When one of your drains becomes fully or partially clogged, all you want to do is get it fixed as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why so many Seattle and Bellevue area homeowners turn to liquid drain cleaner – it seems like a quick, cheap solution to a frustrating problem. However, if you ask the Best Plumbing team, they’ll tell you that liquid drain cleaners come with their own set of issues. Here are three reasons to avoid them:
Most liquid drain cleaners do their work by creating a chemical reaction with hydrochloric acid. This chemical is hard on pipes, especially if it sits on them for an extended period of time. It can melt or deform plastic pipes, and weaken or crack metal ones. Such damage can result in broken, leaky pipes down the line.
Liquid drain cleaners contain toxic chemicals that aren’t good for you, your family, or your pets. These cleaners often release strong fumes that can irritate your nose, eyes, and throat. If your space doesn’t have enough ventilation, these fumes can also hang in the air for a while afterward. Some liquid drain cleaners are also dangerous to touch, and can if they come into contact with your skin, may cause burns.
There are many possible causes of a clogged drain or pipe. Liquid drain cleaners may dissolve blockages of hair or grease, but they won’t fix more serious issues. If your clogged drain is caused by a broken pipe or sewer backup, it will likely take professional help to resolve it.
The next time you encounter a blocked drain, think twice before using liquid drain cleaners in your Seattle home. If you can’t fix your clogged pipe with a plunger or drain snake, call Best Plumbing for professional help. One of our expert plumbers will be able to diagnose the problem and find the right solution.
Radiant heated flooring is used to bring comfort and energy efficiency to homes all over Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound area. The advantages of radiant heat over forced-air systems are derived from the way they deliver heat.
More Comfort: Forced air-systems disperse heat through vents causing heat to be distributed unevenly near vents and on second stories. Radiant heating systems deliver heat consistently throughout the entire floor, so the temperature is the same no matter where you are in the room or house. Radiant heating is also more comfortable for Seattleites who suffer from allergies because they don’t continually stir up allergens the way that forced-air systems can.
Better Efficiency: According to the Department of Energy, radiant heating is generally more efficient than forced-air systems which tend to let air escape as it travels through the ducts. An important caveat to this statement is that the level of efficiency depends on which type of radiant heating you’re talking about. There are two types of radiant heating commonly used, electric and hydronic, both of which have advantages and things to take into consideration.
An electric radiant heating system uses a mesh of electrical cables to beneath the floor to deliver heat.
Advantages: The main benefits of electric radiant heat are that it’s easy to install and that it can be used to heat rooms individually.
Considerations: While electric radiant heat is great for heating specific rooms, it isn’t always efficient. Depending on several factors, including the size of the room, the thickness of your subfloor, and whether or not your utility company offers off-peak pricing, electric radiant heating systems can be expensive to operate.
Hydronic radiant heat works much in the same way as an electric system but rather than using coils of electrical cable, hydronic systems use tubes of heated water.
Advantages: Hydronic radiant heat systems are far more efficient than electric systems at maintaining the temperature in a room for long periods, offering you considerable long-term savings.
Considerations: Hydronic systems are typically more take longer and are costlier to install. Additionally, they aren’t as responsive as electric radiant heating systems, meaning they may take a bit longer to heat up and cool down than electric systems.
If you have questions about a radiant heating system or any other plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to call Seattle’s Best Plumbing. With over 50 years proudly serving the Greater Seattle area, we’re your locally owned and operated experts. Call or stop by our showroom today!
Photo credit: janeeric, available under Creative Commons CCO.
A clogged drain can be a source of instantaneous dread. Figuring out what and where the clog is can be challenging, especially if your Seattle area home or business has old plumbing. And, even if you know what the problem is, you may not have the know-how or the tools or the to fix it. Fortunately, at Best Plumbing of Seattle, we have over 50 years of experience, and some pretty cool gadgets too. Here’s a quick description of a few of the tools we use to vanquish plumbing woes all over the Puget Sound area.
A drain snake (sometimes called a plumbing auger or one of several other names) is a hand-held device that has a coiled-wire cable with a corkscrew at the end. When a drain is clogged, the cable is inserted into the pipe and rotated until the corkscrew twists itself into the blockage and collects enough of whatever is down there to allow the water to drain.
Because they use a thin, manually powered cable, drain snakes are typically used for smaller jobs in bathrooms and kitchens.
A plumbing rooter uses a machine-turned cable with a special head on the front. It’s basically the industrial-strength version of a drain snake and can be used in the larger pipes found in main lines that connect to the city sewer. With the proper head for the task, rooters are capable of spearing through thick sludge, scraping debris from the side of pipes, and even sawing through roots.
Although they are powerful, plumbing rooters do have some limitations. While they’re great for cutting through tough blockages, they don’t always clean the line very well. This is particularly true in areas around pipe fittings or if the obstruction is composed of greasy materials that clings to pipe walls.
Hydro-jetting is another technique regularly used to clear clogged pipes and sewer lines. As you might infer from the name, a hydro-jet uses water-pressure to cut through obstructions. There are several types of hydro-jet nozzles for use in different situations but they generally all work the same way. A powerful jet of water at the front of the nozzle creates a hole in the obstruction, while more jets at the back push the nozzle forward through the hole, often spinning the nozzle as it goes. The jets can produce water pressure in excess of 2000 lbs. per square inch, allowing the hydro-jet to shred through blockages, essentially pressure wash pipe walls, and flush debris through the line.
Because hydro-jetting machines clean pipes so thoroughly it is recommended to have done every few years (or even annually for businesses in Seattle’s foodservice industry).
If you’ve noticed slow drains in your home or business, it could be a sign that a plumbing emergency is just around the corner. Don’t wait until the situation is out of hand. Call Best Plumbing of Seattle at (206) 823-1652, and get the situation assessed by a professional today!
Photo credit: JWPhotowerks, available under Creative Commons CCO.