Get Ready! Winter is Almost Here!

5 Home Winterization Tips

Cold weather is a sure thing but can catch Tacoma homeowners unprepared. Neglecting winterization needs have financially disastrous consequences. Follow the top 5 home winterization tips and prevent winter plumbing mishaps.

Busted pipes, water heaters working improperly, clogged hoses and inoperable sump pumps. Winter is a time when flooding mixed with cold is common, making wintertime plumbing preparation a necessary activity.

Tacoma, WA Winterization Tip ServicesCracked hoses or busted pipes are not appealing in summer but certainly not welcomed in icy weather.

Installing new appliances with energy saving features offers help, but everyone does not have the luxury of buying new appliances.

In this article, Tacoma homeowners and renters will find the top 5 winterizing tips for avoiding cold weather problems.

Water Related Valves

Call a professional plumber and find out how to handle shut off valves for water outlets. In the event of busted water pipes, closing off water is crucial.

Using improper tools may end up breaking valves in cold weather, making things worse. Valves worn badly may require replacing. A plumber can also show homeowners how to turn on water heaters and how to prepare it for a Better to find out before a problem occurs.

Check Pipes for Leaks

Call your air conditioning and heating professional to check and replace any weak links in the system. Checking insulation and filters before cold weather begins is smart. This includes checking thermostats. If there are, unusual noises in the heating system do not ignore them. Water pipes can cause trouble.

This is especially true with basement pipes and pipes along outside walls. Consulting with the plumber offers remedies and if necessary, there is a prior relationship with a plumber ready to assist.

Rerouting Air in the Home

Using ceiling fans to reroute heat will help save on heating bills. Keeping heat on in winter is expensive but necessary. Sealing doors and windows and closing off unnecessary space saves heating cost. Energy saving techniques can help protect pipes and save cash.

Bathroom Plumbing

Flushing toilets and showers become a problem in winter particularly during holidays. People visit and grease, hair and other objects may become a problem. Cold weather adds to the difficulty of keeping drains free running.

Avoid consecutive showers. Give visitors a break before using the shower by setting up a schedule. Build up can slow water in the showerhead and cleaning it may become necessary. However, having pipes, drains and sewage connections checked before cold weather hits, stops winter worries.

Outdoor Water Instruments

Winterize sprinklers and outside faucets by insulating and draining water lines. Plumbers can help prepare pools. Fountain gardens have water sources connected to them, so draining these reservoirs may be necessary. The top five home winterization tips encompass every area of a property.

Winter is almost upon us in the Tacoma, WA area. To get the best advice on winterizing your home, call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today!

Don't Get Mixed Up with a Disposal Clog

Tips to Have a Functioning Garbage Disposal

If there is one single item in most homes that doesn't get any respect, it's your garbage disposal. One of the reasons why is folks who have a disposal forget to remember that it's a "disposal" not a garbage can.

Tacoma, WA Garbage-Disposal-ServicesSurely you can keep that in mind before the switch is turned on and the water begins to flow.

It's a well known fact that a Tacoma home garbage disposal is a handy tool as well as reducing landfill waste and making after meal cleanups a whole lot easier.

On the other hand, with the fall season of Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday enjoyment fast approaching, your "no respect" garbage disposal will probably be overused.

All that said, with your permission, perhaps it's best to tack this article on your refrigerator door as a reminder of three important things to keep in mind about your "sink-friend" so you won't be required to call your plumber to save the day or evening, with repairs or a totally ruined unit - ouch!

Tip #1 - What You CAN Put Down The Garbage Disposal!

To keep it functional coffee grounds and raw egg shells are okay. Other okay items include the following: the ends of most all vegetables cooked or raw, raw or cooked or canned fruits, noodles and vegetarian sauces, plus anything that's soft or cooked like grits, oatmeal or mashed spuds.

Tip #2 - What NOT To Put Down The Garbage Disposal!

Most people don't need to be told not to put paper, wood or any other material down a disposal. As far as food is concerned, meat, skin, bones, lard, heavy grease may clog dull, or jam the disposal requiring a phone call to your local plumber.

Fruits, banana peels, apple seeds or other hard fruit including coconut shells and pineapple are not welcome guests. And you can forget onion skins and popcorn; especially the unpopped kernels.

Tip #3 - Cleaning A Garbage Disposal!

The good news is yes, you can clean a garbage disposal and it will go a long way in eliminating those clogged drains, smelly odors and even providing a Tacoma home for bacteria and mold to grow a family.

The bad news is, this is NOT a job for you regardless of what Uncle Fred told you. Unless you can live with losing a finger or two, this is only a job for an experienced plumber or plumbing company.

Time to get your Tacoma, WA home garbage disposal ready for the holiday season. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today.

The Facts of Water Softener Services

Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water

Hard water causes significant issues with water utilizing appliances in homes and businesses. The only method of correcting this problem is by consulting professional plumbing companies to install a water softening system. The type depends on particular circumstances.

Tacoma, WA Water Softener ServicesHowever, by hiring local competent plumbers from the local area, they will be able to direct the Tacoma homeowner to the proper devices based on many different criteria.

These companies understand the local issues, so this information will be readily available from them.

Hard water has a large quantity of dissolved minerals, but these minerals do not pose a health threat to people that drink hard water.

What is Hard Water?

The mineral content makes it desirable for certain bottled mineral waters, but it is hard water’s reaction to soap that makes it wholly unsuitable for use in water-utilizing appliances.

Additionally, hard water causes piping to clog much sooner than soft or softened water because hard water cannot efficiently dissolve soaps and greases.

This means that Tacoma homes that do not treat the problem will eventually end up repairing or replacing every pipe in the home, and water utilizing appliances like dish and clothes washers as well as kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and even hot water heaters.

What is Softened Water?

Softening water involves appliances that exchange the added dissolved load of calcium and magnesium with metal cations. Softened water prevents the slimy feeling from soaps and shampoos that are not as easily rinsed free when the water is still hard.

Even the usage of detergents and soap is lessened because softened water utilizes these products more efficiently. Hair and clothing are both negatively impacted by hard water, and the issue also causes the proliferation of immovable scale and rust deposits on anywhere that hard water impacts. This means that windows will eventually be irreparably clouded as well as sinks and bathtubs.

Other Issues with Hard Water

With lime, scale and rust deposits, there are many products on the market that tout the ability to clean the deposits, but none of them completely eliminate the deposits, and the issue continues to multiply as long as hard water is utilized in the home or building. It is not a minor issue.

Hard water will cause thousands of dollars in damage over the lifetime of the dwelling. This is a hidden cost of purchasing in an area with hard water if no water softening appliances are installed, so the costs of investing in these water softening appliances pays for itself.

Consult a licensed, professional plumber in your area to explain further.

Knowing the differences between hard & soft water in your Tacoma, WA home is important. For more info, call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today!

Be Disaster Free This Fall

Top 3 Fall Home Maintenance Disasters

The cool fall temperatures are a clear reminder that winter and ice cold weather is soon to be here. Fall is the season when Tacoma homeowners should not procrastinate in doing cool weatherizing chores that will save you money and prevent cool weather disasters that will cost you a fortune later.

Tacoma, WA fall_home_maintenanceRemember that fall weather can be unpredictable and even though you may not be really close to the winter season, many parts of the country can have early cold flashes well before the traditional freezing time of the year.

So, do not delay in taking affirmative steps to protect your Tacoma home and property from cool weather’s damaging effects.

Maintaining Your Hot Water Heater

Obviously, if you know that cold weather is coming, then you do not want to have to take a cold shower if your hot water heater fails on you unexpectedly.

You can take several steps to prevent your hot water heater from failing and to make sure that it is in great working order now while it’s safe:

Unscrew the side panel where your heating element is located, it should be clearly marked. You should only have to unscrew the metal panel.

Then, you can loosen two other screws and remove the heating element to ensure that it is clean and free of sediment build-up. After cleaning it, replace it likewise and put the cover back on.

Also, you should test the pressure release valve and make sure that any hoses are securely in place as well as checking that they are not leaking.

Checking Outdoor Faucets and Spigots

Outdoor spigots tend to extend above ground and are often exposed to the elements. During fall cold snaps, they can quickly freeze up and either become non-functional or else crack and burst due to the expanding ice inside.

To combat this spigots are traditionally wrapped with an insulating product and duct taped or otherwise wrapped with an insulating product. Insulating foam sleeves can be purchased these days precisely for this purpose and are a bit less unsightly.

Securing Pipes in the Basement and Crawlspace Under the Home

Just like outdoor spigots, likewise exposed pipes, particularly PVC ones, under your house can be prone to freezing and bursting. So, unless you want lots of water damage happening in the middle of the winter cold snap, then it is advisable to either insulate these pipes as soon as possible or hire a plumber to wrap those pipes right away.

Remember that extreme weather can happen with little notice even in the southern United States. If you let a sudden freeze catch you off-guard them you will literally pay the price later.

One of the best ways to get all of these household chores handled today and in a timely manner is simply to hire a reliable plumbing company to do it now before disaster strikes.

Think of the expense as a necessary home preventative that will save you a future bill that will require much cleaning, repair, and reinstallation of broken pipes and fixtures.

If it can go wrong, it will – unless you keep up with a regular maintenance schedule. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 to get your Tacoma, WA home inspected.

Don't Let the Toilet Clog Be a Hassle

Common Causes of a Toilet Not Flushing Properly

Few malfunctioning household items rival the annoyance of an improperly functioning toilet that can bring to the table.

Tacoma, WA Toilet-Repair-ServicesNot only are slow-flushing or clogged toilets annoying, they are nasty and unhygienic, to boot. Toilets whose water levels are too high can end up in a high water bill, and those with not enough water just might not get the job done.

Believe it or not, toilets are not simple machines. On the outside, it appears to have a handle, seat, and bowl -- not a very complex machine, or so it seems.

Most people have never heard of a flapper, fill valve, retaining nut, or flapper; but, all of these are actually toilet parts! With this in mind, do not be scared to contact your Tacoma local plumbing company for help.

Causes of Improperly Functioning Toilets

There are a plethora of reasons as to why a malfunctioning toilet is not in good shape. Not surprisingly, old toilets or toilets without recent repair are prone to problems.

Old parts or worn-out parts can cause flushing problems, as well. Many people with messed up toilets might not consider minerals from hard water building up on the surfaces of their toilet to be potentially harmful, either.

Toilets are Surprisingly Complex

Ok, toilets aren't that complex -- toilets have considerably fewer parts than cars or trucks, but, toilets aren't exactly simple. If one is not familiar with toilets and plumbing, that person may not be suited to repair a toilet.

Yeah, most people would probably say that "It's just a toilet," but those people probably have not tried to fix a toilet. People should not feel bad if they can't fix a toilet; that job should be left to plumbers.

Malfunctioning Toilets are Potentially Harmful

Always remember that improperly functioning toilets can be hazardous for a home's welfare, a person's well-being, and how visitors perceive the Tacoma home owner. Sometimes, a plunger simply will not fix a messed up toilet.

Most people do not have the tools to repair or service a toilet, plumbing, septic tank, or sewer system, let alone the expertise that plumbers do.

Most times it is best to call a plumbing company to repair a toilet, rather than trying to fix it without proper tools or expertise.

Your Tacoma, WA home toilet issues can be a nuisance to the whole family. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today, and let's get your toilet back to its flushing state!

Have You Chose Your Water Heater Yet?

Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home

Most people are only familiar with the traditional tank water heater systems, since they have been a staple of this industry for decades. With all the changes in technology over the years, all of our focus has been on energy and water conservation.

That means not only are newer water heaters more energy-efficient, they provide the homeowner a variety of benefits they might not even be aware of.

Tacoma, WA Water-Heater-ServicesSaving on Water Usage

When you have a large family, you consume large amounts of water each day. This also means your Tacoma home has a large tank water heater to provide everyone plenty of hot water when showering or bathing.

The traditional tank heaters hold several dozen gallons of heated water than must be treated nonstop to ensure hot water is available at a seconds notice.

One alternative is the tankless water heater, which basically heats water only on demand and provides hot water instantly.

There is no stored water or no need for the heater to run continuously day and night to keep the water heated.

Storage Issues

One issue many homeowners have is related to storage, and the smaller the space, the more they much conserve. The one added benefit to a tankless water heater system is they require the absolute minimum in space.

These small but effective units can be hung under a kitchen cabinet, on the wall in a laundry room, or even on an empty wall near a water outlet in the garage.

The smaller unit frees up space that could be taken up by the larger tank systems that occupy a much larger area of space inside the house. If space is an issue in a condo, apartment, or home, consider going with the on-demand water heater system.

Pay Now or Later

When it comes to choosing your Tacoma water heater, one thing to consider is how much your budge is today. You could save money each month using a tankless water heater, the only downside is the initial installation cost of the new system.

If money is an issue, the traditional tank systems are more energy-efficient today and are inexpensive to purchase new, they just will run you more money each month in your water and energy bills.

Carefully budget your money and decide which works best for you today and for the long haul because this money all adds up.

Not sure what water heater works for your Tacoma, WA home? Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100, and get the best advice from the professionals.

The Ideas to Transform Your Kitchen

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas for Your Home

Here are 5 kitchen remodeling ideas for your Tacoma home to fit different kitchen styles from modern to contemporary or traditional to timeless designs.

Typically, the reason for remodeling is to update the kitchen, bringing in a touch of the current trends, while keeping some of the familiar and comfortable aspects of the home. There are so many options, but the most important thing to remember is how the kitchen is used by the family living in the home.

1. Sink Ideas for the Kitchen

Depending on the new kitchen design a single or double kitchen sink works and with several options from cascading models, under the counter mount or drop in over the countertop or the apron front sink.

Whether the decision is to install a single or double sink the designs may require plumbing updates for installation.

Tacoma, WA Kitchen-Remodeling-Services2. Faucets Can be Changed

When you think about kitchen ideas in particular the faucet and fixtures, which are essential accents and may be the most used item in the kitchen.

Selections exist from the standard dual knobs for hot and cold water, single handle to pull out designs, and with today’s technology the touch designs have become very popular.

3. Accessories are Vital

Kitchen remodeling goes back to how the room is used and the functionality of the accessory. Consider installing built in soap dispensers, which are available in either manual or touch models, and be sure to select the side sprayers for reaching across the width of the sink.

4. Appliances, You Need Them

Appliances today come in a range of sizes when it comes to disposals, dishwashers and water filters for the sinks and refrigerators. When remodeling think about the energy saving applications and function when selecting these appliances.

Something to keep in mind, especially for plumbing appliances, in so many instances it’s the underneath conditions of pipes and drains that affect the function of the newly installed appliance or accessory. If the pipes and drains are working properly, they will add value to the appliance above the counter.

5. Bar Sinks

Bar sinks have improved over the years and today the traditional single sink model now offers a variety of options ranging in shapes, sizes, texture and smooth finishes along with color selections.

Depending on the space and plumbing available, faucets and fixtures can range from traditional to custom designs to fit casual dining or larger group entertainment.

Your kitchen is a central part of your family life, so make it beautiful. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 to transform the look of your Tacoma, WA home with unique kitchen remodeling ideas.

Upgrade Your Appliances and Start to Save

Appliances in Your Home that Waste Water

Water conservation is becoming more crucial than ever. With many regions experiencing record droughts and managers expecting shrinking water supplies in the future, now is a good time to start thinking of water conservation.

One excellent way of conserving water is to reduce the waste from home appliances that you use almost every day. With less water use, you can save money on your Tacoma water bill and feel good that you are conserving water that is becoming increasingly more scarce these days.

Tacoma Water-Conservation-ServicesReplace Your Shower Head and Consider Taking Shorter Showers

If your old shower head has not been replaced then it is a major water waster. Install a new low flow shower head that offers the same if not a better shower stream while using less water.

This is an inexpensive fix and can be done yourself. Low flow shower heads use less than 2.5 gallons per minute and offer an easy way of reducing water use without sacrificing shower quality. The more efficient shower heads will about 1.5 gallons of water per minute.

If you take a 10 minute shower then it will save you 10 gallons per each shower. In addition to a low flow shower head, simply taking a shorter shower will cut down on water waste.

You can turn off the shower when soaping up. This should save you some water when it is not needed.

Old Toilets can be Mega Wasters of Water

Outdated toilets can be huge wasters of water. They use significantly more water than new low-flush toilets. A typical old toilet can use anywhere from 3-5 gallons per flush which is wasteful.

A low flush toilet on the other hand will flush away waste and use only 1 or 2 gallons maximum to get rid of waste. Old toilets also have a attendance to leak water and may have mechanical problems leading to people flushing more often. If you have an especially old toilet, it is best to replace because it is a huge waster of water.

Check Your Faucets For Leaks

Faucets are another major source of water waste in your Tacoma home. Check all your faucets for leaks. While they may seem minuscule, the constant dripping could add up and cost you. To save even more money, consider installing low-flow faucets.

If you don't want to replace your faucets you can install aerators that will limit the flow of water from a faucet. These will turn your current faucets into low-flow faucets without much hassle. A professional plumber can check for leaks, fix them and install new faucets for you.

Now more than ever, conservation doesn’t require a lifestyle change! Call the professionals of All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 to see how easy it is to conserve water in your Tacoma, WA home.

The Signs to be Aware of, in Case of a Water Leak

Signs You Have a Hidden Water Leak

As a homeowner, it is important to realize that any type of water damage can end up being very expensive to repair. It typically will involve contractors, plumbers, and carpenters to fix. As a result, it is very important to find any hidden leaks before they grow out of hand.

Tacoma, WA Plumbing ServicesThe Following are 5 Signs of a Possible Water Leak

If somethings starts to smell musty or sour, it is possible that there is a hidden water leak. Take time to clean your Tacoma bathroom thoroughly and then check the smell again. If you still detect a musty smell, you should contact a plumber to diagnose the potential problem.

If you see stains on the walls or ceilings this could be a sign. If there is water leaking in the pipes it will begin to stain the walls, floor, and even the ceiling.

Sometimes water leaks stain remote areas farther away from the actual leak. Sometimes water leaks can cause paint to begin peeling.

In very extreme situations, you might see sagging or drooping in the ceiling due to water pressure from a water leak above. If you do not do something about it, water can begin leaking through the walls.

Water Leaks Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

If you see any mildew or mold growing it can be a sign that you have not cleaned up in a while, but it can also be a sign of a potential leak. Mold and mildew thrive in wet, damp areas.

If you clean regularly, but still mold and mildew, you probably have a hidden leak. Also, if you see mold or mildew growing from a dry surface area, there is most likely a leak below it. Be sure to clean up and then call a professional. Mildew and mold can be dangerous to inhale.

A Couple More Signs

If the floor feels soft, it could be that there is a hidden leak. Water softens bathroom flooring, walls, and more. If your Tacoma floor is sagging, damaged, or cracked you should contact a professional right away. Repairing a floor can be quite costly so you should act quickly before more damage occurs.

If your utility bill is bigger than it typically is, you might have a hidden leak. While water usage fluctuates naturally, if you are seeing a bigger than usual difference, you might want to contact a professional to help diagnose the problem.

Don't be submerged by the water in your Tacoma, WA home. Call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100 today, and get that water leak fixed now!

Get the Facts on the Importance of Backflow Testing

The Importance of Backflow Testing

Tacoma PlumberHow Can Backflow Protect the Life and Health of your Family Members?

Some homeowners are not aware that backflow actually exists. Backflow occurs when there is an unintended reversal of water flow within the plumbing system. When water reverses its direction it can cause drinking water to become contaminated and useless.

How Does Backflow Contaminant Drinking Water?

Some may ask how backflow can actually cause water to become contaminated. The water that is reversed back into one’s drinking water supply could be non-potable water.

This reversal of water backing in one’s plumbing system can cause contaminants such as chemicals, untreated river water, herbicides, water from flushed toilets, propane gas, or even sewage to get mixed in with drinking water.

These contaminants can enter drinking water through various ways such as sprinklers systems, boilers, radiant heat systems, rain water collection systems, wells, ponds, docks, or even pressure boosting systems. If any of these items are connected to the plumbing system at a home or business then it is recommended that proper precautions be taken.

In the event that either of these systems causes water flow to reverse then drinking water can become very harmful for human or animal consumption. If consumed this water can cause a person or animal to become ill or even worse lose their life.

What Threat Does Backflow Have on Health?

With the help of a backflow testing service, one’s family can be protected from the harm that contaminated water can cause. Drinking contaminated water can put people in danger of being infected with infectious hepatitis, legionnaire’s disease, typhoid, and dysentery.

These illnesses can cause a person to become very sick and if not properly treated. Such diseases can also become life threatening.

Tacoma Backflow-Testing-ServicesHow Can Backflow Be Prevented?

In many cases there are not any physical signs to look for that can reveal backflow. If one’s water supply fall victim to backflow then its appearance may not change.

It will look the same as regular drinking water and may not contain any distinctive odors. The best way to prevent one’s drinking water from becoming contaminated is by having a back flow device installed.

A backflow device prevents backflow and helps to keep drinking water safe when they are working properly. Sometime these devices can fail to prevent backflow from occurring.

Due to this fact it is important to regularly recruit a backflow testing company. These professional will be able to test the backflow to ensure it is properly protecting one’s drinking water from reversing the way it flows.

Want more information on backflow testing in your Tacoma area? Just call All Purpose Plumbing at (253) 473-5100, and take the proper precautions.