We rely on our water pipes and sewer lines to shuttle clean water into our homes and dirty water out. With so much waste water from our toilets, showers and sinks, it’s no wonder sewer pipes wear out and burst every now and then. When a pipe bursts on your property, though, the signs may not always be obvious. Keep an eye out for these pesky symptoms of a broken pipe to minimize water damage in your home.
Perhaps the most immediate and unpleasant sign your sewer pipe has burst is the inevitable odor of dirty water and sewage in your home. This stink often comes directly from your tub or sink drains, but the stench may also grow so strong that it permeates the entire property. If your home suddenly starts to smell like a dirty restroom, you may have a larger problem than you realize.
Flooding and Growth
Broken pipes often occur in your yard where your home’s pipes lead out to the street to meet with the local municipal pipes. When a broken pipe pushes gallons of water into your yard, it won’t take long for your perfectly trimmed grass to look more like a swamp. However, even if you don’t notice the telltale flooding you may expect to result due to a broken pipe, you may still have a problem. If your grass looks especially lush in bizarre patches of your yard, it may be time to check those pipes. Sewage is great fertilizer and a leak may be encouraging extra growth in your lawn.
Sewer pipes are breeding grounds for many types of pests, including cockroaches and rats. Although most homeowners never see a living pest in their home, the signs of infestation are apparent. Dead cockroaches, palmetto bugs or sewer flies in or around drains or pipes and rat droppings throughout cabinets may be indicators of a broken sewer line. Pest infestations are a severe health risk, especially for children, pregnant women and the elderly, so it’s best to handle them quickly. In situations where an infestation may be a direct result of a broken pipe, get both issues handled as soon as possible to prevent the recurrence of an infestation.
Backups and Mold
It’s easy to ignore a little flooding in your yard, but when you notice water damage in your home, it’s time to get serious about repairing that broken pipe. You may find it’s almost impossible to take a shower or wash your hands when you have a burst pipe due to reduced water pressure and flow or even a complete cessation of water service. Perhaps all your toilets have flooded due to a drainage backup. When a busted pipe halts your daily activities, you’ll need to call in a professional as soon as possible to get your life back to normal.
All that excess flooding in your home could create some serious hazards, including water damage, rot and mold. Call in a plumber for emergency service to keep your loved ones safe and avoid additional damages.
Pipe Repair and Installation Services in Seattle, WA
Even if you notice only one or two of the signs of a broken pipe around your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Water damage can be disastrous for your home if left unresolved, so erring on the side of caution and calling in a plumber could save you a lot of money on water damage repairs later on.
If you think there is a leaking or broken sewage pipe in or around your home, give the plumbing pros at South West Plumbing a call. Our highly-trained plumbers offer fast and courteous service at a reasonable, upfront rate that you can approve before committing to our services. Schedule your service online or call 206-932-1777 today!
Most of the time, homeowners don’t worry about their piping as long as it reliably delivers water to the places they need it most, like the shower, sink and toilet. Some even ignore the first signs of plumbing trouble because the problem doesn’t seem serious enough to warrant an intervention.
What many don’t realize is that even tiny leaks, especially if they occur one after the other, indicate a full piping replacement might be in order. Replacement might also be worthwhile if you are concerned about lead from old pipes contaminating your family’s water or simply wish to update your system with a newer, sturdier material.
The following are surefire signs you need a plumber to come evaluate your pipes:
- Decreased water pressure
- Damp walls or floors after water usage
- Mold growth
- Noises like dripping, gurgling or knocking
- Discolored or rusty water
- Slow draining even after using drain cleaner
You should consult with your plumber to decide which pipes will work best for your situation. Here are some of the differences between the most common types of pipe materials.
There is a good chance your pipes are made of copper, as this has been the standard metal pipe in homes since the 1960s. There are multiple reasons for its popularity, including its durability, resistance to rust and ability to handle both hot and cold water. Copper is durable enough to withstand sunlight, the elements and even high heat like during a house fire. These pipes are safe enough to transport drinking water, as they are lead-free and bacteria-resistant.
Despite the many positives that make copper a go-to choice, there are a few significant drawbacks:
- The cost – As a valuable metal, copper is relatively expensive at $285 per 100 feet of pipe. Its high valuation also makes copper piping a target for thieves.
- The installation process – Compared to the lightweight nature of all plastic pipes and the malleable flexibility of PEX pipes, copper pipe installation can be slower and require more demolition.
- Inability to handle acidic water – If your water supply is particularly acidic, your copper pipes may corrode.
Another viable metal option is galvanized steel. “Galvanized” refers to a process where pipes are coated in zinc in order to prevent corrosion of the pipe. Unfortunately, galvanized steel pipes don’t withstand corrosion forever and may still experience rust buildup and blockages over time.
If you have an older house constructed between 1930 and 1990, it is very possible you have galvanized steel pipes. You should consider replacing them because corrosion can lead to water discoloration or contamination. Galvanized steel may still be appropriate for use when repairing pipes that are already made of the same material.
Nowadays, new galvanized steel pipes have fallen out of popularity in homes and are typically reserved for heavy duty applications, like outdoor and underground plumbing or water line replacement. They are cheaper than copper and can last upwards of 100 years!
Polyethylene, or PEX, pipes are a cutting-edge technology in the plumbing world. Made of flexible plastic, these pipes can easily cut around corners and snake through walls, meaning installation takes less time, demolition and labor. PEX also has many other qualities that make it perfect for indoor plumbing:
Cheap cost – PEX piping is currently over nine times cheaper than copper, costing only $30 per 100 feet.
- Versatility – PEX pipes pair well with many kinds of pre-existing pipes, making them great for repairs and retrofits.
- Insulation – PEX pipes don’t lose heat quickly and are fairly resistant to freezing and bursting.
- Color coding – Unlike metal pipes, PEX pipes can be color coded, indicating the temperature of the water that flows through them.
Because these pipes have only recently become popular in the US, we don’t yet know how they will hold up over decades of use or if there are any ill effects of consuming water from aging PEX piping. However, they have met rigorous safety guidelines and are increasingly a plumbing industry favorite.
Another type of popular and cost-effective plastic piping is PVC pipe. Besides its multitude of DIY uses, PVC pipes are extremely popular for use in homes, pools and irrigation systems. Because they’re plastic, they do not corrode and don’t require soldering or drawn-out installations. They also handle high water pressure well.
The largest drawback of PVC pipes is that, unlike PEX, they are not particularly temperature resistant. High temperatures will cause the pipe to warp, meaning there could be severe pipe damage over time. Thus, they are generally used for drain lines, vent stacks and water supply lines.
An alternative form called CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) piping is sometimes used instead, as it can handle all water temperatures while ensuring the water remains safe for consumption.
Repair or Replace Your Pipes with South West Plumbing
No matter which kind of pipes you have in your home, South West Plumbing can assist you with any and all repairs or replacements. We have been in the business for more than 35 years and we are the largest plumbing company in the local King, Snohomish and Pierce County area. There’s a good reason more than 15,000 of your local neighbors have trusted us with their home’s pipes this past year alone. Our plumbers are state certified and available 24/7, providing high quality service no matter when you need it. Give us a call at 206-932-1777 today to schedule your service appointment.
Some issues are too dangerous or complicated to tackle alone. South West Plumbing is the 1st to call for the following tasks for your safety and the integrity of your home:
- Installation of new pipes, sinks or tubs
- Water heater problems
- New construction that requires building permits
- Septic tank leaks
- Sewer line breaks or leaks
Read more from this article here.
We’ve all heard about how certain regions are dealing with droughts and even enforcing strict local water conservation laws in some cases. Even if you aren’t required by law, adopting a few water conservation strategies is a great way to save a few bucks on your utility bills while preserving an increasingly scarce, life-sustaining resource.
Start with Recycling and Reducing
Before you start tearing up your lawn and replacing your pipes, you can save quite a bit of money and water by utilizing a few simple water recycling methods.
- If It’s Yellow Let It Mellow – Yes, this is a very old adage, but it still rings true. By only flushing your toilet when it contains solid waste, you can save more than one gallon for every flush you avoid.
- Recycle Water Where You Can – You can easily recycle gallons of water by placing a bucket underneath the shower faucet while your shower warms up. This water can be used for watering plants, washing dishes, watering pets and many other tasks.
- Reduce Water Waste – It can’t be overstated how much water you’ll save when you turn off the sink as you’re brushing your teeth, doing dishes and washing your hands. This also applies to taking shorter showers and opting for a broom instead of a hose when cleaning your driveway or walkway.
- Opt for Full Loads – When doing laundry or using the dishwasher, only run the appliance when it’s unquestionably full. Additionally, try and cut back on washing items like water glasses and towels after just one use.
- Xeriscape – Impactful water conservation takes place outside the home as well. Reducing the size of your lawn or even transitioning to a xeriscape yard, which features mostly succulents and rock, will save countless gallons of water day in and day out.
Make Some Appliance and Structural Changes
In addition to the quick lifestyle changes you can make around the house to save water, you can also make some long-term and hands-off changes sure to save you even more in terms of money and water conservation in the long run.
- Consider Dual-flush Toilets – Older toilet models use almost twice as much water as newer, dual-flush toilets, which only use as much water as needed, so you don’t have to worry about “letting it mellow.”
- Install More Efficient Fixtures – Faucets and other fixtures can have a huge impact on how much water your home goes through. For example, standard shower heads use approximately two and a half gallons of water per minute, while more efficient heads use less than two.
- Find and Fix Leaks – Installing new faucets can also eliminate potential leaks. Even a small drip can lead to a surprisingly pricey water bill at the end of the month. This extends beyond the faucet though; leaky pipes, hoses, toilets and sinks can all result in surprisingly high volumes of wasted water.
- Insulate Hot Water Pipes – Warming up your water before a shower or laundry load takes time, and countless gallons are wasted while you wait for it to warm to a bearable temperature. Insulating your hot water pipes can keep water warm and avoid needless wasting.
- Regular Inspections and Maintenance – Keeping your home’s plumbing up to date and working properly will help you avoid unseen leaks and inefficient usage. Plus, regular inspections can help you make the decision to upgrade older appliances.
Consider South West Plumbing
There are a variety of things you can do to conserve water in your home on your own, but there are even more things you can do with the assistance of an honest, expert plumber. South West Plumbing can help you save money and conserve water by addressing leaks and installing new, efficient fixtures and toilets for a competitive price. Seattle-area residents can contact South West Plumbing online or by calling 206-932-1777 today.
Food brings people together, which may be why the kitchen is often the center of the home. Of course, that also means your kitchen gets the most use, and as a result, more repairs and updates may be required than other rooms in your home.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. A new kitchen can add thousands of dollars of value to your home as well as making it more attractive to prospective buyers. If you’re not planning to sell any time soon, a remodeled kitchen can revitalize your home, acting as your family’s main hub and a place to impress guests.
Before You Start
The first thing you’ll want to consider before renovating your kitchen is your home’s future. Whether you’re planning on renting it out, living in it for a few years or settling down for life should influence your remodeling decisions. Think about your return on investment and the average cost of living in your neighborhood if you plan on selling or renting your home within a short period of time. Keep in mind sellers often see better returns on minor remodels than full renovations.
Cost is another major factor to consider before starting a project. Once you get the design ball rolling, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of remodeling and splurge on cool items like built-in coffee machines or elaborate mosaic backsplashes. These can certainly define your kitchen space, but you should try to be realistic about your budget and time constraints. Even partial kitchen remodels are an expensive undertaking. If you’re spending thousands of dollars and giving up weeks of comfort during installation, you want to be sure you’ll be happy with the outcome, not regretting the price tag. A clear, immutable budget is especially helpful for people who recognize their own tendency to overspend.
Cabinets are often the largest expenditure during a kitchen renovation, but they can really upgrade the feel of your home. If you want to refresh your kitchen’s look without breaking the bank, you can reface existing cabinets by repainting, refinishing or adding veneers. Or, if you already like the overall look of your cabinets but want to give them more flair, opt for a new metallic knob or handle.
Consider that you don’t necessarily need cabinet doors – you could leave your shelving visible for a uniquely refreshing look. It’s a bolder choice in a family home, but if you’re a cook or you like to display your beautiful dishware, this could be the way to go.
One place where you shouldn’t skimp? Functionality or storage. If your cabinets are made of poor quality material, if they have significant wear and tear or if there simply isn’t enough space for all your pots and pans, additional cabinets or a complete replacement might be the best way to go.
Counters & Islands
When it comes to counters, there are nearly endless choices, and your decision should be dictated by daily use. Some counters are scratch, stain and heat resistant but may not have the look you want, and vice versa. Granite and other natural stones remain a popular choice, although authentic designer stone may strain your budget. If you’re looking for a less costly renovation, laminate and tile are both viable options. Wood, concrete and stainless steel are less common but can contribute to a unique and consistent aesthetic, whether warm and homey or modern and sleek.
Islands, while optional, can be one of the most helpful and functional additions to the kitchen, especially if you’re used to cooking for many people or throwing parties at your home. They provide durability and storage that a table might not. However, an island is only an asset if it’s an appropriate distance from the counters and appliances. It shouldn’t be so large that it closes off an otherwise spacious kitchen or becomes cumbersome to walk around. For a smaller kitchen, try a custom sized island or peninsula.
Walls, Backsplashes & Flooring
Other than knobs and handles, walls are one of the cheapest ways to spruce up your kitchen. While neutral colors always help with resale value, don’t be afraid to add a pop of color like a warm red, muted yellow or light blue if you plan on enjoying your room for a long time.
Backsplashes aren’t required, but they certainly add an element of sophistication to your space. Make sure that your backsplash matches your countertops, but don’t be afraid to use this space to highlight some accent colors. If you really want to emphasize this area of your kitchen, go with a glass or stone backsplash.
For flooring, aim for something that can withstand spills and foot traffic. Porcelain tile is a beautiful and sturdy option, while hardwood flooring is timeless and easier on the feet. If you’re looking to save money, you can’t go wrong with vinyl.
Appliances are truly what makes or breaks a kitchen. While the other parts are primarily about appearance, appliances are all about function. Many homebuyers are looking for stainless steel or integrated appliances disguised as cabinets, but don’t let that stop you from considering functionality. Convection ovens, quiet dishwashers, new fridge styles and powerful, easy-to-use sink faucets might be more appealing than lavish looks if they make daily life simpler.
Regardless of style, investing in energy efficient appliances is a win-win. Eco-friendly buyers will appreciate the sustainability, and in the meantime, you can enjoy lower water and electric bills.
South West Plumbing
If you need plumbing services for your new kitchen sink, dishwasher or refrigerator, South West Plumbing can help. We will give you your quote up front so you know what to expect ahead of time. When we’re finished, we’ll make sure your home and newly refreshed kitchen show no trace of us being there. Call us at 206-932-1777 or contact us online to schedule your service appointment today!
Garbage Disposal Dont’s:
- Dump grease down the drain. (grease solidifies in your drain much like it does in a pan left overnight.) Even if you run hot water afterwards.
- Force large amounts of food down disposal all at once.
- Put celery, onion peels, lettuce, or other fibrous foods in the disposal…these are very difficult for the blades to grind up, meaning they’re more like to cause a blockage.)
- Put pasta, potatoes, rice, or coffee in your garbage disposal, either. Same reason.
- Put bones down disposal. Not only is it not good for the disposal, it’s murder on your ears!
Garbage Disposal Do’s:
- Run water for about 60 seconds to flush out grease left in disposal.
- Keep water flowing while the disposal is running.
- Put ice cubes in your disposal. They help keep the blades sharp.
- Put small chunks of lemon peel in your disposal. This helps to de-odorize the drain.
South West Plumbing provides heating service, maintenance, repairs, and new installation for all kinds of heating systems including:
- Gas furnaces
- Radiant Heating
- Gas, electric, and tankless water heaters