Winterizing Your Plumbing

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Freezing temperatures can destroy your plumbing system from the inside out. Extremely low temperatures can freeze sitting water in your pipes, causing the water to expand. If it expands just enough, your pipes will burst, causing extensive damage. Fortunately there are several different ways you can prepare for cold weather and winterize your pipes to prevent them from bursting.

Fix All Existing Plumbing Leaks
Even the tiniest of leaks can be a huge problem when temperatures fall below freezing. Examine all your piping, indoors and outdoors, for any plumbing leaks before temperatures drop. Preventing leaks before they happen can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on repairs before the winter season arrives.

Insulate Your Pipes
Any pipes that are exposed to open air can be protected by applying insulation. If you can see it, it needs to be wrapped in plumbing insulation foam (this includes pumps in pump houses as well). Insulation is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply and install.

Insulation keeps your pipes from freezing by retaining warm air. Not only will it protect your pipes but it will also save you money on heating costs. Plumbing insulation is highly effective and is one of the best methods plumbing experts recommend when it comes to preparing your pipes for winter.

Keep Your Thermostat at a Reasonably Warm Temperature
People going on trips during the winter season try to keep their thermostats low to keep their heating bills to a minimum while they aren’t there, but this can put pipes at risk of freezing. Water freezes at 32 degrees so it’s important to keep your home at a temperature that will keep them above 32 degrees.

A common theory is that the inside of your home is naturally a few degrees higher than the current temperature outside. If it’s 32 degrees outside, then your home will be about 37-38 degrees on the inside with heating unaccounted for. However, temperatures can plummet at night, so keep an eye on the expected lows and plan accordingly.

Take into account the average overnight temperatures of your area over the last few years. This can give you an accurate assessment on what temperature to set your heating at so you can save on energy bills while also keeping your home warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing.

Flush Your Sprinkler System
Irrigation pipes are a likely place for water to collect and freeze during cold weather. To effectively winterize your sprinkler system, turn off your water and flush any standing or collected water by ensuring you turn each individual valve connected to the sprinkler system.

If you’re going on vacation or an extended trip, it’s best to flush your sprinkler and water system before leaving. After, your pipes will be full of air which will prevent damage caused by expanding frozen water.

Let Your Faucet Drip
It may sound counterproductive, but letting your faucet drip can help alleviate the pressure built up within frozen pipes. Opening a faucet provides relief by alleviating the pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs.

Dripping faucets can be a serious waste of water so it’s advised that this tactic is only used with pipes that are vulnerable or are not insulated. However, even the slightest drip at normal pressure can provide much needed relief to stressed pipes without wasting excessive amounts of water.

Seal Off Crawl Spaces and Exterior Cracks
Reducing the amount of cold air that reaches your home’s interior pipes plays a vital role in keeping them from freezing. Covering your vents with cardboard, sealing off crawl spaces and filling in holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can prevent cold air from seeping into your home. Window cracks and missing insulation around your garage and utility doors should also be fixed to not just prevent cold air from seeping in but to retain warm air within your home.

Follow these steps and you will have done a fairly good amount towards winterizing your home plumbing. For more information, contact a professional.

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Tankless Water Heater

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Thinking about going tankless? These cost effective water heaters have a leg up on traditional units. Tankless water heaters are smaller, allowing for installation in tight spots. Plus, they produce water the moment you need it rather than relying on storage, which means your home has a fresh, endless supply of hot water available.

 

  • The Benefits:
  • Up to 40% energy savings
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  • Digital controls offer precise temperature management for safety and comfort
  • Long life span – 20 years or more
  • Reduced risk of flooding compared to conventional tank water heaters

Call us today for your tankless Water Heater Installation needs.

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement

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While many stoppages can be handled with a drain cleaning machine, sometimes we find that the main drain is broken and needs repair.

Drain lines can be affected by tree roots, shifting earth, ground water, etc. Our experts can electronically locate the affected area and dig down to make the necessary repairs.

Often it is more cost effective to replace the sewer line at the first sign of trouble rather than to continually clear the line year after year. If the sewer line repair is not addressed the potential for a back up into your home is always a possibility. We offer conventional replacement, trenchless replacement, and if your drain line problem is caught early enough, pipe lining may be an option.

How to check if you have a leak

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  1. Make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house.
  2. Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it is moving. Depending on the brand of your meter, the leak indicator could be a small triangular shaped dial or a small silver wheel that rotates when water is flowing through the meter. If the dial is moving, chances are, you have a leak.
  3. Or, you can also take a meter reading and wait 1 or 2 hours and take another meter reading (make sure no water is used during this time). If the reading has changed, you have a leak.

Our ethics

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As part of the PHCC (Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors) and the we abide by a code of ethics that guides and directs the quality of our service to you. If you are not satisfied with the work of a South West Plumbing plumber or technician, we will do whatever it takes to make it right.

24 hour service

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We are available to answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We aim to bring a technician to your door at a time best suited for your schedule. Our customer service team will scheduled an appointment at your convenience and our dispatch team will call you with information about your technician once he is on his way.

Our plumbers

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All South West Plumbing plumbers and technicians are certified and come prepared with fully-stocked trucks that have everything they need to do the job rightWe have friendly, professional, and uniformed technicians that are trained on an ongoing basis to ensure that they can perform your plumbing service with both precision and accuracy. We are the plumbing service company YOU can count on.

Serving you for 35 years!

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South West Plumbing was started over 35 years ago by Bill and Connie Buckingham out of their home with just one truck. Now South West has over 40 trucks that serve King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties*. The name South West Plumbing came from the notion that we began serving only the West Seattle area; but over time, and with the addition of the West Seattle Bridge, serving a wider area became easier.

TUBS AND SHOWERS

bath&shower.jpgThe most effective way to update your bathroom is with a new bath tub or shower.

We have many options available, including fiberglass, cast iron, and steel tubs, as well as 2-, 3-, or 4-piece showers. We also have options for our customers with disabilities including wheelchair accessible showers and walk-in tubs.

Or, if it’s a simple clog or piping issue we can handle that too. Click here to read more about drain cleanings. Whatever your concern, ask your tech what he can do for you!