What is a Water Hammer?

April 8, 2019

When you turn off a faucet and hear a thumping or pounding sound, that’s water hammer. It happens when water quickly changes the direction of its flow and the resulting momentum causes the pipes to experience waves of pressure. If the problem isn’t fixed, it may cause serious damage to your plumbing system’s pipes. Why Does Water Hammer Happen? There are several reasons why water hammer occurs: Pipe Attachment Issues It may be that a loose pipe-mounting strip is causing your water hammer problem. These straps attach pipes to a framing to reduce your pipes’ movement when water flows through...

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Environmentally Friendly Techniques for Removing Rust Stains from Sinks, Tubs, and Toilets

March 18, 2019

Rust stains can appear on your toilet, sink, and tub for several reasons. They can occur if you don’t regularly clean your bathroom appliances or if you have hard mineral deposits – perhaps due to the use of well water or water with a high iron content. The stains can also be the result of rusty water pipe leakage or other plumbing issues. As unattractive as rust stains are, they can usually be removed if you use the correct products. These environmentally friendly methods are inexpensive and pretty simple. You may even find that you already have these items around...

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What is a P-Trap?

March 4, 2019

If you are planning a kitchen or bathroom renovation – or you smell a noxious odor emanating from your plumbing pipes – you will quickly become very familiar with a P-trap. P-traps can be made of either PVC or metal. This essential plumbing fixture is usually installed under bathroom and kitchen sinks to trap debris that has drained there and keep it from being able to clog your plumbing system. It can also trap gases and keep them from flowing back up into your home or business. This is particularly important because some types of sewer gases not only smell...

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Rain and Potential Impact on Your Drain Field

February 18, 2019

Once it appears that winter is giving way to spring in the Puget Sound area, we can expect plenty of rain. Although you may not realize it, this can damage your septic system. When a significant rainfall floods the ground surrounding your drain field, which is a soil absorption area, it becomes saturated. This makes it difficult for water to flow out of your septic system. The trapped water will then flow backward through your plumbing pipes, then your toilets and drains. When drain fields are flooded, untreated sewage can flow into the groundwater and nearby local waterways, potentially causing...

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Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing this Winter

February 8, 2019

Washington residents know that our colder winter months make the pipes outside of our homes vulnerable to freezing. As the temperature drops outside you need to be prepared to prevent frozen pipes inside. Water expands as it freezes, putting tremendous pressure, stress, and strain on whatever is containing it, including metal and plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of your plumbing system, expanding water can cause pipes to crack, leak, or worse – break and burst. Pipes at the greatest risk of freezing are those that are exposed to severe cold like outdoor hoses, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler...

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Septic Alarms Going Off and What to Do

February 4, 2019

Septic tanks typically come with alarms for a good reason. It is extremely important that you know if your septic system has a problem because the result could be pretty catastrophic. The septic alarms are meant to go off when the water level in your septic system’s pump tank is either too high or too low because either condition can cause damage to the system and should be prevented. Why Is The Alarm Going Off? If the septic alarm goes off, there are generally several reasons why: Power – Someone may have just turned off the power switch. Check to...

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How to Light a Water Heater Pilot Light

January 23, 2019

When you feel cold water coming out of your hot faucet tap for more than a minute or two, chances are good that your water heater pilot flame could have gone out. The good news is that this is one problem that can be easily solved as a DIY project or by calling your local plumber. However, don’t attempt this fix if you smell gas nearby; this could be a gas leak in the area. In that case, call 911 from outside the house for emergency assistance. If your area is clear of the gas odor, try to find the...

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Secure Your Plumbing System From Freezing Pipes This Winter

January 9, 2019

With winter well on the way, it is important to prepare pipes for the cold weather ahead. Pipes that crack or burst when the water inside them freezes and expands can cause a flood of water in your home. To avoid the mess, damage, and expense of pipes bursting in your home, take these steps to secure your plumbing system: Turn off your main water valve – You will likely find this near your water meter. Drain all extraneous water from your pipes – Attach a hose to your basement faucet or sillcock and drain the water so it flows...

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How to Unclog a Bathtub

December 21, 2018

With all the soap, hair, shampoo, and debris that find their way down your bathtub drain, it isn’t surprising that it clogs every so often. When this happens, there are a few things you can try but if they don’t work, you may have no choice but to call a plumber to unclog your bathtub. Remove the stopper Many tubs have a built-in drain stopper that you can remove and check for any visible obstructions. You will often find hair and accumulated debris at the drain opening that can be identified right away as the problem. Remove any material around...

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Common Causes for Clogged Drains During Holidays

December 4, 2018

Are you cooking during this holiday season and entertaining guests in your home? If so, you are more at risk than at any other time of the year for clogged kitchen drains, toilet back-ups, or clogged main sewer lines in addition to other plumbing issues. But, you can stack your odds to avoid the expense and inconvenience of these plumbing problems by following these “Do” and “Don’t Do” tips: Start regularly pouring a mixture of dish detergent and lukewarm water down your drains. When you are finished cooking (or cleaning – as in the case of bathroom drains), pour about...

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