Build Up the Savings with Low Flow Fixtures

How Low-Flow Fixtures Can Help You Save on Water

Tacoma PlumberHumans have sustained themselves with water from time immemorial. Biology tells us that our bodies need water to perform countless vital processes to keep us healthy. We also use water to wash off the dust of the day's labors, to prepare meals, and to rid us of our bodies' waste.

Water is a staple of any healthy civilization. In this age of bureaucracy and vast populations, water usage is tightly regulated, and your water bill reflects the volume of water you used in a given month.

Assuming you are a wise, thrifty consumer, you'll be interested to know that there are a few investments you can make to save significantly on your water bill. Enter the world of low-flow utilities.

Toilets with Low Flow

Unless you have access to an outhouse, chances are your residence features at least one toilet, and rightfully so. But your toilet may not be as water-efficient as it could be.

Before 1995, toilets sometimes used as much as 3.5 gallons of water per flush. The U.S. Department of Energy set a standard that now limits newer toilets to 1.6 gallons per flush, a significant improvement.1 Equipping your home with low-flush toilets naturally results in a lower water bill.

Shower Heads

The U.S. Department of Energy has also set a standard for shower head flow: 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) or less. When shopping for shower heads, look for the most energy efficient.

Tacoma Fixture Installation ServiceLow-flow shower heads are generally either aerating (in which air is mixed with the water to create a mist) or laminar-flow (meaning the water flows in individual streams).2 If your shower head may pre-date 1992, you probably could stand to benefit from a new, low-flow shower head.

Faucets

Last, but certainly not least, the aerators attached to newer kitchen sink faucets generally restrict flow to 2.2 gpm, and newer bathroom faucet aerators vary, restricting flow from 1.5 to 0.5 gpm.

Aerators are inexpensive to replace, and can be one of the most efficient changes you can make to your faucets to lower your water bill.

If you think that any of your water fixtures may be out of date, ask a professional. It could result in significant savings on your next water bill.

Don’t delay. Give All Purpose Plumbing a call at (253) 473-5100 to save money and lower the carbon footprint of your Tacoma home without changing your busy lifestyle.

Get the Facts on the Summer Plumbing Tips

Summer Plumbing Tips

Glen Cove PlumberIf you have ever owned a home, you likely know just how important your plumbing system is, and if you want to keep your pipes clean and running for a long time there are some things that you should do regularly for maintenance and some things that you should definitely avoid.

Here are some of the biggest summer plumbing tips that you should take into consideration.

Know What you Can and Can Not Put Down the Toilet

Great deals of people end up with clogs in their toilets because they simply attempted to flush things that are not acceptable.

Even if you happen to put something down the drain and it ends up flushing, it could very well get stuck in the inner workings of the drain, leading to a blockage.  When it comes to flushing, the general rule is to keep it solely to toilet paper.

Turn Down the Water Heater and Clear Your Disposal

Now that it is summer, chances are that you do not need as much hot water as you did in the winder, so you can go ahead and turn your hot water heater down. Turning your heater down will decrease your energy consumption and put money back in your pocket.

Clearing your garbage disposal is another great thing to do during the summer, due to the fact that often times there are more events and barbecues taking place, leading to more foreign objects going down the drain. This means it is a good idea to clear your disposal to make sure that it does not get backed up and over worked.

Check Sewer Lines

Glen Cove Summer-Plumbing-TipsOften time's a home can develop cracks in their sewer lines, leading to all sorts of problems if left unchecked.

When there is a crack in the sewer line, water and nutrients drip into the ground and if there are trees around, the roots will actually grow to the water source, causing further problems to the lines.

It is a good idea to check these lines as soon as you can before or during summer, due to the fact that this is the time of year when tree roots are growing the most.

The last and final thing is to simply have a professional come out and check your full plumbing system, or at least do a thorough inspection yourself.

It can get much more complicated to work on your pipes during the winter, so making sure you do a thorough inspection and fixing any problems that have developed during the summer is ideal.

Looking for more insight on summer plumbing tips for your Tacoma home? Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today, and see what works for you!

 

Don't Handle that Emergency the Wrong Way

Tips for Dealing with a Plumbing Emergency

Tacoma PlumberThe problem with a plumbing emergency is that it can and will strike at the most inopportune times. You could be away on vacation when a line to the water heater bursts, you could be sleeping when the kitchen sink explodes, or you might be out at work when the toilet begins to back flow and fill the room with raw sewage.

While these all are emergencies in their own way, by taking just a small amount of precautions you have the ability to lessen the overall damage that will result. Consider these tips for dealing with a plumbing emergency quickly.

Know How to Tape a Pipe

Most plumbing emergencies are a result of a pipe leaking and causing water damage in the room. If you have the ability to built a small patch you can stop the water leaking until a professional can arrive on scene and make the necessary repair for you. All you need to do this repair is some rubber garden hose, some hose clamps, and a screwdriver.

The hose should already be cut length wise so you can wrap it over the area of the leak. Once the rubber covers the hole, place two hose clamps on either end and tighten down to keep the water leak to an absolute minimum.

The Power of Duct Tape

Tacoma Emergency Plumbing ServicesEven if you have no tools and no repair experience, a simple roll of duct tape and a pair of scissors can do amazing things when it comes to stopping leaks inside the home. If you find a leak on an exposed pipe, begin wrapping the area with the duct tape several times.

The duct tape is waterproof and highly adhesive, so even if the water pressure is high, the tape will stick to the surface. keep wrapping the tape until you can at least slow down the flow of water and get the plumber to your home as quickly as possible.

Turning Off the Water

As simple as this technique may seem, many homeowners are not aware that each appliance has its own water shut-off valve nearby. Each toilet has a shut-off valve near the tank, each sink has a shut-off near the water supply inlet, and the washer machine has one connected to the wall behind the unit. Turn off the water supply if you can and you instantly stop the flow of water to that device until help arrives.

Looking for an emergency plumber in Tacoma? Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 for quality service you can trust!

Be Aware of the New Latest Bathroom Trends

The Top 5 Bathroom Trends

Tacoma PlumberYou spend a great deal of time in your bathroom. Why not upgrade it and enjoy your time in there? Lots of new trends appeared for 2015. Which of these trends interests you?

Become Technologically Savvy.

Technology is everywhere. Now you can use it to your advantage in your bathroom. Add a refrigerated medicine cabinet to finally keep all of those meds at an appropriate temperature.

Put in a programmable shower that allows you to control the temperature, pressure, and now add aromatherapy and even Chromotherapy.

Add a dimmer switch or LED lighting. You can also add a state-of-the-art speaker system, to enjoy your favorite tunes.

Reduce, Reduce, Reduce!

Mother Nature is fickle, giving some floods and others drought. We all need to work on reducing our water consumption. Low-flow toilets and hands-free help you control how much water you are using. New smart shower-heads are able to manipulate the flow to use less water but still feel like you are having a full shower.

Change your Look.

Designers are finding new ways of creating cohesive bathroom fixtures, providing a more aesthetically pleasing room. Trendy bathrooms in 2015 are getting curvy.

At the same time, these fixtures are crafted in such a way as to provide some extra hidden storage. Open floor plans or doorless showers also expand your sense of space. The trendy colors of the year are more neutral, with earthy shades of gray.

To Bathe, or not to Bathe. That is the Question.

Do you keep the bathtub or give it up altogether? Those who wish to conserve water are usually against keeping the bathtub. They also take up a lot of space and can quickly eat up your design and remodeling costs.

Tacoma Bathroom-TrendsThink of the big, walk-in shower you could have, instead! Others prefer to not give up the luxury. For them, a free-standing bathtub may be the best bet. Others may still want the spa treatment at home, keeping the jet tub.

Soothe your Feet

Even when the weather is decent, the bathroom floor is notoriously cold. It can quickly negate the warm, relaxed feeling you just got from your bath or shower if you end up with freezing feet. Radiant heated floors will keep your feet nice and toasty as you towel off and get ready.

Keep up with the latest trends for your Tacoma bathroom. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today and see what you can do.

Don't Settle for a Short Piping System Life Span

How to Extend the Life of Your Plumbing Piping System

Tacoma PlumberEventually, the pipes in your home will fall apart and need to be replaced. This is inevitable and part of the normal wear and tear on a home.

Having said that there are some basic steps that you can take to avoid having to repipe your home which can be costly.

Be Careful Regarding Usage

To a large extent, how well you treat you plumbing system will impact how long it lasts. Be careful regarding what you drop down your sink and be sure to use a food catch to eliminate large food particles.

If you are having plumbing problems be sure to not use drain cleaning chemicals that can damage the plumbing system and contact a local plumber instead.

They can use a snake to clean out your system and avoid the damage from chemical dissolvents. If you are on a septic system be sure to have the system treated regularly and be conscious of what goes into your sec system so that it can operate effectively.

Have Your Home Inspected Annually by a Licensed Plumber

An annual inspection by a licensed plumber will help to identify issues as soon as they arisen will allow that licensed plumber to respond to those issues before they weaken and decimate your plumbing system.

Be sure to schedule an inspection each year and check to see if there are any leaks and communicate to him any problems that you may be experiencing so that your plumber can properly investigate those issues.

When You Do Have Your Plumbing System Updated, Use a Quality Plumber

Tacoma Pipe-ServicesThis almost goes without saying but when you do have to repipe your plumbing system be sure to use a plumber who is experienced, fully licensed, and who has a good reputation in the neighborhood.

Many people inherit their plumbing problems from the last owner and don’t care about the quality of the plumbing system they install if they are moving away in a year or two.

Use quality plumbers to avoid short term and long-term plumbing issues as the benefits will accrue to you as the current owner as well as to future home owners.

Finally, be aware that you are not an expert in your plumbing system and use the wisdom of your plumber to improve your system.

Consult with them and ask for recommendations based upon the system that you currently have. Ask what will make your plumbing system as longer and what pitfalls you can avoid that might contribute to damage to it.

Want to extend the life of your Tacoma home piping system? Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 to find out ways to extend the life of your pipes.

The Time is Now to Get Rid of Those Stains

Stains on Tile and How to Remove Them

Tacoma PlumberWhy are There Water Stains on my Tub and Tile?

Many people notice that their beautiful tiles and brand new tubs are stained. The fact is that most tubs and tile accumulate stains over the years.

The average person gets very frustrated, and they do not know the correct method to remove the stains and stop them from reappearing again.

Certainly, the stains gross people out, and they rush to the store to purchase the first cleanser they see. However, there are natural solutions that they could easily use that would not damage their tub or tile.

What Causes Water Stains

Many customers ask us the same question. The questions and concerns are water stains in bathrooms. They wonder what causes the stains and is there an easy way to stop the water stains. Water stains are caused by hard water. Hard water is filled with minerals. For example, minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Those chemicals are absorbed by the water before entering the home. Hard water makes it extremely difficult for tile cleansers or tub cleansers to work effectively.

Thus, reducing the products, and the cleansing power. Furthermore, hard water is responsible for causing mineral build-up in pipes, sinks, tubs, toilets, and even on tile. Therefore, it takes an extra strong product to remove those water stains.

Certainly, the product purchased in the store are not as effective as the tools and solutions that your professional plumber uses to remove water stains. Plumbers are able to identify the stain and use the proper solution to quickly and effectively remove any type of stains.

Removing Water Stains

The key to removing water stains off of tile or a tub is to act fast. Don't let the stains simply remain there for days.

Tacoma Tub-StainsLetting the stains remain for even a few days allows time for the stains really settle in the tiles or tub. The longer the stains remain, the harder they will be to remove.

Soon as you spot a stain, get to work. Either buy a cleaner at the store or contact a professional plumber to remove the stains before they ruin the tile or tub.

Anyone that is worried about rust or water stains on their tile or tub should contact a plumber immediately.

Trying to get rid of those awful stains in your Tacoma home? Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today and see how we can help!

Find Out the History of Your Toilet

The History of the Toilet

Tacoma PlumberCurrently, toilets are indispensable to a household. They have even popped up in rural areas because they promote hygiene and sanitation. Without toilets, a lot of diseases would have free rein over the masses.

Simply choosing a great toilet isn’t enough, going for a professional, licensed and trained plumbing company is equally important. An efficient toilet only works up to its potential when a professional plumber installs it.

Ancient World

The toilets of the ancient world were surprisingly sophisticated. Inside toilets were seen in Skara Brae villages where the farmers of the Stone Age lived.

In the stone huts of these farmers, drains ran under the flooring and some people had even covered these drains with cubicles. Homes in ancient Egypt too had toilets with limestone seats. Poor Egyptians used wood instead of limestone.

The container under the hole had sand in it and had to be emptied regularly. Grid patterned Indus Valley toilets actually included flushing systems and the Minoan civilization included sewage from toilets into their drainage systems. Romans even had public toilets with stone seats.

Middle Ages

The the Middle ages, toilets were simply holes dug into the grounds with seats on top. However, later, wooden and stone lavatories were built by monks over the river. Medieval castles had garderobes with stone seats and vertical shafts that led the sewage into the moats.

Monks from the 12th century had stone chutes that led from the Porchester castle to the sea, allowing the sewage to be carried by the tide. Even rudimentary toilet paper was used in these times by people who chose to use rags or mullein, depending on their income status.

Modern World

Tacoma Toilet-HistorySir John Harrington was responsible for inventing the first modern toilet in 1596 that came with a cistern and flushed. Alexander Cumming patented the design of a flushing toilet in 1775 and the design was improved upon by Joseph Brahmah in 1778. It was only in the late 19th century that modern flushing toilets became common.

Until that time, they were still considered to be a luxury. There were sharing toilets in working class households during this time. In rural areas, however, the modern toilets arrived in the 20th century.

The toilets available today come with special eco-friendly technology that conserves water and leads to better efficiency. They are decorative and made from various materials like porcelain. Certain third world countries still use toilets made using old technology.

If you live in the Tacoma area, and are having toilet troubles, Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 and find out how you can get your toilet back!

We Can Help you Overcome that Clogged Toilet

The 5 Most Common Clogs in Toilets

Tacoma Plumber1A toilet clog is no laughing matter. People flush all kinds of things down toilets that don't belong.

The 5 most common clogs in toilets are a bit surprising, but also something you may have done yourself!

Food

People often use their toilets as a garbage disposal, dumping leftovers into the bowl and then flushing them away. Never flush food down the toilet, whether it's last night's casserole or even soup.

Food can, and does, get stuck in your pipes, and can lead to a messy, smelly, and embarrassing plumbing problem.

Cosmetics and Toiletries

Things like razors, eyelash curlers, lipstick tubes, and even mascara wands make their way into toilets all the time. This is usually done by curious children who will throw nearly anything into a toilet. Keep the lid down and watch young ones in the bathroom to keep these things free of the toilet.

Ladies, sanitary napkins and tampons are never meant to be flushed down the toilet, no matter how convenient it may seem. Wrap these used items in toilet paper and place them in the wastebasket instead, as these are very common toilet cloggers.

Kitty Litter

Yes, kitty litter gets flushed down toilets all the time. While this may seem an easy easy way to dispose of kitty's waste, the litter can stick in the twists and turns of pipes and lead to a nasty clog down the line. All kitty litter should be placed in a wastebasket and taken outside.

Tacoma Clogged-ToiletYes, toys are common toilet cloggers. Children love to toss dolls, building blocks, marbles, and other small items down the toilet and watch them flush away to the unknown.

Again, keep little ones under a watchful eye and make sure their toys don't end up in a sewer somewhere- or worse, clogged in your pipes.

The best way to protect your toilet is to keep certain items out of it. Never flush anything that isn't meant to go into your sewer, which means you are limited to wipes and toilet paper.

Keeping your toilet free of foreign debris is the best way to protect your plumbing and keep your pipes free of clogs.

Problems with the clogged toilet in your Tacoma home? Don't panic, just Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100, and we'll take care of business.

The Plumbing Myths that are Proven to be False

Popular Plumbing Myths Debunked

Tacoma PlumberPlumbers often hear the same stories told by homeowners and residents about the myths they have heard regarding how best to look after the plumbing in a property or repair a problem.

Even the simplest tasks of plumbing that a plumber could handle in a short period of time and for a low cost are often subject to these myths and falsehoods.

Unblocking a Toilet with a Plunger is a Good Idea

The first myth that should be considered is that unblocking a toilet or sink can be done by the individual and can be done simply with a plunger.

A blocked or slow draining sink or toilet is often a sign or symptom of a major problem somewhere down the sewer line, which should always be examined and checked out by a professional plumber.

A homeowner may simply move a blockage with the use of a plunger and open themselves up to health hazards when the toilet or sink becomes a stubborn problem that refuses to budge.

Many homeowners look to use a drain cleaner after the plunger refuses to work on the blockage, which followed by the plunger again can throw dangerous chemicals around the area and cause harm for the individual.

Exploding Water Heaters

Many a panicked homeowner has made the call to a plumber complaining that they feel their water heater is about to explode after hearing a series of noises and loud bangs coming from the area of the heater.

Although the heater will rarely be on the brink of exploding the heater is in need of servicing and probably repair by a qualified plumber.

Tacoma Plumbing-MythsSediment from the water held within will often settle at the bottom of the heater and cause problems when the heater turns on and air bubbles are pushed from beneath the sediment.

A plumber will often be able to enact a repair that is far cheaper than rushing out and buying a new water heater.

Garbage Disposals Should be Cleaned with Lemon Peels

Any professional plumber will explain that the best bet for a smelly or poorly performing garbage disposal is to call out a plumber to check into the causes of the problem.

Lemon peels are often pushed into the disposal to eliminate the smell, but these will simply add to any blockage further down the line that may be causing the smell.

Don't let the myths get to you in your Tacoma home. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today, and overcome these plumbing myths!

Remodel the Bathroom You've Always Dreamed About

Ways to Beautify Your Bathroom

Tacoma PlumberWhat to Avoid with Bathroom Remodeling

Thinking of doing a remodeling job on your bathroom? Before you do, look at some of these mistakes others have made in the mistake.

You'll want to avoid these situations at all costs.

The Fan

Others have either not cleaned their fans or not installed one. This is big mistake. Your bathroom needs to have proper ventilation.

Without it, your bathroom will develop humidity and moisture. This will cause problems with the paint and the development of mold.

Planning Ahead

This is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make, this is coming from a professional's point of view. You can't just figure it out as you go along. If you "wing it", you will be shooting yourself in the foot.

Develop a plan and follow it. Write down everything. Figure out how to handle any issues which might come up. Don't leave anything to the last minute. If you need to, have your plumber on speed dial. It can't hurt.

Don't Cut Corners

Figure out your budget. Make sure it's a realistic one. Don't play the game of "keeping up with the Joneses." If you can only afford, $5,000, don't spend anymore.

Don't put down for a $100,000 job, when you can only afford $5,000. You'll be cutting corners. You will also be unsatisfied with the results. Don't put yourself in this position.

Correct as You Go

If you see a small mistake developing, fix it. It's called the "clean as you go" mentality. Don't leave mistakes or problems till the end, even the smallest ones. Leaving them will only make it worse. You will end up with more problems, more then you started out with.

Tacoma Bathroom RemodelingEager to Approach the Finish Line

This might sound familiar to many of you. You get so excited about the finish line, you forget certain things. People get sloppy around this time.

The want it to be done. We can't blame them. This not the time to lose focus though. Everyone goes through this, even us professionals. We lose focus and want the job to be done.

Take your time. Remember how you started out. Keep this mindset going. The best recommendation for remodeling is, start off slow.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Towards the end pick up the pace, but not by too much. You won't be sorry about the results.

For more information on bathroom remodeling, please visit us online. Do you have some stories you'd like to share? Click on the link down below.

Your Tacoma home deserves a beautiful bathroom. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 for a remodel you can be proud of!