On a cold, rainy Seattle day there’s nothing better than a hot shower in a warm home. But, how exactly is all that warmth produced? In regards to water, at least, many people would say that it’s all thanks to a water heater. However, in many cases, especially for older buildings, or those with radiant heating, it could be a boiler system doing all the work. What’s the difference? Keep reading to find out from the experts at Best Plumbing!
Water heaters have a pretty self-explanatory name. It’s a system that heats up water for you to use in your sinks, showers, laundry machines, etc. The most common version is a storage tank full of water that’s heated by gas or electricity. The hot water is then stored in the tank until you want it. After the hot water runs out, the tank goes about warming up a new batch. Another system that’s gaining popularity is the “tankless” or on-demand water heater. In this case, instead of storing pre-heated water in a tank, a high-powered burner is used to rapidly heat up water as it runs through the pipe to its destination.
When you think of a boiler you might imagine the basement of a school, but boilers can be found in a variety of homes and buildings. More versatile than water heaters, a boiler can heat up both water and your home. There are different configurations, but the basic way boilers work is that oil, gas, or electricity heats up fluid in a tank to produce steam. This steam is then used to heat up water for you to use, can be circulated through radiators to warm up your space, or can heat up air for use in a forced air heating system. Once it’s done its job, the steam in the boiler tank returns to a fluid state, ready to be used again.
Although some people may use the two names interchangeably, hot water heaters and boilers are not the same. They are distinctly different systems and serve different purposes in your home. When you have problems with a water heater or boiler system your local plumbing experts are here to help. Give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 785-2360 for all of your plumbing needs! We proudly service greater Seattle, the Eastside, and western Snohomish County!
Photo credit: Ri, available under Creative Commons CCO.
Considering Seattle’s status as a tech hub, it’s no surprise that a growing number of owners are using smart home technology to transform all areas of their home—including the bathroom. Below, Best Plumbing explores a few of the exciting advancements that you can incorporate into your own high tech bathroom plan.
You might find it hard to imagine how much a classic toilet could possibly change, but they are evolving with the addition of smart technology. New luxury toilets have features including automatic lids, heated seats, nightlights, and leak detection sensors. There’s also been a rise in various voice-controlled devices. Simply say “toilet flush” and it’s taken care of, hands-free!
In the past, using electronic devices near a bathing area was a bad idea. However, with improvements in waterproofing technology, the shower as joined the home automation revolution. Installing a digital controller allows you to choose (and even pre-program) the exact temperature and water pressure you prefer, eliminating the often-painstaking process of fiddling with knobs. Another popular shower upgrade is LED lighting to set a relaxing mood. And for those of you who love singing in the shower, there are now showerheads with built-in Bluetooth speakers!
Ever been to a public restroom where you had to spend an annoying amount of time frantically waving your hands to try and activate a motion sensor sink. Well, this isn’t an issue with new home-automated sinks. Utilizing infrared technology, hands-free sinks add a touch of luxury to your bathroom experience and offer an incredible water saving solution.
Bathrooms of the future have arrived, adding comfort, convenience, and luxury to your Seattle home. Give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 622-1700, or visit our showroom, and our expert plumbers and design staff will help bring your bathroom into the modern age.
Photo credit: midascode, available under Creative Commons CCO.
If it is taking your sink forever to empty or there’s standing water in your dishwasher or laundry machine, then there’s a problem in your drain system. As grease, soap residue, hair (and occasionally small toys if you have young children) get washed down the drain, they slowly leave behind a layer of build up in your pipes that can obstruct water flow. Plant roots are another common suspect, particularly during the spring and summer. If left unaddressed for too long, these obstructions can cause the pipe to become completely blocked, resulting in an expensive repair or replacement job.
While it might be tempting to use a bottle of liquid drain cleaner in hopes of a quick fix, resist the urge! Using harsh chemicals can lead to more trouble if they don’t work as expected and their corrosive properties can further damage your pipes. If you suspect it’s a case of some hair stuck in the sink or shower drain, usually a small drain snake (available at most department or hardware stores) is enough to fix the issue. However, depending on the extent and severity of the blockage, it might be time to call in a plumber. A good indication of when to contact a professional is if multiple drains are being affected or if the blockage involves your appliances.
Fortunately, Best Plumbing is here to help! Our expert plumbers are available 24/7 to get your drains cleaned out and working again. We handle grease traps, catch basins, hot water heaters, toilets, sinks and showers of all types, floor drains, large appliances and more. We will perform a camera and video inspection to pinpoint the nature and location of the clog then will use cabling or hydraulic jetting to quickly and safely clear up the blockage. All you’ll need to do is sit back and relax, knowing that your drains won’t slow down again anytime in the near future — unless another toy finds its way down the toilet.
You can visit our Youtube channel to see our team in action. We proudly serve greater Seattle, Eastside, and Snohomish County!
Photo credit: Semevent, available under Creative Commons CCO.