Generally, you only turn off water to specific fixtures during plumbing repairs, but sometimes it’s necessary to use the main water shut-off valve to prevent costly water damage during an emergency. However, it’s surprising how many people don’t know where to find this important valve. Plumbing can be confusing, especially for older Seattle houses, so here are tips on locating your main water shut-off valve.
Ideally, water lines run directly from the water main to the shut-off valve with few or no detours. So, imagine the shortest path from the water main to your home and that’s where the water shut-off valve will likely be found.
Things get trickier if you have an older home that’s been added onto over the years. In this case, check the inspection report you received when you purchased your home (which should label the main shut-off valve). If you don’t have access to this report, perform your own home inspection. Look around the water heater, under the kitchen sink, and around the foundation wall. If you see an access panel that’s not the electrical box, that’s likely the water shut-off valve. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for an accessible pipe that has either a wheel or lever handle.
If you have any questions or concerns about your home plumbing, give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 785-2551. We’ll perform a home plumbing inspection, catch any issues before they become problems, and show you where to find important valves. We’ve been serving greater Seattle for more than 50 years!
Photo credit: pisauikan, available under Creative Commons CCO.
The Seattle winter rains are on their way, bringing almost daily drizzle and the occasional heavy downpour. As experienced homeowners know, some preventative drain cleaning can save you from having a flooded basement later on. Here’s an easy list of drains to clean around your property for a worry-free rainy season.
While the city keeps the street drains clear, the ones at the bottom of your driveway are your responsibility. Pull any weeds growing around the grate and clear away debris that prevents water from flowing into the drain. If you can see silt building up below the grate you may need to schedule a more extensive drain cleaning.
A clogged gutter can cause water to run straight down the stem wall into the basement or foundation. First, check if any birds or rodents have taken up residence over the summer. Next, use a power washer to remove built up leaves and dirt from your gutters. Finally, check that your downspout is still properly attached and that water drains away from your foundation and towards the street. Adding a screen or gutter helmet can help prevent future buildup, or nesting, inside the downspout itself.
With the hilly Seattle terrain, many houses have garages at the bottom of a slope from the street. This means the drain in front of your garage doors must work properly to prevent water from flowing straight into your home. After removing debris, run your garden hose for 20 minutes and check that water is being directed away from the house. Also, be sure to check other outside drains and floor drains to be sure the water is not be re-directed to somewhere other than the street or storm system. If you notice puddles forming near the foundation, you may want to contact a professional plumber to discuss ways to improve drainage.
If any of your drains are not functioning properly, give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 785-2551 to schedule a professional drainage checkup. We serve the greater Seattle area and the East Side. Find more great plumbing tips on our Youtube channel!
Photo credit: saschasnowstorm, available under Creative Commons CCO.
When you turn the tap on and nothing but cold water comes out, it’s a pretty obvious sign that something’s wrong with your hot water heater. It might be a one-time issue, such as a tripped circuit breaker. However, if it keeps reoccurring, this is a sign that your tank is starting to wear down, is working overtime to try and compensate, and then shuts down to prevent overheating.
Over time, sediment and minerals will build up inside traditional water heater tanks, which can eat through the inner lining of the unit. Rusty looking water or strange smells or tastes are potential warning signs that the tank is nearing its end. Fortunately, scheduling routine maintenance can help prevent this build-up and add years of life to your water tank.
A water heater that’s leaking, visibly rusting, or showing signs of regular standing water near the base is at the end of its life and will typically require replacement. Leaks can go from small to severe rather quickly and can result in flooding, especially if the tank cracks. Any signs of drips or standing water should be handled right away by contacting an experienced plumbing professional to evaluate the situation.
Get an assessment of your water heater condition by calling the experts at Best Plumbing at (206) 785-2551. You can also visit our website for a full listing of our services. Whether you need a repair or water heater replacement, you can rely on our experienced 24/7 services to get hot water flowing again.