How to Retrieve Jewelry from a Drain

retrieve jewelry from drainSome people have a habit of placing their wedding ring or other jewelry on the soap dish while conducting personal hygiene. A minor slip of a finger can cause that invaluable item to fall into the drain. Fear not; you can retrieve jewelry from the drain using simple household items. You do not need to employ any sophisticated MacGyver-like tactics.

Use a Coat Hanger

You may have seen people do this on TV. To the surprise of many, this method actually works to some extent. You may not be able to fetch smaller items like an earring, but you might be able to retrieve a necklace or larger piece of jewelry. Remove the drain catch and bend a metal hanger into an elongated rod with a hook on the end.

Suck It Out

You can also try a wet/dry shop vacuum. Place the hose into the drain if it can fit into the hole. Hopefully, it will have enough suction power to suck your jewelry up. Place a pantyhose over the hose so you don’t suck the jewelry into the vacuum bag. Continue Reading →

Pet Owner Plumbing Tips

pet owner plumbing tipsDo you have a canine or feline among the household? Unbeknownst to some homeowners, pets may affect the plumbing, and vice versa. We’ll outline a few pet owner plumbing tips and what you can do to prevent pet-induced plumbing issues.

Plumbing Tips to Keep in Mind if You’re a Pet Owner

Never Leave the Toilet Seat Up—Does your dog enjoy the occasional sip of water from the toilet bowl? This isn’t a major concern since the water itself isn’t particularly harmful. However, the water and bowl may contain residue from chemical cleaners that pose a health concern if ingested.

Never Flush Kitty Litter—Some cat litter brands are marketed as flushable. Even so, we don’t recommend flushing the contents down the toilet. Your cat may consume foods that are not fully digestible, such as bones. You don’t want this matter ending up in the toilet drain. Continue Reading →

The Various Types of Wastewater Explained

types of wastewaterDid a pipe just burst in the home? Is the bathroom or basement floor flooded? The severity of damage depends largely on the type of wastewater. The filthier the water, the greater the damage and remediation. Regardless of the types of wastewater you encounter, you’ll need to bring in a plumbing service.

The Three Types of Wastewater

1. Clean Water

As you can probably guess, clean water is, well, clean. This doesn’t mean, though, that it’s clean enough for drinking. Clean water is simply free of contaminants. Rain and snow are examples of clean water. Even toilet tank water counts as clean. You can clean a minor flood yourself if dealing with a leaky toilet or heater. You must do so immediately, though, because clean water can turn into greywater within 48 hours. Continue Reading →

Never Flush a Tampon Down the Toilet

flush a tamponFlushing a tampon down the toilet is one of those things people do even though they know they’re not supposed to. This is why we decided to dedicate an entire post to this. This just might prevent an emergency plumbing call down the line for a few homeowners.

Why Flushing a Tampon Down the Toilet Is Bad

Most people know not to flush anything manmade other than toilet paper. What makes flushing a tampon especially bad? Tampons are bad for two reasons: they are not biodegradable, and they can swell to 10 times their size when they’re soaked. This makes them a common cause of toilet backups. We can’t tell you the number of times we have found tampons in the drainage when clearing a clog.

If you’re still tempted to flush used tampons out of habit, then consider this warning from Tampax: According to the popular tampon maker, users should never flush the tampons, the applicator, or wrapper down the toilet. Continue Reading →

What Would Happen If Every Toilet Were Flushed at the Same Time?

flushed same timeWith the year coming to an end, we figured we would talk about a fun “what if” topic. Consider this: what would be the ramifications if every Seattle toilet were flushed at the same time? Would nothing happen? Would residential plumbing clog up? Would the world come to an end?

Flushing Every Toilet at the Same Time: Any Consequences?

Roughly 290,000 installed toilets exist in the city of Seattle. That includes every residential toilet and all the stalls in public facilities. The average toilet uses 3.5 gallons of water per flush. If people flushed every one of those at once, that would be 1,015,000 gallons of water running through the municipal sewer system at the same time. Could the pipes withstand the sudden surge? Continue Reading →

Be Grateful for Indoor Plumbing This Thanksgiving

Aside from hearty food, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for all the good fortunes that people normally take for granted. As a plumbing service, we encourage homeowners to be grateful for their indoor plumbing.

Why Be Grateful for Indoor Plumbing?

Disease would be rampant if not for the wonders of indoor plumbing. In the Middle Ages, people simply discarded their human waste out in the open. This invited scores of disease-ridden pests and vermin. This contributed to the Black Plague that wiped away a third of Europe’s population.

In Victorian-era London, residents commonly threw human waste into the Thames River, which was also the city’s drinking water. This resulted in a cholera outbreak in 1854 where more than 500 people succumbed to the disease within the span of a week.

Some parts of the world today, such as rural India, still lack sanitation. An estimated 780 million Indians do not have access to a running toilet. Open defecation is commonplace. India also has an abnormally high rate of polio infection. This disease spreads through contact with human feces.

Other diseases attributed to poor plumbing include dysentery, typhoid fever, and hepatitis A.

People Are Living Longer

The aforementioned diseases are extremely rare in modern developed nations. This is due to the intricate plumbing system that prevents human exposure to fecal matter. People are also living longer today. While this is the result of advances in medicine and dedicated doctors, indoor plumbing also plays a relevant role in human longevity.

Give Thanks for Your House Plumbing

Everyday amenities like running water and home heating are all conveniences to give thanks for. Plumbing & Heating Specialist is thankful for its customers, which is why we have special offers for the good residents of Snohomish. Before you pass the dinner rolls, remember to give thanks for your indoor plumbing.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Fall Plumbing and Heating Maintenance

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

4 Uses for Plumber’s Putty

plumber’s puttyPlumber’s putty is like the Play-Doh you played with as a kid. It’s also a wonder item for DIYers. Indeed, the putty can temporarily fix a lot of problems. The keyword here is “temporary.” We’ll outline where and how you can fix common plumbing issues using plumber’s putty.

What Is Plumber’s Putty?

Plumber’s putty is a clay-like substance that plumbers and homeowners use as a quick-fix for sealing a leaky pipe. The putty is made mostly from clay with additional additives, such as fish oil, limestone, talc, and linseed oil. While the substance is non-toxic, please do not give it to a child as a toy.

Plumber’s Putty Common Uses

1. Pipes

Have a leaky pipe? Use the putty for a watertight seal. This isn’t a foolproof solution, however, as the putty may be ineffective against high-pressure leaks.

2. Sinks

Use putty to create a seal around the edges of a sink for a watertight barrier. Be careful, however, not to apply putty too close to countertops. Some putties contain additives that may lead to staining. Continue Reading →

Furnace Vs Heat Pump: Which Is Right for Your Home?

furnace vs heat pumpA heater can be a rather broad term that describes any type of home-installed appliance that provides heat. Two primary types of heating appliances compete for your business: It’s furnace vs heat pump. We’ll go through the difference to help you decide which is best for your home.


Many furnaces burn fuel (usually natural gas in modern homes) to create heat. The heat is circulated through air vents to warm individual rooms. Some furnaces operate completely on electricity, including induction furnaces. These create heat through a reaction of electricity against metal.

With a typical gas furnace, you can expect high energy efficiency. Most modern models have a 97% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, meaning that 97% of the gas it consumes is converted into heat.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are essentially air conditioners that work in reverse. Instead of creating heat like a furnace does, it shuttles heat from one location to another. In the winter, heat is moved into the home, whereas in the summer it shuttles away indoor heat and deposits it outside. Continue Reading →

Safeguard Your Home With Winter Plumbing Protection

winter plumbing protectionSafeguard Your Home With Winter Plumbing Protection

Winter is in full swing in the Snohomish, King and Pierce area. Granted, the Pacific Northwest isn’t the most frigid place in the country, but it may still be frosty enough to cause frozen pipes. Following these tips will safeguard your home so you’ll have winter plumbing protection.

Plumbing Tips for the Kitchen

If you’re like me, you cook richer, fattier meals during the colder months. Be careful about pouring all that extra grease down the drain. The same goes for fibrous waste, such as carrot peels and pumpkin pulp. These should never go into the garbage disposal. The combination of solidified grease and vegetable remnants clog drains and disposals, and plumbing services are often called to treat backed-up kitchen sinks during this time of year. Instead, collect the grease in a can and, when it solidifies, put it in the trash.

Plumbing in the Bathroom

For the bathroom, we recommend turning up the heater to retain hot water. This will provide you with cozy showers while allowing warm water to run through the pipes to keep them from freezing. Don’t exceed 125 degrees Fahrenheit, or else the water will become scalding hot. Waiting at least 10 minutes after a shower before the next person goes in allows water to reheat.  As an added measure, we recommend you might consider insulating the pipes. Allowing the faucet to drip keeps water flowing and releases water that may otherwise freeze inside the pipes.

We’ll Protect Your Pipes this Winter

Plumbing challenges change with the seasons, and winter is the time to prevent pipes from breaking or bursting when temperatures lower.  Call Plumbing & Heating Specialist to take advantage of our special offers and protect your pipes from the winter cold.

Winter Plumbing Services for All Your Plumbing Challenges

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

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