Should You Be Concerned About a Noisy Water Heater in Mill Creek?

noisy water heater Mill CreekWater heaters tend to operate quietly in the background. At times, though, you may hear a loud banging, popping, or knocking sound. Is this just the appliance settling, or is this a symptom of a more serious problem? We’ll discuss the implications of a noisy water heater and what homeowners should do.

What Causes a Noisy Water Heater?

Hard water is the most common culprit. The water may contain calcium, magnesium, or other mineral deposits, which sink and collect at the bottom of the tank. Steam bubbles that rise up inside the tank burst as they make their way through the sediment. This creates the popping and crackling noise you may hear from time to time.

A Cause for Concern?

The occasional popping sound is no cause for alarm, at least not yet. The water heater isn’t going to drop dead. However, you should contact a plumbing service at your earliest convenience.

The sediment at the bottom acts as an insulation blanket and prevents the heater from transferring heat to the water. This means the heater has to work harder to produce the same output. This is comparable to an HVAC system that has to work harder to heat or cool a room due to a dirty filter. More energy expenditure means less efficiency and higher utility costs.

A water heater that has to work harder may also overheat and wear away the tank’s protective lining, causing it to rust. This is why it’s important to bring in a technician to flush the heater.

We’ll Fix Your Noisy Water Heater in Mill Creek

Don’t ignore the occasional popping and banging coming out of your heater. Call Plumbing & Heating Specialist to flush the system. Our special offers provide savings on select maintenance work. Don’t ignore a noisy water heater; bring in a technician to flush the system.

Noisy Water Heater Help in Mill Creek

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway


Posted on September 14, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Keep Soap Scum Out of Your Drain Pipes in Edmonds

Soap Scum out of your drainMost homeowners are all too familiar with soap scum. It’s the white chalky residue that appears on the surface of the tub and the shower door. Unbeknownst to most people, soap scum is more than just an eyesore. The substance also collects inside the drain pipes. Here it goes from being a cosmetic issue to being a serious plumbing problem. We’ll go over some simple home adjustments for keeping soap scum out of your drain.

Why It’s a Problem

Soap scum forms when the fatty acid in soap bonds with the water. Soap scum gradually builds up in the drain pipes. This restricts the space water has to exit your shower, tub or sink. Most bathroom drains also contain hair, which traps the soap scum in place.

Soap scum accumulation occurs mainly in the shower drain, but can also appear in kitchen sinks. Soap scum is also prevalent in areas with hard water. Luckily, hard water isn’t too common in Snohomish, though it does turn up in some homes. (Left unchecked, hard water also causes damage to the home heating system.)

How to Treat It

All it takes is a simple mesh guard over the drain to prevent most of the soap scum from entering the drain. We also recommend pouring boiling water down the drain about once a month. This will melt any soap scum clinging to the pipes. If hot water alone doesn’t work, then try baking soda. Mix one teaspoon of the substance with one gallon of water. If this still fails to do the trick, the next step is to call a plumber.

We’ll Get the Soap Scum out of Your Drain in Edmonds

Soap scum that has had time to build up may pose a problem that requires more than a plunger or box of Arm & Hammer. Call Plumbing & Heating Specialist to resolve serious backups. Our special offers make calling a plumber easy! Contact us today.

Professional Help Getting the Soap Scum Out of Your Drain in Edmonds

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway


Posted on August 13, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Why You Should Avoid Toilet Tablet Cleaners in Mukilteo

toilet tablet cleaners MukilteoWe get the appeal of toilet tablet cleaners. You just drop a blue circular disc in the toilet tank, and it does the rest. No need to worry about any wiping or scrubbing on your end. However, as convenient as these cleaners may be, we must advise you not to use them. Here are a few reasons to consider using another method to clean your toilets in Mukilteo.

Why Toilet Tablet Cleaners Are Harmful

Tablet cleaners were released in the 90’s and got tremendous hype since they relieved homeowners of an undesirable chore. However, plumbing services reported a spike in toilet repairs not long after the cleaner’s release. Further studies revealed the damage was due to the bleach from the tablets. The bleach alkalinized the water, causing corrosion and brittleness to vital components, such as the flapper, flush valve, and any other parts containing rubber and plastic.

Many homeowners simply dropped a tablet in the tank and forgot about it. This meant a slow, consistent, and prolonged release of alkaline into the water, destroying the toilet while cleaning it.

In-tank tablet cleaners did so much damage that toilet manufacturers even began including a clause in their warranties. The statement warns the warranty will not cover damage from tablet cleaners.

What’s the Solution?

The solution is simple: Stay away from in-tank cleaners and stick to toilet cleaning the manual way – with yellow latex gloves and a toilet brush. We realize it’s not a fun household chore, but your toilet will be healthy and germ-free, not to mention free of odors.

Clean Your Toilet the Old-Fashioned Way in Mukilteo

Aside from regular toilet cleaning, the techicians at Plumbing & Heating Specialists are available to help with all plumbing issues, large and small.  Check out our special offers to keep checkups affordable. As for those toilet tablet cleaners, we realize they’re tempting to use, but resist the urge. Contact us today for all your heating and plumbing needs.

Toilet Tablet Cleaners: Repairs and Maintenance in Mukilteo

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway


Posted on July 14, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

 

Is Your Water Bill Increasing in Lynnwood? Find Out Why

increasing water bill LynnwoodFluctuations in your water bill are normal. However, if you notice a gradual and consistent rise, examine your household water use. If you notice a rise even if you haven’t changed your showering, laundry, or dishwashing habits, following are some potential causes for an increasing water bill in Lynnwood.

Underground Leaks

Old and damaged plumbing can lead to a significant amount of water loss in a short time. If you notice weak water pressure, water sputtering from the faucet, or wet patches on your lawn, call in a plumber to check on the pipeline. Water leaks not only waste money, they can cause serious damage to your property.

Leaky Toilet

A leaky toilet is less obvious than a leaky faucet, since the drip isn’t out in the open. Phantom flushing may cause the tank to leak water and automatically refill.

Faulty Water Meter

Though rare, an increasing water bill could be the result of a faulty meter. To check the meter, forgo all water use for about 30 minutes. Carefully examine the red needle on the meter. If the needle is still moving, then you probably have a leak somewhere. If a plumber, however, confirms no leaks, then you are left with a faulty meter as the culprit.

Increasing Water Bill in Lynnwood?

If your water bill is increasing and a call to the water company fails to yield any answers, call Plumbing & Heating Specialist. We do tasks ranging from leak detection to heater installation. We’ll determine what is causing your water bill to rise. Contact us today for our expert help.

Help With Increasing Water Bill Issues in Lynnwood

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway

Posted on June 15, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Phantom Flushing: What Causes Your Toilet in Snohomish to Self-Flush?

phantom flushing SnohomishDo you regularly hear your toilet flushing and the tank refilling on its own? If so, no need to call the Ghostbusters. This is a common plumbing problem and not the work of a ghostly entity. This phenomenon is known as phantom flushing, and we’ll explain what it is and why it occurs.

How Phantom Flushing Occurs

Phantom flushing is actually just a fancy term for a leaking toilet. A leak may occur in the tank, causing it to automatically refill with water. The problem is often attributed to a faulty flapper. Over time, the rubber in the flapper begins to deteriorate, affecting its seal. As the seal disintegrates, the toilet leaks more and more.

Why Is Phantom Flushing a Problem?

A leaky toilet means you’re wasting water at a rapid rate. If the toilet is leaking non-stop, you could be wasting as much as 200 gallons of water every 24 hours. That’s bad for the environment AND your monthly water bill.

The Food Dye Test

You can do an easy DIY test to determine if the toilet tank is leaking water. Place a few droplets of food dye into the toilet tank and wait 20 to 30 minutes. If remnants of the dye appear in the toilet bowl, then you have a leaky toilet.

How to Fix It

Replacing the flapper should resolve the issue. However, if the issue persists, then another underlying cause may exist. In this case, bring in a plumber to diagnose and resolve the problem. A leaky toilet may also be due to a bad flush valve gasket, or water escaping through the overflow pipe. Call Plumbing & Heating Specialist to stop a leaking toilet. Our special offers make plumbing and heating repairs affordable. Toilet phantom flushing is a problem that can result in needless and massive water waste.

Residential and Business Phantom Flushing Repairs in Snohomish

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway


Posted on May 13, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Why Shouldn’t You Pour Grease Down a Drain?

grease down a drain

Many of us have heard it’s not a good idea to pour grease down a drain.  However, most homeowners don’t know why this is bad. Nor do they know precisely what happens once the grease enters the drains and pipes.

 So Why IS Pouring Grease Down a Drain Such a No-no?

Grease undergoes chemical alterations under temperature fluctuations. Grease also mixes with other debris and chemicals in the pipeline and sewers, and it can form a solid mass.  This mass ends up blocking the pipes and making a mess in your kitchen.  One study revealed that 47% of sewer backups in the U.S. occur due to grease buildup. Roughly half of our plumbing service work involves some form of blockage removal.

This Is Not a DIY Fix

When you pour grease down a drain,  it travels through the pipes and begins breaking down into its molecular components—glycerol and fatty acids. These components bind with calcium deposits resting in the sewers to form a glob-like compound that clings inside the upper sides of the pipes when water levels rise. Plumbers even have an informal name for this glob— they call it a fatberg.  Fatbergs, if left unattended, can get really large. One plumbing company in the UK, in fact, found a 17-ton fatberg in a sewer ceiling!  The lesson here? Keep grease away from the drain. If you have an existing backup in your drain, don’t treat it using a store-bought drain cleaner. This temporary fix only pushes the fatbergs further into the sewers, creating a bigger problem down the line. Always call a professional.

We Treat Grease Buildups

Let Plumbing & Heating Specialist treat any drain blockages you run into. See our special offers on our website. We also repair heaters and install new fixtures. Contact us today for all your plumbing needs.

Pouring Grease Down a Drain–Ask the Experts

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway


Posted on April 13, 2020 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

What Happens During a Furnace Inspection?

Furnace Inspection Procedure | Plumbing and Heating SpecialistFurnace Inspection Procedure in Lynnwood

To keep your furnace operating optimally, it’s imperative to have it inspected on a regular basis. Ideally, you want an HVAC technician to look at it biannually (in the spring and fall) so that you can resolve any relatively small problems before they exacerbate and become more expensive to repair. Find out what the furnace inspection procedure entails.

Furnace Inspection Procedure at a Glance

There is much more to it than changing your filter and making sure the thermostat is functioning properly. Here is a list of some of the work the technician will accomplish during the inspection.

  • Inspect and clean the furnace’s blower motor, the wheel, and housing.
  • Check the combustion motor for lint and other debris. A cleaning will follow if necessary.
  • With a gas furnace, the technician will check for any gas leaks.
  • Check the condensate lines and the pan. The technician will drain the pan if it needs draining.
  • Check the evaporator coil.
  • Inspect the burner and clean it if necessary.
  • Check the ignition and the safety controls, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Perform an inspection on the heat elements/heat exchanger.
  • Check the flue system for rust and corrosion.
  • Inspect all electrical systems, including the control box and associated connections and wiring.
  • Check the air filters and replace as needed.
  • Examine the ductwork for leaks.
  • Run system startup to look for errors.
  • Listen for any sounds or vibrations that may indicate a problem.
  • Detect odors and track the source
  • Check the furnace system pressure (including high and low side, as well as the manifold).
  • Measure temperature rises and make adjustments.
  • Check the ventilation system while the furnace is in operation

Continue Reading →

Should You Be Concerned About Seeing Black Specks in Your Water?

black specks in waterYou turn on the faucet and are horrified to find black specks accompanying the water. Should you be alarmed? It’s certainly not normal, that’s for sure. Here are some of the reasons why you might see black specks in the water and what you can do about it.

1. Mineral Traces

The plumbing system may contain excess traces of minerals, mainly iron and manganese. These are not harmful to ingest, but the black specks are disconcerting. They may also stain the sink surface, dishes, or whatever else they come into contact with.

2. Pipe Corrosion

Old pipes may begin to corrode after several decades. Bits of the interior surface may start to peel off and end up in the water. Black specks from pipe corrosion usually occur with aged copper pipes. Contact plumbing services for a possible switch to updated cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes.

3. Heater Corrosion

Do you only see black specks when turning on hot water? This may indicate extensive corrosion in the heater water lines. You may not even notice the black specks coming out of the water. However, you may notice black shavings and black smears around the sink or tub after use.

4. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)

Most modern water filter systems use GAC as a filtering material in its cartridges. GAC appears as hard particles similar in shape and texture to coffee grounds. If the filter is overdue for a replacement, some of the GAC may make its way into the water. Replacing the cartridge may fix the problem.

We Trace the Source of Black Specks in Water

Give Plumbing & Heating Specialist a call if you see black specks in the water. We will identify the source and take corrective action. Our special offers make diagnosis affordable. Black specks in water are not normal and warrant your attention.

Prompt Residential Plumbing Services

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway

Rain-Caused Plumbing Problems

rain plumbing, rain problemsAt first glance, there doesn’t appear to be a connection between rainfall and your home plumbing system. However, there is, in fact, a correlation, and it tends to be negative. Here’s some important info about how rain causes plumbing problems and what you can do.

Added Pressure in Pipes

The pipes underneath your yard are durable but do have a weight limit. Rain saturates the ground, turning the dirt into mud. Mud weighs more than dirt. This can increase the exterior pressure on the pipes. Pipes already subjected to excessive weight can give way and sag. The pipes may also shift, causing the joints to separate and rupture.

Debris Infiltration

Rain water may carry solid debris with it. This can get into pipes with existing cracks and openings. This can cause a blockage, which in turn can lead to water backing up in the basement. In addition, the water can accelerate tree root growth. The roots can extend in the direction of the pipes and cause further damage.

Basement Flooding

As just mentioned, backed-up water may redirect into the basement or crawlspace. Excessive standing water in the home’s interior can cause mold growth. It can also be detrimental to the concrete foundation.

The Solution

A plumbing service can’t stop the rain, but it can inspect your residential pipes. A healthy plumbing system should have no trouble withstanding a downpour, even if it’s raining cats and dogs. This is a good time of year to schedule an inspection since this is the season of peak rainfall in the Pacific Northwest.

We Minimize Rain-Caused Plumbing Problems

With winter here, many homeowners are having their heaters checked. We suggest an accompanying plumbing inspection. Plumbing and Heating Specialist has special offers that make our services affordable. The connection between rain and plumbing is one that warrants homeowner attention.

Residential Plumbing Inspection

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway

How to Get a Strong Toilet Flush

strong toilet flushDo you find yourself flushing the toilet twice because the flush is weak and fails to send everything down? Not only is this a nuisance but it’s also a water waster. Here’s why it has become weak and how you can get a strong toilet flush.

Check for a Backup

The weak flush may be due to a clog that partially blocks the waste pipe. Water struggles to flow through and consumes pressure that otherwise contributes to flushing power.

To check for a backup, fill the toilet bowl with water and flush. If the flushing power remains the same, then you have a partial backup. Try to remove the backup with a plunger. If that doesn’t help, then contact plumbing services.

Clean the Rim

The rim holes where the flushing water flows through may be blocked from mineral deposit buildup. For a quick way to create a strong flush, open the toilet lid and pour one to two cups of toilet bowl cleaner into the flush valve opening. Do not use the toilet for the next several hours. The cleaner will flow through the channels and dissolve the hardened deposits. Continue Reading →