Tips for Keeping Your Drain Clear

Tips for keeping your drain clear

It’s just the nature of drains. Over time, material and debris collect to the point where liquid can’t penetrate it. Even if you’re an incredibly attentive homeowner who puts blood, sweat, and tears into keeping your drain clear, you may still experience multiple issues over the years. The good news is you can reduce the number of clog problems. Of course, the Seattle Plumbers at Price Busters Plumbing are more than willing to come over and clean your drains on a regular basis; however, if you don’t want to see our shining faces every month, we have some handy drain cleaning tips that you can perform yourself.  

1. Watch What You Put in Your Drain

Tips for Keeping Your Drain Clear

You’re probably not shocked to hear this, but it’s still worth noting. Whether it’s in the kitchen or bathroom, you don’t always think about exactly what is seeping into your drain. When it comes to keeping your drain clear, there are obvious no-nos such as dumping paint or cement in a sink or throwing more than toilet paper in the toilet. Thick and grainy chemicals can harden and coat the inside of pipes, and extra toilet material will disrupt flushing. All of this can greatly reduce the amount of flow space for liquid.

Certainly, a common culprit of clogged drains is hair and soap scum. Given the answer here is not as easy as “don’t shed hair in your drains” or “get rid of all your hair and soap”, the most effective preventative measure is to place strainers of every drain in the home. It will help catch the hair and scum (and other items). Just remember to clean the strainers regularly.

2. Keeping Your Drain Clear When Using a Disposal

Tips for keeping your drain clear

We’ve discussed DIY plumbing tips for garbage disposals before. After all, it’s a system that’s whole job is to grind food waste and send it through pipes; it’s just asking to get clogged! Fortunately, it takes little effort to ensure that a disposal continues to operate in an effective manner.

Use a Drain Strainer

Tips for keeping your drain clear

Yes, our friend the drain strainer makes another appearance. It may behoove you to prevent large amounts of food scraps from falling into your garbage disposal. Moreover, there are some foods should never be thrown into a disposal, which we will explain in a bit.   

Use a Compost Bin

Tips for keeping your drain clear

Composting is not just excellent for the environment; it’s good for keeping your drain clear. Instead of sending food to the pipes or trash, try saving it in a bin for your city’s composting program or your backyard garden.  

Don’t Put Certain Foods Put in Your Disposal

Tips for Keeping your drain clear

*image from Insinkerator

As we mentioned a bit ago, your garbage disposal is not a catch-all solution for discarding food. Some material should never be placed in the system since it may be too thick or sticky:

  • Grease
  • Eggshells
  • Potato and banana peels
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit pits
  • Rice and pasta

3. Perform Simple Drain Maintenance Regularly

Tips for keeping your drain clear

*image from Ecomastery Project

Utilizing a non-pathogenic bacteria and enzyme cleaner is an acceptable strategy for keeping your drain clear; however, it’s not a must. In fact, there are some basic household ingredients that you can use to keep your drains running as smooth as possible. First and foremost, it’s a smart idea to flush sink and tub drains with hot water every week or so. But, if you’re looking for a little more cleaning oomph, we have a recipe for that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • Hot water

Directions:

  • Boil water in a pot
  • Pour hot water into the drain followed by the baking soda
  • Combine the vinegar with a cup of hot water, pour into the drain
  • Plug the drain and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Boil another pot of water and pour into the drain

You see? A little drain care can go a long way!

Just so you know, Price Busters Plumbing specializes in more than keeping your drain clear. We offer a plethora of services, from fixing leaky pipes all the way up to full bathroom remodels. Our highly-trained plumbers are dedicated, dependable, friendly, and technically adept. What’s more, we partner with the top brands and technology so that your plumbing problems are met with a state-of-the-art defense. And, the icing on the cake — we’re extremely affordable!

You can put all your plumbing needs in our hands. Drop us a line to learn more!

Tips for Preventing and Dealing With Frozen Pipes

frozen pipe prevention

Winter is coming. While you most likely won’t have to deal with dragons and White Walkers where you are, there is another monster you should look out for — an unprotected pipe in cold temperatures. It’s time to think about preventing frozen pipes!

As trusted Seattle plumbers, we at Price Busters Plumbing we see the struggle often. A homeowner pays no mind to pipes until there is a big problem. Even though the Emerald City is certainly no tundra, the temperatures can get down to levels that increase the chance of a frozen pipe. Fortunately, preparing your home for the danger of frozen pipes is not that difficult. Let’s take a look.

The Process of Prevention

frozen pipe prevention

You know what they say: Prevention is the key to success. In this case, “success” is the functionality of your beautiful abode. A frozen pipe can lead to a disastrous situation. When temperatures start to drop, water starts to freeze, expand, and cause pressure buildup in a pipe. This can result in expensive and sometimes irreparable damage to a home. You can see why preventing frozen pipes is so crucial.

1. Add Insulation to Exposed Areas

Areas like garages, crawl spaces, basements, and the inside of cabinets aren’t typically well insulated. Additionally, pipes that run along exterior walls experience more exposure to the elements. Try applying additional insulation to the pipes in these areas (i.e. heat tape or pipe sleeves).

2. Keep Your Home Temperature Consistent

A good way to keep the home above 50 degrees (preferable for prevention) at all times is to leave the heat on even when you’re not home. We know — it’s hard not to think about the utility bill in this situation; however, just remember that a burst pipe is much worse!

3. Deal With Your Doors

This is probably the easiest step in preventing frozen pipes! Simply keep your bedroom, bathroom, and cabinet doors open to allow the heat from your home to effectively warm the areas. Furthermore, try to keep your garage door closed, so cold doesn’t seep in and reach the pipes there.

4. Drain Water and Close Valves

Close the inside valves that supply water to outdoor hoses and bibbs. Remove hoses, open spigots, and drain any remaining water.

5. Let Water Drip From Your Faucet

On a particularly cold day or night, it’s a good idea to let water trickle from faucets. This will help alleviate pressure in the pipes.

When Preventing Frozen Pipes Fails

frozen pipe prevention

Okay, so as it goes with everything and anything in this crazy world of ours, some situations are just unavoidable. If you are plagued with a frozen pipe, you may notice that your sink isn’t running or the water is down to a trickle. You may also find frost buildup on a waterline or exposed pipe. This is when it’s time to spring into action with some crucial steps.

1. Turn the Water Off

No surprise here, right?

2. Thaw the Pipe

There are several strategies here after you locate the frozen area of the pipe:

  • Wrap the pipe in heat tape
  • Use heated water to warm the area
  • Wrap the pipe in towels soaked in hot water
  • Use a hair dryer, space heater, or heat lamp to warm the area (DO NOT use a torch or fire source)

3. Check on Other Pipes

Unfortunately, one frozen pipe can beget another. Examine other pipes in your home to make sure there are no other frozen spots.

4. Call for Help

Don’t feel bad if you get here — preventing frozen pipes is not always 100% infallible. If the problem gets out of your hands and damage is imminent, call a plumbing professional to come in and help!

At Price Busters, we are highly experienced in dealing with a wide range of plumbing jobs, whether it involves simple maintenance or complicated technical work. Our bedrock philosophy involves being knowledgeable, punctual, affordable and dedicated to customer care. We’re not only available 24/7, but also we serve a large territory in the Puget Sound and Greater Seattle Area. We believe you deserve the best service at the best rates!

From helping you with preventing frozen pipes all the way up to completely remodeling your bathroom, Price Busters can do it all and do it well! Get in touch with Seattle plumbers you know you can depend on!

Price Busters Provides Premier Trenchless Sewer Repair In Seattle

Trenchless sewer repair in Seattle

Let’s be honest — a serious plumbing issue is just the worst. First, you’re left without one of the most important systems in your home. Then, you’re dealing with a huge mess. Unfortunately, in our beloved Emerald City, this problem is compounded even further. There’s a common misconception that a homeowner is responsible for their own system. In actuality, a plumbing disaster victim is also responsible for the side-sewer pipe that transports water and waste to the public sewer line. This can result in an exorbitant amount of money spent on digging, permits, and restoration. As they say on TV, “There has to be a better way!” Well, there is. A great solution is to seek out trenchless sewer repair in Seattle.

What Is Trenchless Sewer Repair?

At Price Busters Plumbing, we are skilled in trenchless sewer repair. But, we know you don’t have to be an expert to understand that this method doesn’t require digging a trench. The technical aspects of trenchless repairs, however, are lesser known.

Pipe Lining

trenchless sewer repair Seattle

This is essentially a “pipe” within a pipe. A plumber inserts a liner tube into the damaged pipe. This tube is covered in a strong epoxy resin that fills the separation between the old line and the tube. The new “pipe” is seamless and extremely resilient.  

Pipe Bursting

Another form of trenchless sewer repair in Seattle is pipe bursting. In this situation, you are replacing a pipe with a pipe. The techniques vary but the end goal is the same. Basically, a plumber will place an expander head into the old pipe. This device breaks apart the old pipe while simultaneously pulling a new, seamless pipe into the same position.

The Main Benefits of Trenchless Sewer Repair

Okay, so we touched upon this earlier, but what really are the benefits of these methods of sewer line replacement? We’ll break it down for you:

1. Less Invasiveness

Remember when we mentioned that trench thing? It’s a pretty big deal. Excavation is not only expensive, but it also may disrupt areas of the home such as your driveway or landscaping. Consequently, you have to do your best to bring an area back to its original state. With a trenchless technique, you’re avoiding all this heartache. We’ve done enough trenchless sewer repair in Seattle to understand the peace of mind that it can provide.

2. Cost and Time Effective

No surprise here, right? Can you imagine having to pay for the excavation, clean-up, and rebuild of a sidewalk? How about hiring someone to direct traffic while your project is being completed? And, don’t forget the red tape! Just the restorative work alone could be thousands upon thousands of dollars. Not to mention, digging and replacement is going to take a lot longer than a trenchless method. Your time is worth something, right? (There has to be another way!)

If you ever have an issue with your sewer line, make sure to explore all your options.

At Price Busters plumbing, we utilize the latest technologies and methods to ensure you receive the best service possible. In addition, all of our technicians are highly qualified, professional, and punctual. Whether you need a solution to a full-blown problem or just want to perform some maintenance work on your plumbing, we’re here for you.

If affordability, honesty, and expertise in Seattle trenchless sewer repair is what you want, get in touch with us!

Price Busters’ DIY Plumbing Tips

We care about your plumbing! And, we’re not just talking about the big jobs that require a professional’s help. On the contrary, we’re truly concerned with the whole health of your pipes, drains, and fixtures (whether it involves us or not). In many cases, a problem or disaster is completely preventable; all it takes is regularly performing some simple maintenance tasks. As a trusted Seattle plumbing company, we’re never above providing people with the tools they need to keep a plumbing system running as smoothly as possible. As such, we’ve compiled some tried-and-true DIY plumbing tips that are quick and easy.

Check Your Shower Head

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your shower head to ensure it is operating properly. It’s not unusual for mineral deposits to build up and cause congestion. On the other hand, if parts are worn out, you may have to deal with a constant leak of water. Fortunately, both issues are a cinch to fix:

Shower Head Congestion

At Price Busters, we obviously have access to the latest technology; however, there are some issues that don’t take any real technology at all. If your shower head is congested, turn the water off, place the head in a bowl filled with a warm water and vinegar mixture, and leave it for an hour. After the hour, use a small brush to loosen deposits.

Shower Head Leak

A leak is possibly a threading problem. But, that doesn’t mean there is a lack of DIY plumbing tips to handle it. A good way to deal with a leak is to use thread seal tape. Simply unscrew the shower head and wrap tape around the shower arm thread (in a clockwise direction, two to four times). Once the shower head is reattached, your leak should hopefully be fixed

Deal With a Clogged Drain

The easiest way to prevent a clog is to utilize strainers on every drain. Then, you can routinely clean the strainers and remove debris. But, sometimes clogging is just inevitable. There are a couple of ways to attack the problem:

Water/Vinegar/Baking Soda Combination

You have to love DIY plumbing tips that require run-of-the-mill kitchen ingredients! There are multiple steps with this method, but it’s still pretty painless:

  1. Pour a pot of hot water down the drain
  2. Pour in a half cup of baking soda
  3. Pour in a combination of one cup of hot water and one cup of vinegar
  4. Cover the drain with a plug and wait until it stops fizzing (or up to 10 minutes)
  5. Once more, pour a pot of hot water down the drain

Snake Tool

You should be able to rent or purchase a snaking tool from your local hardware store. Slowly slide the tool into the drain and let it go down as far as possible. Once you feel you’ve reached a clog, twist the snake and pull out the debris. Easy peasy.

Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

DIY plumbing tips

*image from handyman tips

Old, pungent food can make for a smelly, unpleasant garbage disposal. Nobody wants the aroma of rotting material to permeate an area where they eat. Maintaining your garbage disposal doesn’t take harsh chemicals or major tools. Every one of these DIY plumbing tips is safe and straightforward:

  • For a fresh scent, toss citrus rinds (lemon, orange, lime) into the disposal and run water as the disposal is on
  • To reach the upper parts of the disposal, plug the disposal drain, squirt a decent amount of dish soap in, fill the sink up halfway with hot water, unplug and run the disposal as the water/soap mixture drains
  • To clean the blades, throw a few ice cubes and run the disposal for up to 2 minutes

Eradicate Well Water Stains

Many people still use well water in their homes because it’s cheaper than other sources. Unfortunately, there are some problems that are unique to groundwater. It is not atypical for well water to cause stains on bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and even clothes. This is often the result of bacteria or mineral buildup.

If you’re using well water and you notice pink and/or orange stains, this likely means the iron levels are too high. While it’s true that you can try various cleaning sprays to remove stains, it’s really not a solution to the main problem. The best way to fix this — buy a water softener that uses ion exchange to remove minerals. As this is a bit more complicated than other DIY plumbing tips, its perfectly acceptable call in some help. The technicians at Price Busters are happy to assist with well system needs.

We hope you’ve found this list useful! Our goal is to bring as much value to our clients as possible. For that reason, we often share strategies for maintaining plumbing systems. But, don’t forget — we are highly-trained Seattle plumbers available for hire! We offer a wide range of services and abide by a philosophy of honesty, efficiency, and complete customer satisfaction. Our rates are reasonable and, in many situations, we can complete a job within the same day!

When DIY plumbing tips don’t do the trick, you need an affordable and trustworthy plumber. Connect with Price Busters to chat or schedule an appointment!

Looking For Water Heater Repair in Seattle? You Know Who to Call

Water heaters play a big role in our daily lives. But, It’s not unusual for people to just forget it exists; that is, until it needs repair or replacement. In this case, it becomes the only thing that matters and for good reason – not many people enjoy a freezing cold shower! Undoubtedly, you’re here because you have an issue, and you’re looking for a Seattle plumbing company that knows the ins and outs of water heater installation in your area. You’ve come to the right place. This is a Price Busters Plumbing specialty! Of course, we’re sure you want to know why you should go with pros for installation and service. No problem. We’ll break it down for you.

Safety Hazards

Water Heater Repair Seattle

Safety is arguably the biggest reason to have a professional to deal with your water heater. There are several aspects of a system that, if dealt with improperly, can cause damage, serious injury, or even death:

  • Incorrectly installed and leaky water heaters may result in mold growth.
  • A thermostat setting that’s high (over 125 degrees) increases the risk of scalding burns.
  • A thermostat setting that’s low (under 115 degrees) increases the risk of bacteria growth.
  • Faulty ignition sources (either a flame or electric heating element) are fire hazards.
  • A gas unit with a gas line leak is a fire and explosion risk.
  • Vent and flue issues may create a buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • An improperly installed Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (TPR) increases the risk of pressure buildup and explosion.

All of these are good reasons to trust a pro with your water heater installation.

The Regulations Related to Water Heater Installation in Seattle

Seattle Water Heater Repair

Installing a water heater goes well beyond purchasing the unit and connecting it to the home. Rules recently enacted by the U.S. Department of Energy dictate the efficiency standards of all water heaters including electric, gas, propane, and oil.

According to the DOE, “The standard will avoid about 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 33.8 million automobiles.”

Standard-sized tanks (50 to 55 gallons) now include extra insulation which can bring them up to two inches or more in diameter. While that’s not a crazy amount, it can be hard on those people who have little to no clearance space to work with. Additionally, units that are more than 55 gallons are not only larger, but also incorporate new condensing technology. In any situation, a new tank may require a homeowner to adjust venting or even relocate the entire system.

At Price Busters Plumbing, we can help you navigate water heater installation in Seattle. We are well versed in government regulations and can ensure that the whole process is painlessly smooth and that your home or business is up to code.

Continued Maintenance and Repair

Water Heater Installation and Repair

This is often where many homeowners fall short (which is sad since just a little bit of TLC can save a lot of money). Water heaters must receive maintenance on a routine basis. In addition to extending the life of the unit, regular servicing ensures that safety parts and features are functioning properly. The typical service appointment includes a series of quick and painless actions:

  • Inspecting the thermostats
  • Examining the temperature and pressure valves
  • Clearing out dust and debris
  • Surveying the water pipes leading to the unit
  • Flushing the system

After your Seattle water heater installation, be sure to check the accompanying owner’s manual. This will tell you how often you should maintain your unit. However, if it’s not available, try to abide by a general schedule of once per year. It’s also worth noting that systems located in areas with harder water may need to be flushed more frequently.

There’s plenty to consider with a water heater, so it’s understandable if you feel you don’t have the time or patience to deal with it! Fortunately, leaving the job to a professional company like Price Busters takes the stress and heartache out of the process. And, as an added bonus, when you work with our top-notch plumbers, we include a one-year warranty on our all parts and labor.

Get in touch with us — we can give you peace of mind when it comes to water heater installation in Seattle!