10 Tips to Get Your Home Winter-Ready »
Try our top home-winterization tips and ideas to prevent major winter blues.
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From Business: Residential Electrical Services is an electrical contractor referral service. An electrical contractor must adhere to a code of ethics to become a member of Residen…
Try our top home-winterization tips and ideas to prevent major winter blues.
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Sewer repairs are crappy. Fact is, they require a lot of work, can cost a lot, and mean you don't get to shower or use the facilities in your house until they are fixed. My wife and I were married at the beginning of this month and all the family and friends who attended strained the system at our mid-century house in Ballard and gave us our first challenge as newlyweds - a sewage back-up in our basement (thankfully, the house-guests had left). We rented a rooter and managed to snake out some roots we knew were a problem about 30' down our lateral line (right under a neighbors tree) but during the process we collapsed about 6' worth of pipe right where the sewer line bends out of our house and heads towards the main. Total block. My new father-in-law had worked with Jim Dandy before and recommended them (I was a little nervous after reading the so-so reviews here and elsewhere). I called them and they had a plumber, Shawn, come out within the hour. He identified the block, tried a rooter head, confirmed the line was broken, and then used a radio-locator to pinpoint the location, which was luckily not under our concrete slab. He worked really fast, let me pepper him with questions, and was super nice. He was there for an hour and a half but only charged me an hour. He also set up an appointment with an estimator (Chris) early the next morning. Chris came in and took a look at the location, and gave me a pretty good bid price. He was willing to be flexible on aspects of the job, and after consulting with him, we agreed on a division on labor that saved us quite a lot more. I and some willing friends dug a portion of the excavation that afternoon (4' down x 8' x 4' - we were sore!) and he had a crew come out the next day and dig down another 3' (digging more than 4' down can be dangerous without bracing, which the crew did when they arrived) as well as pull out the broken lateral line, replace it with PVC, completely rebuild a nearby downspout tie-in with PVC, and add a 4" clean-out line to the surface. We did the backfilling. As soon as the crew was done our second plumber, Jon, came out to scope the new pipes and clean out the remaining roots. He was able to get a 4' rooter tip to the main-line (120' away) and we took a look at the remaining concrete pipes on both sides of the house. They looked pretty good for being 65 years old. He even cleaned out the sand in our downspout p-traps. Despite the late hour, he did not charge us for overtime (which he technically should have). Like Shawn, he worked hard and fast and then billed slightly less time to us than he could have. I really liked everybody associated with the sewer mess. They were nice, sympathetic, flexible with the estimate, and fast. The project cost me way, way, way less than I thought it would have. It wasn't cheap - but it didn't break the bank. We were pretty lucky with the location of the break and didn't have to worry about city streets or sidewalks, big rocks, or under slab. What could have been a financial nightmare was resolved with only minimal pain and a lot of good learning experience. I would recommend Jim Dandy to anybody, and would also recommend tackling a sewer break with a willingness to ask questions, a willingness to do some of the grunt-work, and a friendly attitude. I think plumbers are like anyone else - if you get all mad at them for telling you the painful truth about your problem, you might not get the best service. If you can laugh about it a little, get engaged with the problem-solving, and see them as on your side, they really will be.
I just moved to a new place and I noticed that previous tenant had been coming back to get his mail. So I figured why not change the mailbox lock and also get the locks to my door re-keyed. The mailbox lock was easy to swap out by myself. But for the re-keying I needed a pro. I checked Online and the only one I found around me with reputable ratings was Amber Locksmith Store. They're based in Puyallup, WA. I called in the morning while waiting for cable guy (who was late as expected) and sure enough they had availability for late afternoon and gave me a fixed price for the job. Dave said he could be there around 5:30 or 6. Fine by me. I get a call from Dave at 4:30 saying he can make it even earlier. Great!!! He shows up at 4:45. The work was quick despite problems with my fancy Omnia locks. He gets the job done and I'm good to go. He even grinded the deadbolt hole to make the lock easier to turn. Great service and I'll be sure to contact them anytime for any locksmith services.
After reading all the 5 star reviews online I figured I would give these guys a call but I was STILL skeptical because the company seemed too good to be true. Well... yelpers had it right all along. Gorge called me the morning after I wrote in on the website late the night before. Since my problem wasn't dire (I just had crappy locks) he arranged to come the next day and he was super professional, super personable and very straightforward. He looked at the locks, listened to the problems I was having, suggested a solution with the prices I already knew from the website and in 20 minutes I had an awesome new lock and doorknob installed by someone I felt cared about doing a good job. Gorge even told my boyfriend what kind of maintenance could be needed in the future to make sure the doorknob continues to work properly. I wish all repairs could be this easy and not sketchy. If you will need a Locksmith in Seattle, WA CALL THEM!!!!
If you own a house or commercial building, you're bound to need a plumber at some point. Here's a list of the different kinds of plumbing services you might need assistance with:
You might only think of needing a plumber when the pipes in your house burst. However, a plumbing contractor also installs all of those pipes, whether they're made of PVC or copper, in your building. Professional plumbing services also lay pipe in place for wastewater, rainwater runoff and even air conditioning systems.
Not only do they install pipes, plumbers set up sewer lines and vents as well as gutters, down pipes and storage tanks for residential and commercial facilities.
Just like getting a regular oil change for your car or truck, your home's pipes and water system also need regular maintenance and check-ups to ensure they're running right. This is why plumbers also offer upkeep services to test your entire plumbing system on a monthly or biannual basis to catch any issues with your pipes before they become an emergency.
This type or work spans from moving a water line or cleaning a sewer line to installing an ice maker or even a hot tub.
Most likely, you'll need a plumber in case of an emergency repair. Services can run the gamut from repairing a clogged toilet and leaking faucets to replacing whole water heating systems. Some jobs can take just a few hours while others might require a day or two of work if the repairs are extensive, such as replacing a hot water heater.
Other tough jobs could require your plumbing contractor to put his or her carpentry skills to work by sawing through walls to get to your pipes.
You can also hire a plumber to get the cost-saving advice you need. If you're interested in buying a new home or property, it's smart to hire a contractor or a plumbing service to not only tell you if the building's foundation is sound, but also if the pipes are in good working order. You wouldn't want to purchase a new house and repair the damage someone else did to the property. This is why many plumbers also offer consultancy work to check a facility's water and gas systems and advise home and building owners on best practices they can perform to minimize damage to their pipes.
Having plumbing work done, whether it's for your home or business, can be incredibly expensive. That's why its vital for you to ask a plumbing service the right kind of questions before you hire them. You want to do as much due diligence on your part as possible to get a professional who will not only do quality work but also charge you a fair price for it.
It's best to hire a plumber to do a simple, everyday maintenance task for you first so you can judge his or her work. If you're happy with it, save their contact information so you'll have them on hand in case you need an emergency repair. This can spare you the extra worry and anxiety of having to track down a plumber if you have a broken pipe. Additionally, it can save you from being overcharged.
However, what should you ask a plumbing service if you've never even hired one before? Here are a few questions that can help you identify the professional from the amateur:
Are you licensed and registered?
Some states do not require plumbers to be licensed, but for the safety of your house, the people living under your roof and for your pocketbook, you'll want a licensed plumber to do the needed work.
A licensed plumber means the person completed the necessary education or training required to work as a professional tradesperson. Hiring a licensed plumbing service means the people working on your building are knowledgeable about water and gas pipes. If you use unlicensed workers, you run the risk of them damaging your home even further and endangering you by doing faulty work.
Check your state's laws beforehand, as hiring an unlicensed plumber could be illegal where you live.
Not only does a plumber's apprentices have to complete their training and education to receive their license, they also are required to pass a criminal background check and carry liability insurance. Hiring just anybody can make you vulnerable to fraud since unlicensed plumbers might not know what they're doing or could pretend to fix something and end up charging you for the incomplete work.
Are you insured and bonded?
A trustworthy plumber will have both commercial liability insurance as well as be bonded. The insurance and the bond protects the plumber from paying for any damages made to your house out of pocket. Having professionals that carry both of these policies can protect all of you from any mishaps that could occur while they work on your building. Remember, not all plumbers are the same and not all of them carry the necessary insurance and bonds to protect themselves and your home from damage or shoddy work.
How many years have you been in business?
Not only do you want a licensed and trustworthy professional, you'll want one who's been in business for a few years. More experience also means the plumber will have a prior work history you can check. A more inexperienced plumber might not have many customer reviews or examples of his or her work to show you.
What, if any, professional associations do you belong to?
It can never hurt to ask plumbers if they're part of a professional association, whether it's a state or national group. Being a part of a professional organization provides an extra guarantee that the person you hire is licensed and offers you a warranty for their labor.
May I have a list of references?
While it's advisable to ask friends, family and neighbors if they can recommend a good plumber, they might not have anyone you can call. With that said, it's best to ask a plumbing service for a list of references that you can contact to get a good picture of the kind of work their business does and if it's quality or not.
Before you hire a plumber, contact their past customers if you're able to. These people can be a wealth of information if you ask them the right questions. Pose the following queries to these former patrons when you get the chance:
Do you offer a written warranty for your work?
Whenever you make a large purchase, you always request a receipt, right? Well, you will want a written warranty for any work or repairs done to the plumbing in your house. You want someone that's doing major maintenance or repair work on your house or commercial building to stand by his or her labor. Before you hire a plumber, ask him or her if they offer written warranties.
Will I need a permit for this work?
If a plumber needs to do major repairs to your house, the work could call for a permit. You'll want this since a permit provides added assurance that the work is done correctly. Having this added measure in place means an inspector will check the work your contractor or plumber does to ensure he or she did the job correctly. If you ever plan on putting your house or commercial building on the market, a real estate agent and prospective buyers will also want to check any large work you did to make sure it was done properly.
To keep yourself safe from fraud or a possible scam, always remember to ask plumbers for their license along with a written warranty for their labor. Besides this, further safeguard yourself by checking their references and ensure they or their company is insured and bonded to do their work.
While it's smart to get maintenance work done on your pipes every once in a while, there are a number of prevention tips that will not only prolong the life of your pipes but also help you save on your water bill. Here are a few you should keep in mind:
Be mindful of how much water you use in your bathroom, kitchen and even outdoors when watering your lawn. Make sure your toilet handle works properly and doesn't stick. You don't want it continuously flushing. Replace your old shower heads with more efficient low-flow options that can cut down on the gallons of water you use each morning.
Simple things such as turning off the sink while you brush your teeth or only running your dishwasher or clothes washer when you have a full load to clean can make more efficient use of water.
You won't always need to call a plumber to help you fix a nasty clog if you treat your pipes right. Don't use your toilet or kitchen sink like a trash can by stuffing hard to flush material down the drain or pouring fats and oils down the pipe. Throw coffee grounds and egg shells in the garage instead of in your sink. Also, only use your toilet to flush human waste and toilet paper, because any other materials could clog your commode.
Frozen pipes are hazardous and can cause massive amounts of damage to your home. To prevent your pipes from freezing during the winter, run your faucets at a trickle and keep your house's heater at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above to keep the water flowing.
Plumbing problems come in all shapes and sizes. The following are some of the most common, as well as how to fix them:
If you turn on your bathroom or kitchen sink in the morning to find brown or rust-colored water coming out of your faucet, don't panic. The discoloration is most likely due to old iron pipes or recent use of a hydrant or water main that disturbed the usual flow of water. Keep your water running for a minute or so and it should run clear after a while.
Leaky and Dripping Faucets
Having a leaking or dripping faucet can run up your water bill. To fix it, first shut off the water under the sink then remove any decorative parts of the faucet and replace the washer and O-ring before reassembling everything.
Your water heater could be the cause of a lot of issues around your home, from a lack of hot water to foul smells and popping sounds. Hire a professional plumber to take care of the more complex jobs that a heater can require. However, if you're having hot water issues, you can simply examine the thermostat and adjust it accordingly.
If you hear odd sounds coming from your water heater, it could be due to sediment building up. To get rid of this, make sure you clean out the heater every few months. However, if you hear a boiling noise, it could mean the heater is overheating and you should call a plumbing professional as soon as possible.
Drain and Toilet Clogs
Before calling a plumber, try to unclog your drains and toilets yourself by using a plunger. Make sure you use a standard bell-shaped plunger for your sink and shower drains and a plunger with a flanged end for your toilets. If neither type can loosen the pipe blockage, put a plumber's snake to use. Ratchet the snake down the pipe to eliminate any clogs.