Shower Or Bath: Which Is the Better Option?

shower or bathDo you prefer a shower or a bath? Both are valid ways to get clean, but is one way better than the other? Does one do a better job of cleaning the body? Does one save more water?

Which Saves More Water?

An average bath tub holds 35 gallons of water. Bathers will usually fill it to about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way, or about 25 gallons.

For showers, showerheads emit about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Unless your showers average more than 10 minutes, showers beat baths in the water-saving department.

With showers, you can save even more water by using a low-flow showerhead. We highly recommend these; our residential plumbers install them all the time for homeowners. Our commercial plumbers do the same for public facilities, including hotel and locker room shower stalls. Continue Reading →

Summer Plumbing Maintenance for Lynnwood Homes

summer plumbing maintenanceHouseholds tend to use their plumbing system more aggressively during the summer. This is no surprise given the heat wave and the kids’ being out of school. With higher use comes summer plumbing maintenance on the homeowner’s end.

Showerhead Replacement

Some people shower twice or even three times a day during summer. Consider replacing the showerheads with Energy Star water-saving models.

On the subject of bathing, stick to cold showers. Some people are addicted to warm showers even in the summer. Make a habit of using cold water. This gives the heater a break. Plus, cold showers keep you cool by lowering your body temperature. Continue Reading →

Do You Need a Water Pressure Regulator?

water pressure regulatorYou can’t get a good-quality shower when the water pressure is too low. The same applies for washing dishes or even just washing your hands. However, could the water pressure be too high? Yes, it could. In fact, excessively high pressure can damage the pipes. This is why you may require a water pressure regulator.

What Is a Water Pressure Regulator?

As you can probably infer from its name, a water pressure regulator keeps the water pressure in check. More specifically, it keeps the pressure from reaching dangerously high levels.

The water that your faucet emits originates from the municipal supply line. The pressure from this main source is very high. If you receive the same level of pressure day in and out, the home pipes may eventually rupture. A water pressure regulator lowers the pressure as the water reaches your residential pipes. Continue Reading →

How to Clear a Clogged Garbage Disposal

clogged garbage disposalGarbage disposals are environmentally friendly. They reduce food scrap waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill and create harmful methane gas. Excess use, however, can cause a backup. We’ll show you how to clear a clogged garbage disposal if the drain becomes plugged.

What NOT to Put in a Garbage Disposal

Many homeowners are surprised that a unit made to dispose of garbage can become clogged by, well, garbage. The unit isn’t made of indestructible Adamantium and can only handle certain types of garbage. Obviously, non-food waste should never go in the disposal. Food-based items not to throw in include:

  • Avocado pits
  • Corn cobs
  • Animal and fish bones
  • Grease
  • Potato peels

Clogging may also occur if you dump acceptable items too quickly.

Our residential plumbers have frequently cleared disposals in Lynnwood homes. Do you know what we almost always find? The aforementioned items. The same situation occurs when our commercial plumbers go out to clear restaurant-grade disposals. Continue Reading →

Should You Wash Dishes by Hand?

wash dishes by handShould you wash dishes by hand or leave the work to the dishwashing machine? We are actually advocates of the latter, which we’ll explain below. This is why we recommend every residence should have—and use—a functioning dishwasher.

What’s Wrong with Washing Dishes by Hand?

We are not against dish washing by hand. We just believe using a machine is more beneficial in the long run. Here are a few reasons for relying on a washer.

1. No Need for a Sponge

Just because you pour detergent on a sponge does not mean it’s clean. Here is a startling fact: 10 million bacteria reside in every cubic inch of a sponge. This makes it dirtier than a toilet seat. You can bet that some of that bacteria transfers to the dishes and utensils during washing.

2. You Save Money

Many homeowners choose to wash dishes by hand believing they’ll save water. This was true in the past. However, modern dishwashers use far fewer gallons compared to washers of decade’s past. In fact, modern washers require less water compared to handwashing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners save 5,000 gallons of water and $40 every year when using an Energy Star-compliant washer. Continue Reading →

Why Is My Water Heater Tripping Its Emergency Cut-Off Switch?

Water Heater Emergency Cut-Off SwitchMost manufacturers recommend that homeowners set their water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is just hot enough to prevent bacterial growth but not so hot to cause a scalding accident. However, when the water becomes too hot, the water heater emergency cut-off switch (ECO) kicks in. What causes the heater to trip its emergency cut-off switch in the first place?

Why A Water Heater Trips Its Emergency Cut-Off Switch

Faulty Thermostat(s)—Modern heaters have two thermostats, one at the bottom and another at the top. The thermostats regulate the water temperature and shut the heating element off when the water reaches the set temperature. If one or both thermostat malfunctions, the heater may continuously heat the water, prompting the ECO to kick in.

Faulty Heating Element—Most often, a faulty heating element will stop working, resulting in cold showers. However, at times, a malfunction may cause it to receive continuous power even when the thermostat sends a shut down signal. This causes continuous water heating, which causes the eventual ECO to kick in. Continue Reading →

What Is Plumbing Backflow and Why Is It Underreported?

plumbing backflowBackflow is a major residential and commercial plumbing concern. When backflow occurs it contaminates the water supply. What’s worse is that you might not know that your running water contains plumbing backflow. Because of this ignorance incidences often go underreported.

What Causes Plumbing Backflow?

Backflow occurs when clean water reverses direction in the pipes. This causes a suction that pulls wastewater into the supply. This happens as a result of backpressure, back siphonage, or cross-connection between pipes.

Why Backflows Are Underreported

If severe enough, you can usually detect backflow through foul odor, taste, or discoloration in the water. Other times, though, the backflow is indistinguishable from clean water. This may cause contaminated water to go undetected for years. Continue Reading →

Plumbing Work That Increases Your Home’s Value

increase home’s valueWelcome to 2018! With the New Year comes a fresh start. Some people kickstart the new beginning with a home renovation. We believe homeowners should prioritize repairs over aesthetic enhancements. This includes all plumbing work that may increase your home’s value. This benefits the home’s occupants as it raises the price should you decide to sell the property.

Increase Your Home’s Value with These Plumbing Fixes

1. Kitchen Upgrades

A new countertop is nice. Ditto for kitchen cabinet doors and tiled backsplash. However, consider makeovers with daily functional benefits, such as a garbage disposal or dishwasher. Homebuyers will give more weight to these upgrades since they make their lives easier. Continue Reading →

Do You Need a Whole-House Plumbing Inspection?

whole-house plumbing inspectionYour home could use a whole-house plumbing inspection in the way your body could benefit from an annual health exam. As suggested in its name, this is an inspection that examines every component of the plumbing system in your property. We’ll go into more detail about why this contributes to the health of your home.

Whole-House Plumbing Inspection: What Does It Include?

With a whole-home inspection, the exam includes:

  • All plumbing fixtures for the bathroom, kitchen, and utility rooms
  • The hoses, valves, and drains for the washer and dryer
  • All piping, including potable, condensation, gas, waste and vent, and combustible vent pipes.
  • The toilet for leaks and worn caulking
  • The isolation valves
  • The heater components for signs of leaks and corrosion

Continue Reading →

Holiday Plumbing Tips: Keep Your Drains Clog-Free this Christmas

holiday plumbing tipsWe receive an upsurge in calls during December. This is due to homes and businesses organizing large dinner parties. Big get-togethers mean heavier use of the bathroom and kitchen. We advise homeowners and businesses to adhere to our holiday plumbing tips to avoid a preventable emergency plumbing call.

Holiday Plumbing Tips for the Kitchen

Most homeowners know how to dispose of cooking grease. Remember, all grease goes in a disposable container before you throw it out. Keep a few jelly jars or milk jugs in the house for this purpose. This goes for commercial facilities as well. Don’t think your drain is safe just because it has a grease trap. We’ve lost count of how many times our commercial plumbers had to clear an clogged drain or grease trap. Continue Reading →