Don't Sign Anything Before Ensuring Your Plumbing Works!

Why You Should Have a Plumber Inspect Your Future House

When you buy a new (to you) house you do not know the history of the plumbing systems in the house. The plumbing systems are sometimes hidden in the walls, ceilings and floors of the structure as well as outdoors.

Even the visible parts may have problems hidden within. A professional inspector can give you some idea of plumbing problems, but only a licensed plumber can apply years of experience of plumbing problems in the area, and perhaps in that exact same building.

Getting a Plumbing Inspection Before Closing

home-for-saleThe plumbing inspection should occur prior to the closing, and the closing should be made contingent upon the building passing the inspection.

If problems are found the seller should be pressed to repair the problems at their expense or, at least, set up an escrow fund to pay for the repairs.

One of the most important parts of the inspection is looking for leaks. In the case of water pipes, a leak can cost you money for excess water usage. Even more importantly a leak can damage parts of the building, leading to mold damage, structural damage and costly repairs.

Leaks from air conditioning condensate lines and pumps can cause the same problems. In the case of sewage leaks, there are also direct health issues. And in the case of natural gas leaks, there is the serious risk of fire and explosion.

Sewage Lines

The next area to have inspected is proper flow in water and sewage lines. Inadequate flow in water lines may be caused by mineral buildup in the pipes, which can be fixed only by replacement. Insufficient flow in sewage lines (or blockages in sewage vent pipes) can prevent the reliable removal of waste from you home.

Problems of flow in sewage lines may be fixable by using chemical treatments, mechanical cleaning or may require replacement.flush-the-toilet

Appliances and Equipment

Once the pipes have been checked, the next areas to be inspected are the appliances and equipment that use water and gas.

The valves should be checked to ensure they turn on and off easily and do not drip in the "off" position. The drains should be checked for proper flow, no leakage and the presence of proper traps. Toilets and bidets should be checked for reliable flushing.

Water Heater Inspection

The water heater needs to be checked for the proper temperature, neither too high creating a risk of scalding nor too low requiring too much heated water to fill a bathtub or provide a pleasant shower.

If it is a storage unit, the condition of the tank should be examined.

Given the age of the tank, it may be possible to predict its remaining life expectancy. The safety valve should be checked for operation and proper venting.

discolored-waterWater Quality

If you have a private water source (almost always a pumped well) the quality of the water should be chemically and biologically tested. The flow and capacity need to be checked to see if there is enough to fill the bathtub or the washing machine.

The pump, storage tank, and pressure tank need to be examined. Even with a public supply you may want to have a chemical analysis of the water inside your house. Discolored water is a sign of additional chemicals in the water that need to be addressed.

If you have a private sewage disposal system such as a septic tank and drain field, this certainly needs close inspection. A system that has not been adequately maintained (or is overused) can fail and require very expensive repair or reconstruction.

In addition to the basic systems found in every home, there are a large number of systems that might be found and need inspection:

  • Water filter and treatment equipment — check that the filters / chemicals have been maintained / replaced as required
  • Garbage disposal units — check that they function properly
  • Bidets — check that both the toilet and cleansing parts work
  • Sump pumps — check for proper operation, proper float switch settings, trash in the pit and efficient drainage
  • Solar water heating systems — check for proper safety and drainage valves and possibly appropriate antifreeze levels and heat exchanger conditions
  • Solar building heating systems — (same issues as water heating pools, hot tubs and Jacuzzis) check heaters, pumps, aerators, filters and chemical levels
  • Water and steam-based heating systems — check for proper functioning, air in the system, pumps, zone valves and thermostat(s)
  • Evaporative air conditioning — check for smooth operation and mold and algae contamination
  • Fire suppression sprinkler systems — check for good flow and that shutoff valves are turned on and perhaps locked
  • Landscape sprinkler systems — test that all heads function, that the timers and controls work properly and that the valves do not leak
  • Decorative fountains and small ponds — check that pumps and water systems work properly

The most important thing for you to do is get an inspection done by a competent, licensed plumber. Consider getting a plumbing inspection from:

All Purpose Plumbing

Tacoma, WA

(253) 473-5100

http://www.allpurposeplumbing.com/

It'll give you peace of mind.

3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Summer Solstice

3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Summer Solstice

Summer solstice is on its way, and many people are ready to celebrate by opening their pools and having parties. Celebrating this day is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. Here are some tips to make your summer celebration a success:

1) What is the Summer Solstice?

Summer Solstice is the official first day of summer. It is also the longest day of the year and occurs between June 20-23 (according to the Gregorian calendar). In 2016, it will be celebrated on June 20th. There are many cultures that place a sacred significance on this day. It was seen as a day when the sun was reborn and gave most of its light to benefit the crops. It was celebrated with banquets, bonfires, and special gifts. There are still many groups, such as Wiccans, who have celebrations for the Summer Solstice.

 


2) Bonfire Tips

After braving the cold of a long winter, it is fun to celebrate the warmth of summer. You can make this year’s summer solstice a fun celebration with family and friends. What better way to celebrate than with an old-fashioned bonfire! The ancients believed that the fire honored the sun and warded off any evil spirits. Just make sure you do it in a place where building fires is not forbidden by local ordinances.

The ideal place for a bonfire is away from buildings, trees, and anything else that can catch fire. Find a spot and gather up some wood. Rather than just throw the wood in a pile, set it upright until it looks like a wooden teepee. Take smaller branches and paper to make kindling. Avoid using hazardous fire-accelerating fuels. Once the fire gets started, you can feed it larger pieces of wood to keep it going. Never leave a bonfire unattended and be sure to watch children around it.

Set the bonfire on the evening of the solstice, when the outside temperature is cooler and the fire can be seen better. Many people have hot dogs to roast over the fire; however, you can grill any type of food that you prefer. You can put meat and veggies on a skewer and have delicious kebabs. If you are a vegetarian, you can stick to grilling vegetables and even fruit. The classic dessert is grilled marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for s’mores!

3) Watch the Sunset / Sunrise

Another tradition is to celebrate the solstice all night. Your family and guests can watch the glorious sunset on June 20th and stay up to watch the sunrise. You can play games and tell ghost stories around the fire. If you like, you can hand out small party favors to remember the day. Just be careful to watch the fire and put it out completely with water when you are done.

Since you may be opening your pool on this day, it would be a good time to check your plumbing. Call All Purpose Plumbing, in Tacoma, WA, at (253) 473-5100.

How to Protect My Garbage Disposal and Prevent Leaks

How to Protect My Garbage Disposal and Prevent Leaks

A garbage disposal just like any other equipment is subject to damages. This may happen because something hit it hard or due to non-replacement as it gets older.

Sometimes these leakages may still occur even though the disposal is not old and this can be due to several factors. When you allow things like glass, bones and other hard materials to go through your garbage disposal, don’t expect it to last you long.

avoid-a-garbage-disposal-leakWhen proper care is not taken with it, it is not checked frequently and not maintained well; you may one day be subjected to cleaning water from your damaged disposal.

When your garbage disposal leaks, there are times you can repair it yourself and sometimes a professional may need to assist you or in the worst case, you will have to replace it.

If you notice your disposal is leaking, here are some of the steps you can follow to address it yourself.

• To prevent an electric shock, the first thing you need to do is unplug your garbage disposal or switch off the plug.

• Many people use the under the sink cabinet space where the disposal is attached as a storage area. If you are one of them, then you have to free the space of everything.

• You can then place an empty pan or bucket under the disposal.

• When that is done, plug in your disposal again.

• Fill your sink with water and then release it as you switch the garbage disposal on. As the water is flowing, you can then detect from looking at the disposal where the leak is coming from.

• If the leak is not from the disposal itself, then you may need to check other outlets and the inlets.

Depending on where the leak is detected will determine whether you can do it yourself or consult a professional. It is very difficult to do it yourself when there is a crack on the disposal, the connection is broken or the hose is affected.

1. Precautions to Take

Though there are steps you can employ to fix your disposal when there are leakages, it is better to take precaution. It has been said that prevention is better than cure. Here are some steps you can take as precautionary measures.

• Prevent hard things from entering the garbage disposal. When hard things are let to pass from the sink to the disposal, as time passes, the shredder will become weak and ineffective.

Food particles like bones, egg shells, shrimp and vegetable fibers must not be put through the garbage disposal. This can cause blockage and prevent smooth running of water through it. It is better to put these food particles in a trash bin rather.

• Avoid starchy materials in the disposal, starchy foods passing through the disposal can also cause blockages, especially when in bulk. So foods like potato, banana peels, and other starchy foods should not be allowed through the garbage disposal.

• Cut large items into smaller parts: Before you allow food particles to pass through the disposal, make sure you cut them into small pieces. This will enable smooth shredding of it and prevent any blockage.

• Run cold water through it: You have to run cold water frequently through the disposal while it is on. This helps cool the motor, shredder, and bearing and prevents overheating. It is a bad idea to use warm water when doing this because the warm water melts and solidifies the particles again which can cause a blockage.

• Ensure regular cleaning: The garbage disposal gets dirty as food materials pass through. This can also cause the disposal to emanate bad odor. To prevent this, you should ensure routine cleaning of the disposal and even deodorize it when needed. Also, you can sharpen the blades by applying some ice to it.

2. Check the Connections

garbage-disposal_360After taking precautions in maintaining the disposal, there is the need to always check on the connection.

Your attention must also be on both inlet and outlet connections. Here are some of the connections you should inspect frequently.

Sink Flange: This is the topmost portion of your disposal. At this point, the disposal is connected to the sink drain. Since this point is a joint (meeting place) it can leak whenever it is loose at any point.

So when you notice there is a leak from that part, all you need to do is tighten the bolts there or you can add more plumber putty when you notice it has weakened or is not enough.

Dishwasher Connection: your disposal may also be connected to the dishwasher drain pipe. If this is the case, you can check the connecting hose when there is a leakage. Remember there can be a leak from where the dishwasher connects to the disposal.

Discharge Pipe: The discharge pipe is located at the bottom of the disposal and connected to the drain of the sink. This connection can loosen and cause leaks. So whenever you detect a leak, you can check the discharge pipe as regular use can weaken the connection.

3. Inspect for possible cracks

garbage-disposal-connectionsJust as any other equipment, the garbage disposal can grow weak and have cracks on it when it gets old. The cracks can be from the interior shell or inner shell. When this happens, the disposal will begin to leak.

The disposal, however, will have to be replaced when the crack is within the inner shell. So when you experience a leak from the disposal, it is probably the first thing you have to check.

4. Knocked Loose

The garbage disposal can get loose when it has been knocked hard by an object. Many people use the area where the disposal is fixed as storage and this can cause it being knocked from time to time. You will have to straighten it and fix the affected area when this happens.
Remember that the garbage disposal is not a grinder that every item should be allowed to pass through. There are basic precautions you can follow to extend the lifespan of your disposal.

Also, it is not always that you can fix problems by yourself as the problem can even aggravate when you attempt to do it. When your leakages are out of the ordinary, just call in a professional to help you fix them.

There are several experienced plumbers at All Purpose Plumbing you can reach out to by dialing (253) 473-5100 when you face a leak in Tacoma, WA.

Why Saving Water for Summer Is Key

Why Saving Water for Summer Is Key

Knowing that the world is almost 70% covered by water, one would wonder why there's a need for water conservation efforts and programs. The fact is the majority of it is undrinkable ocean water, and salt water is not easily converted into drinkable usable water. Consumer use water is slowly and steadily depleting, and it is important to conserve throughout the year especially before the summer months.

conserve-waterWhy Save Water

Many countries simply do not have enough water to sustain their societies and way of life unless serious water conservation programs and techniques are applied immediately. Water waste is a major international issue, and some countries are already suffering droughts. Many cities and states within America have penalties for overuse of water. Not only will it require a huge water bill it also includes a hefty fine for going over your monthly allowance of gallons.

When Should We Save Water

The best time to save this very much needed natural resource would be during the fall, spring, and winter months. This way summer use would be a little less taxing on our society. We use more water in the summer months because of the heat. It is critical to saving water before summer comes around because it is hotter and the climate is often also humid.

When the climate is hot, the atmosphere changes and the need for more hydration becomes greater. Our bodies dehydrate faster, crops and landscaping dry up faster, and we use more water to cool off for the recreational reason during the summer months.

If we are conserving water beforehand, we will not have to use an excess amount of water when the summer months arrive to maintain our lifestyles, and we can still use the same amount of water that we used in the other seasons of the year. Using water that was stored up and conserved beforehand will ultimately contribute to a worldwide effort to end international droughts.

This effort combined with other conservation programs would help us greatly since many of our countries are already suffering. It is even more pertinent that we follow some of the seven highlighted methods for conservation that are outlined below. These methods do not require any special type of equipment or any scientific knowledge just a little effort and a little bit of know-how to avoid water waste.

world-water-conservationHow Can We Conserve Water

1. A Drop in the Bucket

This first method requires saving water that has accumulated during the night, more specifically dew. Use a squeegee to remove "night water" or dew from car and home windows outside. This is done by scraping the water into a bucket and using that bucket of water to water plants and vegetables in your garden instead of using the garden hose.

2. Shut It Off

The most common method of conserving water is simply to not use too much of it. When brushing your teeth or washing your face turn the water off when you're not using it. It's that simple.

3. Curb Appeal

This method is for the distinguishing homeowner. You want your property to look stunning at all times. That's fine but you can water your lawn on certain days rather than every day. Choose two to three days a week to water your lawn. Water your lawn in the evening. That way the water will be preserved and be more effective during the cold night air eliminating the need to use it in excess.

4. Let It Snow

rain-barrel-collection-systemThis method is similar to the dew drop method. You simply save snow in buckets and plastic bins. When the snow melts you can use it for all of your outdoor and indoor watering needs. The only downside to using this method is having plenty of storage space to store your harvested water.

5. Call The Plumber

Check your plumbing. If you have a slow leak or a faucet that tends to leak for a little while after using it you may need to consult a plumber. Have it repaired as soon as possible. A slow leak can add up to a lot of excess water usage.

6. Unleash the Rain

A rainy season has huge benefits in the quest for conserving water before the summer months. You can harvest every drop of rain for various uses. Depending on the amount you harvest, you can use it to water crops, foliage, and landscaping. You can even use several buckets of fresh clean rain water to wash your car!

7. Silence Your Throne

If your toilet tends to make noise for a long time after flushing, you may need to consult a plumber. If you have to jiggle the handle every time you use the toilet to silence the noise, then it is time to consult a plumber. Plumbing mishaps and problems unknowingly can use a lot of excess water.

These subtle methods of conserving water during the winter, spring and fall months will definitely make your summer time water bill easier to handle. Not only will it benefit you and your wallet, but you will be contributing to a worldwide effort to conserve and appreciate this desperately needed precious natural resource.

For professional quality plumbing services in your Tacoma, WA home, call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100.

Myths About "Flushable" Wipes

Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains

Disposable wipes - which are now just as popular for adult use as infant use - are becoming a major source of toilet and drain obstructions worldwide, in both municipal and residential sewage systems. In residential sewer systems, there's a strong likelihood that the wipes will become trapped within any bends, especially the toilet's main U-bend.

But the clogging issues extend past your own pipes. Just as wipes do not easily break down in your sewage system, they have trouble dissolving in municipal septic systems and may clog up the piping there as well, since these systems are also not intended to deal with solid waste.

In addition to pipes, wipes have been getting jammed up inside municipal sewer equipment, resulting in huge and costly clogs in metropolitan areas like New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Sydney, Toronto, and London just to name a few.

Tacoma, WA DIY-wet-wipes-1Why Wipes Clog Pipes

The most troublesome kinds of wipes for sewage systems are the sanitary tissues that adults frequently use near the toilet. Wipes used to clean up infants after diaper changes are more likely to be disposed of properly as solid waste in a trash can or other container rather than being flushed.

In fact, according to research from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, most people are hesitant to throw wipes used on themselves in the bathroom garbage can, and that is the reason for the current public demand for "flushable" wipes.

But the fact is that most wipes available today cannot biodegrade fast enough to prevent clogging the water lines, especially wipes that claim to be very tough and durable. This is the same reason that flushing paper towels is more likely to cause a pipe blockage than toilet paper, and when it comes to flushing wipes - even those labeled "flushable" - the likelihood of a clog occurring increases.

When a toilet pipe is blocked by paper towels or wipes, other debris tends to pile up at the blockage site and add to the severity of the problem, until it becomes necessary to bring in a plumber -- and the more severe the blockage is, the higher the plumbing fee for drain cleaning will be. And if a few flushed wipes can cause a problem for a home, then this only becomes additive for municipal systems, which are meant for handling items that break down relatively easily.

Confusion Over Labels

It's not at all unlikely that a lot of people are unsure of which wipes can be flushed and which cannot. Considering the advertising advantages of labeling a wipe product as "flushable," some manufacturers may be reluctant to openly disclose to consumers that their wipes should not be flushed.

As a result, the INDA (International Nonwovens and Disposables Association) and the EDNA (European Disposables and Nonwovens Association) have implemented a code of practice which demands that non-flushable wipes are plainly designated with a “do not flush” warning.

Tacoma, WA DIY-wet-wipes-2But since the code does not identify the specific location for this warning on the box, some companies may try to conceal it by placing it in a tiny font, on the back of the box or within a block of text where the common buyer will not see it.

This has led to a call for "do not flush" markings to be more visible than many manufacturers are presently using. Some wipes on the market may even be labeled as flushable even though they haven't been proven to be and may cause a plumbing blockage, which adds to the difficulty consumers face when discerning flushable wipes from non-flushable wipes.

Although some manufacturers of flushable wipes can back their claim that their wipes have been proven to be flushable, the key issue to consider is how long it takes for a flushable wipe to biodegrade in water.

Legitimate studies have been done on the major toilet paper and flushable wipe brands, but the findings haven't actually proven that the wipes can properly dissolve in the sewage system after being flushed. Most experts agree, however, that it takes considerably longer for flushable wipes and paper towels to break down than regular toilet paper, and that are still not broken down by the time they arrive at the water treatment facility.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

The best thing you can do as a consumer to prevent wipe-related clogs is to stay on the safe side and avoid flushing used wipes of any kind down the toilet. Opt instead for the trash can, and you'll prevent yourself from having to bear the expense of professional toilet repair.

If you nevertheless find yourself the victim of a flushable wipe-related clog and live in the Tacoma, WA area, call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 for the absolute cheapest prices on fast, safe and effective drain cleaning and toilet repair.

Why Having a Water Filtration System is Good for Your Health

10 Benefits of an Advanced Water Filtration System

Water is an essential ingredient for humans. Without adequate water supply that is clean for drinking, cooking, bathing and even washing clothes, people will find it difficult to carry on with their daily activities. It is even more essential to our body because, without sufficient supply of clean water, the body organs will cease to function properly.

The environment has become contaminated with many substances such as heavy metals, which has consequently resulted in water contamination. And since most people stay thousands of miles away from the water source, the chances that the water gets contaminated as it is transported are high.

Without using a water filtration system, there is a high risk of getting water-related health complications. Apart from health issues, clean water from an advanced water filtration system has other benefits such as the ones outlined below.

Tacoma, WA water-filter-installation-2It removes water contaminants.

The main advantage of having an advanced water filtration system is it removes substances that may have contaminated the water. There are over 2000 substances that may contaminate the water that people get from water companies on their taps. Some of the contaminants are very dangerous and may have serious health complications.

The good thing about having an advanced water filtration system in your Tacoma home is that it can selectively remove all the contaminants that are harmful to the body. Therefore, get one installed in your home so that you get clean water free of any water contaminants.

Better Tasting and Smelling Water

By the time the water gets to our home, it may have gotten mixed up with substances that make it have bad smell and taste. Just picture you taking a shower with water that has some bad smell or drinking water that has a funny taste? It is disgusting using such water. If used for cooking the food may also have a weird taste.

Not only does water have a bad taste because of contaminants, but even chlorine that is used to disinfect water also makes it have a bad taste. The water can be filtered by an advanced water filtration system to make it have better taste and smell.

Reduce the Risk of Cancers Caused by Contaminated Water

Some cancers are caused by contaminants that may be present in water. These include colon cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer. Medical experts and organizations are aware of this, and that is why they are advising people to reduce the risk of these types of cancer by having an advanced water filtration system installed at home.

Research shows that those that have their water filtered are less likely to get these types of cancers compared to those that do not have an advanced water filtration system.

Better Health and Body Functions

The human body is made up cells and body organs that all depend on water to function. Without water, the body becomes strained. It even becomes worse if the water you drink contains substances that cause pH imbalance and harmful chemical reactions.

It is possible to eliminate all these problems with having a water filter installation done at your home. With the filter system, heavy metals and other harmful chemicals can be removed from the water and make it better for human consumption.

Cheaper to Maintain

Most water filters do not require electricity to operate. Therefore, they are not expensive to maintain. Once the water filter installation is done, there are no other costs that will keep recurring on a regular basis. The only thing that will be changed once in a while are filters, and these do not cost a lot of money. Just seek the right advice when selecting an advanced water filtration system that will be installed in your Tacoma home.

Cheaper in the Long Run Compared to Buying Bottled Water

The initial cost of setting up a water filter system may be expensive. However, in the long run, is cheaper compared to buying bottled water. Many people are becoming aware that the water they get from their taps and has not been filtered is not safe for drinking. It is the reason water bottling business is booming.

Save money in the long run by getting an advanced water filtration system installed in your home. You will not to worry about getting water finished and the stress of going to buy water again.

Tacoma, WA water filter installationProtects Children From Dirty Water

Clean water has a significant impact on the mental and physical growth of children. Children sometimes cannot differentiate between water that is meant for drinking and other general water in the house. As long as they see the water is clear, they think it is meant for drinking. This is a threat to their mental and physical growth.

The sure way of protecting them against such danger is betting a water filter installation done in your home.

Good for Pregnant Women

The health of the unborn child depends on the mother. A pregnant woman who eats healthy food and drinks clean water will give birth to a healthy baby with no defects.

Therefore, get an advanced water filtration system that will guarantee that a pregnant woman will get clean water, which benefits the unborn child.

More Comfort

If you have a water filter installed in your home, you will not have to worry about the water that is available in your house and drinking water getting finished. You are assured that the water you use for cooking, bathing, drinking and washing clothes are clean.

Better Health

Clean water from a water filtration system is free from toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals that are harmful to the body. Therefore, with an advanced water filtration system, you will have better health.

For quality services in your Tacoma, WA home, call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100.

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Remodeling Your Bathroom

10 Reasons to Remodel Your Bathroom

No matter how comfortable a bathroom has been for its resident family, there may come a time when everyone in the house needs a change. The wall color feels drab, the fixtures are chipped, peeling or worn and the family has used every rug cover remedy imaginable for old, unattractive flooring.

These reasons are sometimes connected to aesthetics, especially if the fixtures are still functional. Here are some other practical reasons to take on a remodeling project for the bathroom.

 Tacoma, WA bathroom remodelingEasy Financing and Affordable Materials Available

If you have thumbed through a home and interior design magazine and seen the perfect bathroom idea for your Tacoma home's upgrade, you may have closed the pages after receiving a cost estimate. The most attractive furnishings can be expensive.

One good incentive for committing to the project, though, is that the market may be offering irresistible deals on building materials or easy terms and low interest on financing for these projects. This is an optimal time for bathroom remodeling. You are able to secure high-end fixtures on your budget and little to no hassle when you sign for the loan to cover the costs.

Update the Look

Because a bathroom is one of the most used rooms in a house and a lower priority for remodeling than a kitchen or a bedroom, it may take some time to notice that the look of your bathroom has not kept up with the rest of your house.

Homeowners tend to use affordable fixes to give the illusion of an upgrade, such as new throw rugs, more decorative toothbrush holders and towel rings, alluring art on the walls or fanciful soap dishes. While an imaginative homeowner can go far with this approach, it will only cover so much with a dated look. The idea is to transform rather than merely cover up fixtures that are no longer in style.

Make Better Use of Space

Perhaps the door to your bathroom opens in a way that makes it tough to get out of the bathroom. The shower may be directly against an open window. The toilet is positioned directly behind the door, and anyone who bursts in on you slams you into a cramped corner. These things happen when the bathroom space has been poorly planned. There are usually no quick fixes for these kinds of problems. Most people have to find a way to live with the awkwardness or re-design the entire bathroom.

Address Plumbing or Functional Issues

The plumbing issues that require more than unclogging a drain or removing a piece of lost jewelry from a fitted pipe usually require a major overhaul. This can include replacing showers and toilets, as well as tearing down a complete wall. If you have to do this kind of deep makeover out of necessity, it is also a good time to rethink the entire bathroom layout and create the space you want through remodeling.

You may be able to put to rest your frustrations about chipped, unattractive shower tiles, loose floor boards or poorly placed window frames.

Install More Storage Space

Some bathrooms suffer from poor space design, mostly because their designers have failed to build in enough storage space for toiletries and personal items.

There are endless ways to use space hacks in the bathroom, and they work well for a while. Eventually, as you continue to create new hacks, the bathroom may start to feel a little crowded. You may be able to add lots of nooks to tuck away personal items out of sight. What you may be surrendering, though, is the space to move around in the bathroom.

Increase Your Home Value

If you are thinking of selling your Tacoma home or staying put until the market gives you better bargaining power as a seller, it may be time to remodel your bathroom. This is a way to make your space more enjoyable if you are staying and more valuable if you are trying to sell.

One of the major elements a buyer wants to see in a potential new home is a well-designed, functional bathroom where they can relax and rejuvenate after busy schedules. Offering these buyers a fresh take on bathroom space may enable you to secure higher bids for your home when you decide to sell.

Energy Efficiency

Because heating fuel and electricity costs have doubled in recent years, more people are looking at energy efficient bathroom fixtures to help offset recurring bills. The higher price of energy bills also means if you invest in more energy saving equipment for your bathroom, it will take you less time to recoup your investment. Whether you choose a more efficient water heater or faucets with automatic shut-offs, you will join the ranks of environmentally conscious homeowners who live to reduce their carbon footprint. You will be able to better regulate the temperature in your bathroom and make it more comfortable.

 Tacoma, WA bathroom remodeling 2Restore Safety

Sometimes when bathrooms are worn, chipped tile and countertops may present a safety hazard. No one wants to be the family member who continually stubs his toe on the same ragged floor tile every time he goes to the bathroom. A remodeling project allows you to address these issues.

Add Handicap Accessible or Senior Safety Features

Another aspect of safety deals with how well bathrooms accommodate homeowners and extended family as they age. Getting in and out of a shower, or on and off of a toilet, may not be possible at some ages without the assistance of a guard rail.

If all the kids are out of the house, and you and your spouse find yourself needing assistance more often, it may be time to rethink accessibility and safety for your bathroom.

To Prepare for a Market Shift

The housing market tends to shift, and sometimes that shift does not favor the homeowner. This does not mean you have to delay your remodeling project until the market turns in your favor. If you are listening to reliable predictions that forecast an impending turn, get your remodeling project done now to prepare for that turn.

Bathroom remodeling can address many different problem areas for a bathroom. It helps keep this important space functional and appealing for every member of the family. It can also drive the value of your home if you are leaning towards selling.

Before starting a remodel project in your Tacoma, WA home, consult with All Purpose Plumbing by calling (253) 473-5100 to decide firmly on a reason for remodeling and have them design everything with your concerns in mind.

Let's Light That Water Heater in Your Tacoma Home

How to Light Your Water Heater

A gas water heater heats the water in the tank by igniting the internal gas burners, which are lit by a pilot light that should remain constantly on.

If you have ever gotten cold water when you turned on your hot faucet, most likely the pilot light on your gas heater has gone out. The pilot light may go out for a number of reasons.

Tacoma, WA lighting-water-heatersThere could be a gas flow problem, a damaged, blocked or dirty thermocouple or pilot tube, and this may require water heater repair. Most often, however, the pilot light merely goes out and you can re-light it yourself.

Re-lighting your pilot light is a very simple process and can be done in a couple of minutes. Lighting your Tacoma home gas pilot light may be intimidating if you have never done it before.

You will need a flame source and as always, safety goggles. Any flame source will do, but you will find it helpful and easier to use hearth matches or an all-purpose lighter as the pilot burner may be a bit of a reach inside the water heater and that extra extension can save burned fingers.

Make sure the heater is not leaking and appears to be in good physical condition. Finally, each heater has a safety panel with specific instructions for your Tacoma home model. Familiarize yourself with these safety precautions before you begin.

Also you will want to identify certain parts of the heater. The pilot light knob and the gas control temperature valve are the two main functions. Both are clearly marked and visible. The pilot knob will have settings such as “on” and “pilot”. The gas valve is a metal box on the outside of the heater which regulates the gas that feeds to the burners below and has the temperature control knob.

Turn this knob to the “off” position and wait a few minutes. There should be no smell of gas. If there is, keep the gas control valve off and call your local gas company or your local appliance repair. Never attempt to light a pilot when the smell of gas is present.

Remove Access Panel

At the base of the heater there is a metal shield that covers the burners and pilot. This shield is easily removed by pulling or sliding off. Remove and set aside. Look underneath the heater and if you do not see a small flame burning, then you can conclude that the pilot light has gone out.

Set the Pilot light Knob and Temperature Control Valve

First, turn your pilot light knob to “pilot”. This allows the flow of gas to begin to the pilot burner. Next, turn the temperature control knob as low as possible or to the pilot lighting position.

Light the Pilot

You will notice there are two metal tubes coming from the gas valve with the temperature control knob. The thicker tube is the one that feeds the gas to the main burners below. The thinner tube is the pilot tube. The pilot burner is at the end of this thinner tube and is where you will actually manually light the pilot.

Newer style water heaters will have an electronic igniting switch located next to the gas control valve which will require a red button to be depressed (similar to the igniter switch on a propane gas grill). This will send an electronic spark to light the pilot, so it won’t have to be lit manually.

Now you will need to do two things simultaneously. One, you will push down on the pilot knob and two, light the pilot by holding your flame source to the pilot burner. The pilot burner should now be lit. Since you will need two hands for this, you may find it beneficial to have someone hold a flashlight for you, if natural light is not available.

Once the pilot light is lit, continue holding the pilot knob down for approximately thirty seconds to one minute to ensure the pilot stays lit. If the pilot light goes out, you will need to repeat this step.

Replace Access Panel

Simply replace the shield and secure it in place. This shield can prevent foreign materials and gusts of wind from entering the pilot and burner area.

Re-set the Pilot light Knob and Temperature Control Valve

Turn the pilot control knob to the “on” position. Make sure the pilot is still on. If not, you will need to repeat the “Light the Pilot” step. Next, set the temperature control valve to the “normal” position. As you do this, you should be able to hear the gas flow into the burners with a big “swoosh” sound as the burners come on.

If this water heater repair is beyond your skill set, and you want fast, quality service in your area, contact All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100, located in the Tacoma, WA area.

Show Your Water Heater Some Love. Drain it!

How to Drain Your Water Heater, and Why?

This may come as a surprise to some homeowners, but most water heater manufacturers recommend draining out your water heater at least once a year. There is a very good reason for doing this, and it will dramatically extend the life of the water heater in your Tacoma home.

Tacoma, WA | Water Heater ServicesBuild-Up of Sediment

Dirt, sand and minerals tend to build up in a water heater over time. This is true regardless of whether you use city water or are hooked up to a well. This doesn’t generally pose any risk as far as drinking, but the accumulation of sediment can pose serious problems for your water heater.

The reason is this: as sediment builds up in your water heater, it has to work harder to heat and pump water.

This is a problem for two reasons. First, it can place a lot of strain on your heater, reducing its effective lifespan. Second, it means the water heater is using more energy, which can cost the homeowner money.

Hire a Professional

Draining a water heater is an involved process and should be undertaken by a professional. If you attempt to do it yourself, you run the risk of burning yourself on scalding water. It can also make a terrible mess if handled incorrectly, so make sure you hire a reliable plumber.

Remember to plan ahead. The water heater has to cool before it is drained, and you will not be able to access hot water during this process.

Draining the Heater

Once the heater has cooled, the plumber will turn off the intake valve for the heater and remove any excess water. Help the plumber locate the nearest outdoor drain, as this is the best place to transfer the water.

The plumber will pour some of the water in a bucket to determine the amount of sediment that has collected. This is important because it tells the plumber whether or not the system needs to be flushed. If the build-up is excessive, it may be prudent to consider draining the heater twice a year. It is cheaper to hire a Tacoma plumber than to replace a water heater.

You Deserve the Best

When you hire a professional, you deserve the best Tacoma, WA has to offer. Call All Purpose Plumbing a call at (253) 473-5100 for all your water heater and plumbing needs.

When your Sink's Time Comes..

Plumber Recommended Methods for Fixing a Leaky Faucet

Every person with a Tacoma home, apartment or business expects the plumbing to work properly. Plumber recommended methods for fixing a leaky faucet saves homeowners millions of dollars in repairs every year. However, eventually, you will have problems with a leaky faucet. Ceramic disk, ball, compression and cartridge faucets make up the list of faucet types.

Tacoma, WA faucet_leak_repair_480

Repair Basics:

As with any type of water repair, shut off water to the fixture. A faucet, particularly the bath faucet is filled with small parts so, cover the drain to catch any parts that might fall. Compression faucets use rubber seal. Those without rubber seals or washer less faucets are more durable. Fixing a leaky faucet may require the replacement of a washer; Spout O-ring, cartridge or worn valve. The housing for some faucets has small parts and for the novice, replacing the unit might be easier. However, some faucets are above average in cost, and better repaired, than replaced.

Simple Repair Covers Most Leaks:

A faucet may leak at the base of the spout. This can create more problems, if, left in disrepair. Water leaking around and under the sink can cause more destruction. To remove the spout, remove the screw that holds the spout onto the O-ring.

Take this screw out, then, wiggle the spout loose. Now, pry the O-ring away from the base with a screwdriver. Roll the new seal on, now, reattach the spout. Take the time to look at pipes and faucets in the home or office. Do not stuff cabinets with cleansers. A leak is easier to see if not covered by storage items.

The bath sink fixture requires the handle to be pried off. Remove the screw holding the packing nut, then take a crescent wrench and remove it. Now, remove the stem and you will find the seat washer. Remove and replace. The O-ring, inserted in the packing nut should be replaced. A brass screw holds the seat washer.

Outdoor Options:

Install a frost-free hose bib. This device allows water shut off closer to foundations, and helps to prevent pipes from freezing. Water running free in a home is most unpleasant, but in winter’s cold, the distress is crippling. Faucets and other appliances that use spouts go awry. Fortunately, there are plumber recommend methods for fixing a leaky faucet. Calling a Tacoma plumber is the best route.

Many simple faucets can be replaces for at a relatively small cost of about $20. This is affordable for most. These are easy repairs for trained, licensed bonded professionals. However, a dripping faucet late at night does not make sleeping easy when you have a full day of activity in front of you.

Looking for plumbing assistance in the Tacoma, WA area? Don't hesitate to give All Purpose Plumbing a call at (253) 473-5100 today.