Fixing an Aerator: So Simple Even a … Well – You Know…

July 18, 2012

Faucet Aerator Repair in Seattlekitchen faucet aerator helps reduce the water flow thus conserving water. Most plumbing fixtures come equipped with this useful device so most likely yours do too. Aside from conserving water, this device also keeps the water coming out of the spout from splashing all over.

As time passes, this part of the fixture gets clogged due to water pressure and sediment. When this happens, this causes the fixture’s spout to either spray water or get obstructed so as not to produce any flow. The good thing, however, is that this part of the fixture can be easily replaced. Anyone can remove it and replace it in a matter of a few minutes as long as you have all necessary tools handy.
So what do you need when fixing this?

You must have a pair of pliers handy, a dish towel, some masking tape, a bowl, a toothbrush and white distilled vinegar.

So how do you go about replacing this device?

The procedure is as follows:
1. First clear the sink with any dishes and plug the sink drain with the stopper. Now for a work space, place a dish towel on the counter top. Get your bowl and pour about half an inch of white distilled vinegar on it.
2. Proceed to remove the aerator from the fixture. This is done by twisting it in a clockwise direction to unscrew it. You may need a pair of pliers to do this if you encounter some difficulty using your hand. If you are going to use a pair of pliers to unscrew it, protect the finish by wrapping some masking tape around its edge first.
3. Disassemble the device and make sure that you remember the order each of the pieces are in so you won’t be having difficulties reassembling later. To help you remember, lay the pieces across the dish towel. Top pieces on the left side of the towel and bottom pieces on the right side o the towel.
4. Soak the pieces in the white distilled vinegar for about an hour. Why is this necessary? Vinegar can dissolve hard mineral and water deposits so putting the wire mesh and other clogged pieces in this solution will clear the device of any obstruction and make it work again.
5. If there are any remaining deposits on the components, use a toothbrush to remove them before rinsing the pieces with water.
6. Reassemble the unit and screw it back in place. Turn the fixture on to test it.
If you find your kitchen faucet aerator to be worn out totally or damaged, you may have to buy a new one. You can find a replacement from the nearest Tacoma home improvement shop.

If you find that even replacing the aerator does not alleviate the problem, it would be a good idea to contact your Tacoma plumber. He can identify the problem and provide a solution quickly and efficiently.

If you are looking for kitchen faucet aerator services in Tacoma, please call 877-694-5176 or complete the online request form to schedule an appointment today.

What CAN’T a Tacoma Plumber Do?

July 9, 2012

Tacoma PlumberWhen you hear the title “plumber” you normally think about that guy plunging your toilet and clanking around under your sink with the low pants right? Well your Tacoma plumber is actually much more than that. Plumbing is a hard respectable job that can do wonders for your house in the big picture of tasks and functions you didn’t even realize were there.

A plumber first of all, does not wear the low rise pants. They arrive at your Tacoma home in professional attire with all of their special tools to get the job done right. They are very clean and appropriate to come into your home leaving it in perfect condition.

They are trained, experienced and skilled professional people that make house calls on repairing, maintaining and constructing things having to do with your water line. More than just someone that comes and unclogs the toilet, shower and sink and repairs leaky faucets, they can work with your water, gas and sewage pipes that run into your Tacoma home. They specialize in the installation and repair of pipes that go in and out of your house. The pipes are all referred to as “plumbing.”

Plumbers start out usually as apprentices with senior qualified plumbers before going out on their own jobs. Sometimes plumbers will have to take licensing exams depending on the area before starting their own business. This allows you to relax knowing that they are familiar and confident with health and safety codes since poorly installed plumbing can have serious consequences for everyone involved.

The word is actually derived from the Latin word “plumbum” which means “lead.” All pipes and joints were originally made from lead and plumbers were literally lead workers in addition to pipe-layers. Lead piping of course has been banned most everywhere in the world now because of health issues related to lead. The plumbing profession still keeps the same name though of course.

A plumber is part of the construction crew when building any new Tacoma structure. He determines where the pipes should be laid and actually installs them too. He can connect the internal plumbing to external fixtures like sinks, showers, washing machines and toilets. A plumber can also handle gas lines used for heating and cooking too. Some Tacoma plumbers also have certification in heating and cooling systems too. It saves you time and brings them more business.

Plumbers reputations have improved over the years and are gaining more respect as time goes on and their companies grow expand and improve.

If you would like to speak to one of our Tacoma drain cleaning contractors, please call 877-694-5176, or complete our online service request form.

Is Your Sillcock Leaking?

May 31, 2012

Outdoor Faucets in TacomaA frost free leaky outdoor faucet, (also known as a sillcock or spigot) is not just annoying; it can cost you a small fortune in water bills if left unchecked. In addition, a leaky outdoor faucet can also cause damage to your Tacoma home and yard.

Fortunately, for even a novice do-it-yourselfer, a leaky outdoor faucet can frequently be fixed with just a few basic tools and about 30 minutes.

Identify Source of Outdoor Faucet Leak

The first thing you need to do is to determine where the outdoor faucet leak is coming from.

First check to see if the leak is occurring around the top cap that sits just back behind the handle. Inevitably this cap becomes loose on frost free outdoor faucet and all you need to do is simply tighten it back up using your hand. Overtime this cap becomes loose due to changes in seasonal temperatures or simply from frequent use of the faucet.

Next, check to see if it is leaking directly out the spout itself.

If the leak is occurring from the faucet spout, even after you have confirmed the handle is fully turned to the closed position, then chances are there is a failed washer sitting back behind the faucet handle.

Disassembling the Outdoor Faucet

To replace the washer, first turn the water off to the outdoor faucet. Usually the shut off valve to the outdoor spigot can be found inside your Tacoma home, for example in a utility room just behind the outdoor faucet. The shut off valve may also be located in the basement.

Next, turn the outdoor faucet to the full on position to relieve any pressure in it and to allow the water to fully drain from the faucet.

Now, using a screwdriver remove the screw that holds the handle onto the faucet.

With the screw removed, pull the handle off.

After removing the faucet handle, use a wrench to remove the faucet nut that sits back behind the handle.

Replace Washer and Clean Internal Faucet Area

Typically it is the washer that sits behind the faucet nut (sillcock nut) that fails. Remove it with your fingers or small screw driver and examine it for damage or wear. If you see either, replace the washer. Also, make sure the internal faucet (sillcock) is free from dirt and grime. If there is grime in it, flush it out with water.

Re-assemble Outdoor Faucet

Once you have replaced the washer and the internal faucet area is free of any grit, reattach the faucet nut cap, the handle, and the screw that holds the handle onto the faucet.

Test Repaired Outdoor Faucet

Turn the water back on at the valve within the basement or utility room to the outdoor faucet and observe water flowing freely from the faucet.

Turn the handle to the off position. If the washer or grit was the problem the leak should no longer be present.

Note that with a frost free outdoor water faucet, the actual shutoff valve sits far back into the faucet / sillcock pipe, (approximately 8 inches), so do not be surprised to see a few drips of water initially after shutting off the faucet. After a few minutes, however, you should see no more drips. With that your leaky outdoor faucet is a thing of the past!

If performing these steps doesn’t take care of the leak, you should call your Tacoma plumber who will be able to readily identify the source of the leak and repair it for you in no time.

A Word to the Water-Wise in Seattle

May 7, 2012

The basic idea behind water-saving devices is to restrict water consumption rates where heaviest use occurs. Indoor Seattle water usage runs at about 40 percent for toilets, 30 percent for baths and showers (more for baths), 15 percent for clothes washers and 15 percent for cooking and kitchen use.

TOILET WATER SAVERS

The first target for water conservation is the toilet. A number of devices are designed to reduce the amount of water used to flush a conventional toilet.

One such device is a dual-flush mechanism that allows about one-half tank flush for liquid waste by depressing the tank lever handle in the normal manner and full-tank flush for solid waste by depressing the lever and holding it down. These devices can save from 40 to 50 percent of normal water consumption.

There are also water-saving toilets that have smaller holding tanks and use less water to flush.

Leaks in the toilet tank can also be a source of excess water usage. These are usually due to worn out parts. Leaks can be detected by adding dark food coloring to the tank and checking about 20 minutes later to see if the toilet bowl water has turned the same color.

SHOWERS AND BATHS

Showers and baths are the next target for water saving. The most common devices are flow-control valves, flow restrictors and aerators that can be added to existing fixtures. New showerheads can also be installed that feature water-saving capabilities.

There is a distinct difference between a flow-control valve and a flow restrictor. The flow-control valve restricts the flow of water to about 2.75 gals. per minute, automatically making adjustments for water-pressure changes.

A flow restrictor does not make an automatic adjustment if the pressure changes. Therefore, more water is used as the pressure increases.

Some of these devices have manual controls to adjust water flow from flood to shutoff. Many include a weep to help prevent back pressure in the pipes.

Many of these showerheads also have manual controls to adjust the amount of water flow so less water can be used for soaping and more for rinsing.

These devices help restrict the flow of water from a typical rate of seven gals. per minute to about two to three gals.

FAUCETS

The third target for water saving around your Seattle home is the bathroom and kitchen faucets. Like the shower or bathtub, water is consumed at the rate of about 7 gals. per minute. A restrictor (or aerator) can reduce the flow to 2- to 3- gals. Per minute.

There are models which automatically adjust the flow to 2- to 3- gals. per minute. There are models which automatically adjust the flow rate according to water-pressure changes and other models which do not make automatic compensations. Some have manual controls for the Seattle homeowner to preset the amount of restriction.

Several states, such as New York and California, have code requirements on faucets and showerheads. Since these water-saving devices also control the proportion of hot water used, they have the additional selling point of being a fuel saver.

regardless of state mandated use of water saving devices, it is in your best interest to modify your water usage. Your Seattle plumbing contractor knows the benefit of all these devices and can advise you as to which will be most beneficial in your case and will then gladly install any water saving plumbing fixture for you.

 

Article Source: http://www.acehardware.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=1267597

Click here or call 877-694-5176 to schedule an appointment.

What’s “On Tap”

March 26, 2012

In the market for a new faucet? Sure you can buy a boring cheapie for $50 that will cost you more in the long run for repairs or replacement. Spend a bit more and get a spectacular gem packed with hardworking features that will last your lifetime.

A faucet is the hardest working part of your Seattle home. Think about how many times a day you use it and how tough life is when it’s not working. But aside from supplying water, a faucet can deliver the “wow” to your kitchen or bathroom. “Your faucet is like a piece of functional artwork,” says kitchen designer Mary Jane Pappas. “Its design and the way it feels in your hand have a major impact on the mood of your entire room.”

Sure, you can buy a basic faucet for $50. But you’re likely to get something nondescript that will cost you more in the long run for repairs or replacement. Spend about $250, however, and you’ll get something spectacular that’s packed with features and will last your lifetime. You can also spend a lot more on style, high-tech features and exotic finishes. You can even buy a faucet that lets you check your e-mail! Here are just a few of the features today’s faucets offer the Seattle homeowner.

Hands-free operation

Hands-free, sensor-activated faucets are moving beyond public restrooms into Seattle residential bathrooms and kitchens. Why would you want one? Aside from the cool factor, they save water by automatically switching the flow on and off while you shave or brush your teeth. They also help prevent the spread of germs, which can be a big deal with kids and is nice in the kitchen when you have raw chicken on your hands. Just make sure yours has an override switch that lets you keep the water running when you want to fill pots. Most are powered by standard “AA” batteries or can be hard-wired to a 120-volt circuit, and some even generate their own power.

Water-savers

There are lots of water-saving faucets on the market, and manufacturers have gotten much better at balancing conservation and performance so you don’t have to sacrifice a strong stream to save water. Most water-saving faucets use special aerators that increase airflow to compensate for decreased water flow, giving you the same flow strength as other faucets. You’ll find a huge variety of EPA WaterSense–certified faucets for your Seattle bathroom, and the choices for kitchen faucets are on the rise. Most let you toggle between two or three flow rates.

Pull-down & pullout

Pull-down and pullout faucets are the most popular style. They let you move the water to where it’s needed—like the farthest corners of your sink or on top of your counter. Most are designed for kitchens, but there are a few for bathrooms, too. Pullouts are shorter than pull-downs and may fit better in smaller Seattle kitchens with overhead cabinets. Pull-down models have high-arc spouts, which give you more working room in your sink but can splash more. Buttons or toggles on the spray nozzle let you pause the flow and switch between different flow rates and water patterns.

Ergonomic design

New faucets are all about convenience and function. Gone are the nonpivoting spouts and hard-to-turn handles. Today’s faucets feel good in the hand and provide extreme flexibility to help deliver water where and when you need it while adding high style to your home. Slim joystick-style levers have replaced clunky handles; highly articulated spouts fold, lift and stay where you put them; and wall-mounted faucets can give your room a sleek look and make cleanup a snap.

No matter which type of faucet you ultimately choose for your home, your Seattle plumber can install your plumbing fixtures in no time and with no hassle.

 

Faucet Buying Tips

  • Shop where the pros shop to get high-end faucets for less. Check out plumbing supply stores, irawoods.com and faucetdepot.com.
  • For reviews and ratings of faucets and faucet manufacturers, visit starcraftcustombuilders.com.
  • The finish affects the cost. Chrome is the least expensive. Color finishes, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and stainless add $50 to $250 to the price.
  • The highest quality faucets are made of solid brass. These are especially recommended for hard water areas where corrosion is a problem.
  • Better valve systems are worth every penny. Leak-free, washerless ceramic disks and cartridges can last your lifetime.
  • Two-handle faucets are cheaper and give you precise temperature control. But single-handle faucets are easier to use.
  • Be sure the faucet you’re considering uses the same number of mounting holes as your sink, or get a base plate to cover extra holes.
  • Two-handle faucets are easier to clean if the handles are 8 in. apart instead of 4 in. Single-handle faucets are the easiest to clean.
  • Some faucets are available with extra-long water supply hoses that are easier to connect lower in the sink cabinet.
  • Some manufacturers sell faucet bodies and handles separately, so you can mix and match styles and finishes
  • Most lavatory faucets include the drain assembly, but most kitchen faucets don’t. You have to buy the drain and basket strainer separately.
  • Gooseneck (high-arc) faucets have higher clearances for pots but can cause splashing in a shallow sink.

Click here or call 877-694-5176 to schedule an appointment.

Stainless Steel at Your Service

February 6, 2012

Stainless SteelAbout Stainless Steel Sinks

Stainless steel sinks aren’t “perfect”; no material is perfect for all conditions/situations. We are not aware of any material that is more durable and more “ideal” for sinks than quality stainless steel.

Stainless steel sinks are made from nickel bearing stainless steel. The mellow satin surface is compatible with any décor and color scheme. It is timeless and elegant, and like fine silver, its beautiful finish becomes lovelier with use and age. A quality stainless steel sink, with proper care and maintenance, will give you a lifetime of service.

Why Stainless Steel is “Stainless When the chromium in the stainless steel is exposed to oxygen an invisible layer of chromium oxide (Cr2O3) is formed. This layer is impervious to water and air giving the stainless steel exceptional corrosion resistant properties.

6 Reasons Why We Like Stainless Steel Sinks

  • Tough – Stainless steel is more durable than porcelain and cast iron, and more forgiving than composites. Stainless steel sinks won’t chip, nick or crack. Thin stainless sinks can get dented, but “cheap” sinks of any other materials tend to have less life (longevity) than a “cheap” stainless steel sink.
  • Luster – Stainless steel will not rust, stain or fade, and the finish resists scratches. It keeps its luster longer while other materials will show their age.
  • Absorbs Shock – Stainless steel sinks on impact will “give” to cushion glasses and dishes against breakage.
  • Easier to Clean – Stainless steel retains its luster when cleaned with household cleanser and a soft towel. Healthcare facilities trust stainless steel sinks due in part to their sanitary surface.
  • Greater Capacity – Stainless steel has strength and flexibility that allows for deeper sink bowls. It has more overall usable space than porcelain or cast iron.
  • Compliments Any Décor – Stainless steel sinks have clean lines and a cool texture that reflect surrounding colors and patterns. Also, it compliments any décor long after trendy colors are out-of-style.

Chlorides Today, chlorides are found in most soap, detergents, bleaches and cleansers; chlorides can be aggressive to stainless steel. However, chlorides are very water-soluble. Therefore, thorough rinsing of your sink after each use to remove any chloride residue and a weekly scouring is all that is required to keep your sink looking bright and shiny.

Scratches Like many metallic surfaces, your stainless steel sink will scratch. These are merely usage scratches and over time will blend into the overall finish of your sink.

Water Quality The quality of your Tacoma water can affect your sink’s appearance. If your water has high iron content, a brown surface stain can form on the sink giving the appearance of rust. Additionally, in areas with a high concentration of minerals, or with over-softened water, a white film may develop on the sink. To combat these problems, we suggest that the sink be towel dried after use, and again, on a weekly basis, the sink should be cleaned.

Food Heavy salt concentration or foods containing high levels of salt should not be allowed to dry on the sink surface. Rinse your sink thoroughly after use.

Cutting Your sink is designed to serve as many things, but should not be used as a cutting board or chopping block. This type of use will lead to deep scratches in the sink finish and will dull your knives.

Routine Care

  • Most dirt & stains: Use soapy water or ammonia-based cleaner.
  • Watermarks: Wipe with damp cloth then towel dry.
  • Disinfecting: Occasionally wipe surface with diluted household bleach (1 part water /1 part bleach).
  • Maintenance: Occasionally clean by filling the sink one-quarter full with a 50/50 water/bleach solution. Let soak for 15 minutes, then wash sides and bottom as solution drains and thoroughly rinse.

Precautions

  • Do… It is best to rinse sinks thoroughly after each use. Thorough rinsing can be done by running the water for a few minutes and rubbing the cleaned area with a sponge.
  • Do… Avoid exposing sink to strong chemicals, such as paint removers, oven cleaners, etc. If contact occurs, quickly flush the surface with water.
  • Do… Run cold water when pouring boiling water into sinks to try to minimize temperature shock. With stainless it isn’t as important to remember that compared to other materials though.
  • Do… Towel dry after each use to prevent mineral deposits from building up on the surface of the sink (although with a good quality stainless sink you can buff it back to the original “new” finish even after many years of scale and mineral build-up.
  • Do… Scour the sink once a week, being sure to rub in the direction of the satin finish lines (best not to purchase a “mirror” finish).
  • Do… Remove nail polish with a non-acetone based nail polish remover and flush with water.

 

  • Don’t… Allow food or beverage residue, metal canned products, or mild steel or cast iron cookware to remain on sink surface for long periods of time as this can result in permanent staining of the sink.
  • Don’t… Cut directly on sink surfaces.
  • Don’t… Set hot pans directly into sinks.
  • Don’t… Scour the sink across the satin finish lines. Scouring across the satin finish lines can damage the original sink finish.
  • Don’t… Allow liquid soap or other household cleansers to dry on the surface of the sink. Most brands contain chemical additives, which will affect the finish.
  • Don’t… Use drain cleaning products that contain sulfuric or hydrochloric acid.
  • Don’t… Leave standing solutions of chlorine bleach and water in the sink for extended periods of time. Chlorides, which are found in most soaps, detergents, bleaches, and cleansers, are very aggressive to stainless steel. If left on the sink too long they can cause surface pitting.
  • Don’t… Use a steel wool pad to clean your sink. Steel wool pads have a tendency to break apart and small particles of steel can become embedded in the surface of the sink. The steel particles will rust and will give the appearance that the sink itself is rusting.
  • Don’t… Use rubber mats or dishpans in the sink to protect the finish. Leaving rubber mats or dishpans in the sink can lead to surface rust or possible pitting. Instead use stainless steel bottom grids. If you do use mats or dishpans please remove them after each use.
  • Don’t… Leave wet sponges, cloths, or cleaning pads on the sink. This can lead to surface rust.

If you’re ready to replace your current sink or are starting from scratch, contact your Tacoma plumber for all your sink and fixture installation needs.

Article Source: http://www.plumbingproducts.com/stainless-steel-sink-care.html

If you are looking for a Tacoma plumbing contractor, please call 877-694-5176 or complete our online request form.

Getting Caulky in Tacoma

January 30, 2012

Getting Caulky in TacomaWhat You’ll Need

You’ll need to have these tools on hand to caulk bathroom fixtures in your Tacoma home:

  • Putty or utility knife
  • Strong household cleaner
  • Clean rags
  • Chlorine beach
  • Silicone caulk or bathtub caulk
  • Scissors

Because tubs and sinks are used practically every day in your Tacoma home, the caulking between the fixture and the wall often cracks or pulls loose. When this happens, water seeps into the opening and damages the joint and the surrounding wall. Use silicone caulk or bathtub caulk to make the repair. Use the following steps to recaulk kitchen and bathroom fixtures:

Step 1: Use putty knife or utility knife to remove all old caulk from joint.

Step 2: Clean joint thoroughly with strong household cleaner. If joint is mildewed, scrub it with chlorine bleach. Dry joint thoroughly with clean rag wrapped over blade of putty knife.

Step 3: Apply caulk to joint. Cut nozzle of caulk tube at an angle so opening is a little larger than open joint. If you’re caulking several joints, start with the smallest joint and work up, recutting tube nozzle as necessary for larger joints.

Step 4: Let new caulk dry for several hours.

Don’t let it get wet during drying period. Let caulk cure completely (see manufacturer’s instructions) before using fixture.

It’s always a good idea to let your professional Tacoma plumber handle the initial installation of faucets and fixtures, which will ensure that they are properly caulked and sealed.

Article Source: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/how-to-recaulk-plumbing-fixtures.htm

Click here or call 877-694-5176 to schedule an appointment.

Multitask! Nix The Drip And Update Your Tacoma Kitchen

December 7, 2011

Tacoma KitchenWhen it comes to making your kitchen stand out and look great even the littlest things can make a big difference, so if your kitchen faucets are causing you a problem it is well worth forgetting about trying to mess around with repairing them and instead consider having new kitchen faucets installed instead. This is a very cost effective and simple procedure that can make a huge difference in the appearance and practicality of your Tacoma kitchen. You can find faucets to suit all needs, and by installing faucets that fit in with any theme you have going in your kitchen or with the general décor of your Tacoma home, you can enjoy really adding to the appearance of the room. You will find the perfect sink faucet to match your kitchen, as there is such a great choice available, and you can find accessories to match your kitchen cabinets, countertops, sinks, and the decor of your kitchen.

Replacing your kitchen faucets can make a real difference

When you replace the faucets in your Tacoma kitchen you will enjoy a range of benefits. You can look forward to finding accessories that really fit in with your décor. You can add to the style and class of your kitchen as well simply be replacing the faucets for one of today’s modern and sleek styles. And with these faucets boasting a range of features, you can also increase practicality in the kitchen, making life easier for yourself and others that use the kitchen. You will be able to select from many wonderful styles, with designs and features to suit all needs. There is a wide selection of brass, copper, chrome, stainless steel, and more, ensuring that there is something to suit every taste and pocket. You can select the features that best meet your needs too, with choice that include filter faucets, double handle faucets or single handle faucets, wall mount faucets, mixer faucets and shower faucets, just to name a few.

You won’t have to spend a fortune on your faucets

By shopping for your faucets online you can enjoy substantial savings as well as a wide selection. You will find many top manufacturers offering great deals on faucets via the Internet, and the deep discounts mean that you can enjoy excellent value for your money. Enjoy comparing the faucets to find the designs and features that best meet your needs, save money on the cost, order with ease from home, and get fast and convenient delivery of your order. Then all you have left to do is call your Tacoma plumber and have your new faucets installed in no time!

Whatever the theme or décor of your Tacoma kitchen, you will be able to really complement it by installing the right faucets to match the style of your kitchen and the kitchen fixtures. This is a great and cost effective way to add to the look and functionality of your kitchen.

If you are looking for a Tacoma plumbing contractor, please call 877-694-5176 or complete our online request form.



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