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Posts Tagged: Plumber

Why your Seattle home could benefit from Kitec pipe replacement

Posted On: Filed Under: Plumbing 2 Comments on Why your Seattle home could benefit from Kitec pipe replacement

Kitec is a material manufactured as an alternative to traditional copper plumbing and hydronic heating pipes and fittings. Consisting of an aluminum pipe enclosed within layers of plastic pipe, this material was used in new homes and renovations between 1995 and 2007 as piping for potable water and boiler-based in-floor or baseboard heating. However, despite the promises made by Kitec’s manufacturer in terms of performance and longevity, Kitec was found to corrode at a rapid rate, resulting in a recall of the material in 2005; today, Kitec is no longer produced or used as a replacement for copper water pipes. The only way to replace existing Kitec plumbing is to remove this material from your home, which often requires creating access points in walls, ceilings, and floors. If your home contains Kitec plumbing, you may wonder whether replacing this material before any problems have occurred is worth the effort; however, the number of failures and lawsuits filed due to Kitec plumbing should prompt you to contact your Seattle plumbing service to discuss Kitec pipe replacement.

Peace of mind

The most important reason to consider replacing your Kitec piping and fittings is peace of mind. Professional plumbers have observed an increasing rate of Kitec plumbing failures, which is only expected to continue over time as the remaining Kitec pipes still installed begin to fail. This means that the longer you have gone without replacing your Kitec plumbing, the higher your risk for an issue related to your plumbing in the future. Furthermore, because of the nature of Kitec plumbing and its failures, small leaks are not the only possibility associated with deterioration—large-scale pipe failures are also likely, which can lead to serious flooding, property damage, and loss, especially if a pipe bursts while you are not home. The only way to ensure that you will not experience a major issue associated with plumbing pipe failure is to have your Kitec plumbing replaced by an experienced plumber.

Financial savings

In addition to peace of mind and flooding prevention, the replacement of Kitec plumbing can also help you save money. Home flooding is associated with extensive repair costs, especially if flooding damages valuable possessions or leads to a mold or pest problem due to high humidity and standing water. By eliminating the likelihood of a costly plumbing problem, your investment in Kitec plumbing replacement can save you money in terms of repairs and the replacement of damaged materials or possessions, as well as mold or pest abatement. Furthermore, if you file a claim related to your Kitec plumbing before 2020, you are eligible for financial assistance based on a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of Kitec plumbing. Thus, the costs of replacing your Kitec plumbing can be offset through a payout from this class action lawsuit, reducing or eliminating the cost of this important plumbing service that can protect your home and your belongings from serious flooding and pipe-related problems.

Even if you haven’t experienced a problem with your Kitec plumbing, there are several important benefits associated with replacing this material, as well as several serious risks with putting off this vital service. Let us evaluate your plumbing situation and recommend the best course of action for your pipes. Your home is your biggest investment, make sure you protect it with Washington Energy Services.

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How to avoid holiday time water heater and plumbing failures

Posted On: Filed Under: Tank water heaters, Plumbing, Tankless water heaters No Comments on How to avoid holiday time water heater and plumbing failures


Tank water heaters fail at the holidays?

There’s nothing like the combination of extra use and cold outside temperatures to push an old standard tank beyond its limits. If your tank is limping through its 10th or 15th year of life, parts in it are likely to be worn and fragile. The cold temperatures outside (or in your basement) make the water in your plumbing colder. This causes your tank water heater to work a little harder and longer to get the water to your set heat. In addition, the differential between the hot water on the top of the tank and cold water coming in at the bottom is greater, causing extra flexing of the tank itself. And then you add extra use from Thanksgiving dishes, holiday guests and students who are home from college and it’s a meltdown waiting to happen.

4 Ways to avoid water heater failure:

Our emergency water heater team is standing by 24/7 in case your water heater gives up, but you can be proactive about this in several ways.

  1. If you know your water heater is old but you don’t want to replace it, consider a leak detection and protection system. This will shut off the water and alert you if there is a leak, giving you peace of mind.
  2. Replace your old water heater proactively with a new tank water heater or a tankless.
  3. Give it some TLC with a flush of sediments and if needed an anode rod replacement to ensure it’s running the best it can.
  4. Make sure your temperature setting is 120 degrees or less. 120 degrees F is the standard temperature for water heaters. Sometimes people crank up the temp thinking that the water heater will produce more hot water. It won’t, it will produce the same amount of hot water, but it will be scalding hot. It also puts more wear and tear on the parts inside. The only way to get more quantity of hot water out of your tank is to make sure you have flushed out the sediment build up.

Plumbing or side sewer backups are common during the holiday season

It happened to one of us (the author of this article). Thanksgiving day, the guests were arriving and I made a mad dash to the basement to get something from the freezer. Oops , the main drain had backed up into the basement! Fortunately, our plumbers are available 24/7 and even on holidays. We had the drain cleaned quickly and sent the plumber home with a to-go plate of turkey dinner.

Plumbing, and particularly mainline drains, backup around the holidays, not just because you are using more water and flushing more toilets but your entire neighborhood is doing it too! Add in some grease poured down the drain, dishwashers running and extra showers, plus if you live in a older residential neighborhood (like Ballard or Queen Anne,) possibly shared piping with another house, and it’s a recipe for overloading the plumbing. And then the water goes back where it came from, into your house. Hence the term “back-up”.

What to do:

Our emergency plumbing team is ready 24/7 in case the holiday emergency strikes your home, but you can be proactive in these ways:

  1. Have a plumber come and snake your drain before your holiday rush. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid a disaster. Also, if you’re hosting, avoid using your garbage disposal.  It may seem like an easy way to quickly dispose of greasy leftovers but the solids just sit out there in the drain and with all the extra plumbing system use, this compounds the risk of backup.
  2. Boiling water with our without a cup of liquid bleach can be used to clear sinks. The boiling water will break down solids and is better for your pipes than liquid drain cleaner. Some people try to use vinegar and hot water.

For plumbing or water heater sales and service, call Washington Energy Services at 800-398-4663. Or you can call our plumbers directly at 800-590-4969.

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