How to Protect Your Seattle Home From Plumbing Hazards This Winter

While the Emerald City isn’t known for the chilling temperatures that are common in the MidWest, there is always a chance of damage to your plumbing, if you’re not careful, when the weather gets colder. Longer, deeper freezes that last weeks are almost unheard of here, but that’s not what you need to worry about. The quick overnight freezes or ice storms that come as a surprise are where you can run into trouble if you’re unprepared. So, with that in mind, here are a few tips, courtesy of the Seattle Plumber’s at PriceBusters’ Plumbing,  to ensure your home is protected from the typical winter plumbing hazards in Seattle.

Outdoor Faucets and Sprinkler Lines

These are the two most likely casualties of an overnight freeze in Seattle. While you might not suffer catastrophic damage to an outdoor faucet, you could damage rubber seals and washers, which will cause leaks. Sprinkler lines, on the other hand, are more than likely to freeze and burst in the event of an overnight freeze simply because they’re not deep within the ground and thus insulated.

Here’s what to do to protect these plumbing components from the damage of a quick overnight freeze –

  • Located and shut off your main outdoor valve
  • Drain any water left in hoses or outdoor faucets
  • Place insulated cover on faucets
  • Turn off water to sprinkler system
  • Detach sprinkler heads, timers, or any other lawn irrigation equipment
  • Open sprinkler backflow valves to drain excess water
  • Remove any temporary sprinkler lines or installations and cover permanent lines with insulation

Exterior Pipes and Secondary Buildings

This is another common area for damage with Seattle overnight freezes. If you have pipes that are outside your house, on the exterior of the building, or leading to secondary buildings on your property, make sure to pay attention when the weather starts to get colder. Sheds, studios, garages, pools – anything with plumbing that is unheated or used less frequently in the winter should be fortified against the cold. Here’s how –

  • Shut off water to all exterior pipes and buildings at the water main.
  • Open any and all faucets outside or in the building to allow excess water to escape.
  • If you can’t shut off the water, you must pay attention and try to keep the building or water heated if possible.
  • If you’re not able to keep the building or pipe heated, make sure to insulate your pipes, which should be a part of your annual home maintenance.

Gutters and Drainage Issues

Gutters and drains have the chance of overflowing during heavy rains, which can obviously cause all sorts of damage depending on the layout of your home. When these systems freeze, there is an even greater chance of an overflow. Here’s what to do with your gutter and drainage systems during the colder winter months in Seattle.

  • Clean gutters and drains as often as you can, remove snow buildup as often as needed.
  • Choose the right guttering, seamless systems are much less prone to leakage.
  • Don’t wait until it’s cold. Fortify gutters and drains on dryer days, and make sure to check your foundation for grade requirements to ensure your draining water properly. If you’re not sure about your area’s grade requirements, check with your local Seattle plumber.

The Side Sewer

Homeowners are in a unique situation with respect to their side sewer, which is your property to the main city line. In Seattle, if there is damage to your side sewer, it’s the responsibility of the homeowner, as opposed to other cities where the city is responsible for that length of pipe. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that your sewer is clean and draining properly at all times of year but especially in the colder months. With the rapid root growth that we’re used to in the PNW, sewers damage is a lot more common than other areas.

  • Consider sewer and drain cleaning, especially if it’s been a few years.
  • If you’re not sure if you even need a cleaning, you might want to at least get them looked at. Camera sewer inspection is a non-invasive way of exploring any damage or blockage in your sewer.
  • If necessary, opt for a trenchless sewer repair. Price Busters plumbing offers trenchless sewer repair and are able to handle all sorts of repairs.

There you have it. Winter plumbing hazards in Seattle are less frequent and often less serious than in other parts of the state. Make sure to pay attention to the problem areas we listed above and if you’re worried about specific plumbing when the weather gets colder, make sure to contact Price Busters plumbing in Seattle!

What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency Before The Plumber Arrives

Tips for keeping your drain clear

Did you start hyperventilating after reading the title of this article? It’s understandable. Plumbing emergencies are a nightmare that can immensely disrupt your day-to-day life. Unfortunately, wishing and waiting the problem away never works (as much as we’d love for that to be the case). While we’re not a Seattle plumber that’s in the business of stressing people out, we are in the business of preparing property owners for the worst. When someone has the right tools and knowledge at their disposal, the amount of heartache is greatly reduced. For that reason, we’ve put together a guide on what to do in a plumbing emergency.

1. Shut Off the Water

You might feel like this is a “duh” tip, but the fact of the matter is that it can be hard to think when you’re in the middle of an emergency. As soon as you realize something is amiss, turn off the water supply to appliances. Each appliance should have a valve that can be turned clockwise to stop the flow of liquid. If you notice a decent amount of flooding that may be from damaged pipes, it’s a good idea to turn off the main water valve of the property. You don’t want things to get way worse while you’re searching for the right plumber in Seattle!

2. Open All Sinks and Faucets

Even if you shut off your valves, water can be left in the pipes. Make sure to open any outdoor spigots to drain the water and draw it away from the building. This will hopefully prevent any further water damage to the inside of your property.

3. Shut Off the Water Heater

This is important. After the water is shut off, heat and pressure can build up in a water heater unit. To stop a potentially dangerous situation, it’s best to turn off the water heating unit. For an electric water heater, cut the power from the circuit breaker. With a gas water heater, make sure to shut off the gas line (the dial is typically located on the top of the thermostat).

4. Check Other Water-Using Appliances

Think dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators here. If these guys are the culprits, you want to make sure the appliance water valves are shut off and the drain traps are open. If there’s a drain clog, water can collect in the appliance and cause a huge mess.

5. Treat Any Smaller, Tackleable Leaks

Yes, there is some plumbing work that’s possible without your trusted Seattle plumber. There are several ways to temporarily treat an easy-to-handle leak:

  • With your hands, knead a small amount of plumbing epoxy (equal to the size of the pipe gap or crack) and gently push it in and around the gap or crack so the area is completely filled.
  • Wrap a rubber or plastic patch around the leaking pipe. Place electrical tape around the patch, and secure the area with a pipe repair clamp.
  • Wrap pipe wrap (hardens when applied) around the pipe.
  • Ideal for a tiny leak, wrap a repair sleeve around the pipe.

Keep in mind that you should be able to find all of the materials you need at your local home improvement store.

6. Call Price Busters Plumbing

To save you loads of time and energy in an emergency, we suggest trusting Price Busters to be your go-to Seattle plumber. Why? We’re open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, so you know you can depend on us to be there for you. Additionally, all of our services (and there are many) are backed by a one-year parts and labor guarantee. And, we utilize the latest technology to ensure the job is done right. Case in point, if your issue is related to the main sewer line that is underground, we have the ability to perform trenchless sewer repair to alleviate costly excavation and renovation.

We could go on about all the benefits of working with Price Busters, but we’re pretty sure you don’t want to read a novel right now. Simply put, we’re accredited, affordable, reliable plumbing contractors that take customer service very seriously. Whether it’s simple maintenance or a full-on bathroom remodel, we give it our all.

Partner with a Seattle plumber you can count on! Reach out to Price Busters Plumbing and get to know us better!

5 Things to Look For When Choosing a Seattle Plumber

Let’s be honest — it’s not hard to find a Seattle plumber. However, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right one. Your plumbing system is not something you want to entrust with just anyone. Not only can a problem leave you high and dry when it comes to essential functions of your home, but also it can end up costing you a ton of money.

At Price Busters Plumbing, we understand it can be difficult to know for sure if you’re working with the best of the best. For that reason, we have recommendations for what to check when choosing a plumber.

1. Services

Plumbing is not a one-size-fits-all type of trade. A good technician is going to have a comprehensive skill set that can be applied to a wide range of projects. When you’re reviewing the qualifications of a firm or person, make sure they do, in fact, have the right qualifications to assist with your issue.

For instance, Price Busters is a Seattle plumber comprised of professionals who are highly skilled and proficient in many different plumbing systems and methods. Whether it’s a simple pipe leak or a full bathroom remodel, we handle it. Our list of services is quite broad:

  • House, water heater, garbage disposal, toilet, sink, and faucet repairs
  • Bathroom, kitchen, and water heater installations
  • Sewer main installation and repairs
  • Sump pump repairs and installations
  • Waterline repairs and installations
  • Drain cleaning and clearing
  • Camera locate services
  • Drain and sewer cleaning

2. Technology

It’s probably not a shock to hear that plumbing technology has evolved over the years. It’s now important for a plumber to have access to tools that make it easier to pinpoint where an issue is and decipher how best to address it.

To use our experiences as Seattle plumber as an example again, in a situation of water line damage, Seattle homeowners are responsible for both their own sewer systems, as well as the side sewer that transports liquid and waste to the public line. Through the use of cutting-edge techniques in camera location and trenchless sewer repair, we’re able to save customers a massive amount of time and money. We’ll give you the simple, non-invasive steps:

1. A camera is inserted into a line.

2. A live feed is sent to a technician.

3. The technician assesses any damage or weaknesses in the line.

4. The repair is made to the line WITHOUT any digging.

Before camera and trenchless technology, this type of problem required breaking up ground, making repairs, and restoring the area back to its original state. Think about this — if this was your problem, you’d be paying and waiting for permits, excavation, and a rebuild of your property and public land. Yikes.

3. Pricing

Obvious, right? The bulk of us tends to go for the most bang for our buck. It’s a natural desire that dependable plumbers understand. Not to toot our own horn, but affordability is kind of our thing; they don’t call us Price Busters for no reason.

Our pricing is competitive, but we don’t stop there. We also offer special deals for added savings. For instance, we are currently running three specials:

  • $50 off any plumbing repair with promo code SAVE$50
  • 5% off senior discount for any plumbing repair with promo code SAVE5%
  • 5% off veteran discount for any plumbing repair with promo code VETERAN

4. Response Time

As the old saying goes, time is of the essence. This is especially true if you have a water leak that’s driving up your bills or just straight-up ruining your home. In most cases, a plumbing complication is something you want to handle right away.

In our world, we regularly see that disasters don’t wait for business hours. In fact, some might argue Murphy’s law ensures plumbing emergencies happen in the middle of the night or right before a very important event. That’s why we’re prompt and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We know people want a plumber who will be there in their time of need!

5. Good Reviews

It’s hard to remember a time when reviews weren’t a factor in everything we buy and experience. It’s truly changed our world for the better — it helps us all to be more well-informed (and consequently more protected) consumers. Before you hire a plumbing company, see what other people are saying about them by checking out review sites like Yelp or HomeAdvisor.

Case in point, providing excellent service as a Seattle plumber is something Price Busters’ technicians work hard at and it shows in the reviews. Here are just a couple of the many comments we’ve received:

“As good as it gets. After attempting to coordinate a supply line repair with large plumbing shops, Price Busters followed through thoughtfully and remarkably quickly.”Karl E.

I had price busters replace a water heater tank and a main water shut off valve. They were very responsive and prompt to send me a bid which was very competitive. They were very professional and did an awesome job. I would definitely call them again for my plumbing needs.” — Chris S.

We hope you find our advice helpful. And, while we don’t wish any plumbing issues on you, we do hope you keep us in mind if something ever goes wrong!

Price Busters Plumbing is a trusted firm serving the Puget Sound and Greater Seattle area. We’ve developed a stellar reputation, and for good reason — our customers know that when they call us, we’re going to be fast, friendly, and precise. And, they know our skills are backed by the top brands and an arsenal of state-of-the-art technology.
For a knowledgeable, reliable, and honest Seattle plumber, contact Price Busters!

Camera Sewer Inspection – The Benefits and How it Works

Plumbing Contractors Seattle

We get it — the sewer is probably not your favorite topic of conversation. We know that not everyone loves talking about the down and dirty of a system that is literally down and dirty. But, at some point, you may be unable to avoid an issue with your sewer line. Fortunately, gone are the days of intrusively digging into the ground to reach pipe blockages. Plumbing technologies such as camera inspection and trenchless sewer repair have drastically reduced the amount of stress Seattleites feel when it comes to sewer problems. Today, our focus is the sewer camera. As skilled providers of camera sewer inspection in Seattle, Price Busters Plumbing has the skinny on the hows and whys of utilizing video cameras for your pipework.

How It Works

It’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to owning a property. Your drains start to slow and clog, and you find yourself running the gamut of DIY plumbing tips. While there is certainly nothing wrong with taking matters into your own hands, you may come to the point where professional help is absolutely necessary.

The process of camera inspection involves a fiber optic cable with a camera at the end. The camera is inserted into a pipe and a live picture feed is sent to a technician. He or she is then able to see the inner workings of the pipe in vivid detail. When we perform camera sewer inspection in Seattle, we look for several major issues:

  • Collapsed lines

The cause of this can be twofold: Either the pipe is too old, or it was improperly installed to the point where it gets crushed under the weight of the ground or objects above it.

  • Blocked pipes

Whether a property is residential or commercial, problematic materials (grease, hair, food, etc.) can build up and result in sewer pipe clogs.

  • Leaks and cracks of all sizes

Even a small crack and leak is a big concern; it can blow up into a huge problem in the long run.

  • Tree infiltration

This tends to be a problem in Seattle. The trees are gorgeous, but their roots can get into pipes and cause blockages and damage.

  • Pipe corrosion

Rust is a corrosive enemy of pipes!

The Benefits of Camera Sewer Inspection in Seattle

Really, non-invasive camera technology is advantageous anywhere; however, since we spend all our time in the Greater Seattle and Puget Sound area, we know what matters most to our clientele:

Time

Traditional (or maybe we should call it “old school”) methods for sewer inspection involve digging into the ground or a wall and somewhat guesstimating where the issue is. Obviously, you can imagine how much longer this takes than just snaking a high-tech camera through a pipe.

Money

Excavation is expensive. Not to mention, you have to pay even more to repair the disturbed ground, yard, or wall. Inspection with a camera doesn’t require this kind of work. We’re talking possibly thousands of dollars in savings here!

Accuracy

When you enlist Price Busters Plumbing to perform your camera sewer inspection in Seattle, you benefit from the best service and technology in the industry. In real time, our technicians are able to get an incredibly clear picture of the condition of your sewer line.   

It’s worth noting that camera inspection isn’t just for diagnosing and fixing problems. The process is also great when purchasing a new home (helps in determining value) or performing a bathroom remodel (locating drain lines). Plus, it’s useful in simply checking the state of your sewer system for maintenance or preventative reasons.

Price Busters is your go-to source for sewer care as well as all other plumbing needs. We have a fleet of expert technicians who are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We take great pride in our work, so much so that our parts and services come with a 1-year guarantee. Our whole team is friendly, experienced, dependable, affordable, and up-to-date on the top plumbing brands, technologies, and techniques. We can assist with everything from general maintenance to full-blown plumbing emergencies.

Entrust your pipes with specialists you know you can trust! Price Busters is the only plumber to call for camera sewer inspection in Seattle!

The Top 5 Plumbing Myths Debunked by Price Busters Plumbing

Price Busters Plumbing Myths

In an age where information is available at lightning speed, it’s easy to find a seemingly endless number of online DIY tips and tutorials. It seems like just about everyone has ideas for quick and easy home fixes that they hope might save a few bucks. However, as well all know, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. In fact, in some situations, even the most well-intentioned guidance does more harm than good. The plumbing industry is certainly not immune to this — shall we say — unqualified advice. For that reason, we think it’s important to bust some of the main plumbing myths that are floating around in the world. At Price Busters Plumbing, we’re all about saving you time, money, and heartache!

1. Flushable Wipes

Plumbing Myths

You might be thinking, “Okay, so what about flushable wipes?” We hate to be the bearer of bad news but flushable wipes are the myth. While these products are generally seen as hygienically superior to run-of-the-mill toilet paper, there is one glaring problem: flushable wipes aren’t actually all that flushable. Generally, a wipe lacks the ability to effectively breakdown in your pipes. Over time, multiple wipes can build up and clog the plumbing system. We’d say that the flushable wipe is currently one of the biggest plumbing myths.

2. Drop-In Tank Tablets Are Good for a Clean Toilet

Plumbing Myths

Sure, it may seem like a pretty decent deal — you pay a mere couple of bucks for some cleaning tablets, you drop one in your toilet tank, and you get to enjoy a clean bowl for weeks with minimal effort. Well, when you think about what that tablet may be doing to the inner workings of your toilet, it’s a pretty terrible deal. You see, these “old-school” cleaners can be very corrosive to essential parts of the system. It’s actually such a major problem that some toilet manufacturers will not honor a warranty if damage from an in-tank cleaner is evident. It’s important to recognize that plumbing myths sometimes come in the form of cleaning product advertisements.

3. You Can Pour Grease Down the Drain if It’s With Hot Water

There are tons of articles that will tell you what shouldn’t be put in drains. Make sure to be leery of content that claims certain tricks will allow you to circumvent paying attention what you put down your pipes. For example, one suggestion is that it’s okay to flush grease down the sink with hot water. The misconception is that the high temperature will “melt” the grease, allowing it to flow easily through the system. The problem is that, although the grease may be moving down the drain, it’ll solidify in the pipes and become a collector of clog-worthy material. The best way to avoid this is to never put grease in your sink. If it’s unavoidable, try to rinse it with cold water.

4. Displacing Water in the Toilet Tank Will Save You Money

Price Busters Plumbing Myths

One of the oldest plumbing myths out there is the old brick in the toilet scheme. The assumption is that, when some of the water in the toilet tank is displaced, less water will be utilized per flush. The ultimate goal is water conservation and reduced utility bills. Of course, we understand the appeal here; however, a brick can cause significant damage to your toilet. A brick can start to crumble and ruin the flushing mechanism. It’s also worth noting that some toilet models just require a certain amount of water to run properly.

5. A Loud, Roaring Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced

Plumbing Myths

A water heater that’s making some noise can be a scary thing. It’s no wonder since a malfunctioning system carries fire and explosion risks with it. It’s easy to believe the plumbing myths that say it’s time for new equipment. But, noise doesn’t always mean the device is at the end of its life. In many cases, it’s just in need of some simple cleaning or servicing. Water heaters require a decent amount of regular maintenance; if this isn’t done, it can cause various issues and unpleasant noises. It’s a great idea for you or a professional to closely inspect your water heater before shopping for a new one.  

If you ever have doubts about the health and efficiency of your plumbing system, Price Busters Plumbing can help. We are trusted Seattle plumbers with a reputation for honesty, dependability, affordability, and superior customer service. Whatever your plumbing project entails — water heaters, drains, fixtures, sewer lines, pipes, or bathroom remodels — we have motivated and qualified technicians ready and willing to give it their full attention.

Don’t be fooled by plumbing myths! Check our blog for expert tips or contact us to schedule a service appointment! 

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