Understanding Water Pressure in Your Home

Having the correct water pressure is crucial for making sure that things like your faucets, showers, and appliances work right. It’s the force that moves water through the pipes and is usually measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI. Managing water pressure well can help avoid problems like water flowing too slowly or pipes getting damaged from pressure that’s too high.

What Affects Water Pressure?

Several things can change the water pressure in your home:

Pipe Size and Material: The width and condition of your pipes are really important. Thin or old, rusty pipes, which you often find in older houses, can make it hard for water to move and lower the pressure. Newer materials like PEX or copper are better at avoiding rust and keeping the pressure good over time.

Elevation: The higher your home is, the lower your water pressure might be. This is why homes on hills or the top floors of buildings often have less pressure.

Clogged Pipes: If your pipes get clogged with things like mineral deposits, they can’t carry water as well, and your pressure goes down. Keeping pipes clean can help stop this problem.

Water Supply Source: Where your water comes from can make a difference, too. City water systems usually keep the pressure pretty steady, but if you have a private well, the pressure might change depending on how much water is in the ground and how well your pump is working.

Pressure Regulators: These devices are really important for keeping your water pressure even and safe. If they aren’t working right, they can make the pressure too high or too low, which can cause plumbing problems.

Maintaining Optimal Water Pressure

To keep your water pressure good, you should:

Regular Monitoring: Use a gauge to check your water pressure now and then. It’s best if it stays between 40 and 60 PSI. If it’s often higher or lower, you might need to make some changes.

Inspect and Maintain: Look for any leaks or damage in your pipes and keep an eye out for clogs. Fixing these issues quickly helps keep your pressure right.

Pressure Regulators and Pumps: If you have low pressure all the time, a water pressure booster pump might help. Adjusting or installing pressure regulators can also help manage your water pressure.

Professional Assessment: If you’ve tried to fix pressure issues and can’t, or if you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, it might be time to call a professional plumber. They can check out your system and find a solution.

Common Pressure Issues

High Pressure: Too much pressure can be hard on your pipes and fixtures, which might cause leaks or breaks. A pressure-reducing valve can help keep the pressure at a safe level.

Low Pressure: If it’s not because of leaks or blockages, you might need to adjust your pressure regulator or install a booster pump to get your pressure back up.

Keeping an eye on your water pressure and making sure it’s where it should be not only makes your home more comfortable but also helps your plumbing last longer by avoiding damage. Regular checks, the right fixes, and getting help when you need it are all important for good water pressure management.

If you need assistance for minor or major issues, we got you covered with the finest service in town, contact AO Dowd Plumbing, Plumber in Fontana any time at 909-684-1915 or at aodowdplumbing@gmail.com

Debunking 9 Common Plumbing Myths

Plumbing issues and solutions can sometimes be misunderstood, leading to bigger problems. Here’s an in-depth look at some common products and practices, and the right way to handle them:

Flushable Wipes

Even though they’re often marketed as “flushable,” these wipes don’t break down like toilet paper does. Instead, they can cause big problems in your home’s plumbing and even in city sewer systems. Experts in plumbing and sewage treatment strongly advise against flushing these wipes. They can catch on small imperfections inside the pipes, gather debris, and create serious clogs. This not only affects individual homes but also causes issues at sewage treatment plants, where they can block pumps and other equipment. This leads to expensive fixes and can increase utility bills for everyone.

Grease Down the Drain

Pouring hot water down the drain might seem like a good way to get rid of grease, but it actually just moves the grease further down where it will cool off, harden, and block the pipes. This misunderstanding can cause stubborn clogs that are hard to fix and often need a professional to clear them. A better way to deal with grease is to let it cool and solidify, then throw it away in the trash instead of washing it down the drain.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

These cleaners might seem like a fast solution for clogs, but they can actually do a lot of damage to your pipes. The strong chemicals in these cleaners can eat away at the pipes, causing leaks that are expensive to fix. They’re also bad for the environment and can be harmful to your health. For smaller clogs, it’s better to use tools like plungers or drain snakes, or you can use natural methods like baking soda and vinegar. These alternatives don’t harm your pipes and are safer for you and the environment.

Dripping Faucets

A dripping faucet might not seem like a big deal, but it can waste a lot of water, which adds up on your water bill. Just one leaky faucet can lose hundreds of gallons of water each year. This is not just bad for your wallet; it’s also bad for the environment. Often, these leaks show there might be worn-out parts inside your faucet like washers or valve seats. If these aren’t fixed, they could cause even more serious issues later. Keeping up with regular checks and fixing leaks early can help your faucets last longer and work better.

Bricks in Toilet Tanks

Some people think putting a brick in the toilet tank saves water, but it’s actually not a good idea. Over time, the brick can break down and mess up the flushing parts, or it can make your toilet not flush right. This could mean you have to flush more than once, which wastes more water than it saves. Nowadays, toilets designed to use less water are a better option because they save water without losing any flushing power.

In-Tank Toilet Cleaners

Using cleaners that you drop into the toilet tank might seem handy, but they can secretly damage the parts inside your toilet. The strong chemicals can wear out important parts like the flapper and flush valve, which can cause leaks and make your toilet run inefficiently. Rather than using these harsh chemicals, it’s safer to use gentle cleaners applied directly to the bowl to keep it clean and smelling fresh without damaging your toilet.

Using Lemons in Garbage Disposals

It might feel like a good, natural way to clean and make your garbage disposal smell nice by throwing lemon peels down it, but this can actually harm it over time. The acid in lemons can eat away at the metal inside, and the peels can clog up the system, making it work harder. A better way to clean and freshen up your disposal is to use a mix of baking soda and vinegar, which cleans effectively without causing damage.

Plungers Fix Everything

While a plunger is a must-have tool for quick fixes, it doesn’t work for all types of clogs. It’s great for simple blockages near the top of the drain but not for deeper, tougher ones that might need a drain snake or more powerful methods. Using a plunger too much or in the wrong way can also damage your plumbing fixtures. For complicated problems, you might need to call a professional plumber who has the right tools and know-how.

All Plumbers Are the Same

This is a common myth that might lead you to choose a plumber just because they’re cheaper or available right away, without thinking about their skill or experience. But, just like any profession, not all plumbers are alike. Choosing someone who is experienced, has good reviews, and is properly licensed can make a big difference. They are more likely to fix problems correctly, saving you money and hassle later on.

By knowing the real facts about these plumbing myths, homeowners can make better choices and keep their plumbing systems in good shape. Always seek professional advice for big issues and remember to maintain your systems regularly to avoid costly emergencies.

If you need assistance for minor or major issues, we got you covered with the finest service in town, contact AO Dowd Plumbing, Plumber in Fontana any time at 909-684-1915 or at aodowdplumbing@gmail.com

The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Plumbing Pipes

When you need to pick new pipes or replace old ones, there are lots of types to think about. Each kind has its own good points and not-so-good points. Here’s a clear rundown of the most common types of plumbing pipes you might look at:

Copper Pipes

Copper is well-known for lasting a really long time, often more than 50 years. It doesn’t rust and it won’t make your water dirty, which makes it a top pick for the pipes that bring water to your house. Copper is also good for the planet because you can recycle it. But, it’s one of the pricier options and putting it in can be tricky because it needs to be soldered.

PVC Pipes

PVC is very popular because it doesn’t cost too much and it’s pretty easy to put in. It doesn’t rust and it’s good at handling high water pressure, which makes it great for drinking water pipes and sewer lines. But, PVC isn’t good for hot water pipes because it can get soft or even melt if it gets too hot. Also, making and throwing away PVC isn’t great for the environment.

PEX Pipes

PEX is a favorite because it’s flexible, which means it’s easy to install and less likely to leak since it doesn’t need many connections. It works well for both hot and cold water. PEX also doesn’t rust or get a buildup of minerals. However, you can’t let it get sunlight and some people worry it might make the water taste or smell different. It’s also a bit more expensive than PVC.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel pipes used to be common because they’re tough and can handle a lot of pressure, which is good for some big jobs. But they’re not used much in homes anymore because they can rust over time. This rust can make the water dirty and slow down the flow.

CPVC Pipes

CPVC is a lot like PVC but it’s been treated with chlorine so it can handle hot water because it can take higher temperatures. It has many of the same good points as PVC, like being resistant to most chemicals and easy to install. But like PVC, CPVC isn’t good for outdoor use because sunlight can damage it, and making and getting rid of CPVC can be bad for the environment and health.

ABS Pipes

ABS is another type of plastic pipe known for being really tough and good for cold places, which makes it perfect for outside or underground pipes. It’s good in the cold and when things hit it, but sunlight and some chemicals can damage it, so you can’t use it everywhere.


Each kind of pipe has its own set of pluses and minuses, and the right choice depends a lot on what you need the pipe for, where you live, and how much you want to spend. When picking pipes, it’s important to think about all these things to find the best type for your home.


If you need assistance for minor or major issues, we got you covered, contact AO Dowd Plumbing, Plumber in Fontana any time at 909-684-1915 or at aodowdplumbing@gmail.com

Guide to Unclogging Drains Without Harsh Chemicals

Unclogging your drains without using harsh chemicals is not just better for the earth but also kinder to your pipes. Here’s a thorough guide on how to do this effectively, detailing each method step by step:

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method is a favorite for those who like to fix things themselves. It works because of the natural reaction between baking soda, which is a simple alkali, and vinegar, which is a gentle acid. Start by pouring boiling water down the drain to soften the clog. Then add a cup of baking soda right into the drain. Next, mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of hot water and pour this into the drain too. Quickly cover the drain to keep the fizzing action inside the pipes, which helps break down the grease and dirt more effectively. After waiting about 15 minutes, pour another pot of boiling water down to rinse away the debris. This method is great for both kitchen and bathroom sinks as it efficiently clears out food remains, soap scum, and other organic buildup.

Dish Soap and Hot Water

For clogs mainly made of grease, which are common in kitchen sinks, a combination of dish soap and boiling water works well. Dish soap is designed to cut through grease and oil, making it perfect for this job. First, boil a pot of water and add a few squirts of dish soap. Slowly pour this soapy water down the drain to dissolve and wash away the grease. You might need to repeat this process, especially after meals that involve a lot of oils or if there’s a significant buildup in the drain.

Salt, Baking Soda, and Boiling Water

This mixture combines the scrubbing power of salt with the cleaning abilities of baking soda, boosted by the force of boiling water. Mix half a cup of table salt with half a cup of baking soda and pour it into the drain while it’s dry. Let it sit and work through the blockage for a few hours, or overnight for optimal results. Then, pour boiling water down the drain to flush out the mixture and any debris it has loosened. This method is particularly effective for stubborn clogs deep within the plumbing.

Wire Hanger

Sometimes, you need to physically remove blockages, especially if they are made of hair and other fibrous materials. Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it out, but leave one end bent into a small hook. Carefully insert this hook into the drain and use it to pull out hair and other debris. Be careful to avoid pushing the clog deeper or scratching the pipes. This method is especially useful in bathroom sinks and showers where hair is often the main cause of blockages.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners

For those who prefer a less direct approach and want a long-term solution, enzyme-based drain cleaners are a great choice. These products use natural bacteria and enzymes to break down organic matter in the drains. Safe for all plumbing types, they can be used regularly without risking damage to the pipes. They are particularly effective in kitchen sinks where food waste tends to accumulate.

Boiling Water

Regularly pouring boiling water down the drain is a simple but effective way to prevent the buildup of oils and grease that often cause clogs. This method is quick, easy, and economical, though it should be used cautiously on PVC pipes to avoid damage from the heat.

Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda, and Salt

This trio leverages the cleaning and freshening properties of each ingredient. Mix a quarter cup of cream of tartar with a quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of salt. Pour this dry mixture down the drain, followed by boiling water. The heat activates the ingredients, helping to break down the buildup in the pipes. This solution not only clears out clogs but also leaves your drains smelling clean and fresh.

If you need assistance for minor or major issues, we got you covered, contact AO Dowd Plumbing, Plumber in Fontana any time at 909-684-1915 or at aodowdplumbing@gmail.com