In Need of Service?

If you need service, maintenance, repair, or you are interested in new installation you may call or e-mail us. You can request service and set an appointment for a South West Heating Technician to come out to your home or business. If you are experiencing difficulty with your heating system click here, to see some safety steps you might take.

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Plumbing Insurance?

I get calls everyday wanting to know if there is such a thing as plumbing insurance. The short answer is, YES. You can insure anything that you want if you are willing to pay the premiums.

Now, for the more accurate answer: Most typical homeowner policies do not cover plumbing expenses.

When there is a plumbing emergency such as a leak in a pipe on the second story causing water to cascade through your kitchen light fixture, it has been my experience that insurance companies will cover the damage caused by the leak, but not the actual repair of the leak. Don’t ask me why that is, I don’t know. That is a question for your agent.

It is nice to know that once the episode is over and the leak is repaired, that your home will be fixed back to the pre-damage condition. You will most likely have to pay the deductible that you have established when you signed up for the insurance, but the rest of the repair cost is usually covered.

Now a different type of insurance has appeared in advertising. You may have received a flyer in the mail or seen these ads on the internet. Some companies are offering to provide insurance to help pay for the plumbers bill. These companies claim that for a moderate premium they will cover the expenses incurred if you have a plumbing problem with your sewer, or main water line or sometimes the inside plumbing.

If you choose to purchase this type of policy please read everything very carefully. Most plumbing companies will not accept this insurance as payment. Most often you are still required to pay the plumber and then seek re-imbursement from the insurance company. In addition, the rate that these companies pay is usually far less than what a plumber may charge. There may be a few good companies that will cover you just in case you have a problem, but my personal opinion is that they are not worth buying unless you know you have a problem and are planning to have some work done in the near future. If that is the case, they may save you a few dollars off the total cost. Just don’t expect them to cover all the costs—I have yet to see that happen in my 22+ years in the business.……I’m just sayin.

See the link below for the latest offering. This company sends their pre-selected companies to repair your problem. This may or may not be a good thing. It does, however, take away your choice of who to use for services in your home.

http://www.sunherald.com/2011/04/27/3059997/homeowners-in-washington-can-lower.html

Searching for a Plumbing Fix? At what cost?

In a recent search of the internet we discovered some great information. Customers are looking for answers to their plumbing problems online and what they are finding is not what they want or need.

In a recent search on “You Tube” The most popular plumbing repair searches were, in order:

How to install a toilet
How to solder a pipe
How to repair a shower valve
How to repair a bathroom faucet
How to replace a kitchen faucet

Hundreds of thousands of people have searched for this information and been taken to a huge array of videos, blogs, and websites. Some of these sites are actually trying to sell you something, others have some bad information being put forth by less than qualified individuals, and a few actually have some legitimate information.

In today’s society there is an overwhelming need to “get it now”, and it seems that the time spent on watching, reading and learning about how to do these things is counter-intuitive to that goal—-it’s actually the opposite of “get it now”.

We understand the “Do It Yourself” attitude, and sometimes that is the way to go. But when it comes to plumbing, heating, or electrical don’t you think it is best to get a professional to do the job?  The argument against having a pro do the job is most often “Price”. But when you actually look at the time, energy, trips to the home store, the second or third attempts to “get it right”, all of the yelling, throwing of tools and headaches, not to mention the cuts scrapes or additional damage that can happen … It quite often works out to be cheaper to hire a pro. Or, more importantly, it’s less “costly” to you, your family, and your home.

A real professional will come to your home at no cost and look at the job that you need done. He will tell what it is going to cost, and give you a few options as to color, style, repair, replace etc. Really, that’s no different than a doctor would do—Diagnose the issue and talk about the options for treatment. Then he is going to have all of the part and the ability to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and most important…..correctly.

The best part is: you save time, headaches, and quite possible your marriage! (just kidding…or am I?) A real pro will show you how everything works when he is done and educate you on any maintenance or service required in the future.

Oh, and did I mention the warranty? Most companies will guarantee their work and quite often schedule a no cost follow up visit to insure that the work is holding up as promised. Our company effectively guarantees whatever “fix” or installation you pay for, and if something is “off” in the days following the repair, we come back and make it right at NO CHARGE. If YOUR “fix” goes wrong, you have to re-diagnose the issue, pay for damage, and re-“fix” the issue YOURSELF. Tell me THAT’S not a good insurance plan.

With all the things that take up your precious time in today’s busy world, home repair should be at the bottom of your list. Most people only need a plumber once every 2 years, so if we look at the costs involved, it only makes sense to call a pro.

Cost of cable TV, phone and internet for 2 years:    $2800.00
Cost of cell phone for 2 years:                                              $1400.00
Cost of typical plumber visit:                                                 $600.00

Cost of your time with family or friends:                        Priceless!

Plumbing Upgrades in the Bathroom

How is that guest bath looking anyway?

The quickest, easiest way to improve the looks and function of your bathroom is with a new sink, faucet and maybe a toilet. These 3 things are the most common items customers choose to replace and are also the most frequently used fixtures.

A new water-saver toilet will give you years of trouble free service as well as save you money on your ever-increasing water bill. Some toilets today use as little as 1.1 gallons per flush and some even have dual flush technology for even more savings.

Today’s faucets also use less water and are easier to operate. You can choose self-closing faucets that turn themselves of after 3-5 seconds or a low flow faucet that uses only .75 gallons per minute. Many customers choose a new lever style faucet that is so easy to use it is rated for handicap use. Sometimes turning a knob is not easy. Wet hands, or disabilities can render that old faucet un-usable.

Bathroom sinks take a beating. Soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, and whatever else, tend to wear away the finish. In addition, the water pooling near the drain will eventually cause a rust stain and worse yet, a leak. Luckily, most manufacturers have standardized the size of bathroom sinks so there is an endless variety to choose from. Most change-outs can be done in a single day and with the addition of that new faucet, the whole look of the bathroom can be updated.

One more area to consider is the bath tub or shower. When you are using the tub or shower you are using up to 5 gallons per minute—that is a lot of water! Consider a low flow shower head. This will cut the water usage way down but still give you the pressure that you need and like. Or, maybe you would consider adding an adjustable hand held shower head. This little bit of luxury cost very little and adds an element that you find in spas and hotels. One more thing about the tub: It is always nice to have a grab bar to help get in and out. Some of these bars are quite stylish and you don’t have to be old or disabled to enjoy the convenience and safety that they offer.

Remember… an updated bathroom and plumbing will ad value to your home, improve the appearance and help your guests, as well as your self, feel comfortable in your home.

PS… If you decide to go all out and remodel the whole bathroom, don’t forget to have a plumber check out the pipes behind the walls. Too many times, I have gone into a home and found a beautiful bathroom that had to be dismantled because of a worn out pipe that was overlooked, and now has started to leak.

Any questions? Call us…