When to Call a Professional Plumber

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.


Tips for Conserving Water in Your Home

water conservation

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.


Revamp Your Kitchen and Save Money While Doing It

refresh your kitchen

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!

Avoid a Thanksgiving Day Plumbing Disaster

Image result for thanksgiving and plumbing

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.


Heating Services


South West Plumbing provides heating service, maintenance, repairs, and new installation for all kinds of heating systems including:

  • Gas furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Radiant Heating
  • Gas, electric, and tankless water heaters

Why is My Bathroom Grout Cracking?


Tile is one of the most timeless and popular home finishing materials. From contemporary subway tiles to elegant marble tile, this flooring or wall material is ideal for use in spaces that are exposed to significant moisture, particularly the kitchen and bathroom.

Although tile is slightly more high maintenance than other materials, the luxurious appearance is more than worth it. However, maintaining your bathroom tile can sometimes require more than simple mopping or wiping. After some time, you may begin to notice the grout between tiles cracking, which not only presents a more worn façade but may also compromise the integrity of your bathroom’s tile.

What Causes Cracks in Grout?

Before you can effectively patch up the cracks in your bathroom tile grout, you need to understand why it cracked in the first place so you can avoid the same situation in the future. Take note of where the cracks are forming. If they form along a border seam, such as where the tile meets the tub, or in a joint, the cracks are likely due to movement that has slowly broken the pieces apart.

Throughout the year, your home expands with the summer heat, contracts with the winter chill and bends slightly against strong storms. All this slight movement may have broken the grout apart, through no fault of your own.

Alternatively, your cracked grout may have been the unfortunate result of a shoddy installation job. Grout is a finicky substance that requires a deft hand and extensive knowledge of tiling to be mixed and applied perfectly. If grout is too watery, air pockets can make the grout porous and liable to break.

If tiles aren’t applied and adhered properly, the grout is the last line of defense against your entire tile installation falling down. The stress of holding up the weight of tile can cause grout to crack.

Just like the rest of your home, your tile and grout can fall victim to age. Even if the tile is pristinely maintained, some grout can only hold out so many years before it cracks.

How Can I Fix My Grout?

Fixing grout cracking, large or small, is not usually a job for the average DIY homeowner. Repairing grout requires removal and replacement processes that most armchair handymen aren’t used to. Ensuring proper grout consistency, laying and securing tile correctly and ensuring everything is straight and level is an art that takes experience to master.

While many people attempt to lay their own tile or tile their own bathroom walls the end result is rarely professional-quality work. Give a trusted local tiling expert a call to remove and re-apply your grout, especially when going for a total overhaul of your bathroom’s grout and tile.

Comprehensive Residential and Commercial Plumbing Services in Seattle, WA

If you’re remodeling your kitchen or bathroom with new tile you may be in the market to upgrade your fixtures or redo your plumbing as well. South West Plumbing is the company to call for any plumbing repair or renovation needs. We can help ensure the plumbing part of your project goes smoothly with work that will stand the test of time. Contact us online or call 206-932-1777 to schedule your service today!


We Stock EPA Certified Toilets

It was not so long ago that a toilet used 3.5 gallons per flush and the older toilets from 1950 used up to 5 gallons per flush. We stock EPA certified toilets on every truck and can get you on track to saving water, and being a little more environmentally conscious. Less water per flush means less water going to the treatment plant. Therefore, less water is released from those plants into the rivers, lakes, and streams.

Electric Water Heaters


Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters work very well and are very dependable, with minimal parts to wear-out or break. Quite often natural gas is not available and electricity is one of the only options. Today’s electric water heaters will supply enough hot water for the average family and although the operating cost may be a little higher, they are extremely reliable.