or dampness
  • Look for cracks and blockages

These are the major things that the home inspector will be looking for. It is a best practice to prepare before the inspection by addressing these major aspects first.

Clean Your House Thoroughly Before Any Home Inspection

Your home inspector wants to be sure that your house is working at its best. That’s why it is important for it to look its best too. The home inspector will appreciate that your house is clean and easy to navigate.

It will help them see that the house is well taken care of and that the owners are responsible. your plumbing is important in the home inspection, but you’ll want to think of the whole picture too.

Be sure that your home is clean and presentable. If you are trying to sell your home after the inspection, this is especially important.

Ask Your Plumber About Plumbing Inspections

If you are checking your plumbing systems to prepare for a home inspection, or the home inspector recommends that you update your plumbing system, you may need professional help. At Hillcrest Plumbing, we know the importance of keeping your house looking its best, and working effectively.

We offer 24h emergency service for those experiencing a plumbing emergency. We also offer plumbing assessments and maintenance. Come on in to Hillcrest Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs.

Compost bin in the garden

How Kitchen Composting Can Prevent Clogged Drains

Composting has long been the most environmentally friendly alternative to throwing things out. It is not only sustainable and widely practiced, but it is also a bylaw in the majority of the lower mainland.

Composting may seem like an extra effort, but there are actually ways that it can benefit you as well as your environment. Save your drains and garburator by composting instead!

If you do not compost, or you notice that large amounts of food get washed down the sink, you could create a bigger problem in your plumbing. Look out for the signs of a clog.

1. Organic Material Clogs Drains

The main way that composting can help you avoid clogged drains is by keeping old food from gathering in your sink. Leftover organic materials can cause clogs.

Larger organic materials can not only clog your drains, but they can also break your garburator. If you overload your garburator with too much debris, it can break easily. It is best to compost as much material as you can before you use the garburator if you have one.

Over time, if this debris isn’t cleaned out or cleared away, it can collect in the pipes beneath your sink and cause slow drainage, or stop drainage altogether. Be especially careful with smaller items, such as coffee grinds or food in soup broth.

2. Compost Old Food Before Washing Dishes

If you do not have a dishwasher, it is very common to wash your dishes in the kitchen sink. Be sure to cleanA mass of dirty, filthy dishes with food scraps waiting to be washed. any extra food off of your plates before you place them in the sink.

Old food can sink to the bottom and drain out with the dirty water. This can lead to potential clogs when the old food gathers in your pipes.

Composting is not only mandatory in the lower mainland, it is helpful for your home. In addition, use environmentally friendly dish soap. It is easier on your skin, as well as your drains. It ensures that the water leaving your home isn’t filled with harsh chemicals.

3. Keep A Filter In Your Sink

When you use your sink to wash food or clean dishes, keep the grate up over the top of the drain. This will help to strain any debris that ends up gathering at the bottom and keep it from going down the drain and into your pipes. A filter in your sink works like a pasta strainer.

Water passes through freely and anything larger than the grate gets caught. This prevents debris from entering your pipes and makes it easy for you to compost the food that gets stuck.

Once you drain your sink after washing dishes, be sure to collect any food that has collected in the grate as well.

4. Buy A Composting Bin And Grease Container

A composting bin is the most efficient way to dispose of the organic material. You can also use biodegradable garbage bags for your composting. To avoid any potential messes when you empty the composting bin.

In addition to composting the organic matter, you should store any excess grease from cooking in a similar container.

When grease gets poured into a sink it is in a liquid form, but as it sits in your pipes it hardens and can slowly restrict the flow of water in your drainage system.

Not to mention it is not a very environmentally friendly substance. It is a good practice to keep a small container at home next to the sink so that you can pour the excess from cooking into it before washing.

5. Call Your Plumber And Ask About Composting Options

If you notice a bad smell coming from your kitchen sink, it could be that there is food rotting in your pipes. Likewise, if your sink starts to drain slowly, or there is always a shallow layer of water that doesn’t drain, it is a good idea to call your plumber.

These signs are both indications that you have a clogged sink, most likely from organic matter, especially if you can smell it rotting. Prevent this by composting, and when in doubt, call your plumber.

Hillcrest Plumbing has over 50 years of experience working in the industry. Our plumbers are highly educated and trained to handle any of your plumbing and drainage questions.

We also have a 24-hour emergency plumbing service so that you can rest assured that no matter what the problem, Hillcrest Plumbing will be there to help. Call us today!

Damaged building from earthquake

Are Your Pipes Prepared for an Earthquake?

The lower mainland is a unique and beautiful area to live. However, it poses some very prominent geographic risks.

The mixture of flat farmland, ocean and mountains are signature signs that we live on a fault line, a place that is much more at risk for earthquakes than other places in the world.

Greater Vancouver has experienced earthquakes in the past, and there are even more intense earthquakes expected for the future. The key to living in a high-risk area is preparation. You never know when an emergency will strike, but it is best to ensure that your home will be safe when natural disasters do arise.

One of the key things that can go wrong in earthquakes is damage to your personal property and your house. Modern buildings built in the city are often earthquake proofed by the engineers that design them. 

But what does this mean for your home? Learn how to be sure your home is as safe as it can be when disaster strikes.

Assess Your Risks

The first step to an effective earthquake plan is to check when your home was last updated. Ask yourself: How old are your appliances? What about the supports for your housing structure?

You do not have to fully renovate your home or apartment, you simply need to be sure everything is secure. There are a few simple updates that you can make, specifically, for your plumbing system so that you can be sure it stays in tact.

Earthquakes And Plumbing

Earthquakes can affect everything in your home, but they can cause particular damage to your plumbing system. Any damage to your plumbing system during a natural disaster can lead to ruptured pipes and flooding within your home.

This leads to a plumbing emergency that can leave you on your own. Especially if the earthquake caused particular damage to the city, local plumbing services may be in high demand. It is best to ensure that your plumbing is viable in these kinds of situations.

The key to an effective earthquake-proofed plumbing system is stabilization. This is because a characteristic trait of any earthquake is shaking.

Even minor shaking can disrupt your home plumbing system. We suggest installing seismic straps to your larger appliances, like your water heater or washer. This will help keep large appliances securely in place.

Turn Off Your Gas!

The last thing you need in an earthquake is a gas leak. These are often lethal and can leave you and your family at risk for much more serious problems.

This requires you to familiarize yourself with turning on and off your gas line so that you can do so in an emergency.

In modern homes, there should be a simple shut off valve for your gas tank. In some models, you may need to manually turn off the gas valve with a wrench.

Earthquake-Proof Your Home

The cost to earthquake proof your home may seem unnecessary. However, it is far better than the cost of repairing your home after an earthquake!

Here are some things outside of plumbing that you should keep in mind when you are planning to earthquake-proof your home.

  • Be sure that things like shelves and artwork on the walls are bolted into place. A falling shelf can cause serious injury and even death in the event of an earthquake.
  • Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food and water in an easily accessible place.
  • Know the stable points in your house where you can wait. Many people stand under reinforced door frames for the duration of an earthquake. Plan out the safe zones in your house.

Homes that were built over 20 years ago may need additional supports installed to help make the walls and roof strong enough to endure an earthquake.

Call Your Plumber

If you are not sure how to properly outfit your pipes for an earthquake, or you think you need a professional assessment of your risk, call your plumber. Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating has been working in the lower mainland for over 50 years.

Our plumbers know how to best prepare a home for earthquakes, and other natural disasters like flooding. If you want to plan ahead and be sure your home is as safe as possible during an emergency, call Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating today!


How Often Should I Get My Drains Cleaned?

Have you ever gone to take a shower, only to notice water collecting at your feet? What about when you wash your dishes and the old water doesn’t drain away?

This is the result of clogged drains in your home! You don’t want to leave home maintenance on the back burner. Your drains can clog without you even knowing it.

If you live in an older home especially, there could be junk in your drains that has collected over the years.

Getting your drains cleaned frequently is the only way to avoid unexpected clogs. But how often is too often? There are a few factors that contribute to deciding when you need your drains cleaned.

Who Is More At Risk For Clogged Drains?

If you have just built a brand new home, chances are, your drains are working perfectly! Your drainage system is factory new, so you won’t run into a clog anytime soon.

Older homes and rental homes are more at risk for clogged drains. Older homes may have outdated pipes and gutters. These tend to be narrow and can collect debris quickly, leading to a faster clog.

Anyone can experience clogs, however, and a major reason is your lifestyle and habits. You are at a higher risk for clogged drains if you wash your dishes in the kitchen sink, rather than a dishwasher. Food can collect faster in your sink from debris washed off of plates and dishes.

The key is to be aware and try to actively avoid clogs by preventing them before they start.

How Long Does It Take For My Drains To Clog?

There are many different types of things that can affect the speed at which your drains will clog. Mainly it comes down to how frequently you use them, and the amount of debris that collects within them.

If your kitchen sink collects a lot of excess food, and you don’t have a grate or filter on, over the drain, your sink will clog frequently. Likewise, if you have long or thick hair, you will often find your shower or the sink in your bathroom clog faster.

Your hair can clog sinks quickly. In this case, it is best to avoid brushing your hair over the bathroom sink. Get a shower grate for the drain in the bathroom. This way you can remove hairs from the grate, rather than the drain.

Drains can clog if they are subjected to a high volume of users. If you have a large family that shares a bathroom or kitchen, this can contribute to how quickly your drains clog as well.

The speed at which clogs occur will be different for everyone, in every home. A key factor to keep in mind is prevention. If you stay aware of clogs and properly maintain your drains, it will not be problematic.

Why Frequent Upkeep Is Important

Making sure that your drains are working effectively is important because it saves you money in the long run. Well maintained drains will last longer and require less upkeep.

There will be less stress on the drain in the long run and it will be less likely that you will need your drains replaced in the future. Some easy ways to keep your drains well maintained include:

  • Get a drain filter
  • Avoid leaving excess food on your plate, brush extra food into the garbage
  • Get your drains checked every 2 years

How Often Should Drains Be Cleaned Professionally?

There are several ways to clean and unclog your drains at home. However, it is a good idea to have them professionally cleaned once in awhile as a preventative measure. This is especially recommended if your drain is frequently used.

If your drain is clogging once every month, or if you notice that it has started to clog more than before, it is a good idea to have it professionally cleaned. There may be something more serious going on that your plumber is trained to notice.

Professionals recommended that in any house, it is a good idea to get your drains tested and cleaned once every two years.

But if you notice a problem, for example, water drains slowly, or there is a smell coming from your drain, you have a clog that should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Call Your Plumber!

It is a good idea to get your drains checked by a professional once every two years. If you think there may be a problem with your drains, contact your plumber.

Clogged drains can be a sign of something else going on with your pipes. If the clog doesn’t go away when you try to fix it at home, call your plumber. At Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating, we have worked with all kinds of plumbing situations, for over 50 years.

Our plumbers have the education and the experience to help you in any plumbing situation or emergency. We are available 24/7 so you can call at any time, and help will be on its way immediately!


Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating pipes

The Most Common Basement Plumbing Problems

Your basement is often forgotten when it comes to matters of plumbing. However, it is an area of your house that can have some very unique problems when it comes to the topic.

Basements can face issues that include flooding, mold, frozen pipes and backup. Here are the most common plumbing problems for your basement, and some tips on how to solve them!

  1) Flooding

Your basement is the lowest point in your home, and gravity plays its part when it comes to flooding.flood in the street

It is often situated partially or fully underground. This makes it easy for water to gather and collect in the area if anything were to happen.

There can be many causes of flooding in your basement. These include:

  • Poor weather and flooding by diffusion
  • A burst pipe in the walls or upstairs
  • Sewage backup
  • A faulty drainage system

Finding the source of the flooding problem can be difficult. You may want to call your plumber if the situation seems out of control or there is a large amount of water.

   2) Backup

Since your basement is so close to the ground, you can often face problems with sewage backup. This can be a common problem in older homes that do not have updated sewage systems.

Sewage backup is very common when the weather has been poor. They can be a result of an overflow in the drainage structure in your house.

Your sewage system can reach its capacity and the excess liquid can end up backing up the drain and seeping into your home.

   3) Mold

Mold can happen within the walls, floors or carpets of your basement. It is also not limited to your basements and can appear all over your house. However, it is more commonly found in basements underground.

Mold is due to excess moisture in the room. It is most commonly caused by diffusion through the frame of your home if it is not properly weather proofed.

Mold can happen when there is any moisture in the home It is a good indicator that you have a leaking or burst pipe in your walls, or a moisture related problem.

Mold is common in and around your bathroom where there is most likely to be water damage due to excessive moisture from showers overflowing, baths, toilets or sinks splashing water to the walls or flooring.

   4) Frozen Pipes

frozen pipes Because your basement is so close to the ground, or even underground, it can often seem significantly colder than the rest of your home.

This can even be the case if you turn the heat on because warm air rises to the upper levels of your home.

Your pipes can often freeze in the wintertime if your home isn’t sufficiently insulated. The best way to prevent this is to be sure your insulation is up to date.This is especially true if you live in an older home.

When your basement pipes freeze, the water or sewage system simply stops flowing and becomes icy and solid.

This can cause major blockages and can lead to burst pipes if it is not dealt with efficiently.

Give Us A Call

The basement is often home to many unwanted plumbing problems. Whether there is a burst pipe, a backed up drain or unexplained moisture, you may want to get a professional opinion.

At Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating we have over 50 years of experience with all types of plumbing problems.

We offer 24/7 emergency service, so we can be there for when you need help the most. Contact us, and get the professional help you need today!

Texture of old green painted shabby wall with scratches after rain

Why Are My Walls Damp? Plumbing Emergencies You Won’t Notice

It doesn’t sound like a common question, however, moisture in your walls happens more often than you think!

It can be due to a variety of problems, sometimes it can be a result of external factors but it can also be related to your internal plumbing system.

Dampness in the walls can often go unnoticed until the problem becomes serious. It can be accompanied by many unwanted side effects, for example, the walls may become moldy or attract insects.

It is best to address the problem as soon as you notice it. Here are some ways to identify reasons for damp walls, as well as ways to prevent them!

The Problem

Weather Warning

If you live in an area where it rains frequently, you are at higher risk for experiencing dampness in your walls. Moisture seeps into your home in ways you’d never expect, primarily through diffusion.

The lower mainland in BC receives a high level of annual precipitation, and moisture in the home is a common issue as a result.

When It rains or snows, moisture can collect and penetrate the walls of your home. This is most commonly noticed in areas where water pools, like the basement or the roof.

Individuals who have a flat or level roof are at higher risk for leaks when a heavy snowfall occurs, or when rain falls and gathers.

Low Ground

Basements, especially in homes that are situated on lower ground or farmland, can also experience waterdamage in the walls when rain or snow collects.

Moisture from the ground surrounding your home can seep into the basement area.

The moisture is often too mild to notice and it will often go away on its own when it warms in the summer months.

However, if the condensation persists you may need to have an area of your home drained and dehumidified.

Leaky Pipes

The weather is a natural cause of moist walls and ceilings. Normally this problem resolves itself when the summer months arrive.

Cobblestone - old street in Rome (Italy). A view just after rain.But if you notice your walls are still damp, or if there is an area of your house that has become damp very quickly, it may be the result of a leaky pipe instead!

This is a more serious problem because it often requires immediate attention. A pipe may have burst in the interior wall structure of your home.

If left unresolved this can affect electrical circuits or cause permanent water damage.

This problem will not go away on its own and will require a plumber to come repair the pipe.

This problem can often be seen around the bathrooms of a home. It may be the result of poorly installed pipes or excessive leaking in bathroom appliances.

The Fix

Invest In A Dehumidifier

dehumidifierOnce you have found the source of your moisture problem and have had it fixed or repaired, it is a good idea to purchase a dehumidifier, especially if your home is prone to condensation.

The dehumidifier will collect the moisture in the air and filter it out.

You can simply drain the dehumidifier of excess moisture, rather than having it collecting in your walls.

Outdoor Drainage System: Clear Your Gutters!

If you have noticed water pooling on your roof, or have existing leaks, your gutters could be to blame. If they are not frequently cleaned out, they can block the regular flow of water that you need to keep your roof from flooding.

In a similar vein, take the time to assess the drainage system in your yard, or the area surrounding your house. Ask yourself:

  • Are there any outdoor areas where water collects?
  • Is the siding of my house filled with cracks or visible water damage?
  • Do I have a drainage system in place?
  • Are my gutters clear?

Moisture can seep into your basement when the surrounding ground is oversaturated with water.

Be sure you have a proper outdoor drainage system in place. Your plumber can install one if you do not. You don’t want water collecting anywhere in your yard. It can spread to the interior of your home!

Clean And Prevent Mold

You can prevent mold by keeping your home dry.Mildewed walls with different sorts of mold (close-up shot)

However, if you notice dampness and mold in your walls or ceiling, it is a good indication that there is a problem with moisture in your house.

Once the issue is resolved it is essential to clean up any of the mold that you see, to prevent it from spreading to other things in the home.

Mold is not very good to breathe in so the sooner you resolve the problem the better.

There are many cleaning sprays that you can purchase to kill mold in your home. But before you start cleaning you need to be sure that the underlying problem with moisture is resolved.

Insulate your home

The right type of insulation can make all the difference. Be sure to weatherproof your home inside and out.

If your home has a wooden frame, make sure that it has been weather treated. It is common practice when building modern homes, but if your house is older this may be something that you need to do.

You can install a vapor barrier in your walls and flooring to be sure that moisture does not diffuse through into your home. For more tips on how to weatherize your home for moisture control, visit this helpful site.

Call A Plumber

If you are still experiencing dampness and have tried to repair the problem, you can call your plumber to help solve any remaining issues. This is especially the case if you think you have a burst pipe or leaking appliance.

The plumbers at Hillcrest Plumbing are all specially trained to deal with your plumbing emergencies. We have over 50 years of experience working with residential, strata and commercial plumbing problems.

If you think that you may have a burst pipe or faulty, outdated appliances that are contributing to the dampness in your home, call Hillcrest Plumbing for fast and trusted assistance, available to you 24/7.

AC vent

What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling

It’s the heart of summer and everyone is turning up the AC. You expect it to work when you need it to, but your air conditioning can run into problems that you may not have accounted for. Don’t wait until summer to test your AC. You want it to work when you need it most.

Whether it’s a problem with air filtration and circulation, a technical error that can be easily fixed, or a greater functional issue within the system at large don’t wait till your home is boiling hot for AC troubleshooting.

There are a few common reasons for why your at-home AC may not be working to its full capacity. The following are a series of things that you should check for, and reasons your AC may not be working.

Clean The Vents And Air Filters

Your AC filters the air it circulates throughout the house. This means that you constantly have fresh, clean air.

But these filters can collect dust and debris in the air.Ventilator filters

Dust is natural and that’s why the filters are there, however, when there is too much dust it can lead to problems.

It can cause the filter to clog when this dust gathers.

Over time, if this is not cleaned away, the dust can restrict airflow and keep air from circulating. The result is poor or nonexistent airflow.

Your AC will not effectively be able to cool your home if it is clogged.

It is not too difficult to clean your air filters. You can use a vacuum to simply suction the dust and debris away from the vents.

This is the most effective way of gently cleaning the vents without even having to fully remove them.

You can also use a moist cloth to wipe the dust out of the vents, this provides a more thorough clean.

It is a good idea to check your air filters every month to be sure that they are functioning at their best. If you see dust gathering, simply vacuum or wipe it away, and enjoy a nice cool temperature in your home as a result.

Check To See If It’s Set On “Cool”

This may sound simple but it can be difficult to notice in the midst of busy day to day activities. You may have adjusted the AC without even checking to see the temperature it was set to.

This will be an easy fix, simply turn the dial to “cool”. If you still do not notice cooling in your home you may want to check and see if the temperature is set to lower than the average temperature of your home.

It may simply be that the cooling temperature set on the AC is still too warm for your personal preferences. In this case, you can manually adjust it to cool to a lower temperature.

Take A Look At The Power

hand with an electric plug and socket is isolated over whiteIt could be that the breaker is down, there was a recent power outage or the outlet isn’t functioning.

In this case, it is a good idea to check and see if all power switches are switched to on and that the AC is plugged in.

If there has been a power outage, there may even be an alarm that beeps to alert you that the power has been shut off to the AC.

Take a closer look to be sure that all of the wires are in good condition. A frayed wire may restrict power to your AC.

When you have tried these three steps and there is still no cool air flowing through your home, it may be time to call someone in for an inspection.

Call Your Plumber

Sometimes there may be something more serious going on with your AC. Your local plumber is a specialist and will be able to quickly resolve or suggest solutions to your cooling problems.

Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating specializes in all plumbing, heating and cooling issues. We can guarantee that your AC is in good hands.

We offer air duct cleaning and air filter replacement as well as AC system maintenance. Our skilled technicians will be sure to get it, so you don’t have to melt over the summer months!

At Hillcrest Plumbing, our plumbers are also available 24/7 in the case of an emergency, so you can rest assured we’ll be there to help when you need us most. Contact us now, for more details.

Woman Using Plunger In Kitchen Sink At Home

DIY How To Fix Your Clogged Sink Fast!

Nobody likes when the kitchen sink gets clogged. It’s impossible to wash dishes, it drains slowly or not at all and it can lead to water damage in your house if it goes untreated.

There are a few different ways to unclog your drain at home without the help of a professional. But first, you should know a few tips on how to prevent clogged drains altogether.

Don’t leave old food in the kitchen sink

It is absolutely necessary to compost your old food scraps. This is both beneficial for the environment, and for your sink!

Old food is the fastest way to a terribly clogged drain. Not to mention, old food left to gather in the sink will eventually start to rot, and will not smell pleasant at all.

Try to avoid putting excess grease in the sink

Grease and most cooking oils can harden and condense in your pipes! This can lead to a nasty clogged sink over time as the grease builds up.

Use a grate at the bottom of your sink

The fastest way to prevent a clogged drain in the first place is to keep food and excess debris from seeping into it.

If your sink is clogged, it’s a good idea to follow these simple steps in the future. However, when a sink is clogged, follow the next steps to try and unclog it on your own first.

1) Remember Science Class

Eco-friendly natural cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon and cloth. Homemade green cleaning.

It may seem odd but an effective way to unclog your kitchen sink is by mixing vinegar with baking soda.

Simply pour 1 cup of baking soda down the sink and immediately add 1 cup of vinegar right after.

Cover the opening to the sink with a cloth and wait.

You may be able to hear the mixture fizzing and bubbling as it reacts.

It is best to leave this mixture in the sink overnight. Do not use the sink while the mixture is working.

After several hours have passed, pour boiling water down the sink to rinse out the mixture, as well as simply flush out what has been clogging the sink after the acidic combination of vinegar and baking soda has done its work!

2) Use Your Plunger

It may seem simple but your plunger is key to unclogging your kitchen sink. If there is water in the sink from the blockage, begin plunging over the drain.

If there isn’t much water collecting in the drain, fill your sink halfway with boiling water and then plunge it.

When the blockage is cleared by the plunger, the boiling hot water will help to quickly flush it away, so it doesn’t sit in your pipes and clog things again.

3) Check Under Your Sink

If plunging your sink didn’t work, there could be something more intricate stuck deeper in the pipes.

When you look under your kitchen sink you should see a short, curvy pipe that leads from the sink into the wall. If you own a wrench, you can unscrew the pipes, or, if they are plastic, you could try to unscrew them by hand.

Place a towel or something to absorb any water that may leak out, beneath your sink. Go ahead and remove the pipes.

Run boiling water through them (Using a different sink or bathtub) to try and remove any internal blockages.

Call Your Plumber

Sometimes even the best DIY projects are better left to the professionals.

Stale water and decomposing food left in a clogged sink is a recipe for bacteria and water damage.

If the techniques above didn’t fix the situation, there could be a more serious reason for why your drains are clogged.

Get a plumber to take a look and quickly deal with what’s wrong.

At Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating, our plumbers are available 24/7 in the case of an emergency, so you can rest assured we’ll be there to unclog, even the most stubborn sink! Contact us now, for more details.


Man washing a car with hose

4 Plumbing Tips to Check-Off This Summer

As we spring into summer, there is one important thing to keep in mind, have you looked into your residential plumbing situation?

Everyday plumbing maintenance can often be overlooked. But taking preventative measures during the summer months can help you cut down on costs, as well as avoid wasting water.

The winter months can cause major problems with pipes and drainage systems. Flooding from winter runoff, and continual freezing and thawing of pipes can leave your home at risk. It can cause problems with leakage and burst pipes.

A leaking pipe or water valve can often go unnoticed for long periods of time. It is a waste of water in the summer when many cities have water restrictions.

It can also lead to more serious problems like moisture seeping into the drywall and other interior parts of the home.

With these factors in mind, it is essential to keep a basic plumbing checklist to ensure that you’re ready for the summer.

1) Practice Safe Sprinkling

If you have an automatic sprinkler system be sure your sprinkler heads are clean and free of any external blockages like grass clippings or dead leaves. Sprinkler spraying water

This can place unnecessary pressure on the system and lead to burst water veins or a buildup of water pressure.

Test your sprinkler system before it is in regular use to be sure everything’s in working order.

Your sprinkler heads may have been damaged over the winter by ice or heavy snowfall.

It is best to replace broken heads before the summer season to avoid overstressing your system or wasting water with leaks.

Sprinkler heads can be replaced at your local hardware store, for an easy, at home project.

2) Keep An Eye Out For Expansion

Your pipes and appliances expand in the heat. The summertime is when you should be most aware of this.

Be sure to frequently check utilities such as your garden hose, washing machine hose and the lines of your sprinkler system around the outside of your house.

Anything exposed to the direct heat of the sun can easily expand and crack. If you notice cracks in your home, hose or other outdoor pipes, like your sprinkler system, be sure to get the areas replaced or updated.

Leaks in a hose can be a large source of summer water waste. This is especially important if you have a pool. Watch for cracks around the pool area, and get them filled immediately. They could be a sign of leaks.

3) Check Your Pipes

Look over your pipes and water tank and take stock of anything that looks out of the ordinary. Check to ensure that all valves are tight. There should be no wetness or water gathering anywhere.Old rusty pipe with leak and water spraying out

Look closely for any sign of rust or buildup and take stock of parts that may need to be replaced.

You can also check the area around your house. Is there a part of your yard that collects water? If so, you may need to install a better drainage system.

You do not want water to sit in one area of your yard, especially if there are water restrictions that limit sprinklers.

4) Watch Your Water Pressure

Water pressure is the term used to describe the force water has when it runs through your pipes. Water pressure for all appliances can be lower in the summer.

There is a standard level of water pressure that all homes commercial buildings and stratas maintain, however you may notice a decrease in pressure from what you’re used to during the summer months.

Your water pressure can vary naturally, especially if you are located on a hill or incline. It is much harder for water to be transferred to these areas.

During the summer, however, when more people are using water to keep cool, the water pressure will naturally run lower.

To avoid this problem, try not to shower, use the sprinkler system or bathe at peak times during the day.

Low water pressure can also be a sign of a burst water main. This is a much more serious issue and you should contact your plumber immediately.

Get a Professional Opinion

If you are unsure about whether or not your pipes are up to date, it is often a good idea to call your plumber. A professional plumber will be able to check all aspects of your plumbing and drainage systems.

This is especially important when it comes to monitoring areas that are difficult to access like plumbing systems underground or the sewer system. Yearly maintenance is recommended to avoid plumbing emergencies.

Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating has over 50 years of experience servicing Greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. We are a team of qualified, friendly plumbers that you can trust. If you are looking for a plumber in the area, contact us with any questions or projects!

4 Questions to Ask Your Plumber

It’s only practical to ask all the questions you think are relevant to a plumbing job before hiring a plumber to do it. Communicating everything that you want to be done helps the plumber to meet your expectations. Consider including these questions on your list:


Are you licensed, registered and insured? 

Avoid a plumber who doesn’t have the proper credentials. Unlicensed, unregistered or uninsured pros can make costly — and job-delaying — mistakes. If your pro hesitates before showing you his credentials, keep looking. Source: HomeAdvisor


When do you want payment?

Always ask when the plumber expects to be paid, and how much of the total cost he wants upfront. If your potential plumber asks for 100 percent of the cost before the job starts, walk away. Some will use a system of “milestones”: Once a certain piece of work is completed, you will be required to pay a certain percentage. Some will use time: After a specified number of weeks, you will pay a certain portion of the total cost. Milestones are often better since payment is only given out upon the completion of certain tasks. Time payments can work, but if the plumber works slowly, you may be paying too much for too little. Source: AngiesList


Will the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room that is being worked on be usable in the evenings if the work continues over several days?

For some home improvement projects this might not be such an important question.  When it comes to a plumbing job, this question is extremely relevant.  Being completely shut out of the kitchen over several days, or having your water shut off for a period of time, for example, can make a family very unhappy. Source: Porch


Do you offer warranty on your services?

Many people do not ask for a warranty because they do not know that they can ask for it in the first place.  It’s an important question to ask so that if your pipe still leaks a few days later after being repaired, you can contact them to rectify the faulty repair without any additional charges. Source: Kaodim

Don’t hesitate to ask more questions. For more information or to book our services, contact us today!



Hillcrest Plumbing

212 E 17th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5V 1A7

(604) 879-1415