Sunday, December 8, 2013

How to Choose a Plumbing Company That Works for Your Business: 3 Essential Tips

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When you need to run a busy company, you need a plumbing company that is not only reliable, but which also offers a full spectrum of services. In any commercial, business or industrial environment it is essential that the HVAC and plumbing systems are monitored and maintained in good working condition. Being proactive saves you time and money in the long run- resources that all businesses seem to want more of. If you want a comprehensive service, here are three vital services you need to look for in a supplier.
1. Experienced Plumbing Services to Keep Yourself above Water
When things go wrong, they tend to do so at the most inconvenient times. You should work with a plumber who offers a 24 hour a day, seven day a week service if you want to maintain productivity during moments of crisis. They should offer quick response times and focus on delivering value, especially if you want to hire someone on retainer.
When you hire a plumber, you need to minimize all risks so it is also important that you contract someone who is fully licensed, certified and insured, in the event that something does go wrong on your property. Some of the plumbing services that your company could definitely benefit from include backflow prevention, mechanical and commercial plumbing, construction, remodeling http://www.plumbingwa.comand retrofitting as well as the management of storm water. A plumber who can also help with the repairs or installations of gas pipes is also very valuable to have on call.
2. HVAC Experienced and Expertise
A company that focuses on doing the job properly, the first time can make your life much easier in the workplace. They should be able to help you with installations, services and repairs, as well as with heating and air conditioning, air purification and ventilation, boilers and specialized air conditioning for computer and server rooms.
3. Drain and Sewer Cleaning
Some of the essential services to look out for include grease removal, line repair and heavy drain cleaning. If you need regular drain and sewer cleaning to be done it helps if the company has a large fleet so they can dispatch help immediately. The job will also be done much faster if they employ the latest cutting edge technology to detect problems. Look out for video inspection services, cameral line location and specialized septic tank pumping and cleaning, which can all minimize your downtime and get you back in action quickly.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How can I tell if my water and waste pipes are old and corroded?

    This article's intent is to help you diagnose water quality and water pressure along with drainage issues with your potable water and waste pipes. Older homes built before the 1980's did not have many options as far as plumbing materials go. The most readily available materials were cast iron and galvanized iron pipe. Unfortunately there was not enough technology, research or even thought put into what will happen to these materials down the road. As the result plumbers nationwide have to constantly service and in most cases rip out the entire systems and install new modern systems such as copper, PEX (Polyethylene Cross Linked), ABS, and PVC. If you notice you have slow drains or they do not drain at all, then you may have galvanized iron drains. If you notice low pressure or low flow from your faucets then you may have galvanized iron water lines.

    First of all let’s state the fact that not all iron systems are bad. In fact cast iron drains seem to have an average 40 - 60 year life span. This means if your sewer main is cast iron and has no signs of constant plugging issues or leaks then if it isn't broke don't fix it. However, majority of cast systems inside of the building used galvanized drains for all of the branch lines such as tubs, showers, and sinks. Plain and simple, these drains are the worst. Some severe cases will not drain at all and cannot be snaked out. You ask why can't they be snaked out and I will explain. Modern pipe systems are designed to maintain a smooth path way for fluids and solids. This prevents solids from being caught and eventually blocking the pipe off. Glued fittings such as ABS or PVC, if installed correctly, prevent this from happening. The reason iron does not provide this is simple, it is a corrosive material. Corrosive metals, even treated, will eventually scale and rust from long term exposure to water and chemicals. One other important reason is that it is not maintainable due to original plumbing contractor error. 



    Galvanized drains are threaded pipe turned into the threaded hub of a fitting. If the original installer buried the pipe too deep into the hub you will have a jagged ridge of pipe penetrating into the water way. This is where a service technician will no longer be able to help you. As you push a sewer snake cable into the fitting the end of the cable will bind on that ridge and prevent the cable from passing through the hub. At this point you are out of luck. Last ditch attempt is to use some pure sulfuric acid but that rarely works because there is too much build up. Please note you should never dump sulfuric acid down a disposal because it can severely damage the unit and could blow nasty acid all over you. Please use extreme caution and safety equipment when using such a chemical. Only option left at that point is to remove all of the galvanized drain lines from above the flood level of the fixture in which it serves to the main cast iron trunk line with either ABS or PVC.


    Most all older production homes used galvanized iron water lines. This was at that time period the most common and cost effective way to plumb potable water. If you are lucky the plumbing company spent a little extra and used copper. If you experience bad water pressure or flow it could be from under sized piping but in most cases it is corroded galvanized pipe. Not only did they almost always under size the system, but the pipes have approximately a 40 year life span depending on your water quality and electrolysis issues. 


    Galvanized water piping will commonly leak at the joints and fittings of a branch arm. This happens because upon installation of the pipe it is thread with a threading machine. When you thread galvanized pipe it removes the galvanized coating at the threads as well as thins the pipe. This is why the most common place for this type of system to leak is at the joints. 

    Electrolysis happens when two or more types of metal touch and water flows through them creating an electrical charge that immediately breaks down the softer metal, usually the copper goes first. Finally the most common is natural corrosion. This happens naturally and can be sped up by hard water and other chemicals pumped in by the city’s water supply. 


    Once any or all of these things happen the scale inside of the pipe will break off and end up plugging your faucets flow restrictors, faucet aerators, shower cartridges, and shower heads. If you experience any of these symptoms then you probably have this type of pipe and should consider having a licensed plumber provide you with an estimate to re-pipe your entire water system.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It is a good idea to learn how to plumbing.

Now is the time to finally learn more about plumbing. Likely, you have thought about it prior to now, but just didn't get around to doing it. In any case, the article below will teach you a few different plumbing tips and tactics you can implement to solve everyday issues around your home.

It's easy to fix noisy pipes which squeak or sound like hammering. Exposed pipes need to be anchored. If these pipes are located in the floors, ceiling or walls, you are probably best calling a professional plumbing company to take over the project.

If you need to winterize your house, turn off the water main usually located where the main enters into the building. This is not always the case and you may have to call a plumber to turn off the water meter located in the ground outside. When you have successfully shut off the water, open up all the houses faucets. This includes the outside hose bibs to allow all the water to drain out of your system. This will relieve any pressure in your pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting, which may prevent major damage to your home. Additionally you will want to either use a shop vacuum to suck out any water remaining in your toilet bowl and tank to prevent the porcelain from cracking. A special type of antifreeze can be used as well to put into all of your sinks and tub/shower p-traps to prevent any damage to the waste pipes as well.

Only pay the plumber once the job is done. Sometimes it is required to put a little money down before the job starts, but don't ever pay the whole amount before you know the task is done correctly. If you pay everything up front, you have no recourse if the plumber doesn't finish the job or doesn't do it correctly.

You need to avoid using any kind of tablet or odor remover in your toilet if at all possible. While they may be effective deodorizers, they can damage rubber parts in your toilet and rot the bolts out. If they do become corroded, your toilet will leak, not operate properly, and require you to pay a plumber to either rebuild or even replace it.

If your toilet has plugged and the water in your toilet is low along with the toilet being clogged, do not pour extra water in the bowl to make the plunger effective again. This could over flow the toilet and flood your bathroom. Instead temporarily turn off the supply shut off located behind the toilet immediately to prevent flooding. At that point you should either call a plumber or go to your local hardware store and buy a 6’ toilet auger. Stick it into the toilet pushing the auger head and rotating clock wise attempting to punch the block through or snag the obstruction for retrieval. If this all fails call a plumber because you have a more serious issue down the waste line.

Iron will cause orange or pink stains in and on your fixtures if you have a well. To get rid of this problem, you can either use a commercial product to soften the water, or have a plumbing contractor come to your home and do a water test to see what you need to filter. In fact any plumber that sells you water treatment without a test first does not know what he is doing. You can only filter a system once you know what you are filtering out. Many different water filters only filter specific chemicals and minerals. Plain and simple, no single filter does it all and each filter type is specific for what it is to filter.

You can save lots of money and energy with efficient shower heads. Hot water usage is mostly in the shower. You can save up to a few hundred dollars a year by simply installing shower heads that are energy efficient and rated at 1 GPM (gallon per minuet). Most all new shower heads come with flow restrictors inside to maintain this GPM regardless of your homes pressure. Older shower heads either did not come with these features or have been taken apart to remove this feature to increase flow from a clogged head. If you do have a clogged head that is not spraying very well or evenly, unthread it from the elbow and soak it in hot water and a cleaner called CLR. This product is found at all hardware stores and will eat the calcium, lime, and or rust built up in the ports. After soaking for at least 30-60 minutes, replace it and you will see an increase of pressure and flow out of the shower head.

For clogged waste pipes, unblock them with a cleaner that is enzyme based. This type of cleaner uses natural bacteria to transform sludge into liquids that makes it disappear from the pipes. Enzyme cleaners are preferred by many plumbers to clear clogged drains. Please be cautious though and as a plumber we highly recommend calling a plumbing contractor to perform such cleanings because of the risk of damage to piping and also bodily harm. Some chemicals are extremely toxic and can burn or destroy your skin if contact is made.

Always remember to keep your dryer's lint trap clean. This can prevent various problems, including a fire. Look over the lint trap to make sure there aren't any rips or holes. This can cause problems like clogs.

The secret to low or even no repair bills from plumbing issues is preventative maintenance. One of the major repairs is always clogs and leaks. Practically anything can get stuck in those drains can cause them to lock up, including hair, grease, foreign objects, and sediment. Use a drain screen cover to keep hair and other elements from going down your pipes. Taking the hair off of the screen and disposing of it is always cheaper and easier than removing it from the pipes.

If you have solids, a collapsed pipe, or root intrusion in the line, you probably won't be successful cleaning it all by yourself. Having plastic pipes rather metal pipes will work a lot better because they do not corrode and they maintain a smooth passage way for wastes going down the drain. It's up to a professional to fix this problem as most states require a fully licensed plumbing professional to correct these issues by law.

Learning a bit about plumbing can be an invaluable tool to have in your possession. You can now offer your plumbing knowledge as a resource for your friends and family, while also saving yourself a good chunk of money on plumbing repairs. You hopefully understand some plumbing basics now and had fun learning them.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to install a new compression angle stop on to copper pipe.

Replacing an old angle stop. First shut the water off to the building. Drain the system down the best you can by opening up lower fixtures. If this isn't possible, then keep a small bucket to catch the water. Pull the lav riser, aka supply line off the angle stop, then use 2 pairs of channel locks to untighten the compression nut. The nut and ferrule will not come off. Get your bucket ready to catch that water that might flow out. Now use a nut and ferrule puller to remove the nut and ferrule. Once you have it off, verify that the copper pipe is clean and not damaged. It's a good idea to use some sand cloth to clean it up. I always recommend to wipe a light amount of pipe thread sealant like megalock on the threads that the compression nut will thread on to. This isn't necessarily for sealing the threads because the brass ferrule should do that job, but this will help you get a nice tight crank and prevent the nut from ceasing up in the future. Once you have replaced the stop reinstall the lav riser, turn the water back on and test it for leaks. If none, life is good and you did the job right. If you see a drip, try to crank the nut a little more. If no luck then you may have to repeat this process to get a water tight seal. This has been a plumbing how to tip provided by  A Plumbing Company in Everett and Seattle Washington.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


A gas heater looks like an electric unit, except that it doesn't contain the two heating elements. It has a gas burner at the bottom, with the chimney running up through the middle of the tank.
HSW 2000

The water coming into your home makes a journey through a system of pipes, and it's usually cold or cool, depending on the time of year. To have water warm enough to take a hot shower or bath, or use your dishwasher or washing machine, you need a water heater.

Hot water tanks are familiar fixtures in most homes. They typically look like big metal cylinders, tall drums that are often consigned to a laundry room or basement. Newer styles have some interesting features, like losing the tank completely in favor of water-on-demand, but the old, reliable water heater design that's most widely used in the U.S. today is really a pretty simple appliance; it's basically a drum filled with water and equipped with a heating mechanism on the bottom or inside. Even though they lack drama and complexity, water heaters are still pretty amazing. What makes them interesting is that they exploit the heat rising principle to deliver hot water right to your faucet with a minimum of fuss. Don't let the simple shape shrouded in its wooly insulating blanket fool you. Water heaters have an ingenious design on the inside for something that looks so ordinary on the outside.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Green Options for Water Heaters


The typical water heater runs all day and night to keep up to 100 gallons of water hot and ready for use. For a more eco-friendly experience, try alternatives that offer the same hot water without the constant energy use.

Try a tankless water heater.

A tankless water heater heats only the water you use. Cold water enters at the bottom, where an efficient gas heater rapidly brings the water to a near boil. When you turn off the hot water, the tankless heater shuts off. The heater can be located close to the kitchen or bath so the water doesn’t need to travel far.
Tankless water heaters cost about twice as much as standard water heaters, but the energy and water savings will pay for the tankless heater within one to five years.
 

Recirculate hot water.

A hot water recirculation system uses a pump to rush hot water where needed, saving you money on your energy and water bills. Activated by the push of a button, a thermostat, timer, or motion sensor, the pump starts recirculating cooled water that’s been sitting in the hot water line and sends it back to the water heater through the cold water line. Instead of allowing the cold water to go down the drain, it goes back to the water heater.


Recover heat.
A drain-water heat recovery system is a $300 fixture a plumber installs under the drain in your tub or shower. The system recovers the heat out of the water that goes down the drain and circulates the heat — not the water — back to the showerhead or water heater.

By Eric Corey Freed from Green Building & Remodeling For Dummies

Service Toilet and Repair Instructions

img Most methods of repairing toilets are easy do-it-yourself steps. The real challenge of fixing a toilet is usually finding the part causing the problem.
A household toilet should have its own shut-off valve located somewhere near the fixture. Usually, its a chrome-plated compression fitting with an oval knob. So find that before making any repairs.
A tank's water level should fill to about 1/4" to 1/2" below the overflow pipe. Bend the float arm gently to adjust the water level; down to lower the level or up to raise it.
If the arm is hard to bend or needs to be bent a lot, unscrew it first to avoid damaging the ball cock assembly. Also, some assemblies have an adjusting screw on the ball cock valve to regulate the water level.
imgCheck that the flapper (or tank ball) seats properly. Flush the toilet a few times and adjust the flapper until it seats. Adjust its chain connecting to the handle rod if needed.
If the flapper seats correctly, but doesn't stop water, clean any rust or buildup around the seat opening. If the flapper continues to leak, replace it.
A faulty ball cock valve (the assembly attached to the float arm) may fill the tank and cause water to run continuously down the overflow tube. Always shut off the water supply before removing the valve.
imgSometimes, the ball cock seals can be replaced and the leak will stop. But finding and fixing the problem may not be worthwhile.
It's often better to buy the whole assembly so you're sure the leak will be fixed. Or upgrade to an in-line float which seems to operate and adjust a little easier than the arm-type float. 

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