September is National Baby Safety Month!

September is National Baby Safety Month!

About Baby Safety Month

Each September, the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) sponsors National Baby Safety Month. The focus of this year’s National Baby Safety Month will be educating parents on the importance of registering their baby products and paying attention to recall notices.

baby safety banner

This is an important topic because most people pay little attention to the product registration cards they get with the things they purchase. The majority of people simply throw these registration cards away with a shrug of the shoulders. That is a dangerous attitude when it comes to baby products.

If parents do not register the products they buy for their babies, they may not hear about future recall notices until it is too late. Some of these recall notices are issued because products are found to be dangerous or even deadly.

To protect their children, parents need to take a few minutes to fill out and send in the product registration cards for all the baby items that come with them.

Three Hidden Dangers for Babies

As well as registering their baby products, parents also have a responsibility to baby-proof their homes. While most parents do this, they are not always aware of the hidden dangers that may lurk in their homes. Keep an eye out for these three hidden dangers for babies in the home.

1. The Crib

Parents tend to think of cribs as the safest place their babies can be, but they can in fact be deadly. This is because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To reduce the risk of SIDS, never put any pillows, blankets or soft toys in the crib with your baby. Also, parents need to make sure to put their babies to sleep on their backs.

2. The Diaper-Changing Table

Babies can very easily roll off the table if you get distracted while changing their diapers. This can literally happen in seconds. Don’t ever leave your baby unattended on the diaper-changing table for even a moment.

3. Tripping

baby-safety-monthIf you trip while carrying your baby in your arms, the results could be tragic. Make sure that you remove rugs, stray cords and other tripping hazards from your home to prevent this disastrous situation from occurring.

Child Passenger Safety Week

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children. In order to prevent these tragic deaths be informed about child passenger safety laws. September is also the time of year when Child Passenger Safety Week occurs.

This year, Child Passenger Safety Week will be from September 18-24. On September 24, law enforcement officers nationwide will be checking that parents are using the correct safety devices to transport their children on National Seat Check Saturday. Make sure that you always use car seats correctly for your kids to keep them safe.

For questions regarding your Tacoma, WA home's plumbing, contact All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100.

Finding 10 Fun Things to do in Washington State This Season

Finding 10 Fun Things to do in Washington State This Season

Washington State has so much to offer in any season for sights, sounds, and tastes, but summer holds a specific place in our hearts. Get the most out of summer by taking advantage of some of these fun things to do right here in Washington.

1. Try Sea Kayaking

washington-1There’s no better way to enjoy summer than at the helm of a sea kayak.

With guided tours and sea kayaking specials around the San Juan Islands, expect to get a great workout with lots of fun.

You might even spot an orca or two!

2. Take Flight with Kenmore Air

Since 1946, Kenmore Air has offered tours by plane. Now, you can choose one of many adventures through the company that is sure to delight your family. With a birdseye view, you’ll be able to take in the gorgeous landscape and cityscape.

3. Ignite Your Taste Buds at a Craft Distillery

Washington is home to numerous craft distilleries and breweries. Whether you like gin, whiskey or vodka, there is something for everyone. Tour your favorite distillery and learn about the spirit making process while enjoying the ambiance and atmosphere in these incredibly trendy and exciting places.

4. Make the Most of Summer Cooking by Shopping at Your Local Farmers Market

farmers-marketFarmers Markets are the best way to source locally grown, organic, healthy and inexpensive produce for your favorite summer recipes.

These dynamic gatherings offer lots to see and taste and are sure to excite everyone in the family. Make going to the farmer’s market part of your summer routine and enjoy the benefits and advantages of supporting local.

5. Learn about Animals at Woodland Park Zoo

This conservation-minded zoo is the best place in Washington to see tigers, monkeys, giraffes and more! Bring the whole family for a day of fun and learning. And don’t forget to check out the brand new butterfly exhibit full of beautiful and exotic butterflies from all over the world.

6. Feel the Exhilarating Effect of Whale Watching

Nothing is more exciting than seeing one of these gentle sea giants emerge from the sea to say hello. Washington is home to some of the best whale watching in the world. With calm waters around the coastline, you are sure to feel a sense of wonderment when you run into a pod of orcas on the tour.

7. Get Close to Nature at a Washington State Park

With so many beautiful state parks in Washington, it will be difficult to choose just one to visit. Camping, hiking, water sports, beach activities, geocaching, metal detecting, ATV riding, bird watching, paragliding and rock climbing are just a few of the activities offered in the parks.


8. Splurge on a Seattle City Pass

The Seattle City Pass is around $100 and gets you access to many attractions around the city including the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and a one-hour harbor cruise. The pass is also full of great ideas for places to eat, other sights to see as well as coupons and discounts!

9. Experience Pike Place Market

If you’re looking for a more urban adventure, check out Pike Place Market, see the fishmongers throw the fish and experience the many shops and restaurants in this bustling and dynamic area in Seattle.

10. Visit Manito Park in Spokane

If there’s a gardening or flower enthusiast in your home, you must make the trip to Manito Park in Spokane. This beautiful garden boasts amazing views, incredible vegetation and a beautiful Japanese garden that should not be missed.

At All-Purpose Plumbing, we can help with more than plumbing recommendations. Enjoy our home state of Tacoma, Washington this summer and give us a call at 253-473-5100 the next time you need expert plumbing advice.

Get Your Schedule in Order Before Back to School Time!

Get Your Schedule in Order Before Back to School Time!

time-for-schoolPreparing to take the kids back to school in the fall is one of the most tiring and troublesome experiences a parent can go through.

There are so many little things to accomplish, such as buying new outfits, textbooks, backpacks, general school supplies, and reorganizing schedules around work and everyday life.

Most kids will not be ready and will simply not want to offer a helping hand with all of the tasks that need to be completed by the first day of school.


You should begin saving a bit of extra money ahead of time for the purchase of various school supplies. Most schools don't send home a list of what is needed, such as the books, notebooks, and pencils, until it is nearly time to return.

This can be troublesome and downright headache-inducing for most parents. The best option is to put aside a bit of money each month during the summer so when the time comes you already have the funds required to take the kids shopping.

Buying Supplies

Most local big-name stores will offer the school supplies required for most children in the area. Large shopping chains set aside entire sections of their floor, including multiple aisles, for parents shopping for their children. You can find brand new notebooks, three-ring binders, packs of markers, pencils, pens, and loose-leaf paper so kids can draw or write notes on.

back-in-the-classroomThe items can be costly, so saving some money beforehand, as mentioned above, will be vital to heading back to school.

Organizing Your Schedules

This is especially important for those parents who have more than one child in their home heading back to school. Some schools, especially middle and high schools, tend to have different starting times.

You must balance your time between dropping off your child before the bell rings and making it to work on-time each day. This can be a bit of a hassle at first, but once you really get into the swing of things, it should be much easier.

When possible, speak with your kids and find out who would be willing to ride the bus in the morning. If you have a school bus stop near your home, you can drop your child off on the way to work.

Alternatively, you can have a family friend, or perhaps a neighbor, who also has a child heading to school, drop your kids off when they are passing by the area.

Heading back to school does not need to give you the headache that most people associate it with. Take a step back, take a quick breath, and write down exactly what needs to be done. If you are also in need of plumbing tips, call All Purpose Plumbing in Tacoma, WA at (253) 473-5100.

Going on Vacation? Make Sure Your Home is Ready

Going on Vacation? Make Sure Your Home is Ready

Getting ready for a vacation involves more than just packing clothes and toiletries for the trip; you also have to make sure that you properly prepare your home for the time you'll be away. This includes taking care of cleaning and appliances, shutting off valves, turning off and unplugging electronics, and even reprograming heaters and thermostats.

summer-vacationTaking care of these pre-­vacation home maintenance issues will not only keep your home safe, but it'll also save you money, conserve energy, and make sure your house is clean and livable when you return.

Get the Garbage Disposal Cleaned Out

Nobody likes the smell of rotting food—unless of course, you're an insect or a rodent, in which case such odors will be pleasant and inviting.

If you leave food in your garbage disposal while you're away on vacation, you might as well leave out a welcome mat for all manner of pests. To avoid having your home turn into an all you­ can ­eat buffet for insects while you're gone, clean out the garbage disposal before you go. You might even want to pour some vinegar down there and let it run for a few minutes because this will ensure that all the food scraps are gone, and the pipes are clean.

The Water Valve: Shut it off!

Running water in the house is something most people take for granted these days, but there's no need for the water to be on when you're away on holiday. In fact, you could be leaving your home at risk of water damage or even a flood if you don’t turn off the water.

Pipes can freeze in colder months, burst anytime, or spring leaks at any point, and if you're not around to deal with the issue immediately, this could cause some major damage. Shut off the main water valve in your house before you leave, then run all the faucets to bleed the water from the pipes so they can't freeze or leak.

Turn Your Water Heater to Vacation Mode

Similar to running water, having hot water available whenever you want it is a wonderful perk of the modern world, but there's no reason to keep a tank full of hot water in your basement when you’re out of the country, up at the cottage, or out on a road trip.

If your water heater has a VAC (vacation) mode, set it to that before you leave so it won’t have to work as hard to keep the water inside hot when you're gone. Don’t have a vacation mode? Don’t worry: just turn down the temperature or set the heater to its lowest setting.

Unplug as Many Appliances as Possible

disconnect-appliancesAny appliances and electronic devices should be unplugged before you go away, because even in the Off setting they’ll still draw power, and this will draw money from your wallet.

With your fridge and freezer, turn the temperature down if you can't unplug them, but ideally you want to empty them out and unplug them before you go. With the washing machine and dishwasher, make sure you drain out all the water before pulling the plug.

Your vacation is meant to be a getaway, and the last thing you need is to worry about the safety of your house while you're gone.

To make sure you can rest, relax, and enjoy your time away, take care of these few home maintenance matters before you go, and that way when you come back, your home will be in the same perfect condition as when you left. Not only that but also these steps will also save you some money, meaning you can go away again that much sooner.

If you have any questions about these steps or want help with maintenance in Tacoma, WA, call All­ Purpose Plumbing today at (253)­ 473-5100.

July is UV Awareness Month!

July is UV Awareness Month!

Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the leading cause of skin cancer. July is UV Awareness Month. During this month make sure to take action to prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of UV damage.

How to Prepare for UV Awareness Month

Too much sunlight can cause several long-term health conditions:

  • applying-sunscreenVisual Impairment
  • A weakened immune system
  • Wrinkles and sunburns
  • Skin cancer

Prevent Getting Sunburned

Summertime means spending more time outside enjoying the nice hot air. Make sure to check the local UV index before spending time at the pool, going to the park, or even enjoying a walk with your Pokemon Go.

Check your sunscreen to make sure the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is between 30 and 50; no one wants burnt skin. Always apply sunscreen lotion 15 minutes before going outside. You will need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

Protect your eyes from the sun.

Sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV rays on sunny days. If you are indoors sitting near a window, you should still wear sunglasses. Too much exposure to UV light can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Only wear sunglasses that offer UV protection.

What is the hottest time of the day?

You should avoid sitting in direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. You need to wear sunscreen throughout the year, and you need to apply sunscreen more often if you are swimming or sweating.

Some sunscreen lotions are waterproof, but you should still apply more sunscreen whenever you get out of the pool.

For summer tips with your home’s plumbing, call All Purpose Plumbing in Tacoma, WA at (253) 473-5100. A friendly customer service representative can assist you.


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

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.